back to article Second man jailed over Scientology DDoS attacks

A second US man has been jailed over controversial denial of service attacks against the Church of Scientology two years ago. Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, 20, of Grand Island, Nebraska, was jailed for a year and ordered to pay $20,000 in compensation to the Hubbardists at a sentencing hearing on Monday, AP reports. Mettenbrink …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hate Crime?

    What is the judge smoking? $cientology IS a hate crime in itself........

    Unless the guy had a prior record, a year in jail is pretty extreme for this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Yeah but

      The Hubbardists have money and influence. What does the kid have?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeah but

        "The Hubbardists have money and influence. What does the kid have?"

        The Low Orbit Ion Cannon?

        AC because... well, yeah

    2. Anonymous Coward

      yeah, but

      whilst not a fan of the cylon menace imo the Judge made a fair call. Had the hactivist gone and punched a member of the Co$ in the face for being a part of the cult it would have been hate crime, so it's a reasonable extension that stopping them plying their trade was based on "hate" as well.

      As long as the same judge doesn't consider passing out factual information on what the scientologists get up to as hate speech then I don't see what the problem is here.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I am aware of the "committing a lesser crime to prevent a greater one" concept. Surely attacking the Scientology cult by any means (short of physical assault) falls into this category?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suppressive person

    Likely the scientology nuts got to the judge. This dude was probably labeled a suppressive person. This gives any good little scientologist license to try to completely destroy a person. And the cloak and dagger, conspiracy crap that we all mock? That's their bread and butter.

    It wouldn't surprise me to learn that this judge was threatened, bribed, or blackmailed in order to make the sentence harsh.

  4. Dr. Mouse Silver badge


    "As part of an earlier plea bargaining agreement, Mettenbrink admitted..."

    "Mettenbrink... was jailed for a year and ordered to pay $20,000 in compensation"

    What would the sentence have been if he HADN'T accepted the plea bargain? Sounds like a bad deal to me, but then again I don't know the alternative...

  5. Stone Fox


    give the guy a medal!


  6. SeeSider


    Good article here:

    And good article here:

    Note that the although the articles are hosted at, their content is perfectly safe-for-work, and very highly entertaining!

  7. Chris Hatfield

    WTF?!?!?! The guy pleads guilty to a MISDEMEANOR and gets a year in Federal Prison?

    That's a fucking scary precedent. Now anyone who does what he did, even if expressing remorse and admitting ones guilt can STILL get the max punishment - that is a fucking joke, no wonder nobody takes the American legal system seriously.

    Note how they're still (metaphorically) dancing in circles, holding hands, while shouting "WE GOT ONE! WE GOT ONE!" as if it discredits every single one of their enemies?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      US Sentencing Guidelines

      They're very detailed and it doesn't take much to have your sentence elevated. I myself plead guilty to a federal felony on a first offense computer crime and received only probation and an order to pay restitution of a little over $6,000. They take into consideration the intent, the skills used to orchestrate the offense (seriously!), if it was a first offense, damage done, and many other things. My pre-sentencing report was probably 20 pages of items like "If you did this, add two points to your total" and the higher your total, the harsher your sentence.

      Anonymous because I'm still on probation =)

  8. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Hacking is hacking.

    And denial of free speech is denial of free speech.

    Having said that, I read DIANETICS - or as much of it as I could take - and it troubles me that apparently people find it convincing as "science", let alone religion as they seem to treat it.

    Then again, I heard yet another European Buddhist on radio yesterday. I'm not aware of specific elements of Buddhism that I would strongly object to for other people to believe in as well as myself, but I rather strongly suspect that if I looked into it[*], I would. [*] I mean besides watching the television series MONKEY.

    1. blackworx


      Same as most mainstream religions: a few great ideas hidden under a mountain of accumulated dogma/observance gibberish added by various crackpots through the centuries, presumably starting with the first one who didn't quite "get" the initial great ideas.

      That's the short version.

  9. Bill Neal


    After a few YEARS of taunting and teasing the org, this is the result?

    2 people found guilty!?

    This is laughable.

    Why do they even try to prosecute these kids?

    You think 2 will discourage the rest of them?

    When 2 gangsters goto jail do the rest change their ways?

    This is a playground justice system.

    Nothing the org does will make it any easier for them.

  10. Paul Hates Handles


    I'm sure they weren't $20,000 out of pocket, and this really doesn't warrant a year of someone's life...

  11. Jón Frímann Jónsson

    Useless traffic isn't DDOS

    Useless traffic isn't DDOS for one. It's useless traffic, nothing more.

    The judge possibly is a scientologist, as the scientologist like to have people with power within there ranks.

    I however recommend that the U.S government start to use anti-terrorism law agents the cult of Scientology, they do plan to take over the U.S and from there the rest of the world.

  12. Daniel Garcia 2

    US of A

    You Got it wrong.

    (Look! Germany got it right.)

    Dangerous precedent indeed.

  13. Doshu

    WHAT THE...???

    For free speech:

    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,"

    For this "legal" precedent:

    Justice curtailed for a bunch of rich nut jobs and assorted crazies.

    *claps dejectedly*

    Nice. Real classy.

  14. Winkypop Silver badge

    Free speech versus cults

    I know which one I'd back...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Just fail. Good luck to the poor anons who ended up in the brig over this one.

    Anonymous, for obvious reasons.

  16. JimC


    For free speech?

    But surely DDOS is the exact anthisesis of free speech as it is, effectively, "Because I disapprove of what you say I am going to do my best to prevent *anyone* from hearing it.

    Suppression of free speech is of course key to Scientology tactics, but it would take a lot more than these idiots to convince me that replicating those tactics in the reverse direction is in any way a good thing to do.

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