Friday, July 11, 2008


Maybe you have heard about this - I didn't know anything about it until I saw it tonight. Anonymous is a group that is organizing a series of protests against Scientology. Their PR is pretty intense - a computerized voice with pictures of clouds and cities. Here's one of the videos they released.

They have been called domestic terrorists, most notably by a KTTV Fox 11 News report, and were accused of quite a few things, from the serious (bomb threats) to the fairly serious (hacking into MySpace pages and posting gay porn) to the ludicrous (trying to spoil the ending of Harry Potter before it was published). You can see where the fear would come from in the video above, as well as the fact that many of the protesters for their mass demonstration on Feburary 10th wore the masks used in V for Vendetta. But they also released this video with the rules for their protest, which seems like a pretty excellent list, including respect for police and private property and acting sensibly so as not to taint or distort the message by doing dumb things.

That video is also done in a sort of scary way, but it did make me more interested in researching their particular grievances. I had not known anything about Lisa McPherson, or James Hester. Lisa McPherson was a Scientologist who died under unusual circumstances, though the court findings were inconclusive. Certainly, any large organization is going to have suicides or unusual deaths, and from an outside perspective, there's no way to verify whether the church had anything to do with it, or whether those who died would have died anyway. So I'm not at all sure how I feel about either group, but I do find it all pretty fascinating.

The group also made headlines for outing a sexual predator - Chris Forcand - before he was able to do any damage. They got him to proposition them, and then reported him to the police, who then arrested him. The police reported that it was the first time an "Internet vigilant group" had ever helped with the arrest of an internet predator.


Andrew Elizalde said...

From the first video:

We are anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We will be heard.
Expect us.

From the second video:

Follow them [the rules] and victory will be yours.
We are anonymous.
We do not forget.
Expect us.

Andrew Elizalde said...

Their video is a bit spooky and their reference to themselves as "Legion" (at the end of the first video) reminded me of the following scripture:

Mark 5:8-9: (8) For He [Jesus] said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” (9) Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”

I wonder if this was a deliberate allusion on their part. Certainly their stance of non-forgiveness is at the very least anti-biblical.