How Scientology changed the internet
Scientology was founded in Los Angeles in the 1950s by a science fiction author, L Ron Hubbard (above).
He said human beings contained the souls of Thetans – immortal creatures responsible for making the Universe.
However, the world has been invaded by dark forces – the Engrams – and individuals can be cleansed and enlightened only through intense therapy called Dianetics.
It is a costly process and the Scientologists expect their adherents to donate considerable sums.
In the US, where Scientology has attracted a number of Hollywood celebrities, it enjoys the full rights of a recognised religion.
But in Europe, several governments – including the UK – have denied Scientology tax exemptions enjoyed by other churches.
What do Wikipedia, Wikileaks, Anonymous and copyright law have in common? The answer is they have all been influenced by the Church of Scientology International (CSI), as it took on ex-members and critics who took their protests on to the internet. As the Church successfully removes another website, just how big an influence has Scientology had on the internet we all use?
Last month digital rights activists at the influential Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) placed the Church of Scientology into their hall of shame over what it says were repeated acts against internet freedoms.
It was just the latest twist in the Church’s long-running feud with “negative” Scientology content online, one that has lasted almost two decades.
Back in May 1994, at a time when most major organisations were yet to figure out how exactly to deal with the relatively unknown power of the internet, the Church’s Elaine Siegel had a few ideas, outlined in a leaked email to “all Scientologists on the internet”.
“I would like to ask your assistance in getting each one of you to post positive messages on the internet (at least once a week, more if you like), about Scientology,” she wrote.
“If you imagine 40-50 Scientologists posting on the internet every few days, we’ll just run the SP’s [ex-members] right off the system.
“It will be quite simple, actually.”
Or perhaps not.
Continue here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23273109
good article..google in bed with anyone who pays..they have contributed via Scientology to a crackdown on freedom of expression on the internet..
L Ron Hubbard can save your life!