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Project Chanology in the Nation's Capital

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5

Part 1

ANONYMOUS: Because none of us are as cruel as all of us.In the year 2008, I was very active with the DC chapter of Project Chanology, an offshoot of the Internet collective known as Anonymous.  “Chanology” is a portmanteau of “4chan” and “Scientology“, which is quite fitting for describing the function of the group – we protest the cult known as the Church of Scientology, and our group takes a bit of its own culture from the Internet image board 4chan.  However, no one normally referred to Project Chanology as such.  Most referred to it as simply “Anonymous”.

I first became interested in Anonymous in February 2008, when photos of their first global raid (“raid” is Anonymous’s term for protests) surfaced on Wikipedia.  I did some research into the movement, and found them to be a very worthwhile cause.  I became involved with Anonymous in March 2008, when I attended the AnonyCon raid and convention in Washington DC and Crystal City, Virginia.  I have been very active since, attending countless raids and flash raids.

I originally intended for this set to be part of the Year of Many Cameras photo set.  However, in preparing that set, I discovered that there were too many great photos of Anonymous raids over the course of the year to make that work.  To compress it to make it fit inside a larger set would not do the photos justice, as it would require me to cut too many worthwhile photos to keep the set at a reasonable size.  Additionally, I came to realize that to put Anonymous in the year-end set would still cause Anonymous to dominate the set, even if I did compress the heck out of it.

You’d think I’d have learned by now.  Anonymous is everyone.  Anonymous is everywhere.  Anonymous is legion.  Anonymous does not forgive.  Anonymous does not forget.  Anonymous does not combine with other photos.  So with that in mind, let’s head down to the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington DC’s Dupont Circle neighborhood and enturbulate.  So turn on the lulz, and cue the Rickroll!


March 22, 2008
AnonyCon

AnonyCon was a raid and convention, timed to conicide with a Scientology event being held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington.  The original plan was to simply have AnonyCon at the Wardman Park – the same hotel as the Scientology event, and be, in the words of Heidi, “distantly creepy”.  However, things didn’t quite go as planned, as Marriott tore up Anonymous’s contract, and fired the poor worker who booked the event.  But Anonymous was resourceful, and replanned.  The new plan was a simple raid outside the Wardman Park at the entrance to Woodley Park-Zoo station, followed by AnonyCon, held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

This was my first raid, and I was nervous and excited.  I’d been to many protests, but never something like this.  I also had no camera, since Big Mavica had been fatally damaged the Wednesday before at Funk the War 3, and Duckie had not yet arrived.  Thus I only had my cell phone, but thankfully, other Anons took up the slack, and got lots of photos and movies.  I did a Journal entry about the event, and to put it simply, this was a LOT of fun, and I knew I’d found a place I could fit in.


Raiding at the entrance to Woodley Park-Zoo station.

Raiding at the entrance to Woodley Park-Zoo station.


Boogeying to the music at AnonyRave.  Boogeying to the music at AnonyRave.

Boogeying to the music at AnonyRave.


“Message to Scientology” stating Chanology’s mission, played at AnonyCon.



Movie by EnturbulatedCapitol

Overview of AnonyCon – the raid and the convention.



Movie by marcabbob

Another view of AnonyCon, with a considerable section showing the reading of Dianetics on Rohr 1100.



Movie by camivette

The Epic Fail Brigade dances to Dragostea din tei, more commonly known as “Numa Numa“.


April 12, 2008
Operation Reconnect

Operation Reconnect was the third global raid overall, and my first with Anonymous.  Like most Anonymous raids, this one was held on the triangle in front of the Founding Church of Scientology, otherwise referred to as “the Org”.  The purpose of Operation Reconnect was to bring attention to the Church of Scientology’s policy of “disconnection“, whereby Scientologists must sever ties between themselves and anyone who the church believes to be antagonistic towards Scientology.  This includes friends, as well as family members, ending marriages and separating parents and children.  In bringing light to the disconnection policy, signage encouraged Scientologists to reconnect with their families, and rekindle the bonds of family.


Various signs displaying the "reconnect" theme.  Various signs displaying the "reconnect" theme.

Various signs displaying the “reconnect” theme.

Various signs displaying the "reconnect" theme.


For this raid, we had two banners.  One, at the head of the triangle, read, "BOOOO SCIENTOLOGY", while the other, in the Connecticut Avenue median, read, "Scientology destroys lives."

For this raid, we had two banners.  One, at the head of the triangle, read, “BOOOO SCIENTOLOGY”, while the other, in the Connecticut Avenue median, read, “Scientology destroys lives.”

For this raid, we had two banners.  One, at the head of the triangle, read, "BOOOO SCIENTOLOGY", while the other, in the Connecticut Avenue median, read, "Scientology destroys lives."


Various other anti-Scientology messages.  Various other anti-Scientology messages.

Various other anti-Scientology messages.


The Epic Fail Brigade takes up station on the Connecticut Avenue median.

The Epic Fail Brigade takes up station on the Connecticut Avenue median.


Pinstripe makes her first appearance at an Anon raid.

Pinstripe makes her first appearance at an Anon raid.


One Anon attached red LEDs to his Guy Fawkes mask, creating a certain effect with the eyes...

One Anon attached red LEDs to his Guy Fawkes mask, creating a certain effect with the eyes…


In the early raids, a full-size sound system was used for music and announcements and such.

In the early raids, a full-size sound system was used for music and announcements and such.


Anonymous cake!  One of Anonymous' trademarks is the bringing and serving of cake at the raids.

Anonymous cake!  One of Anonymous’ trademarks is the bringing and serving of cake at the raids.


May 10, 2008
Operation Fail Game

Operation Fail Game was Anonymous’s fourth global raid, held on May 10, 2008.  DC’s raid was again held on the triangle outside the Founding Org.  Fail Game’s theme was to shed light on the Scientology practice known as Fair Game.  Fair Game is the practice whereby Scientologists have carte blanche to take revenge against people whom the church considers to be its enemies.  According to “HCOPL 18 Oct 67 Issue IV, Penalties for Lower Conditions”, enemies of the church “May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist.  May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”


Longcat is loooooooooooooong!

Longcat is loooooooooooooong!


Longcat makes the rounds around the triangle.


Breakdancing outside the Org.


Single-hole miniature golf course.  This course was short-lived, however, as we soon learned that we were not allowed to have it on the sidewalk.

Single-hole miniature golf course.  This course was short-lived, however, as we soon learned that we were not allowed to have it on the sidewalk.


   

 


The message, “Don’t R2-45 me, bro!” a play on the famous 2007 line, “Don’t tase me, bro!” refers to the Scientology auditing practice R2-45.  R2-45 specifically pertains to shooting the intended target with a Colt .45 pistol, which causes the individual’s thetan to leave the body, a process known as “exteriorization”.  Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard demonstrated the process by firing a shot at the floor in a 1952 meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.  In 1958, discussing R2-45, Hubbard said, “Death is not the same as clearing but there is, remember, R2-45.  It’s a very valid technique.  A lot of people have used it before now.”

(For those of you who still don’t think that Scientology is a dangerous organization, are you now convinced?)


This amazingly detailed sign makes references to Xenu, thetans, Anonymous, and Scientology in general, with a humorous, though slightly off-color, twist.

This amazingly detailed sign makes references to Xenu, thetans, Anonymous, and Scientology in general, with a humorous, though slightly off-color, twist.


Handing out flyers on the Connecticut Avenue median.

Handing out flyers on the Connecticut Avenue median.


A woman wearing fishnet tights, short shorts, a tank top, and with badges saying "Hottie police", encourage motorists on Connecticut Avenue to honk their horns.

A woman wearing fishnet tights, short shorts, a tank top, and with badges saying “Hottie police”, encourage motorists on Connecticut Avenue to honk their horns.


During the Fail Game raid, there was a broken water main under R Street.  This break caused some very minor flooding in the street, and allegedly led to low water pressure at the Founding Org.  Is it a sign?


This man came as the embodiment of Anonymous.  When the Anonymous insignia is shown with a visible body, the body is generally green with no features.

This man came as the embodiment of Anonymous.  When the Anonymous insignia is shown with a visible body, the body is generally green with no features.


This girl wore a blond wig, a sleeve designed to resemble tattoos, a fedora, and a pair of sunglasses.  She later used a respirator mask to make her anonymity complete.

This girl wore a blond wig, a sleeve designed to resemble tattoos, a fedora, and a pair of sunglasses.  She later used a respirator mask to make her anonymity complete.

This girl wore a blond wig, a sleeve designed to resemble tattoos, a fedora, and a pair of sunglasses.  She later used a respirator mask to make her anonymity complete.


Free hugs!

Free hugs!

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5

Part 1