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Operation Sea Arrrgh

A man dressed in a nautical theme and wearing a cutout of the MV Freewinds holds a sign questioning why a church would own a cruise ship.“Operation Sea Arrrgh” was an event sponsored by Anonymous as part of Project Chanology, held in multiple cities across the United States on June 14, 2008 to protest the Church of Scientology’s “Sea Org”. According to Wikipedia, the Sea Org is “an association of Scientologists established in 1968 by L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction writer and founder of Scientology. […] Members of the Sea Org sign an employment contract with the organization for one billion years. […] Official statements from the Church of Scientology contend the contract is merely symbolic of the dedication members are expected to hold to the organization, and that members are free to leave if they wish. It has, however, been alleged by former Sea Org personnel that members are restricted from leaving.”

In Washington DC, Operation Sea Arrrgh manifested itself as a street protest at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue NW, 20th Street NW, and R Street NW, roughly two blocks north of Dupont Circle. In keeping with the “anonymous” theme, participants wore masks, or concealed their identity through various other means. Some held signs carrying messages about Scientology. Others handed out flyers to passers-by. Meanwhile, others danced, all while dressed up in a pirate theme.


A man wearing a pirate outfit sits on the sidewalk blowing bubbles via an electric fan.  A man wearing a fake mustache and glasses holds a sign for motorists, indicating that they should honk their horn if they believe that the Church of Scientology is a cult.

A masked woman holds a sign identifying Anonymous, and questioning why a cult would need its own navy.  A woman wearing a white mask holds a sign telling passers-by to search "Fair Game Policy" on Google.  A Dora the Explorer piñata sits bound and gagged on the pavement, prior to being smashed open.

Two women pose for the camera while smiling and giving the peace sign.  A man holds a large pirate flag in the air in the median of Connecticut Avenue NW.

A masked individual holds a sign advertising the Web site Xenu.net.  A person wearing a sportcoat and Guy Fawkes mask winds up to take a swing at a Dora the Explorer piñata.

A woman wearing a dust mask holds up a handwritten sign giving the address of Ex-Scientology Kids.  Two men dressed in nautical attire give a salute in the median of Connecticut Avenue NW.  A woman wearing a surgical mask and decked out in mudkips holds up a "Thetan country" sign.

Candy flies through the air as the Dora the Explorer piñata is broken.  A man wearing an alien mask poses in front of the Founding Church of Scientology.

Three women wearing masks hold their signs at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and 20th and R Streets NW.  Two women take a moment away from passing out flyers to pose for a photograph.

A woman gives the thumbs-up while holding a sign asking the Church of Scientology what its crimes are.  A woman hands out flyers at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and 20th and R Streets NW.  An inflatable alien, representing the alien Xenu from Scientology teachings, wears a t-shirt with the URL for Xenu.net at the bottom.

Three masked individuals hold signs critical of the Church of Scientology.  Some of the candy from the Dora the Explorer piñata lays on the sidewalk as people come around to collect it.

A woman wearing a striped shirt, a pirate's eye patch, and a jolly roger choker necklace holds a drink purchased from a nearby restaurant.  Two masked individuals hold signs critical of the Church of Scientology.

A masked woman poses on an inflatable tube in the median of Connecticut Avenue NW.  A woman pumps her fist in the air prior to eating a piece of cake.  Following the destruction of the Dora the Explorer piñata, one person took the piñata's head and made a hat out of it.

A small farm of inflatable aliens rings the edge of Arnie Lerma's truck, topping off two large signs critical of the Church of Scientology.  Two Anons engage in a play swordfight while others look on.

An Anon lies on the ground, defeated in a swordfight.  Everyone dances to the tune of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" song, making the Rickrolling of Scientology complete.

A masked woman fully decked out in pirate style poses for the camera.  A woman in a Guy Fawkes mask carries on a conversation with Arnie Lerma on the sidewalk in front of the Founding Org.  Two masked individuals hold signs critical of the Church of Scientology.

A woman blows bubbles from a small container.  A cookie cake contains an image of the MV Freewinds, relabeled as the Failwinds.

A masked woman strikes a pose on an inflatable tube in the median of Connecticut Avenue NW.  A man gives rabbit ears to a sign critical of the Church of Scientology.

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