PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!
You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.
Project Chanology is a series of protest movements launched against the practices of the Church of Scientology by members of Anonymous. The project was started in response to the Church of Scientology’s attempts to remove video clips from a highly publicized interview with Scientologist Tom Cruise from the Internet in January 2008.
On January 14th, 2008, a video produced by the Church of Scientology featuring an interview with Tom Cruise was posted on YouTube. In the video, Cruise makes various statements including saying that Scientologists are the only people who can help after a car accident,and that Scientologists are the authority on getting addicts off drugs. According to news reports, the video featured Cruise “extolling the virtues of Scientology”.
Project Chanology was formulated by users of the English-speaking image boards 711chan and 4chan, in addition to several other websites. The members all considered themselves part of Anonymous , on January 16th, 2008 after the Church of Scientology issued a copyright violation claim against YouTube for hosting material from the Cruise video. The project was publicly launched via a video uploaded to YouTube on January 21st, 2008 entitled “Message to Scientology” on the channel Project Chanology. The video states that Anonymous views Scientology’s DMCA action as Internet censorship, asserting the group’s intent to “expel the church from the Internet.”
On January 26th, the Church responded to the pressure from Anonymous to CNET, stating that the removed video featured “selective and out-of-context excerpts with the intent of creating both controversy and ridicule.” The next day, a second video entitled “Call to Action” was uploaded by Anonymous members, calling for protests outside of Church of Scientology centers on February 10th, 2008.
February 10th, 2008: First Wave of Protests
On the scheduled date, over 7000 Anonymous members from 100 cities across the globe came together in protest in front of Scientology churches. These protests marked the first time Anonymous organized an action that took place off the internet. Many news outlets covered the protests including the Boston Globe, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Scotland’s the Scotsman, Australia’s News.com.au and the Tampa Tribune.
During the protests, Anonymous members chose to constantly record their actions to both protect themselves from legal backlash, but also to have more control over how the protests were presented in the media: something that has persisted in later protests, especially Occupy Wall Street
March 15th, 2008: Second Wave of Protests
After the success of the first protests, Anonymous organized another set to take place on March 15th, L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday. Also referred to as The Ides of March, these protests drew another 7000 Anonymous members together across the globe.
Search for Project Chanology peaked in February 2008 when the protests were taking place.
Jeff Jacobsen – We Are Legion: Anonymous and the War on Scientology
The Boston Globe – Dozens of masked protesters blast Scientology church