Scientology group asks followers to censor Web comments

By Jeff Stacklin
The Lookout

The Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise split apparently has had a negative effect on the Church of Scientology, and a faction of the church is calling for members to take action and silence naysayers.

The campaign also comes as an entire mission for the church has defected from under the leadership of David Miscavige, reports the Village Voice. Leader Dani Lemberger of Israel’s Dror Center, in Haifa, told Voice blogger Tony Ortega that his mission is one of the few that are still growing and announced that it is rejecting Miscavige’s leadership.

It is the “first time in memory” that an entire mission has announced that it is leaving the church, Ortega said.

Former Scientologist and current anti-Scientologist blogger Marty Rathbun posted an email message instructing followers on how to “counter free speech on the internet.” Rathbun claims that the email comes from the church’s Office of Special Affairs, otherwise known as the “dirty tricks and propaganda arm of Scientology Inc.” The email message begins:

I am not a big fan of media, but you may have glanced the news of the split between TC and Holmes and all the speculations around. While this is a personal matter, when people start to bring our religion into the middle and a bunch of uninformed people start to spread false datum, rumors and defame our religion it became a matter that does affect my Dynamics and I believe that affects yours as well.

The message instructs followers to visit media sites, including Microsoft, Google or any other that requires users to agree to a code of conduct that prohibits comments that threaten, defame or degrade any group or individuals.

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