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Scientology Injunction Denied Against "Anonymous" 486

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the much-gnashing-of-teeth dept.
Anonymous writes "A circuit court judge has denied the Church of Scientology's second request for an injunction against protests by the internet group "Anonymous." The Church sought to prevent Anonymous from protesting on the birthday of the Church's leader, the late Ron L. Hubbard. The petition filed by the Church listed twenty-six individuals allegedly affiliated with Anonymous, but "accidentally" included others who merely work near the location of the first protests held in February and did not participate in them, such as a Starbucks employee. Furthermore, the Church failed to show that any of those listed actually committed any wrongdoing."
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Scientology Injunction Denied Against "Anonymous"

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  • Re:IRL raids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @03:59AM (#22758222)
    Yeah, all those ex-scientologists coming out of the woodwork telling their tales of abuse because they felt empowered by the actions of Anonymous sure don't mean a thing. The mounds of leaked documents and emails exposing the illegal conduct of the "church" aren't worthy of comment. Or exscientologykids.org popping up to tell the tales of the children of cult executives who grew up inside the organization is kind of a pointless story. And the massive amount of public awareness of all of those things, all as a direct result of Anonymous showing support to those trapped inside a horrific cult is just a bunch of hooey. Oh, yeah, and those who have gotten out of the cult as a direct result? Pshaw.

    Yup, you're right, might as well not even try.
  • by AuMatar (183847) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:05AM (#22758248)
    And the difference between a cult and a religion is.... ?

    THe only answer is "The number of followers". Hate them for their actions, fine. But they're no less- and no more- plausible a religion than Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.
  • by DKlineburg (1074921) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:10AM (#22758280)
    Here is what Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] said:

    This article or section has multiple issues. Please help improve the article or discuss these issues on the talk page.
    It needs sources or references that appear in third-party publications. Tagged since February 2008.
    It may require general cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Tagged since February 2008.
    It may contain improper references to self-published sources. Tagged since February 2008.

    I would have a hunch, that the "Church" itself is causing the problems on the page. First The war starts [wired.com]. They impose there beliefs and pull web pages from Google [wired.com]. I have seen a few things that they have done to try and put "Anonymous" in a bad light. I wish I could find the link, and maybe someone out there knows it. It is of a group of protesters getting arrested. The "Church" said it was "Anonymous". This was quickly debunked they the comments around the article, and found that the pictures where taken from a real protest elsewhere, and not an "Anonymous" protest. All and all i think the "Church" is a bunch of bull and don't play fair with others.

    I'm now prepared to get buried by the "Church" for my negative comments against them.
  • by Ai Olor-Wile (997427) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:26AM (#22758336) Homepage
    First: Anonymous is not protesting the beliefs of Scientology. Anonymous is protesting their actions, and the amount of money they make off of their religious stuff. For these reason, Scientology is often classified as akin to pyramid scheme or something similar (obviously not an actual pyramid scheme) rather than a cult. Most so-called cults tend focus their effort on enslaving their followers to perform menial labour rather than spending time farming their members' current sources of income.

    Second: The technical, traditional meaning of "cult" strictly refers to the priests and priestesses of a god or goddess in a pantheon. Aphrodite had a cult, Isis had a cult, and, at one point, your friend and mine, Jesus had a cult (he had about three hundred followers on a commune at one point, if I recall.) By contrast, a religion may include more than one god and encompasses those who simply believe as well. The media term "cult" generally refers to what academics call a "dangerous NRM" (new religious movement). "Dangerous NRM" supports your statement that it is a real religion and not something fundamentally different, but it is important to note the "dangerous" part. Wicca is a non-dangerous NRM. Heaven's Gate is a dangerous NRM. The difference is best related through a number of techniques that dangerous NRMs frequently use:

    • Physical barriers or a social hierarchy which prevent leaving.
    • Financial dependence (and exploitation) of members.
    • Isolation (especially physical) from non-followers.
    • Sometimes, psychological control tactics, such as never allowing an individual member to be alone (where they might think for themselves and realise that This Is A Bad Idea) or hypnotic controls that encourage a trance-like state (physical exhaustion + certain rhythms = bad)


    Another strong indicator of an NRM is the presence of a single, charismatic leader figure, like David Koresh or Jim Jones. (Both of whom eventually killed most of their followers, but were extremely well-respected by them. Jim Jones was even respected by main-stream Christian religion during his life time.) For this reason, and possible other reasons, Christianity actually satisfies both the traditional and modern definitions of "cult" (although whether that is a dangerous or non-dangerous NRM is another topic entirely.)

    Books are great like that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:28AM (#22758348)
    Why did the Scientology cult get the status of a church there? If you are an american, you should ask your politicians, what can be done to undo this error.
  • Re:IRL raids (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:30AM (#22758364)
    So are you protesting the church or the organization? If the former you are not allowed. If you don't agree with the church, don't participate it is that easy. If the latter then by all means, protest the organization but remember to separate the 2.
  • Re:Grab Your Masks! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sg_oneill (159032) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:40AM (#22758400)
    In the US at least, theres good reason as well to believe that anti-protest-mask laws are probably unconstitutional. Anything that limits anonymous speech probably is a violation of the first amendment, since losing anonymity can have a 'chilling' effect.

    Not sure if its tested in court.
  • by Oligonicella (659917) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @05:01AM (#22758448)
    No. You missed the point of designed. Others have eveolved toward that direction by the fact that inherently greedy people gravitate toward structures and manipulate them, but SciFientology was designed as a scam.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @05:28AM (#22758522)

    When did a bunch of adolescents with too much time on their hands get to be in the news every few days and on the front page of Slashdot.

    Adolescents? Seems like you have information the rest of us don't. Care to share?

  • Re:IRL raids (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @05:36AM (#22758536)

    By the same vein, it's not cool even among Anons to insult Scientology itselfSpace DC-8s, an evil alien ruler shipping tons of frozen aliens to Earth to be killed, then all of those aliens, or Thetans, invading humans en masse to cause all the 'pain and suffering' we have today. Honestly, I'd like to think of it as a pulp novel written by an opportunistic Sci-fi writer than a holy text. As such, it's open season on both the money-grubbing, life-ruining 'Church' and that circus of a religion.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @06:03AM (#22758588)
    I've been on the net since gopher was cool and I'll tell you that the Scientology virus is the *worst* infection it's ever gotten. The hell with RIAA or the MPAA, they've done nothing compared to the trampling of net ideals the Scientology jerks have done.

    They started by taking down anon.penet.fi, and they've been getting worse every year. The hell with all their supposed abuses, and cult like activity. It's messing with the geek stuff that pisses me off.

    Get off my f*ckn net! On my f*ckn net we don't tolerate: censorship, copyright abuse, trademark abuse, bogus DMCA notices, intimidating lawyer letters, or stripping our anonaminity for no good reason.

    People have been scared to fight back for nearly 20 years. No more!

    * Posting anon not because it's cool, but because these jerks still scare me enough not to use my nick.

  • by Talgrath (1061686) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @06:16AM (#22758630)
    Yes, but you don't necessarily have to PAY to get access to them; you either have to have the necessary scholarly chops (ie, a doctorate in literature or theology) or you have to be high enough ranking in the church. Generally, neither of these require you to pay money to the Catholic Church (high-ranking priests, in fact, have a salary); though they might require that you have some sort of insurance or pay a safety deposit (in case you damage/destroy the document).
  • by LM741N (258038) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @08:13AM (#22758880)
    Scientology is a lightweight compared to Synanon in its heyday in the early 70's. It went from a respectable drug program to a wacky cult. Everyone was compelled to shave their head and they were also compelled to change sex partners every night and then the next day report on what it was like.

    These are the people who put rattlesnakes in the LA DA's mailbox. I think the Synanon founder was sent to prison for attempted murder on that one.

    They also at one time had over 100 attorneys working for them and would sue anyone just like Scientology. They even won a lawsuit for defamation or libel against Hurst Publishing. It had never been achieved before. They had a tactic where in lawsuits they would depose people for hours asking them stupid questions like "what has the consistancy of your stool been lately?"

    Just wait. Scientology will eventually get nutty enough to do something similar to the rattlesnake bit and then they are done for.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @08:17AM (#22758902)
    check out this firehose story, and click the + top left to give it your support so the /. editors write it up!

    http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=573326 [slashdot.org] "Church of Scientology violates Federal Law"

    You'd never guess who might be voting THAT one down ;o)

     
  • Re:IRL raids (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlackCreek (1004083) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @08:17AM (#22758904)

    Actually, it is quite OK to mock the scientology "religion". It's even allowed to ridicule Christianity and Jesus.
    There is nothing magical about religion that makes it exempt from attack and ridicule.

    It is NOT good that you can't attack something because it is a "religion" and would ONLY for that reason deserve respect. People's deeply held beliefs are not OK just because they are deeply held beliefs, they can just as well be ridiculous, and wrong. The fact that you ridicule them isn't even necessarily respectless, not challenging people's delusions, and leaving them with these ridiculous beliefs can be much more respectless.

    I agree with your post. I assume you live in the US. Since the majority of the Slashdot seems to be there. I found it interesting because it touched an issue that is hot right now in The Netherlands. Where there is a law that makes an offense to mock religious belief. People are right now, trying to strike it down, but the "Christian parties" are against.

    Since the prime minister of the country belongs to one of these Christian parties, it is still uncertain whether this will work out.

    I found it quite funny to discover that, since it makes ridiculously hypocritical all the talk about having Mohammed in comic cartoons that took place in Europe. I mean, everybody was "pro" support for freedom of speech, but now two major political dutch parties (including the prime minister) seem to see this law as an entirely different story.

    Funny, eh?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @08:51AM (#22759006)
    Off topic:
    After Synanon fell apart there were a ton of people with no place to go. Many ending up going to Alcoholic's Anonymous. In some parts of the country they basically invaded AA meetings in large numbers.

    The structure of AA is set up by a form of democratic voting called "group conscience". Basically voting. The Synanon people were able to come in & change these AA meetings in some fundmental ways, such as letting anyone talk (even drunk/stoned people), round table chats, a more group therapy approach. Many of these screwy ideas remain today in some AA groups in those areas that Synanon was popular.

    People visiting these groups from other areas are shocked to see how things have changed from what they are used to.

    Posted anonymously of course. ;)
       
  • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @09:08AM (#22759050)
    Well, perhaps not that many. But if you look at their history of harassment of Paulette Cooper, the author, for whom Mary Sue Hubbard and her personnel got convicted for planting fake bomb threats to discredit Paulette, you get the idea of how far they will go. It's a bad game to play, because it lets them pretend that you really are evil for harassing them and plotting against them.

    This troubles me about "Anonymous". Threatening a vindictive bully with vindictive bullying can just encourage them.
  • Re:IRL raids (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @09:19AM (#22759090)

    The point is, religions, even really stupid ones,
    Please give me a list of the really "smart" ones, the ones based on truth and integrity, rather than lies, superstition and greed.
    Buddhism? Particularly Zen Buddhism?

    Talking about the real stuff [blogspot.com], not hokey "Crystals and Magic Mantras" crap.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:02AM (#22759256)
    Speaking of planting evidence.
    It looks very much like the 'Church' of Scientology made up the bomb threat against them this time too.

    http://forums.enturbulation.org.nyud.net/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6939 [nyud.net]
  • by STrinity (723872) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:13AM (#22759324) Homepage
    No, other religions have expunged the part of the record that shows they originated as a money making venture.
  • Re:IRL raids (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:43AM (#22759464)
    They served their purpose in prehistory [...], but we just don't need such social control systems any more.
    Yep, gotta love this enlightening age of ours where every one takes care of each others, politely circulates around with smiles and eager to help you if you have car troubles or need to know the time. Everyone has a meaningful life. No more social problems, poverty or hunger.

    Funny thing is, it's after having a Scientologist boss (applying personality-crushing method in the workplace) that I realized that perhaps Christianity has a lot of bad in it's history, but also a lot of good. I rather have a Cristian neighbor, friend or boss than a scientologist any day.
    Even many Agnostics (like me) has a life goal to amass money and power (big jobs), they evaluate life thru big houses and what you drive.
    I think you are wrong saying "we just don't need such social control systems any more". Do you really think this is because of the way we teach kids in school and at home? Get out a little, try to get to the level of the poor, the lost, the uneducated and you might realize they are looking for meaning. Leaving churches pushes a lot of people into worst things like Scientology.
    My father in law is a big religious man, extremely kind and generous, and often get exploited for it (never refusing to do an unpaid service), but he is a very good man at the core. A few years ago I would have laughed at him, but today I realize he does more to create a better world than I do. His values transfered into his daughter is why I am with her. (Even if I still hate to stand in church).
    Truth is, their is good and bad everywhere, religious or not; life is what we make of it as a social group, and the current education system we have does not create a decent social environment.
    Note that I am not offering any solutions, that's not for a few paragraph on a forum ;)
  • Re:Grab Your Masks! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 15, 2008 @10:48AM (#22759482)
    It might be interesting if the Anti-Defamation League were to find itself at odds with the CoS. If nothing else it would be good entertainment to watch two groups with a history of using similar tactics fighting with each other :)

    You obviously have no idea how far the CoS goes or you wouldn't even make that comparison. To someone I know personally they have hired folks to go around their neighborhood informing people that the guy was a convicted sex offender and they were informing them according to Megan's Law (not true). They called the news and told them he was under investigation by the FBI for terrorism (which they reported on the air but wasn't true). They looked at the return address of all the mail and sent anyone who sent personal correspondence a threatening letter. They called his ISP and tried to get everything he'd put up removed. They contact his employer and told them they'd be sued unless he was terminated. What was his crime? He put a copy of some text up on his website that was purportedly one of the higher-level training manuals for Scientology discussing Xenu et al.

    I have no problems if people want to believe in Xenu, or even that submitting to weekly lie detector tests and giving the CoS lots of incriminating evidence is the way to salvation. But when you start attacking your detractors and ruining their lives, you cross the line into a violation of the principles of free speech and free association, and thus it's very anti-American.

  • Re:IRL raids (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BlackCreek (1004083) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @12:00PM (#22759748)

    Religion is a way of passing down millennia of hard-learned lessons in a way that leaves no room for argument. I would go into the lessons besides 'don't lie, cheat, murder or steal', except you might argue with me about those topics, proving my point while convincing yourself I'm anachronistic.

    You assume that these rules are compiled with the purpose of benefiting most of us. That is not necessarily true. Many religious rules (or civil laws) we have were written to, for instance, maintain status quo, which in many cases is nothing short of "Cleptocracy" (e.g. "I, the king/high priest, and my buddies will take as much as we can from you the peasants").

    The book Collapse by Jared Diamond is filled with data about systems of belief being drafted with lots of different purposes.

  • Re:Grab Your Masks! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) * on Saturday March 15, 2008 @12:16PM (#22759824) Journal
    >I'll bet neither have the fundie Christians or Islamists done anything directly to harm you and yours. "Nuts" and murder, extortion, false accusations, kidnapping and other activities are worlds apart.

    Well the IRA tried to blow up my mother at the Ideal Home Exhibition in Birmingham. She got away unscathed but she saw someone's foot blown off. That's the catholics for you.
  • Re:IRL raids (Score:4, Interesting)

    by virgil_disgr4ce (909068) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @12:39PM (#22759930) Homepage
    You'd better substantiate how they "kill" people.
  • Re:IRL raids (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zakabog (603757) <john AT jmaug DOT com> on Saturday March 15, 2008 @12:43PM (#22759948)
    I'm confused, what I think you're saying is "People follow the rules more easily today because they think god is going to send them to hell"?

    Well that doesn't make sense, I would say less people today believe in god than they did before. Although I would go on to say that we're morally better off now than we were back then. We don't stone people to death, we don't chop limbs off thieves, we don't have slavery anymore.

    You also seem to assume that people are still afraid of the fire. I don't think that's true anymore, especially considering the church sex scandals. If the clergy isn't afraid of going to hell, then who still is? Plus think of all the religious people who end up cheating on their spouses, although what's morally wrong with having sex with multiple women? According to biblical moral codes it's a sin, but if my wife doesn't care that I have sex with the neighbors wife where's the harm?

    I would say that religion was created to keep people in line (they were more easily afraid back then so when you told them they were going to hell for sinning they really believed it.) Although as a moral code for today it's no longer working. Especially considering that the pope just released a new list of sins, and the church is guilty of at least two of them (excessive wealth and widening the gap between the rich and the poor.)
  • Re:Grab Your Masks! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by metlin (258108) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @02:39PM (#22760496) Journal

    Religion isn't doing squat to harm anyone. People use religion to justify all sorts of wrongdoing, but one can hardly blame Marxism or atheism for China's actions in Tibet.
    To quote Steven Weinberg -- "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

    Sure, people do good and evil things immaterial of religion - but systematic harm to society by converting perfectly, normal good people into doing things that are harmful to society? No, that's something only religion can do.
  • by ragerover (1155147) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @03:59PM (#22760938)
    I met Paulette Cooper in the mid-'80s after she wrote an article about COS for Reader's Digest. The Scientologists made her life miserable, and even my tangential association with her led to problems for me that, I suspect, were caused by the COS. The harassment and persecution of her would be called terrorism today.

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