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Anonymous DC does Philadelphia…

March 30, 2009, 1:21 AM

On Saturday, March 28, Anonymous DC pulled off a surprise raid outside the Church of Scientology in Philadelphia. We told no one, not even our own parents. We called it “Operation Inquisition”, because no one was expecting us, just as no one expects the Inquisition. And at 9 AM, we departed, arriving in Philadelphia just past noon. Thank goodness for HT’s GPS, which guided us straight to our destination without problem.

And having parked the cars, our raid began outside the Church of Scientology in Philadelphia. This was a very different experience than raiding outside our own local Founding Church of Scientology. For one, we have more room in DC. We have the sidewalk in front of the Founding Org, as well as the triangle across the street. In Philadelphia, we had half of a somewhat narrow sidewalk in front of – get this – a “storefront church”. Yes, the Org in Philadelphia is a storefront location, with two “Free Stress Test” signs on the door. How fail.

But regardless of what it might have looked like, we raided it. The cops, who came out to see what was up, even noticed that we weren’t the usual Anonymous that raids outside this Org. Yes, we were from DC, and Philadelphia Anonymous had been “pwned”.

The storefront Org.
The storefront Org.

MaidofWin hands out cardboard Scientology crosses.
MaidofWin hands out cardboard Scientology crosses.

One of our signs carried an image of a troll, because basically, we were out trolling in Philadelphia...
One of our signs carried an image of a troll, because basically, we were out trolling in Philadelphia…


We even Rickrolled the Org.

DC OWNS THIS! Yes, we raided Philadelphia's Org, and not a single Philly Anon showed up to join us after we announced that we were raiding.
DC OWNS THIS! Yes, we raided Philadelphia’s Org, and not a single Philly Anon showed up to join us after we announced that we were raiding.

After we finished raiding, we returned to our cars to drop off signage, and then hit the Reading Terminal Market for lunch. It was amazing to see the selection of stuff there, with an authentic Jewish deli, and so much more.

And then… sightseeing! We hit the town, and saw what Center City Philadelphia had to offer.

We saw the Liberty Bell. For some reason, I always pictured the Liberty Bell as being bigger, and so its size was somewhat of a surprise to me, but there it is, crack and all.
We saw the Liberty Bell. For some reason, I always pictured the Liberty Bell as being bigger, and so its size was somewhat of a surprise to me, but there it is, crack and all.


Next to the Liberty Bell, in Independence National Historical Park, Tastee and Enturb frolicked.

We also took a moment to raid outside the "other" Org in Philadelphia, which closed during the past year.
We also took a moment to raid outside the “other” Org in Philadelphia, which closed during the past year.

Meanwhile, since Enturb walked well ahead of us on a regular basis, we made fun of him for it. Visually, his walking ahead of the rest of us like that reminded us of Agent Pubit from New York City. Thus we made sport of him, singing the “Agent Pubit” song at him.

And then what trip to Philadelphia is complete without a trip to LOVE Park?
And then what trip to Philadelphia is complete without a trip to LOVE Park?

Making heart signs under the LOVE statue.
Making heart signs under the LOVE statue.

Down the street from LOVE Park, we found a plaza filled with pieces from various games – Bingo, Chess, Dominoes, Monopoly, you name it. We saw this, and struck a pose:

Down the street from LOVE Park, we found a plaza filled with pieces from various games - Bingo, Chess, Dominoes, Monopoly, you name it. We saw this, and struck a pose.

We also took a moment to strike an amusing pose with the dominoes:

In this photo, we are pretending to hold up the giant domino, while we got the female tourist (visiting Philadelphia from Germany) to pose on the other side to represent the Church of Scientology trying to push the domino down on us.
In this photo, we are pretending to hold up the giant domino, while we got the female tourist (visiting Philadelphia from Germany) to pose on the other side to represent the Church of Scientology trying to push the domino down on us.

Then afterwards, we went back to the parking garage, paid the exorbitant parking fee, and headed down to Pat’s King of Steaks to get some authentic Philly cheese steak sandwiches. That was an interesting drive, going through all sorts of different areas of town, and trying not to lose sight of the lead car. We did well, but then lost sight of the lead car when we were less than a mile away, requiring some phone calls to get back on track. But we made it.

Arriving at Pat’s, the place was hopping, with the line for steaks going two-thirds of the way around the building. I also got photos:

Sign indicating the English-only ordering policy. I was surprised to see it, but considering how fast they serve the food on their limited menu up there, I can understand it.
Sign indicating the English-only ordering policy. I was surprised to see it, but considering how fast they serve the food on their limited menu up there, I can understand it.

And of course, they cooked the steaks right in front of everyone. Quite an operation they’ve got going, there:

I didn’t get an authentic Philly cheesesteak, as I swore off red meat in 2006 and haven’t looked back since. Plus I wasn’t hungry, as we had a somewhat late lunch, and I was still reeling from the cost of the parking garage from earlier. But it certainly was an experience.

And then from there, we split. We entered “Washington DC” into HT’s GPS device, and we rolled on out, but not before making a couple of wrong turns getting out of Philadelphia, getting an impromptu tour of part of the city. The GPS changed its route accordingly, but on one occasion, a police roadblock to help handle event traffic at one of the nearby sports stadiums threw us off, requiring further adjustments to our route. But eventually, we found I-95, and we were off.

And that was Philly! What a fun day at the end of March. We protested Scientology, had a great time on our road trip, and enjoyed the change of scenery that Philadelphia provided. Where will we show up next? We shall see, I suppose…

Web site: One of my favorite raid videos, from December. When we got back from Philly, we watched a few YouTube videos of our own past raids on a giant high-definition television. How fun it is to watch home movies sometimes, especially in giant size.

Song: Rickroll'd!

Quote: Meanwhile, a number of us were surprised about how many people we saw wearing flip-flops in Philadelphia on this particular day. Most of us were dressed for cooler weather, wearing coats and such. But these people were going on like it was a lot warmer, wearing flip-flops. Go figure, I suppose, but then again, we were in the North, where they're used to colder temperatures, while we in DC, used to warmer temperatures, don't know how to handle the cold.