Scientology Apostate Part III: Anonymous' Effect on the Org
|Are these weirdos making a difference?|
This week, we've posted the statistics that ethicstrouble claims to have smuggled out of the org, and we've talked with this inside source about daily life at the church. Today, we post our conversation with ethicstrouble about Anonymous.
Disclaimer: We have no confirmation that Ethicstrouble is, indeed, a San Francisco Scientologist. But two ex-Scientologists have said the graphs the source sent us look legit. Now, ethicstrouble says the leadership of the org is changing protocols to make sure such a leak doesn't happen again. "Right now, it's much greater security -- shredding them as soon as the executives see them. There's a shredder in the ED's [executive director's] office, so [the papers] will probably go straight in there."
SF Weekly: What was the reaction at the org when Anonymous first showed up three years ago outside the Columbus Avenue building?
SFW: Who said not to talk to Anonymous?
ET: It comes from San Francisco Scientology President Jeff [Quiros]. He lays down the rules.
SFW: And what's the reaction of the church toward Anonymous now that they're still at it?
ET: It's personal. Some people are are bothered by it and intimidated by it. Most accept it and say that's the way it is, and go about their life and work. But everyone is saying in the back of their mind, "God, they're still there, we're not winning." L. Ron Hubbard says the more they fight us the more it proves we're winning, but it's good Anonymous is out there, because it is starting to wear on people. How long can you say we're winning when the org is empty and Anonymous is out there protesting? Little by little you wake up, and pretty soon you say fuck it, I'm looking on the Internet, I'd like to see what the hell is going on.
SFW: What was most important for you: specific things the protesters said, or the presence of protesters outside?
ET: The presence was the most important. I thought the signs were silly. Most of the signs are silly -- "Tom Cruise looks like an idiot," that sort of thing. It's just the fact they're there, because they're just having fun and dancing -- there's no real information we're going to get. And to go on the [Anonymous] website, if any of the staff members have the gumption to do that.
SFW: What about the graph that [church member] Jerry showed the protesters last month that indicated the protests have increased the amount of people coming into the org? Was that real?
ET: They don't talk about [the encounter between Jerry and Anonymous] in the org, but when I saw the graph online, it's not true. His graph is going up. It was too perfect, to be frank. Look at the graphs I sent you and how wacko they are. That his graph was perfect, slowing going up -- give me a break!
SFW: Is there anyone else doubting Scientology within the org?
ET: I know of two people.
SFW: Have those two been affected by Anonymous as well?
SFW: How important would you say Anonymous was to your starting to question Scientology?
ET: If it weren't for Anonymous, I may still be in, because Anonymous pushed me to look harder. I said, Why aren't these guys going away? I always had an excuse for everything. The reason we're talking is I want to acknowledge the people raiding in San Francisco because it helped me wake up. Without them, it would have taken longer.
Tomorrow we'll talk more about ethicstrouble's path to questioning the church.
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