Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Maxim Does Anonymous

Maxim, one of the most popular men's magazines in the US with a subscriber base of 2.5 million, published a very good article about Anonymous vs. Scientology.

Nicely written and documented, it contains excellent graphics.

This being said, the content is a bit lacking when it comes to Scientology itself, but it has a very good historical perspective on the development of Anonymous.

Another criticism is that the article is a bit complacent with Anonymous self-aggrandizement proclamations such as:
"A new dawn of social protest"
"Our generation movement"
"A big social experiment"
Sooner or later anons may realize how stupid they have been for uncritically swallowing that much crap from the Internet and may feel a bit ashamed for having been a participant in that "big social experiment".

One last thing, the statement that Anonymous protested "sometimes with more than 10,000 people" is a bit exaggerated. Even by their own inflated statistics, Anonymous never reached 9,000.

Jive Aces to Be Censored at the Summer Fete - 2nd August 2008

Ah, the irony!

A critic emailed the organizers for assurances that the Jive Ace team won't be allowed to "marr" the mini-festival by trying to distribute Hubbard literature.

At the same time, Anonymous feels free to stalk musical events of Scientology artists with their anti-Scientology propaganda.

Which illustrates the second law of Anonymous: "Free Speech is a one-way street", the first law being "Good is us, bad is not us".

E-Meter in action

I thought it would be fun if YouTube had some videos of an e-meter in action. The most direct demonstration I found was this one. However, this is part 3 of a three parts series and you'll get a lot of bla bla before the actual action if you are first going through parts 1 and 2. This being said, the series is probably the best introduction to Scientology I saw to date.

Searching YouTube also reveals the fact that there is little to nothing to "counter" that CoS' demonstration.

The "best" is this demonstration of what a simpler machine does, but it's borderline idiotic, because it only shows that it registers values in certain conditions and that the values changes as you adjust the level - and the video then finishes by a pompous line stating "before you join a religious group or any group, check your facts", when in guise of fact it offered barely nothing and what it offered was irrelevant. Here is a good answer to the argument from Homer Wilson Smith

Xenu.tv offers a clip about the history of the e-meter, that may be interesting in another context but does little to demonstrate anything here, and Anonymous offers a static image series taken from Wikipedia - boring and a waste of the potential of videos.

For the rest we are gratified with the usual bad taste jokes of Anonymous and their irritating mocking laugh.

I didn't bother to go much further down the list.

Anne Archer in Privileged

Scientologist actress Anne Archer, who has starred in such hit movies as Fatal Attraction and Patriot Games is now in a new TV series called Privileged.

Anonymous Tricks Google into False Results

The LA Times reports:
"Last week it was a swastika topping Google's Hot Trends. Now it's the phrase "scientology is a cult". ... In the case of the swastika, we couldn't prove that users of the popular image board 4chan were behind it (their discussion threads can pass out of existence within minutes), but this time there can be no doubt. ... As of this writing, several active 4chan threads were devoted to the mass Googling of the "scientology" phrase as well as the upside-down truck insult, all as 4chan users congratulated themselves for having propelled the two phrases to the top of the list."

Smashed Windows at Hamburg Scientology Org

The Hamburg Scientology building was vandalized and several windows smashed on July 10 (two days before the monthly protest). As usual, Anonymous follows its policy of "Good is us, bad is not us" and has denied involvement in this.

The problem with this approach, as has been already pointed out, is that no one and everybody is supposed to be Anonymous, so such denial has very little meaning. As Monica Pignotti rightly points out:
"In the end, a group is nothing more than a collection of individuals and since the individuals who make up the undefined group "anonymous" are not identified, there is no accountability or way to tell who did what, unless the individuals who did this are caught red-handed. Even then, since anonymous has no formal organizational structure, it would be difficult to prove any kind of affiliation. Its the perfect set-up to get away with just about anything. Interesting to observe how anything that conflicts with a certain image of anonymous as nonviolent gets explained away -- the creation of a nonfalsifiable argument. I doubt this is convincing to anyone but the believers, however."

Terril Park Unbanned

I previously reported the arbitrary (and abusive) banning of Terril Park from Enturbulation.org - manned by anons who pretends to fight Scientology based on "free speech" contentions and indulging themselves in similar behavior.

We now got the news that Terril has finally been unbanned, which always is at least something positive.

A Night with the Scientologists

Korshi Dosoo and three friends take the Personality Test at the Sydney Church of Scientology. The account is critical in the good sense, in that they evaluate the experience with enough knowledge not to be "sucked in", but at the same time don't buy either into the anti's propaganda that would have them scared to take the test at all. Nicely written, it is an interesting read.

Artists in Action

Artists in Action may be another Scientology "frong group", or a mixed venture, judging by its "About Us" and "Links" page. At least, that one is pleasant to look at. Another pleasing -to-see Scientology-related artistic page is the Saint Hill International Arts Festival page.

Previously I also reported about the "Artists for a Better World" group that helped transform the wall of one of the CoS properties.

The Good News Newspaper

Scientology is fond to claim that newspapers delight in negative news and that this is a factor that keeps us depressed. This paper, called the "Tampa Bay Informer", is a Good News newspaper, probably owned and manned by Scientologists. Nor surprisingly, it features, among other things, an article about the Pangea Cafe, said to be owned by a Scientologist.

All faiths welcome at Nashville hotel

"Guests can customize their stay at Nashville's Hotel Preston by choosing religious texts for their rooms. Christians can choose the Gideon Bible, the King James Version or the New American Bible; Muslims can have the Koran; Jews the Torah; and Buddhists the Tao Te Ching and Four Noble Truths. The Book of Mormon, the Hindu text Bhagavad Gita and books on Scientology are also available."

Going Public

Most of the entries in this blog, except for the last couple of days, have been back-tracked transcriptions from my news page. Now that this process is completed, I opened it up to search engines and will update it live on a regular basis, hopefully daily.