Jim McCormick" />
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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Anonymous reconnects families

I’m going to start by saying that I have absolutely no problem with any religious belief system. You’re free to believe what you will, and I respect that. There are certain religious institutions, however, whose practices I find objectionable from a moral viewpoint.

At the end of January, I wrote a column criticizing the tactics of the Internet group Anonymous at the beginning of its campaign against the Church of Scientology. Since that time, Anonymous has adopted more constructive and peaceful means of protest to heart, despite some unproven claims by the Church of Scientology to the contrary. This month, they are planning an event known as "Operation Reconnect," in which people who have lost family members to the church will make bold attempts at contacting loved ones who have "disconnected" with them.

For those who aren’t familiar with Scientology’s practices, a brief description of disconnection should suffice. When a person is told to disconnect from their loved ones outside the church, they are essentially coerced into forgoing any contact or communication with their family and non-Scientology friends. The church claims that this is supposed to reduce a person’s exposure to "entheta" or bad thoughts, but most critics and outside observers view it as a means of mind control: if a person doesn’t see life outside the group, they have no frame of reference with which to compare their experiences.

There are numerous stories posted on various websites and the Usenet group alt.religion.scientology from ex-Scientologists about their experiences with disconnection--a simple Google search will turn up stories of human rights abuses the likes of which aren’t even seen at Guantanamo Bay. Many of these stories are posted anonymously, simply because the church is quite willing to send private investigators out to stalk former members and critics, and to abuse the legal system to retaliate against those that speak harshly about life on the inside. For a complete example of what lengths Scientology is willing to go to silence its critics, Googling "Operation Freakout" will ultimately give you the story of a reporter that was harassed by Scientology for over a decade before the FBI found out and stopped it.

Tearing people away from their friends and family is an unpardonable offense. People need their loved ones as the basis of their network of support. Family connecting are almost essential to leading a healthy life. For the most part, Scientologists still love the family members from whom they have disconnected, and have only left their families under threat of the church’s strong-arm tactics which include the threat of approximately $3,000 in additional required coursework and possible expulsion from the church as a suppressive person-someone who, according to Scientology doctrine, "may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." These are the words of the church founder himself,L. Ron Hubbard.

That being said, if you have a loved one who has been taken from you by the Church of Scientology, Anonymous wants to hear from you. Simply send an e-mail to [email protected], and someone will be able to give you details about the upcoming protest in conjunction with Operation Reconnect on April 12, or at least take your story so that it may be shared with the world should you wish to remain anonymous. Any other responses to this column, including comments by Scientologists about what a of horrible person I am can be directed to [email protected].

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