Scientology gets facelift to counter protests

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The Church of Scientology has taken up the internet to create an online campaign to demystify its beliefs and practises after two worldwide protests were staged by a collection of users called “Anonymous”.

The official website of the ‘religion’ was relaunched with dozens of videos explaining basic beliefs and jargon like “thetan” and “the eight dynamics”, with some highlighting its work in human rights and drug awareness.

The group “Anonymous” was created and has declared “war” against Scientology after it took down a video of Tom Cruise from YouTube. The video, however, still remains on the internet. Members of the group could be anyone as they do not reveal their identities in protests or on message boards.

As well, members of Anonymous have spread videos posted on YouTube to publicise allegations against the church, accusing them of exploiting its members and suppressing free speech.

The Church of Scientology claims that they have millions of members across the world, though official counts from census records around the world often tell a different story.

In Australia, the church claims that they have 250,000 members; but in the latest census held in 2006 show only 2513 members identified that they belong to the group.

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