Nobody could blame you if you weren’t aware of Anonymous’ War on Scientology. While interesting, it’s a little obscure, which sadly somewhat interferes with their mission.
The short version: The Church of Scientology has a long history of wielding lawsuits against former members and critical outsiders, usually copyright and trade secret claims. Whether it’s reasonable for a religion to have trade secrets is a subject of a lot of discussion. Places like XENU.net, the home of Operation Clambake, have a lot of backstory on the CoS’s beliefs and behaviors and goes a long way towards explaining why some people have a problem with the CoS.
When the CoS exerted a lot of effort recently to suppress a video of famous Scientologist Tom Cruise being, well… odd, even for Tom Cruise, it apparently kicked off an internet phenomenon. Anonymous declared war on the CoS, which up until Saturday was primarily online shenanigans of the hacker variety. There’s a collection of information trying to make sense of it over here.
Saturday was the first live event revolving around this phenomenon, with hundreds of people showing up at Scientology centers all over the world. There’s a collection of videos and citations of them over here, which included the following one at the CoS center off Dupont Circle. Don’t bother looking for coverage of it in WaPo.
If you’re wondering “why would anyone play that horrific song,” well, it’s because apparently the kind of people interested in Anonymous’ war on Scientology also think the Rickroll meme is funny. Which it kinda is, in the same way as the old joke “how do you keep a moron in suspense?” is funny. However since the whole point is to get someone to subject themselves to it by telling them it’s something else, it doesn’t make a lot of sense in this context. Here it just makes passers-by wonder “if their taste in music is that bad then maybe Scientology is okay.”
On the other hand, I think more protests should involve dancing, even if it’s to crap 80s songs.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs