IT’S described as a “totalitarian, Mafia-like organisation, which also employs extreme methods to intimidate, harass and silence critics”.
No, not Islam, but something equally potty: Scientology, which is attracting the unwanted attention of a group calling itself Anonymous.
Earlier this year, Anonymous members in Scotland – as part of a world-wide, 9,000-strong protest against the Church of Scientology – picketed the Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence on South Bridge, Edinburgh. And it plans a further protest on April 12.
According to its website, the group is protesting against:
Scientology’s destructive effects on families specifically, and against its terrible practices more generally, as part of an ongoing worldwide struggle to cause the cult to reform or collapse.
Anonymous is against the methods of Scientology, specifically amongst the higher levels, which include suppression of freedom speech and ruining anyone who speaks out against the Church by suing, slandering, framing, bankrupting and even committing murder.
Why do Anonymous supporters wear masks?
The reason that we do this is due to Scientology’s Fair Game policy, which states: ‘The homes, property, places and abodes of persons who have been active in attempting to: suppress Scientology or Scientologists are all beyond any protection of Scientology Ethics, unless absolved by later Ethics or an amnesty … this Policy Letter extends to suppressive non-Scientology wives and husbands and parents, or other family members or hostile groups or even close friends.
SP’s may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. They may be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
SP stands for Suppressive Person (you may have heard of this from the Tom Cruise videos), which means any person or organisation who speaks out against, or interferes with the profit of Scientology.
Of course a large part of why we wear masks is simply to give us some uniformity and to stand out. Many of our members simply to hide their faces with scarves, sunglasses, etc. Many more still do not hide their faces at all.
Update (April 13, 2008): Around 300 members of anonymous besieged Scientology headquarters in the City of London yesterday, according to a report in the Guardian.
Further update (April 17, 2008): American actor, and Scientology poster boy Jason Beghe, has ditched the cult, and roundly denounced it. See Freethinker report and YouTube video here.