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Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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Already Sunday? Again?
taintor 03
Something you probably won't hear much about on the news: more than 7000 people around the world mobilized to protest Scientology centers today. I ended up at the Enturbulation forums skimming the protest threads city-by-city--spearheaded by Anonymous, "a loose-knit consortium of hackers and activists" (for the internet savvy, read: 4chan's /b/tards. /b/ afraid), the "raids," depending on where you were, turned out to be peaceful, fun, meaningful, silly, inappropriate, educational, surreal, and sometimes all of the above.

A random-sample digest of the Enturbulation threads (I hope they don't mind; it's meant to give people an idea of what it was like out there, particularly since they're planning another protest for March):

Austin, TX: "At one point, everyone was chanting 'IT'S A TRAP' over and over."

Amsterdam: "Once anon arrived at the target, they discovered the police were already at the scene to protect them from those naughty Scientologists, so they could commence pimping their favourite websites [e.g., xenu.net] in relative peace."

Berlin: "[COS] staged some counter-demonstration of their own, with balloons, music and strange, dancing people. very weird."

Dublin: "Everyone in Dublin who came into contact with to us now hates the Co$.... We stayed on friendly terms with the reps they sent out to troll us, kept polite, chatted and took the leaflets about dianetics they gave us. I have to say, the general public are as appalled as we are now."

Edinburgh: "I particularly liked the 'honk if you' signs, which got brilliant responses the whole time - even from a passing ambulance!"

Indianapolis: "There was a car wreck at our site of protest and we were all wondering... Tom Cruise said only Scientologists can help people. Well 10 anon *including myself* all rushed to aid. Where was Cruise? where were the scientologists?"

Los Angeles: The Littlest Anonymous. (More photos.)

London: "Great posters, signs and flyers abounded and a lot of interest particularly on Tottenham Court Road from passersby. Everyone we spoke to from people in the street, on the tube, in the pub, everywhere agreed that they don't trust Co$ and were only too happy to support us." (Photos.)

Manchester: "It ended at 15:00 with everyone joining up on the road opposite the CoS building and bowing, then singing Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in unison as we left." (Photos.)

Minneapolis: "Also, Starbucks was totally behind the cause and let us congregate inside instead of having to wait outside for the gathering, and they gave us free coffee and told us to 'go kick some butt'."

New Orleans: "One old lady (who must have been quite the beauty back when Hubbard first schemed his way to the top) came out of her car to chastise us for supporting Scientology- until she got close enough to our signs to realize we were the good guys."

NYC: "Police were cool... there was this one chick / scieno plant that was video taping, started harassing the cops and they moved her to the side, then she came into the crowd and started filming in peoples faces until she got called out as a plant and quickly moved back to the other side of the street"; "I think I also got the Anons chanting 'give the cops a raise,' which was kinda surreal, but got big grins from all involved except the scienos, who looked perplexed."

Perth: "Close friend who kept his distance from the raid to watch over us, reports that we were followed! We have the guy on some photos, he hid inside the girls toilets when my friend caught on, my friend confronted him and he said it was 'His business to monitor us' because we were 'terrorists.' " ("Have I made it perfectly clear how angry I am about the dude dressed like a wizard?")

San Francisco: "Honestly, the entire time I was there it felt more like being in line for one of the presentation halls at Comic-Con than being at a protest. It was fun, and I'm sure a lot of other people had fun, but that sort of isn't the point. I know it's fun and exciting to wear a bandana and big sunglasses with your friends, but there is more to protesting than having a costume contest. Again, Raptor Jesus showing up was funny, but totally useless in terms of getting any message across. I also think everyone needs to have a little more common sense when it comes to the whole 'Scientology will take a picture of your face and then find where you live and then travel to the future to punch your kids in the face' thing."

Seattle: Excellent photos in the second post on the thread. This sign is my favorite.

Sydney: First picture in thread: "This sign has been removed due to copyright claims made by the CoS."

Toronto: "Cabbies seemed to like the cause, as most of them honked"; "There was a great turnout, there was so much honking from random supporters, there were like 5 minute stretches where almost ever car was honking in support. The best was when an ambulance and firetruck both honked."

Washington DC: Photos. Posted in the Enturbulation thread by Arnie Lerma of lermanet.com:
This little gal, called me last month, for the first time, in a timid voice, that grew stronger with every word she spoke...it was the first time she had ever spoken out about scientology, she is an ex scientologist, her father was a lifelong, scientology "minister."

She brought before and after pictures of her father, the young handsome Scientology minister, and 25 years later, a broken man.

She came up to me after I managed to spout off a few words of encouragement to the crowd, explaining operations snow white and operation freakout, and I suggested that she tell the picketers her story...

She did..

And told a crowd of 200 strangers on the street about her life, growing up in scientology and then about her father, a 25 year long "Minister" in scientology, who hung himself 3 years ago.
Which is the kind of story that explains why they were all there in the first place.

In summary: The best macro ever.

Site Meter

That is, in fact, the best macro ever. I think the "Scientology makes me a sad panda" sign in the corner is my favorite. Also, WTF, spellcheck, you know "scientology"? They DO control everything!

Edited at 2008-02-11 05:30 am (UTC)

Heeeeeeeee, I didn't even notice the panda sign. I think it was the V masks that made it for me.

I was all ready to be at the Austin one, and instead got schedule 10 AM-7 PM at work. Even though my manager knew and supported me joining the raid.

Epic fail, manager.

Awww. I had no idea they were going to be today, although I don't think I was anywhere near one. I think it would be really fun to go and document a protest, rather than take part from the inside, if that makes any sense--like the guy who mentioned that his friend kept an eye on the shady COS people following them. Someone else said that he couldn't take pictures while holding both a sign and fliers, so it does seem that a designated photographer might be a good idea.

There’s a hilarious account of the London demonstrations (with many pix and vidclips) in deathboy’s LJ:
There were numerous demands for "CAKE!" - Shortly followed by much more enthusiastic cries of "THE CAKE IS A LIE!" ... Then someone came round with cakes, prompting happy exclamations that "THE CAKE IS REAL!"


One of the more enthralling and intimidating chants that kept occuring was ripped off 300:

OMG, that 300 parody chant is so much win. :)

Seattle protestors rickroll the CoS.
It was awesome. I had friends there and they said it was a total party.

I caught the second part of the LA raid (Hollywood Blvd, not Sunset). It was moderate win. I think the numbers had dwindled a bit, but it was still awesome to see so many people out and about, rallying support from onlookers. The Oscar Meyer Wienermobile honked because it hates Scientology.

Scientology is so screwed up. It's clearly run by assholes who love the power trip. Organized religion FTL.

But I find annoying the Washington DC report. People change in 25 years, it's basically impossible NOT to go downhill from "young, handsome" over that amount of time. Except Dick Clark of course!

I thing the big change being stressed was more that he ended up hanging himself.

They is the best macro and picture ever. And I now want to re-read m15m of V for Vendetta.

I'm so glad that my two home towns, Austin and Sydney, were involved.

And many thanks, Cleo, for posting this for those of us out of the loop.


THANK YOU for posting about this, I knew I could count on you. It's not getting the media attention it deserves.

And that macro is made of such win! Desktopping it for a while.

Great posting.

Heh. Well, you'd think 500 people rickrolling London would get on the news, but I guess not. Apparently it really did get on Fox News (probably the Seattle raid, but... Fox News. Ew).

I can't decide why people aren't covering it--because it's Just Those Internet Kids? I don't care if it's Just Those Internet Kids, if it's 7000 of them coordinating around the world, there's got to be something newsworthy about it. Is it because Scientology is so incredibly litigious and the media would really just rather not deal with them? I've noticed that over the years--I think ever since they went after Time magazine in 1990, the media has just ignored the COS when possible. If they report on something, it's never the thing itself ("Tom Cruise acting like an idiot on COS video"); it's someone else causing controversy regarding that thing ("Anonymous 'hacktivists' post COS video of Tom Cruise"). All I know is, it's extremely telling that police and through-traffic and bystanders were so supportive of the protest. I mean, Starbucks gave them free coffee.

That macro is not only the best ever, there is a macro INSIDE the macro. It's like coming out on the other end of the universe. And it's awesome.

(Deleted comment)
Huh, interesting. I hadn't thought about that, but... yeah, if it keeps the Klan down, I'm all for it. Sad we can't have V masks, though. Of course... no COS buildings, either.

I was especially pleased at the turnout in Toronto, given that it's the coldest day of the year (running an average of -31 degrees Celsius when the wind blew, which was ALL DAY and REALLY STRONG). I've been harassed so many times outside the Scientology Centre downtown (they seem to love following and preaching at young women in ones or twos who look like they have money, which is the only reason most people would be shopping in that particular neighbourhood, apparently; I have a box of literature they've shoved at me over the years somewhere) that it's about bloody time someone hassled them back!

That is the best macro ever. Wow.

Man I was in Minneapolis this weekend. I wish I'd known about it, I would have gone.