How not to protest Scientology
A hooligan claiming to be a member of an anti-Scientology group was arrested Wednesday for attempting to “desecrate” the Church of Scientology with a wacky weapon – Vaseline, police said.
Mahoud Samed Almahadin – the name he gave cops – tossed a number of books around, then smeared the petroleum jelly on a TV set, shelves and himself during the incident at the W. 46th St. Scientology center last week.
A cohort videotaped the 18-year-old’s antics while surveillance cameras filmed them both.
Cops used the tapes to track down the dopey duo, who said they were members of Anonymous, a shadowy, Internet-based anti-Scientology group.
A cop escorting the suspect to his arraignment, said “He’s just a kid. He’s young and he’s dumb.”
Almahadin, whose who goes by Matt Connor on the Web, was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and aggravated harassment as hate crimes. No charges were filed against the other man.
No friend of Scientology, Tony Ortega at The Village Voice writes:
No, this isn’t brave. It’s exactly the kind of crap Wise Beard Man warned would only backfire on Anonymous.
Anonymous kids: the adults are not going to see the humor, and they’re even calling this a “hate crime.”
Scientology always whines that it’s the victim of persecution, and now you’ve handed them the best publicity they could ask for.
Meanwhile actor Jason Beghe — who in April 2008 became the first celebrity to speak out against Scientology — has a message for Anonymous:
Anonymous set out to do something, which was to get the Church of Scientology to stop fucking around with “their” Internet. And they succeeded! That game is over, and someone should give them a big medal.
Since that game is over, they ought to create a new one. And it sure ain’t running around rubbing pubic hair on people and things. That gives Scientology an easy way to play the victim. Which is one of their tactics.
I think Anonymous should be very proud of what they accomplished. And they should know that the Church of Scientology is nothing to be afraid of.
Maybe their next game should be ‘Naked Anonymous.’ And I don’t mean take your pants off. I mean take your masks off. Show them that you’re not afraid.
Tony writes: “Tomorrow, another message for Anonymous, this time from Wise Beard Man.”
Scientology’s hate crimes
The Church of Scientology will likely use this incident in its attempts to be portrayed as a ‘persecuted’ ‘religion.’ It is therefore good to keep in mind how Scientology operates. For instance, its founder — whose words are scripture to the organization — condoned and encouraged unethical behavior toward those who criticize Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard referred to this as ‘dead agenting‘ and ‘fair game‘ — policies that have left the Church of Scientology with a lengthy, embarassing record of hate- and harassment activities.
None of that justifies illegal acts against the cult. In that regard, anti-Scientology activist Mark Bunker certainly does earn his ‘Wise Beard Man’ nickname:
We appreciate your support
Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this service free of charge.