Scientology wants to fight the Interwebs
Man, I never realized Katie Holmes marrying Tom Cruise would be such a blessing in disguise. While I figured she would eventually break away from the cult, I never realized it was going to turn into a Lifetime movie version of Not Without My Daughter. Tom’s carefully crafted public image is crumbling under increased media pressure, curious about Scientology and increasingly unafraid of the consequences of criticism. This is a fairly recent phenomenon. There was a time when their army of lawyers could crush any tiny article or TV report which cast a critical eye on their organization or their messiah, L.Ron Hubbard (don’t be fooled: he is indeed revered in a way usually reserved for gods).
Part of the reason they are so weakened is Scientology has been unable to fully grasp the power of the Internet, and as such they have failed to contain the perpetual tide of information leaks that seem to be escalating. The latest is a series of emails between members effectively freaking out over the split, and attempting to do some damage control. One email, from the ‘Office of Special Affairs’ (they’re in James Bond villain territory with that one) details how church members are to hit the Internet and try to suppress any negative bit of trolling the Internet is shouting. Because most major websites have a Code of Conduct (their version of laws), and because Scientologists love to use rules to squash resistance, it’s a strategy perfectly matched to their M.O.
Of course, the general rule about the Internet is when you try to control it, you flirt with the possibility of becoming the target of some very powerful people who navigate this cyberspace as effortlessly as an eel navigates the currents. Do not awaken the God of the Internet, for they will crush you!