A group of hackers, who go by the name of “Anonymous” and use IRC as their base, declared war against Scientology. The group has released texts online which Scientology members normally have to pay for. Also DDoS attacks on the 18th of January rendered the church’s website unusable.
The attacks followed after Scientology tried to censor a mockup movie picturing Tom Cruise, one of the most known members of the church. In the movie the actor laughs hysterically and makes claims Scientology members are the only people able to save life’s after car accidents.
Scientology has since protected its website against DDoS attacks. Anonymous plans real world protest actions and have set February 10 for a wave of protest at Scientology locations worldwide.
“The so-called Church of Scientology actively misused copyright and trademark law in pursuit of its own agenda,” an Anonymous member said in a press release last week. “They attempted not only to subvert free speech, but to recklessly pervert justice to silence those who spoke out against them.”
Since then the group released a new video featuring a computerized voice saying: “Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed. For the good of your followers, for the good of mankind and everywhere. You will find no recourse in attack, because for each of us that falls, ten more will take his/her place.”
At the time of writing this article, almost 2 million people watched the video.
Anonymous also released a home phone number and social security number of a couple who they believed where pro-scientology hackers. The couple received an anonymous apology over phone when the error was recognized.
Although being another organization against the Scientology church, Operation Clambake does not agree with the methods used by the Anonymous group. Webmaster Andreas Heldal-Lund explains: “People should be able to have easy access to both sides and make up their own opinions. Freedom of speech means we need to allow all to speak – including those we strongly disagree with. [...] Attacking Scientology like that will just make them play the religious persecution card … They will use it to defend their own counter actions when they try to shatter criticism and crush critics without mercy”