“We have two FBI files for you to pore through today, at 268 and 180 pages they’re additional releases that we’re getting thanks to journalist Emma Best, who is suing the FBI over numerous document requests she has made.”
The Church of Scientology’s troubles began in January of 2008 after a Los Angeles critic named Mark Bunker released a bizarre interview featuring Tom Cruise that quickly went viral. The Church of Scientology tried in vain to have the video removed – a move that attracted Anonymous’ attention, leading to Project Chanology. Ortega has provided a history of the incident here.
Although the church initially dismissed Anonymous as a “pathetic” collection of “computer geeks,” they complained to the FBI that they were under attack by a “terrorist” organization. This was apparently in connection to a series of letters, which contained a mysterious white powder, sent to the church. The powder turned out to be a starch, and Anonymous denied sending them.
The newly released documents show that the FBI took the church’s complaints seriously. The bureau began their investigation in San Diego where the church was receiving harassing emails, phone calls, and faxes.
“The San Diego church offices have also received black facsimiles. The church has received 20 to 30 of these facsimiles. They included images of Guy Fawkes (17th century Englishman notorious for plotting to blow up parliament as part of an extremist Catholic campaign against Protestant rule), various cartoons, et cetera, all of which had the result of consuming a large amount of ink.”
What would America do without the FBI here to stage domestic terrorist attacks, and protect our ink supplies?
Ortega’s report outlines additional incidents that were investigated by the bureau, all of which led to dead ends. The documents provide an interesting – if not comical – glimpse into the approach the FBI has taken with the Anonymous movement. Not to mention revealing the Church of Scientology’s “inner snowflake.”
The FBI spent a lot of time, energy, and money investigating the Anonymous movement at this time, even while they struggled to get the church to produce any witnesses for interviews. Eventually the case was closed.
“After approximately two years, no investigative leads of value have been developed. Based upon the age of the case, lack of an articulated threat and the lack of any additional investigative leads writer requests that this matter be closed.”
To read more, see Ortega’s report, which outlines the FBI’s investigation in full, and showcases the documents in an easy to read format, along with sources.