Xeni Jardin at 5:06 pm Tue, Feb 12, 2008
ADVERTISE AT BOING BOING!
Previously on BB:
* Boing Boing tv (Vlog) Xeni - Anonymous vs. Scientology
Hubbard wrote terrible sci-fi. Flat plotlines, no character development, lousy delivery.
I could care less about his, or any one else’s hokey religion. I did read the Scientology personality test in the local rag here where I live, and a friend and I laughed so hard we cried. “Do you take orders well?”, classic.
Battlefield Earth, on the other hand, let’s protest that.
THE SPECIALIST: “choose your battles.”
You do understand what that phrase means, right? “Choose your battles” implies picking the battles you think you have a chance of winning. Considering that neither party has an anti-war candidate with a chance of clinching their party’s nomination, I don’t think that’s a battle you can win.
Getting the IRS to revoke a malicious cult’s tax-exempt status on the other hand… protests might just be able to accomplish that.
Also, I get the impression that you’re a $cientologist…
The reason you may see many RH books at the library is because, as someone noted, they have been donated.
Sciens used to go into bookstores (they may still do) and buy stacks of RH books for the sole purpose of driving them up the bestseller list.
I suspect that after they bought them they either sent them back to the warehouse to reship out, or donate some to libraries. Where again, they probably are checked out by sciens, thus keeping them in circulation. Thus it might be said that sciens were proto-astroturfers before the internet age.
I do find it curious that you find his books practically everywhere. Where other once-popular classics can not be seen. It is part of the lifecycle of most books to go out of print, even if at one time there were popular. I think the disparity in some reviews is also telling;
here’s a good read
the whole xenu story is actually a pretty good SF story but the fact that they made a religion out of it?
thats pretty odd though its been done before (im lookin’ at you church of the subgenious)
but the fact you have to PAY to be in this “religion” really pisses me off
Scientology is an expensive indulgence, it promises spiritual riches but I’m not sure it delivers.
I think it’s interesting that James Randi stopped offering his $10 million for “demonstrating psychic powers” because many of the applicants were basically undiagnosed schizophrenics and outing/humiliating them did nothing to help anyone.
I suspect someone with a ready stream of income who can afford to pay the dues or who has the self-confidence to say “No” won’t come to harm being a Scientologist.
I suspect there are some already disturbed people who are drawn to Scientology when things are going wrong for them personally, and that’s where they are when they crash.
Probably the Scientology view of psychiatry has an appeal if you have ever been committed to a psychiatric hospital against your will or are being made to take neuroleptic medications with their attendant unpleasant side-effects.
Can these Anonymous protests be turned into something positive?
I would be amazed if 1000’s of people would spontaneously organize nationwide protests for better provision of mental health care, which is the fault-line that Scientology was exploiting in the cases where things went wrong.
Scientology is responsible for the deaths of quite a few people. Scientologists believe some pretty wierd stuff. Scientology tries to hush their detractors. Scientology has amassed loads of wealth from its followers. Scientology practices ‘brainwashing’.
Sounds to me like every other religion. Let’s go protest out side a catholic church this Sunday. It’s not wrong to hate scientology, it’s just wrong to hate them more than any other religion. Rabid hatred of scientology is just a silly fad.
Nice! I never knew that.. didn’t even think to check it’s status in UK
*file away in back of head til needed again*
TAKUAN “6,000,000+ iraqi civilians. four thousand+ american youth, fit, trained, dead. tens of thousands injured. one fourth of returnees with ptsd. 100+ confirmed soldier suicides.”
That’s something worth protesting.
The cost currently stands at over – $494,180,826,913
You have an insane president who’s determined to bring the U.S.A. to its knees and you waste time on some pimply moron’s personal vendetta.
Protest something worth protesting!
anyone else think Michael McKean should play Ron in any future bio-pic?
#2 “AN AUTHORITY IS SOMEBODY WHO KNOWS NOTHING LOUDLY”
Kind of ironic being all in caps isn’t it?
#43: As #39 said above, something’s only worth protesting if your protests can actually make a difference. Getting an organisation’s religion status revoked ‘cos they do bad things is a damn slight easier than sorting out the midddle east.
Indeed, I’ve read a letter from an alledged Scientology insider which claimed that the CoS are scared sh^H^Hwitless over the protests. If that’s the case, then at least Anon’ve made a difference to them, even if the CoS survives. =)
There must be something that can be done about the $cientologists penetration of public library systems. Far, far too much of the utter crap “written” by H Ronnie Cupboard under thelableof science fiction is plugging up shelf space. It’s clear that insiders are responsible.
I find this whole thing rather fascinating, and I am really curious how it is going to play out.
Bashing scientology on the internet has been going on since alt.religion.scientology, nearly 16 years now, and has generally involved a measure of personal risk to being subject to scientology’s dirty tricks. Because of that, the digital battle so far has not yielded much real world organized protest because the stakes are too high. So it’s very curious that Anonymous decided to take up this fight after all this time, prompted by nothing more than a video takedown threat and Gawker’s defiance of it.
So far, they seem to be doing it because they think it’s a funny thing to do. I am sure there is some genuine concern among Anonymous for the bad things scientology does, but it is still mostly posturing for the lulz. I do not think scientology is used to being laughed at so they haven’t reacted yet.
I am very interested in how Anonymous will react once scientology starts punishing them for their insolence. This could get very interesting.
I know I’m a little late…but this is the dumbest thing to get upset about.
We are at “war”, PEOPLE ARE DYING and yet this is the topic people are choosing to get upset about.
Xenu a pretty good sci-fi story? Possibly a pretty good bad sci-fi story…. Let’s face it, it’s more Plan B From Outer Space than 2001.
“WHAT YOU OBSERVE IS WHAT YOU OBSERVE. LOOK AT THINGS AND LIFE AND OTHERS DIRECTLY, NOT THROUGH ANY CLOUD OF PREJUDICE, CURTAIN OF FEAR OR THE INTERPRETATION OF ANOTHER.” L.RON HUBBARD
“AN AUTHORITY IS SOMEBODY WHO KNOWS NOTHING LOUDLY” L.RON HUBBARD
The books are in libraries. Read them and understand them before you comment.
This should get interesting with the Church of $cientology does like people who question their authority or ideas.
Google “Operation Snow White”
and “Operation Freak Out”
This is the way they roll.
Typical cult bunk.
@Takuan – if you don’t want something in a library, just make sure it doesn’t circulate. Items that get checked out less than 5 times a year tend to get discarded/sold. (Unless they are timeless classics.)
Takuan – Be careful that you’re not becoming what you’re trying to fight. The Scientologists are unpleasant because they try to snuff out any speech or discussion that threatens them; it doesn’t help your cause to try and snuff out any speech or discussion that you find personally unpleasant because it is in some way associated with Scientologists.
Besides, “science fiction” is a perfectly acceptable place for L. Ron Hubbard’s writings. I’d be worried if they were in “nonfiction.”
For all the information you need: http://www.enturbulation.org/
Get involved! Read the forum thread for your city and come on March 15th. We need to stop the Scientology lies and spoil their fun.
This is the official planning forum:
Make up your own mind, read up on them:
http://www.anti-scientologie.ch (en Francais)
Have you ever looked at them? Tried to read them? Crap, utter crap. Lousy writing, ludicrous character and plot development… just swill. It wouldn’t matter who wrote them – except they got on those shelves by false pretenses and are parasites on budgets intended to buy books worthy of the genre.
So typical of $cientology, they use what is good and worthy as a cloak for underhandedness.
spam unwelcome here
#58: people choose what to publicly “get upset about” not by what they deem the “most important” cause, but by where they think their actions will have the most positive effect.
There’s already plenty of protesters getting bent out of shape regarding “We are at “war”, PEOPLE ARE DYING”; that cause already has the journalistic spotlight, an extra few hundred protesters isn’t going to make much more impact. But, up until Anonymous stepped in, there wasn’t anyone protesting Scientology; each individual will be having a much greater effect on raising awareness about the cause.
Besides, it’s a matter of opinion how worthwhile any protest is — including those regarding the “war”. I’m not going to get into off-topic ranting about the middle-east, but there’s plenty of debate, and plenty of people who don’t believe in the causes of any relevant protest. That those people are protesting some other cause they believe in is something worthy of applause, not derision, I say.
Well, it’s no secret I am NOT a fan of Scientology.
And…I am a science fiction writer and editor for a sci-fi mag. Oh, a couple of times I wondered if it might be easier to do as old Ron H did and just start up my own religion. But it’s more fun satirizing the Scientologists than trying to emulate them. (Insert evil laugh here)
‘The TC Alien Invasion Shelter – Cartoons and Commentary’
scientology DONATES tons of books to libraries. It’s quite likely that your library didn’t pay anything to get those books.
I used to go around with stacks of business cards with polite rebuttals to the various points made in the books, and insert them into the book, pushed tight against the binding, so that they would not fall out easily.
For instance, in scientology books talking about drugs, and how scientology is 100% DRUG FREE, I’d insert cards with links to audio recordings and hand written notes, by Hubbard, talking about his drug usage.
When the book talks about Hubbard’s scientific prowess, I’d point to records of his academic failures.
If nothing else, pointers to http://scientology-kills.org and http://scientology-lies.com are always relevant.
Feel free to play along.
Yer right. I’ll just take them over to the dustiest stacks and mis-file them. Sorry noble librarians, but we are fighting evil here.
Always make a point of covering them with other titles when in bookstores.
I have read a few of them, and yes, they’re utter tripe. That said, there’s a whole lot of bad science fiction, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that ends up in the public libraries as well. I’d be more concerned about Dianetics appearing in the self-help section than I would about Battlefield Earth (or worse, Mission: Earth) in the science fiction section.
Aye, t’is true. But $cientology has pissed me off.
This is all very strange. Why are so many people attacking someone else’s religion or believes. I am a Protestant, my wife is a Catholic. We don’t attack 7th Day Adventist’s, Hindu’s, Muslims, Pagans etc.
Live and let live.
Perhaps it is because we live in Europe and not the USA
xeni xenu (I is you and you is me)
I read one of his decologies when I was a teenager… rabid unimaginative homophobic rubbish!
It was obvious that L Ron had died mid-way through the 2nd volume and the rest was compiled from his plot notes. And yes I found out that they were donated by local $cientologists because they couldn’t sell them.
Luckily I had been inoculated by reading the late Cyril Vosper’s “The Mind benders” a few years previously.
@ #41: thats pretty odd though its been done before (im lookin’ at you church of the subgenious)
Actually, the Church of the Subgenius was created in part as a response to the Scientologists, not before. Much of Subgenius “dogma” directly parodies Scientology, down to their motto, “You’ll pay to know what you really think!”
I remembered this brilliant article by Harmon Leon from the mid-90’s about infiltrating the Hollywood Celebrity Center as an obscure Austrian polka accordionist.
That probably was Mission: Earth. I think I stopped reading it around book 3 or 4, when one character decided to be a prostitute instead of a psychiatrist because she viewed the former as a more respectable occupation. Also, it was apparent that every single bad guy was a homosexual pedophile. Hubbard made no effort to hide his agenda in his books, and with an agenda as wrong as his, that made them basically unreadable.
you know, i find scientology kind of annoying, just like i find christianity kind of annoying. however, i also find the 4chan/GNAA axis that has arisen to fight scientology annoying as well.
its hard to figure out whose side i should be on. moron group a, or moron group b?
Arkizzle@50: Don’t forget the British Charity Commission, which also rejected Co$ as a religion.
GFPLUX: Anonymous has stated that their target is the Church, not the belief system:
For instance, there’s a group called Free Zone that practices much of Scientology’s beliefs, but doesn’t charge anything:
However, Anonymous has left them alone.
It might seem fine that taxpayers did not pay for the Hubbard books. However most libraries have a limited amount of shelf space. That’s why they’re selling the non circulating books. In other words, bad Hubbard books are taking away shelf space from possibly way better novels and self help.
I dunno, even if I was a cult-vulnerable sheep, I don’t think I could really get into a “religion” founded by some dorkface wearing that kind of 70s getup… with those big collar tabs sticking out of the jacket and that stupid, pretentious, silk ascot, or whateverthefuck you call it, tie.
LRon Hubbard… what a maroon.
You think the founder’s a maroon, waste a few minutes (no more) talking to their recruiters.
@16 , yer right, shelf space is valuable. Take back our libraries! If you can’t hide $cientology crud somewhere, just handle it rough so it falls to pieces and accelerates tossing it out. (now someone is going to chime in with “but then they’ll waste resources in the bindery fixing it” – you all know what I mean, just do SOMETHING)
Calm down. I don’t like the Bible but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be able to read it at the library. It’s a print work, it belongs there. Libraries need more books, not less. Now there is the matter of space (I know, I worked in library processing for two years), but ideally I think all books, no matter how stupid, have a place on the shelf (or in the archive, etc). Printed works are cultural objects.
Thank goodness someone gets it. I thought the entire internet had been trolled by this Anonymous BS. Anonymous is just the morons from various chan websites, it’s not a fucking movement. Next week they’ll be spamming some kid’s myspace page with gay porn or “raiding” the Habbo Hotel pool. They’re just as much sheep as the Scientology followers, if not moreso.
#19: I think you may need to re-assess your priorities if you think trashing a MySpace page or raiding the Habbo Hotel pool is worse than infiltrating the government, forging bomb threats in your enemies’ names, preying on the vulnerable and taking all their money, …
The son knows the truth of his father and the”religion” he founded.
We need to clarify what a “print work” is. The Bible (King James my fave) is an absolutely essential text for any English speaker – as much as is Shakespeare. I have no time for Christians but I do have eyes, ears and a brain. $cientology may dress itself up as a religion, but it’s still just a johnny-come-lately con game. There is no objective way their drivel can be justified as anything but drivel. It is not a matter of disagreeing with it so much as knowing shite when it oozes by you. I would give ephemera like bus transfers a higher cultural priority.
This may not be a movement – yet, but is the best chance I’ve seen so far to put paid to a canker on humanity.
Please re-read my post carefully because you just attributed words to me that I never used. I never called Anonymous “bad”, “worse” or “the worst”… and I happen to agree that the people who perpetrate Scientology are a bunch of money-grubbing, lying, dangerous pieces of trash, but then so are the leaders of nearly every religion in the universe.
My point was, since when has “Anonymous” (whatever that means…because according to their own credo they can be anyone, anywhere, holding any ideals) become something newsworthy or something to be admired? They’re just a bunch of kids and neckbeards with too much time on their hands who like to find irritating ways to amuse themselves. Or maybe that was the point of Project Chanology, to irritate me specifically, in which case they’ve done a bang-up job.
No, I don’t think Anonymous is worse or better than Scientology. But that doesn’t make them any less sheep-ish. They’re all uniting under a cause. If they were the face of chaos like they claim, wouldn’t they all be pursuing different, more chaotic activities than standing outside the offices of a joke religion and spouting internet memes?
pardon my ignorance – who is $cientology hurting? if they want to believe that particular fairytale, isn’t that ok?
sorry i am just not aware of any real harm they are doing to any outsiders.
i always thought they were rather benign.
wouldn’t recruits just find some other equally nutty cult to join?
someone please educate me here – i dont understand the fuss over this ‘religion’ over any other.
just google Operation Clambake. You could read for days if not weeks
GFPLUX #49 & #50
Nope. I’m also in Euorpe and can tell you: It ain’t coz you’re in Europe!
There are plenty of Europeans against $cientology, including the German government, who have deemed: Scientology is an organization which has primarily economical interests and withheld official ‘religion’ status.
And, as unenamoured as I am with religion at all, I think you are being far too generous to $cientology, to include it amongst the ‘actual’ religions you mentioned.
#22, okay, I mis-took your comment to #15 as saying that you sided with “moron group a” rather than “moron group b”, as it were.
Anonymous’re newsworthy because they’re doing something newsworthy. This scale of protest against Scientology is unprecedented; sounds like news to me.
I fail to see how uniting under a cause makes you a sheep. Sure, if you only march under a banner ‘cos all the cool kids are doing it, that’s sheepish, but if you follow a cause because you believe in it, that seems diametrically opposed to being a sheep to me.
Also, bear in mind that there’s many cliques of “Anonymous”; the only unifying feature is that they tend to move in such circles as 4chan and Something Awful. They all have rather different ideas of what constitutes the “true Anonymous”, too – sure, some branches like the absolute chaos thing, but the Scientology-protesting lot seem to consider themselves more of a “voice of the people” than a “face of chaos”.
In other news, your sweeping generalisations (“they’re just a bunch of kids and neckbeards with too much time on their hands”) do you no favours.
L. Ron and I share a birthday, does that mean I should get my thetan levels checked out? Might I be the reincarnation of the founder of the church of scientology?
That’s a good idea, except for the fact they’ve got Hubbard’s birthday wrong. It’s the 13th, not the 15th!
See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Ron_Hubbard
I’m very surprised to see so much negativity toward L Ron Hubbard’s science fiction. I’ve read all ten books in the Mission Earth decology, multiple times. It’s quite an enthralling piece of work. I wouldn’t ask Mr. Hubbard for advice on how to run my life, but he sure could spin one hell of a yarn. I would say the same about a lot of my favorite artists, in all media. Dislike them, sure, but if you’re on a mission to rid libraries of useless drivel, you have a big job ahead of you, and there’s probably a much better place to start than Mr. Hubbard’s fiction.
Scientology is a silly religion, but aren’t all religions more than a little silly to those on the outside?
@# 21 “There is no objective way their drivel can be justified as anything but drivel”
A lot of people feel that way about The Bible, you konw. I’ve known a lot of people whose lives have been destroyed through Christianity, and some of the stories therein are about as nonsensical as what Scientology has to offer.
#19 “Libraries need more books, not less.”
This $cientology ‘protest’ crap is almost as big a waste of time as Leggos.
Find something constructive to do with your energies. $cientology recruits (read Losers) will just find some other pit to fall or jump into. That’s why they are so vulnerable to such a load of hooey. They want to believe in fairy tales.
It’s a personality trait.
Why don’t you all take on some meaningful cause, volunteer at a hospital or school or national park or someplace where your assistance will be welcomed? Why? because it won’t be fun. They may ask you to do some real work to actually accomplish something.
You are not going to stop $cientology by prancing around wearing silly halloween masks and showing of your l33+ speak (and crappy poster making) skills. People won’t take you seriously if you look like a clown, get it?
cheez. get a meaningful life and quit playing around.
Alden, correct. But Scienos celbrate it on the 15th and it is also the Ides of March. Moar importantly, the 13th is a Thursday and people have to work.
Takuan, the reason the books are in libraries? The CoS donates them. Quite effective.
#23, #29: Ah, so first Scientology’s not so bad after all, then Anon’s tactics are bunk. The paranoid in me tells me you’re a Scientologist trying to sow seeds of discontent.
Fortunately, I know to take anything my paranoid side comes up with with a pinch of salt, but it’s enough to make me wonder.
TAKUAN: re lisa mcpherson: point taken. was she taken against her will? was she mentally fit before being recruited? there are many, many cases of abused and neglected humans surfacing every day. and the method of ‘protesting’ being implemented is silly and unimpressive and probably counterproductive. there are much bigger issues to be expending our energies protesting.
6,000,000+ iraqi civilians. four thousand+ american youth, fit, trained, dead. tens of thousands injured. one fourth of returnees with ptsd. 100+ confirmed soldier suicides.
choose your battles.
Librarians are trained not to censor books for the ideas in them. We do however “select books for removal” based on complex criteria for serving the needs of the community to our best abilities.
Full shelves are not good for circulation. Browsing and book locating works best when there is ample open space. There are lots of valid reasons to remove individual books (not the title as a whole) from a library.
There are also good reasons not to circulate donated books. For instance, they can be sold at library book sales for money to support the library. Also, it often costs more to catalog and process new books than it does to purchase them. Donating books supports libraries, but it doesn’t mean they’ll end up on the shelves.
Sounds like Jan. 24 would be a better date to celebrate…
There’s an old story in science fiction fandom. Science fiction editor and author (and fan!) Sam Moscowitz tells of the occasion when Hubbard spoke before the Eastern Science Fiction Association in Newark, New Jersey in 1947: `Hubbard spoke … I don’t recall his exact words; but in effect, he told us that writing science fiction for about a penny a word was no way to make a living. If you really want to make a million, he said, the quickest way is to start your own religion.'”
My best friend in fandom used to work with Moscowitz when he was editor of a trade magazine(in the 1960s), and verified the Moscowitz quote for me. Not that it’s a surprise or anything. Scientology is the most transparent fraud since the angel Moroni took back her golden plates.
Oh, and I spelled Sam’s name wrong. It’s Moskowitz.
so i herd scientology didn’t liek mudkips?
Some of these anti scientologists are as brainwashed as the scientologists.
I HAVE NO TIME FOR CHRISTIANS! I HAVE EYES AND EARS AND A BRAIN! AND WHEN I DIE I WILL NOT BE REINCARNATED! ETERNAL OBLIVION!
OH NOES BARDIC CONFUSION
My birthday is the 15th :(
At least it’s not Hubbard’s real birthday.
@37 my birthday is the 15th as well and was sort of irked that people think hubbard’s birthday is on that day as well. booooo :(
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