A year ago today on Tuesday, January 15, Nick Denton, publisher of Gawker, posted at 10:18 am his refusal to remove the now infamous Tom Cruise Scientology indoctrination video from Gawker's website:
Yesterday, for a few hours, the clip of Tom Cruise discussing his beliefs as a Scientologist appeared on Youtube, and was republished by Radar and Defamer. That video is no longer available, most likely after the Church of Scientology sent in a copyright infringement notice. Gawker is now hosting a copy of the video; it's newsworthy; and we will not be removing it.Later in the day at 5:37 pm a poster on the /b/ or random channel of 4chan, which is the homeland of Anonymous, posted the thread that sparked the Anonymous insurgency which has quite literally changed the face of the Scientology-critical movement:
I think it's time for /b/ to do something big.
People need to understand not to fuck with /b/, and talk about nothing for ten minutes, and expect people to give their money to an organization that makes absolutely no fucking sense.The first reply to this historic post links to Denton's refusal and says:
inspiration to feed the fire, /b/Yes, Nick, thanks for feeding the fire.
Scientology's war on the internet has not flagged in the last year. In early September YouTube removed 4,000 videos critical of Scientology for alleged DMCA (Digital Millemium Copyright Act) violations . Yesterday, to the alarm of Anonymous, YouTube responded to another DMCA request and removed the historically important and revered Church0fScientology channel.
Fortunately, Anonymous has learned a lot in the last year. After anons manned the harpoons, YouTube, which had said restoration would take three to four weeks, put the channel back up in less than twenty four hours.
Message to Scientology vid DOWN!! at Why We Protest is a prime example of technology powering Anon's ninja nimbleness in countering suppression of free speech on the internet by organized Scientology, an infra-totalitarian, command-and-control corporate dinosaur from the fifties. For good measure, anons from Munich put up all the channel's videos on a server in Russia where they don't cotton much to The Most Ethical Group on the Planet.
On January 21, 2008, Church0fScientology posted Message to Scientology (viewed 3,423,413 times) in which it declared war on organized Scientology:
Hello, Scientology. We are Anonymous.Thousands of people young and old, from channer high schoolers to grandmothers around the world from Perth, to Hamburg and San Francisco, were galvanized into action. Seven thousand of them poured off the internet and into the streets on the birthday of Lisa McPherson whose death-by-Scientology-medical-malpractice continues to shock the public.
Over the years, we have been watching you.
Your campaigns of misinformation;
suppression of dissent;
your litigious nature,
all of these things have caught our eye.
With the leakage of your latest propaganda video into mainstream circulation,
the extent of your malign influence over those who trust you, who call you leader, has been made clear to us.
Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed.
For the good of your followers,
for the good of mankind--for the laughs--
we shall expel you from the Internet and
systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form.
Gawker named Anonymous vs Scientology among the top five of The Top Ten Feuds of 2008 and linked to its story Anonymous vs Scientology Protest Turns Ugly:
When you protest Scientology, you do it at your own risk. That's what members of the group Anonymous found out last Sunday when they picketed Gold Base, the Church's headquarters in Gilman Hot Springs, Calfornia. The small, peaceful assembly sported signs before one member received a beating from a group of the Church's hired goons.The Gold Base goons last Thursday attempted to scare the Riverside County police and counsel to the Riverside County Board of Supervisers into revising a protesting ordinance by informing them of the HIV+ status of two of just three protesters at the 500-man "citadel of counterknowledge" (Damian Thompson's phrase), surrounded by barbed wire which points inward. Attorneys Eugene Volokh and Scott Pilutik have recently addressed some of the first amendment freedom of speech and church-state issues involved.
Thank you, Nick Denton. Church of Scientology, the game is over. Anonymous will prevail.
Poster: LadyNonymous, Anonymous Project Chanology Hamburg