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Scientologists Bring in Fed Big Boys to Squash Internet Attacks

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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SCIENTOLOGY NO. 2 Cruise (Photo: Getty Images) Are elders at the notoriously litigious Church of Scientology reaching out to the federal governmental for protection against a recent spate of Internet attacks? A source tells Radar that Church leaders have been so flustered by "Anonymous"— the online collective disrupting the Church's day-to-day operations after it attempted to prevent the dissemination of the now-infamous Tom Cruise video—that they've asked the U.S. Attorney General's office in Los Angeles, the FBI, as well as the LAPD to launch a criminal investigation into possible criminal activity by any hackers.

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Disparate individuals working under the banner of "Anonymous" initially congregated on the online collaborative community 4chan (a description of the group, its motives, and its goals can now be found here). Their efforts to draw attention to the Church's "campaigns of misinformation" and tendency to suppress dissent have generally been successful: The first coordinated raid against the COS, a denial of service attack, crashed the Church's website. Anonymous members subsequently bombarded the Church with calls in order to tie up phone lines, sent "black faxes" to waste ink, and also "Google bombed" the Church by tying the word "Scientology" to such nefarious terms as "dangerous" and "cult" in order to skewer search results. A complete rundown of the attack, dubbed "Project Chanology," can be found here. On the site, February 10 is cited as the day of reckoning for Scientologists.

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