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Scientology/Anonymous wars come to Catholic Online

Anonymous protester in Guy Fawkes’ mask demonstrating during the January 2009 raid outside the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, D.C. The group
was originally a response to Scientology’s aggressive efforts to remove a Tom Cruse video from the Internet.

The intensity of Klagenberg’s response to Catholic Online lends credence to the Anonymous explanation of the mask wearing.

It may be an error to say Anonymous is “a very few” in number and wrong to imply that “former members” of Scientology compose or founded Anonymous. We covered the origins of Anonymous in more detail here.
[Photo by Ben Schumin: Some rights reserved]

Scientology Public Affairs Officer Mike Klagenberg in a letter to the editor of Catholic Online wrote:

The article on forced abortions in Scientology is tantamount to bearing false witness. It is absolutely a gross lie fabricated by a very few disgruntled former members that are using the Catholic On Line site to forward their scurrilous lies and bitterness in an attempt to tarnish the Church and it’s members.

Catholic Online Associate Editor Randy Sly responds:

I have filed eight stories on Scientology since June, 2009. As we researched for these articles, the witnesses we found included former members, investigators, affidavits from litigation, etc. The amount of information available regarding false declarations, questionable practices, and suspicious relationships is enormous; its impact is global.

. . .
One major force of opposition facing Scientology – and probably the one that Mr. Klagenberg was referencing – does not come from without but from within. Former Scientologists have formed a leaderless Internet-based cadre called Anonymous. Group members, for the most part, do not know each other’s names; there is no central office, no hierarchy and no official spokesperson.

. . .
Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Québec defended the right of the group to oppose Scientology last February. He received a letter from “Anonymous Quebec” documenting a number of issues after publicly declaring that Scientology wasn’t a church ["La scientologie, c'est autre chose. Pour moi, cette communauté n'est pas une Église"] during an interview.

The article Klagenberg protested doen’t rely on anonymous sources:

Sea Organization or Sea Org is a sort of “religious order” within Scientology where only the most committed members of the late L. Ron Hubbard’s cult live out their lives. For the unborn child of a mother in Sea Org, that isn’t very long. They are aborted.
. . .
It would seem, however, that principle gave way to pragmatics as Scientology grew. Affidavits and other reports of forced abortions go back as early as 1994 while the abortions themselves began taking place in the mid 80’s.
[for example]
Mary Tabayoyon spent 25 years in Scientology, 21 of which were as a member of Sea Org. In an affidavit dated 26 August 1994 for the case CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL VS. STEVEN-FISHMAN AND UWE GEERTZ,
Defendants, she described a September 26, 1986 Sea Org Flag Order (an order binding upon all members) that forbade members from having any more children. Disobedience would result in exile to a lower expression of service. When the child reached age 6, the parents could return.
. . .

Underlying this is another fight, joined the St. Petersburg Times in a Nov. 8 editorial:

As former staffers lift the veil of secrecy that for years has obscured the inner workings of the Church of Scientology, a new mystery emerges: Why are government authorities looking the other way? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ample reason to reconsider its decision to grant Scientology tax-exempt status as a religion. Labor officials should determine whether wage and working condition violations have occurred, and law enforcement ought to investigate whether the church’s restraint on members’ free movement crossed a legal line.

Charges were detailed in a three-part series the newspaper ran this summer and which is referred to by Catholic Online:

The relentless parade of revelations about the Scientology’s essentially ludicrous core beliefs and sociopathic practices still do it more harm than the group’s heavy-handed public relations response. It is the revelations which make the case for law enforcement attention and IRS review of the church’s tax-exempt status. Official church response simply underlines that case.

Update: The PR War

Scientology announces “biggest expansion” in its history.

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November 30, 2009 - Posted by | Catholic, Religion, WWW | ,

19 Comments

  1. It is awesome to see Baptists commenting on the movement to bring the Church of Scientology to account.

    Randy Sly has substantially revised his article in response to emails from anons clarifying a misunderstanding on the relationship between Anonymous and ex-scientologists.

    The passage beginning “One major force” you quote above now reads:

    “One major force of opposition facing Scientology – and probably the one that Mr. Klagenberg was referencing – does not come from without but from within. Former Scientologist and Oscar-winner Paul Haggis publicly resigned publicly criticizing the Church of Scientology, as have OTVIII Geir Isene and former high-ranking Sea Org executive Marty Rathbun.”

    He has also considerably expanded his commentary.

    Thanks again for post. Please continue. When everyone Christian and non-Christian alike enters the struggle the abuses will be ended.

    Comment by Julius | November 30, 2009

  2. I was raised in Scientology. It wasn’t until I found Jesus, that the 14 years of “processing” stopped influencing my bad decisions in life. Still to this day, 20 years later, I still struggle with the sick mindset I was raised with in Scientology. I even made a recording of an “OT 8″ scientology minister beating a kid while yelling “LOOK AT THE PICTURE OF LRH (L. Ron Hubbard).”

    The horrible part is my mother is still a follower and I have to watch her health and mind fail, all the while she talks about “coming back” to finish doing all the upper levels she has already paid for. I really struggle with not hating her for raising me in an abusive cult, and feeling sorry for her, in her brainwashed fantasy world.

    I can’t begin to tell you how much the righting of this wrong will help in my recovery. I sure don’t feel safe with those criminals walking through my yard like they own it.

    Comment by Anonamace | November 30, 2009

  3. Good article. The one error I would like to point out is this statement: ” Former Scientologists have formed a leaderless Internet-based cadre called Anonymous. Group members, for the most part, do not know each other’s names; there is no central office, no hierarchy and no official spokesperson.”

    Anonymous wasn’t formed by ex-scientologists. Anonymous formed on it’s own after the cult took down Tom Cruise’s video on youtube. Ex-scientologist then joined Anonymous in the battle.

    I am an ex-scientologist who would love to see this criminal organization brought to it’s knees. And it’s not because I am bitter or angry about my own treatment. I actually didn’t get abused…not everyone does. I simply don’t want them hurting any more people.

    And even though I had no knowledge of what was going on behind closed doors just the fact that I bought courses and auditing made me a supporter and co-conspirator of their scam. I won’t let that stand.

    Scientology is NOT a religion in any way. I want people to realize that as the scientologist pr machine screams that Anonymous practices religious bigotry. They don’t. They couldn’t be guilty of that if they tried since scientology isn’t a religion. There is a mountain of evidence that proves they aren’t a religion and it’s about time the US government and all the other governments in the world got over their fear of going after a “religion” and looked at the facts.

    Comment by Kirk | November 30, 2009

    • Kirk, forgive us if we have confused anyone. We do not intend to say that Anonymous was formed by ex-scientologists. Here we do say Anonymous was not formed simply by “former members” and in an earlier blog post go into somewhat more detail about the origins of Anonymous.
      Thank you for your comment, BTW.

      Comment by baptistplanet | November 30, 2009

    • Kirk, we did not form because of that video. We have been around doing this and that for nearly six years. This is the first time we’ve allowed ourselves into the public’s eye and took credit for our own actions. Before we saw Scientology’s attack on the internet, we simply did not manifest in the physical world. This brought us out “IRL,” that is the only difference.

      Our ties to Scientology are null before that, and will be null after we bring the cult down to a safe level. Even if some members DO have ties to the cult, it doesn’t matter. There will never be an individual, group, or faction to represent Anonymous.

      Fighting Scientology is not our only fight, it is not our first, and will not be our last. It’s just the biggest and most widely embraced amongst Anonymous, and therefore gets significantly more effort put into it.

      Comment by 9376 | December 21, 2009

  4. As a survivor of a scientology family I would like to believe that Anonymous was started by ex-scientologists. However it is not true; Anonymous is just the internet generation looking for a fight they can believe in.

    Comment by David | December 1, 2009

  5. Google “WhyAreTheyDead”
    They are the dead victims of scientology.

    Comment by scientologyisevil | December 1, 2009

  6. All Christians need to beware and sound the horn on this false religion. Glad to see the Catholic Online has taken an interest in the situation and is making known the dangers.

    Comment by Mary McConnell | December 1, 2009

  7. Thanks for clearing that up. :)

    I like people to know that Anonymous really doesn’t have a dog in this fight. They have pretty much stopped CoS from the internet take downs long ago. Yet they continue to protest and expose the abuses. They are a great group of people who stayed with the fight because they wanted to stop an evil cult from hurting more people. That’s bravery and altruism in my book. So much for the names CoS calls them…internet terrorists, religious bigots, hate machine, etc.

    They have spent countless hours working on this and money out of their own pocket to ensure people don’t fall prey to this cult.

    If you happen to see a group of people with masks on holding protest signs and dancing in front of a “Church” of Scientology please give them a honk or stop by and say hi or thanks. They just might have ensured that none of your kids get involved with this insidious, insane cult.

    Comment by Kirk | December 1, 2009

    • Always glad to get the facts straight ;-)

      Comment by baptistplanet | December 1, 2009

    • As a member of Anonymous, your comment really touched me :3
      Thank you.

      Comment by An Anon | December 2, 2009

  8. As someone who was exposed to the cult of scientology, and have returned to Christianity, this article brings tears to my eyes – thank you for letting others know about this horrid, dangerous cult. If you’ve saved one life from being drawn in by them, it is very worthwhile.

    Thank you, and I hope to see more coverage on this issue!

    In His name,
    Mark

    Comment by Mark | December 1, 2009

  9. I think others have stated in posts before that Anonymous is not just a group of former ex-Scientologists. Most of Anonymous consists of ordinary people who have not be personally wronged by this absolute sham of a religion, but recognize the evil that this so-called church has done. And not just to members and former members, but to outsiders like Paulette Cooper, Bob Minton, and many others. Even some Anonymous folks have been outed and harrassed despite the use of protection at protests.

    I shall leave you with a verse from Ephesians, which I sent in an email to Randall Sly:

    “Stand firm them, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place…” Ephesians 6:14

    Comment by Virginia Plain | December 1, 2009

  10. Thank you guys so much for commenting on the on going strugle that is the fight against this dangerous cult. Despite what you may hear from the church we are far from “cyber terrorists” and we appreciate greatly your support. Project Chanology has been a success since the start and it is because of support from sources like this.

    Comment by Anonymous | December 2, 2009

    • Two years coming up! I say the fight will be finished by this time 2011 :)

      Comment by 9376 | December 21, 2009

  11. Anonymous is a hategroup. They have no business posing as “good guys,” as they bash Christians, Muslims, and Jews just as readily as Scientologists.

    In all the time I’ve studied the cyber-bully network known as “Anonymous,” I have yet to encounter a single, self-identified Christian among them. There are plenty of Atheists, Wiccans, Satanists, Liberals, and Goths, but no Christians.

    http://www.Epicnoseguy.tk

    Comment by Tom Newton | December 9, 2009

    • The beauty and curse of Anonymous is the vast difference amongst members. While age and race are almost constant, theistic beliefs, nationalities, social class, etc. varies widely.
      No, we are not all Christians. Some of us are pretty angry Athiests. But, we do have two message boards dedicated to theism. One of those is religion in general, the other is dedicated to the word of Christ, and Christians of all walks are able to discuss their beliefs there free of Athiest trolling and flame wars, thanks to their mod staff.

      Tom, we know who you are. We’ve beaten down your lame scilon-fueled arguments time and time again. Please stop shooting yourself in the foot online everywhere you go, you’re leaving a huge trail of footbullet blood :)

      Comment by 9376 | December 21, 2009

  12. So Tom, if there’s no self-identified Christian amongst us, then why do I attend Mass? Just another lie from the disinformation machine of the cult. Your ignorance and lies have been obvious from day one.

    I have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, and I protest the criminal cult of Scientology.

    Your lies are what is expected from a cultist that wants to shield their hateful cult from rightful criticism.

    Comment by Anonymous | December 21, 2009

  13. Blessings to each and everyone who fight the good fight against tyranny, oppression, greed and abusive power of the CoS.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! <3

    Comment by Kilia | December 21, 2009


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