Contact NCC News Service: 212-870-2252  |  E-mail    |  Most Recent Stories   |  NCC Home

Queens Federation of Churches warns
of on-line vandalism of religious sites

New York, August 4, 2008  ̶  A group calling itself "Anonymous," specializing in on-line vandalism, obscenity, and harassment, has stepped up its attacks on ethnic and religious minorities and individual citizens  ̶  and church human rights groups, including the New York-based Queens Federation of Churches, are sounding the alarm.

"These people are truly cyber-terrorists," said Rev. N. J. L'Heureux, Jr., Executive Director of the Queens Federation of Churches, who serves as the Moderator of the National Council of Churches Committee on Religious Liberty. "Their manifestos and their campaigns are aimed at creating as much destruction as possible."

Among those whose pain Anonymous laughs at, are those who suffer from epilepsy. reported that hackers, likely Anonymous, had descended on an epilepsy support message board and used code and flashing animation to trigger migraine headaches and seizures in some users. Anonymous responded, "The epilepsy raid was mostly win, but there was one glaring failure, in that nobody died from our attacks."

When a Finnish Anonymous poster named Pekka-Eric Auvinen said online that he was going to kill people at his high school, another Anonymous member wrote, "DO IT, FAGGOT." On November 7, 2007, Auvinen killed nine people including himself. (Auvinen's manifesto was posted here.)

Most recently, June 27, 2008, as reported by MTV News, Anonymous hackers defaced two popular Hip-Hop music websites, substituting fake headlines and obviously photoshopped pictures saturated with racial slurs and other offensive terms. The CEO of, one of the attacked sites, issued a statement saying, "It appears that hackers are specifically targeting Black, Hispanic, Asian and Jewish youth who ascribe to hip-hop culture…"

The New York Times Magazine (August 3, 2008) focused on "The Trolls Among Us," examining Internet message boards which have spawned groups such as "Anonymous."

In 2007, Fox News documented some of the crimes of Anonymous: destroying websites, death threats and spreading lies about people's lives.

Anonymous posted their response on YouTube with a creepy synthetic voice-over: "We are the face of chaos and the harbingers of judgment. We laugh in the face of tragedy. We'll mock those who are in pain. We rush the lives of other people simply because we can. Hundred die in a plane crash. We laugh. The nation mourns over a school shooting, we laugh. We're the embodiment of humanity with no remorse, no caring, no love, or no sense of morality."

Meeting in Los Angeles on May 6th, a group of more than 100 law enforcement and government officials, clergy and educators discussed the rise of Internet hate crimes, with the activities like Anonymous featuring prominently. (See the May 12, 2008, Queens Nexus article on an Interfaith Hate Crimes Conference.)

"Anonymous has even called themselves ‘Legion,' a reference to the demons cast out by Christ in Marc 5:9 and Luke 8:30," says L'Heureux. "People of all faiths, working with law enforcement as necessary, should see that this sort of cyber-crime is cast out of the Internet, and the real world, both."

For more information, contact the Queens Federation of Churches at (718) 847-6764.

NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228,

Return to NCC Home Page