The last two days have seen the social networking site Digg.com abuzz with news about the ‘group’ “Anonymous” who posted a video to youtube a few days ago. The video is some high-speed cloud motion and a computerized voice reading what can only be described as a manifesto against the Church of Scientology. Here’s an excerpt:
We are anonymous. Over the years we have been watching you, your campaigns of misinformation, your suppression of dissent and your litigious nature. All of these things have caught our eye. With the leakage of your latest propaganda video into mainstream circulation the extent of your malign influence over those who have come to trust you as leaders has been made clear to us.
Anonymous has therefore decided that your organisation should be destroyed.
This makes me squint at the screen and blink a lot in confusion. I think you may know the expression I’m talking about. It’s that one that means both “What are they talking about?” and “These idiots can’t be serious.” at the same time. Why? Not because the message is unclear, but because the message and the action of creating the video itself seem so wrong to me on so many levels.
First, who in the world cares what the smelly nerds think about a weird religion? Just the nerds, that’s who. I don’t think the Church of Scientology will respond to this attack and if it did it would only draw attention to what is probably one guy without the guts to show his face. Most likely an overweight 8th year college student who spends most of his time trolling around the inter-tubes looking for cyber-fights. Why cyber-fights? Because he wants to feel important but can only find success in the intangible world. Now if this guy actually went out and did something which actually caused members to leave the religion that would be impressive. All this hypothetical obese troll did, however, is write a manifesto, make his computer read it for him, get dug up on digg.com and let other enthusiastic haters do his work for him.
Nicely done, Adolf.
Which brings me to point 2.
What is the problem, sweaty nerd? Here is a cult of people whose goal is to try and better themselves. Yes, their ideas of “better” and “selves” and maybe even “try” are pretty out there, but so what? They’re really trying to make themselves and the world a better place. Why do you have a problem with this? Is it because you disagree with their beliefs? So what?! It is an organization whose stated purpose is to be, on the whole, an influence for good. Can you with complete honesty say that you have a total understanding of their beliefs and their feelings? Yeah, they’re wacky, but so are the Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, and flying spaghetti monster worshipers to every outsider. And yes, they have a few outspoken idiots who make the rest look bad, but so does every good organization out there. Are we focusing on the weirdos and then judging the whole? If we’re being honest we must say: Probably.
Do they pay money for ‘intangible’ spiritual benefit? Sure, but again, who cares? If spiritual enlightenment comes with a dollar price there are millions who would gladly give all they have for the ever elusive answer to the million-dollar question: “Why?” Let them be happy with their answers and with their sales load. The rest of us can stick with our own sure knowledge that the answer is actually 42.
Finally, I am disgusted that on a website so full of ‘diggers’ who have historically been promoting individual rights, civil liberties, and the liberal view there are so many who will join their voices to hate rhetoric by voting up story after story after story about ‘Anonymous,’ and leave hate-filled comments on those same stories.
It seems there are always people out there blithely willing to hate the (excuse the pun, scientologists,) alien. The unusual or new. What’s worse is that there is nothing I or anyone can do to change the minds of the bigoted idiots who call themselves enlightened or ‘right.’ They’ve made up their minds and will listen to nobody but the collective who agrees with them. That’s why anonymous is getting anywhere.
Finally, this point: What are you going to do, Anonymous? Attack a website? Publish memorandum? Create diggable but ultimately meaningless video diatribes? Encourage others to hand out hate-filled fliers or instigate Denial of Service attacks? You will be forgotten in a week. Your manifesto is meaningless because you will do nothing. The more energy you apply to the Scientology ‘problem’ is more of your life wasted. Why not take a lesson from Mr. Hubbard himself and instead of attacking an organization you probably don’t even understand write a book and create an organization which is even more appealing to the Scientologists? You may actually do some good out there that way. You may change minds, cause good in the world, and, if Scientology is as bad as you make it out to be, save lives.
Anonymous, if you really care about human beings so much, why aren’t you doing something?
Heck, I’ll answer right now.
It’s because you and people like you want to spread hate, yet refuse to identify yourselves as haters. You fear that stigma. Rather, you hope you can change the whole world to align to your view so that you can step out and say “It was me! I am your glorious leader!” And this is funny because in reality the whole world is more likely to change than you. Not because you are right on any level (and you know it or you would have shown your face, unafraid), but because you refuse to open your mind to the shocking idea that you may be wrong.
I am not a Scientologist. I don’t have much of an idea about their practices or beliefs. I can, however, recognize bigotry, hate, and brainless drivel any time I come across it. I believe this is true of most human beings. I also hope that we are all willing to make positive changes in the world around us rather than attack, blame, persecute, and create prejudices. What does hate do, other than tarnish the hater? I hope for a world where instead of putting our energy into spreading mistrust we work our whole lives to humbly and truly understand.
Yes, I know that I’m doing nothing constructive here. That’s what rants are for. But I hope that something I wrote tonight has got somebody out there thinking. Then maybe, once he and I have calmed down (especially me) we can write something constructive and beneficial. Yes, I know I’ve got to be the first in line at the humble / true understanding booth, especially after this revealing article. Now everybody knows that I hate nerds.