Events

Anonymous Protests Scientology Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 12), those spunky kids from the group Anonymous are protesting the “Church” of Scientology and their Disconnection Policy, where Scientologists are asked to sever all ties with their family and friends who aren’t in Scientology. Want to know more? Check out xenu.net, or go ask Anon yourself at a protest near you. If you attend a protest, I’d love to hear reports! Send in reports and pics (anonymously, if you want) or post your sum-up below.

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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10 Comments

  1. bug_girl, here’s the thing about Anonymous.

    Anonymous is a joke. It doesn’t exist.

    4chan.org has a section called /b/ where people can post anonymous, without any tracking of IPs or anything to identify them. Needless to say, /b/ often proves the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, i.e. “Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad”. The forum itself is often referred to as “Anonymous”, so whenever someone posts about something stupid they did there, people who don’t know about /b/ assume that “Anonymous” is some kind of alias. This happened often enough that it’s become a running joke on /b/. Sort of their version of Keyzer Soze, except that Anonymous actually doesn’t exist.

    The group opposing Scientology arose out of that because some of the aforementioned fuckwads on /b/ decided to do the usual script-kiddie thing and crash some Scientology webservers. Scientology declared war on Anonymous, which everybody who knew anything about /b/ thought was hilarious because Anonymous doesn’t exist.

    And basically what happened from there was that people started joking about actually creating an anti-Scientologist group called Anonymous in response. That’s where the first Anonymous vs. Scientology video came from. It turns out, the joke was funny enough that the idea caught on. So when Wise Beard Man encouraged Anonymous to harness their power for good, some people laughed about it… but others listened and realised that they actually had thousands of people unified around what amounted to a damned good joke.

    Those people, inspired by Wise Beard Man, came up with the idea of organising world-wide protests against Scientology. And not only that, they’d do it under the banner of Anonymous. Because, damn. If Scientology’s vow to destroy Anonymous — which doesn’t actually exist, remember — actually created Anonymous, well, shit, that’s the meta-joke to end all meta-jokes. Epic Lulz were to be had.

    And so the protests happened. And people came out because it was a funny joke. And people came out because they really believed in the cause. The latter types somehow ended up outnumbering the former, although the former still do exist and even the latter like to have fun rather than being all This Are Serious Protest.

    Which is my long-ass way of saying that claiming “Anonymous is responsible for [foo act of hackerising]” makes no goddamned sense at all. Because there isn’t an actualy Anonymous, it’s just a banner that people organised under because it would be funny.

    There’s a reason why Blake calls the Anonymous vs. Scientology protests a “stand alone complex“. Anonymous is not a thing, it’s not a group, it’s a meme. It’s a meme that thousands of people have caught and are propagating. And it happens to be a productive one.

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