Scientologist Leader Urges Censorship of Media: 'Stand Up and Defend Our Religion'

Marty Rathbun has long been a thorn in Scientology's side, but his release of an email by the Office of Special Affairs ("dirty tricks and propaganda") may prove especially troubling.

The email was sent to Ray McKay, whom Rathbun calls "a well-known OSA operative." In the email, the author, Daniele Lattanzi, refers to the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes divorce and the negative attention it has brought to Scientology.

I am not a big fan of media, but you may have glanced the news of the split between TC and Holmes and all the speculations around. While this is a personal matter, when people start to bring our religion into the middle and a bunch of uninformed people start to spread false datum, rumors and defame our religion it became a matter that does affect my Dynamics and I believe that affects yours as well.

Well, I am not somebody that I am going to simply stand and watch a bunch of uninformed people putting my religion under the carpet. So here is a simple hatting on how you can causative fight back and at the same time stand up and defend our religion on the internet.

What follows is a step-by-step guide to censoring coverage of Scientology on the internet by reporting "abuse." Lattanzi suggests scanning TomKat articles for comments that "defame or degrade" Scientology. This concerted effort, he believes, will have an impact on stopping the spread of negative information.

Rathbun, who was once Tom Cruise's spiritual mentor before breaking off from the Church of Scientology, calls the attempt at censorship "like showing up to a nuclear war with a squirt gun."

Of course, officially the Church says they have nothing to do with the email. A spokesperson for the Church of Scientology responded—

An email from a Scientologist is no more from the Church of Scientology than an email from a Catholic is from the Vatican. This did not come from the Church or anyone associated with the Church, nor is it a Church plan.

On his blog, Rathbun has spent years documenting these attempts at censorship and subterfuge by Scientology — all of which are denied by Church officials. The harassment Rathbun has faced is supposedly the work of individual Scientologists and not condoned by the Church, something Rathbun is certain isn't true.

As much as the Office of Special Affairs would like to control the conversation, there's no avoiding the fact that the TomKat divorce has once again put Scientology in the spotlight. With reports that Katie Holmes was being followed, and that she left her husband to save their daughter Suri from growing up as a Scientologist, damage control will have to amount to more than merely flagging comments as abuse.

[Image via AP]