Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Anonymous" launches "war" against Scientology

In a press release yesterday that cites an article I co-authored in Skeptic magazine, a group referring to itself as "Anonymous" has announced that it has declared war against Scientology. The stated justification for the "war" is the Church of Scientology's attempts to keep a video of Tom Cruise off the net. That video, which is still viewable at Gawker.com, was made for a Scientology awards ceremony. The longer video from which it was taken is also now viewable there. Gawker.com responded to a cease and desist letter with a refusal to remove the video, which it considers to be fair use for news and comment, but I'm not so sure that it has a good legal case for putting up more than short excerpts. (In case you're wondering about all the Scientology jargon in the Tom Cruise video, MTV has done a good job of explaining it. Actor Jerry O'Connell has also put out a good parody.)

The "war," which is described at another site under the name "Project Chanology" (a reference to 4chan, a popular message board, where most posts are made by people who don't login and are thus attributed to "Anonymous"), calls for denial of service attacks over the Internet, prank phone calls, spam emails, and personal visits involving vandalism and harassment. Apparently Scientology's main website was down due to denial of service for at least part of the day yesterday.

The press release cites a number of web pages for further information about Scientology, the second of which is the article "Scientology v. the Internet: Free Speech & Copyright Infringement on the Information Super-Highway" which Jeff Jacobsen and I wrote for Skeptic magazine in 1995 after Scientology effectively declared war on the Internet. (A much lesser-known sequel to that article, published only on the web, is "Scientology v. the Internet: An Update and Response to Leisa Goodman.")

I completely disagree with the tactics being used here--Scientology has as much right to free speech and protection of their copyrights as anyone else, though I also condemn Scientology's habitual misuse of copyright to try to suppress fair use of information. To the extent this is a prank designed to get media attention, well done. To the extent it gets taken seriously, though, it's something that may not end well. Read the material, watch the videos, have a laugh, and tell others about the absurdity and abuses of Scientology. But please, don't launch attacks on their websites, harass individuals, or engage in vandalism.

"Anonymous" previously received coverage for attacks on MySpace accounts on Fox 11 in Los Angeles on July 26, 2007.

BTW, the press release gets its facts wrong when it claims that the alt.religion.scientology Usenet newsgroup was "shut down." Scientology attorney Helena Kobrin issued an rmgroup message, but almost all news servers ignored it. The accurate facts may be found in Jeff's and my Skeptic article.

UPDATE: Wikinews and Xenu.net have more.

8 comments:

Cairnarvon said...

Perhaps Scientology should get a dog. And/or curtains.

(Is your misunderstanding of the nature of Anon an ironic jab at the Fox piece, or unintentional?)

Jim Lippard said...

"Anonymous" strikes me as a joke about attributing an action to an individual or group named "anonymous" rather than truly anonymous individuals. It seems to me that this press release is intended to provoke individual action, rather than action from an actual group called "anonymous," yet the fact remains that there is some actual individual or group behind the press release.

Reed E said...

I'm surprised that we see DDOS attacks of an ideological nature so soon. You'd think that the botnets of compromised Windows machines (which are presumably being used in this case) would be used solely for illicit commercial and military ventures (extortion, etc.)

Perhaps this is a taste of what's to come, where ideological battles aren't simply a war of words and images, but also of shutting-down the opponent's mouthpiece?

I do admit to experiencing a bit of schadenfreude, however.

Cairnarvon said...

Botnets have been around for many years, Reed. If they were only now beginning to be used for ideological ends, it would be surprisingly late.

It would surprise me if botnets of any real size were used, though, and I can assure you there is no overlap between criminal organisations who'd use botnets for illicit commercial ventures or extortion and Anon. It's a very different kind of animal.
If any Anons did maintain botnets, it would just be, as said, for the lulz.

Jim Lippard said...

I agree with Cairnarvon on that point... botnets have been around in something close to their current form since around 2002, though they didn't really start getting substantial media attention until 2006 (with a few exceptions, like The Register, which had stories in 2005, as well as Dave Dittrich's article in the March 2005 issue of Information Security), after the first U.S. prosecution (against Christopher Maxwell), which was publicized in May of that year (for events that took place in January 2005).

I agree that the majority of botnet (and malware use in general) is for economic ends, but we already saw an ideological use with the Russian attack on Estonia in April of last year.

InfoWorld just ran a story called "Botnets: The New Political Activism" earlier this month.

RONBOTHUNTER said...

WHAT IS THE SECRET THAT THE “ANTI-GOD CULT” CALLED “SCIENTOLGY” FEARS THE MOST FROM BEING EXPOSED?

The secret most un-exposed about Scientology is that is it an “applied physiological philosophy” rather than an “applied religious philosophy”. All Scientology courses, all auditing processes, and all the management and professional courses are based on physiological phenomenas, psychophysiology, emotions, human behavior patterns etc., that are our birth right and used in Scientology as their own discoveries. Even their PTS-SP data is based upon how a “Symptom” re-stimulation is brought out by physiological reactions of the mind affecting the body when under stress. They blame innocent human beings called by them “suppressive persons” for bringing out a symptom that was there to warn you of hidden real illnesses caused by non-suppressive sources such as parasites, chemicals, poisons, toxins, viruses and bacteria. The data on PTS-SP is twisted by them to blame innocent people in order to keep them in line.

The only way to fight them is to expose to the world--how Scientology has used physiological phenomenas as the basis for a false religion. How it has harmed families by claiming that innocent mothers and fathers are SPs -- when they lied about symptom re-stimulations to the world.

No where in Scientology will you find courses on any bible, there is no study or belief in heaven, hell, saints, angels, the devil, or even God himself. They do not study religion or even believe in religions. They do not share common values with any other religion. Their goal is to eliminate all other religions.

The E-meter reads your physiological reactions, the Ronbots never calls it that—they call it the “CHARGE” or the “MASS” or “ENGRAMS” OR “MENTAL IMAGE PICTURES” that you have in your brain—all meant to distract you from the truth.

Know this fact --- There is a law of Nature or law of God called “Physiological Reactions” that is the true secret behind Scientology’s Dianectic study technology.

AUDITING ERASES AND LESSONS YOUR PHYSIOLOGICAL REACTIONS!!! Once they are gone – your symptoms can’t be re-stimulated by stress or arguments. This is NOT a good thing, because ALL doctors depend on symptoms to guide them in treating you! This is why they prohibit you from seeing the doctors of your choice!!! Understand now how the scam works? Now when you argue with your mother and don’t get sick – you think she was the cause of all your illnesses.

If you were audited a hundred times (repeated) for a word that you were ordered to never clear or understand, and then made to read a page that contained that word—it would never again read on the Emeter or cause a physiological reaction.

LRH discovered that when you passed a misunderstood word—you manifested many reactions of various types: Yawning, sleepiness, not there feeling, dizziness, blurry eyes, nervousness and dozens more.

Being the liar that he was, he claimed that physiological reactions which he now calls “Dianetics” was “‘his” invention and not a law of God; he hid the fact that it is our human inheritance since time began.

Granted that his power of obnosis (observation) was the best in the world, his crime against humanity was to make a “religion” based upon the falsehood, that it was his invention or creation and not a law of God belonging to all Humanity as their lawful right.

For proof that the Cult has lied to you: -- Google “L. Ron Hubbard and Physiological Reactions” or visit their own Godless websites:
http://www.studytechnology.org/10-barr.htm or http://www.lronhubbardstudytech.asn.au/10-barr.htm http://www.studytech.org/study_tech3.php
http://www.effective-education.org/pg003.html

LRH used God’s Natural laws to make slaves of mankind!

“So long as a physiological phenomenon remains the knowledge of a few and is denied to the many it can be utilized to control the many.” LRH (from Journal of Scientology Issue 4-G from Oct. 1952)

“This universe has long been looking for new ways to make slaves. Well, we've got some new ways to make slaves here.” LRH (from PDC tape lecture #20 “Formative State of Scientology, Definition of Logic”, given on 6 Dec 52)

"All men shall be my slaves! LRH

All women shall submit to my charms! LRH

All mankind shall grovel at my feet and not know why!" [L. Ron Hubbard, "Affirmations", late 1940s] Affirmations, exhibits 500-4D, E, F & G. See Church of Scientology v Armstrong, transcript volume 11, p.1886.

"Somebody some day will say 'this is illegal'.
By then be sure the orgs say what is legal or not."
L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 4 January 1966

"THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM”. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them." - L. Ron Hubbard, "Off the Time Track," lecture of June 1952, excerpted in JOURNAL OF SCIENTOLOGY issue 18-G, reprinted in TECHNICAL VOLUMES OF DIANETICS & SCIENTOLOGY, vol. 1, p. 418
"Scientology...is not a religion." - L. Ron Hubbard, CREATION OF HUMAN ABILITY, 1954, p. 251
All living beings have physiological (The functions and activities of life or of living matter such as the organic processes of organs, tissues, or cells) phenomenas (observable reactions known through the senses rather than by thought or intuition), or physical manifestations (made evident by showing or displaying) or physical reactions, that we see or feel as symptoms, and they are external and/or internal or visible signs or warnings given to us, by our creator to help us survive, help us increase our potential, our knowledge and our health.
All life on Earth has these cause and effect reactions called physiological phenomenas. All living beings whether they are plant, insect, retile or animal or human could not live without these reactions. They influence the body’s and the mind’s reactions to any form of stimuli, and have an influence on every cell of the body and mind.
[Noun. Physiological reaction – Is an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus.]
[Examples of physiological reactions: inborn reflex, innate reflex, instinctive reflex, reflex response, unconditioned reflex, accommodation reflex, Babinski reflex, belching, headache, migraines, swelling, sweating, erections, blinking, blushing, burping, defecation reflex, disgorgement, involuntary eye blinking, farting, skin flush, gag reflex, goose bump, goose pimple, gooseflesh, involuntary gulping, involuntary hiccup, knee-jerk reflex, light reflex, puking, papillary reflex, rectal reflex, regurgitation, shaking, shiver, shock, sneezing, startle, stretch reflex, suckling reflex, trembling, upset stomach, vomiting, involuntary winking, yawn, yawning -- plus hundreds more.]
Ron studied Physiological reactions more than most scientists and applied it to invent a new Religion.
He did not invent but copied the laws of nature and scammed the whole world into thinking that he alone discovered these reactions and no one else did. What he did do - was noticed the reactions of students and from this scam invented Dianetics “study tech”.
Examples of Physiological reactions of the body and mind when reading:
Falling asleep while reading - yawning, confusion, feeling blank, feeling anxious, not there feeling, tearing eyes, eyes going out of focus, dizziness, reeling, rebelliousness, headaches, skipping words, feeling nauseous, fidgeting, jumpy while reading, can’t stay still, mispronouncing words, feeling as if you are squashed, feeling as if you are over-whelmed, twitching, can’t apply what you are reading, can’t understand what you are reading, etc. are all due to physiological reactions when you read misunderstood words or misunderstood definitions.
To understand the secrets of your enemy –is to know exactly where to hurt him.
Scientology’s copyrighted files on based upon the laws of Nature and laws of God; they are in violation of copyrights and patent rights. Therefore, the contents or subjects can be used by anyone and can be talked about without fear of any lawsuit.
Everything you do produces a reaction in your body and mind. Every time you read, eat, sleep, rest, run, etc. produces a reaction.
To tell your mother that you invented a new religion, because you discovered why you farted, is a good example of the scam that Ron pulled on you. He got away with it because the world did not see these reactions as they applied to reading. Or if some scientist saw and knew it—he did not protest it and allowed a Cult to claim it as their own new discovery.
If you want to destroy the cult, study your own reactions each time you do something—learn to read yourself and use your own power of obnosis to discover the real world within you.

Yours truly

RonbotHunter
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright Ronbothunter--- All Rights Reserved, Without Prejudice UCC 1-308 & 1-103.6 including rights under the UCC and common law remedies. I reserve my right not to be compelled to perform under any contract or commercial agreement that I did not personally sign and enter knowingly, voluntarily and intentionally and especially if I was not given full disclosure. I do not accept the liability of the compelled benefit of any unrevealed contract or commercial agreement.

Einzige said...

Wow. I don't think I've ever read a better endorsement of Scientology than this twaddle from Ronbothunter (and, in case you're not paying attention, I think Scientology is pure crap).

Justin said...

While not all of what anonymous has done is good, it is about time for someone to question Scientology and its ways of getting whatever it wants. The internet is the perfect place for that to be done because it does provide a sense of anonymity in that the Scientology legal team can't try and screw over anyone who questions them.