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Anonymous relaunches fight against Scientology

'More subtle and shocking tactics'

The Anonymous group is calling for disillusioned former members to return to the fold ahead of a new phase in its battle against the Church of Scientology.

A video posted on YouTube on Friday said it was time for the original founders of the protest movement to return in time for a "shift to more subtle and shocking tactics".

Anonymous has staged demonstrations against Scientology around the world over the last six months as part of Project Chanology. Members of the loosely-knit group have demonstrated outside Scientology offices worldwide, often wearing V for Vendetta-style Guy Fawkes masks and other disguises to safeguard their identities.

Other tactics have also included running denial of service attacks on Church of Scientology websites or making prank calls to Scientology offices.

The loose-knit group is protesting against the church's alleged financial exploitation of members as well as its hostility towards critics. The protests sprang up in response to attempts by the Church of Scientology to force websites to pull a video clip of Tom Cruise expounding some of the more colourful tenets of his beliefs. Anger at this move expressed on the 4chan discussion board and elsewhere provided the initial impetus behind Anonymous but has led to problems, according to the video.

"Those who answered the call outnumber the number from the motherland... This has resulted in Project Chanology becoming polluted by people who are judgemental of our ideology and serve the interests of special interest groups. The time for making allies at the expanse of our ideals is over," the video states.

The time for the movement's original creators to "return and reclaim" it has come, the video states. This will mark a "shift to more subtle and shocking tactics" as part of phase three of the operation. What these tactics are remains to be seen but the video warns the leaders of Scientology that their "card is marked" and promises new (unspecified) initiatives, starting on 8 August.

A second video, also posted over the weekend, and titled Anonymous and our Allies, said that newer members of the group are still welcome.

"In any conflict of this magnitude every part plays a role. All Anonymous are welcome regardless of their origins, tactics, beliefs or reasons for their fight."

The message says those who prefer to limit their protests to candlelit vigils (and support for people leaving Scientology) should continue their actions while not interfering with those who wish to up the ante.

"If activism of a darker nature leaves a bitter taste in your mouth do not participate in those actions," the second video states. ®

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