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What Adrian Chen got wrong about Anonymous and Scientology

HackerHoaxerFormer Gawker writer Adrian Chen has a long and contentious history with the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous. We’re not really very interested in that backstory (though a recent article shows that it’s pretty juicy). And we’re also not all that interested in the drubbing that Chen gave last week to McGill University professor Gabriella Coleman’s new book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous.

We found Coleman’s book to be pretty useful and fascinating, but Chen accused her of being too embedded with Anonymous so that she tended to overlook some of its faults. For an interesting counterpoint to Chen’s piece in the Nation, we recommend David Auerbach’s response in Slate.

Anyway, what did interest us, and what we feel qualified to comment on, was Chen’s contention that one of the things Coleman overstates is the effect Anonymous had on Scientology. In fact, Chen seems to think that “Project Chanology,” the specific effort by Anonymous to agitate against the church, had little to no effect at all.

He makes his case with two pieces of evidence.

First, he says that “Operation Slickpubes,” the 2009 New York City incident that featured a member of Anonymous running into the Scientology “org” on 46th street mostly naked and covered in vaseline and pubic hair, gave Scientology the ability to portray itself as a victim.

And second, Chen says that Lawrence Wright barely mentions Anonymous in his “definitive history” of Scientology, Going Clear. Therefore, Anonymous must not have been a big deal at all.

We’ll take the second point first. As great a job as Larry Wright did in Going Clear, it’s a little misleading to say that anything he left out must not be very important in Scientology’s history. Wright had a particular narrative to tell, and he did a masterful job doing it. But as lengthy as Wright’s book was, it had a particular focus — on the experience of director Paul Haggis, for example — and left out plenty of Scientology material that wasn’t important to that story. Larry wrote a great history, not an encyclopedia, and nearly all of the action he described occurred before 2008, when Anonymous appeared on the scene. He told us as much in an email this week…

“Tony, my book was about the church and its beliefs and adherents, so the Anonymous protests did not play a significant part in my narrative – except for Paul Haggis and his campaign to get the church to withdraw its support of Proposition 8,” he says.

As one of many people who wrote about Scientology before and after Anonymous showed up at the beginning of 2008, we can say that it had a huge effect on the church. Particularly in the way the protests by Anonymous motivated many people to come forward who had remained silent before. Suddenly, Scientology had its hands too full to go after critics and journalists the way it had for decades.

Take Marc Headley, for example. He and his wife Claire took serious risks to escape from Scientology’s secretive International Base east of Los Angeles in 2005. Over the next few years, Marc wanted to talk publicly about what he knew of the church’s inner workings, but he was well aware of Scientology’s reputation for retaliation. So he developed an anonymous online presence — “Blownforgood” — and bedeviled the church with leaks of information. Scientology expended enormous resources to figure out who blownforgood was. And after it did, it brought down the full retaliation apparatus on Marc and Claire. Until, that is, the Anonymous protests started up.

“I had a whole squad of private investigators dedicated to me and my family. But when Anonymous came along, those guys thinned out fast,” Headley tells us. “Anonymous made a huge difference. And one of the biggest things was that they stirred it up every month. It was always in the news, the IRL (in real life) protests. That took a lot of the heat off of us, and put it on Anonymous.”

And Anonymous wasn’t just protesting outside of Scientology’s orgs. It was also bringing a focus on intense research of Scientology at enterbulation.org and then WhyWeProtest.net. “Anonymous brought an insane amount of resources,” Headley says “Suddenly, if I needed to find out where my [still in the Sea Org] sister was in Canada, I could find out in hours, not months.”

Headley also says that there’s no doubt that Anonymous protests led directly to people leaving the church.

“I’ve talked to many people who left Scientology who said they saw the signs at the protests and started asking questions. I think the Anonymous protests led to a ton of people leaving,” he says. “A Scientologist would never Google ‘Scientology.’ They know it’s forbidden. But they might see a sign at an Anonymous protest that says ‘Xenu is my homeboy.’ And they would wonder, what the hell is Xenu? And they’d search on it and it would blow their mind.”

Headley says another sign of how much of an effect Anonymous had was just how worried Scientology appeared to be, at least in the way the church acted during the lawsuit that he and his wife brought. “I think we spent a day just answering questions about Anonymous in deposition in 2009,” he says. (That suit was ultimately unsuccessful.)

“I guarantee you that Scientology would say that Anonymous was a big deal. I mean, they made a video to try and frame Anonymous,” Headley says.

And here’s what the website Ex-Scientology Kids said at the time, a website that was started by Jenna Miscavige Hill and two other young women who had escaped the church: “Anonymous’ actions have also been instrumental in assisting those who have never spoken out feel that they may now do so without fear of reprisal.”

Old time critics, who fought fierce battles in the mid-1990s over what they could say about Scientology on the young Internet, often tell us they are amazed by what gets posted today, and with no reaction from the church. Anonymous was an online tsunami that permanently changed the way Scientology approached the Internet.

As for Chen’s point about “Operation Slickpubes,” it was a stupid prank, and we said so at the time. (The young man who went into the org covered with vaseline and rubbed himself on Scientology books and furniture was convicted of a hate crime.) But as Coleman explains in her book, the stunt was not just aimed at Scientology but at Anonymous itself. Some members who were more interested in trolling than protest were unhappy with the earnest attempts by some to combat what they perceived as a destructive group.

“The aim of this over-the-top endeavor was not simply to antagonize and anger Church members through an act of defilement (though this was no doubt part of it), but also to revitalize what some participants saw as the flagging spirit of the lulz,” Coleman writes.

That prank happened in January 2009, nearly a year after the Anonymous protests had started around the world. And by then, much of the damage to Scientology’s formerly formidable smear machine had been done.

For more proof of how much has changed, watch John Sweeney’s BBC special from 2007, “Scientology and Me,” which shows how Sweeney was tailed and pressured by the church’s then-spokesman Tommy Davis. Today, Scientology has no one it can put before TV cameras. It continues to harass and surveil people, but it can’t really do anything about the huge amount of material that has exposed it on the ‘net and in the press. It’s also lost membership, and finds itself the subject of much more litigation.

Scientology is a shambles. And at least some of the credit has to go to Anonymous for making it so much easier for people to come forward and give information without fearing reprisals. And you don’t have to have been embedded with them to understand that.

 
——————–

Mimi Faust tells a story that’s very familiar

Two years ago, we interviewed VH1 reality TV star Mimi Faust about her remarkable childhood in Scientology. Mimi became well known as a cast member of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, and we were really intrigued when she used the show to explain that her mother had abandoned her for Scientology, and at 13 she’d had to live on her own.

We tracked down information about Mimi’s mother, who turned out to have been a member of Scientology’s internal secret police. Mimi told us quite a tale about surviving Scientology as a child.

Now, two years later, she told much of the same story to Egypt Sherrod on a new feature, “Moment of Truth” at the Madame Noire website. Starting at about 2:40 in, Mimi begins to tell her tale…

 

 
We get the feeling Sherrod might have read our story to prepare, but we wish she’d given us a call. She really missed the opportunity to discuss what the Sea Org is, and what it is about Scientology that would motivate a parent to abandon a child. We can only hope those items come up in part two.

 
——————–

Jaden and Willow go exterior

There was a lot of fun talk last night in our comments section about the bizarre new interview of Time Lords and Prana energy fans Jaden and Willow Smith in the New York Times fashion magazine, T.

Scientology isn’t mentioned, but we just wanted to point out that for some insight into why these two young thetans are so screwed up, we still have the only interview with their elementary school principal, Jacqueline Olivier, who was hired by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith to educate their kids in the mysteries of L. Ron Hubbard.

 
——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on November 18, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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  • Missionary Kid

    Time.com came up with the Will and Jaden Smith poetry generator http://time.com/3592747/jaden-willow-smith-poetry-generator/

    • Frodis73

      That is pretty darn funny. I bet they don’t get that they are being laughed at.

      • man, that’s gotta sting…. which is nice

  • Truthiwant

    • Graham

      Not sure about all this pirana energy. Sounds a bit fishy to me.

      • Truthiwant

        No, eats really positive energy.

      • ze moo

        The only time I heard about prana energy was on a mattress commercial. I was not impressed.

        • Axton

          Prana is central to Hinduism yoga, it is basically good healthy energy

          • LHS

            Unfortunately, Breatharians preach that you can live off prana energy and light and you don’t need food or water. This would be funny if people didn’t occasionally die while trying to practice Breatharianism.

  • nottrue
    • lucille austero

      Oh this is great!

    • ItsIBBy

      loving this article. cheers for sharing!

    • Artoo45

      That woman is fabulous! What an eloquent, clear-headed spokesperson. Is she a Bunkeroo? If not, she should be.

    • Elar Aitch

      Great report

    • Elar Aitch

      Had never heard of the Scientology association with the Queen Street massacre shooter – this news will resonate with Australian viewers,

    • Charlotte

      My dad texted me about this last night. I was wondering if it would be covered in The Bunker.

      • Sherbet

        Yay! Charlotte’s dad! 🙂

      • Eclipse-girl

        Damn, we are good.

        I am glad your father is aware.

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Great show! Thanks for the link.

  • Truthiwant

    • Vaquera

      This. Love.

  • Captain Howdy

    Anon gave the cult of scientology a savage mauling from which it could never recover.

    Everything post-2010 has simply been a mopping up operation.

    • Sherbet

      In your opinion, why did Anonymous move onto other targets instead of hammering away on scientology en masse?

      • Captain Howdy

        I responded but it went to moderation.

        • Sherbet

          OK. I’ll wait.

          • Captain Howdy

            Movements are fads made up mostly of young people. In most movements people drift away to continue on with their lives and what’s left is usually the hardcore serious types which is why Anon got involved with the Arab Spring etc. And this isn’t my original.

            • Observer

              If someone likes or replies before Disqus selects a post for extermination it will still say it’s gone to moderation but won’t disappear off the thread.

            • Captain Howdy

              Huh? Help! I’m old and confused and I’ve fallen and can’t get it up!

            • ze moo

              I am typing from my Craftmatic bed.

            • Sherbet

              Not as confused as I am at your moralfag/antimoralfag split comment. Are you saying there was dissention in the ranks of Anonymous?

            • Captain Howdy

              Yes. Anon more or less split in 2008 because of Chanology.

              This is a link to ED which use to be the history of Anon
              https://encyclopediadramatica.se/Moralfag

            • Sherbet

              Wow. Thanks, Howdy. This is more complicated (and less noble) than I thought.

            • Captain Howdy

              The guy who owned ED was charged with a hate crime in Australia because of the ED entry for Aborigines. Some folks don’t appreciate satire.

            • Sherbet

              Oh, my. You’ve got my hair turning gray, and I’m getting the vapors.

            • Observer

              If someone has been having trouble with Disqus sending their posts to moderation, I upvote and/or reply immediately when I see a replacement post. That way, even though the post shows it’s awaiting moderation, it won’t disappear altogether.

            • Captain Howdy

              Thanks. Your husband is a very lucky man.

            • Sherbet

              It just looked from the outside that playing the game(s) became more important than winning any of them.

            • Captain Howdy

              You do know about the moralfag/anti-moralfag split?

    • Science Doc

      Imperial Japan never recovered from the Battle of Midway, but Guadalcanal, Pelilieu, Siapan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa were more than mopping up operations.

      • Captain Howdy

        True dat, Doc.

  • ItsIBBy

    Someone used Jaden Smith twitter posts to talk to guys on Tindr, and its as hilarious as you would imagine it.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/marietelling/tinder-dudes-unknowingly-react-to-jaden-smiths-quotes

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      Great find. That was fun to read.

      • HillieOnTheBeach

        “No One Belived(sic) Galileo Either”

        lol

      • ItsIBBy

        The Spider-Man one made me snort laughing

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          I lost it with Kanye!

          • Jenstnick

            Yeah the Kanye comeback had me rolling.

    • beauty for ashes

      fav response : you speak in ambiguous statements on like an olympic level!

  • Baby

    ” JADEN: I have a goal to be just the most craziest person of all time. And when I say craziest,”

    Jaden ..Congrats to you young man you have reached your goal!

    • HillieOnTheBeach

      Unfortunately, I fear the media will report his every move from now on, for at least the next 4 years, if only to make sure.

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        Amanda Bynes can’t continue to carry the load alone.

        • Observer

          Oooo!

          F5

          • Captain Howdy

            Hoochie Mama, you made my day!

          • Baby

            hahahaha.. That is funny Obs..

            • Observer

              I didn’t make this one, but when I saw it I knew I couldn’t do a better one! haha

          • Axton

            What happens after?

        • Baby

          hahahha.. This is true..bury

      • Baby

        Yep! Whack Jobs.. I would absolutely hate to be stuck in a room with either one of them. I am NOT the grammar police.. but dayam..

        ” Me and Jaden? ” Awww come on now..

  • romanesco

    How sad that the Smiths set their children up for a lifetime of heckling and ridicule.

    • HillieOnTheBeach

      Bigmouth strikes again.

      • romanesco

        You bet. No need to further exacerbate the problem.

  • Free Minds, Free Hearts

    On a somber note, and OT, but this is the 36th anniversary of the People’s Temple mass deaths. A reminder of the dangers of cults and mind control.

    • Not that off-topic.

      Why Leo Ryan and Jim Jones Met on That Day of Death in the Jungles of Guyana December 4, 1978, People

      Still, Ryan was intrigued by Houston’s story, partly for personal reasons. He had been a high school English teacher before going into politics, and young Houston was one of his pupils. Moreover, Ryan’s own nephew had mysteriously disappeared after joining the cult of Scientology. “Leo was not content to sit behind his desk relying on information from bureaucrats,” says Rep. Stephen Solarz, who served with him on the International Relations Committee. “He felt he had a responsibility to help people who couldn’t help themselves.”

      • Free Minds, Free Hearts

        Rmycroft, I did not know that Congressman Ryan’s nephew had disappeared into the bowels of scientology.

        • Observer

          I didn’t either!

          • Neither did I until I dug into their archives and realized that People actually had some great articles on Scientology! Hopefully the nephew’s fate was better.

            Category:People

            • Mind you, that was a 1978 story, and yet I’ve never seen it mentioned in any later article. It’s worth asking why not, because it’s certainly worth mentioning.

              Was it later determined to not be true, or was it determined that Scientology was too nasty and creepy to deal with, when their lawyers and goons came to suggest not mentioning it, considering that one cult had just left a village of bodies, and another was mailing get-unwell rattlesnakes?

            • Baby

              At the risk of Tony yelling at me for spreading gossip…. Google
              Ramsay Devereaux

              I went down the rabbit hole and came up with this name..

            • Lurkness

              Not really gossip. Funny that the first link is to an article that Ida Camburn was sharing. See my post above. Ida’s email was idaj007.

              http://www.holysmoke.org/cos/scientology-leo-j-ryan-nephew.htm

            • Baby

              Yes.. That is it Lurk.. We make a good team!

            • The hits mainly lead to a National Enquirer (hmm) story, also from 1978, and that one is really Quintin Hubbard-class creepy: An abandoned truck found in the desert and no body at all.

              This isn’t really the current celebrity gossip fluff that Tony objects to–more like a place to start digging, at it were.

            • Baby

              Thanks.. RM.. So I can keep my cigarettes now..Goodie

              I googles Ramsay Devereaux Scientology.. I forgot to tell you

            • Searching locally, hmm. No mention of “Devereaux” in my ARS archives. (There was character named a Devereaux in the first season finale of Babylon 5, but I doubt that’s him. I forgot that I had a copy of the Lurker’s Guide in there.)

            • Link in the post is still good:
              http://lermanet.com/idacamburn/chapter1.htm

            • Baby

              YES… rabbit hole bottom achieved..xo

              Edit.. I mean that part of the hole.. There is NO bottom

            • Vaquera

              Hi Baby. In an effort to avoid the fray, I’ve come here to thank you for supporting my comment to Kim O. I fully expected her wrath to rain on my apology, but not quite so much venom. Either she has a burr under her saddle or, as we said in college, drunk much?

              Any more I said to her would have induced even more hate. I have many thoughts on her rant towards me, but there really is no point to putting another log on that fire.

        • Lurkness

          Ida Camburn used to talk about Congressman Ryan’s experiences with Scientology and how they both had lost family to the Chult and how that helped them connect on these cult issues.

      • Baby

        RM do you happen to know his nephew’s name?

      • Captain Howdy

        WOW! You never cease to amaze me Mycroft.

        • Arrrr! I dig for buried treasure!

        • Baby

          Ramsay Devereaux ( ?) I’m scared of Tony.. I snooped and I don’t know how true this story is.. ( google)

  • Baby

    ” Babies Remember..”

    Yes this Baby remembers..I remember all the stories I’ve read on the Bunker about the evils of Scientology..I remember videos and pleas from the whacked out regging done to the sheep..

    Oh yes..I remember being followed around CW by a bunch of tired stressed out guards .. Oh yes, the good old days of Tom Cruise talkin with Matt Lauer and Tom looked absolutely insane with dark circles under his eyes..

    Let me refresh my memory.. The Hole? The escapes..the ruined lives, deaths and disconnections.. I’m and older woman, but my mind is still intact ..

    And everyday I come here..and join my friends and read, and lurk through other anti Scn. sites..I REMEMBER why I continue this fight.

    • aegerprimo

      ♥ you Baby.

    • Vaquera

      Fly that Bunker flag, girl!

  • Baby

    Jaden and Willow..”This is a very appropriate quote for you to live by..”

    ” A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”

  • Vaquera

    Watching E! News right now. A couple of minutes ago they promo-ed a bit they will air about the siblings Smith before the end of the hour.

    • Frodis73

      Let us know what they say. I wonder if it’s just a re-hash of the interview or if they made a statement about it. Lol.

      • Vaquera

        I will. Am also DVR-ing it.

  • The Dude(Golden Age of Blech)

    Ha! Just for smiles. 😉

  • aegerprimo

    Love this paragraph in Tony’s article today. Embedded. LOL.

    Scientology is a shambles. And at least some of the credit has to go to Anonymous for making it so much easier for people to come forward and give information without fearing reprisals. And you don’t have to have been embedded with them to understand that.

  • Vaquera

    Some of tonight’s comments from the hosts of E! News (Entertainment Tonight) after a recap of the more bizarre NYT quotes from Smith children:

    – “Will and Jada are not force feeding them these books. They’ve just been reading, you know, continuously for such a long time.”
    – “I wish I could comment on it, but my brain couldn’t even understand half of that interview.”
    – “I’m taking these quotes with a grain of salt. These are kids just trying to figure out life, but they’re quite the thinkers. That’s one thing we took away from that.”

    From the hosts’ body language, timbre and eye rolls, I came away with the impression that they thought Jaden and Willow were ridiculous. However, what was glaringly obvious was the hosts’ attempt to present the siblings as intellectually impressive and possessive of deep knowledge. It was a comedy routine cloaked in a veil of fake awe.

    Edit to clarify

    • Frodis73

      Now if I were in charge of that show I’d bring on or talk via hook up to somebody like NG Tyson or Penn Gillette to call ’em, on this bs. That I would watch. Too bad it would never happen.

    • I posted the link to Tony’s original article on the clam school at their site about this story but it went to moderation … hope someone bothers to read it

  • Douglas D. Douglas

    Anarchy becomes exhausting after a while. Either that, or eventually everything becomes a job.

  • Stacy

    Successful in their own right is pushing it. In order to establish that, they’d both have to publish their music under false names and not rely upon their parents to get their music created, recorded, etc.

    I can’t say I find either one talented musically- especially the lyrics they write. But maybe I’m just the wrong age. However, with that said, given the celebrity mania in the US, it’s very possible their music is popular because of who they are, not for any talent.

    As for public schools, that is obviously NOT the only option for these kids. I’m not a huge fan of what public schools do, but in terms of the education they offer, that varies incredibly. Suburban schools with large tax bases and good teachers can offer incredible educations to the kids who go there. Schools in poor districts with little tax base suffer from a lack of supplies and generally a lack of good teachers. We also need to update our approach to education. We’ve still managed to churn out many creative and brilliant minds.

    As for bringing an attitude into my reading of this interview, that would be difficult. I’ve read no interviews from these 2 before. I’ve seen Jaden in the new Karate Kid and had a fairly favorable opinion of his performance., but that’s it. I knew nothing about Willow. I don’t follow them on Twitter (I don’t use Twitter or Facebook at all). I don’t have an unfavorable opinion of Will Smith. I know nothing about his wife. In general, I would tend to be favorably disposed to these kids. The disdain I took from their words in this interview. It’s not something I brought with me. What I’ve said is what their words, as presented in the interview, evoked in me. It wasn’t favorable.

    • Peter

      Fair enough, Stacy. Thanks for the inside look at your thinking.

      I know nothing of either of them. They DO have a leg up. Money helps. I didn’t have that advantage, but I can’t deny that they’ve created just that for themselves. We won’t really know who/what they are for years yet. (And probably neither will they! )

      I don’t listen to their music in any case, nor that of many on this blog. I was raised on classical music and Broadway shows. I did like some of the 60s & 70s stuff, but not the hard rock. The Carpenters were more my speed. I’m still in love with Karen’s voice, one of the most magnificent contraltos I’ve ever heard. Have seen Will Smith in a couple of films and liked his acting. But that was many years ago. Nothing recent. And know nothing of his wife other than she seems to be the driving family voice re scio. But I don’t know that for sure. Nor care.

      But I can tell you one thing: you can’t be sure of what they said or didn’t say in that interview. It’s not a recording you’re viewing. It’s an article written by someone I’ve never heard of in a mag I know nothing about. I was a reporter for a fairly large newspaper long ago and was taught HOW the paper wanted stories told. So we’ll never know how their words were taken, interpreted or rearranged to fit the “flow” of the article. Thus I take a very healthy slice of “oh, yeah?” whenever I read anything nowadays. And even moreso in fan mags, which I don’t normally read at all. 🙂

      • Stacy

        I can’t imagine the magazine would actually alter their words, but I’m aware that editors will cut quotes to fit whatever angle they may be presenting.

        On the other hand, as both Jaden and Willow are minors, I can’t imagine their parents or agents or publicists would let anything they say be printed without vetting it out first. And if that’s the case, it is possible to draw some tentative conclusions and form some hypotheses. These may change as necessary.

        • beauty for ashes

          i think they were just high. i reread it with that in mind, and it made sense. or at least it made me giggle!

        • Peter

          Well, I thnk you’v made quite a few assumptions here, Stacy. I frankly don’t think all this is worth the time and typing effort. 🙂

          • Stacy

            Oh, yes of course, newspapers and magazines change the words of their interviewees all the time. But yet no one ever sues. Silly me.

    • Jerrypacemaker

      No your correct these kids are really really just plain stupid. You can’t make this stuff up that idiotic stuff that comes spewing from their respective pie wholes😝

    • aegerprimo

      Excellent compilation.

      • I’m continually adding to it as just more and more stuff keeps appearing…. and here’s a little something I came across earlier (sorry John P if I’ve outed your secret site visits)

        pic

        • stillgrace2

          Ha Ha … their front groups have front groups. What an un-up-front bunch!

        • Graham

          Scientology, the religion that dare not speak its name, is now the religion that dare not speak the names it uses when it dare not speak its name.

  • HappyGirl

    I am probably the person that Anonymous had the least effect on, and it changed my life.

    • Axton

      How so? Curious!

    • Eclipse-girl

      We are a nosy bunch.
      We like hering people’s stories

      • HappyGirl

        Haha! You guys! Well, I escaped Flag
        in 2000 as a public, which took almost 5 months (although I lived off
        base), and ended with me in a mental breakdown that lasted 8 years.
        On ESMB, I learned for the first time that I had been in an evil mind
        sucking cult, which explained a lot. I had been Narconon staff, Sea
        Org and public in my 38 year Scio career. When I left Scio, I was
        fortunate to still have my family and life intact, and my story is
        not the most heart wrenching, but when Anonymous came along I was
        very grateful. All of a sudden all-tell books and blogs started
        coming out, and things would happen like a “chat party” on ESMB
        while BFG was doing his first radio interview. I watched in awe as
        Scientology began to be spoken of in the press with impunity. As
        journalists lost their fear of this cult that had been my life, I
        began to lose fear also. That’s my story. You heard it here first.
        And you wouldn’t have if it had not been for Anonymous. 🙂

        • Lurkness

          Thank you for sharing. Glad you escaped and great to have you here!

        • The Dude(Golden Age of Blech)

          Any journey out takes a lot of character. No story is the same. Don’t undermine your own experience. I takes guts to walk away and build your life back up!

        • Qbird

          Whew! That’s a whole lot of LRH to deal with Girl!
          No more now. You busted outta that trap.
          Atta boy, Lady!

        • 0tessa

          I am Happy for you, Girl!

  • pronoia

    Wonderful comment!!!!

  • Baby

    PUFF Puff..** Running in late..( O/T but was I/T Sunday..)
    Had to share Austin’s Line Dance from Sunday.. Hip Hop Line Dancing.. Fabulous..

    So Austin Lurkers be prepared for New Steps..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgyxBG9l_sA

    • Baby

      Someone upvote this video please .. So I don’t appear to be losing my Mojo.. You don’t even have to watch it..( haahahhaha)

      • Baby

        Oh yay.. Thank you Guest..I owe you

        Are you Jason Beghe..? ( tee hee)

        • The Dude(Golden Age of Blech)

          Does Creedence count?

      • The Dude(Golden Age of Blech)

        Just for you.
        Dude can’t stand country.
        Unless it’s Johnny Cash.

        • Baby

          Hahaha Well, get stoned Dude

          • The Dude(Golden Age of Blech)

            Done.

          • The Dude(Golden Age of Blech)
            • Baby

              Oh yay.. my favorite combo.. I have the CD..

          • The Dude(Golden Age of Blech)

            Watched it. I still feel silly. Wife thinks I am watching exercise videos

    • Baby

      OH yippee.. Thanks everyone..Now I don’t feel like a loser..Even though you didn’t watch it..hahahahah

    • Juicer77

      Ah, 1994. I remember it well. LOL 🙂

      • Baby

        OMG Juicer..You watched it..hahahaha..

        • Juicer77

          But of course! If it’s Baby’s link, it’s gotta be good!! 😉

          Now I’ve got some sweet dance moves for the club this weekend!

          • Baby

            Ohyouhavesavedmyreputation..ispilleddietcokeonmykeyboardlastnightandthisiswhathappenned..ugh

    • Eclipse-girl

      Where did you find this? Its hilarious.

      I do not think I will be trying their dance steps anytime soon.

      • Baby

        Girl I am ALWAYS SNOOPING..hahaha Isn’t that hilarious.. I thought Sue looked like DM..

        • Eclipse-girl

          You are right, she loos a bit like him, but she is a lot taller.

    • Jenstnick

      It’s so bad, it has to be Scientology.

      • Baby

        Yes Jen.. I peeked in their window..shhhhhhhhh

  • oh man, this is the first time I’ve seen the UK’s Telegraph rip on scientology … this is putting them front centre of negative connotation in quite a brutal way http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/11237836/Uber-scandal-Worried-about-NSA-spying-Its-Silicon-Valley-billionaires-you-need-to-watch.html

    pic

    • Axton

      “Fair Game” How cool!!

      • the fact that broadsheet journalists are reading up on scientology “fair game” makes you wonder if there’s going to be a future story coming up…. I know Louis Theroux writes for one of them but can’t remember which one off hand.

        • Graham

          WHEN is the Theroux documentary going to come out? I can’t wait!!

          • definitely before MI5… I would imagine the Rathbun/LAX meltdown is something they felt they had to include… the way the cult’s going I reckon a clam doc is worthy of being put into the sweeps week.

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      I love that they throw in the term scientology Fair Game as though it is a common term everyone will have heard of!

      • if you put in “fair game” into google the only two references apart from the movie of the same name (on the front page) are about the scientology policy

        pic

  • This photo was taken from inside of the org by one of my co-workers.
    I was still in. Sort of. I am grateful to Anons for their peaceful protests.

  • Juicer77

    I’m beyond finished with the Smith offspring. Not wasting any more time on them.

    • The Dude(Golden Age of Blech)

      Lost.

  • The Dude(Golden Age of Blech)

    I love this quote from The Slate article… “Live unknown,” says Epicurus, suggesting one abandon politics, power, and social life to achieve peace of mind.
    The Dude Digs this.
    Great story. I look forward to reading this book.

  • Elar Aitch

    Squeeee – just had a new browser loaded at work which allows me to see Disqus comments properly and to comment!!!!! When’s the next live blog, Tony?

  • kemist

    Best comment ever on the NYT interview of the Silly Smith Spawn:

    “My 2 year old is just like them, I have trouble understanding his free-styling communications. When he talks he dances and moves his hands and arms and eyes to see if I can pick up on his total connection to the universe.

    Sometimes I can see the straining and frustration on his face and then suddenly a sublime satisfied smile and a giggle and he says “Ka ka”.

  • FOTF2012

    Anonymous broke the myth that it was impossible to stand up to the Church of Scientology without being destroyed — harassed, attacked, sued or threatened with legal action, persecuted, declared suppressive, billed huge sums, threatened with disclosure of your confidential counseling to be breached, disconnected from, and so on.

    The breaking of the myth of church invulnerability opened the doors to so many people to speak out and share their stories so that truth could emerge.

    The ironic thing is that if Scientology were truly what it claimed to be, it would welcome the sunshine of openness and transparency, and would work to evolve and reform. The reality is that Scientology remains imprisoned by its own lies and warped values and processes.

    Anonymous’ appearance is was when we reached the continental divide between the land of fearing the church, and the land of being able to speak and think freely and clearly — to begin dis-indoctrination and healing as persons, groups, and larger assortments of people.

    That’s my perspective.

  • Squints

    I so enjoy this site. I am as fascinated as I am saddened by what you folks that have been on the inside have had to go thru. Earlier I commented about the interview with the Smith children. So confused by the education these kids get in Scientology and the basic lack of anything that would prepare any child for life in the real world. Just to clarify though. I have found all of the commenters on this site as well as Mike Rinders, to be so thoughtful and intelligent in the responses that you guys make. Everyone of what I consider to be the regulars, well your comments are just so amazing and informative. I just want to make clear that I have the utmost respect for all of you. So you all know, I will also be thankful this Thanksgiving that you are now on the other side. How you gathered the courage to leave Scientology, knowing what would follow, well just Applause, Applause with a capital A.

    • Thank you, Squinty!

    • Elar Aitch

      Great to have you in the mix too Squints

    • TheMirrorThetan

      Love the name 🙂

  • Stacy

    Vice has put out an article asking a professor of philosophy to interpret Jaden and Willow Smith’s karmic interview.

    http://www.vice.com/read/we-asked-a-philosophy-professor-to-translate-that-jaden-and-willow-interview-118

    Have fun!

    • “Babies remember /
      ​The opposite of an apple /
      Because living”

      Yeah.

      • Sydjazz

        Is that a lrh haiku? *scratches head*

        • Thetans are
          Garlic woe
          Love As-Is
          Because
          Yeah

      • Stacy

        That’s why the world salad seems more sane now. He split his thetan in two! LRH probably would’ve done better as 2 people, one male and one female, for many reasons.

    • a few young clams trying to defend them…. doing my bit to turn them round (yes, I do have a softer nicer side)

      • Sydjazz

        I say this. Refresh

      • beauty for ashes

        you are very helpful, i’ve noticed!

        • this little juxtaposition of the ‘pseuds’ (don’t think they’re clams) is pretty lulzy… I mean, how can they argue against their own comments?

  • Jimmy, how is the doggie?

  • Jack99
    • romanesco

      10/10 here. Good find.

      • Eivol Ekdal

        God help me…

    • Graham

      Thanks for the link. Got 9/10

      • Captain Howdy

        9/10

      • Elar Aitch

        ditto

  • Every NOI member should watch Mimi Faust video that Tony posted above.

  • romanesco

    Non-Anonymous lulz by film critics. Of course, Scientology had their site taken down for copyright infringement.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d4HaMOY6j0

    • I think I grabbed their site (copied all the code) and it’s somewhere on one of my drives specifically because of this… too knackered to look for it now but suffice to say it hasn’t disappeared

    • F_Randy_Hullabaloo

      These guys are great, I wish we’d see more from them.

  • For Anons From Anons

  • Graham

    Is there anything Scientology won’t use as a weapon? They use the courts as a weapon, stalk you with 4x4s, stick cameras in your face to intimidate. Just re-discovered this old AGP video where they are using buses to harass and apparently have even used a street sweeping machine to exact revenge on a protesting neighbor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghtfcHThPsM

  • I bet there will be tons of scientology troll action tomorrow/today.

    • Elar Aitch

      Related to….?

      • To whatever comes up. The heat is up.

        • Elar Aitch

          OK – I thought I might have missed something like a court date. I like heat on Scientology.

          • With so much going on, OSA is probably super sleep-deprived.

            • Elar Aitch

              Yeah – I think there are a few Scientologists manning comments on the Smith kids. Not quite the PR mum and dad were expecting.

            • Flap after flap after flap.

    • I’m looking forward to THR (Hollywood Reporter) reporting on the Smith kids as as I’ve discovered the clams sent there to do their retaliatory bidding are (I’m guessing) the best they have… I always enjoy commentating there and look forward to the MI5 pre-pre PR bollocks with gusto. Must admit that the Vice article has brought out an interesting bunch… well worth a look (links below but here it is again] http://www.vice.com/read/we-asked-a-philosophy-professor-to-translate-that-jaden-and-willow-interview-118?fb_comment_id=fbc_825241867531912_825255480863884_825255480863884#f33e813a1c

      • Elar Aitch

        Haha – first comment I read

        “People need to wake up and get with it. All of what they said makes
        sense to me, but i have studied op on all of those things. Its not
        drivel. Its real. The kids these days remember. ‘
        [ok, with you so far]
        ‘They remember their past
        lives, how things work. ”
        [riiiiight – disregard rest of comment]

      • Sadly, Smith kids are a collateral damage. Allegorically speaking.

        • I’m really trying … seriously, really, really trying but I can’t quite absorb the “sadness’ quotient with them (you’re a heathen, ed)

          • Kids born into scientology AND tons of money. I know. But still.

            • there’s a wistful part of me that daydreams of a desperate Jaden and Kendall Jenner becoming Sea Org members at the behest of a reality TV producer who knows they’re both desperate to maintain some kind of celeb relevance. (now that’s a reality show I’d watch, ed!)

              * I used desperate twice… must go to bed

            • If only Kim and Kanye joined the sea org too…

            • hmmm… i replied as thus [pic]

  • Pierrot

    *** RED X +–+ RED X +–+RED X +–+ RED X *** Wednesday the 19th of November

    Good morning early birds and night owls,
    The score for Tuesday is even with 105 new/updated ads bringing our Last 4 Days slightly down from
    335 to 306 and the 7 days Regional List up from 623 to 687.
    The heat is on already and It is pre-statsday so have a few looks later this afternoon and evening the later the
    better, if you have some time, take the opportunity to do some re-flag.
    If you have not done so yet, read the write up : https://whyweprotest.net/threads/taking-down-co-on-craigslist-co-ads-on-craigslist.113779/page-117#post-2494321
    RedX spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-Kvg78kCcvo5gL7UfPcmhmbsagTNtdj0y2LAiHVFrCU/pubhtml

    FREELOADER Debt is ILLEGAL and CAN’T BE ENFORCED.
    DON’T route out, BLOW, Get HELP, get OUT. CALL 1-866-XSEAORG

    Hi Baby : https://www.flickr.com/photos/120371503@N05/14315602060/in/set-72157642802079293

  • must admit again that facebook’s newsfeed bots come up with some interesting stuff based on what you do there… would never of heard of this story… this is the headline:

    Fashion model killed herself after joining cult

    The cult’s roots are with Lifespring, an American cult which went bankrupt in 1980 after being sued by a number of its former followers for mental damage as Participants were repeatedly harangued and demeaned by the coaches.

    … it’s only 2 days old and, surprisingly, from The Telegraph which if you scroll further down you’ll see that I’ve already posted a story about how they used associated scientology with ‘fair game’ in a totally unrelated story… methinks somethings brewing there…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11236464/Russian-supermodel-killed-herself-after-joining-cult.html

    pic

    • More info need. Sad, regardless.

      • been doing a bit of googling… interesting to see what some papers leave out… this bit added to what I had above makes it look a lot more familiar …

        “Pomerantsev himself joined the Rose and endured a series of dehumanizing training sessions in which life coaches harangued and humiliated the trainees while excoriating each for their life’s woes. For instance, the blame for a rape was placed on a victim who was stridently accused of self-pity.”

        http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/ruslana-korshunova-victim-new-russia-book-article-1.2012580

        “For instance, the blame for a rape was placed on a victim who was stridently accused of self-pity.”

        … she pulled it in…?

        makes you wonder how many bastards out there are using this [Hubbard] kind of playbook… spooky!

    • Eclipse-girl

      I read this in the Daily Mail about a week ago.
      The model killed herself in 2008

      • the point I’m making is that The Telegraph posted this a day ago – the investigation reveal is recent – and with the other headline I posted below it seems a little more than a coincidence …also the “pulled it in” aspect is spooky and wasn’t mentioned by the Telegraph but was by the NY Daily News… “”For instance, the blame for a rape was placed on a victim who was stridently accused of self-pity.”… that part, to me anyway, is textbook clam think. Either way I feel it’s relevant (or might be) of interest to many here.

        • Eclipse-girl

          I did not realize this became news because an investigation into the death was concluded.

          I agree that this chult has / had strong similarities to scientology is how the victim is always to blame.

          • … which is of interest, I guess

            my initial intention, for want of a better word, was that that’s been twice now facebook bot’s have put a story into my timeline/newsfeed that I had missed… which in itself is scaringly interesting (they’re onto you, ed)

          • Graham

            Just replied to you EG. For some reason it’s gone into moderation; presumably because I used that old hippy phrase “S*** happens”.

  • Captain Howdy

    OT , but some English tourist jumped into Walden Pond and rescued a local..Yay England!

  • Vaquera

    Yes please. If you could just remove the spike from my right hand, then I can get the rest!

    We would have a blast (and would def need a driver sober driver)! Hanging with you is on my bucket list. Maybe the next time I’m in St. Pete?!! I’m there every two years or so.

    • Baby

      damn disq. maybe it will go through

  • F_Randy_Hullabaloo

    Before Anonymous, Scientology critics were confined to little backrooms and it was a dangerous and difficult time for many. Some effective pickets and demonstrations were held, but nothing as made as much an impact as Anonymous did, at least not in the DM period. We all know that basic history. When Anonymous “hit” with the raids and other actions, we, who Anonymous called “the old guard” — we’re really the mid-guard, the old guard was from Hubbard’s day in the 1950s — were so impressed and glad to see what was happening. Then it went Global and it has had a tremendous impact on the public’s understanding of what CoS is all about. Anonymous “left a mark.” It was never part of the narrative of “Going Clear.” Seems like a silly, fallacious thought to claim that because Going Clear didn’t cover Anonymous that somehow Anonymous had no impact? I’d expect that kind of thing from a Church PR. . Also, Briella’s done some of the best academic work on Anonymous that I’ve seen.

    Thanks NY Anonymous and the motherfuckery crew:

    Agent Pubet was radical performance art and is still on the web.

    Anonymous member covered in pubes runs into scientology building
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrZk0C91mfg

  • F_Randy_Hullabaloo

    Anonymous demonstrated just how little power DM has. It pwned the cult and did it for the lulz.

  • Jerrypacemaker

    Your is the best sarcasm