International Scientology protest has no immediate success

By Brittany Abeijon

More than 7,000 anonymous Web users worldwide gathered outside of churches of Scientology on Feb. 10, at 11 a.m., including the Church of Scientology at 312 W. John St., Champaign.

The goal was to protest peacefully against the organizations’ actions, tactics and behaviors.

“We were protesting the idea that the church is still considered a religion,” said a senior in LAS who protested Sunday. “As well as the tax-exempt status of the organization, because they charge people for salvation with scientology.”

According to the official Scientology Web site, the word scientology means “the study of truth.” It is the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and all of life.

Some of the protestors wished to remain anonymous throughout the public protest by wearing masks to conceal their identity.

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“We want to protect ourselves against critics that don’t appreciate people against scientology,” the anonymous student said. “The protest was started by people on the Internet and you don’t have to give your name on the Internet, you are just as obscure as the next user.”

The anonymous student said that the protestors received a “pretty snappy retort,” from the Church of Scientology and were referred to as “religious bigots.”

There wasn’t any immediate success from the protest, but the church refuted the protest.

“We did get media attention, and our main priority was just to get the word out,” the anonymous student said.

According to the, the next international day of protest is set for March 15, 2008.