Scientology buys '.org' and '.net' sites to battle anti-disconnection billboard in Los Angeles - 2016-04-09
Twice, the Church of Scientology managed to head off Phil and Willie Jones as they attempted to get a billboard put up in Los Angeles about the organization's toxic "disconnection" policy. The couple, former church members who live in Las Vegas, signed contracts with Outfront Media and Regency Outdoor, but both caved to pressure from Scientology and rescinded the contracts at the last minute.
Phil and Willie pressed ahead, and found a third company, Lamar, that was willing to post their message on a billboard in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles. The billboard was put up Monday morning, and then a media frenzy descended on the couple as they held a dedication ceremony on Wednesday. The billboard simply asks Scientologists to call their loved ones, in defiance of disconnection.
And now, we learn that Scientology had a backup plan while it was trying to keep the billboard from going up. Phil and Willie's billboard directs people to a website they set up to discuss disconnection. Its URL is StopScientologyDisconnection.com. But last night, Phil realized that Scientology has bought up the same URL — with the suffixes .org and .net — in order to catch web surfers who type in the wrong thing.