This image comes from the Scientology Handbook and apparently represents an essential part of Scientology training, which will soon be happening at the building now occupied by Whitecliffe College of Art. I would love to know what she will become curious about next; perhaps it will be "why am I wearing a strait-jacket," or "you're really quite creepy, aren't you?"
On the other hand, she might be thinking "why don't I give up this crap and become Anonymous; at least I would get to wear a suit and a mask."
You see, the people who call themselves Anonymous are more than a little bit annoyed by the Church of Scientology, ever since the CoS tried to stop people seeing a scientology video showing Tom Cruise being mad. Anonymous has been protesting against Scientology worldwide, including in New Zealand. Unfortunately, the first local protest was not very well-attended and has become known globally as the Epic New Zealand Fail. But a couple of weekends ago, Anonymous New Zealand made up for it by participating in the second global protest, with an enthusiastic demonstrations in downtown Auckland and elsewhere. I understand the next protest will be on 12th April.
The beauty of these protests is that the CoS cannot find anyone to sue. In the past, the CoS set its lawyers on anyone who investigated Scientology or criticised its practices. But Anonymous is anonymous. There is no membership or organisation, just some websites where Anonymous lurks, anonymously. The Rules of Internet prevent me from naming these sites, but I can reveal they are of the wiki or imageboard kind, where users can post or modify content anonymously. It is in these places that the word is spread about demonstrations and other actions against Scientology.
The CoS tried, in a Florida court, to obtain an injunction against Anonymous by filing a Petition against twenty-six individuals "alleged to be associating as a group referred to as Anonymous." The court noted that the Petition contained "no specific allegations of wrongdoing against the individuals named as respondents" and denied the Petition because there was "no allegation of the existence of any organisation or hierarchy of command that exercises any form of collective or coordinated action that results in the systematic deprivation of the Petitioner's rights." In short, the CoS tried to stop all actions against it made by people identifying themselves as Anonymous but failed. In shorter still: they fought the lulz but the lulz won.
The CoS has every reason to be worried about Anonymous. Deprived of its main weapon of legal action, it is helpless. Worse still for the "Church," Anonymous has created a new generation of opponents, people who otherwise would never have known about CoS. Of course, the CoS will bleat about freedom of religion and whine that it is being oppressed but such tactics are standard operating procedure: the Scientology organisation calls itself a church for two reasons - tax breaks and special privileges.
In turn, Anonymous has every reason to be worried about New Zealand. We are one of the few countries in the grown-up world which recognises Scientology as a religion for tax purposes. Of course, in the not so humble opinion of this blogeur, no religion should get tax breaks - religions are no different from private clubs and religion is not in itself a public good that should be rewarded. That said, it is particularly galling that the bunch of crooks calling themselves the Church of Scientology get tax breaks for doing their dirty work. Their income, which is derived from acts of deceit, is not subject to tax. No wonder they can afford to buy Whitecliffe.
In case any fair-minded, decent, liberal reader (I believe there are some) is choking on his pancetta after reading my description of the CoS as a bunch of crooks, let me explain. Everything the CoS does is designed to increase revenue. The CoS deceives its members in order to get their money. Most members are duped into joining CoS by taking the E-Meter test. The E-Meter (the current version is the Mark Super VII Quantum E-Meter) is supposed to measure one's mental health (to be precise, it is supposed to detect the Thetans on one's body, but the CoS does not tell an adherent about the Thetans - the spirits of aliens brought to this planet by Xenu - until the member is well and truly caught up in the con). It is inevitable that the person taking an E-Meter test for the first time will fail it and so will require a course of treatment, which of course will cost money.
The E-meter is nothing more than a wheatstone bridge - it measures the electrical resistance of the subject's body. So, when the CoS offers you a "stress test" (which you will fail) it is duping you to get your money - a criminal act. The money it raises from this crime, and the many others it commits in the form of courses for members, is tax-free in New Zealand. This is the true Epic New Zealand Fail - a crime syndicate fooled the tax authorities of a nation into believing it was a religion.