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A Friday night flash raid was full of win…

August 29, 2009, 3:24 PM

Well, I had fun on Friday night. A bunch of Anons, including myself, flash raided outside the Founding Church of Scientology for about four hours or so, and had a blast in the process. Beret went in superhero garb to an extent, wearing bright blue shiny tights, a cape, a black top, and of course, in the style of too many superheroes, underwear on the outside. Plus, of course, the customary Guy Fawkes mask. I had my Power Rangers tee on, and coupled that with a Guy Fawkes mask. Not bad, if you ask me.

We got going right around 5:00, holding signs and passing out You Found The Card cards. Soon, the Scientologists showed up, such as “camera girl” and Scientology spokesmodel Sylvia Stanard. Funny that they never show up for our global raids anymore, but will certainly come out when we flash raid. Sylvia and a few of her goons came out with a flyer entitled “ANONYMOUS Frequently Asked Questions”.

The flyer was quite amusing, as they cited various YouTube videos and Web sites, and unverified Wikipedia passages. As a Wikipedia geek, that particularly amused me. The passages they cited were added on April 9, 2008, citing Uncyclopedia (hardly a reliable source). Scientology cites a revision on May 17, 2008, and the passages that they quoted were removed as unsourced on June 5, 2009. Yes, when you have a user-generated encyclopedia, sometimes stuff goes in that shouldn’t be there, and Scientology latched onto something with no sourcing. Fail on them. Plus using information about Anonymous as it existed in early 2008 to describe today’s Anonymous protests is kind of off, since much of that was before more mainstream Scientology critics such as Mark Bunker (aka “Wise Beard Man”) and Tory Christman joined the fold and helped Anonymous find its way. Now, many of the people involved in the early stuff are no longer active, and today’s group has little to no connection to the hacker group.

Of course, this whole thing of the target counter-flyering at these kinds of things is still amusing to me. With conventional activism, representatives of the target are nowhere to be seen, but rather just going about their business, just keeping their heads held high. I’ve never seen the World Bank handing out flyers to make the public think that protesters are a bunch of loonies, even when the groups protesting them are more organized and identifiable than Anonymous. It projects a certain attitude that they don’t see the protesters as that much of a threat. Scientology, on the other hand, sent out about an equal number of their people as there were Anons to hand out their flyers, there to specifically denounce the protesters. Obviously, they do consider us a threat to their business, which means that our campaign against Scientology is working. You’d think that a multimillion-dollar business would have nothing to say about a group of people carrying signs and wearing Guy Fawkes masks. After all, if you’re right, then the truth will set you free. However, Scientology apparently has skeletons in their closet that they don’t want people to see, and as such, since they legally can’t get rid of us, they counter-flyered. And it’s not like the literature is there to explain anything about their organization. Some of the stuff that Scientology is accused of is indefensible, in my opinion. Instead they’re handing out literature that attempts to paint their critics as wackos. Go figure.

And let’s not forget that they’re apparently not allowed to even so much as make eye contact with us. When addressed directly, the Scientologists on scene would literally turn their heads away and not speak to us. Classy. And then Sylvia, whether it was her intention or not, gave the indication when speaking to a member of the public (Beret was also speaking to this person, so the bystander was essentially an intermediary between Beret and Sylvia getting into an argument) that she had a right to not be offended. Say what? Sylvia gave the indication that she believed that she had a right to not be offended. I hate to tell you this, but if you read the constitution, there’s a right to free speech, but there’s nothing in there that says that you have a right to not have your feelings hurt or your sensibilities not offended. If that were the case, Rush Limbaugh would not be on the air.

So all in all, we had fun. And perhaps the most amusing moment for me was when two of my coworkers showed up. One of them was wearing a piece of styrofoam packing material on his face, and posed for pictures with a few of us. Then my other coworker took the photos. Once I get my hands on the photos, I’ll share them with you. Likewise, I’m going to be in a few videos spoofing Scientology, and I’ll let you know when those go up, too.

Categories: Project Chanology