Independent Media Centre Ireland

Anonymous Ireland Press Release - Feb 10th

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Monday February 04, 2008 13:43author by Anonymous - Anonymous - Ireland

Anonymous worldwide takes on the Cult of the Church of Scientology

Anonymous to have worldwide protests outside Church Of Scientology centres in over 200 cities on the 10th of February, including the 'Church of Scientolgoy Ireland' to protest against their supression of free speach, human rights violations and other illegal crimes and activities committed worldwide.

On the tenth of February, the global members of Anonymous plan to undertake non-violent, real-world action against the Church at eleven o'clock in each time zone. This is not the first time members of Anonymous have united to physically act against the Church of Scientology. In the past two weeks, Anonymous individuals rallied around Scientology churches, protesting against the organization's transgressions (most notably their abuse of basic human rights) and informing the general public. The Irish protest is scheduled to take place at 11am Irish time at the Scientology center in Middle Abbey Street and is open to all who wish to attend. Anonymous has informed the Gardaí of its intention to peacefully protest the organisation under provision 40.6.2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland and intends to have a peaceful and informative demonstration. Anonymous will be fully co-operating with the Gardaí to ensure the safety of its protesters and the general public. This protest will not address the belief system of Scientology, Anonymous respects the right of members of Scientology to follow their own beliefs. However, Anonymous will address the organisations operational methods such as the charging of money for religious texts, its policies of disconnecting followers from their families, its policy of separating children from their parents and its illegal activities across the globe. Fliers will be handed out to the general public informing them of the organisations abuses of basic human rights of free speech and free will.

Anonymous is a leaderless, worldwide group of individuals, activists, hackers, and other participants. Their intention is to dismantle the Church of Scientology. Their attacks are not aimed at individuals, nor Scientology as a system of beliefs. It is aimed at an organisation that has been convicted in the USA, Canada, France, Spain and Germany of numerous crimes including kidnapping, false imprisonment, harassment, intimidation, libel, fraud and torture. It began after a controversial video featuring Hollywood star Tom Cruise appeared on Youtube showing him talking about Scientology. When the organisation took it down claiming copyright infringement, many declared it an attack on free speech. A few days later a surreal video was posted on Youtube by Anonymous, detailing a war statement and call to arms read by a robotic voice, declaring to Scientology that they will “expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form”. Anonymous launched “Project Chanology” and began a global campaign to bring down the organisation of Scientology. Since then, numerous websites have sprung up in support and began organisation of protests at various Scientology locations across the globe. Noted Scientology critics such as Mark Bunker from and Arnie Lerma of have been vocal in the support of these organised protests. Reports of the campaign have been featured in major media outlets like The Guardian, The Times, The Economist and Sky News so far.

The tenth of February was the date chosen as it is the 13th anniversary of the day American Scientologist Lisa McPherson was found dead in a Scientology owned hotel in Clearwater, Florida while in the care of Scientology handlers. She was severely malnourished and dehydrated while locked in the same room for 17 days and died en route to a hospital. Charges were dropped against Scientology under very suspicious circumstances and a civil case brought against the organisation by the family is still ongoing as Scientology tries to stall the progress of the case.

There have also been reported cases of Scientology's policies being instigated in the Irish Republic. Irish Scientologist Ohdran Fortune was rescued from the organisation after arriving back to see his family from Copenhagen in 1997. He was severely underweight and mentally disturbed. After seeing an exit counsellor, he stayed with his family until he was taken under suspicious circumstances. The police conducted investigation found out that Scientology had taken him to England and brought him to a building in the south east owned by them. His family campaigned for his release until a suspicious high court ruling in the UK placed a restraining order of 30 meters from all Scientology buildings and personnel. Since 1998, the whereabouts of Mr. Fortune have been unknown.

-- More Information --
There are plenty of websites to find info of Anonymous current activities and to find more information of Scientology activities across the globe – A resource for footage of Scientology, including interviews conducted on RTE’s “Late,Late Show” with Irish Ex-Scientologists. – A website owned by ex-Scientologist Arnie Lerma detailing activities and information about Scientology operations globally. - Information on global Scientologist activities. – Another website set up to help with organisation of Protests and spread of information to the general public. – A site detailing people who have died or disappeared under suspicious circumstances under the care of Scientology members. - A story sourced from the Evening Herald regarding Odhran Fortune and Tony Phelan - RTÉ report on Settlement in Mary Johnston case against Scientology.

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