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Anonymous, leaderless resistance and Scientology

Anonymous, leaderless resistance and Scientology

Tim Finin, 4:22pm 26 January 2008

Leaderless resistance is defined on Wikipedia as

“…a political resistance strategy in which small, independent groups (covert cells) challenge an established adversary such as a government. Leaderless resistance can encompass anything from non-violent disruption and disobedience to bombings, assassinations and other violent agitation. Leaderless cells lack bidirectional, vertical command links operating without a hierarchical command.” (link)

It’s challenging to combat a leaderless resistance because one can’t use the usual methods to discover participants by exploiting the social networks of known members.

Today’s new communication infrastructures make it easier for such distributed resistance movements to take hold and grow. Information, instructions and loose coordination can be spread via Web pages, Blogs, text messages, IRCs, mailing lists, etc.

A colleague Chris Diehl at JHU APL suggested the Estonian cyberwar might be a good example to study how the Blogosphere was used for this by combining sentiment analysis, geotagging and temporal analysis. This cyber attack was a subject of a recent colloquium at APL. It’s a great idea, but one made more challenging by the fact that the attack is over and would involve dealing with content in Estonian, which, although not exactly a low-density language, is also not one that has been extensively studied by computational linguists.

But maybe there is another example of an Internet-driven leaderless resistance, going on right now, that would be good to study as it unfolds. A group that calls itself Anonymous has announced it intends to launch an online DDOS attack on Scientology as part of a campaign against the organization.

The message is spread in part by YouTube videos starting on 21 January. There is also the Wikipedia page on Project Chanology which was created on 24 January 2008, an Anonymous Scientology Widget that counts down to (I suppose) when participating members should take action, and lost of mentions on forums, blogs and other forms of social media.

Linuxhaxor has instructions for what to do, which are offered only for educational purposes.

“This guide is for information purpose only, I, the site owner, do not encourage people to go about and follow these steps or Chanology in anyway to carry this attack, or any attack to any organization or any person. If you agree to follow these steps and help them carry this attack you are fully responsible for any consequences whatsoever. This act is illegal in many states and countries. ”

Wired just ran a story on this leaderless resistance effort, Anonymous Hackers Shoot For Scientologists, Hit Dutch School Kids, and there are plenty more online.

Finally, you can track the online interest through this Blogpulse trend graph comparing Blogosphere mentions of (1) “Tom Cruise” (2) Scientology and (3) anonymous+scientology and also the Google Trends graph comparing Google searches for the same three terms. Click on the graphs to see the current results.

Mentions of scientology, tom cruise and anonymous via Blogpulse

Google searches for scientology, Tom Cruise and anonymous

Tom Cruise is in there because he’s rumored to be the second most important person in the Church of Scientology and his recent Scientology indoctrination video that surfaced on YouTube may have been the tipping point for some.

9 Responses to “Anonymous, leaderless resistance and Scientology”

  1. Says:

    Ataques DDoS a la Iglesia de la Cienciología

    Se anuncian ataques DDoS ( ) contra la Iglesia de la Cienciología. La entrada Project Chanology de Wikipedia posiblemente borrarán) explica otra iniciativa de este tipo.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Please check out our unique gifts, t-shirts and more at the anonymous legion store on cafepress.

  3. Jake Says:

    There is a leader of Anonymous…. This guy was kicked out of the Church of Scientology and Decleared a surpressive person, due to past and ongoing criminal activity. OSA already knows who he is and this matter will be delt with, in a proper legal channels.

  4. Jake Says:

    Anonymous is composed not of high tech hackers but a group of single teenage boys about 15 to 20 year old who are very low toned and upset about things in their own lives and are putting the blame on an external source such as Scientology to get away from taking any responsibility for their own lives. These cult and conspiracy theories about Scientology are a sign a schitsophrania and should be handled by a competent medical professional

  5. Hibari Says:

    Jake doesn’t seem to know anything and is just making false claims. Anonymous really doesn’t have any leader or leaders, have any proof about that? Of course you don’t because such a thing doesn’t exist. And the fact that you seem to question everything negative about Scientology makes you either a) troller b) scientologist (if they even spend so much time to attack one site and googlebomb, then its pretty possible that they are also going from blog to blog and from article to article and question every negative comment about Scientology or c) someone who just didn’t spend enough time to research about Scientology and Anonymous. There are more sources than Fox News.

  6. Terryeo Says:

    Jake’s statement aligns with my understanding. A certain gentleman who’s name begins with a “B”, expelled from the Church several years ago, went active and posted in the comments sections of several Scientology news articles from about Nov. 2007 until late Dec. 2007. He professed Scientology training, his posts were designed for impact, rather than comment of opinion. Shortly after he went silent in news comments, “anonymous” appeared. Also, the tone of the YouTube, first anonymous video is very similar to the same tone he used in his news comments.

  7. Cardiff Anon Says:

    Both Jake and Terryeo are confirmed $cientologist plants who frequent blog comments making just this type of post. There is no leader of Anonymous. All Anon will tell you this and it scares the hell out of the $cis and their OSA because they can’t litigate against thin air.

    It wouldn’t even matter if this supposed “founder” was caught because s/he is no longer in any kind of control of Anon. We cannot be recalled or neutered and we will END the horrifying and illegal practices of the Churches Higher Echelons. The rank and file are free to continue being Scientologists and believing whatever they want, they do not concern us, only the RTC, COB and OSA will fall.

    Go here for the facts, Yes Jake and Terryeo, THE DOCUMENTED FACTS.

  8. Rhys Paul Hovey Says:

    It is sick to see that most mainstream media is ignoring us. I was at the Vancouver protest, and the turn out was very significant. I would like to write an open letter to Anonymous about my dealings with the COS and the FBI / RCMP and ultrasound weapons (audio spotlight from shows an example of the technology). I merely called the FBI looking for info about the COS (from Hollywood city) becuase I was “scared” becuase they were trying so hard to recruit me. Then the abuse started with the ultrasound weapons in my apartment. I can basically proove that this is going on. I have recordings of the device. 3 other victims are my friends, and we have cross testimony. I have evidence of the FBI ignoring victims. CSIS denial of the existance of such weapons, and the REALLY scary recording of me calling CSIS (that is Canada’s CIA) ignoring me reporting 2 terrorist attack tips. With this ultrasound technology these criminals threatened to blow stuff up. No think about that,.. someone with this type of technology threatens to blow stuff up with neuclear weapons, and you get the cold shoulder from the authorities. PLEASE anonymous, help take the media back into our hands where it should be, and legally still IS. Please help protect our freedom, and our childrens rights.

    Rhys Paul Hovey

    for more info look at:

  9. Centurian 10 Says:

    Terryeo is indeed a Scientology OSA drone. For more on this “person”: