Subscription options


Subscribe to our e-mail list

To join our email list and get updates on new stories, send a message to

On the 8th anniversary of the Anonymous protests, more signs of Scientology’s desperation


Eight years ago today, the Internet grew feet. We remember very well how surprising it was that Anonymous, which had vowed to bring down Scientology the month before over its attempt to censor a leaked Tom Cruise interview video, showed up in the form of young people wearing Guy Fawkes masks at Scientology orgs around the world on February 10, 2008. Things have never been the same since.

For a really interesting discussion of where Anonymous came from and where it went from there, we recommend McGill University professor Gabriella Coleman’s book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous. When it came out, we were disappointed to see some criticism of it from a writer who dismissed the impact of Anonymous on Scientology. To the contrary, we pointed out, the lasting impact of Anonymous cannot be overstated. Scientology has never recovered from those 2008 protests, and it likely never will.

We keep seeing more anecdotal evidence of just how bad things are getting for the Church of Scientology, not only as many longtime members have left in a steady stream since the mid 2000s, but also because those who are left inside are becoming less enthusiastic about taking part in leader David Miscavige’s initiatives. (Initiatives that inevitably end up costing them large amounts of money.)

This past week, for example, we were forwarded an email from one of our California readers who has left the church but nevertheless received an invitation to fly to Atlanta and help clean up the Central Files in preparation for the opening of an Ideal Org there…


Miscavige promises his followers that if they donate to buy and renovate buildings for these new Ideal Orgs, it will lead to a land rush of new people joining Scientology. And as part of that promise, the paper files of the old org have to be cleaned up and reorganized in preparation for that boom.

Paper records. In 2016. And there are so few participating members in the Atlanta area itself, the church has to ask Californians to fly out and do the job.

The delusion is stunning. But so is the indication of just how far Scientology has fallen.

A large part of the credit for that has to go to Anonymous, which in 2008 suddenly made it too difficult for Scientology to practice its old method of targeting every critic who spoke up about it — now there were simply too many of them.

We’d love to hear your memories of the 2008 protests. Where were you when the Internet turned the tables?


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Hey, girl. I joined staff at the South Coast mission in Orange County. Can I get a thumb’s up to a date?


Youth for Human Rights lectures kids in Sierra Leone. Thanks, Legoland. (As our readers noticed, this is actually a photo of a WHO volunteer teaching kids about hygiene. For some reason, YHR has posted it at its Facebook page.)


Something tells us there’s a better way to celebrate Carnival in Brazil than with Study Tech.


Jason Beghe wants to see a motherfucking Clear? Here is Sergio. He is Clear. The piece of paper says so. And you can see it in his eyes.


Scientology whale Jim Mathers continues to work Kiev…


Hey, anyone got a spare $150,000?



3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 10, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


Share Button
  • Qbird

    EPF being confused with RPF


  • Qbird

    sounds like the DJ’s are pretty much going off of whatever Leah’s book says..

  • Free to shine

    I will never forget 2008. As an ex, even now I can’t describe the joy and amazement at watching the worldwide pickets. I cried, I admit it. It was like a miracle, all these people speaking out loudly on behalf of all of us who couldn’t. Thankyou Anonymous, forever thankyou.

    • Qbird

      cool, Free to shine.

  • Qbird

    Well, at least they pronounce DM’s name correctly.

  • Qbird

    Sea Org can’t drink???

    • Frodis73

      I don’t think there is a direct policy on that other than the you can’t drink 24 hours before session. When do folks in the SO have any time off though? I know there are stories from old times from “back in the good old days” that they would have parties, etc and folks would drink.

      • indie8million

        I heard that Ron would send a palette of beer and cheese to the Detroit org for their NYE party back in the late 70’s.
        You’d NEVER see anything like that now.

  • Qbird

    “Katie was exiled from the church” Was KH declared SP?

    • Frodis73

      No. These guys are drawing from Leah’s book and are just not clear on the finer details. Most of the stuff is pretty close to the truth though. My guess is their audience knows next to nothing so I’ll let them slide.

      • Qbird

        Exactly, correct.

  • dchoiceisalwaysrs

    Gotta love that Sea Org stationery of which the Sea org claims not to have any per their IRS negotiations. Is that a pilot ? CCRD to declare routing form? I suspect it is a stolen document which will be hidden in Sea Org files, in one of the CST underground vaults, as apparently the Sea Org also does not own any property per the same negotiations. ahhhhhh yes how could I forget, perjury and fraud in negotiations and in contracts is subservient to laws especiallyt when the scientology organization is slipping its way out of the declaring the whole truth in court. Is there a step on that routing form wherein a person must do and attest to TR-Lie?
    I think there should certainly be a step wherein the now clear is required to read out loud, ‘TR-Lie ‘ translated into all 25,666 languages of Teeggeack then put the list away and recite, using their Clear ability to have this life time full recall, all the list they just read.

  • Jack99
    • Jenyfurrrrr

      PR Newswire is a paid press release service. So they weren’t even smart enough to take their $ – they just pulled it in and used it (as written by COS) as an “article.”

  • MostEthicalPimp

    I drove by a known Scientology house hold. Oddly no cars in the driveway but all their cars where park on the street. And the lights were out. Hmm, I wonder who they didn’t want to know they where home??? On a Wednesday Evening???

    • Juicer77

      Hmmmm!!!! A mystery!!! LOL

  • Supper Powers

    New video by Shelton is up.

  • Juicer77

    (f5) Not kidding here… 10 minutes of walking back and forth before this pheasant figured out how to get over the 6 foot stone wall. *facepalm*

    • Supper Powers

      That’s how I deal with problems, too. It’s an epiphany when I say to myself, “or you could just turn around and get out of here.” #pheasantbrain

      • Juicer77

        I must admit to frequent episodes of #pheasantbrain!

    • $cnMonkeyNut$

      Cats, on the other hand, seem to instinctively know how to get what they want! (F5/Refresh)

      • Juicer77

        Too true! 🙂 The old butt-on-the-box technique. Works every time!

    • chukicita

      i believe i can flyyyyy…..

  • MostEthicalPimp

    For people looking for a bit of cult hilarity this classic but still fully functional old cult attack web: Also good is where they explain their expansion in statistics. um they don’t mention getting any new members but lots of property. The webpage is not just an insult to good common sense but against good taste. It looks like it was made on a Nintendo Virtual Boy.

    • MostEthicalPimp

      “Freezoners (Ron’s Org, Freezone, Galactic Patrol) are groups who alter Scientology technology and form their own groups to apply this altered technology. They are small in number and fairly insignificant to the Church. I understand the largest Freezone group is in Germany, which makes sense, since Germany is well behind the curve in supporting religious freedom.”
      Err. Religious freedom = our right to enforce copyright laws to stop other people from practicing religion freely. Thanks cult that makes sense.

    • Juicer77

      Porn! The firing of guns against buildings!
      The lies are flying so fast I can’t keep track… The awful thing is there may be some “inside” who may STILL believe some of this and be truly scared of the outside world.

    • Robert Eckert
  • seriouslyWTF
    • Juicer77

      This particular defendant has been coached quite thoroughly. He states that those with a history of psychiatric problems cannot go up the bridge, but “…We never close the door. They can still take part in religious services. As a minister I carry out marriages, funerals…”
      This is a clever way to dodge the question. Since we know there is no point and no progress in $camatology except paying big bucks to go up the bridge.

      • He was easily the most accomplished in his defence, as you’ll see from the coming two posts.

        • Juicer77

          What a very diplomatic way to say it. 😉

    • Observer

      Such arrogance

  • Fink Jonas

    I wonder if Lee Baca did TR-L in scientology and that’s how he learned to lie to the FBI.

    • Juicer77

      Episode of Crime Time discussing Baca’s resignation 2 years ago. (full disclosure: Tony is now Executive Editor of The Lip TV, he was not at that time this episode was made)

  • indie8million

    Jim looks terrible.

    One thing I’ve noticed about the people who have done the NEW Bridge (GAK 2) is this over exaggerated, MANIC, “I AM SO FREAKIN’ HAPPY, CAN’T YOU SEE IT???” look on their faces.

    I love happy. Don’t get me wrong. But this isn’t happy, it’s manic, as if it’s an attempt to PROVE how freakin’ happy they are. “See?! See?!”

    I’ve known Scientologists for the last – wow – 40 years, this year. I know all about the “TR-0 stare” and about their overuse of exclamation points, etc. But the last 2 or 3 years have produced these crazy looking, manic people. Auditing, done ‘right’, should make a person happy, of course, but calmer. Much calmer. For some people, Buddha-like calmer.

    It’s as if it’s all inverted. Instead of calm and happy, it’s manic and panicked that someone might think they’re “NOT”.

    It’s a scary and horrible thing to see your friends losing their minds this way. Very, very sad.

  • TempTationsFan

    Totally OT, but from the post re: Jim Mathers…

    Anyone else see the similarities between the way he looks and LRH? Or, is it just me? lol