Anonymous

NEWSDESK

Anonymous’ worldwide protests against the Church of Scientology

Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 21:55:34 +0000

(Sent in by – Stephen smith (nobodys_there_at_hotmail.com))

Dear Sir/Madam

As Anonymous reflects upon the tenth of February, we are pleased to announce that
our day of action has been crowned with great success. A wave of demonstrations
spearheaded by Anonymous has swept the world. These spanned four continents,
occurring
in over 90 cities and involving over 7000 individuals in total \[1]. However, numbers alone
do not assure victory. Equally key to the success of our actions was the character,
demeanour and behaviour of the demonstrators themselves. By virtue of our
peaceful yet unyielding stance, Anonymous has demonstrated to the world — and to the
Church of Scientology — the full seriousness of our intentions. In addition to this, we
have demonstrated to citizens around the world that in our battle against
this abomination we speak in the name of peace, order and good government.

The same could not be said about the Church of Scientology on this day. According
to some worrisome reports, three members of the Church had been detained by law
enforcement (not in Dublin). Attempting to forcibly interfere with our
demonstrations, these Church agitators (again, not in Dublin) had gone so far as to
remove the masks of those who were speaking out against them. At this time,
Anonymous would like to thank the members of law enforcement worldwide who stood
watch
over our events. For helping to maintain peace at the gatherings we had organized and

for protecting both the public and ourselves from the more temperamental members of

this Church, you have earned our gratitude. Returning to the subject of childish

behaviour, we view the latest attempt by the Church of Scientology to incite hate against

us, conjuring up symbols of terrorism, National Socialism and the Ku Klux Klan with a

mixture of sadness and disdain. The Church of Scientology’s use of

counter-propaganda in the days leading up to the protest, in the hours after it and on
the day of the protest itself disgusts us, as usual their propaganda attempted to

misinform and distract the public eye away from their real goals and intentions,

providing a smokescreen behind which they could hide themselves. As we have done

both online and in our protests, we would like to remind the public, the press and the

Church of Scientology that our outrage is directed against the criminal practices
of the Church, not against the beliefs of its members.

To those of you who have been dismissing us as little more than young rabble, we
hope that today’s wave of demonstration has caused you to reconsider your position
regarding our ability to accomplish a serious objective. Our campaign against the
Church of Scientology has only just begun. Today has marked our first decisive move.

The next event of our campaign is scheduled for March 15, unfortunately in Ireland this
clashes with this year’s St. Patrick‘s day festivities, but in order to
maintain worldwide solidarity and cohesion on the international scale we work at, a
change of date is simply out of the question. March 15  is the Saturday directly following
March 13, a day known to Scientologists as the birthday of L. Ron Hubbard.

We, too, wish to celebrate this event, albeit in our own special way. Beware the Tides of
March, Church of Scientology!

Anonymous
PRESS RELEASE

DIALOGUE IRELAND WELCOMES THE PROTESTS ORGANISED BY “ANONYMOUS.” After it became clear that the protests were good natured and were about raising serious issues about Scientology, we intend to lend our total support to the restrained concerns this campaign is raising. Anonymous has announced that its next event will occur on March 15, the day Scientology celebrates the LRH’s birthday event.

Apparently Gerard Ryan engaged members of Anonymous by coming onto the street and answering questions, from mainly young people who referred to notes as they were relatively new to the issues. He is the Office of Special Affairs agent for Ireland. Many of his replies were inaccurate:

  1. Scientology should not be treated like a church, but merely as an organisation. In fact it is currently 20 years in the country but as yet has not obtained charitable status. Following the comments of George Orwell that the best way to make a million was to start a religion L Ron Hubbard did just that. In a BBC Panorama documentary the founder of the group L Ron Hubbard said that the purpose of Scientology was:
    To make money

    To make more money

    To help others to help you make more money.

  2. An internationally coordinated directive which used exactly the same wording in every Scientology centre in the world was handed out by Gerard Ryan. This in spite of the fact that the actions of Anonymous were totally non violent.

    “It accused the group of perpetrating “religious hate crimes” against the church and individual members for “no other reason than religious bigotry”.

    “Quite obviously, this group is not just anti-Scientology, it is anti-freedom of religion and anti-free speech,” it said in a statement.

    It is quite clear from the evidence in Dublin and around the world that these comments were totally over the top.

    No the purpose of the formation of this group is to show the type of tactics the Scientologists use to halt dissent, and the choice of Feb 10 as a day of protest was to remind the world about a woman Lisa McPherson’s 49th birthday. A 36-year-old Scientologist, McPherson died in mysterious circumstances in 1995 while in the care of church staffers in Clearwater, Florida. Issues of the rejection of psychiatry which Scientology opposes as an industry of death were very evident in regard to this death. In fact Anonymous is doing the same kind of work as Amnesty International defending human rights and seeing through the spin Scientology puts out. Here instead of people been imprisoned in faraway countries, they are held captive by subtle forms of mental manipulation.

  3. The reason that Scientology here is not making millions is clear from the report in 2006 below, and also the protestors are not referring to the very unsuccessful mission in Dublin but to the so-called ‘Church’ worldwide of Scientology’s massive capital base. Also just because these young folks have not experienced the reality of being in Scientology does not invalidate their protest.

    “Gerard Ryan, spokesman for the Irish branch of the church, rejected these criticisms. The church was neither secretive nor wealthy, he said: its accounts were available for all to view and it made “zero profit” each year. “Just because you saw something on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s true,” he told the protesters.”

    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/15072

    Source: http://www.unison.ie/

    Troubled Scientology Church in Ireland is now 1m in red

    Irish Independent, Ireland

    June 28, 2006

    Interest-free loans from abroad are propping up the troubled Irish branch of the controversial Church of Scientology. Financial documents seen by the Irish Independent reveal that the church is more than €1m in the red after running up huge legal bills in an epic eight-year battle brought by a disgruntled former member. As a result, members of the mega-rich Church of Scientology in the United States have had to cough up almost €400,000 just to keep the Dublin arm afloat. The celebrity endorsed group landed itself in a financial hole after a case was taken against it  http://www.religionnewsblog.com/1383 by a former owner of a sports equipment shop, Mary Johnston.

    On June 28, 2006 a report was posted from the Religion News Blog about financial problems with the cult in Ireland:

    The Scientology spokesman in Dublin, architect Gerard Ryan, said yesterday: “Obviously, if you get into a legal thing that lasts eight years, the legal bills are going to be simply staggering. There is no pressure on us to pay the money back. It has been donated by various Scientologists across the world. In the States, we are very large and some of the more affluent people have been able to help us out.”

  4. He said “disconnection” – where church members are instructed to sever all ties from family members or friends critical of Scientology – only happened in extreme cases. He couldn’t recall such a case happening in Ireland. This is remarkable in that he was involved with 3 major cases himself. See below further evidence of this practice.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/25/Tampabay/The_unperson.shtml

    http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/25/Tampabay/SP_profiles.shtml

  5. Asked about “fair game”, a policy of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard which allows critics to be “tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed”, Mr Ryan said this had been repealed shortly after it was formulated. “I will not stand over any unsavoury practice of any scientologist in any part of the world,” he said. When Scientology was found to be practising this policy they had to say they had got rid of it. It is still there. He also claims to be against ‘any unsavoury practice’ but in correspondence has supported members of his group who have been found guilty of crimes while acting as Scientologists. This includes the wife of L. Ron Hubbard breaking into to IRS (Internal Revenue Service) in the States.

What is quite exciting about this is that young people are getting energised by the cult issue and care enough to protest. So many families feel totally ignored and on their own as they pick up the pieces after the involvement of a family member in Scientology. It also indicates a rejection of celebrity and a return to issues of truth and awareness of undue influence by these protestors. Many families totally isolated for years will feel that finally people are listening to them. Ireland’s media also may also get beyond celebrity and begin the analysis of the 1.5% of the population likely caught up with cultist groups.

We are fortunate to have in Ireland a former member of the security branch of Scientology in Ireland John Anthony Duignan. He was part of Sea Org of Scientology for 20 years. He can give the back ground and refute the case G Ryan from OSA is making. You will find his contact details below:

021-4381138 or 0862510646. His email is johnanthony_duignan@yahoo.co.uk

Mike Garde Director Dialogue Ireland

Irish Times

Protesters picket Dublin office of Scientology church

Paul Cullen Monday Feb 11, 2008 ©

More than 100 people took part in a picket of the Irish headquarters of the Church of Scientology yesterday, one of many protests held worldwide against the controversial organisation.

The protest was organised by a group calling itself Anonymous Ireland, a loose collective of young people involved in internet protests against the religion. Many attending the protest on Middle Abbey Street wore masks, saying they feared intimidation or legal threats.

“Anonymous is a group of genuinely concerned citizens that wish to educate the Irish public on the real danger of this purely money-driven cult and to prevent scientology from taking root in Ireland as it has in America, Spain and even in the UK,” the group said in a statement.

“We do not oppose scientology’s spiritual beliefs, merely the money-grabbing corporate way in which they sell them to their own followers, extorting them for every penny they own and brainwashing them with pipe dreams of ‘spiritual salvation at a price’.”

The Church of Scientology responded yesterday by describing Anonymous Ireland as “a group of cyber-terrorists who hide their identities behind masks and computer anonymity”.

It accused the group of perpetrating “religious hate crimes” against the church and individual members for “no other reason than religious bigotry”.

“Quite obviously, this group is not just anti-scientology, it is anti-freedom of religion and anti-free speech,” it said in a statement.

The worldwide protests are the latest instalment in a campaign fought by internet activists and hackers against the religion. Last month, a video clip of actor Tom Cruise extolling the virtues of scientology was leaked to the internet, but YouTube and other sites removed it under threat of litigation by the church, which claimed copyright infringement.

Since then, a series of internet guerrilla actions have been launched against the church, ranging from the leaking of documents to “Google bombing”, whereby the search engine has been manipulated to return the Scientology website when users type “dangerous cult”.

One of the Dublin protesters, Jeff Rudd, said he wanted to ensure the public was aware of the techniques used by the Church of Scientology to induct members which, he said, included brainwashing and indoctrination. “A friend of mine got involved and got out after a year, but not before his bank balance and his mental balance had been affected.”

Gerard Ryan, spokesman for the Irish branch of the church, rejected these criticisms. The church was neither secretive nor wealthy, he said: its accounts were available for all to view and it made “zero profit” each year. “Just because you saw something on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true,” he told the protesters.

He said “disconnection” – where church members are instructed to sever all ties from family members or friends critical of scientology – only happened in extreme cases. He couldn’t recall such a case happening in Ireland.

Asked about “fair game”, a policy of scientology founder L Ron Hubbard which allows critics to be “tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed”, Mr Ryan said this had been repealed shortly after it was formulated. “I will not stand over any unsavoury practice of any scientologist in any part of the world,” he said.

In 2003, a former member of the Irish mission settled a High Court claim for damages against the church. Anonymous Ireland says it plans another protest on Mr Hubbard’s birthday next month.

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