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On January 26, 2008, an outspoken critic of Scientology, Mark Bunker, uploaded the video, “Scientology: XENU TV Speaks to Anonymous”. The video was a response to Anonymous‘s highly aggressive initial attack on The Church of Scientology which collapsed the church’s website on January 17 and led to the Anon’s “declaration of war” shortly after, as shown in “Message to Scientology”. In this video, Bunker expresses his viewpoint of Anonymous’s attack, complimenting their enthusiasm in Project Chanology, but criticizing their rather rash actions. He asked them to tone down their campaign against the Church of Scientology and pursue more peaceful and legal ways to protest Scientology. Seeing him as an ally and a reliable advisor on the war against Scientology, Anonymous coined him as “Wise Beard Man” with the slogan, “His words are wise, his face is beard.” He got several responses from them, and responded to them the next day, as shown below.
Anonymous took the advice he offered about peaceful protesting seriously, and helped ensure their subsequent successful protests on various dates, including the one on February 10th, which Bunker attended in downtown Los Angeles and spoke to numerous Anons.
Wise Beard Man uploaded a video on his channel in mid-April a interview with Jason Beghe, an actor who also slammed Scientology. The video was taken down from YouTube on April 17, 2008, and Bunker’s account was deactivated due to copyright claims. Outraged, multiple other YouTube users uploaded the clip, risking a ban. By the next day, at least 45 users had reposted the video interview. Bunker said that those issues had been resolved, and that YouTube should have given him time to prove that before pulling the Jason Beghe interview, believing that YouTube removed the interview after receiving pressures from The Church of Scientology.
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