LOS ANGELES -- An anonymous group of hackers, fittingly known as "Anonymous," has declared war on the Church of Scientology, reported KNBC-TV in Los Angeles.
In a video posted on YouTube on Monday, the group appears to be upset over the way the church tried to eliminate a video of Tom Cruise from the Internet.
"We shall proceed to expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the Church of Scientology in its present form," said the video's narrator. "We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."
The Cruise video in question made headlines last week after copies continued to surface on the Internet. In the video, Cruise praises Scientology's virtues and speaks in great detail about the religion. He discusses his faith while the soundtrack to his "Mission: Impossible" films plays in the background.
In the video, which was made in 2004, Cruise said, "There is nothing better than ... going out there and fighting the fight and, suddenly you see, things are better."
Editors at celebrity gossip Web site TMZ.com said that the video was posted Monday on YouTube.com but quickly removed. Since then, more copies have surfaced.
The "Anonymous" video claims the attack is for the good of mankind.
"Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed, for the good of your followers, for the good of mankind and for our own enjoyment," said the video's narrator.
The church said the video was an internal production and meant for members of Scientology.
A Web site set up for the project directs members to download denial of service software that bombards Scientology.org with fake requests, slowing it down.
The site also urges members to make prank calls, publicize Scientology documents the church considers proprietary and fax endless loops of black pages to the church's fax machines to waste ink.
This is not the first time the Church of Scientology has dealt with a denial of service campaign. ReligiousFreedomWatch.org once offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to prior threats.
(via Zombie Obscurity)