Recently, Radar reported on Scientology’s short-lived attempt to beat its Guy Fawkes mask-clad antagonists “Anonymous” at their own game: scary YouTube videos. A clip posted by a Sciento associate under the name “AnonymousFacts” displayed the names and personal information of several supposed Anonymous members and accused the group of violent threats and terrorism. YouTube quickly took the video down and suspended AnonymousFacts. But the hassle for at least one of the three men shown didn’t end there.
A little more than a week ago, Jonathan (he asked his last name not be repeated again), who’d joined a Facebook group called “I Support Anonymous” and attended their protests, answered a knock at the door of his parents’ L.A.-area home, where he lives while attending community college. A mustachioed man in a suit and claiming to be from the law firm of Latham and Watkins was holding a “file” and asked to speak to Jonathan’s parents by name, he recently told Radar. He told the mystery man his parents weren’t available and offered to take the package for them. “No,” the man said. “I can’t legally give this to you.” Jonathan shrugged and told him to come back later. That’s when things got weird.
Later a friend of the family came over and said Mr. Mustachio was hanging out in front of the house and had asked her if she was Jonathan’s mom. When she said no, he waited until Jonathan’s parents did arrive, then handed them the file and said, “This is a courtesy letter. No charges are being filed yet. But your son may be involved in terrorist activity.” And then he left. Inside the package was a letter accusing Jonathan of terrorism and a DVD copy of the YouTube video, he says.
“I’m a mix between flattered and frightened that they’d consider me such a threat,” Jonathan says. Though he’s been labeled a leader in the group, he insists, “I’m not a hacker, a techie, or anything. I went to a couple protests, and I organized an after-party after one, where we all ate Indian food. That’s it.”
A Church of Scientology spokesperson says the group does employ various lawyers across the country to deal with what she tells Radar are “acts of violence, terrorism, and death threats,” but adds, “It is not true that lawyers from any firm representing the Church have visited anyone. If anyone is suggesting otherwise, that is false.”
Nevertheless, Jonathan said the DVD of Scientologists’ video and the accusation that their son was a terrorist concerned his parents. “[They] told me that while they understood what I was doing, it’s not worth it to have psychos threatening our family. And I agreed.” He’s publicly declared he’s done with Anonymous. “I can’t. I live at home, and these creepy guys started knocking on our door and handing my parents letters … Anyway, I’m not protesting anymore.”[Jonathan and I spoke via IM and Facebook message, and he did make an effort to verify his ID via several methods. I didn’t take a DNA sample or ask for a copy of his driver’s license, though. While there’s a microscopic chance this is all a conspiracy to make Scientologists seem threatening, the Jonathan I chatted with seems to check out.]
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