As it turns out, this was one of the few times in my life I've actually been ahead of the curve in regard to something that'd eventually become a "big thing" in society. The other one that comes to mind is computers and video games ... I was heavy into that stuff way before it became socially okay or even cool to do so. Then, when it was cool, I wasn't so interested, and now I'm a zero-skills gamer and I don't know how to use Excel or Word.
Now, in the case of Scientology, a loosely-gathered group calling itself "Anonymous" has targeted the Church of Scientology after the recent kerfuffle over the Tom Cruise IAS Freedom Medal of Valor video being leaked to the net.
Anonymous organized protests around the world last Sunday. An estimated 150-200 anons demonstrated outside the Toronto org. And about ten showed up for a "raid" (their word) at the Halifax Scientology franchise on Dutch Village Road.
I've seen videos on YouTube of the Halifax Scientology raid, and, frankly, I think they're missing the point.
IMHO, the anons need to decide whether they're targeting the general public, or attempting to reach the people inside the church to awaken them to reality and help get them out. As I understand it -- and let me be clear, I'm not part of Anonymous or any other group -- Anonymous' goal is to destroy the "church" from within by informing its members of the top-down abuses so they can carry out their own uprising.
In the Halifax case, the protestors danced and pranced and generally seemed like they were in it for laughs. The local Scientologist(s) videotaped them from the front steps of the franchise. I doubt that anything the anons did would've done more than convince the locals that they were more than a goofy hate group.
With that in mind, I have some suggestions for signs the Anons could bring to the next protest, tentatively scheduled for mid-March. They may seem cryptic to uninformed readers and even some of the lulz-happy protestors, but I think they'd be closer to the mark for awakening the ire of the CoS members:
- COB is the real SP
- RTC is squirrelling the tech
- Where's Heber?
- Where's Mike Rinder?
- The OT Levels are Free Online!
- Do the Doubt Formula!
- RTC is Pulling It In
- "The work was free. Keep it so." - LRH 1957
- We Know the Clear Cognition
- Don't Ignore The Outpoints
- Miscavige is PTS to the Church
- Where are all the auditors?
In some cases, I'm proud of how much the members of Anonymous have learned in a short time. But there's more to this effort than getting together, putting on a mask, and taunting the beast.
What are you trying to achieve? If you want to help people break free, they need to reach a tipping point with their cognitive dissonance, and they need a safe place to land. If you show up and appear zany and aggressive, the CoS members will just see you as evil SPs, probably paid by the psychs, and they'll be more sure that they're right.
If you can pick at the parts of the Church the average member honestly suspects are corrupt and evil, and give them permission to think about them and cultivate that doubt, perhaps they'll start to wake up. And if they see the protestors as people concerned with their well-being instead of mocking them, they'll feel safer crossing back over to reality.
That said, the Xenu story is funny and ridiculous. But it's not a tool for rescuing cult members.
I believe that the Anonymous strategy has a chance of making a real difference. One key reason has to do with how Scientology's policies relate to handling criticism and protests. Policy dictates that investigators find out who's leading the dissent, and dig up dirt and crimes on those people. If there is no dirt, make some up. Commence a "noisy investigation." Harrass, intimate, sue, lie, and destroy until the critics are "shuddered into silence." That works pretty well when there's an organized group with a leader.
But with Anonymous, there's no leader. There's no boss. There's no one to ID and investigate. So, for now, Scientology is stumped as to how to handle the protests. There's nothing on the books to deal with it, and if Hubbard didn't write it, they don't know what to do.
Don't waste this opportunity. Stay peaceful. Stay smart. Stay focused. Don't be clowns. Don't be fools. Don't get in trouble. Don't attack the wrong targets. Don't alienate the public. Don't do it just for the laughs. Have fun, sure, but don't jump on the bandwagon just because it looks like a hoot to wear a mask and yell at people who believe that they're infested with space cooties. That won't do anyone any good.
Inform yourself. Inform your friends. Be responsible. Be respectful. And stay Anonymous if you have to.
For more on the Anonymous protests against Scientology, and how you can get involved, visit http://www.enturbulation.org/. (Now closed)