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Prison Terms For Spammer Ralsky, Scientology DoS Attacker

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the at-least-ralksy's-is-longer dept.

The Courts 328

tsu doh nimh writes "Alan Ralsky, the 64-year-old dubbed the 'Godfather of Spam,' was sentenced to 51 months in prison on Monday, the Washington Post's Security Fix blog reports. According to anti-spam group Spamhaus.org, Ralsky has been spamming since at least 1997, using dozens of aliases and tens of thousands of 'zombies' or hacked PCs to relay junk e-mail. Also sentenced — to 40 months in jail — was Ralsky's 48-year-old son-in-law, Scott K. Bradley, and two other men named last year in a 41-count indictment for wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and violations of the CAN-SPAM Act." And eldavojohn writes "19-year-old Dmitriy Guzner, Anonymous member and Scientology DDoS attacker, received one year and one day in jail for his admitted crime. His sentence could have been a maximum ten years. According to the Church of Scientology, Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'"

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328 comments

Church of Scientology (5, Funny)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215578)

Scientology members complaining about being harassed is like Mormons bitching about missionaries knocking on their doors.

Re:Church of Scientology (0, Troll)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215848)

When was the last time you were harassed by a Scientology member?

Re:Church of Scientology (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215880)

I was going to reply to this, but I'm going to have to have my lawyer check the gag order first.

Re:Church of Scientology (5, Insightful)

bmajik (96670) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216048)

When was the last time you were harassed by a Scientology member?

When I woke up today and used the internet.

Scientology was the first organization I am aware of that successfully forced an internet anonymous email service to dig up and disclose information about its clients. All over copyright claims. I am referring to anon.penet.fi, the famous anonymous remailer we all used in the 90s.

In the early days when nobody cared about what "we" did with the internet, we knew that for every asshole that was up to serious evil, there were 10 smart guys who didn't care what your deal was, but hated assholes and could route around them. There were jackasses, but technology always beats jackasses.

Then the law came, and all of that got a lot harder.

Today we have the ability to make "highly" anonymous network connections but we rely on a small group of very VERY dedicated people to make that possible.. [people with the wherewithal to run TOR exit nodes, for instance].

Those entities [be they CoS or rotten governments] who want to destroy free speech must not be tolerated by us.

I remember my senior year of college when I got a takedown-letter about hosting DeCSS. And you know what? I folded, because I had a good job lined up that required I _not_ be a felon. Freedom of speech lost a little bit and I helped give it away, because a warm bed and a normal life are more convenient than principles and freedom.

Our enemies know that, and they attack the weakest of us not to get rid of one or two, but because of the chilling effect it has on the rest of us. No one can escape the law forever, and thus the law, which is supposed to protect the freedom of one man from the encroachments of another, is used as their tool for enslaving us to their desires.

I'm a fallible man and most of us are. That doesn't mean we don't deserve to hate the entites that continue to attack us by perverting the institutions we designed to protect ourselves.

I congratulate the "moralfags" [as they are called within anonymous] who are fighting back. Sometimes, it comes at a high cost, like with this guy.

Re:Church of Scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216264)

When was the last time you were harassed by a Scientology member?

Just the other day, actually. Many Scientologists are bloody awful at keeping their love for LRH out of everyday interaction.

All I want to do is get on with what I do; I don't want to go learn management as taught by LRH, and I think it's worse than cheeky to try to force me to do it. I am not interested in relearning my discipline as taught by L Ron Hubbard. It's creepy to inject your love for a pulp scifi author into everyday life, let alone into the everyday lives of people - colleagues and people with whom you do business - who don't subscribe to your UFO cult.

Sorry. But it's true.

Re:Church of Scientology (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216506)

They've got a booth at the mall, it's up there semi-permanently as far as I can tell. They're fairly loud proselytizers.

I kinda've want to go in there and take one of their stress tests so I can fuck with'em, but haven't yet.

Re:Church of Scientology (2, Interesting)

mknutty (1684802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215890)

Yeah, but on the scale of evil bastards, I'd rather spammers get comeuppance than the scientologists. Especially if the spam included DoS attacks, hacking, and bomb threats. For most people, scientology is just a bad joke, but spammers are screwing with the everyday lives of pretty much everyone out there. And one year in jail is not enough disincentive.

Re:Church of Scientology (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215974)

Spamming doesn't ruin lives.

Re:Church of Scientology (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216176)

Neither does CoS without the subject's consent. AFAIK CoS isn't kidnapping unwilling people and forcing them to become members, so it's kind of Darwinian in principle. I personally believe the tax-exempt status for CoS should be revoked. Then they'd vanish overnight. But CoS exists because there is a demand for such perverse entities, and when they're gone there will be another. The problem isn't L.Ron's merry bunch of wackos, it's the cult member tendency (read mental illness) of so many people in our society.

Re:Church of Scientology (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216192)

Tell that to those who fall for the Nigerian scams that are spammed to everyone.

Re:Church of Scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216508)

Those are scammers, not spammers.

Re:Church of Scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216270)

Well considering that the way Scientology became tax free was to DDoS the US Court systems, with 10k+ nuisance lawsuits, I would agree. I hope Xenu eats them all!

Re:Church of Scientology (1)

stumblingblock (409645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216548)

Using a metaphor of camping in the wild, spammers are like mosquitos and CoS is like a grizzly bear. Which would you rather see disappear if you could only choose one?

141 million hits on its website? (2, Insightful)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215584)

Since when is visiting a website vandalism? This is terrifying! /. could have me arrested for almost 10 years of visiting!

Re:141 million hits on its website? (4, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215614)

Well, your refresh script obviously failed because you didn't get the first post.

Re:141 million hits on its website? (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215846)

When you do it with the attempt to stop the server... That is vandalism. Slashdot having a lot of people who want to read the content is not vandalism it is not having the correct server capacity. As always the difference is intent.

Re:141 million hits on its website? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216260)

You got a syntax error in your sig. Missing a t.

Re:141 million hits on its website? (1)

CaseCrash (1120869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216570)

As long as someone has brought this up, i've been wanting to ask, shouldn't it be:

DoWhatIWant() DoItFaster(Function), eg. DoItFaster(DoWhatIWant)

without the ()'s so that the do it faster is passed the function, not the result of that function. as it stands you're running the first one, then doing the other, not speeding up the original function at all.

Re:141 million hits on its website? (2, Informative)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215886)

I'm pretty sure that 141 million hits qualifies as a DDOS, especially on a site not designed to handle that much traffic. Of course, it depends on the timeframe for those hits, but even over a year, that's 5 hits per second.

Not a lazy man at least (2, Funny)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215602)

'8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'

Well, that's one way to keep busy.

Re:Not a lazy man at least (2, Insightful)

ThorofAsgard (1644263) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215644)

It wasn't just one man, it was the entire group 'Anonymous'. However I find it funny that Scientology has such specific figures, especially on the phone calls.

Re:Not a lazy man at least (2, Informative)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216486)

However I find it funny that Scientology has such specific figures, especially on the phone calls.

If you plan to take legal action for harassment, it behooves you to document that all.

Re:Not a lazy man at least (1)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215674)

He seriously placed more than 8k phone calls for the purpose of harassing them? Did he place all these calls himself, or hire a small army?

I think my limit for placing calls to complain about something is around 4 - the 5th is to just cancel and move on.

Re:Not a lazy man at least (4, Informative)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215910)

He didn't hire a small army, he was part of a small army.
http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Chanology [encycloped...matica.com] - NSFW
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanology [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not a lazy man at least (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216054)

Inb4PersonalArmy

Re:Not a lazy man at least (4, Interesting)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216098)

Project Chanology has nothing to do with the orchestration of DDoS attacks and harassment attempts with the Church of Scientology.

The members of the small group that decided to perform these attacks did this on their own which caused losts of infighting between Anonymous since performing anything illegal goes against Project Chanology's cause.

it's all about the lulz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216100)

not your personal army

Re:Not a lazy man at least (3, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216234)

Just FYI for those who don't have the time or inclination to decipher 'Anonymous' and '/b/'s sarcastic parody insider language: Anonymous is not a "group" in the traditional sense. Nobody "joins" Anonymous. Everybody who feels like doing a prank is a member of Anonymous for the moment they are doing the prank and they are not as soon as the prank is done. Anonymous has no consensus or agreement on their goals or motives. Nobody can request action on behalf of Anonymous ("Anonymous is not your personal army").

More than anything else "Anonymous" is a term or meme that describes the mob effect that occurs in response to shared outrage or shared giggles. In this way it is not entirely unlike Slashdot. It is ridiculous when someone says 'Slashdot believes this' or 'Slashdot agrees with that'.

It is grossly unfair for Guzner to get the blame for over 9,000 phone calls and the rest as a "member of Anonymous". Nobody is a member of Anonymous, and everyone is a member of Anonymous.

Re:Not a lazy man at least (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215852)

I wonder if "I'm quitting this shithole organization" counts as a threatening phone call. Because in that case at least one of those 8139 calls came from Paul Haggis.

scientology (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215606)

According to the Church of Scientology, Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with ... 141 million hits on its website ...

Sorry, what was the website URL again?

NIGGERS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THEM! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215612)

Sterilize all American black males. Only the American ones who were born in America, the ones from Africa who come to the USA are actually pretty cool. Not a big surprise that they don't like Black America's thug culture either despite being black themselves. For the most part its the black American males who usually end up in prison by the age of 30 and generally put a tremendous strain on our justice system and all our social services. They are the reason you can't walk in the street in any urban downtown area without wondering whether you are going to get mugged or worse. It's their inherent attributes. If it were caused by racism, then why do the statistics for black females look so much better? A black female might be discriminated against for being black AND for being a woman, so this alone disproves that whole "their higher crime rate and higher children-out-of-wedlock rate is always caused entirely by racism" bullshit excuse. So let's have mandatory vasectomies for all of them, done in such a way that they cannot be reversed. Our future generations will thank us.

If my great-great grandpa knew that things would turn out like this, he'd have picked his own cotton. No question about it.

Re:NIGGERS AND WHAT TO DO WITH THEM! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215904)

Except that the same kind of thuggery exists in the UK and is perpetrated by whites.

Scientology: It can't even fail properly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215640)

8,139 threatening phone calls

If you're going to make up statistics, Scilons, at least make sure they're over 9,000.

dark side of the coin (0, Troll)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215650)

It's funny to me that the people who complain about spam the most are also the "information wants to be free" types. You can't have it both ways. Freedom of speech, freedom of data transmission also applies to hawkers of Viiagr11a and c1la15!!) doesn't it? As to DDoS attacks, how many times are you allowed to knock on a church's door before it becomes illegal? Though you might agree with this particular case, it opens up the door for more intrusive precedents. Once you allow the government to ban heroin, you give them jurisdiction over your body that will become more and more intrusive.

Re:dark side of the coin (3, Informative)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215704)

Information is signal, not noise.

Re:dark side of the coin (1, Insightful)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215724)

do you really want the government deciding which is which?

Re:dark side of the coin (2, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215776)

Unfortunately someone has to -- if we can't control the flow of noise a bit the Internet will be totally unusable.

Re:dark side of the coin (4, Insightful)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215836)

Brilliant! You have just created a mechanism by which the government can declare all dissent from its policies "noise" and thus be blocked.

Back in the USSR, they used to respond with dissent by calling it the result of mental illness. After all, the dictatorship of the proletariat always had the best interests of the common folk at heart. If you disagreed with its policies, it must be because you are a poor suffering victim of some kind of anti-social personality disorder.

Re:dark side of the coin (4, Insightful)

NetRanger (5584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215942)

Personality disorders, like, extreme anti-government paranoia? Or confusing basic regulations for Stalinist policies?

Re:dark side of the coin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216124)

If you think legislating what mad apes think and believe is "basic regulations" I fear for the future from both the left and right near equally.

Re:dark side of the coin (2, Insightful)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216006)

Brilliant! You have just created a mechanism by which the government can declare all dissent from its policies "noise" and thus be blocked.

The US Government can do that and already has done so on a number of occasions.

Re:dark side of the coin (2, Informative)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216062)

It's about consent, not about content. Spam, by definition [spamhaus.org], is unsolicited bulk e-mail. The type of content doesn't enter into it, so any concerns about censorship are misplaced.

Re:dark side of the coin (1)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216128)

I get unsolicited mail in my snail mail box pretty much every day, and that does a hell of a lot more damage to the environment and productivity time (sorting, recycling, et c.) than spam does.

Re:dark side of the coin (1)

gnieboer (1272482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216164)

IANAL, but I don't think consent is the issue either. You get bulk snail mail delivered to your physical mailbox daily that you didn't consent to receive. But those folks don't go to jail.
I would think the hacking of machines to create their shell boxes and similar crimes would be more the issue.

Re:dark side of the coin (4, Funny)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215860)

do you really want the government deciding which is which?

The government doesn't really decide that. We do. We complain, the government investigates. It isn't a proactive measure that the government is taking.

However we could have issues if it grows to something similar to the FCC.

Re:dark side of the coin (2, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215898)

Legislating against spam has nothing to do with free speech whatsoever. It has everything to do with poisoning the commons. If we, as a society, can enact laws saying it is illegal for a mining company to dump 10,000 litres of cyanide into a river, then we can also enact laws saying it is illegal for Alan Ralsky to dump ten billion rolex spams into the world's routing hardware.

Re:dark side of the coin (1)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216052)

I vastly prefer a technological solution to one that comes at the point of a government gun. Look, if you own the router, it's your responsibility to accept or reject information going into it.

Re:dark side of the coin (3, Insightful)

windex82 (696915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216484)

That's cool, I'm going to come knock on your door for the next three years. The knocking is just a bit of a nuisance and since you've done your part and locked me out all is well right?

Somehow I feel that if I did that I would be looking at a solution that comes from the point of a government gun.

Re:dark side of the coin (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215956)

Freedom of speech implies that the recipient wants to listen. I should be allowed to post the DeCSS code on the internet, but I should not be allowed to stuff dozens of copies in people's mailboxes.

Re:dark side of the coin (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216000)

Freedom of speech implies that the recipient wants to listen.

It does? Then it's not freedom of speech, it's freedom to hear.

Re:dark side of the coin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216464)

There's both. You can speak all you want, but you don't have a right to be heard, because nobody has to listen. I'm not sure spamming on its own should be illegal, but often those spam emails contain other illegal things, such as fraud. Those could be dealt with using existing laws.

Re:dark side of the coin (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216528)

Certainly, and making certain speech illegal is not illegal in and of itself, either. Death threats aren't exactly "legal." You can get arrested for spouting off too angrily at your neighbor, too.

Re:dark side of the coin (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216022)

Are you sure it is the same people, or are you just making that assertion because it helps you make a point?

Re:dark side of the coin (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216086)

On the spam issue: it still seems like the best solution is not to attack the senders (there will always be more if there's $$$ to be made) but rather to attack the recipients. Send out a couple million ads for cheap dick pills, and mail the "customers" cyanide tablets. "Thin the herd", as the hunters say.

One would assume that after the first hundred or so people died that ordering prescriptions from dodgy outfits in spam mail would be a little less popular...

Re:dark side of the coin (2, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216144)

It's funny to me that the people who complain about spam the most are also the "information wants to be free" types.

And if you get caught lying to the tax office about your income, you probably also pull the argument that free speech, as guaranteed by the constitution, also covers lying to the tax office, right?

Freedom of speech doesn't mean that you may (mis-)use any medium to tell your opinion. It just says that you must have the possibility to do so, and to do so in public. It doesn't say you have the right to fill up private mailboxes with it. I reserve the right to decide what I want to have in my(!) mailbox. If you want to tell the world about how great your replica watches are, or how much you like the Democrats or Republicans, you are invited to do on any public channel. But keep it out of my mailbox. It's my mailbox. It is not public.

Re:dark side of the coin (1)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216220)

Though you might agree with this particular case, it opens up the door for more intrusive precedents.

This is insane; like arguing that prosecuting graffiti as vandalism will suddenly descend into house painters doing hard time. Exactly the same kind of "I'm too stupid to distinguish good from bad" as school officials occasionally get laughed at when some draconian rule (say, meant to address gang activity) is applied mercilessly to an obviously good student.

As to DDoS attacks, how many times are you allowed to knock on a church's door before it becomes illegal?

You've been struck dumb by your paranoia. There's a qualitative difference between a knocking on a church's door (accessing a website) and trying to knock down a church's door (DDoS'ing it). No legitimate user, even those employing web crawlers, will generate within orders of magnitude of the traffic as a DDoS attack. Even if a non-malicious user somehow "accidentally" DDoS' a site, that person would still be liable for that negligent behavior.

Re:dark side of the coin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216266)

It's funny to me that the people who complain about spam the most are also the "information wants to be free" types.

And you do not see a difference between them ? Like one being pushed and the other pulled ? Really ?

You can't have it both ways.

Oh yeah I can. I can have it both ways by declaring it a one-way street (pun intended) by disagreeing with your notion of (spam) having a right to use my communication-pipe (snail-mail, phone, internet, my ears or otherwise) as you/they please, even against my expressed wishes. I regard that as tresspassing.

Freedom of speech, freedom of data transmission also applies to hawkers of Viiagr11a and c1la15!!) doesn't it?

Sigh ... Some people still think that "freedom of speech" is the same as having the right to demand other people to listen to them. Grow up kid, you can't stay that ignorant all your life you know.

Ralsky's the guy that Slashdot spammed... (5, Informative)

douglips (513461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215654)

He took it right in the ass. It was beautiful.

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/12/06/1554227 [slashdot.org]

Re:Ralsky's the guy that Slashdot spammed... (1)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216116)

>> According to the Church of Scientology, Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'"

s/harassed and attacked/enlightened/

L. Con Hubbard (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215662)

A direct quote from L Con Hubbard:
Attack...never defend.
Apparently the only way to keep up a teetering "religion" is to attack.

Look no further for a viral media consultant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215670)

He got the website 141 million hits? Sounds like they should be paying him, not prosecuting him.

Scientology is not a religion! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215706)

...it's a tax evasion scheme.

Re:Scientology is not a religion! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215988)

.... it's a tax evasion scheme.

If you had phrased that in the form of a statement backed by references, you might not have been modded flamebait:

"Didn't France convict the CoS of fraud? ( http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/27/france.scientology.fraud/index.html [cnn.com] )"

or

"Arnaldo Lerma tells us that, 'when I asked why Scientology was now being called a church, I was told that it was for tax purposes.' ( http://www.lermanet.com/LRonHubbard2.htm [lermanet.com] )"

Something like that might have gotten the flamebait mods countered by positive ones... even if it (and this post) are likely somewhat off-topic for this particular article.

"And a partridge in a pear tree!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215716)

8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism , 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.

1.1 GOLDEN YEARS!

I know what the guy did is wrong... (1, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215804)

But Scientology is just pure evil. I can't help but sympathize even if I can't condone. I have mixed feelings though...no one should have their lives threatened...but another part of me thinks Scientologists kind of deserve it because of the suffering they cause. Very confusing. It would all be easier if people didn't like and exploit each other. Too bad that will never happen in my life time.

Which wormhole did I fall through? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30215840)

Why is it freedom of religion is so sacred in these modern times? It's the 21st century already and we still let these lunatics preach their thought control?

No one should go to jail for such an altruistic effort as shutting down a cult. Janet Reno and her cronies killed 76 people just like the ones these guys harassed and didn't see a day in jail. These guys make some threats and they all do time? The whole thing would be laughable if it weren't eerily true.

I'm sure the religious nuts that frequent /. will mod me down. It's ok. You probably lost control of your thoughts at an early age, when your parents forced it on you, so I don't hold you accountable.

Peace and love.

scientology (5, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215864)

is not a church.

Re:scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216008)

They are in the eyes of the law and tax collectors. That's all that matters when it comes to wealth and power.

Re:scientology (2, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216016)

Who gave you the ability to decide that, the Pope?

Re:scientology (5, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216066)

They are a cult.

People are put in physically or emotionally distressing situations;
Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader;
They get a new identity based on the group;
They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives, and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.

From everything I've read about and seen of Scientolgists and Scientology, they do all of those things.

Contrast that to say...Judaism or Islam, theres a big difference.

Re:scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216092)

Uh, have you not heard about all the atrocities they've committed? Do 5 minutes of research and try and tell yourself they are anything but a criminal organization.

Re:scientology (1, Troll)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216050)

Scientology is an efficient church. They are focusing on what a church usually does: scamming people out of their money and scamming them for control.

Re:scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216120)

Oh I don't know, most of the things that Anonymous (and others) have been protesting about them is just as true of the Catholic church; they are both international criminal organizations. The difference is that Scientology has actually been caught and convicted at least once.

Religion: large cult
Cult: small religion

Prison talk (4, Funny)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30215888)

"So, you're the guy who keeps sending me those male enhancement meds spam huh?"

"No sir, i'm only specialising in female spam, nothing else!"

"Yeah, right! well i'll make an example for the next spammer who dares saying that i need such drugs!"

*drops pants*

"Mommy!"

Re:Prison talk (1)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216014)

*drops pants*

"Mommy! .... Well obviously the drugs have worked for you."

typical /. libermentarianism... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216194)

it was inevitable that a story about someone the hivemind dislikes has a insensitive joke about prison rape.

and of course, it's also inevitable that we'll have some nimby-pimpby sanctimonious PC jerkwad stating that isn't funny.

Re:Prison talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216312)

"So, you're the guy who keeps sending me those male enhancement meds spam huh?"

"No sir, i'm only specialising in female spam, nothing else!"

"Yeah, right! well i'll make an example for the next spammer who dares saying that i need such drugs!"

*drops pants*

"Mommy!"

...
  *flop* *flop* *flop*
Bubba: There! do you think I need viagra now uh?
  *flop* *flop*
Spammer: Please insert the balls! insert the balls!
  *flop* *flop* *flop*
Bubba: u wanna me to insert ma balls?
  *flop* *flop*
Spammers: the balls of my eyes because they are popping out!

[sorry, bad Spanish->English translated joke)

A Year and a Day? (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216078)

What was the sentencing judge trying to say with that sentence? It's a very sort of "traditional" span of time. Was this a "you don't do any real harm, but you must realize that this behavior is not acceptable?" type of message?

Hrmmmm (2, Funny)

SLot (82781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216132)

'8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'

part of me mentally read all of those numbers as 'over 9000'

Re:Hrmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30216580)

How did you read ten, 22, and 8 as over 9000?

yah but... (3, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216306)

"Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'"

They always say that.

Ok... (3, Interesting)

koinu (472851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216316)

8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church^Wsect leaders

Where do I send fan mail for this guy?

Fighting monsters (1, Insightful)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216382)

"Nineteen year old Dmitriy Guzner, Anonymous member and Scientology DDoS attacker, received one year and one day in jail for his admitted crime. His sentence could have been a maximum ten years. According to the Church of Scientology, Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'"

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.
--Friedrich Nietzsche

Anonymous is winning (5, Interesting)

AnonymousX (1632759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216424)

Anonymous has done a lot since the early days of prank calls and whatnot. The legal protests as well as other actions by Anonymous (also legal) have delivered a crushing and unprecedented blow to Scientology. Anon has probably done more to fuck them over than even the FBI did at the end of the 1970's. Now because of Anon, there is massive negative media coverage of the scilons. Hollywood is rebelling against them and more and more celebs are walking away or saying no. And on top of all that, now the Australian government is taking a hard look at Scientology as a criminal organization with a Senator actually denouncing them in open Parmiment. Anonymous has enabled many ex-scientologists to speak out as well as family of those still inside to seek communication with their loved ones without fear of reprisal. Anonymous enabled this by breaking the back of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs and has them so tied up, they can't prioritize which targets to go after and have lost their effectiveness almost entirely. After nearly 2 years of this, only one conviction against an anon and for a lowly DDOS attack that happened in the early few weeks of the movement is a testament to how good Anonymous is at staying within the law. Sure it may cut out some form of lulz, but we have found that action against the Scientologists that hurts them but leaves us legally untouchable generates way more lulz because it leaves them no lawful recourse against us.

Poking a stick at the beehive.. (1)

greywire (78262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216556)

"Scientology has harassed and annoyed them with Millions of phone calls, millions of mailed brochures, censoring websites or any thing else they see that doesn't make them money, acts of vandalism against, threats, and death threats against former Church members and non members."

There, fixed that for you.

Co$ are a bunch of whiny hypocrites! (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30216574)

They use those same tactics against what they consider to be their enemies, but when someone turns the tables on them, they shed a few crocodile tears and run to the police.

They have broken into the offices of the FBI and have members of their cult have died under suspicious circumstances while under their care, yet they have the gall to call what others do illegal.

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