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Anonymous Pwns Scientology
Scientology centers around the world were targeted by a mass protest yesterday organized by an anonymous group called, simply enough, "Anonymous". Members refer to themselves only as "Anon" or "Legion". Protests were reported in Boston, Toronto, Europe and Australia.
Here is an LAist photo essayof the protest at the Celebrity Center.
Blogger Bandergrove has provided additional photographs and a first-hand account of the events in Hollywood yesterday.
People showed up in droves — all wearing masks, and all referring to themselves as “Anon.” We picketed in groups of up to 200 people, and I saw more than 500 different protesters over the course of the day. The protesters was the kind of people you’d expect to organize a protest online — probably around 80% young males ranging from 18 to 35 or so, and all Internet and tech savvy. This was definitely a nerdy Internet crowd, and people made constant references to LOLCats and “Caturday”; people spoke in l33t speak
The other interesting thing was that everyone took the “rules” that Anonymous laid out very seriously. Nobody used their real names, introducing themselves as “Anon” and referring to everyone else as “Anon.”
Hollywood and Highland
At that first location, the Scientologists had hung drapes in all of their windows, and locked up all the doors — but they did have three security cameras recording us.
The Celebrity Center
A few Scientologists from inside the complex started taking pictures of us. One woman stepped out on a balcony and took several photos, and another guard popped out in an alleyway with a telephoto lens and photographed us as well. The Celebrity Center had dozens of security cameras hidden in the bushes around the complex, so we made sure to show them our signs. Luckily, we were all wearing our masks, so they wouldn’t be able to identify us.
L. Ron Hubbard Dianetics Center
This complex was swarming with security guards (multiple guys positioned at every entrance and around the parking lot). There were also several Scientologist guards on bikes who kept circling around the block to spy on us, and occasionally take pictures.we were protesting at the main entrance, so we saw everyone who entered and left. The demographic of the church looked to be entirely young, white, yuppy / Hollywood types driving really nice cars. Whenever people pulled into parking lot, we were met with angry/disgusted looks, and they yelled at us. Some of the things yelled at us: “Fags!”; “Fucking losers, get a job!”; “Get a life!”; However, many of the non-Scientologists that drove by sided with us, honking and yelling support.
Afterward, we headed back to Hollywood Blvd. to join back up with our group, which was now 200+ protesters. We went to the CNN building on Sunset Blvd. and protested out front, hoping to make it onto the news.
With this many people, the protest really hit its stride. We had organized chants of “We are anonymous! We are legion!” and “We do not forgive! We do not forget!”
Photos by Bandergrove used with permission
Anonymous Calls out Scientology
Yesterday's press release from Anonymous
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