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The Passion of ĎAnonymousí [anti-Scientology protests] [View All]

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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 07:44 PM
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The Passion of ĎAnonymousí [anti-Scientology protests]
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These are unfriendly times to be a Scientologist. In December, Germany's Interior Ministry moved to ban the organization, which has tax-exempt religious status in the United States. In January, St. Martin's Press published Andrew Morton's salacious unauthorized biography of Tom Cruise, which describes the star as its de facto second in command. The church responded with a 15-page statement, calling the book "a bigoted, defamatory assault replete with lies" and saying Cruise "is a Scientology parishioner and holds no official or unofficial position in the Church hierarchy." Jenna Hill Miscavige, a niece of church leader David Miscavige who left the fold in 2005, this week came out in support of Morton and slammed the organization for, among other things, its practice of "disconnection--essentially severing contact with family members seen as hostile to the group.

Now, a loose-knit consortium of hackers and activists calling itself "Anonymous" has declared "war" on the organization. In a creepy YouTube clip addressed to the "leaders of Scientology," a robotic voice announces "with the leakage of your latest propaganda video into mainstream circulation, the extent of your malign influence over those who trust you as leaders has been made clear to us. Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed." (The clip has been viewed more than 2 million times since it was posted Jan. 21.)

The attack, says Anonymous, was spurred at least in part by what they consider to be the latest example of the church's secretive and litigious nature. Earlier this year, an internal 2004 church interview with Tom Cruise was leaked online. The actor, who called being a Scientologist a "blast," was seen railing against the practice of psychiatry and boasting, among other things, "we are the authorities of the mind ... we can bring peace and unite communities." The church attempted to have the videos taken down from the gossip site Gawker, claiming the material was copyrighted, selectively edited and that Cruise's performance was meant for private consumption. It's an argument that does have legal merit. "As I understand it, Scientology has a lot of internal documents and when people try to publish them, Scientology seeks to stop them under copyright law," Eugene Volokh of the UCLA School of Law tells NEWSWEEK. "The fact is under American law they're entitled to take their unpublished works and use copyright law to protect them."


http://www.newsweek.com/id/109410
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