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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Scientology Apostate Part III: Anonymous' Effect on the Org

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Are these weirdos making a difference?
  • Are these weirdos making a difference?

Earlier this month, Anonymous claimed their first potential defector from within San Francisco's Church of Scientology. Meanwhile, the church's president, Jeff Quiros, told SF Weekly the masked protesters' presence has only buoyed the public's interest in the org.

This week, we've posted the statistics that ethicstrouble claims to have smuggled out of the org, and we've talked with this inside source about daily life at the church. Today, we post our conversation with ethicstrouble about Anonymous.

Disclaimer: W
e have no confirmation that Ethicstrouble is, indeed, a San Francisco Scientologist. But two ex-Scientologists have said the graphs the source sent us look legit. Now, ethicstrouble says the leadership of the org is changing protocols to make sure such a leak doesn't happen again. "Right now, it's much greater security -- shredding them as soon as the executives see them. There's a shredder in the ED's [executive director's] office, so [the papers] will probably go straight in there."

SF Weekly: What was the reaction at the org when Anonymous first showed up three years ago outside the Columbus Avenue building?

ET: It was pretty shocking and upsetting. I didn't know what to do.

People were told not to talk to them, just walk by and go in. The first

thing you do when Anonymous shows up is you shut the front gates and make everyone have to go through the side. For staffers, it was like the

opposite of how Scientology teaches you to confront a PTS -- a potential

trouble source. There's a PTS-SP course on how to confront and shatter

suppression. Those things are not being done with Anonymous.

SFW: Who said not to talk to Anonymous?

ET: It comes from San Francisco Scientology President Jeff [Quiros]. He lays down the rules.

SFW: And what's the reaction of the church toward Anonymous now that they're still at it?

ET: It's personal. Some people are are bothered by it and intimidated

by it. Most accept it and say that's the way it is, and go about their

life and work. But everyone is saying in the back of their mind, "God,

they're still there, we're not winning." L. Ron Hubbard says the more

they fight us the more it proves we're winning, but it's good Anonymous is out there, because it is starting to wear

on people. How long can you say we're winning when the org is empty and

Anonymous is out there protesting? Little by little you wake up, and

pretty soon you say fuck it, I'm looking on the Internet, I'd like to

see what the hell is going on.

SFW: What was most important for you:

specific things the protesters said, or the presence of protesters outside?

ET: The presence was the most important. I thought the signs were

silly. Most of the signs are silly -- "Tom Cruise looks like an idiot,"

that sort of thing. It's just the fact they're there, because they're

just having fun and dancing -- there's no real information we're going to

get. And to go on the [Anonymous] website, if any of the staff members have the

gumption to do that.

SFW: What about the graph that [church member] Jerry showed the protesters last

month that indicated the  protests have increased the amount of people coming

into the org? Was that real? 

ET: They don't talk about [the encounter between Jerry and Anonymous] in

the org, but when I saw the graph online, it's not true. His graph is

going up. It was too perfect, to be frank. Look at the graphs I sent you

and how wacko they are. That his graph was perfect, slowing going up -- give me a break!

SFW: Is there anyone else doubting Scientology within the org?

ET: I know of two people.

SFW: Have those two been affected by Anonymous as well?

ET: Yes.

SFW: How important would you say Anonymous was to your starting to question Scientology?


ET: If it weren't for Anonymous, I may still be in, because Anonymous

pushed me to look harder. I said, Why aren't these guys going away? I

always had an excuse for everything. The reason we're talking is I want

to acknowledge the people raiding in

San Francisco because it helped me wake up. Without them, it would have

taken longer.

Tomorrow we'll talk more about ethicstrouble's path to questioning the church.

Follow us on Twitter @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

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Lauren Smiley


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