Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Different Apologetic Approach - ANON vs. Scientology

As many of you may already be aware, a hacker group known as "ANON" (as in "Anonymous") has recently declared war on Scientology. (open letter by video here) They are a very capable and elite group of hackers. Their stated goal is eradication of Scientology from the Internet. This not their first mission, and they have been generally successful in their past missions, from what we know.

Scientology is evil, and it is good news that it is being opposed. On the other hand, while ANON is taking a stand against an evil organization, we must not therefore fully endorse ANON's methods or mentality, for both are contrary to a Christian worldview.

1. Christians must have a respect for the civil government.

Many of ANON's techniques are illegal. There is no denying this, and ANON would certainly agree. ANON may seek to justify the illegality of its actions by appealling to the end (goal) of the actions. The ends, however, do not justify the means.

2. Christians must forgive

We have been forgiven much. A proper understanding of the sinfulness of our own sin should make any Christian willing to forgive others. ANON's anthem is "We do not forgive, we do not forget ..." but this is not Christianity's message.

3. Christians must seek the glory of God

ANON's message is that they have chosen to take down Scientology for a variety of reasons, but one of the top reasons is for their own amusement. I believe that this stated reason is sincere on their part. Scientology represents a very challenging target: it is far more litigious, technologically savvy and resourceful than virtually any other body. To defeat Scientology on the Internet would represent an enormous feather in their collective hat. Furthermore, Scientology represents much that hacker world hates most: censorship.

Christian apologetics, however, must be motivated by the glory of God. We share with ANON the goal of eradicating Scientology, but we have radically different reasons. We oppose Scientology because it is a false gospel.


It is difficult to predict the ultimate outcome of ANON's attempts to destroy Scientology. I cannot think that it will be entirely successful (Scientology is very well connected politically and very wealthy), but I would be happy to be wrong. Nevertheless, unless those burdened with Scientology are brought to Christ, it will all be in vain. There is little value in removing someone from a false gospel, if they are not brought to the truth.



zog said...


I saw the video and thought it was creepy, especially when they refer to themselves as "Legion".


Turretinfan said...

Yes, the "we are legion" is somewhat creepy. In fact, the whole thing, including the synthetic voice and backmasking are intended to be creepy.

There's also something else I should point out. In addition to censorship, hackers may be offended by Scientology's invasion of privacy.

One should expect to see the privacy of high profile scientologists invaded in retaliation.