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And Anonymous did its best to make the Ideal Org opening anything but ideal…

November 7, 2009, 5:37 PM

On October 31 (halloween!), the Church of Scientology opened their new Washington DC “Ideal Org” at the corner of 16th and P Streets NW – coincidentally, right next door to the building where I work. And as is the case with any big Scientology event these days, Anonymous was there. Particularly so when Scientology CEO David Miscavige was expected to be present. For this occasion, Anons from Boston and New York also came and joined our raid.

The raid was planned to last eight hours. We started at the Ideal Org, and planned to raid there from 12 noon to 5:00. Then the plan was to move to the Founding Org until 8 PM.

I arrived on scene around 12:30. Nothing, however, prepared me for the scene that would greet me when I arrived. The entire 1600 block of P Street was swarming with activity, and large white tarps blocked the view of 16th Street from the public. The cops were out in force, too, to attempt to maintain order throughout the whole affair.

I met the Anons right in front of the entrance to my office building, 1616 P Street NW. I also met up with MPDC Commander James Crane, whom I’ve encountered at other non-Anon protests. Now it was time to size up the situation and determine what was going on. In speaking with Crane, we soon learned that we would not be allowed in the closed section of 16th Street at all, including on the sidewalk in front of the Carnegie Institution. Additionally, we were not permitted to demonstrate on the same side of P Street as the tarps. We also had to be quiet, so as not to disturb the “religious service”, and if we made a lot of noise, we would be pushed back a block. However, when one questions whether the target of the demonstration is even a religion at all (and more aptly described as a for-profit enterprise), that last part came off as almost amusing. Lastly, Crane offered to assist us across the street, momentarily stopping traffic so that we could cross.

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Categories: Project Chanology

Once again, my coworkers showed how festive halloween can be…

October 30, 2009, 10:04 PM

We definitely had some interesting costumes this time around at our office halloween party. Check it out:

Halloween costumes at work in 2009

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One has to wonder how many trees had to die for all of this…

October 23, 2009, 10:11 PM

Scientology is certainly gearing up for their Ideal Org opening in a week. This afternoon, one of my coworkers, cognizant of my interest in Scientology’s work on the building next door to our office, alerted me to pallets upon pallets of printed material out on the sidewalk. So I took a minute and checked it out. Take a look…

Pallet of Scientology printed materials along P Street.
Pallet of Scientology printed materials along P Street.

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Categories: Project Chanology

The raid of the Ideal Org was ideal in so many ways…

October 12, 2009, 6:44 PM

We had our first “real” raid at Scientology’s new Ideal Org at 1424 16th Street NW on Saturday. On our permit application, we listed a start time as 12:00 noon, and an end time of 8:00 PM, and I think we were at our peak around 6:00 in the evening. Very few stayed the entire eight hours, but all in all, it wasn’t too shabby, if you ask me, as this was a bigger crowd than some of the more recent “global” raids we’ve had in DC.

I showed up a little after 3:00. We had about five people at the Ideal Org, and as I would soon learn, a bunch of people at the Founding Org.

The Ideal Org was pretty quiet when I first arrived. Scientology spokesmodel Sylvia Stanard was there, Sadie was there, as well as a gentleman who smoked a lot.

The Ideal Org was pretty quiet when I first arrived. Scientology spokesmodel Sylvia Stanard was there, Sadie was there, as well as a gentleman who smoked a lot.

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Categories: Project Chanology

And the ice has been broken…

October 10, 2009, 12:48 AM

Yes, the ice has been broken. Scientology’s new Ideal Org at 16th and P Street NW in Washington DC has officially been raided. And the first raid at the new location was a resounding success.

Going in, people weren’t quite sure how the foot traffic would be at this location. I try my best to only be in the area during the day, because spending too many late nights at the office starts to toe that fine line between go-getter and workaholic. Obviously, we would have a good amount of foot traffic right after 5:00 as people in 1400 16th Street and 1616 P Street (the office complex I work in on the same block) start to leave work. And, in fact, I saw five of my coworkers as they left work, plus some people from other organizations in our building. And then as the office traffic trailed off, the foot traffic kept coming! Turns out that the area around my office really is hopping well into the night. I knew I usually saw a decent amount of people out at night when I would leave work late, but when I know I’m going to be staying late, I will usually drive, and so I never really got to really appreciate it. All I have to say is wow – the foot traffic is amazing.

And many of the reactions were priceless, too. Since this was our first raid at this new facility, many questioned why we were at this location, since people usually see us outside the Founding Org at 20th and R. All we needed to do was draw their attention to the big “CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY” lettering on the building, and their question was pretty much answered. Some had never given Scientology much thought, but now that it was going to be their neighbor, they readily took our You Found the Card literature. One woman said that she was embarrassed for the neighborhood to have them nearby now.

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Categories: Project Chanology

And then, they raided.

September 17, 2009, 10:39 PM

After photographing all the teabaggers around the Capitol, my day wasn’t over yet – not by a longshot. Anonymous had planned to raid on Saturday as well, and thankfully, the two demonstrations did not conflict. I finished getting my “daily dose of outrage” around 2:00, took the Metro from Union Station to Dupont Circle, and joined up with Anonymous to raid Scientology.

This was an unusual raid for me in one way – no mask or other form of costuming. Usually, I “mask up” for Anonymous “global” raids, even though Scientology has confirmed in writing that they know who I am. I usually wear the black or green zentai suit in warmer weather, or the standard Guy Fawkes mask. This time around, I brought a costume for raiding – I had the black zentai in my backpack, as well as the relevant accessories for it. But since I was already somewhat tired from the teabag protest, I basically said “screw it” and passed on the costume. I didn’t feel like changing in and out of the costume, and so I just came as I was.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind you. Anonymous needs people who are “out” and unmasked to function properly. I’m the one who files for the protest permits, since if Scientologists get their hands on the permit somehow, they don’t get any fresh information. And sometimes, members of the public are more likely to interact with non-masked people vs. talking to someone wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. I gave out all of my You Found the Card cards, for one thing.

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Categories: Project Chanology

So Saturday is going to be a lot of fun in more ways than one…

September 11, 2009, 7:03 PM

Saturday ought to be exciting. Lots of activism in the air on Saturday.

First of all, the teabaggers are going to Washington. I’ve never been to one of these “tea parties” before, and so it ought to be interesting to see what the right wing is like when they protest. I don’t believe they’re right by any stroke of the imagination, but we’ll see what happens. I’m going to be really inconspicuous about it, and hopefully get lots of interesting photos and movies of the event, and then post it up, most likely as a Photography set of some sort. It ought to be amusing.

The teabaggers’ plan is fairly standard as far as protests go. They’re gathering at Freedom Plaza, and then marching to the Capitol, where they’re having a rally. However, the timeframe is pretty ambitious, if you ask me. They’re starting up at 9 AM at Freedom Plaza, and beginning their march at 11:30. Then they expect to arrive at the Capitol and begin their rally at 1:00. I looked at that agenda, and was like, damn… After all, for most of the left-wing events I usually go to and participate in because I support the cause, they often don’t get started until noon, and things run a little later. And even then, things still run on “activist time”, where they’ll say noon, but it really means 12:30 or even 1:00. So we’ll see how well these guys keep to their schedule.

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DC Anons join Scientology staff… (like they’d have us)

September 6, 2009, 2:17 AM

Well, not really. What we did is a parody of a video at thefoundingchurch.org (site for the new Ideal Org). The recruitment video is laughable, and now we made it even more laughable by making a parody of it, just for the lulz.

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Categories: Project Chanology

As promised, here is the photo of our flash raid.

September 1, 2009, 8:42 PM

Recall that in this Journal entry, two of my coworkers came by our raid, and one of them took a picture of us, while the other posed with us with a piece of styrofoam on his face. Well, I finally got the photo from my coworker. Take a look…

The flash raid on August 28

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Categories: Project Chanology

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.

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Categories: Project Chanology

The mark of Xenu?

July 29, 2009, 9:15 PM

The building next door to my office building is being renovated, and has been under construction since around April, and has been thoroughly driving me crazy with all the noise while I’m trying to work. You name it, I’ve heard it, from dumpsters banging to jackhammers to the movement of various equipment. Plus dust in the vicinity as I’m walking to Whole Foods. And you know who the new occupant will be?

The Church of Scientology. Yes. THEM.

This must be their way of harassing me at work. Rather than sending nasty letters to my office as some Anons have alleged has happened to them, they’re instead putting a facility right next to my office building. This is supposed to be their Ideal Org, as I understand it. So for the past three months or so, they’ve been gutting and rebuilding the Embassy Building at 1424 16th Street NW. First they did some demolition. Then asbestos abatement (hopefully performed better than on the Freewinds). Then more demolition. Then all the construction stuff disappeared. Then a new company took over and demolition continued. Now they’ve removed the windows and covered them with plastic.

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Categories: Project Chanology

This raid was a small one, yes, but it was still plenty of fun…

July 13, 2009, 8:44 PM

I don’t know what it is, but it seems that there’s something about July that makes for low turnout at raids. Last year’s July raid, Spy vs. Sci, also generated a small turnout, though that was attributable to the diversion of much energy from the global raid to the Over 9000 Anon March, which was being held the following weekend. This time, though… who knows.

The theme for the July raid was supposed to be “Tiny Tyrants”, referring to Religious Technology Center head David Miscavige, whom newspapers recently reported as having a tendency to use violence as a means of managing people, and who is somewhat short in stature, measuring a mere 5’5″ – somewhat short as American men go. However, in practice, that idea got thrown out the window, and we just did a general anti-Scientology raid. After all, in the year and a half that we’ve been doing this, we’ve generated a fair amount of signage, and these once again were put to good use.

Meanwhile, I did my own costume a bit differently this time around. As you may know, I usually wear a zentai to raids during the summer months. This one was no exception, but surprise – I had a new zentai this time around. Usually, I wear a black zentai with eye holes in the hood. This new one was bright green, and is more pure in its form, containing a completely blank face – no eye holes. That caused a considerable limitation in my vision, but it definitely made for a new and different raid experience. And I’d practiced ahead of time, walking around the house with the hood up, so I wouldn’t look like a complete fool navigating the sidewalks around the Org with spandex over my eyes. Yes, you can see through the zentai’s hood, but only mildly well. I’ll have to take a photo from inside the hood some time so you can see what I mean.

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Categories: Project Chanology

“Do what you want ’cause a pirate is free, you are a pirate!”

June 17, 2009, 9:54 PM

This past Saturday, Anonymous DC held its June raid, protesting the Church of Scientology. This time, we took the always-popular pirate theme for our raids, which means that we dressed in stereotypical pirate garb. As was the case last year, the pirate-themed raid was a LOT of fun. And like last year, our raid was the same weekend as the Capital Pride festival, which ties in nicely with Scientology protests. After all, Scientology can arguably be labeled as homophobic.

Early on, we got visited by two people in bikinis. One of them went into the Org wearing just the bikini. Not all that surprisingly, she got kicked out, with the Scientologists citing that she wasn’t wearing enough clothes.

Exiting the Org after being kicked out, and making a sad face for the camera due to her getting kicked out of the Org.  Exiting the Org after being kicked out, and making a sad face for the camera due to her getting kicked out of the Org.
Exiting the Org after being kicked out, and making a sad face for the camera due to her getting kicked out of the Org.

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Categories: Project Chanology

And then today… flash raid!

April 22, 2009, 11:42 PM

Building on the success of the April “global raid” on Saturday, we flash-raided Wednesday evening. We were ready, too, and capitalized on the alleged assault on one of our Anons that happened on Saturday. I made a sign that said, “What kind of religion PHYSICALLY ASSAULTS its critics? The CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY!” Additionally, I brought forty copies of a “wanted poster” that another Anon made up about the assault that included the case number. I came over straight from work.

I actually had planned to flash raid on Tuesday, but a few things came up to throw that plan off. First of all, I had to take care of something for work that evening. Secondly, the weather didn’t cooperate, as I saw lightning on the way home on Tuesday. Good thing I wasn’t out flash-raiding! As a result, all my Anon stuff (the poster, the flyers, my Guy Fawkes mask) spent the night in my “man-sized safe” at work.

But Wednesday worked out – we had beautiful weather, though it was a touch on the cold side. We had great fun, the Org was hopping, and we enturbulated the people at the Org. We also gave out ALL of our flyers.

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Categories: Project Chanology

With clear skies, and temperatures in the mid-70s, what better day to have a raid?

April 22, 2009, 9:53 PM

You really couldn’t ask for a better day to raid. You really couldn’t. This past Saturday, the sun was shining, and temperatures were in the mid-70s. Perfect raid weather.

And thus April 18, 2009 was when Anonymous DC had its monthly raid against the Church of Scientology. We had better turnout than we’ve had at the last several raids (we counted 22 people at one point), and we had fun, with a theme of Watchmen.

As we arrived, one thing stuck out prominently. We usually write messages all over the sidewalk in front of the Org and on the triangle across the street from the Org, but this time, the sidewalk was pre-chalked! Turned out that it was a little counter-protesting, as the “chalk tech”, as we called it, promoted the Youth for Human Rights International organization – a Scientology front group. Take a look:

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Categories: Project Chanology