How Scientology Changed The Internet

Entrance of the Church of Scientology Madid, SpainThe Scientology cult is at war with the Internet reports Dave Lee at BBC News:

What do Wikipedia, Wikileaks, Anonymous and copyright law have in common? The answer is they have all been influenced by the Church of Scientology International (CSI), as it took on ex-members and critics who took their protests on to the internet. As the Church successfully removes another website, just how big an influence has Scientology had on the internet we all use?

Last month digital rights activists at the influential Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) placed the Church of Scientology into their hall of shame over what it says were repeated acts against internet freedoms.

It was just the latest twist in the Church’s long-running feud with “negative” Scientology content online, one that has lasted almost two decades.

Back in May 1994, at a time when most major organisations were yet to figure out how exactly to deal with the relatively unknown power of the internet, the Church’s Elaine Siegel had a few ideas, outlined in a leaked email to “all Scientologists on the internet”.

“I would like to ask your assistance in getting each one of you to post positive messages on the internet (at least once a week, more if you like), about Scientology,” she wrote.

“If you imagine 40-50 Scientologists posting on the internet every few days, we’ll just run the SP’s [ex-members] right off the system.

“It will be quite simple, actually.”

Or perhaps not.

‘Censorship innovators’
Unsurprisingly, the Church of today is keen to distance itself from Ms Siegel’s email…

[continues at at BBC News]

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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13 Comments on "How Scientology Changed The Internet"

  1. Interesting, they can have no negative word against them, yet their very actions are negative. Maybe there should be the Hubbard effect, akin to and a modification of the Streisand effect.

    • The Well Dressed Man | Jul 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

      If you had to pay thousands of dollars to play simultaneous “20 questions” and “staring contest” all day while a radio shack contraption measures your rate of sweating, you might be hypersensitive too… Although when you graduate to really focused ashtray-commanding maybe it’s all worthwhile.

      • It seems like a counterproductive act. I remember watching an interview with one of the big wigs. The interviewer asked about the alien mythology. His first reply was I can’t talk about that. His second response was to take off his mic, and walk away like a spazz.

        Now I understand the value of secrecy, but in this instance his actions said more about things, and it did some damage imo. He looked and acted like a nutcase.

  2. The Well Dressed Man | Jul 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

    Check your ethics, suppressive person!

  3. The Well Dressed Man | Jul 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm |

    Any group that makes up words like “enturbulated” can’t be all bad, right?

  4. emperorreagan | Jul 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm |

    Can I pre-emptively write a letter to the church and be declared a suppressive person? I would like to add this to my resume.

    • The Well Dressed Man | Jul 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm |

      More fun way to get on the list: Take them up on their “free stress test,” accept their invitation to a free seminar based on your “unique potential that is in great danger,” and then bust out a camera phone inside their office and start asking about body thetans and enturbulation and such.

  5. DeepCough | Jul 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm |

    Recently, King of Queens star Leah Remini, who has been with the “church” for over 30 years, has left it, due mainly to the leadership of David Miscavige.
    It’s a-gettin’ bad over there, man.

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