International "Protest Scientology" Day

This morning's Boston Globehelda story of about fifty people who were protesting yesterday outside of the Church of Scientology headquarters in Boston wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Upon further investigation, it seems like a worldwide Scientology protest took place yesterdayand cities involved includedSydney, London, Seattle and Los Angeles. The protest was organized by a web-based group called "Anonymous" or "Anon" who claims that the Church of Scientology is a greedy cash-collecting cult.The protesttook place on what would have been Lisa McPherson's 49th birthday. A former Scientology adherent, Lisa McPherson's deathin 1995 led to a controversial look at the Church of Scientology and its practices.Directionsto protesters onwebsites said, "Do nothing illegal," "No Violence," "Disguise yourself...Wear a mask (Guy Fawkes is best, but anything that doesn't look intimidating is good. Alien masks are also good)."The Church of Scientology issued a statement condemning these protests and claimed:

Anonymous is perpetrating religious hate crimes against Churches of Scientology and individual Scientologists for no reason other than religious bigotry.It is Anonymous that has repeatedly attempted to suppress free speech through illegal assaults on church websites so as to prevent internet users from obtaining information.

One news source claims that the total number of protestors worldwide was anywhere between 6000 and 8000.Anonymous says, "We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."

Marianne L. Tierney is a PhD student in theology at Boston College.

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