Religiousfreedomwatch.org (RFW) is no more (apparently).
This site was a showcase of Scientolgy’s fair game practice. In the early 2000s it was a badge of honour to have your own entry on RFW because it meant you’d seriously pissed of the Church of Scientology and this was their payback. They dug up any embarrassing thing they could find on you, published the most unflattering pictures of you (usually photoshopped to make you look worse) and made you out to be a dangerous anti-religious extremist.
Today I was curious to see if they had updated their site and to see if any new SPs had been added. To my suprise I found that the site would not load.
Thinking that strange I had a bit of a snoop around.
The Wayback Machine last archived RFW on 2nd April 2016. No further entries after that date. Considering the Wayback Machine had archived RFW 326 times (usually monthly) over the previous 15 years I think it’s safe to say it went down in April.
I had a look at the domain registration & found that Joel Phillips is no longer the domain name registrant.
The new registrant is Brian Alcon of 156 Stark Hollow Rd, Durango, Colorado 81302. The phone number listed is (303) 287 9092.
Now here is where it gets weird.
If you search that address, Google Maps will tell you it doesn’t exist. If you call that number (which I did) the number is not recognised. If you google the number it comes up belonging to someone entirely different. If you Google “Brian Alcon”, you get nothing connected to Scientology.
So why has Scientology abandoned RFW?
It can’t be due to the bad publicity. No other site has been more derided over the past decade than RFW, yet Scientology didn’t take it down even when everyone was talking about it.
I think the timing is interesting.
There was a rather large shift in the landscape of Scientology criticism around April/May this year. In February we got the “Rue the day” post from Rathbun, then a mildly political post in March, then nothing until May.
From May 2nd we get post after post after post from Rathbun tearing apart anyone & everyone concerned with Scientology criticism. Old alliances dumped. Friendships ruined.
Is this why Scientology abandoned RFW? They couldn’t just take down Rathbun’s entry – that would be a little too obvious.
Whether Rathbun is working in concert with the Church of Scientology is unknown. I just find the timing of all this to be very convenient for both parties.
If you want to comment on this post head over to the forums: What happened to “RFW”?23 Like this post