back to article Anti-Scientology crusader vaporized from YouTube

YouTube has vaporized a popular user account dedicated to criticizing The Church of Scientology. Last Thursday, the world's most popular video sharer removed the 10,000-subscriber-strong "Xenutv1" channel run by Mark Bunker, a television journalist/well-known Scientology naysayer. Earlier in the week, Bunker posted a teaser …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I'm Spartacus!

    ""They said that because my first account was canceled, I was never supposed to have a second account," Bunker explained. "I was supposed to be banned for life.""

    The obvious solution is to ask a friend to host all the stuff on his behalf, and post as e.g. Xenutv2. Alternatively, and just in case that falls under a rule banning meatpuppets, ask for volunteers; if hundreds of people upload the videos perhaps Youtube will back down. It's a lot of free publicity for Mr Xenutv and hardly makes Scientology look kind and gentle.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Trolls of the world unite...

    ...and take over!

    I wouldn't go as far as calling Anonymous a movement, as much as another meme from the #chans. They protest against scientology by real-life Rick-rolling, for gods sake. Still, it's people power at its very best.

    Anon posting ftw!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Vimeo seems to be a much better service for anything not recorded on a cellphone. Higher quality and longer video time.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous a portest movement?

    "an internet protest movement known as Anonymous - which sprung up after YouTube erased the Cruise clip from its entire site"

    Never laughed so hard in my life!

    Anonymous are a bunch of soul-less geeks that spend most of their lives insulting each other, only occasionally uniting to try and take down anyone that thought they were bigger and better. They're made up of black hats and asshats. The beef with scientology was firmly because they took down the funny video of tom cruise, and their initial reaction (DDOS, prank calls, nuisance faxes, death threats) was far more in line with their modus operandi than the new "legit" protestors.

    Still, anyone that wants to take a chunk of scientology is alright by me.

  5. Steve
    Thumb Up

    I'm Spartacus! too...

    yep lets all host it, where can I get a copy?

  6. Zohar Lee

    Help me Stephen Colbert

    Given that youtube is owned by google and is based out of america, could bunker not argue that the removal of non-copyrighted information was in itself an infringement of his right to free speech and as such sue the parent companies for this, thus gaining a higher profile for his cause?

  7. saatmarket
    Thumb Up

    respect other religous beliefs

    I recommend to follow human rights and respecting others beliefs. Scientologists i met are nicest people on the planet!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Better yet...

    ... get lots of YouTubers to upload a trailer directing viewers to the new hosts.

    Will YouTube cancel all these users' accounts and drive them to the competion, or will they crumble and reinstate the Mark Bunker's account...?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous a portest movement

    Asshat - you need to trademark that term.

    I vote asshat the Reg Word of the Week.

    Anonymous in support of all the other asshats out there.

    The penguin because it's the choice of asshats everywhere.

  10. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Anonymous a portest movement

    Hey, I've been using 'asshat' for years.


  11. Ros

    If you want to avoid censorship

    Host it on your own domain, backed up by a host that won't bow to unfounded legal threats.

    User-generated content is always going to be a legal minefield, and there are costs to moderating it. I can see why Google don't want the hassle.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Account policy

    So, you infringe copyright once and you can never post on PooToob again? Because they won't let you comply with the takedown notice, so the notice remains in force. Catch-22 anyone?

  13. Elmer Phud Silver badge


    Which planet would that be?

  14. DirkGently
    Thumb Up


    "If you want to avoid censorship"???

    No! If you want publicity, you need to court censorship! Public interest rises as the battle hots up. Kudos to YouTube for bringing this to the wider public view by banning it.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    re: Anonymous

    It's quite true that the whole protest movement started out as yet another raid by the #chans, but things changed once Mark Bunker put a video on his Youtube channel saying "Er, guys, knock off the DDoS BS, you're not helping": it happened and led to the movement dispersing, setting up new bases of operation and joining forces with established anti-Scientology voices. In fact the majority of posts on the subject within the #chans now rubbish the whole idea, as it's gone mainstream and thus doesn't fit the "l33t haxx0rz on steroids" image the more pimply-faced, daylight-averse posters like to project. Anonymous is now an entity distinct from the #chans, but irretrievably entwined with them.

    While the Rickrolling (also now gone mainstream, but that's a matter for a different post) and meme-shouting do feature at the protests, these seem to have taken on the mantle of acting as a unifying force for what is, basically, a bunch of people wearing masks to protect their identity who do not know one another to get behind and hang their protest off, and there is some pretty creative work being done in welding these into actual protest slogans, activities and chants. In any event, it doesn't seem to matter what's actually being said, as long as it's legal and noisy enough to attract the attention of passers-by, who are engaged by legions of leaflet-wielding protesters who are passionate and articulate about the cause. It seems to work, though the jury's out as to how this is going to pan out in the long term.

    If nothing else, the whole thing is a remarkable insight into how the power of the Internets can be harnessed to rapidly create and deploy a huge body of people who are prepared to engage in mass peaceful protest which is at the same time completely without a hierarchical structure.

  16. David Cornes


    What's the big deal?? Is YouTube the *only* video/sharing host on the t'Internweb? If they won't take your custom then plenty of others will. After all it's just a different domain name in any links you post, not exactly a big deal for viewers?!

    Also being pedantic, but if the clips were previews of the guy's OWN videoed interview, won't they be subject to HIS copyright, not non-copyrighted per se?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hair piece

    I only wear my asshat when my poupée's being repaired.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    Post it on Pirate Bay. Arrr.

  19. Gav

    Free Speech

    Zohar Lee; "removal of non-copyrighted information was in itself an infringement of his right to free speech"

    The American constitution says that the Government cannot limit American citizens right to free speech. As Google is not the American government, his right to free speech is irrelevant. Google, and hence YouTube, can decide who gets to say what on their websites and can remove whatever they wish for whatever reason they like.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Sarah Bee

    As in the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Sarah Bee? or is u justa poser? If'in u is the real deal den mista Bunker be in like flintstone.

    Posting Anon because most of the rest of you are. And I just don't feel very much like a salmon today, need more coffee first. Need to go find some new Verity she makes me laugh BoFH is good to.

    @Account policy

    Just tell them you want to keep flying and they will think you are nuts and let you out.

    Was that a run on? Kinda wuz darn I need more coffee. And why do I keep thinking of comedians spawning right now?

    Grumbles while looking for the peruvian high grown.

  21. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ Sarah Bee

    That's Samantha Bee you're thinking of. But yes, I am just a poser. I changed my name especially.

    I kind of lost interest in your comment after that.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Re: @Anonymous a portest movement

    Not sure if it's the first use of asshat but it certainly is the funniest I've seen:

  23. dervheid
    Paris Hilton

    Coyright Content?

    On youtube?


    Well, who've guessed it?


    Bound to be in there somewhere!

  24. Mike Richards Silver badge

    @ saatmarket

    'Scientologists i met are nicest people on the planet!'

    But *which* planet???

  25. Mark

    Re: Free Speech

    However, since the need to remove material was via DMCA, enforced BY THE GOVERNMENT, that is, it has the force of government power behind it, the government ARE most definitely involved and so this IS a free speech issue.

    Otherwise, would we be allowed to take Youtube et al to court for deleting our stuff? No. Because they have to do this because of the conditions of the DMCA and the government will enforce it.

  26. Steve

    Re: @ Sarah Bee

    Shouldn't you be sipping "gin 'n' juice" somewhere?

    Or finishing school?.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You know someone who admits to being a Scientologist? Then you're probably a Scientologist. And it's not a religion, it's a con-trick, designed to make money for the organisation.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Scientology isn't a religion, it's a cult. Scientologists might be nice people, but the cult itself is purely designed to make those at the top rich and to fleece little people out of their cash. The fact that the founder is on record as saying that starting a religion is the best get-rich quick scheme around helps for sure. It is interesting that the US is pretty much the only country on the planet that accepts it as a religion, most rational countries class it as a cult. Of course, the US classes certain countries (Germany for example) as being intolerant of religion because of the cult classification of scientology, but in this I would support Germany - it is clearly a cult.

    Now just wait for the black helicopters to get me.

  29. Ign R. Amis


    Assuming you're not a CO$ shill, while it may be true that you have met nice Scientologists, the organization as a whole is clearly a dangerous cult that uses hypnotic techniques to control its followers. I suggest you check yourself before you wreck yourself, amigo.

    Hail Xenu!

  30. Mark

    Re: respect other religous beliefs

    Why when CoS show NO respect whatsoever to anyone else.

    They aren't even a religion. At best they are a pyramid scam. At worst a cult (with all the negative connotations thereof).

    Why? A short and very much incomplete list:

    1) Pay to play. You're stuck at level 1 unless you pay

    2) Indoctrination. You're kept from anyone who may persuade you you're not doing the right thing

    3) Rabid Attack Lawyers. This is a case in point. The lawyers probably required the immediate takedown of the *account*, which isn't part of DMCA

    4) Rabid snoopers. They make Maureen O Gara look like Mother Theresa when they send their shithounds out to destroy socially those who left (or have laughed at them). Even down to physical assault

    5) Playing to the crowd. They fake attacks on their property or slander on their people (and then disappear when evidence showing it was faked) so that they can tell the media that anyone talking them down is a nasty piece of work

  31. Richard Cross

    @ saatmarket

    Well that would be the main point of argument wouldn't it? ("follow human rights and respect people").

    I'm all for religious tolerance and blossoming spirituality that go along with those high ideals you pointed out. I just can't reconcile that with the persistent strong-armed aggression of "The Church" of Scientology. If I thought long and hard about their organisational profile and methods, I'd say they had more in common with organised crime than with a church.

    They rely on everyone else's ignorance about what they do and fear of standing up to them. All bullys like you to fear them, which is why I am am NOT posting anonymously. I'm reminded of the saying that "Evil prospers when good [wo]men do nothing".

  32. tim

    Put it on Flickr

    then you can annoy a whole load of other people too

  33. Jason Harvey


    nicest people? They say ignorance is bliss... and considering most people can't afford to pay their way in deep enough to know ANYTHING... I'd say they're ignorant and thus blissfully unaware of how they're being duped... so yeah... they're probably real nice. wait until the truth comes to light about the pyramid scheme ala religion and they'll be not so nice people cause they'll all be pissed about being duped out of money. Probably be pissed at the pub too.

    as for asshat?... been used in junior high playgrounds for decades at least.

    *goes off to set up another mirror of the interview*

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Surely if the beliefs of Scientology could stand up to scrutiny they should not really have any problems if people did investigate them. It is because they don't that they want to silence everyo.....

    <Silence as this anonymous coward gets dragged away from his keyboard and threatened with a good auditing...>

  35. preethi

    It's High Time

    The REG (Al Reg) started putting up Scientology busting and Paris ****ing Videos.

    ALL vote for AL REG

    Mine with the devil pasted on the back.

  36. Frank Bough

    It's not a religion it's a con-trick?

    Best oxymoron I've seen all day.

  37. PM
    Paris Hilton

    Copyright takedown

    There are legal reasons for using copyrighted material.


    1. Mocking

    2. Quoting

    Which the authors clips likely fall under. If you let fair use slip wont be getting it back. The author should reply with his own notice. Both to Viacom and Youtube

    Paris, cuz even she's not stooopid enough to give her bread to Sciento.

  38. Spleen

    On the nicety of Scientology

    There is a huge difference between being polite and being nice. Scientologists are, it is true, generally polite - so are Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and most evangelicals. But nice they are not, something you'd quickly find out if you tried to expose the nastier aspects of their religion. Their "niceness" takes the form of a rote-learnt sales pitch delivered with a glassy-eyed lack of doubt.

    The fact is that non-Scientologists rarely meet Scientologists at anything other than the very early stages of their indoctrination. With the few I have met it was difficult to look them in the eye and not think "the lights are on but no-one's home".

  39. StopthePropaganda

    I'll worry about "respecting" scientology on youtube

    when youtube starts taking down inflammatory or derisive content about catholics, jews, or any other christianity-based religion.

    Instead, it promotes these videos while removing anything -even if it's completely factual-that might offend followers of Mohammed or Hubbard.

    Censorship, pure and simple. With the added evil of propaganda. Remove all content that ridicules or harasses all religious beliefs, or remove none of it. Anything else is media manipulation.

  40. yeah, right.


    Seems to me that censorship is alive and well in the USA. With DMCA takedown notices being so easy to make, and there being no real appeals process, and providers falling over themselves to be first to comply with any and all DMCA notices, it seems to be used as just another scare tactic to get material taken down. It also completely ignores supposed "fair use" sections of copyright law, as well as "innocent until proven guilty", as well as "due process".

    Perhaps it's time for services outside the USA to fill that gap? Or are there any countries left that haven't fallen victim to the US lobbying for insane copyright laws?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Scientology Books For Free

    Rather than pay to become a Level 10 Intergalactic Thetan ... or whatever it is ... just download the Scientology 'bible' from WikiLeaks.

    It is mainly complete and utter gibberish but was quite interesting seeing what suckers are paying thousands of dollars for.

    Download now while the CoS lawyers are still preparing the goat.

    "It's a blast"

    (Posting anon because I don't want any wackos torching my house)

  42. pastamasta

    The Darwinian approach

    Surely, Scientology is one of the finest methods ever dreamed up by man (or indeed ancient spacefaring alien) of fleecing the terminally gullible of large amounts of cash, thus contributing subtly to their decline and therefore the gradual improvement of homo sapiens as a species? As such, we should welcome its effect on the likes of Messieurs Cruise, Travolta et al, who would doubtless otherwise squander their millions on wooing impressionable young ladies and procreating like a bunny with a really big basket of carrots in a field full of impressionable young lady bunnies.

    Mine's the one with the tinfoil-lined hood and the army surplus label.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Religion is BAD

    No matter witch religion you beveilve in. If it censore its critics, it has something to hide and should be banned. Look arround you. Religion is reponSible for the majority of pain and suffering of human kind. Religion Censor, Religion go to wars, religion kill innocent, religion enslave, Religon is BAD.

    Imagine a world without religion, imagne the peace......

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey I'm nice too...

    ...C'mon, I made all this kool-aid for everybody and everything...

    /gets no wub.

    Screw you Scientology. That is all.

  45. Bob

    @ Zohar Lee

    Youtube is not public property so they can censor whatever they want to on their site.

  46. CSQuake

    Scientology has infiltrated YouTube

    YouTube is Scientology!!

    Mark Bunker needs to post that 3 hour interview on PirateBay ...

  47. heystoopid

    Or how some prefer

    Or how some like Saatmarket with coloured beliefs prefer to very conveniently overlook and put their heads in the sand the many big and continuing very questionable and some rather illegal doings this CO$ organisation has been up to from the first day of foundation , by a failed penny dreadful SF writer at the instigation another that fateful day in 1948 or so we have been told and his continuation man's abuse of the laws against those who expose the truth of that he prefers the world not to see beyond that which is acceptable in any normal society !

    Perhaps some people would see more clearly now , if they removed those rose coloured blinkers and come back to live in the real world instead of the fantasy one leaching off society for the fast tax free buck ?

    One can only live in hope ?

  48. system

    RE: Re: Free Speech (by Mark)

    "However, since the need to remove material was via DMCA, enforced BY THE GOVERNMENT, that is, it has the force of government power behind it, the government ARE most definitely involved and so this IS a free speech issue."

    No it isn't, unless free speech allows you to use copyright material without permission. The DMCA takedown was for copyrighted material, subsequent takedowns of none-copyrighted videos were at youtubes discretion and not covered by the DMCA request.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I don't see why people have such a big problem with the CoS, at least their "beliefs" have a higher probability of being true compared to some other religions like Christianity and its numerous spinoff's.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Scientology IS just another religion - that's the problem

    All you guys slagging Co$ for being a Ponzie scheme or a cult are off the mark. Of course Co$ is a Ponzie scheme. That's an inherent feature of any religion. The purpose of any religion is to divert wealth from those that produce it and power from those that have it. All the lies about Shamash, Osiris, Baal, Zeus, Jupiter, Xenu or various versions of the InvisibleSkyDaddy are meant to distract one from feeling the strange hand on your wallet.

    The Co$ is just another religion. Those screwy Co$ texts are no more silly than any other religious text. The litigious and harassing aspects of Scientology are just the modern versions of fatwas, the Inquisition, and witch hunts.


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