A grandmother in Texas, visited by her two biracial grandchildren, is plagued by abusive phone calls, online harassment and a racist flyer posted in her neighborhood.
A 14-year old boy in Pasadena, California, who created a “no-cussing” club is deluged with hate e-mails and death threatsâ€”nearly 50,000 per day.
A hip-hop website is hacked and defaced with Nazi symbols, fake headlines and pictures saturated with racial slurs.
The common denominator in these incidents? “Script kiddies”1 and cyber bullies calling themselves “Anonymous,” who get their kicks from ruining other people’s lives.
For the past few years, Anonymous has mounted hate campaigns against selected targets, ranging from massive attacks that render websites inaccessible to spreading obscenities and degraded imagery on the Net.
Anonymous members have infested the Internet with postings encouraging suicide and murder. They also have engaged in cyberterrorism and more conventional forms of harassment such as telephone bomb threats and vandalism.
According to a YouTube posting from an Anonymous member, they are “people devoid of any type of soul or conscience,” who live in a place “where taboos do not exist” and have formed “a nameless, faceless, unforgiving mafia.”
The hatred and violence generated by Anonymous is not limited to the virtual world. Pekka-Eric Auvinen posted a threat on an Anonymous forum before going on a shooting rampage, stating he was going to “kill people â€¦ in the name of anonymous.” He murdered nine people before taking his own life. Jarrad Willis, after posting a threat on an Anonymous forum to carry out a shopping mall massacre, committed suicide the day before he was to appear in court on related charges.
Certain high-profile members of Anonymous have come forward with details of the group’s behind-the-scenes criminal activities. Included in this publication are a few excerpts from the story that unfolded.
How Did Anonymous Begin?
Anonymous was born on an online image board called 4chan.org, created in 2004. Anonymous congregated on a an online forum known as “/b/”2, where nothing is off-limits, including mutilated bodies and bestiality.
Later, some Anonymous members moved from 4chan to 7chan because 4chan had “deprived us of our jailbait,” (referring to child pornography). While 7chan no longer exists, Anonymous has created several other “chan” image boards where they post porn, denigrating and obscene comments and racial slurs.
In December 2004, Encyclopedia Dramatica3 was created, and Anonymous material began appearing there. According to Wired Magazine, Encyclopedia Dramatica is a “wikified lexicon of all things /b/.”4
“The Sekrit Code of Anonymous” was published on Encyclopedia Dramatica, stating: “Anonymous is devoid of humanity, morality, pity, and mercy.”
When Anonymous members engage in their so-called real-life “raids,” they hide behind masks, such as the image of 17th century anarchist Guy Fawkes, to conceal their identities while infringing upon the rights of others.
Anonymous claims to have no leaders, but there is clearly a hierarchy within the group. Why do Anonymous members hide behind anonymity and pretend to have no leaders? It is a convenient facade for perverse and sometimes criminal activity on the Internet.
One prominent member and organizer is Gregg Housh, who was convicted in 2005 for conspiracy to violate copyright laws–for his part in a software piracy operation. In October 2008 he was ordered by a court in Boston to stay away from the Church of Scientology, after admitting to disturbing religious services. He was warned that he could face incarceration if he further violated his probation.
At least two Anonymous members have been convicted for making terrorist threats. Other criminal cases are pending.
Stated goal of Anonymous
The following words are taken from online postings by Anonymous members. While some members may claim other goals and intentions, or claim these are merely a “joke,” they cannot divorce themselves from the hate that Anonymous threatens and promotes.
“We will stop at nothing until we’ve achieved our goal. Permanent destruction of the identification role.”
“Anything standing in our way, doesn’t deserve to live. We are void of human restraints, taught to never forgive. Answering the question of who we are is a must. We are Anonymous, indeed. Therefore, Expect us.”
In a “Message to New Anon from Old Anon,” Anonymous members state:
“Some maladjusted Asian shoots up his university, we laugh. Fifty-thousand die in North Korea, we laugh. AIDS ravages a continent, we laugh.”
“We are human nature unencumbered by pointless ethics, foolish moralities or arbitrary laws and restrictions.”
“We have no culture, we have no laws, written or otherwise. We are an autonomous collective, each an insignificant part of a whole. â€¦ We do not feel remorse. We will tear you apart from outside and in, we have all the time in the world.”
The “Anonymous Manifesto of Philosophic Condition” states:
“Right or wrong? No. We destroy for destruction’s sake.”
“Welcome to nihilism made manifest in Western Civilization.”
“Strong were the Nazis, who worshiped might and power to destroy.”
“Strong nihilism has emerged in resentment of a superfluous society.”
“Anonymous has achieved a persona. Anthropologists would call it a ‘death cult.’ We have subjugated our individuality for our thirst for hatred. … We have shattered lives.”
In short, Anonymous is poisoning the Internet with their subversive writings.
Racism & Religious Hatred
Anonymous has targeted Blacks, Jews and Muslims with their hate propaganda. They have denigrated people of all faiths for their religious beliefs with a barrage of demeaning images and obscenities.
In one instance, Anonymous launched an online attack on two popular hip-hop websites, defacing them with swastikas and racial slurs against blacks. The hackers also stole personal information on employees of one of the sites.
Racist, anti-Semitic and other anti-religious images and postings abound on Anonymous sites. Some examples are included herein; others were so offensive they were left out.
Calls for Violent Action, Murder & Suicide
Anonymous members have directed debased and perverse postings to young people, often emotionally vulnerable, goading them to take their own lives. They have posted photographs and instructions online encouraging suicide â€”and murder.
They have exploited the grief of a family who lost a loved one. The parents of a 7th-grader who shot himself with a rifle were bombarded with prank calls for over a year concerning his death. Anonymous joked about his death, hacked into his MySpace page and turned his face into a zombie.
Anonymous insiders have admitted to vandalism, bomb threats, plans to create and use pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails against the Church of Scientology, and other illegal tactics of their hate campaign.
Even a brief visit to their online forums and websites reveals that Anonymous is in fact a “death cult” as stated in the Anonymous Manifesto.
Who can say how many deaths may have resulted from Anonymous postings?
Cyber-Terrorism & Terrorist Threats
Fox News aired a special report exposing Anonymous in July 2007, after Anonymous hacked a MySpace account and plastered it with images of gay pornography.
In response, Anonymous assaulted Fox News computers with massive attacks from multiple computers, designed to overload Fox’s computers and make them inaccessible–known as a Distributed Denial of Service, or “DDoS” attack.
In early 2008, Anonymous launched 141 million malicious hits against Church of Scientology websites, in an attempt to bring down those sites. During the same period, there were 41 death threats, 56 bomb and arson threats, 103 other threats of violence and 40 incidents of vandalism against the Church. One Anonymous member now faces criminal charges for those DDoS attacks.