Saturday, 15 March 2008

Anonymous v Scientology

So, went into work today to finish off my group test that I'm doing on the side for Computer Buyer magazine. I've been at the office til 8:30 the last three nights of the week as well as today but it's good money, so I can't complain.

It also meant that I got to go to an anti-Scientology protest.

I'd known that they were going on, vaguely, around the world - the 'anonymous' masked folk turning up. But I had no idea it was today until I stumbled upon a video on YouTube talking about it. I looked up the protest page and discovered that the London event was starting at the Church of Scientology and then moving down to the Dianetics Centre near Goodge Street Station - about three minutes from the office - at 2.

So down I went. Get there, and there's barriers on the other side of the road, across from the centre - with about 1,000 people behind them, plenty wearing the 'anonymous' masks. Police are all over the place, but it was a peaceful protest - the most they were doing was telling people to keep walking who were stopping on the pavement to take pictures of the slightly bizarre scenes.

I crossed the road to where the main body of protesters were - they were holding up plenty of signs and banners, and chanting things like 'It's a trap!' when members of the public went inside the Scientology Centre. They were also handing out plenty of cake - it was a friendly protest, after all.

I crossed back to the other side of the road again and joined the reams of people taking pictures of the odd scenes, and nervously hovering around the Scientology Centre and wondering if I should tell them how much of a cult they were. There were three people handing out pro-Scientology leaflets - one, an older man, I felt quite sorry for. He looked quite sheepish and put-upon, and more than a bit reluctant. Another, a woman, seemed a bit more tenacious - she was hovering around distributing leaflets and taking pictures of the protestors. I did read that they'd sent people out to take pictures of them and of the people buying masks for security purposes. It's all very shady.

The third man handing out leaflets is one I've seen out there before. His eyes were permanently narrowed in suspicion, and he thrust leaflets towards anyone who came near. He looked incredibly driven and, dare I say it, a wee bit brainwashed. But, then again, I suppose they all are.

And that's the sad thing - the 'anonymous' group put it very well when they say that they don't oppose individual Scientologists, but the organisation itself. They were all - and probably still are, if you weren't aware of their quasi-'religious' views - normal people. But the organisation itself isn't a religion. It's an voracious money-making machine that tricks and fools gullible people into parting with their hard-earned cash for so-called spiritual enlightment, via some aliens and a man who professed, when he was alive, that the easiest way to make a million dollars was to found a religion.

I guess he was right. Real religions don't charge you for membership and persecute people by fear and intimidation like the 'Church' of Scientology does. It's just worrying that their legal team is strong enough to seemingly halt any challenge to their undoubtedly dubious, and probably illegal, methods.

1 comment:

Sophia said...

Is this the same anonymous from /b/?