It is run by Andreas Heldal-Lund, a critic of Scientology who views the organization as a cult. The Web site provides considerable insight into the workings of Scientology, and it includes links to Scientology's "secret" documents as well as other information that the organization has tried to suppress.
The Web site is one of the focus points of the war between Scientology and the Internet. Scientology had made numerous legal threats to various Internet service providers that have hosted the site, demanding that it be removed from the Internet. In various incidents that have been documented in such publications as the New York Times, Slashdot and Wired Online, Scientology has also used the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to force notable Web sites (including the Google search engine) to remove all references to the Operation Clambake site.
While Google quickly returned the Operation Clambake home page to its index, many of its pages containing quotations from Scientology materials are still not listed in the search engine. Some anti-DMCA webmasters still link the word Scientology to http://www.xenu.net/ in order to improve Operation Clambake's ranking in a Google search.
Heldal-Lund has been investigated by Scientology as part of its policy of investigating all of its critics for any crimes they might have committed; but he has not (yet) been sued by Scientology.
The term "clambake" comes from a meal made by heating clams over hot stones or open furnaces. The term "clam" as an insulting slang word for Scientologists is derived from a passage in L. Ron Hubbard's book, A History of Man. In this passage, Hubbard asserts that humans evolved from clams, and that certain human psychological problems descend from difficulties these clams experienced. Some criticize the use of insulting slang even for a belief regarded as absurd, comparing the use of terms such as "clam" to racist "hate speech".