This is not going to be a popular opinion, and I apologize ahead of time if it offends anyone. Which I'm sure it will.
I don't see why anyone is shocked by someone coming here and being a sockpuppet.
I have never personally understood the motivations of people who post to Usenet newsgroups and message boards about Scientology who have never been in Scientology or who have never been anywhere near an org.
Like I said, I am speaking for myself here.
To me, a lot of the people who post here see it as a form of amusement. Entertainment. A TV show or a video game.
Scientology isn't real to them. The Sea Org isn't real to them. None of this is real to them. It's just fun to talk about. For whatever reason. (That's something I never understood, either.)
People give reasons about being "outraged at Scientology's abuses" or "concerned about free speech" or whatever. I don't really buy most of it, personally. To me, it seems like it's just something to do for a lot of people.
So one of these people who come here for entertainment takes it one step farther and create alternate identities to post from. Granted, to go to the degree this person did is extreme.
It's no big shock to me.
Damn right it is not going to be a popular opinion. I don't agree with almost all of it but, unlike Co$, I won't sue you for it.
What is wrong with having something to do? Some people collect stamps, dolls, baseball cards or play with model railroads. Some people like to champion a good cause such as criticising a vicious lying cult scam and defending freedom of speech. Seems like a good hobby to me.
Except for the proven sockpuppets and perverts who clearly have personal issues, I can't think of anyone that comes here soley "for something to do" in the way that you imply and I certainly would not tar them with the same brush.
On the whole, people are good. That's the baseline one has to work from if you want to get anywhere.
People like to do good things because it makes them feel good.
Good people don't like seeing their fellow human beings treated unfairly and badly, especially when bullied by a large group such as the Co$.
Good people don't like their freedoms being eroded by underhand means for nefarious purposes, whether it be governments, corporations, religions or fake religions like the Co$.
When the Co$ get my attention by trying to mess with "my" precious internet (re: causing the shut down of the anonpenet.fi anon remailer in finland, and attempting to remove an entire newsgroup from existence - e.g. alt.religion.scientology) then it kinda gets my attention somewhat. When $cientology comes out of its box and messes with people who have nothing to do with it then why on earth should you be surprised when those people go on the offensive or defensive. Since those times I have lurked for years, reading horror story after horror story. I didn't go looking for this of my own bat. It was thrust in front of my face every now and again simply when visiting various mainsteam websites totally unrelated to it (such as I.T. websites, general news media etc etc.) when a horrendous news article would pop up along with a link or two.
Like a good few others, when it starts to persist on our TV screens such as the cruise couch jumping and the South Park situation then it is bound to attract more of the general public who feel more comfortable about expressing themselves amongst the long time critics. The good people. Not just people who have been in a cult for years but people who just basically "care about stuff". No qualification is required. I expect that many long time critics who had been in scientology welcome the attention because it is the result of their cause finally being recognised and more people are learning about it.
It would be naive of me to assume that there aren't people who just like the fight but hey, that's good too and there's nothing wrong with having a fighting spirit if most of time it is well directed. It is also fun. What's wrong with making it fun too? South Park made it fun and look at the impact they had. Look at the site this message board sits on, xenu.net. Some of it is very very serious and some of it is fun. I think that if anyone sees this as nothing but total drudgery and does not get any kind of satisfaction out if then they are the ones with the problem.
I don't expect you to thank people like me for being here but I don't expect you to rubbish us either. None of us are 100% perfect 100% of the time but if you think we are a pest then send your complaint to Co$ because they are the ones to blame.
If you want the kind of messageboard/newsgroup that you imply then start your own. Others have done that, for other reasons and some with great sucess, and good luck to them.
Since you mentioned newsgroups, post your opinion on ARS and see what response you get there.