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YouTube Yanks 'Anonymous' Group's 'Message to Scientology' Vid

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

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BATTLEFIELD YOUTUBE Cruise in the original Scientology video The "Message to Scientology" video that launched Anonymous' attacks against the Church of Scientology was removed by YouTube yesterday due to a "terms of use violation."

The video—which featured an ominous computer-generated voice warning the church that "Anonymous has ... decided that your organization should be destroyed" against a creepy backdrop of gathering clouds—sparked a wide-ranging assault on Scientology, from denial-of-service-attacks on the church's website to a worldwide protest at nearly 100 Scientology offices last weekend that drew roughly 6,000 people. It had been viewed more than 2.3 million times before it was removed.

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The Anonymous attacks themselves were motivated by the church's successful effort to force YouTube to remove the video of Tom Cruise going crazy Scientology-style that was briefly posted last month. That video is available here.

According to Anonymous members, "Message to Scientology" was removed after another video, also purporting to be from Anonymous, was posted and quickly removed yesterday that included a threat to blow up a Scientology building in Los Angeles.

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"As of right now we have contacted a lawyer and are going to do everything we can to get the video put back up," says an Anonymous member via e-mail. "The bomb threat video was not us—in fact, we were the ones that got it taken down. A mass movement by Anon online got the video flagged numerous times, taken down, and Anonymous itself even contacted the FBI via their website and phoned them."



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