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Censorship Your Rights Online

Wikileaks Airs Scientology Black Ops 509

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 Carnildo ( 712617 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:27PM (#22723750) Homepage Journal
    Make sure you get your copy before the Scientologists take the site down.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:34PM (#22723814)
    ...are bankrupt at their core. We're talking Scientology, Islam and like religions, and extremist governments as well.

    Extremists are at THEIR cores essentially frightened little people, afraid of change, afraid of difference, afraid of criticism.
  • by aarggh ( 806617 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:58PM (#22724002)
    The official course of action for COS in cases like these is set down by elron himself, basically sue, sue, harass, and then sue some more regardless of winning or losing. And unfortunately they have so much sway that sending multiple C&D's to sites/ISP's will cause most sites to drop any links or references anyway as they are too intimidated by the COS. Note that by "COS" I am of course referring to the "Cult of Scientology", as no-one could ever confuse this group with any modern day religion!
  • by Threni ( 635302 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:59PM (#22724006)
    > If its made into a .torrent, it will live happily ever after, or before it becomes stale.

    Well, that or anyone trading it will have their IP address trivially captured.
  • by icegreentea ( 974342 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @09:55PM (#22724336)
    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.
  • by The One and Only ( 691315 ) * <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:06PM (#22724382) Homepage

    Note that by "COS" I am of course referring to the "Cult of Scientology", as no-one could ever confuse this group with any modern day religion!

    Indeed: whatever other tactics they use, Scientology doesn't use hangings or suicide bombings to silence their critics and apostates.

  • by zakeria ( 1031430 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:16PM (#22724432) Homepage
    Start by boycotting Tom's films! support him in anyway supports the Church.
  • by Marful ( 861873 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:35PM (#22724554)
    Probably because it is classed as a "Cult" and not a "Religion" due to the secretive nature of the core teachings, ceremonies, inner workings, etc, etc.

    Oh and the fact that the "founder" pretty much straight up acknowledges that he made up the fictitious "religion" *cough*Cult*cough* to sell books and make money.
  • by aarggh ( 806617 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:54PM (#22724666)
    Without starting a flame war on who has the best imaginary friend, and while there are many valid points raised as to the validity of reilgion with regards to suicide bombings, hangings, etc, I should have generalized more along the lines of "modern day, somewhat civilized" religions. In other words religions that over the millennium have evolved from the original (somewhat fairly hideous and violent) sect beginnings to what most western based religions are now, which for all their faults generally try to be a positive source of strength and support in todays society. Unlike specifically the money making machine that is the COS built on a Sci-Fi story as part of a bet, that routinely victimises and harasses any form of opposition, sometimes to their deaths. Thanks to living in democracies, people can voice their opinion that the COS is being picked on, or question how is it different to any modern day religion, and so on, but I would not expect that the vast majority of people in the western world would even remotely consider suicide bombings, hangings, persecution, etc, to be the norm in religion. And for that same reason, I don't think it unreasonable to consider the "documented and recorded" behaviour and practices of the COS falls most certainly more into the organised cult area than a western based church. Especially given that people have no excuse to not know more about COS with the release of large amounts of information legally and illegaly. Sometimes people confuse playing Devil's Advocate with being pedantic.
  • by aarggh ( 806617 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @10:58PM (#22724708)
    If they've been proven to be lairs, wouldn't that then fall into the realm of common sense?
  • by inviolet ( 797804 ) <slashdot@i[ ]smatter.org ['dea' in gap]> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:21PM (#22724836) Journal

    Probably because it is classed as a "Cult" and not a "Religion" due to the secretive nature of the core teachings, ceremonies, inner workings, etc, etc.

    As far as I can see of how people actually use the terms 'cult' and 'religion'...

    • It's a cult if its founder is still alive, or is recently dead.
    • It's a religion if the founder has been dead so long that his adherents have had time to rewrite his character.
    • (In no case is any of it rational, practical, or efficient. Religion is for those who are insufficiently honest to build their own philosophy.)

    A cult, in other words, has elements of personality-worship in it. Religions are old enough to claim that the founder's personality could not have unduly influenced their membership.

    This is why Mormonism, whose founder Joseph Smith is now dead ~140 years, is finally shedding its cult status.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:28PM (#22724864)

    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.
    Then you don't know as much about religions as you think you do, or your critical thinking skills are poorly developed. BTW, what does "valid" mean here anyway?
  • by Captain Sarcastic ( 109765 ) * on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:28PM (#22724870)
    To paraphrase Senator Leia Organa, "The more they tighten their grip, the more servers will slip through their fingers."

    One of the things I have seen about the Church of Scientology, from postings on alt.religion.scientology and other areas, is that, no matter how things turn out, they cannot believe that their "tech" won't work. (Part of that is because changing any of the "tech" is considered a crime against the church, called "squirreling".) Therefore, members will be assigned to keep either churning out "cease-and-desist" letters to any ISP that might be hosting a Wikileaks server, or will be posting information to try to drown out the information there.

    But even if it doesn't work, they keep doing the same old things, in the same old way - because their religion tells them that it must work.
  • dotted? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AutoTheme ( 851553 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:38PM (#22724914)
    Our servers are overloaded by extreme popularity. Try again in a minute by pressing "return" on the website address in your browser address bar (do not press reload -- this will take longer). In the mean time, please consider throwing your support behind us, so Wikileaks can upgrade its servers, fight censorship, expose injustice and with your help, continue to change the world for the better.
  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @11:54PM (#22725006)

    There is no way to suppress this even if they were to somehow take down all of wikileaks.
    They can't take it down completely, Wikileaks will always be availuble by IP address, but like the bank people, they will go after the domain. Wikileaks really needs to transfer the domain to a "safe" registrar.
  • Re:slashdotted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:04AM (#22725060)
    >I mean, the CoS would easily bomb a data center

    Being linked to a literal act of terrorism would be the end of Scientology in the US.
  • by golodh ( 893453 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:05AM (#22725062)
    I have heard a lot of (fairly uninformed) criticism of Germany's decision to outlaw the Scientology sect.

    However, with the Fishman affidavit, the whole case concerning Karin Spaink (see http://www.xs4all.nl/~kspaink/fishman/home.html [xs4all.nl]), and now this I feel strengthened in my support for the decision of the German government to outlaw this sect.

    Regrettably it doesn't work like that in the US. We gave them the tax-exempt status of "church" instead.

  • by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:10AM (#22725090) Journal
    Modern day religions typically have a single benevolent deity the is normally credited with creation that extols it's followers to behave in a moral and kindly manner. Scientologist on the other hand behave as others are either prey (even their own) or minions, and they have no deity.
    Modern religions have a theology or a philosophy and they actively share that with their peers and others, while a particular translation of a religions holy book may be copyrighted, the original is not, a person can typically obtain the holy book of any modern religion simply by asking; scientology text are copyrighted and the copyrights, trademarks and servicemarks are vigorously defended, the only way to legally obtain scientology texts are to purchase them and not even the CoS members in good standing have access to the totality of the "religion" Scientology is secretive rather than open like modern religions. Scientology just doesn't fit any definition of religion that applies to modern religions, it's a form of shammanism or which doctor-ism where only the annoited have the secret knowledge reveled to them who then shake their beads and rattles for the unwashed masses.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:10AM (#22725100)
    Seriously, what other organization has had the populace, the media, the government and even the I.R.S TERRIFIED to speak out about them for DECADES.

    It doesn't matter that it's not bomb threats but legal threats, or implied other action, or even just the 'rumors' of stalking, hounding, privacy invasion, you all know about it.

    There is no better way to describe it, America has been TERRIFIED to speak out against the Church of Scientology.

    lest we forget :
    terrorist /trrst/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ter-er-ist] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    1. a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.
    2. a person who terrorizes or frightens others.

    The 'War Against Terror' should have started with this!
  • Re:slashdotted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:12AM (#22725108) Homepage
    They survived the aftermath of Operation "Snow White" with no long-term consequences.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @12:59AM (#22725342)
    Well, a religion is something someone came up with that enables people to cooperate with their peers and give them a moral code to abide by. That's what the original religions had in mind.

    Take any religion that has some more or less major impact, be it monotheistic or polytheistic, from Christianity to Hinduism, it creates a moral code that enables people to cooperate as a collective without jumping at each other's throats. Whether you agree with the morals is another matter, but generally religions served what we try to solve technically through surveillance, now that people aren't afraid of some sort of divine boogeyman anymore: That people "behave". The religious approach is that some all seeing big brother in the guise of some god or gods notice all your crimes and will punish you in some sort of afterlife.

    I can't think of a religion now that requires you to be very efficient in making money for the church. I also don't know a single "normal" religion that requires you to disclose every single weakness or shortcoming you have so it has blackmail material against you. I also can't think of any religion that promises you anything for this life, they usually put a lot of emphasis on your afterlife, your next life or some other divine/enlightened/elevated state you will attain if you "behave" right.

    So, I'd say yes, there are a few differences between religion and a cult 'round some (rather bad) SciFi writer. In another way, I'd rather be a Jedi than a Thetan. It's also just SciFi, but at least the story is better.
  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @01:07AM (#22725374) Journal
    You do realise that Christians, Jews, and Muslims all belive in the SAME God, don't you? Hindus won't argue with any of them, they just add Abraham's God to their vast collection of gods.

    Islam does not have a monopoly on evil shit anymore or less than Christianity does. To belive otherwise is to fall for the religious propoganda that encourages said evil shit.
  • by renoX ( 11677 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @02:28AM (#22725706)
    >The Cult Information Centre describes it as such:
    >It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members

    Religions don't need to do that: they teach to children: it's much more easy to influence children than adults, but I don't think that it is better..

    >It forms an elitist totalitarian society.

    Well the vatican looks to me as fitting this description.

    >Its founder leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, not accountable and has charisma.

    A good definition of the pope job, he's not the founder but he has the same role.

    The people who thinks that modern religions aren't very dangerous should try to think as if they were gay, what would you think about religions?
  • by geekboy642 ( 799087 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @03:47AM (#22725930) Journal
    Anybody that shoots up a school is a person who has severe mental issues.

    People with severe mental issues are frequently prescribed drugs to try to alleviate those issues.

    Correlation DOES NOT EQUAL causation. In fact the most recent school shooting I can remember occurred when the shooter stopped taking his drugs and regressed to a much worse state. Clearly the drugs were at least holding his psychosis in check while he was taking them. To put your statement in a clearer light, "the 9-11 hijackers took aspirin when they had head-aches! Ban aspirin, it causes hijackers!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @04:34AM (#22726064)
    It's pretty clear that it's a cult, rather than religion. It started out as a "science of the mind", which was determined by the FDA to be fraudulent, and switched to calliing itself a "religion" to protect itself from lawsuits andn gain tax-free status. This is testified to by numerous members from the time of the switchover.

    The definition of it as a "cult" comes from Steve Hassan's careful analysis of what a cult is. A charismatic central leader, who draws their membres away from family or friends outside the cult, isolates them from criticsim, pronounces a set of set of increasingly secret and misleading beliefs only revealed in levels as members rise in rank and are increasingly isolated from anyone else, and often with corrupt set of sycophantic inner members willing to devmonize or even engage in criminal acts against outsiders who expose the leaderships secret trainings or fraudulent claims.

    And yes, Scientology does all of those. Hop over to www.xenu.net for a good history of their abuses on the Internet, and links to cases of murder such as Lisa McPherson, fraud, violence, and even the famous planting of bomb threats by Mary Sue Hubbard and her elite of the Guardian's Office to discredit the author Paulette Cooper from writing about the cult. The Guardian's Office didn't go away with Mary Sue's convictioin, while L. Ron Hubbard hid on a boat in international waters to avoid arrest and extradition. It had a few public faces withdrawn, and its officers transferred to a new group called the "Office of Special Affairs".
  • by richlv ( 778496 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @05:28AM (#22726204)

    Well, a religion is something someone came up with that enables people to cooperate with their peers and give them a moral code to abide by. That's what the original religions had in mind.

    i'd say control over people was the primary goal.
    financial gains and other benefits just resulted from that, and were gladly accepted.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @05:50AM (#22726280)
    So far we've only had Christian American Presidents, to claim otherwise will lose the election, "The Chrstian Right" has enough sway that politicians & media will sway to their will at times... and if you aren't a Christian, YOU END UP IN HELL TO SUFFER FOR ETERNITY.

    You don't get more elite than that.
  • Right on the money! What we should do is screen all people who have headaches from boarding a plane!
  • by aarggh ( 806617 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @06:51AM (#22726506)
    As I stated in my previous post, all thoughts of COS simply being a harmless bunch of nutters doesn't go anywhere near describing the way the world would change if they had their way. In a COS world the doctor and psychiatrist who prescribed the medication keeping the persons psychotic behaviour under control, along with the company manufacturing the drugs, WOULD ALL BE THROWN IN JAIL! This is the scary reality of the view that COS is the only organisation in the UNIVERSE that can save and run this planet, these are their own words by the way.
  • Re:slashdotted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mpe ( 36238 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:00AM (#22726524)
    There'd likely be a lot more public outrage over it. I mean, just think about it: Bombs, explosions, violence! The media would have a field day with it, and the public would know about it, and politicians and law enforcement would be pressured to do something about it.

    Media (at least outside of "web only") together with politicians and law enforcement would have to deal with the fact that they have been treating terrorism as exclusivly something to do with Islam for most of this decade. Even to the point of downplaying ignoring Jewish and Christian terrorists, who are likely to have a lot more in common with Islamic ones than anyone connected with Scientology. By choosing to misrepresent terrorist these people have painted themselves into a corner.
  • by X3J11 ( 791922 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @07:53AM (#22726698) Journal

    I agree, it should be confused with modern day religions, since all are groups of adults believing in fictional stories and allowing them to control their lives.

    As my wonderful Grandmother (she'd beat me for calling her that, she's my Nan) has always said when questioned about her unwavering belief in the Christ God, she would rather believe and be wrong, than not believe and be wrong.

    Or, to quote some lyrics from a Strapping Young Lad song, "Believe what you want to believe... just believe.".

    You must be young though. It seems most people of my generation and younger go through a phase where they think they're so clever believing (any) God does not exist, and that anyone who believes in such a higher power is an idiot. I went through it. Then I look at my children and think there's no way they came about without some touch of divinity.

  • by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @08:26AM (#22726872) Homepage
    If you are a good person, and you do good things, but you don't believe in the "right" God, what kind of God would punish you? Not the kind of God I'd want to spend eternity with, that's for sure. So I'm going to continue to help people and do the right thing and believing in no God.

    And if your God is real, do you think he won't know that all the good YOU did was because you were afraid of burning in hell for all eternity?
  • by Malevolent Tester ( 1201209 ) * on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @09:49AM (#22727518) Journal
    Joe Bloggs/Blogs is Joe Sixpack's British cousin.
  • by sherriw ( 794536 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:35AM (#22727926)
    Oh my god, it sounds like something out of Orwell's 1984. Complete with made up words for things, invasion of privacy and 'big brother' constantly watching. This site was an eye-opener for sure!
  • Re:slashdotted (Score:2, Insightful)

    by beoba ( 867477 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:44AM (#22728028) Homepage
    The Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing already did that for us.

    Unless, of course, everyone's already forgotten about that.
  • by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) * on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @10:47AM (#22728054) Journal
    I know nobody reads my posts anymore because I've shot my karma to hell, but, just for my own pleasure:

    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 know this sounds like a nitpicking exercise, but I can imagine a religion being legitimate while failing all of these. Here's what I have in mind:

    It is an ascetic sect, basically, live a minimalist existence far from populated areas, and say, does a lot of meditation. It has secret teachings that it doesn't print anywhere or put on any website, and only reveals to you after you've passed a certain level, claiming that to do otherwise would violate the path to enlightenment, or something like that. They do not charge any money to get to that level, you just have to prove understanding of previous teachings, do a lot of meditation, and pass some tests that pose a small, but real, physical risk (say, walking on coals, long-term fasting, "pinching" out candlelights, that kind of thing).

    Since there are no printed materials, they don't sue over copyright; however, the founder sustains his minimalist existence (and that of new converts) from royalties on his autobiography, and the publisher (who owns the copyright) does sue p2p distributors of the book. To gain rank, you have to give up most of your worldly possessions and disconnect from the "materialistic world". (They get none of it.)

    So, let's review:

    1) All real religions will gladly tell you what they're about before hand. -- No, they still keep secret teachings, though you have to infer what you can from reading the autobiography.

    2) No real religion will brainwash you into mortgaging your house. -- They might get you to do this in order to make enough time to complete the trials and meditation, but again, don't get any money from it.

    3) No real religion protects their materials by copyright, so they can do #2, and use the law to squelch leaks and critics. -- Again, no printed materials, but you're "strongly encouraged" to read the autobiography, which can only legally be had for money (the founder ceded the rights to the publisher and can't afford to buy the rights back); by deriving revenues from its copyright, they're participants in anything the publisher does in defense of the book: sue people who claim it's a lie (thus hurting sales), copy it without permission, etc. The secrecy of the teachings are protected by simply not confirming or denying anything anyone says about the religion, thus making any ex-convert who leaks unable to substantiate his claims.

    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. -- Again, in practice, living an ascetic life will mean this.

    5) All real religions on this planet are inclusive, instead of exclusive. -- Don't know what this means. They'll take anyone, but have the rigid rank system, and you must pass tests to move up. They profit from none of them, of course.

    While this may seem like a pointless mental exercise, the point is, I think you have to take a sort of "weighted sum" of a number of traits in order to define a cult, rather than have simpe either/or tests.
  • by Dr Caleb ( 121505 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @11:14AM (#22728364) Homepage Journal
    "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'."

    Perhaps you think we are all bible-thumping uber Christians. Not all Christians are the fire-and-brimstone type, and not all of us believe the Bible is some tome written by the hand of God. Or the Torah. Or the Qu'ran.

    Take a deeper look at all religion, and what they have in common. Jew, Hindu, Buddist - the thing that binds them all together in all religion is 'Do no intentional harm to others'. A pretty simple moral code.

    Now, if God does not exist, what the worst that can happen? People are nicer to each other? And that is a waste of time? Think of the benefits if everyone adopted this simple moral code - 'Do not intentional harm to others.' Beyond that, it just differences in rituals, rites and traditions. No one would waste their corporeal existence on earth by being nicer to each other.

    Believing in God has no 'cost', believing the church is infallible and that religious texts are infallible is what 'Pascals Wager' exposes. There is no downside and no cost to 'believing'. This is also the mistake the CoS has made. They don't believe in doing no harm, and they don't see their religious texts as flawed creations of man.
  • by Dr Caleb ( 121505 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @01:09PM (#22729706) Homepage Journal
    See! There you go! Because something is based on faith, does not mean it is irrational. If 'God' exists, he could have created the universe from the big bang to heat death/big crunch ether knowing what would happen in it's entirety or interested in seeing what happened in between.

    Belief in a higher power does not preclude what we see with our own eyes.

    "My personal problem with a major aspect of religion, belief in God, is that it rests on blind faith."

    So does quantum physics. So? God still believes in quantum physicists, and many QP's believe in God. The double slit experiment may mean there is no difference between the two, other than 'why' the universe was created.

    "Our society needs more reason, not less."

    Agreed, but our society also needs kindness, and the two are not exclusive.
  • by mfrank ( 649656 ) on Wednesday March 12, 2008 @01:31PM (#22730006)
    If someone tells me I'm going to hell, I can chuckle a bit and go on with my life. Try doing that with a subpeona.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings