Posts Tagged ‘L Ron Hubbard’

‘Anonymous’ Protest Church of Scientology

Sunday, February 11th, 2024

‘Anonymous’ Protest Church of Scientology – This protest on Sunday 10th February 2008 was I am fairly sure the first protest where I had come across people wearing the ‘Anonymous’ Guy Fawkes masks that later became popular and are still seen occasionally at protests. Some wore other masks, perhaps preferring not to contribute royalties to Warner Brothers and these made the protest more interesting visually.

'Anonymous' Protest Church of Scientology

The masks were based on the illustrations by David Lloyd for the 1980s graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’ written by Alan Moore, but had become well-known in 2006 with the release of the film version where it was worn by the anarchist freedom fighter ‘V’.

'Anonymous' Protest Church of Scientology

The protest was also one of the earliest physical protests in the UK at least to be organised and carried out by an Internet-based organisation, Project Chanology, set up the previous month to oppose attempts by the Church of Scientology to remove one of their videos from the web.

'Anonymous' Protest Church of Scientology
Some wore L Ron Hubbard Masks

This video, part of the Scientology training material featured leading Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, then alleged to be the second in command of the organisation. Since then Cruise appears to have distanced himself at least to some extent from Scientology, which had been at the root of his two divorces from Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, and to have concentrated on his movie career.

'Anonymous' Protest Church of Scientology

There have been more and more revelations published about Scientology and allegations of the harm it has caused to those who either leave the organisation or publish material about it, who are regarded as ‘fair game’ for harassment campaigns.

As I wrote in 2008, it was because of this that Project Chanology called “themselves ‘Anonymous’ and the London demonstration was one of over 50 protests in cities around the world in which those taking part hide their identity behind masks.

Various reports published over the years have comprehensively exposed some of the practices of the Church of Scientology and the number of its adherents is said to have dropped although the organisation has grown richer and acquired more real estate.

The London centre on Queen Victoria St was opened in 2006 and “20 City of London police officers between them accepted more than £11,000 in gifts and entertainment from the Church of Scientology” according to the London Evening Standard, perhaps why they arrested and charged a teenager in May 2008 for holding a placard “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult.” The case was dropped after advice from the CPS.

So far as I was aware there were no arrests at the protest on 10th February at Queen Victoria Street or later when the protesters moved to the Dianetics & Scientology Life Improvement Centre in Tottenham Court Road.

More pictures at ‘Anonymous’Protest – Church of Scientology on My London Diary.

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