Round 1: OzWeatherman vs schrodingers dog: Anonymous vs Scientology

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posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:33 PM
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The topic for this debate is The Group Anonymous Has Failed, And Will Fail, In Its’ Conflict With Scientology.”

OzWeatherman will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
schrodingers dog will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

There is a 10,000 character limit. Excess characters will be deleted prior to judging.

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Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. Each individual post may contain up to 10 sentences of external source material, totaled from all external sources.

Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.

Videos are not permitted. This includes all youtube links and other multi-media video sources.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

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Each debate must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extension of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extension begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extension request.

In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.




posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 09:42 PM
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Id first like to say good luck to Schro Dog

And thankyou to the MemoryShock and Semper for setting this up.

So firsty, what is Scientology? Well wikipedia defines it (this magnificent religion) as follows:

The Church of Scientology is the largest organization devoted to the practice and the promotion of the Scientology belief system.


Secondly, what is the group known as Anonymous? Wiki defines it as follows:

A leaderless Internet-based group that defines itself as ubiquitous.


So on one hand, we have a large group run under the guidance of a chairman at the International Church of Scientology, and on the other side, we have a bunch of Internet hooligans running around without rules, regulations or even Structure.


The Church of Scientology International is the Church of Scientology's parent organization, and is responsible for the overall ecclesiastical management, dissemination and propagation of Scientology.[2][3][4] Every Church of Scientology is separately incorporated and has its own local board of directors and executives responsible for its own activities and well-being, both corporate and ecclesiastical


Now the topic of this debate is not, whos right or who is wrong, but its about the conflict between the two groups. Last time I checked, the only ones with anything against the opposite side were the anonymous group, and that if you can call it a group, and if they do indeed exist. The only declaration of war, has come from a "known" group on the internet, who openly declared war on scientology, with no replying declaration.

All the attackes that have so far come from anonymous directed at the Church of Scientology have been childish pranks such as sending black faxes, prank phone calls and cyber terrorism (eg hacking) or condescending videos on youtube.

To close my opening statement I have a couple more questions for my opponent

Question One
Who are Anonymous, if they indeed do exist?

Question Two
What is so terrible about someone worshipping their own beliefs and religion?

Question Three
How can childish pranks, and cyber terrorism be considered "a war on scientology"?

Question Four
How can conflict exist between two groups, if only one is interested?

So in review, I will be arguing that the Group Anonymous (or bunch of internet hooligans) is not winning and will not win, any type of conflict against Scientology, a group who is not engaged or interested in a war against a childish opponent.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:09 PM
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I am taking my 24hr extension.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 01:32 PM
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Greetings fellow fighters, members, judges, and many thanks to our forum moderators for undertaking the monumental task of setting up this most exceptional of ATS traditions, the debate tournament.

Our topic at hand and a fascinating one at that: "The Group Anonymous Has Failed, And Will Fail, In Its’ Conflict With Scientology.”

I will be arguing the "con" position.

 


OPENING STATEMENT

Lets get something straight an on the record from the start.

It is neither my or the Anonymous group's intention to either dispute or deny anyone the freedom to the belief in, and/or the practice of, any religious or spiritual path they chose to embrace or pursue.

This debate, and the Anonymous battle against CoS, is about the nature of the CoS institution and the way it treats its own members, ex members, and critics. It is about corruption, abuse of power, intimidation, retribution, hypocrisy, vengeance, misrepresentation, arrogance, and criminal behavior pervasive throughout the powers structure of the Church of Scientology. Those within the organization, from the top down, who engage in these tactics and behavior, and their acts themselves, will be subject to exposure and disclosure through out the course of this debate and by Anonymous at large.

So much like one may criticize the behavior or past behavior of the Catholic Church as an institution, one doesn't condemn Catholics for being Catholic nor deny them their right to be so by definition.

This is an important distinction which the CoS intentionally attempts to blur. They wish to paint the broad brush accusation of "religious persecution" onto those like the Anonymous group who dare question their power structure. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, much of the ambition of Anonymous is born out of ex CoS member testimony, and is fueled by the simple wish to inform and protect the unwitting or uninformed members of the CoS. Not about their beliefs, but as to the nature of those who control them.

In short, if you want to believe you are an eternally reincarnated "assumptive" Thetan from the planet Xenu, good luck to you. If you are going to lie, steal, scam, and kill out of fear, insecurity, and paranoia to further that belief, and label all your critics as "suppressive persons," Anonymous will expose you for the criminal that you are.


HOW?

Project Chanology!

Boring explanation:


Project Chanology, also called Operation Chanology,[1] is an ongoing protest against the practices of the Church of Scientology by members of Anonymous1


From the horse's mouth:


Sometime before January 16, 2008, Anonymous realized it had nothing better to do than get their collective panties in a twist because there is a cult masquerading as a church. The resulting actions have snowballed into PROJECT CHANOLOGY, which is a covert LOL overt plan to subjugate Co$ and all its affiliates.

cont.

... the plan goes on to include tactics closely mirroring the Church's own "Fair Game" policies which it uses to justify IRL trolling of anyone who crosses them including its own members. PROJECT CHANOLOGY (aka Operation Chanology and Operation CoSplay) and its phases are currently in various stages of completion and will end only in the utter ruination of Scientology.2


Do not let the sometimes childish and often crude humor or the self-deprecating nature of Anonymous fool you. Hidden beneath that protective facade, lies an inherently virtuous consciousness which resides in all of us. It is that very consciousness on a global scale which empowers Anonymous and its causes and which will ultimately enable them to prevail in their fight against the CoS.


 



SQ1: Who are Anonymous, if they indeed do exist?

Much of my first post will be dedicated to answering the first part of this question. For now suffice it to say that they are are a leaderless, worldwide internet based community of people who enjoy good lulz, and occasionally take on the odd evildoer or two.

Their existence is well documented across millions of web pages, youtube videos, magazine/newspaper articles. In fact the very title of this debate is premised on such existence and as such it is really beyond dispute.

SQ2: What is so terrible about someone worshipping their own beliefs and religion?

Absolutely nothing. As stated above, Anonymous has no beef with either scientology believers or wish to deny them the right to practice their religious freedom.

SQ3: How can childish pranks, and cyber terrorism be considered "a war on scientology"?

How Anonymous goes about achieving its goals may seem as "childish" to some, yet their effectiveness cannot be denied:


Previous Anonymous projects have resulted in the closing of the white-supremacist radio show produced by Hal Turner, and the criminal prosecution of Canadian pedophile Chris Forcand.3


SQ4: How can conflict exist between two groups, if only one is interested?

Much of the power of the Anonymous group has wielded against the CoS has been effective precisely because of its loose organizational nature and lack of official leadership. CoS is very much aware of and "interested" in Anonymous and would love to litigate them, persecute them, or worse. I will delve into this aspect of CoS as the debate unfolds. For now, I will just state that the idea that Scientology is aloof to its critics is fundamentally erroneous. The truth, and much of what this conflict is about, is the exact opposite.

 


This is a very important and somewhat complicated subject. For the purposes of clarity through structure I will divide the debate as follows:

Post 1: A more in depth look at the Anonymous group and movement, it's origins, structure (or lack thereof), activities past and present, and its culture/meme. I will also delve into the reasons they have chosen to take on the Church of Scientology and what they hope to achieve. For it is only in this context that success or failure can be gaged.

Post 2: In this post I will delve into the various tactics Anonymous use in their fight against the CoS. I will also show how they have revolutionized internet activism and the considerable support they have earned. Furthermore I will expose CoS tactics against those who have dared to "subvert" them without the veil of anonymity.

Post 3. I will show how effective Anonymous have been, and continue to be so, in their fight against the CoS. In the process I will demonstrate beyond a shadow of doubt that "The Group Anonymous Has NOT Failed, And Will NOT Fail, In Its’ Conflict With Scientology.”

 


Socratic Question 1:

Is the Church of Scientology (not the belief), in your opinion, operated as a religion or a cult?

[edit on 18-2-2009 by MemoryShock]



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 07:01 PM
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Pro Position

Post One



It is neither my or the Anonymous group's intention to either dispute or deny anyone the freedom to the belief in, and/or the practice of, any religious or spiritual path they chose to embrace or pursue.


First off, I know that my opponent is not trying to deny any ones freedom of speech, regarding their religious beliefs and/ or practices, but I know Anonymous is unsuccesfully trying to achieve this. Of the many religions on this planet, most, (even including atheism) have been criticised due to the opposers failure to understand what it is about. This is true with Anonymous as well.

Catholicism, Christinaity, Islam, Semitism, Shnto, Hinduism etc, are all religions that have been involved in wars, which erupted due to a conflict of personal belief. Have these religions been dissolved or damaged to such a great extent, that they have ceased to exist? The answer is no, they haven't, and they are all still active to this day. The same is true of Scientology. Below from wikipedia:


Scientology is officially recognized as a religion in the United States


I will admit that Anonymous has had some effect on culture. As my opponent stated, they have succesfully closed a white- supremacist radio show, and have achieved criminal persecution of pedophile Chris Forcand. These events however greatly differ from the war they claim to have on Scientology. For example, in this day and age, racism (and racist propoganda) and pedophila and child abuse, are both issues that are looked down on (and with good reason) within society. Religion however, as a whole, is widely accepted to be an normal way of life and there is nothing criminal about accepting a god/ deity/ superior being/ alien/ or even chewbacca if you want, to worship. Again Scientology is one of these religions.



This debate, and the Anonymous battle against CoS, is about the nature of the CoS institution and the way it treats its own members, ex members, and critics. It is about corruption, abuse of power, intimidation, retribution, hypocrisy, vengeance, misrepresentation, arrogance, and criminal behavior pervasive throughout the powers structure of the Church of Scientology.


Again, all these myths are that have been expressed by dissatisfied ex members of the religion, people who have no idea about what Scientology is and much of the argument Anonymous has put forward is of highly speculative evidence.



PROJECT CHANOLOGY (aka Operation Chanology and Operation CoSplay) and its phases are currently in various stages of completion and will end only in the utter ruination of Scientology.


Project Chanology was "made-up" in response to the Tom Cruise video which was posted on youtube. People became suspicious when it was removed in an agressive manner by the International Church of Scientology.

While I sometimes doubt the sanity of Tom Cruise, I do know that the video was removed from youtube, due to the infringement of copyright details from the Church of Scientology. It was not removed due to trolling and claims from project chanology of covering up information, it was down to a legal issue. But of course Anonymous would claim otherwise, due to its delusional belief that it is having an impact of the Church of Scientology.



On 14 January 2008, a video produced by the Church of Scientology featuring an interview with Tom Cruise was leaked to the Internet and uploaded to YouTube.The Church of Scientology issued a copyright violation claim against YouTube requesting the removal of the video


Bad news Anonymous, Scientology is still going strong and is not anywhere near ruins. In fact, scientology members have exploded exponentially in numbers


Today, Scientology is practiced in more than 125 countries. Its churches comprise a hierarchy which ministers services from the most basic to the most spiritually advanced, raising man out of his day-to-day problems and carrying him to never-before envisioned spiritual vistas.


Wow, look at those numbers!! Incredible for a church that is supposedly losing a war against Anonymous.



SQ1: Who are Anonymous, if they indeed do exist?

Much of my first post will be dedicated to answering the first part of this question. For now suffice it to say that they are are a leaderless, worldwide internet based community of people who enjoy good lulz, and occasionally take on the odd evildoer or two.


Or as described on their own site:


Anonymous is a cultural phenomenon which began on internet image boards. Many such boards require no registration for posting, and every poster remains anonymous. This format of communication is inherently noisy and chaotic.

Anonymous has been called a "Cyber Vigilante Group" by The Toronto Sun and Global News, though in reality we are much more than that.


So they admit they are a "cyber vigilante" group? Great, but that doesnt mean they have made an impact on the so called confict against Scientology does it?



[SQ4: How can conflict exist between two groups, if only one is interested?

Much of the power of the Anonymous group has wielded against the CoS has been effective precisely because of its loose organizational nature and lack of official leadership.


I strongly disagree with this. Imagine if Germany had gone to war with several people ruling it, instead of just Hitler. The chaos and conflicts within their government would have been catastrophic, and meant a very short war. Having no structure is a terrible way to get your message across. Scientology for example has a very strong organisational structure, which has resulted in a boom, in the growth of numbers due to this. Anonymous is just a bunch of "yahoos" and geeky internet nerds, who have nothing better to do than complain about something in which they dont understand, much like the delusional conspiracy theorist.



Socratic Question 1:

Is the Church of Scientology (not the belief), in your opinion, operated as a religion or a cult?



A Cult may refer to a cohesive social group devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding population considers to be outside the mainstream


Well that depends on what you think of as a cult. The above is an official definition taking from wiki.

Below is one taken from the Oxford Dictionary



System of religious worship; devotion to homage to person or thing


So in a sense, Scientology is a cult, but so is Catholicism and even ATS itself could be considered a cult.

Socratic Questions

1. Considering the above definitions, isnt Anonymous also a cult?

2. You say in answering my previous socratic question two


SQ2: What is so terrible about someone worshipping their own beliefs and religion?

Absolutely nothing. As stated above, Anonymous has no beef with either scientology believers or wish to deny them the right to practice their religious freedom.


Considering this, why does the group Anonymous have references to Scientology on their home page, if their sole existence at the moment, isnt to fight scientology, while no other groups are mentioned?

References

www.whyweprotest.net...

en.wikipedia.org...

www.whatisscientology.org...



posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 05:04 PM
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1st Rebuttal:

Despite the extraordinary length I went to in order to distinguish between Scientology as a faith and the CoS as an institution, my opponent has consciously gone out of his way, much like the CoS itself, to attempt to muddle the waters.

It is no coincidence that when he refers to the conflict between Anonymous and the CoS, that he continues to substitute the term "CoS" with the term "Scientology." That is because he believes that by disingenuously framing the debate in this context, and by making these two vastly different terms interchangeable, it will win him the debate.

And he would be correct in this observation. As he accurately points out, very little if nothing can be done to change what is in a person's heart.

Unfortunately for him, and despite the title of this debate, Anonymous has no quarrel with Scientologists. Nor do they wish them to stop worshipping who and how they please. Anonymous itself has participants from all over the world who themselves worship in every conceivable way.

So no matter what my opponent would have you believe, Anonymous' only battle is with the institution, power structure, and practices of the CoS and not with scientologists themselves.

Think of it as a battle against the Mafia, not a battle against Italians.

A couple of other issues with my opponent's first post.

First regarding my answer to SQ4 from his opening post:


Oz: How can conflict exist between two groups, if only one is interested?

SD: Much of the power of the Anonymous group has wielded against the CoS has been effective precisely because of its loose organizational nature and lack of official leadership.

Oz: I strongly disagree with this. Imagine if Germany had gone to war with several people ruling it, instead of just Hitler. The chaos and conflicts within their government would have been catastrophic, and meant a very short war. Having no structure is a terrible way to get your message across. Scientology for example has a very strong organizational structure, which has resulted in a boom, in the growth of numbers due to this.


First of all, Germany lost the war and yes, it too enjoyed a brief spike in popularity.

So whereas this is a terrible analogy for the point you are trying to make, it works perfectly to highlight mine. Inasmuch that it points to the future of any organization which is so authoritative, violent, and cruel from the top down. It also dealt in similar fashion with its critics. In fact, of all places, you chose to make an analogy with a country that doesn't recognize Scientology as a religion.


And as far as the CoS not being interested or aware of Anonymous:


Reactions from the Church of Scientology regarding the protesters' actions have varied. Initially one spokesperson stated that members of the group "have got some wrong information" about Scientology. Another referred to the group as a group of "computer geeks". Later, the Church of Scientology started referring to Anonymous as "cyberterrorists" perpetrating "religious hate crimes" against the church.1a


Don't hesitate to make more analogies:


Second allow me to thank you for your common sense in already conceding a couple of points raised in your opening post.

1. The existence of Anonymous
2. That they have been successful in their past advocacy campaigns.

No doubt, as the debate unfolds there will be more concessions to come.

Finally, you did not answer my only socratic question in earnest.

The question was: Is the Church of Scientology (not the belief), in your opinion, operated as a religion or a cult? (emphasis mine)

Though I appreciate the time and effort to look up and paste definitions, I specifically asked for your opinion. A simple yes/no answer will suffice.


Here's an interesting link to help you and our audience out: He’s the son of the founder of the controversial church he now calls a dangerous cult.(2)

Right, enough rebuttal, I will now continue presenting the case that "The Group Anonymous Has NOT Failed, And Will NOT Fail, In Its’ Conflict With Scientology.”

 


1st Post

As I mentioned in my opening statement, I will dedicate this first post to explain the origins and nature of Anonymous. I will describe its unique meme/culture and why they chose to protest and become activists against various groups or people. I will also explore the reasons they have chosen to take on the CoS and what their ultimate objective is.

So let us begin.

Origins/Identity.


Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is a label and Internet meme adopted within Internet culture to represent the actions of many online community users acting anonymously, usually toward a loosely agreed-upon goal.

cont.

A "loose coalition of Internet denizens", the group is banded together by the internet, through sites such as 4chan, 711chan, 420chan, Something Awful, Fark, Encyclopedia Dramatica, Slashdot, IRC channels, and YouTube.3a


Because of their tripcode based logins (no pseudonyms, aliases, digital identities) image boards like 4chan provided an extra degree of privacy/anonymity and became highly frequented by people who wished to express themselves without fear of identification.

Culture.

One of the extraordinary aspects of the Anonymous phenomenon is that it has no leadership structure and undefined parameters and scope. That is to say that within Anonymous, no one really has the power to tell another what to do. Spread across a multitude of semi-official websites such as encyclopediadramatica, image boards, message boards, chat rooms, they have developed their own memes, lingo, and self regulating code of conduct.

Here's a couple of apt descriptions:


[Anonymous is] the first internet-based superconsciousness. Anonymous is a group, in the sense that a flock of birds is a group. How do you know they're a group? Because they're traveling in the same direction. At any given moment, more birds could join, leave, peel off in another direction entirely.

cont.

Anyone who wants to can be Anonymous and work toward a set of goals…We have this agenda that we all agree on and we all coordinate and act, but all act independently toward it, without any want for recognition. We just want to get something that we feel is important done…3b


The best description I have heard:


"Anonymous is no one. Anonymous is everyone. Anonymous is you. Anonymous is me. Anonymous is the mailman, or someone you see across the street. The whole point of Anonymous is that we are Anonymous, even amongst each other."

- Quote Link Is Substantiated And Omitted To Conform With The No Video Link Rule. The Link Will Be Placed In Thread When Judging Is Complete. - MemoryShock

Within this scattered yet very close network, people come up with ideas for actions both for "lulz" and for social activism on a regular basis. Most ideas find no takers and are quickly discarded and forgotten. However every once in a while, they stumble upon a cause they find worthy of advocating, and so begins a communal snowball effect which builds upon itself one individual at a time.

In many ways Anonymous are the antithesis of the CoS. Whereas the CoS is an autocratic, top/down, heavy handed, controlling organization, Anonymous are a group of free willed individuals who choose to occasionally come together to fight what they believe is a worthy cause.

So on one hand we have the few controlling the many and on the other we have the many choosing to come together as one.

Is it any wonder then that these diametrically opposed forces are at odds with each other?

Because of all the reasons described above, my answer to my opponent's SQ1: "Considering the above definitions, isn't Anonymous also a cult?" My answer is a definite NO.


Why take on the CoS?

I have already described the process of how causes are embraced by Anonymous. Essentially, if a particular injustice moves enough people it feeds upon itself until it becomes a mission.

But what triggered this global manifestation against the CoS? After all the crimes and practices of the CoS were relatively well known for some time despite the CoS' attempts to remove all evidence and trace.

Well the tipping point was the release and subsequent withdrawal of the now infamous Tom Cruise Scientology video on youtube.


The project was started in response to the Church of Scientology's attempts to remove material from an exclusive promotional interview with Scientologist Tom Cruise from the Internet in January 2008.1b


As you see, the original trigger for the mobilization of Anonymous against CoS had little or nothing to do with faith and/or religion. In fact it was not the Tom Cruise video itself that incensed Anonymous but the CoS' heavy handed attempt to repress information by having it removed.

Since that day Anonymous' objectives have shifted from merely harassing the CoS via both legal and illegal means, to a concentrated legal world wide community based effort to have the CoS' tax-exempt status rescinded.

Much of my next post will be dedicated to elaborate on this last point, but here's a glimpse into the outrageous secret deal the IRS struck with the CoS: Did the cult Scientology bludgeon the IRS into a billion dollar tax revenue give-away?


And to answer my opponent's SQ2:

The website you referenced, whyweprotest.org, is set up specifically to inform and answer questions as to why Anonymous protests against the CoS. It is not the official Anonymous website (encyclopediadramatica is as close as one gets). It is merely a dedicated site to the CoS "fight." That is why no other groups are mentioned.


[edit on 19-2-2009 by MemoryShock]



posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 07:30 PM
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Pro Position

Second Post


It is no coincidence that when he refers to the conflict between Anonymous and the CoS, that he continues to substitute the term "CoS" with the term "Scientology." That is because he believes that by disingenuously framing the debate in this context, and by making these two vastly different terms interchangeable, it will win him the debate.


First of all. My opponent is trying to undermine me. It was not a conscious choice to confuse our mislead him, or the judges with my choice of words. It was my intention to have both CoS and Scientology used within the same context, and the to have the same meaning. The topic of the debate was The Group Anonymous Has Failed, And Will Fail, In Its’ Conflict With Scientology. I was under the impression that using the word "scientology" would be the same as discussing the "CoS".

For both ours and the judges benefits, I will refrain from using the term "scientology" in the future, and will use "CoS" for the remainder of my posts.

My opponent further remarks


Unfortunately for him, and despite the title of this debate, Anonymous has no quarrel with Scientologists. Nor do they wish them to stop worshipping who and how they please. Anonymous itself has participants from all over the world who themselves worship in every conceivable way.


As you have drawn a conclusion that there are differences between Scientologists and the CoS. Why did Anonymous publicly express via youtube, that they are ""War on Scientology", rather than a "A War on The CoS". The reason for this is because, Anonymous has a problem, with not just the CoS, but also anybody involved within it.


The Internet-based group "Anonymous" has released statements on YouTube and via a press release, outlining what they call a "War on Scientology"


They also went on to explain


Anonymous has therefore decided that your organisation should be destroyed." The message goes on to state that the group intends to "expel Scientology from the Internet".


Now, considering Anonymous want to destroy the CoS, wouldnt that in fact be destroying or simply attacking not just the leaders, but also the members that strongly believe in their religion?


First of all, Germany lost the war and yes, it too enjoyed a brief spike in popularity.

So whereas this is a terrible analogy for the point you are trying to make, it works perfectly to highlight mine


Again, my opponent is trying to make me look unintelligent and has missed the point of my post. For something to work effectively, there has to be a system put into place for things to work. Rules and regulations put together by the leaders of a group, give stability to that particular group. Allowing members to have free rein to do what they please is a sign of instability.


Second allow me to thank you for your common sense in already conceding a couple of points raised in your opening post.

1. The existence of Anonymous
2. That they have been successful in their past advocacy campaigns.


1. I asked an you proved your point, but remember, its a loosely based group where members are Anonymous, which means credibility is highly speculative.

2. Yes, like I said, they were succesful in those 2 campaigns, against two men, not an entire group or religion. Both those men preformed acts which were criminal, and immoral, but I fail to see the link between "The War on Scientology" and a succesful campaign in the past. Past success does not guarantee future success.


Here's an interesting link to help you and our audience out: He’s the son of the founder of the controversial church he now calls a dangerous cult.(2)


Here's a little thing you need to know a bout Ronald De Wolf


DeWolf sued for control of his father's estate, saying that his father was either dead or incompetent. His father was proved to still be alive.

In 1984, Mary Sue Hubbard filed a $5 million suit for fraud against DeWolf for his 1982 suit to gain control of L. Ron Hubbard's estate


So on one hand, we have a guy, who was indeed the son of L. Ron Hubbarb, who changed his name, so he wasnt associated with his father, but then later sued to gain control of his estate, and made money off a book he co-wrote denouncing scientology? So he complains that Scientology is just a money making cult, yet he himself, wanted his ex-fathers assets and wrote a book to make money. Thats a bit hyprocritical.

Another little bit from one of Anonymous' attempted statements against the CoS (and the scientologists that inhabit it).


The statement goes on to assert that the attacks from the group "will continue until the Church of Scientology reacts, at which point they will change strategy


Considering the above statement from the group themselves, they are no closer to winning a war against their opponents as they were before. So they actually admit....yes...admit, that their current conlfict is not at this time succesful. Now, I did say before that there is no gurantee that past success will gurantee future success, but in this case, the current tactics Anonymous is using, (cyber terrorism, hate mail etc) aren't obviously working and if they are not working now, then obviously they wont work in the future.

While my opponent would lead you to believe that Anonymous are a close knit group of "freedom fighters" take a look at the next link.

blog.wired.com...

Now obviously, this is a concern brought upon Anonymous' loose structure. Obviously, like I have said in the past, no rules and regulations plus no discipline installed by some group leader ends up in chaos. Im not saying that all Anonymous' group members think this way, but some prankster, targeting defenceless children, is immoral. Its sickening to see, that some mebers of this group get enjoyement out of this.

And here's another case of undisciplined action from Anonymous


In late June 2008, users who identified themselves as Anonymous claimed responsibility for a series of attacks against the SOHH (Support Online Hip Hop) website

On June 30, 2008 SOHH placed an official statement regarding the attack on its main page. The statement alleged that the attackers were "specifically targeting Black, Hispanic, Asian and Jewish youth who ascribe to hip-hop culture," and listed several hip hop oriented websites which it claimed were also attacked by the hackers. It concluded with a notice that it would be cooperating with the FBI.


So while my opponent will lead you to believe that Anonymous is a blessing, consider the above cases. So either Anonymous is one group working to one cause like he says....which means they are all racists, biggots and criminals (cyber terrorists/ hackers).....or they are loose bunch of individuals doing what they want, and speaking out, of what, and when they want.

Without a leader, or someone in charge, Anonymous will continue along this path of outrageouseness, never getting close to what they say they hope to achieve

Socratic Questions

1. Are you a member or wanting to become a member of Anonymous?

References Not Mentioned

www.wikipedia.com

atheistnexus.org...



posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 07:10 PM
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SQ1. Are you a member or wanting to become a member of Anonymous?

No. (by the way, there is no such thing as "membership")

2nd Rebuttal

Allow me to begin with a little clarification.


My opponent is trying to undermine me.


Not exactly. I am trying to undermine your argument, not you personally.



...my opponent is trying to make me look unintelligent...


Not in the least, I consider you a respected friend and hold you in high esteem.



Now to address some of the substance in my opponents previous post.

First, I once again welcome my opponent's latest concession that the terms Scientology and CoS are not one and the same and cannot be used interchangeably. Furthermore the source of my opponent's confusion is now becoming clearer to me. What is happening here is that although he has grasped the the difference between Scientology as a faith and the CoS he has yet to grasp the true nature of Anonymous.

He keeps referring to random acts and quotes that he attributes to Anonymous. And to be sure the words and acts seem on the surface to be contradictory to its mission. But what my opponents has yet to grasp is that he cannot assign responsibility for the words and acts of anyone who calls themselves Anonymous to Anonymous as a whole. Whereas the CoS and any other rigid organization can be held liable for the acts of its members, Anonymous, because of its unique format and composition can simply not be viewed in that manner. No one persons or group of persons words or acts, especially on the internet, can be directly attributed to Anonymous as an organization. Why? Because it simply isn't one and does not operate in this fashion.

Anyone can call themselves Anonymous and can do and say whatever they want. Including choosing not to make the distinction between Scientology and the CoS. That doesn't mean however that they are part of the overall advocacy movement against the CoS that this debate is about, nor does it make them a representative. Their piers can discourage them or suggest different courses of action but they will never tell them what and what not to do. In fact there are probably tens of thousands of Anonymous who couldn't care less about either Scientology or the CoS and just hang around for the lulz.

You really have to look at it as a consciousness more than as a group of people. And you can bring all the outside quotes from "Anonymous" sources and point to some questionable acts, and it wont make a bit a difference in the context of this debate or the reality of the situation. There simply isn't a voice out there that speaks for all. I know that this seems awfully convenient for me to say in the process of this debate, that may be so, but it is nevertheless the truth of the matter and the nature of the Anonymous "beast."

The same difficulty which my opponent is having in assigning responsibility, identifying leaders, and pinpointing accountability, is precisely the reason that Anonymous is so successful.

My opponent's statement ...


For something to work effectively, there has to be a system put into place for things to work. Rules and regulations put together by the leaders of a group, give stability to that particular group.


... crystalizes both his and the CoS' fundamental lack of understanding of what Anonymous is, and goes to the heart of this debate.

This will become clearer as the debate unfolds and will be nailed down in my conclusion but for all intents and purposes Anonymous cannot by definition "lose" it's conflict with Scientology.

The reason is simple but difficult to describe in words but I will give it a shot.

There exists two "they" when referring to Anonymous. There is the "they" when they choose to act in unison as individuals to serve a cause, and there is the "they" one uses to describe the Anonymous phenomenon in general. The "they" that battles against the CoS doesn't exist in any other context and has nothing to do with the "they" one uses to refer to Anonymous. So the dynamics of this conflict can only go in one direction, a win for Anonymous as a movement of individuals and a "Fail" for the CoS.

Why?

Because there is no "they" for the CoS to fight back in the other direction. That in fact is the genius of the whole thing. Anonymous is by definition a one way force. "They" are either active when "they" push or non-existent when "they" don't. Push back in the other direction and there's nothing there to push back against.

Think of them as Keyser Soze with a conscience:


The greatest trick Anonymous ever pulled was convincing the world they didn't exist

For how does one fight back against "consciousness" when one's main weapon is lawyers and money?

Those weapons are useless to the CoS in their conflict with Anonymous!

It's really a no win situation for both CoS and unfortunately by consequence for my opponent who has been given the unpleasant task of defending them in this matter.

 


2nd Post

I said in my opening statement:


Post 2: In this post I will delve into the various tactics Anonymous use in their fight against the CoS. I will also show how they have revolutionized internet activism and the considerable support they have earned. Furthermore I will expose CoS tactics against those who have dared to "subvert" them without the veil of anonymity.


However I felt it was of utmost importance to focus on my above rebuttal as it really spoke to the fundamental nature of Anonymous and the reasons as to why "they"
are winning their fight against the CoS. Accordingly, and to accommodate for the usual character limits, I will adjust my sequence and use the rest of this post to focus specifically on the CoS' practices against those whom they have historically viewed as their enemy and show how those practices are totally ineffective against Anonymous.

So how does the CoS deal with its critics?

For starter there is the now famous Fair Game Law


In 1965 Hubbard formulated the "Fair Game Law", which states how to deal with people who interfere with Scientology's activities. These problematic people, called suppressive persons, could be considered "fair game" for retaliation.1a


Essentially what this meant was that anyone who was deemed to be "suppressive," which meant anyone who dared publicly critisise the CoS, was subject to retaliation by any means necessary. That meant anything from a good "talking to" and all the way up to murder. Everyone was in essence fair game.

I can hear my opponent typing: "That practice was rescinded by Hubbard himself in 1968"

Well Hubbard did write a memo but ...


Despite the ostensible cancellation of "Fair Game," the policy itself continues to present day.1b


Let's take a look at how the nice people at the CoS implements the Fair Game practice shall we?

Operation Freakout


Operation Freakout, also known as Operation PC Freakout, was a Church of Scientology covert plan intended to have the US author and journalist Paulette Cooper imprisoned or committed to a mental institution. The plan, undertaken in 1976 following years of Church-initiated lawsuits and covert harassment, was meant to eliminate the perceived threat that Cooper posed to the Church and obtain revenge for her publication in 1971 of a highly critical book, The Scandal of Scientology.2a


Thankfully Operation Freakout never succeeded and in 1977 the FBI raided the CoS offices in LA nad DC seizing over 45.000 documents.


They revealed the extent to which the Church had committed "criminal campaigns of vilification, burglaries and thefts ... against private and public individuals and organizations," as the U.S. Government prosecutor put it.2b


Operation Snow White


The "Snow White Program" was written by L. Ron Hubbard [8] as an attempt to reduce or eliminate unfavorable reports on Scientology, the Church of Scientology, and Hubbard himself, especially those held by government agencies such as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and organizations such as Interpol.

This project included a series of infiltrations and thefts from 136 government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, as well as private organizations critical of Scientology, carried out by Church members, in more than 30 countries;[1] the single largest infiltration of the United States government in history[2] with up to 5,000 covert agents.3a


I could really go on and on citing examples of the CoS outrageous criminal tactics including the suspicious deaths of Lisa McPherson, Heribert Pfaff, Josephus Havenith, and a John Dow, all at the Fort Harrison Hotel, the CoS' headquarters in Clearwater Florida. They have also driven numerous other people to mental/physical breakdowns and to numerous suicides.

This is on top of the hundreds if not thousands of lawyers the CoS has working around the clock to litigate and suppress practically every single piece of negative information spoken, written, and other. The time and expense they invest in attempting to control their information and image is extraordinary to say the least.

But what does all this mean in their battle against Anonymous?

As I stated earlier, absolutely nothing!

There's no one to sue. No one to intimidate. No one to spy on. No one to frame. No one to kill!

There simply isn't anyone for the CoS to fight against because there is no "they" in Anonymous!

And that is precisely why "The Group Anonymous Has NOT Failed, And Will NOT Fail, In Its’ Conflict With Scientology.”



posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 09:29 PM
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I would like to take my extension



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 09:06 AM
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Pro Position

Third Post



He keeps referring to random acts and quotes that he attributes to Anonymous. And to be sure the words and acts seem on the surface to be contradictory to its mission. But what my opponents has yet to grasp is that he cannot assign responsibility for the words and acts of anyone who calls themselves Anonymous to Anonymous as a whole.


My opponent forgets that when one speaks for Anonymous, they are speaking for all of Anonymous. The people that posted those derogatory comments, were claiming those comments were for all of Anonymous. Like we have examined in the previous posts, this is a result of lack of structure and discipline.


Anyone can call themselves Anonymous and can do and say whatever they want


Exactly, a further statement that shows lack of structure. Imagine if there were Anonymous members sticking up for the CoS? Wouldnt there be some chaos there. This is another reason why the war on the CoS is not and will not be succesful. If anyone can post on behalf of Anonymous, then there is a danger that there are people somewhere that dont have a problem with the CoS will post "anonymously" for that side.


You really have to look at it as a consciousness more than as a group of people. And you can bring all the outside quotes from "Anonymous" sources and point to some questionable acts, and it wont make a bit a difference in the context of this debate or the reality of the situation.


You are quite correct in that, but it does lend some credibility to the point I am trying to make, which is something without structure or leadership, or discipline for that matter, will struggle to win conflict against an opponent with the opposite.

The fact is Anonymous has not yet made the slightest impact on the CoS.

Take this statement for instance


In 2006, Australia's national census recorded 2,507 Scientologists nationwide, up from 1,488 in 1996, and 2,032 in 2001


Now while I can admit, that this above number is not a great increase, I would expect that if the CoS was losing a conflict, the numbers of members in the census would be rapidly decreasing. The fact is that they have been increasing.

And for New Zealand


Earlier census figures were 207 in the 1991 census, 219 in 1996, and 282 in 2001


Again we see an increase, not a decrease as would be expected with a religion under threat.


This will become clearer as the debate unfolds and will be nailed down in my conclusion but for all intents and purposes Anonymous cannot by definition "lose" it's conflict with Scientology.


My opponents above statement is depending on what context "losing conflict" is taken as. In my opinion, and what I have been debating is, that how can one lose a conflict when one is becoming stronger year by year, regardless of wether the increase in strength is a minimal change.


Because there is no "they" for the CoS to fight back in the other direction. That in fact is the genius of the whole thing. Anonymous is by definition a one way force. "They" are either active when "they" push or non-existent when "they" don't. Push back in the other direction and there's nothing there to push back against.


Well there was something to push back against in the case of the Tom Cruise video, that was blatantly breaking copyright laws


Church of Scientology attorneys acted quickly to have the videos removed from YouTube and other top video-sharing sites, claiming that the files had been acquired illegally and that sharing them was tantamount to distributing stolen property.


Scientology 1- Anonymous- 0

And take this graph into account



This shows an increase of about four times in visits to the scientology website in one month. Anonymous' tactics seem to be backfiring, and instead of crushing the CoS like they wanted, they actually ended up promoting it.

And below, another graph to show that scientology is of greater interest than previous years.




They revealed the extent to which the Church had committed "criminal campaigns of vilification, burglaries and thefts ... against private and public individuals and organizations," as the U.S. Government prosecutor put it


Yes, my opponent has a point there. I have never denied the CoS has been involved in criminal activities in the past, heck, many churches of other religions other than the CoS have. While these claims are startling, they havent had an adverse effect on the CoS itself.

I know that if the FBI cant bring down the CoS, then how can a group of unbalanced, chaotic pranksters, even think they have a hope, in achieving what a strong government organisation could not.

In summary of this post, Anonymous has tried to bring down the CoS in the past and all they have achieved is RAISING the profile of this fascinating church

So, Anonymous Has Failed, And Will Continue To Fail, In Its’ Conflict With Scientology



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 02:39 AM
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3rd Rebuttal


My opponent forgets that when one speaks for Anonymous, they are speaking for all of Anonymous.


For the final time, NO THEY DO NOT!

Rigid organizations such as the ones my opponent is so fond of have spokespersons. As has by now been established beyond everyones comprehension but my opponent's, Anonymous have nothing of the kind. They simply do not operate in this manner.

Here, I shall provide one last example to drive this point home lest my opponent accuse me of not being clear on this issue.

This is part of a Feb. 2009 interview from a reporter from the LA Weekly with three Anonymous activists. When asked for their personal opinion on who they speak for, they respond:


Anonymous is not as much a group as it is the “manifestation of Neuromancer,” William Gibson’s vision come to life. When I ask who they speak for, they reply almost in unison: “For ourselves.” 1a


So even the most pro-active Anonymous anti CoS activists will only concede speaking for themselves and not any other Anonymous.



The fact is Anonymous has not yet made the slightest impact on the CoS.


I honestly can't believe that you sourced statistics that showed a a few hundred more Scientologists in Australia and New Zealand to substantiate that statement. Are you telling us that you researched the whole internet and those were the best available stats for you to make your point?

New Zealand in 1991 - 207 Scientologists, exploding to 282 in 2001. There could be almost 300 by now!

Dear oh dear!


Let's move on to the pretty graphs shall we?

I see that you found some stats on the CoS' website hits and on the search term "Scientology." Not withstanding that a great many of those "hits" were probably ours as a result of this debate
, let me throw out a few numbers of my own.


Last month (Jan 2009) the No. 4, No. 6, and No. 8 trends on Google were Anonymous-related memes.

cont...

They have power, actual IRL “meat-space” power, as evidenced by the high attendance at Anonymous protests from Clearwater, Florida, to Sydney, Australia. 1b


Here are the stats for encyclopediadramatica:



And that's just ONE of the dozen Anonymous affiliated websites like 4chan, 888chan, WhyWeProtest, operationclambake, etc. Put together they probably exceed a million monthly hits. And keep in mind they've only been around for a few years, unlike the CoS which has been around in decades.

So please, the CoS is getting crushed by Anonymous when it comes to internet exposure.

Remember saying this:


In my opinion, and what I have been debating is, that how can one lose a conflict when one is becoming stronger year by year, regardless of wether the increase in strength is a minimal change.
emphasis mine

EXACTLY!


So why is this important?


3rd Post

Because internet exposure equals information exchange.

And information in any conflict is and always has been the most powerful weapon!

No time in our history has this been more true than it is today.

Why do you think the CoS is so desperate to keep a lid on its information outflow?

This is precisely why they spend millions per year to keep CoS material off the web and practice the most heinous acts to that same end.

They know that in their conflict with anyone they deem their critic and enemy, the true battle has and will always be one of information.

Let us not forget what started this conflict:


“It’s not a matter of their beliefs, it’s a matter of their actions,” ... “It’s because their actions interfered with the freedom of the Internet.” 1c


Yet since they made youtube pull the Tom Cruise video, millions of people have since seen it, and most of those as a result of the notoriety that Anonymous brought to bear with their response video, which as of today has 3,497,275 views.

I repeat, just the one Anonymous video has 3,497,275 views!

Not only that but they have huge support from websites such as Wikileaks, one of the most respected information disclosure sites on the web which has dedicated huge support and collaboration for Project Chanology:

Chanology Research Portal - Project Overview
Chanology Research Portal - Project Initiatives

Anonymous and Project Chanology are clearly winning the information war against the CoS, and that is precisely why "The Group Anonymous Has NOT Failed, And Will NOT Fail, In Its’ Conflict With Scientology.”

For those who are interested in digital media warfare, there is a short and fascinating article addressing the revolutionary methods which Anonymous have pioneered in digital activism including Anonymous' key success factors. Keep in mind that the article was written over a year ago whilst the Anonymous campaign against the CoS was still in its early stages and yet it was still considered a "success"

Anonymous vs. Scientology: A Case Study of Digital Media

My opponent finally states in what can only be perceived as the final death knell in his argument:


I know that if the FBI cant bring down the CoS, then how can a group of unbalanced, chaotic pranksters, even think they have a hope, in achieving what a strong government organisation could not.


At the risk of repeating myself, EXACTLY!



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 07:20 AM
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Pro Position

Closing Statement

Time to close this debate up



Yet since they made youtube pull the Tom Cruise video, millions of people have since seen it, and most of those as a result of the notoriety that Anonymous brought to bear with their response video, which as of today has 3,497,275 views.

I repeat, just the one Anonymous video has 3,497,275 views


Just the one video....posted on the biggest video sharing website on the internet.....tagged with one of the most famous names on the internet, well of course you would expect to get millions of hits.


Mission Statement
Our mission is to make the teachings of Scientology accessible


The only ones that acknowledge that the teachings of the CoS are available, are the ones who have declared war on the CoS. This isnt a surprising statement, given that, it makes them appear to have the upper hand and attracts attention to their cause.

There's not much more I could add to the argument, that I have already stated in pervious posts. In summary however, there is no evidence to suggest that the CoS has taken a beating due to the pranks pulled by a number of Anonymous individuals.

Scientology is still considered a religion (and a growing religion at that), is still acquiring new members year after year (albeit few, lol) and hasn't started to crumble like the Anonymous group claims.

There is also no indication, apart from a few overly optimistic Anonymous members, that the CoS will ever lose this "conflict". As long as the church keeps growing, then the CoS will be winning this war.

So to wrap it up:

The group Anonymous has failed, and will continue to fail, in its conflict with Scientology

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would just like to thanks my respected opponent for this debate, and the moderators for all their hard work in setting it up.

It was a very hard topic to debate for considering my own personal views, but its about the debate itself, not the topic


Thanks again guys, and particularly to my good friend S-Dog. If I dont win, at least Ive learned a lot



posted on Feb, 24 2009 @ 01:13 AM
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Closing Statement

Ladies and gentlemen I believe have put before you a very clear and well founded case that Anonymous have and will be winning on ALL fronts in their war against the CoS.

I have presented evidence as to:

- The true nature and culture of Anonymous.
- Its origins.
- Its extraordinary structure (lack thereof).
- Its past and present activities.
- Its reasons for going after the CoS.
- The grim historical and present practices of the CoS.
- The complete ineffectiveness of the CoS in fighting back.
- Project Chanology.
- Its ambitions in this cause.
- Its tactics.
- The way they have revolutionized internet activism.
- The considerable support they have earned.
- Its effectiveness in this struggle.
- Its overwhelming Win in the war for information and by extension the war itself.

All this and the movement is barely one year old.

I also believe that I have demonstrated beyond dispute that due to the very nature of Anonymous, the CoS is impotent and all but powerless to do a single thing to stop them.


"Legal experts say the church may be facing its biggest challenge yet - trying to protect its image, in a loosely-policed medium seen by millions of people.1


So a year into the conflict between Anonymous and the CoS, what is the final verdict?


What is the scoreboard one year later? It is definitely advantage Anonymous and organized Scientology is definitely imploding.

Scientology's ... dictator David Miscavige now appears to be in hiding. He failed to attend the I.A.S. ball which was not held at the Shrine in Los Angeles. Neither he nor any of the senior executive strata attended the recent New Years event. He has not been seen in public with mutual best friend Tom Cruise. This is unprecedented. While Scientology is in a total melt down David Miscavige and the entire senior management team is constantly concealed and allegedly confined.

Anonymous now has more active cells than the Church of Scientology has active Orgs.

Anonymous is rapidly growing and winning. Corporate Scientology is rapidly losing and shrinking.2


Well folks, there you have it in a nutshell.

From the moment Anonymous posted their first anti-CoS video on youtube it has been a losing battle for the CoS. They have been exposed and humiliated and are reeling as a result.

On every front and in every measurable way "The Group Anonymous Has NOT Failed, And Will NOT Fail, In Its’ Conflict With Scientology.”

 


Acknowledgements

Many thanks to my opponent for a spirited and fascinating debate.

Also one final "thank you" to our readers, judges, and moderators.

Cheers to all!



posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 11:53 AM
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Schrodingers dog wins through split decision and will advance to the Second Round.
The Judges Comments:



Anonymous v. Scientology

Winner - Schrodinger's Dog

Post One: Oz fails to define Scientology clearly, relying only on Wikipedia and the statement that the US Government recognizes Scientology as a 'religion'.

His attempt to classify Anonymous as a cult inadvertently applies to Scientology as well.

Post Two: Oz contradicts himself by first agreeing that two Anonymous campaigns were successful, then stating they have never been successful.

Second Rebuttal: SD's logic almost fails here as Anonymous is defined as leaderless and structure-less. It's almost not logical to say that something is successful unless we define specifically what that something is.

It was a fascinating debate and now I will have to go and read all the links and watch the videos.

It's a very difficult contest to judge. I give it to SD because the first part of the premise, that Anonymous has 'not failed' seems to have been proven and agreed upon by both sides, IE Anonymous seems to have experienced success, supporting the premise.

The second half of the premise is up in the air but the preponderence of evidence seems to indicate that Anonymous will continue to have successes.




OPENING STATEMENTS.

OZ comes right out of the cage fighting by pointing out a crucial fact: While Scientology is a structured, official organization, Anon appears to be nothing more than Internet Hooligans engaged in a disruptive, immature campaign. He immediately sets up the situation by using 'Big Dog vs. the Gnat' imagery. This was a very powerful way to introduce his position.

SD also sets up some descriptive foundations of his own by portraying Anon as 'truth fighters' of a sort not merely bent on petty harassment or trying to infringe upon anyone's religious freedoms but instead mainly attempting to target the gross misdeeds the COS is responsible for and to expose them and even consists of ex COS members. Although SD acknowledges and agrees with Anon's less than organized fashion, he does well in pointing out their ultimate goal of focusing on abuse, not beliefs. SD does a terrific job in answering OZ's SQ's, especially by pointing out an example of Anon's past success in dealing with people like Hal Turner.

Brilliant openings by both debaters. I give +1 point to each fighter and a +.5 bonus point to SD for his excellent answers . This is going to be an incredible fight.

+1 OZ
+1.5 SD

ROUND ONE.
Great job to OZ by pointing out the fact pretty much all religions, even atheistic beliefs, have had their share of detractors yet they remain alive and well. This is an excellent question as it makes the reader and judge wonder if attacks by Anon would be successful against the COS. Nobody denies the fact Anon is targeting COS but the question is will they fail or succeed? OZ uses history and comparisons to show that just because a movement has its detractors (that have even been successful in other arenas) doesn't necessarily mean it is enough to do serious damage. He throws another successful punch by stating:


Bad news Anonymous, Scientology is still going strong and is not anywhere near ruins. In fact, scientology members have exploded exponentially in numbers


Then proceeds to show evidence of the growth of the COS in spite of detractors like Anon. He then continues to portray Anon as a chaotic vigilante group. Great points again for OZ.

+1 OZ (For comparisons to other religious detractors)
+1 OZ (for pointing out the anonymous, chaotic, and questionable nature of Anon).

I wish SD had emphasized this a bit more but I was still able to pick up on it. His external site on COS' view of Anon was very telling. They basically initially viewed it as some pesky rascals only to eventually refer to the group as cyberterrorists. The reason that is very telling because it appears that even COS is acknowledging Anon's increase in impact towards their religion.
+.5 SD. It would have been a full point had he emphasized the underlying message that cite reveals.

And now SD engages in a smart clever strategy. He turns around OZ's point about the unstructured nature of Anon and uses it to his own advantage by stating:


Whereas the CoS is an autocratic, top/down, heavy handed, controlling organization, Anonymous are a group of free willed individuals who choose to occasionally come together to fight what they believe is a worthy cause.
So on one hand we have the few controlling the many and on the other we have the many choosing to come together as one.


Again, I really would have liked to have seen him expand on this idea. It would have been a great advantage to his case by mentioning the power of people coming together which would provide strength in numbers. Instead, he only leaves the pieces to be put together by the reader.
+.5 SD.

Round Totals:
OZ: 2
SD: 1

Although I understand characters are limited (and I won't deduct any judgment points), I strongly feel both debaters missed out on an advantage by not rebutting some of their opponent's key points. For SD, I feel he really should have refuted OZ's very strong argument about how all religions have had their detractors. For OZ, I feel he really should have addressed SD's example of Anon's previous successes and instead only (briefly) focused on the failure for it to be tied into COS.

ROUND TWO.
I must admit I initially found the disagreement about the interchangeability of the terms 'Scientology' and 'COS' to be unnecessary nitpicking. But OZ changed my mind on the matter when he revealed that Anon was not only going after the corrupt leaders but the followers as well. So ultimately, Scientologists as a whole. Even the debate topic focuses on the term Scientology. I do not believe this is extremely pertinent to the discussion and it does come across as somewhat of a distraction to the actual topic, OZ did well to point this out. I'll award OZ half a point for this. Mainly because it is not terribly crucial but on the other hand I also like to judge on points addressed. Oz then brings up a very important point by stating:


I asked an you proved your point, but remember, its a loosely based group where members are Anonymous, which means credibility is highly speculative.


Because of the anonymity, this would lead any reasonable person to wonder about the credibility of their claims, accusations, and the weight of their cause. He also does well to point out a success against two individuals does not necessarily reflect on a war against a religion. This gives OZ +1.

OZ utilizes the websites to his advantage and point out how the tactics currently is use are not working now and makes the link that this means they most likely will not work in the future and offers a citation showing how the current strategy is not working but will not be changed until it garners a reaction. I have to agree that is a strange and seemingly ineffective course of action. +1 OZ.
+2.5 OZ for his post.

I was confused reading the following from SD:


First, I once again welcome my opponent's latest concession that the terms Scientology and CoS are not one and the same and cannot be used interchangeably.


Because in my opinion OZ didn't necessarily concede the point (in face he argued against it) but only agreed to use the term so this would no longer be an issue.

Then the following only appeared to harm his position:


But what my opponents has yet to grasp is that he cannot assign responsibility for the words and acts of anyone who calls themselves Anonymous to Anonymous as a whole. Whereas the CoS and any other rigid organization can be held liable for the acts of its members, Anonymous, because of its unique format and composition can simply not be viewed in that manner. No one persons or group of persons words or acts, especially on the internet, can be directly attributed to Anonymous as an organization.

Why? Because it simply isn't one and does not operate in this fashion.

Anyone can call themselves Anonymous and can do and say whatever they want.


To me, this basically sounds like a concession of what OZ said in his opening statement by implying the disorganization of Anon is to their detriment, not their benefit. Although I understand what SD was trying to get at by saying statements here and there from anon cannot be used definitely, the conclusion I reached from reading that was a subconscious admission that because we can't even reach a conclusion due to such disorder, how can Anon possibly be successful in their attempts?

SD continues:

There simply isn't a voice out there that speaks for all.
*snip*
The same difficulty which my opponent is having in assigning responsibility, identifying leaders, and pinpointing accountability, is precisely the reason that Anonymous is so successful.


What is that advantage? SD explains:


Because there is no "they" for the CoS to fight back in the other direction. That in fact is the genius of the whole thing.


Brilliant point for SD as he explains the difficulty of fighting back at 'ghosts,' so to speak. Although it is a sneaky topic, it's hard to argue that, at least in this one respect, it's a good one. He goes on to submit various examples of COS fighting back against its attackers and shows how these methods are futile against Anon. Fantastic job. This very important fact earns SD +2 points.

Round Totals:
OZ: 2.5
SD: 2

ROUND THREE.
Things begin to get a bit difficult for this judge. Both debaters are acknowledging the same facts (which is good) and are being extremely creative and innovated to structure those agreements to support their won position. They're both using the chaotic nature of Anon to their advantage in different ways. For Oz, it's a 'united we stand, divided we fall' route while for SD it's a 'you can't catch the gingerbread man' route.

Fantastic! You guys are going at it full force. Definitely one of the best debates I've ever judged. Fascinating. I award both fighters 2 points each for this round. You're both doing incredible jobs!

Round Totals:
OZ: 2
SD: 2

CLOSING STATEMENT.
It was refreshing to see the closing statement used as intended: to offer a brief summary of each position. No points will be awarded to either side as it appeared to only consist of reiterations of previous points.

However, a couple of things that must be noted:
OZ again points out the very important heart of the matter:


In summary however, there is no evidence to suggest that the CoS has taken a beating due to the pranks pulled by a number of Anonymous individuals.
Scientology is still considered a religion (and a growing religion at that), is still acquiring new members year after year (albeit few, lol) and hasn't started to crumble like the Anonymous group claims.


Basically, regardless of strength in numbers, the anonymity, the 'ghost' advantage, the fact remains COS has been attacked pretty much since its inception yet is still going strong.
As good of a job SD has been doing, I still cannot ignore the fact:


As long as the church keeps growing, then the CoS will be winning this war.


This is the clincher. The nipping at the heels by anon simply isn't enough to bring the corruption to its knees.
SD doesn't go silently, though, and also reemphasizes his major point as well:


All this and the movement is barely one year old.
I also believe that I have demonstrated beyond dispute that due to the very nature of Anonymous, the CoS is impotent and all but powerless to do a single thing to stop them.


A valiant attempt but I'm not sure it is enough. They might be young, the might be hard to catch, but at the same time, they still seem to only be the 'annoying gnat.

CONCLUSION.
Point totals:
OZ: 7.5
SD: 6.5

In light of the point tallies and my opinion that OZ's main point outweighs SD's main point, my judgment goes to OZ.




Round 1: OzWeatherman vs schrodingers dog: Anonymous vs Scientology

Opening:
schrodingers dog’s opening was much more complete and gave him the early lead.
OzWeatherman needed to have a more comprehensive opening.

Replies:
Beginning in the first reply it was obvious that schrodingers dog had a better grasp on the subject matter. OzWeatherman rebounded somewhat in the second and third reply, it was still schrodingers dog running the show and leading the debate.
All through all 3 replies it was apparent that schrodingers dog never lost any of the momentum he acquired in the opening salvo.

Closing:
Also goes to schrodingers dog

All in all this was an informative debate as I possess almost no knowledge of either organization. Which in a case like this is a blessing as we can then judge the debate purely on the merits of each debater.
In this case, schrodingers dog controlled the debate, made the more comprehensive argument and clearly won the day.
Winner: schrodingers dog





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