Scientology vs. Anonymous: Spin War Over a Potential Defector
|Are Anonymous protests making Scientology's recruits skyrocket?|
Anonymous has been toasting "ethicstrouble," a purported Scientologist who wrote on a local Anonymous message board that the group's protests convinced him or her that "something is really wrong" with the church, and that he or she now wants to leave. Meanwhile, Jeff Quiros, the president of the San Francisco church, said in our story yesterday he believes Anonymous itself is behind the defector.
Wait, it gets better. Quiros' theory continues: Anonymous was shamed by a graph (in the picture above) that a Scientologist showed the protesters last week indicating the number of visitors coming in off the street was skyrocketing. So, he says, Anonymous had to fight back by creating an apostate.
Obviously, there's no verifying the amount of people the church claims are coming in its door. There's also no verifying that the defector isn't just an Anonymous member. So we're left with a spin war highlighting the hilarious culture clash between oh-so-serious Scientologists and irreverent Anons. It's sort of the equivalent of righteous Christ Boy taking on the video gamer playing Magic in your lunchroom.
First check out the following video posted on anonymoog's YouTube channel.
To sum up, Jerry, a Scientologist, comes out in his mustache, suit and tie and puts his hands on his hips looking at the protesters dancing like fools on the corner. He calls them over to look at a graph on a piece of paper that he claims shows the number of people coming into the church since Anonymous has been protesting is flying off the charts. The tone from both parties is shrouded in a heavy dose of sarcasm.
Jerry: "You oughta get pictures of this, look at this graph! That's the number of people who've come in since you guys have been protesting. So I need you guys to be out here more often."
Moog: "So what's the bottom line?"
Jerry: "This is the number of people that are coming into the organization." [He follows the upward-trending line with his finger.]
Moog: "That's cool, because you're the only org [Scientology church] that's expanding."
Jerry: "I know, it's amazing. So you guys need to be out here more!"
Moog posted the video, with a caption drenched in faux enthusiasm: "San Francisco Scientology Jerry OTVIII brings out a fancy graph showing how Anonymous protesting has actually helped Scientology increase business!! Looks totally legit!!"
Well, Quiros says Moog's incredulous reaction to the graph made Anonymous have to eat crow and create the fake defector. "It looks to me like an attempt to cover over the booboo made by Anonymoog, saying that these statistics look correct and congratulating [Jerry] on the expansion."
Anonymous thinks it's the Scientologists that are lying about their numbers increasing. "They've been saying that for the last three years as part of their party line," says one protester. He said Anonymous members think it's "pathetic" that the Scientologists would go to such lengths to try to dispirit them. "That was really surprising, like why are they sending out this high-powered guy? ... Like is it that bad that you have to do this?"
Moog tells SF Weekly they will continue to protest with their quirky tactics. "I'm doing this for them, though they absolutely can't see that. In 'The Yellow Submarine' from 1969, the heroes not only neutralize the bullies, but win them over through music and dance and love. It's 'Yellow Submarine' tech!"
The war continues.
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