February 10, 2008 04:00pm
PROTESTERS in masks demonstrated outside the Church of Scientology’s Adelaide headquarters yesterday afternoon.
The three-hour rally was part of an international campaign against the church and coincided with similar events interstate and overseas.
An internet-driven group called Anonymous was behind yesterday’s protest, which has taken down a Scientology website after declaring war on the church.
Anonymous, whose membership included hackers, has begun a “third wave” of attacks in the week-old operation dubbed Project Chanology, according to reports on News.com.au
About 150 people in masks gathered in Victoria Square before marching on the church’s Waymouth St office, where they were met by security officers guarding the building.
Curtains were drawn across the windows of the office and the protest was ignored by those inside.
Adelaide rally organiser David, who would not give his last name, said the group wanted to warn people Scientology was a dangerous cult.
“They charge money to go up levels in the church and they use psychological abuse to keep people reined in,” he said.
He said people were hiding their faces because the church was known to harass people who opposed it.
Protesters carried banners and placards denouncing the church and distributed leaflets to passersby.
A statement from the church says Anonymous is a “group of cyber-terrorists” who hack into websites.
“Anonymous is perpetrating religious hate crimes against Churches of Scientology and individual Scientologists for no other reason than religious bigotry,” the statement says