Scientology Shares Secrets on YouTube ... Sort Of

Wired/April 30, 2008

The Church of Scientology fired the latest salvo in the information war with its detractors Monday, launching a YouTube channel and touting "its commitment to open communication."

But the notoriously secretive (and litigious) organization doesn't appear to truly be embracing the kind of openness that makes the internet such a philosophical free-for-all: The Church of Scientology YouTube channel doesn't allow users to post comments, and the option to embed videos is disabled for certain clips.

The channel was launched to "share the truth about Scientology's beliefs with the general public," according to a Scientology press release.

The YouTube channel features syndicated videos like the one embedded above, which carries an anti-drug and anti-alcohol message, that originally went online in March at the official Scientology Video Channel. Some videos cover basic principles of the religion, while others include recruitment videos and a collection of public service announcements.

In January, a bitter copyright dispute erupted after clips of actor Tom Cruise discussing his beliefs as a Scientologist were posted by gossip site Gawker.

Additionally, hacker group Anonymous rose to attention earlier this year after issuing video attacks against the church, protesting Scientology's history of censorship. The Anonymous pranksters have posted videos of live "rickrolling" raids on Scientology churches.

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