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Wikileaks Airs Scientology Black Ops 509

Posted by kdawson
from the no-fair-game dept.
An anonymous reader alerts us to new material up on Wikileaks: 208 scanned pages (in one PDF) relating to the Church of Scientology and its former "Office of Special Affairs" employee (and subsequent apostate) Frank Oliver. "The documents are dated between 1986 and 1992 inclusive, when, according to the file, Frank Oliver was declared a 'suppressive person' and excommunicated. Frank Oliver should be able to verify the material and has appeared in the media before on subjects relating to the church. Starting on page 107, the document shows that at the time of writing the Church of Scientology was still actively engaged in black propaganda (especially concerning psychiatry), 'fair game' and infiltration."
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Wikileaks Airs Scientology Black Ops

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  • by sgtron (35704) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:30PM (#22723770)
    Do a google search for slashdot deleted posts scientology, and see what comes up.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:38PM (#22723848)

    Starting on page 107, the document shows that at the time of writing the Church of Scientology was still actively engaged in black propaganda (especially concerning psychiatry), 'fair game' and infiltration."
    Yes, I wonder if Wikileaks will get a taste of the 'Fair Game' policy the papers mention if they don't take the papers down.
  • Re:slashdotted (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:43PM (#22723880)
    Wikileaks is wayy beyond scientology's grasp. I mean, the CoS would easily bomb a data center if they could find one, but wikileaks is worldwide and hidden.
  • by JavaRob (28971) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:46PM (#22723916) Homepage Journal
    Maybe they figure that now they've cut their teeth on a big player (and they came out on top, eventually) they can tackle the big guys. I won't be fun, though... Scientology doesn't play by the same rules as normal corporations with rational customers. They fight as dirty as possible; tactics that would easily sink a normal business if they got out are business as usual, and they don't pretend otherwise to their members; they just made it part of their belief system that it's morally okay to use any means necessary to stop their detractors.

    This is probably the best time to do it, though, while WikiLeaks still has quite a lot of active attention because of the Julius Baer legal business.

    I just hope they didn't waste some of that capital calling for the eNom boycott [slashdot.org]. Not exactly the same level of "evil"....

    But I guess we'll see, either way. Stay tuned -- same bat-time, same bat-channel!
  • Be careful... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:01PM (#22724022)
    I wouldn't put it past them to try and track anyone downloading that over something like a torrent; I'd stick to Wikileaks itself if possible. I've researched some of the abuses they did in the past, and I really don't like Scientology :/

    Didn't they have ties to a major ISP (Earthlink?) at one time, too? That said, I remember reading that their internal sites are (were?) entirely self-made because they don't trust us "wogs". And by self-made I mean they're supposed to be utter crap.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:06PM (#22724050)
    Oh, they're already unhappy with Sweden. It seems that someone submitted a bunch of $cientology documents to the Swedish government. Even with the (apparently fraudulent, due to forged copyright registrations) existing copyrights on such documents, getting them yanked back from public access through the Swedish government would take a constitutional amendment for them. But the $cientologists have repeatedly tried stealing the documents while keeping them "checked out" of the office that has them.

    It happened with the Steve Fishman court documents, it happened again in Sweden. I hope Wikileaks, and the original poster, have been very careful to preserve and authenticate their original documents to avoid just such theft.
  • Re:PDF Link Broke (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:07PM (#22724054)

    In addition to this Chuck Beatty, who was a member of the Sea Org for 27 years has a toll free number, 866-XSEAORG for any current Scientology staff members to call if you need someone to talk to . He can also be reached at 412-260-1170 and by email at chuckbeatty77@aol.com
    You know, i hate living in a world where i see something like this and the first thing i think is "i wonder if the scientologists are actually creating anti-scientology fronts to discover who is leaking information or considering defecting with proofs."
  • Oh wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TurinPT (1226568) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:07PM (#22724056)
    Take a look at page 75: A list of what they consider hostility towards scientology.

    Thats some scary shit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:16PM (#22724114)
    I wonder if they'll care if they do. They're set up in many different countries with mirrors across the world for a reason - because they *expect* every organization they mention to try to shut them down. Won't work. The cult might bring down a server or two, but they'll just pop back up as quickly as they can and in the mean time alternate servers will take the burden.

    I know the cult is sue-happy and has successes under its belt, but wikileaks is set up *specifically* for this. The documents are out, they're on servers worldwide already, and a dozen bit torrents as well. There is no way to suppress this even if they were to somehow take down all of wikileaks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:27PM (#22724186)
    Get your copy fully anonymized via i2p bittorrent (www.i2p2.de):

    http://tracker.postman.i2p/details.php?id=2410 [tracker.postman.i2p]
    (non i2p preview at tracker.postman.i2p.to)
  • Re:Page 117 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TurinPT (1226568) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:33PM (#22724220)
    I'm just speed reading, but this file is filled with little gems.

    LRH on Data Mining - pg 117:

    By all standards modern governments are not sane.

    Thus, somewhere at the bottom of the pile is some hidden intention.

    In collecting government files and the various false reports in them, through the use of Freedom of Information Act, it is not enough to simply see they are false and DA them. This of course is a necessary action but is NOT _the_ basic action.

    One needs to construct a data bank of all documents and cross-index to get _all_ documents in their possession - using one file to find things that will detect the existence of unrevealed additional documents.


    Interesting read...
  • by dwater (72834) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:51PM (#22724318)
    > as no-one could ever confuse this group with any modern day religion!

    I'm curious; why wouldn't you confuse it with a religion? What is a 'modern day' religion?

    I ask these questions as a Christian myself, and a regular old boring protestant one at that.
  • by dwater (72834) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:59PM (#22724346)

    ...so that we can continue hot Sceintology bashing...
    I was thinking something along those lines. There seems to be a lot of 'bashing' happening on /. lately. I wonder if such articles get more posts and therefore more advertising revenue, or something.

    All we need is for there to be a Chinese-Scientology link and we'll have the most commented-on story ever.

    Hrm. I wonder if there are any stats on /. stories - ie which story received the most comments, the most highly rated comments, the most 'funny', the most 'flame bate'/etc/etc. That'd be interesting, don't you think? So, interesting, there's probably already a page somewhere on it that I haven't seen yet (I'm rarely the first to think of these things).
  • by cpricejones (950353) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:00PM (#22724350)
    For those of you who didn't make it this far into the 208 pages ...

    "Our propaganda is dirty but it is not black because it is true. Black propaganda is essentially false. ... We just run propaganda campaigns."

    Pretty goofy but it gets far goofier.

    "Vicious and lying gossip by old women was the earlier form of this tactic and was so bad that some areas put them in public stocks (neck yokes) to drive them out of town. ... The world is full of madmen."

    Hmm.
  • Re:Page 117 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:27PM (#22724494)
    No it's not really new, but it being on wikileaks endorses it for a lot of people, and it getting on slashdot brings it's attention to a lot of people who wouldn't notice as otherwise it's relegated to 'conspiracy theorists' sites, and ignored much like many other caches of evidence on such sites including many legal documents.

    what IS new (dated some time ago, but all new leak never seen before) is the wikileaks email content linked in this comment : http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=484166&cid=22724096 [slashdot.org]
  • by complete loony (663508) <Jeremy.Lakeman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:32PM (#22724538)

    If I asked you what you believe, you would point me to materials I can read, tell me yourself, or point me to someone else who can explain it better.

    Scientology forces you to pay lots of money and undergo questionable interrogations before they will trust you to with their secrets. By which point you have made a huge emotional and financial investment. So it's unlikely you would question what you are being told anyway.

  • by Scareduck (177470) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:35PM (#22724552) Homepage Journal
    I got a copy of the PDF from the Bittorrent posted upthread, and the best part is on page 100 (so far), talking about dealing with lawsuits ("Never if you can help it"), what to do when being investigated ("don't co-operate"), and how to deal with "entheta press":

    1. Tell them by letter to retract at once in the next issue.
    2. Hire a private detective to investigate the writer ...
    3. Have your lawyers or solicitors write the magazine threatening suit ...
    4. Use the data you got from the detective (!!) at long last to write the author of the article a very tantalizing letter. Don't give him your data on him. Just tell him we know something very interesting about him and wouldn't he like to come in and talk about it. (If he comes, ask him to sign a confession of collusion and slander -- people at that level often will, just to commit suicide -- and publish it in a paid ad in a paper if you get it.) Chances are he won't arrive. But he'll sure shudder into silence.
  • Re:About Tor... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:48PM (#22724644)
    The excellent Slashdot community would be the first to tell me if I'm wrong, but I believe that :
    • ALL Tor Nodes are Relay Nodes, and Exit nodes, you cannot choose to be one but not the other. (without recoding your own Tor)
    • Your Tor connection randomly chooses a bunch of nodes, they all become Relay nodes for you and the final one before the server you wish to connect to becomes the Exit Node.
    • All nodes acting as a Relay Node for Client A have all the traffic through it encrypted, so no listening.
    • Every time you select 'new Identity' in Vidalia your connection will be transferred to a whole new range of Relay Nodes and a new Exit Node.
    • The first node you connect to is never your Exit Node. So ...
    • they cannot locate your REAL IP though as it's been passed encrypted through Relays (this is the one I'm most unsure about)
    • Exit Nodes snooping Tor for personal information is already a known issue
    • but unless you transmit personal info you are safe.
    • The chances of a CoS hacked Tor node being selected as Client A's EXIT Node is very slim considering all the nodes out there, and regularly requesting a new identity makes it even less possible to be attacked.
    • Malicious Java,Flash or plugins can be tricked into giving away your real IP, but NoScript stops that being a problem, and slashdots pretty safe anyway!
    Lots of Slashdot going 'you can't post to this page' etc on many Tor nodes makes for many identity changes weather you want them or not :(
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:56PM (#22724676)
    Three girls who are ex-scientology kids have come forward and started a website about the issues with Scientology. (Not bad looking either). One is Jenna Miscavige Hill (niece of David Miscavige, the current head of Scientology). Another is Kendra Wiseman, who is the daughter of the current head of CCHR (Scilon front group).

    http://www.exscientologykids.com/admins.html [exscientologykids.com]

    The stories of all three are quite fascinating in terms of getting a look on the inside.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:59PM (#22724712)
    The core beliefs of real religions are meant for the betterment of men. Whether you think they are helping them or not is irrelevant, it is the purpose that matters.

    Scientology's core beliefs are set up for the sole purpose of profit, control, manipulation and the ruining of people's lives, each to an extent unheard of in valid religions. Therefore, scientology is a cult.

    Real religion can and has been used as a tool to achieve the same goals in certain situations, but the difference is that is not their intended purpose, and the people doing those acts are actually going against the religion that they claim to be upholding. This doesn't surprise me because, for example, I don't believe most Christians understand their own stated belief system; otherwise they would strive to eliminate all hatred and to forgive everyone. But, I digress.

    Honestly if somebody can't see the difference between valid religions and scientology, they are terrible critical thinkers and probably have an irrational hatred of religions that no amount of discussion will ever change.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:10PM (#22724764)
    I don't want to get involved in a Scientology lawsuit, but someone needs to go to UCLA special collections library and check out the Scientology files. There's lots of neat stuff in there that the Scientologists would like to hide. The librarians won't allow people to look at the actual files so you only get photocopies. I really hope someone will go in there and scan these files. They should be made public.

    It's basic "hey, look we're even kookier than Mormons" type of stuff, but it's interesting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:14PM (#22724790)
    Anonymous a full 4+ hour DVD with vids of the protests & information on Scientology.

    Torrent is here: http://www.mininova.org/tor/1234202 [mininova.org]

    Details on what's on it here: http://forums.enturbulation.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6172 [enturbulation.org]

    Contents include:
    1. Road to February 10th 2. An Anonymous Message to The World -- Human Rites in the RPF
    3. Message To Scientology
    4. Call To Action
    5. Code of Conduct
    6. Anonymous Lobby Against Scientology
    7. Anonymous vs. Church of Scientology - The Ides of March
    8. Ides of March - Why We Fight
    9. ExSciKids: Kendra, Jenna & Astra Speak
    10. Sou7h Park - Traped 1n The Closet
    11. Missing In Happy Valley
    12. The Bridge
    13. OT 2007 Summit Testimonials 14. Un-Cut Tom Cruise Testimonial
    15. XENUTV: Comparing Myths
  • by ArcherB (796902) * on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:15PM (#22724798) Journal

    Why are you specifically stating Islam, and then forgetting all about those wonderful little people at the Discovery Institute. I understand that 'like religions' really does encompass all possible religions, singling out Islam by name is a bit unfair. They are no better, and no worse than any other major religion with extremist/fundamentalist groups.
    Actually, Islam is the only major religion who has flown planes into buildings, posted videos of beheadings, preaches that the penalty for leaving the religion is death and is responsible for really REALLY close to 100% of terrorist attacks around the world (Not just the US, but all over the world). So, yeah. I think they deserve an honorary mention on this one.

    So, when you say, They are no better, and no worse than any other major religion with extremist/fundamentalist groups., I'm afraid I have to say that you are extraordinarily naive and just plain wrong And to compare Islam to the Discovery Institute... I'm sorry, how many people have been killed by people from the Discovery Institute? How many civilian markets and embassies have been bombed? How many children and mentally retarded people have they used to blow up innocent civilians? Did you say Zero? If you did, then you are correct. Any other answer is just plain ignorant.

  • by stony3k (709718) <stony3k.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:42PM (#22724952) Homepage
    Islam is a much more decentralized religion that most of us are used to. This means that any two-bit priest can issue a Fatwa or invoke. This also means that just because a few Muslims blew up innocents, the whole religion is flawed.

    Islam does have many issues to work out with how they fit into the modern society and the sooner they do this the better for all of us.
  • by sir fer (1232128) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:00AM (#22725040)
    yeah true, christians just invade sovereign nations based on lies and kill and displace many innocents based on more lies that's much better than islamics who kill a few thousand in one event every 100 years, yes, I see your logic...you think 1 + 1 = 10^24
  • by Version6 (44041) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:06AM (#22725068)
    Islam is the only major religion...[which]...preaches that the penalty for leaving the religion is death

    Islam is about six hundred years younger than christianism. Much more recently than six hundred years ago Roman Catholics were killing "heretics" who tried to practice a related form of christianism. In England, the reverse was happening, though on a smaller scale. And of course all the christianists were happily killing Jews, followers of a closely related religion. I think it's easy to imagine what would have happened to anyone trying to become a muslim in that environment. Let's just hope it doesn't take several hundred years for muslims to become as relatively civilized as the christianists seem to be today.
  • Re:slashdotted (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:16AM (#22725138)

    I mean, the CoS would easily bomb a data center if they could find one

    You mean, with a Tom Cruise Missile?

    It's reassuring that enough mods got that reference to mod it up to +5, and doubly so considering the fate that memeticist Keith Henson ended up suffering as a result of first inventing that wisecrack. Google around for "Tom Cruise Missile" and "Keith Henson".

    /anon
    //legion
    ///etc

  • by Count Fenring (669457) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:19AM (#22725162) Homepage Journal

    Religion is for those who are insufficiently honest to build their own philosophy.

    Really? I think it's a bit of a stretch to declare anyone following an established religion (or philosophy, by extension) dishonest. Besides, in "building a philosophy," you have to use preexisting ideas, many of which come, directly or indirectly, from established religions.

    Nothing comes from nothing. Any philosophy or religion someone has is developed based on known predicates. While all known predicates are not equal (Oppressive beliefs, while still genuine, can be less valid by overall consensus standards {A.K.A. If you practice female circumcision, stop. It's not ok, regardless of cultural imperatives.}), all known ideas have predicates. And I, personally, am not arrogant enough to say that all religious ideas are stupid or invalid, just because I don't share them.

    Also, philosophy and religion are, in fact, different things. They are often closely linked, but a religion by definition deals with metaphysical concepts that a philosophy doesn't have to. And, emotionally, the need for God/god/gods/~ to worship is a different need than that for a philosophy to follow.

  • by modecx (130548) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @01:11AM (#22725396)
    I'm curious; why wouldn't you confuse it with a religion?

    1) All real religions will gladly tell you what they're about before hand. 2) No real religion will brainwash you into mortgaging your house. 3) No real religion protects their materials by copyright, so they can do #2, and use the law to squelch leaks and critics. 4) No real religion will make you disconnect from your friends and family, so you will have nobody to instill some sense into you--and stop you from doing #2. 5) All real religions on this planet are inclusive, instead of exclusive.

    I could go on and on (and on and on), but I really don't want fingertip blisters pointing out stuff that's obvious to the un-brainwashed masses after they've completed about 10 minutes of research (2 of which might be clicking on google links).

    What is a 'modern day' religion?

    I'm guessing he means any religion that is widely practiced, and has evolved enough to be generally accepted as (at least) "mostly not evil" by most people (especially by most who don't practice that particular religion). For instance, there's plenty of passages from the old testament, and all of the Abrahamic traditions, which are not generally acknowledged as being things which apply to the modern world; and extremists who believe these things are generally shunned from the mainstream of their own religion. Islam is probably the one exception to the last part, because Islamic extremists are often heroes within their communities. So, whatever.

    That scientology eventually teaches the idea that some Xenu character planted frosty dead people and hydrogen bombs in the Worlds' volcanoes, and that they have these ghosts stuck to them doesn't particularly enrage most of the scientology critics I know; it's their abuses and covertly hostile nature that disturbs them, and me. Fact is, that part isn't all that much different from other equally silly stories religions teach.

    Still, the fact that it was dreamed up by some twice divorced sea-faring, drugged up satanic NAMBLA perv, is a lot less noble than the supposed origins of the other religions... And scientology makes it out that LRH was a 7' tall descendant of European nobility, who shot rainbows and unicorns out of his ass. So, because of that, add this to my list: 6) It's easily demonstrable that a) the people who run scientology are either purely malevolent because of the lies and contradictions in their teachings, or b) they're incredibly incompetent nincompoops who couldn't find their asses with both hands.
  • by kestasjk (933987) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @02:40AM (#22725734) Homepage
    Page 99:

    None of us like to judge or punish. Yet we may be the only people on Earth with a right to punish

    Guilt is established by a person's actions and statements, by witnesses and written evidence and by an expertly run E-meter
    Page 100:

    If he comes, ask him to sign a confession of collusion and slander - people at that level often will, just to commit suicide - and publish it in a paid ad in a paper if you get it

    Tell the detective "We don't care if they know you're investigating them for us. In fact, the louder the better."

    When to Sue
    Never if you can help it. It consumes time, means little but trouble for you. Suits are basically best as threats.
    Page 101:

    At this instance there are men hiding in terror on Earth because they found out what they were attacking. There are men dead because they attacked us - for instance Dr. Joe Winter. He simply realized what he did and died. There are men bankrupt because they attacked us

    But if you do put the wrong head on a pike, be sure to put it back on the body again as soon as the need for its being on a pike is over
    Page 102:

    It is mercy to put the padlock on such a person's activities. Every word he says or writes against us, every plot he enters into, alike punish him further and further down
    How bad can it get? We have evidence in a book Dr. Winder wrote. He knew it consisted of stolen ideas and enthete lies. Every code it sold killed him a little more. And one day he died
    Page 103:

    It's a relief for a bad case to be punished. Sometimes they choose us for their executioners - worse luck
    Page 107:

    2. By having high-toned investigators who have no possibility of being blackmailed, we can make up in effectiveness what we at this time lack in numbers.

    L. Ron Hubbard
    Wow.. I started out by cherry picking the juicy parts, but once Hubbard's memos start appearing it's pretty much all juicy.. Black propaganda--Hubbard, The genus of insane governments--Hubbard, Why governments attack religion--Hubbard

    Look at the situation. Every time the enemy offers an attack, you defend against it and that is all you do. Any castle, to hold out, has got to sortie. The proper strategy for any battle is to find a weak point in the enemy lines and attack it.

    The reason the United States is losing against communism is simply on these same mathematics. That they are losing is patent. All they are doing is defending the points attacked.
    We are lucky Hubbard was a sci-fi writer and didn't go on to become a politician.. I would have like to see his handling of the Cuba missile crisis going by the above logic..

    I can see the parallels of religion to CoS, but I have to say this goes way beyond any religion. Nothing other than a cult would write such aggressive, practical advice on silencing critics as this. With Immams declaring fatwahs at least that's not actually an officially sanctioned part of Islam, with Scientology it is.

    I think all the media attention will eventually kill scientology. Hearing about "Xenu" has been worse for Scientology than hearing about even the worst silencing of critics, blackmail, and manslaughter.
  • Scientology is... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kaenneth (82978) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @05:37AM (#22726232) Homepage Journal
    Scientology is what happens when the mentally ill don't take their medicine.

    The human psyche is made up of a collection of personalities?
    Against taking psych mediciations?
    Thinking that psychiatrists are evil?

    Hubbard probably developed schizophrenia, with paranoia, delusions, voices in his head, etc.

    So he developed a way other think to justify his decisions after the fact, calling it Scientology. That is, the "Science of Science", or like one fellow I met in a psych ward said "You have to read between the lines between the lines"; layers upon layers of conspiracy seem to be common in delusional thinking.

    So his organization is a draw to others who don't want to take their meds, including the large 'anti-drug' campaign they claim to have. Cruise on Oprah?, looked pretty 'Manic' to me.

    Unfortunetly, the only consistant way to tell the differences between Religion, Cults and Insanity is how many people share the same set of delusions, kinda democratic really.
  • Simple Solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @05:40AM (#22726248) Homepage

    Scientology sets up a table with a "Free Stress Test" (presumably designed to be rather Scientific-looking) first to attract passerbys

    When they pester you with their stupid personality test (which only points out what a screwed up person you really are, no matter what) I found a simple and reliable method:

    Explain to the friendly Scientologist[TM] that he probably is not allowed to talk to you, since you get Ritalin prescribed by your psych (Scieno-talk for psychiatrist / psychologists) then watch and wonder.

    Works like a charm.

  • by Mathinker (909784) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @05:52AM (#22726290) Journal
    > Besides, in "building a philosophy," you have to use preexisting ideas, many of which
    > come, directly or indirectly, from established religions.

    After reviewing the available data on Scientology, it seems to me that Scientology's ideas seem to be intentionally remote from those of established religions. This optimizes its ability to socially isolate its members from the rest of society. Additionally, it gives it a more distinctive "brand identity" versus its competition.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:13AM (#22726362)
    When WikiLeaks got popular, I knew it would be a matter of time before they ran up against the most prolific extra-national censorship institution on Earth. I'm eager to see if in WikiLeaks the CoS finally meet their match - the BJB case was nothing against this.

    There's a chance, depending on how extensive these documents are, that CoS will merely try to "distance" themselves from "rogue members" - but if the fight turns dirty, WikiLeaks will have their hands full. Besides lawsuits, they can expect stalkers, death threats, sabotage, major network "failures" (see Blue Security Inc. vs the spammers) and other things that not even the shadiest bank would consider. I hope that free information will win the day.
  • by MoriaOrc (822758) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:21AM (#22726384)
    Consider this difference:

    When Bin Laden calls for a Jihad against the US, we can say that it isn't Islam that's at fault, because the religion of Islam itself grants no inherent authority to Bin Laden, he simply twists some of its teachings.

    However, if the Pope were to call for a Crusade and start up a new Inquisition, and Catholics (or at least enough of them) were to go along with him, we would be more justified holding Catholicism at fault. It teaches obedience to the Pope and its core leadership would have initiated the action.

    You can certainly separate the religion from its followers. However, with Scientology you have a situation where the leadership of the church practices abusive actions against individuals, the majority of its followers go along with the abusive practices of the leadership (or are unaware of them), and the teachings of the church often call for those abusive practices. It's because of this that many people lay the blame on the church as a whole.
  • Brilliant (Score:2, Interesting)

    by giorgist (1208992) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:21AM (#22726388)
    To sue, $cientology will have to claim copywrite and claim it as their own. Well go ahead, just like claiming suing for copywrite about that the fruity Xenu story made them claim it as their own. come on punk ... do you feel lucky ? G
  • Re:slashdotted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Detritus (11846) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:45AM (#22726668) Homepage
    Considering what they were doing, I think they got off very lightly. 5 years is not a lengthy sentence for espionage and subversion, not to mention the huge conspiracy.
  • by The Only Druid (587299) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @08:22AM (#22726844)
    Your grandmother referred to what is known as "Pascal's Wager": if you believe in God and are wrong, you pay no price, whereas if you do not believe in God and are wrong, you pay the price of Eternal Damnation.

    The wager is uniformly understood by anyone with a passing understanding of logic to be facially invalid and incorrect.

    The reason is simple: the wager makes the blatantly false assumption that believing in God while alive has no cost. Moreover, it fails to account for the fact that the 'value' of a cost paid over time is intrinsically linked to the duration of your existence (i.e. your 'life' plus any 'afterlife' you may have). If God doesn't exist, and you believe in God while alive, you pay the maximal price of wasting all that time and energy (along with all the missed opportunities this entails) during the entirety of your existence. It is difficult, if not impossible, to believe that this cost is not greater than living an actual life of happiness without a deity followed by an afterlife of 'hell'.

    Moreover, belief out of fear of the results of being wrong is no belief at all: it is a shallow, deceitful pretense of belief. It is an insult to the very God you would claim to believe in, by virtue of saying that the only reason you believe is that you think it would be too costly not to believe. This is like a person who abstains from murder not out of respect for life, but rather out of avoidance of the prison-sentence. That person is a monstrous imitation of morality, not a moral man.

    Belief, if you value it at all, must spring from an honest embrace of some purported truth. It cannot spring from a callow desire to avoid consequences.
  • by The Only Druid (587299) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @08:26AM (#22726874)
    As a disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the Mormon church.

    I would definitely say that if we call LDS a cult, we must continue to call the Catholic Church a cult. The principle is the same: a religious group built around a cult of personality, where the original leader is subsequently replaced by a series of leaders chosen according to the originator's alleged principles.

    The only difference - and I mean this honestly and without irony or sarcasm - between the cult/religion status of the Mormon and Catholic churches is time. That doesn't mean they aren't perceived differently, but it does mean that many people aren't being fair to LDS.
  • Re:slashdotted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oktober Sunset (838224) <sdpage103@nOSpAm.yahoo.co.uk> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @09:15AM (#22727238)
    Espionage and subversion against your own government used to be called treason, if a islamic or a socialist organisation had done the same thing they probably would still be in jail now and their organisation banned.
  • Furthermore... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @09:20AM (#22727264)
    Furthermore, consider this:

    A deity does the following things:

    - Will hurt/kill your friends and family to punish you
    - Will let you suffer for eternity for doing a finite number of bad things, or not believing in him even if you have never heard of him
    - Tells you that things which come naturally to you are wrong, and will punish you for them
    - Tells you to, at least, shun people who ignore what he says, and says that he will punish them (for all eternity again)
    - Says that even mentally questioning what he says is wrong
    - Says that if you follow all his commands, everything should be hunky-dory, but he can't guarantee anything so don't get your hopes up, and don't be discouraged if everything goes horribly wrong. Also if he punishes you, it's for your own good.

    Now does that sound like a fair, benevolent God or some sort of sci-fi/fantasy supervillain?
  • by steveo777 (183629) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @09:43AM (#22727466) Homepage Journal

    Belief, if you value it at all, must spring from an honest embrace of some purported truth. It cannot spring from a callow desire to avoid consequences.

    Don't know what you believe, but being a Christian myself, I've felt the same way for a long time. So Amen.

  • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:57AM (#22728170) Journal
    You're joking, but this is perfectly easy to do. You just barely listen to what the questioner is saying, while simultaneously thinking hard -- the way actors do, method acting, trying to *live* your thoughts -- about calming or embarrassing things from your past. You can teach yourself to drive e-meters. They're a little more complicated than just a Wheatstone, but that's basically what they are. When I was a kid I made one as a science project and taught myself to push the needle from the bottom to the top and back again while talking to people (I grew up without a TV and had a lot of time on my hands, okay?) and later ended up dating a Scientologist (she was hot and I *still* didn't have a TV, okay?) and she and her family did *not* appreciate my ability to push an e-meter around.
    I don't think carrying a charge could break one: the ones I've gotten to look at didn't have much vulnerable electronics. They used a transistor to drive the meter itself, based on the differential voltage across the bridge.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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