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   Tuesday, January 29, 2008  
over the last few weeks there has been a fascinating battle brewing between the church of Scientology and a faceless group of people who call themselves Anonymous.

In a perfect storm between a "research paper", an unauthorized biography, and a three-year old leaked video, the most controversial church in America (and possibly the world) has suddenly found itself under attack.

Several weeks ago a hilarious web post was produced called "I Can Has Rezearch Papar?".

The well-designed online essay perfectly explained, among other things "lulz", several Internet memes, and the roots behind the group Anonymous whose moto is "We do not forgive. We do not forget. We are legion. Because none of us are as cruel as all of us."

A few days after I Can Has Rezearch Papar came out Gawker found itself in possession of the now famous Tom Cruise video, originally intended to be shown to Scientologists during a ceremony.

The web empire posted it on its entertainment site, Defamer.

The church demanded that Gawker take the video down, Gawker said that they would not pull it down because Cruise is a celeb, and because it was sorta news in relation to the Andrew Morton book about Cruise that was just released, they had the right to post it. This is that video:

That video spawned several parody vids, the most watched being the one created by luckiest man in the world candidate, Jerry O'Connell-Romijn-Stamos:

In the wake of the Cruise video and thanks to the world being introduced to the group via the research papar, last week Anonymous released their first video threatening to break up the Church of Scientology for several reasons including for its own amusement:

After the Anonymous video was released, a CoS group called The Religious Freedom Watch allegedly issued a $5,000 reward to anyone who could identify and help prosecute members of Anonymous. Their website was immediately shut down, and remains down. This is a cache of what it looked like.

In the vein of V for Vendetta, Anonymous has threatened the church in London on February 10, inviting people to wear the mask of their choosing.

In an interesting video, Mark Bunker of the anti-Scientology site warned Anonymous not to do illegal things. He said that he appreciates their efforts, but that if the group wants to attack the church, there are legal means that they should consider, including trying to get the IRS after the church.

KNBC here in LA did a report about it, but inaccurately stated that Anonymous was a "hacker group" and that it started getting interested in Scientology after the church sued Gawker Media for wanting them to take down the stolen/leaked Tom Cruise video:

Fox 11, also here in LA, did a piece on Anonymous last summer:

Sunday, Anonymous explained that they are "everyone, everywhere", and listed some of the controversial things that Scientology is allegedly involved in that Anonymous wants you to know about. They state that everyone should be very "wary of the 10th of February":

Anonymous' "Third Video", posted last night to clear up who they are and who they're against has been disputed as to being really from the group - so be careful of others posing as Anonymous telling you to jump off a bridge, etc:

Although the busblog is somewhat fascinated with what is possibly the first YouTube War, we are bummed that a church is under attack. the freedom of religion is a cornerstone of this nation, regardless of how ridiculous it looks to outsiders and nonbelievers. and although all of the claims by Anonymous may be true, the same "crimes", if not more, could be said about the Catholic Church, for example, which to this day still protects and employs child molesters, and whose leader was once a member of the Hitler Youth.

and if they really got motivated, and wanted to take on a truly large and just cause, Anonymous could use its energies to convince the Democrats to grow a spine and impeach Bush & Cheney who have done more damage to this country than all the shady church groups combined. if not for principle, perhaps the group could do it solely for the lulz, which has always seemed to be the reason BushCo have done what theyve done.

Previously on busblog...