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Government Crime It's funny.  Laugh. The Internet Yahoo! Idle

The FBI Spent Two Years Investigating An Online Cult That Didn't Exist (muckrock.com) 134

A two-year FBI investigation apparently centered on the satirical web site "GodHatesGoths". Long-time Slashdot reader v3rgEz writes: In 2005, the FBI launched an investigation into the "Church of the Hammer," a fundamentalist Christian sect which called for the wholesale slaughter of practitioners of the goth subculture. Two years later, the investigation was closed, on grounds that the Church didn't exist. The FBI's threat assessment detailed "an extremely right-wing Christian group that adheres to a Middle Ages Catholic text called the 'Malleus Malificarum.'" But MuckRock.com reports that "The Bureau's main source on the case was a goth who had engaged with members of the Church via their Yahoo Group...trying to dispel their misconceptions about the relationship between the subculture and Satanism." After two years of scouring through crime databases and making phone calls to the Salem police department, FBI investigators actually visited the GodHatesGoths web site -- which turned out to be a parody.
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The FBI Spent Two Years Investigating An Online Cult That Didn't Exist

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  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Saturday November 05, 2016 @06:39PM (#53220553)
    which is what they wanted them to think
    • by JustOK ( 667959 )
      but you fooled them by not thinking! Brilliant!
    • tally good show, old chap
      can i get a tax refund on that then, please, after all i paid for .. ah , no wait .. i dont live there, god dam americans have all the luck
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a Catholic text about witchcraft, after all. What better cult to investigate than Catholicism? If the leader of a cult like FLDS molest children, he rightly ends up on a most wanted list and eventually in prison. Warren Jeffs absolutely belongs in prison and all forms of LDS are creepy cults. But Catholicism seems to get a free pass, where clergy molest children and then are shielded by bishops or even by the Vatican. The clergy are shuffled around while allegations by victims are hushed. If the all

    • Yah, like the Church of the Subgenius. I'll even give them a link to the web site, so they don't need to spend two years looking for it: http://www.subgenius.com/ [subgenius.com]
    • This may well be MOD'd as off-topic - BUT
      Eliminating any religion / cult / whatever does nothing effective to remove their influence, it merely drives them underground.

      Try this on for size - TAX the churches. It doesn't have to be much - say 10% of their 'take' as a reasonable start, since that is the same amount that the churches want in tithes. Imagine the benefit to society as a whole from this enormous wealth redistribution.
      As a side benefit to society, there would be fewer 'churches' scheming for chur

      • You don't have to do ANYTHING special. Simply allow whatever church to follow any existing tax law that isn't church specific.

        You'd think that most churches would fit just fine under existing not-for-profit organization types, except, of course, for the fact that religions tend to be very explicitly for-profit.

    • The Yearning for Zion Ranch was confiscated because of Jeffs crimes but for some reason Catholic churches don't get confiscated for the same crime.
  • Next, pastafarians and the church of the flying spaghetti monster.

  • Perhaps this isn't wasted time.

    Any time spent on this activity was time that was not available for activities such as persecuting people like Aaron Swartz.

    The FBI has been a corrupt organization since its founding. Any real criminals caught by the FBI are perhaps an aberration rather than the FBI performing its primary mission.

    • It's surprising how slow they are in real life. The guys on Criminal Minds would've wrapped this up in a 1 hour episode and had enough time left over to read all of HRC's emails.
  • They also investigated the Kingsmen's Louie Louie for 31 months for obscenity before deciding the lyrics were indecipherable.

  • Spirit Cooking (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This article has been posted to discredit the FBI, the revelation of the Democratic party's "Spirit Cooking" scandal, and the Clinton corruption investigations.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday November 05, 2016 @11:06PM (#53221329)
    a "2 year investigation" could easily just be somebody at the FBI keeping tabs on them to make sure it really is just harmless trolling. That's sorta what an investigation is. And befor you ask yes, I do want my law enforcement to keeping tabs of folks who go around advocating violence. It's not too hard to do it without violating anybody's rights and if we'd done a bit more of that perhaps that whole Sept 11 fracas coulda been avoided.
    • a "2 year investigation" could easily just be somebody at the FBI keeping tabs on them to make sure it really is just harmless trolling.

      It could also be a spare time project that no one got to. One of those open investigations that ended up on the bottom of the pile in a last in first out approach. Then someone finally had a second to get to, it open it up, have a laugh, and close the case.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you (and I suspect, many of the people who gave you karma) had actually read the article, which contains excerpts from files of the investigation, you would know that it was not the FBI keeping tabs on anyone, it was a "threat assessment". From one of those files: "Writer could not locate via open sources (Internet, [etc]) any information to substantiate the existence of Rev. Green or the church." From a subsequent file dated 2 years (I think muckrock typoed the year) after the writer was assigned to it:

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you (and I suspect, many of the people who gave you karma) had actually read the article, which contains excerpts from files of the investigation, you would know that it was not the FBI keeping tabs on anyone, it was a "threat assessment". From one of those files: "Writer could not locate via open sources (Internet, [etc]) any information to substantiate the existence of Rev. Green or the church." From a subsequent file dated [b]2 years[/b] (I think muckrock typoed the year) after the writer was assigned

  • ... of investigating none existing crimes.

    Just saying.

  • A vast right wing Russian, KGB/FSB, FBI conspiracy to steal the election from Clinton.

    Good thing there is 3 days to go.

  • Oh join me fellow Comeyites, to give the iPhone a holy back door like God has asked of his followers, per Galatians 8:12. For God needeth space ships and God needeth back doors.

  • Yup, just the FBI honouring its founder - looking for monsters under beds and, when they don't find any, trying to create them. Helluva make-work project.

  • Don't publish this too much further - the FBI is already embarrassed by/about the Clinton investigation.

    Revealing this would make them laughingstocks of law enforcement for a decade to come.

  • Back in the late 80s or mid 90s, I forget exactly when, police and the FBI spent years assembling a massive chart of where, when, and how Satanists met, stole, and ate human babies. Guess what: that never happened either. And that whole thing was pre-Internet-as-we-know-it. They had to come up with that shit based on verbal rumor and wishful thinking.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There was even that agent, in the 90s who was specifically assigned to look into the cases that were obviously reported by crazy people. A lot of people thought it was pretty wasteful of the FBI, but I think it was one rare point of government efficiency. Have one guy deal with all of the crazy bullshit, and let the rest of the agents do the REAL investigating... Oh, and have him take that mouthy redhead from the morgue with him!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There's a reason the local police often have nicknames like the above for the FBI, and it isn't all jurisdictional jealousy...

  • They should investigate the Ordo Malleus, I hear they do racial cleansing and such. Really nasty stuff.
  • And this is a bad thing, why, exactly?
  • Either they were real thorough or they're really slow.

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