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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag: Scientology protest ‘well-organized and peaceful’

    Like most of us, I heard about the recent protest of the Church of Scientology from fliers placed around campus, and took very little notice. Out of curiosity though, I decided to look into the group that was holding the protest, since I had never heard of Anonymous before. After an hour of looking around some articles and videos posted on Google, I was shocked by what I read. These articles painted Anonymous as Internet terrorists out to destroy anything that they wanted for their own enjoyment. There were reports of them calling people’s homes leaving violent messages, mailing envelopes of white powder to Scientology churches and destroying and blocking Web sites of anyone who would appose them. After all this negative feedback, I decided to head over to the protest myself in order to see what would happen. I’ll admit I brought my camera hoping to catch some sort of outrageous or violent action, but what I saw surprised me even more.

    Anonymous wasn’t some group of terrorists there to burn the church down to the ground. Rather, they were a well-organized and peaceful protesting group, handing out fliers and politely explaining their message to anyone who would listen. One member saw me taking photos of the group from about thirty feet away, and came over to invite me closer to get some better pictures. He talked calmly in a civilized tone and explained what exactly the point of the protest was, and I was surprised to find that I agreed with most of the major points. Coming back from the protest, I was upset at how the media and Scientology Web sites had portrayed the group. Making such an organized and law-abiding group look like monsters because you don’t agree with what they are saying is wrong, to say the least.

    Looking over the incidents that were reported as attacks by Anonymous, I’m convinced, rather, that they were splinter groups that claim the Anonymous name in order to get themselves noticed. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in learning about the group and its message to look up “”Operation Clambake.”” I believe you’ll find more respect for this so-called group of Internet terrorists.

    Steven Howard
    psychology freshman

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