Scientology Surf Report: Making Waves at the New York 'Org'

Categories: Scientology

We shot a few angles of yesterday's Anonymous protest outside the 46th Street Church of Scientology building. We have to hand it to these Anons for their creativity: the beach scene they created stopped quite a few tourists in their tracks -- and they were promptly handed leis that carried anti-Scientology messages.

The Scientologists, for their part, were also clever. Either by design or by accident a large delivery truck pulled in front of the building and shielded its entrance from the protest for about a half hour. And employees came and went without paying much attention to the shouting.

Still, we were impressed that three years after these protests began, early in 2008, these folks are still at it. How they've managed to do that is what we asked Gregg Housh, one of the original sort of "leaders" of leaderless Anonymous, who was down from Boston for the party.

"I would have quit three months into this if they hadn't kept energizing me actively," he said, referring to Scientology's habit of going after its critics.

Another observation: three years ago, the Times Square tourists were nearly always mystified by what was going on. But now, I noticed many more who understood what was going on, stopped to talk to the protesters, and even egged them on.

One middle-aged guy who looked like an insurance salesman from Ohio stunned me when he walked by, nodded his head, and said under his breath, "Yeah, Scientology, fuck those assholes."

Yikes.


The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

See all of our recent Scientology coverage at the Voice

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared

Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle'
The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up
The Hugh Urban Investigation -- An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology's past
Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh -- A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link
Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology -- A masterful telling of Scientology's history
The Western Spy Network Revealed? -- Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige
Scientology's Enemies List -- Are You On It?
Inside Inside Scientology -- An interview with author Janet Reitman
Scientology and the Nation of Islam -- Holy Doctrinal Mashup, Batman!
Scientologists -- How Many of Them Are There, Anyway?
Roger Weller's Wild Ride -- Scientology When it was Hip
The Marc Headley Infiltration -- A Scientology Spying Operation Revealed
Placido Domingo Jr: Scientology's Retaliation is "Scary and Pathetic"
An Interview with Nancy Many, Former Scientology Spy
The Paulien Lombard Confession -- A Scientology Spy Comes Clean
The Deputy Benjamin Ring Hard Sell -- Scientology wants your 401K
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology -- the whole series!
The Squirrel Busters Busted -- Unmasking the Scientology PI in Charge


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49 comments
None
None

You actually arent allowed to wear masks in downtown new york.  Its illegal and the cops make you take them off.

Shadowflare
Shadowflare

Yes, Minneapolis Megaraid FTW. It turned out to be our last protest, and one of the best as the scifags hightailed it out of there. 

They are finally working overtime on the St. Paul "Ideal Org" which at this rate will open in the year 2085. MNAnon is waiting.

John
John

But the great majority of the critics of the "Church" have no problem with the folks who decide they want to practice scientology outside of the organized abuses of the church. Plenty of freezoners are helping the critics.  

That doesn't mean the critics agree with their beliefs, or overlook the many (countless, really) red flags scattered throughout the writings of L Ron Hubbard (and his life and severe personal shortcomings).  It's just not what the protests are about. 

So I would say to Scientia, if you were to walk up to the protesters, identify yourself as a scientologist who is against the abuses of the church, you would be welcomed with open arms.  They would love to have you. 

Scientia
Scientia

Thanks to all for the info. I've often thought about getting involved but the target/message seems somewhat vague. (The sign in this clip mentions Scientology, not the CoS). Which is kind of odd, as I feel sure making such a distinction would result in a greater impact (both within the cult and without).

Moops
Moops

It's evolved into absolutely being anti-scientology in all it's forms, but make no mistake that the target is the church itself. It's become clear that you can not have on without the other, the belief system structure and the words of Hubbard himself are what is responsible for the church's horrible misdeeds. Doing what they do to people and critics is all part of the actual religion. He talks about suing over copywright and chasing people down and destroying lives and gay inequality and using people for slave labor and making money off of members directly as a matter of canon. The beliefs are retarded and the people involved should feel bad, also. But, alas, it's the actual church committing the crimes and creating the victims, so we do what will hurt it BEFORE we'll do what will hurt the scientologist. 

Guest
Guest

It was never the intention to "go after" individual scientologists outside of the organized "church."  You may think the beliefs are retarded (as do I) but it's even more retarded to think the church literature will simply evaporate.  The corporate structure, however, is doomed.  We know about Zoroastrianism, but you don't see temples to Ahura Mazda anymore. There will always be a trickle of people who are curious enough to investigate something.  It's not your place to bash them. You can, however, debate them all you like-- that's the preferred freedom of exchange of ideas.  

Scientia
Scientia

You've read the Bible, right?

Guest
Guest

I can see what you are saying.  The signs the protesters carry will always be abbreviated, doubtful if many will ever specify "Church of" scientology.  But in the dialogue the critics have conducted over the years, it has been made very clear that it is not the beliefs that are being protested, only the abuses of the organized church.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Glad to see a revival of the larger-than- life protests happening across from NY Org. Although I didn't see any of the earlier regular protesters there, some of whom received those threatening Cease and Desist letters or were run off by covert ops run by the church, it was fun to see new people out there and how accepting the public is of a scientology protest.

Too bad xFool4Now didn't come out of retirement for this one. He was the best and most inspiring protester in the history of NYC protests against the cult. He's busy, of course, with his acting career but kudos to him for putting his time in and making memorable videos that are available at YouTube for generations to see

My favs are OCT 29 - ROLLED THE NYC WAY ( "Spend your money on Broadway, not the cult of Scientology" ) and SEP 5 - REAL LOVE FRIDAY ( Laugh Tech)

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

That "OCT 29 - ROLLED THE NYC WAY" is one beautiful video! I love all the NYC Anon Videos but that one stands out, along with the Christmas Carol Sing-a-long! 

I attended a protest in my city on Saturday, August 20th, 2011, and the $cilons called the Police. The LEOs told us that the $cilons inside were cowering in fear, believing that we were terrorists, come to destroy their holy premises. LEOs weren't impressed with the $cilon lying and the cowardice. There were handshakes and high-fives all around with us before they left. 

The cult of $cientology is doomed, thanks to the NYC Anons and the world wide International Protests, and Tony Ortega, and all the other courageous people who have simply had enough of this stupid, vile, evil cult!

PokeAnon
PokeAnon

I would say a good third or more of the people at this weekend's protest have been served with "Cease and Desist" letters and are early regulars. Those of us who have received such letters are only more inspired to continue protesting because Scientology continues to prove us right about how they treat critics with stalking and harassment.

I miss xFool too. He was a self-professed expert troll and a hell of a guy.

On the chance that you are who I think you are, hi Mary. You should drop by a protest in person some time.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Hi PokeAnon,

Thanks. I'm glad to hear this. I'm only going by what I saw in the video here above vs those protesters I have seen in many 2008-2009 videos. Of course, back then disguises were often used and masks sometimes allowed but many were memorable Anons and I just didn't recognize any of them in this new video.

By now you know that I am not the other Mary :) . I am known as 'Mary McConnell'  and I live too far to drop in on a protest but hope to fit one into a planned vacation to NY in the future. New York is a great place to protest scientology!  

Moops
Moops

Because we call them idiot

YetAnotherMary
YetAnotherMary

Another Mary, here. I think you might mean me, Poke. It was great meeting you recently (and all of the other NYC anons there), and I do hope to take you up on that protest invite. :)

red_zone
red_zone

Aww, that looked like so much FUN! I wish I could've been there! I would've brought cake pops appropriate for the occasion!

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

Thank you for the lulzy Sunday, Tony! Along with the post-game reports at Why We Protest, this article has given me great joy! 

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

Are you suggesting that the will to "Shatter Suppression" has become shattered? It certainly looks that way to me. NYC Anons Rock!

Markfisher57
Markfisher57

Anonymous has been so effective against Scientology.   When I was out of high school and going into college age years back in the mid to late 70's, we were the prime target for Scientology recruiters.   College age kids who were idealistic and wanted to change the world.   Now thanks to Anonymous, Scientology has such a bad name amongst that age group and demographic, it is almost impossible for Scientology to get new young followers.   No new followers means shrinking group.   Additionally, thanks to Anonymous protests starting 3 years ago, many of us former Sea Org members and Scientologists felt empowered to begin speaking out and telling our stories after years of silence due to the threats, attacks and dirty tricks.   All of a sudden, there was a force out there using their voice!

Anon
Anon

Thanks for the anon acknowledgement Mark, comments like yours are very encouraging.

We all stand tall...lol

Scientia
Scientia

Are they protesting Scientology or are they protesting the Church of Scientology?

robert
robert

They are protesting the abuses of the Church Of Scientology, Scientia. 

BeachBaby
BeachBaby

Wow! What a great party!

Anonymous guys and dolls looked so hawt!

 No wonder the Scientologists were hiding.....in comparison.....they look like porkers!!!

mirele
mirele

They've done the truck maneuver before. When I went to Clearwater to picket in (I believe) 2000, they rented EVERY SINGLE U-HAUL they could get their hands on and parked them in front of their buildings. Too bad one of our guys got a spot in front of one of their buildings from which we enturbulated (TM L. Ron Hubbard) to our heart's content.

So, no, not new.

Moops
Moops

That truck was there for about 35 minutes, and wasn't actually called in by scientology, it was for a totally different building. They did try "plant tech" for most of the summer: putting up large ferns to block the view from the front glass doors. It didn't save any of them from the personal public ridicule they receive when exiting or entering at our hands.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

well nice to see their tech is evolving in some form, plant tech > curtain tech cuz its makes the street look better :)

Anon #9003
Anon #9003

Those plants died within a week.

Guest
Guest

That looked like a very effective protest!  Not only are they having a lot of fun, but there is a huge amount of foot traffic through that area... hundreds of pedestrians (at least) are now a little bit more aware of the dangers of scientology!

TheGuest
TheGuest

"Pay No Attention to the Protestors Behind the Curtain"

Scientology's Intelligence arm's (it's a religious thing) lame camouflage tech, an effort to keep members from looking (invisibility) or talking to protestors or wondering WTF?,  was to simply declare to members and press that protestors were all Criminals and Terrorists.

Now, I've seen footage of criminals with ammunition rounds and walkie talkies around their bellies, and terrorists with bomb stuff and pagers around their midriff,  but I've never seen a criminal terrorist with a life preserver and lei around their middle.

red_zone
red_zone

Or sharing a life preserver with two femanon's!

TheGuest
TheGuest

So true.  They just can't stop because of "KSW #1", Keeping Scientology Working, which is part of every single course and action in scientology.  It basically states only SP's alter a single word or comma in Hubbard's brilliant ramblings and it's all deadly serious.

It put scientology on Auto Pilot.  The world sees train wrecks, scientologists see devoted breakthroughs.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Yes, they replaced John "smell puthy" Carmichael with a truck! "Dauntless, defiant, resolute" and in hiding. Could be a pattern. They are going to be just a trucks 'n' buildings religion from now on.

candace6
candace6

"Anonymous will be handled, they will be stopped"

-Tommy Davis, (missing) Scientology Spokesclam, Feb 2008

How'd that work out for ya, Scientology?

mirele
mirele

Where is Tommy Davis? Has he been released from The Hole (or whatever RPF prison Scientology has him in) yet? What about the rest of the prisoners, like Heber Jentzsch?

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

I'm rather certain that it's been quite a while since they went to the beach for a fun party.

guest
guest

I'm guessing that NYC has a no-masks-allowed code for protests

IIRC, I read, in an item about the riots in England, that New York State has a law that bans the wearing of a mask at all times except for masquerade parties and the like.

robert
robert

NY law says that you can't have more than two at a time in mask because of the old KKK law.  In any event, many NYC anon were outed long ago and received their visits/letters from OSA.  OSA has tried to get them arrested at various points, but the police are well aware of the CoS's abuse of the system, so OSA has never gotten what they wanted.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

^^This. thus the mfckry dot org crew always rolls with no mask. Atlanons in Georgia have the same hassle, but none of the "less than two" slack.

Moops
Moops

Probably not. They used to make us remove the masks during the first three or four raids in 08, but after years of full faced costumes and having an excellent relationship with the NYPD, I don't think they'd have any problem with a masked anon at a raid. 

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

What if a travelingfag who no longer gets to see u guise from afar in the subways when s/he passes thru on bizness, was to stopby a raid someday with a mask unexpected 'n shit. would the popo care?

Moops
Moops

^^Yes, both of you guys are correct. Early on, even with the anti-mask laws, we had ways to cover our faces which were legal. Disguises, scarves, medical masks, etc. The point is so moot now, OSA outed almost all of us and ran their full gauntlet of idiocy. We documented every action, pushed it to the press and turned it into a huge footbullet. Now the police don't believe a fucking word they say, and they don;'t try that shit anymore. We've pounded them into the ground, they're a defanged sad cult which does nothing but lay down and take our continued pummeling c: They need the masks now, I wouldn't wanna be a Scientologist in public and be viewed as a criminal and idiot by the city; not to mention get constantly made fun of and proven wrong in front of a laughing crowd.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

I've never seen the masks as being primarily about the 'fear of OSA' as much as being a reflection of the 'anonymous' nature of Anonymous.  It's hard to be an amourphous mass of memes if you've got a bunch of people angling to be 'leaderfags' and name and face fagging themselves as 'stars' or, as Scientology would put it; Opinion Leaders.

Not sure about NY rules on masks, but, I think most state regulations about such things date back to concerns about the Ku Klux Klan's hoods and are mostly in southern states.

Diana Etics
Diana Etics

It's definitely due to OSA.  Plenty of Anonymous decide to take the masks off at some point without becoming "leaderfags."   They obviously don't use their real names, but faces are fine (only if you're not concerned about OSA).  You can bet the scientologists are trying to take photos of the protestors the whole time.

Sid
Sid

I think the masks were great for branding, generating media interest, and allowing protesters to feel safe from OSA hassle, but they have always had a weakness related to making an impression with the Scientology public.

Who knows what lies the average Scientology public has been told about Anonymous?

Probably that they are SPs, funded by drug companies, funded by "the psyches" etc etc.

Scientologists are of course also told about the scary world of Wogs out there.

Mask-wearing anons with the slogan "we do not forgive" are vindication, in the eyes of some Scientologists, of their fears about anons and the wider world.

Seeing these protesters having fun, and doing so without masks, is I believe a more effective way of reaching those "still in".

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Hmm.  That makes me wonder if she's the same person who used to monitor critical IRC forums as 'Thalia Green' back in the '90s.

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

I'm going to use up one of my yearly ration for a 'Whatever' here.  :)

It's sane to have some concerns when you're a private citizen and are putting yourself in front of a Billion Dollar UFO Cult with a history of atrocities.  Fear?  Maybe.

It remains to be said that for Anonymous protests the masks serve a lot of good purposes, both as street theater, and 'branding'.  But, also importantly, in *making Scientology Pay* for their information, although I have little doubt that when they *want* to, the Cult can find out who people are, unless they take really heroic measures to stay 'anonymous'.

Most people don't care enough to do that.  It's not about 'fear' as much as 'tactics'.

As for being a functional prevantative against 'leaderfagging' and celebrity; well, it's a quaint theory that's already been overtaken by human reality :)

robert
robert

OSA was there, having shipped in a woman named Thalia Ghiglia, who is the DSA out of Cinncinati, to try to film the protestors.  Undoubtedly, it was also to film new people and Tony, and other media that was there. Ms. Ghiglia made a mistake when questioned about what she was doing, claiming to work for TARU-the NYPD Technical Assistance research Unit of the NYPD.  This was reported to police.   

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