In 2008, Lerma became a supporter of the cyber terrorist group Anonymous and participated in their hate marches. Anonymous members have been arrested and convicted of crimes against Scientology Churches, crimes ranging from vandalism to felonies related to hacking the Church’s computer systems.
The group has a long history of attacking government agencies, major corporations, nonprofit institutions and churches, including Churches of Scientology, the Church’s ecclesiastical leadership and other officials of the Church. In a chilling threat posted on the internet, the group stated: “This will be the world’s biggest terrorist attack on a religion. Lives will be lost... His execution [referring to the President CSI]along with the deaths of other countless Scientologists will strike fear into the hearts of every member… .”
Anonymous made numerous assassination threats, bomb threats, arson threats, and death threats targeting Scientology Churches all over the United States, in the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries, some of which were carried out. These included:
Law enforcement agencies intervened, Churches were evacuated during religious services and Church convocations interrupted or put in jeopardy.
Members of Anonymous were arrested and prosecuted in connection with DDOS attacks, including two federal prosecutions which resulted in felony charges and sentencing to a year in a federal penitentiary.
In June 2008, Lerma joined an Anonymous hate march in Washington, D.C., parking his pickup truck emblazoned with hateful anti-religious slogans, directly in front of the Washington D.C. Church.
Lerma lauded Anonymous to the media, describing the masked supporters of the hate group as “disciplined, polite, intelligent, organized” and adding “I was blown away.”
Anonymous’ hate campaign continued to spark violence and attacks on Churches of Scientology around the world for several years. In alignment with his own extremist mindset, Lerma continued to support the group in its attacks on Scientology.