I am reading the Why We Protest thread on today's important meeting of the Riverside Country Board of Supervisors on Scientology's urgent request to address the "threat" of two HIV+ gay protesters from the free speech and human rights protest group Anonymous reported in yesterday's Breaking: Scientology international headquarters seeks ban on HIV+ protesters.
I will write more when I digest all the input from WPP. In the meantime I refer you to LA Times reporter David Kelly's piece on today's meeting: Riverside County ordinance curtailing Scientology protests suspended and the essential thread on WWP: Riverside Ordinance to be Revisited 1/13.
In a nut shell, Scientology has tried to bum rush the supes into constricting Anonymous' ability to protest to a minimum and removing them as far from the 500 Sea org staff members at Gold Base as possible by slandering two HIV+ gay men and creating an atmosphere of anti-gay and anti-Anonymous hysteria and high-alarm drama, raising even more first amendment issues of church-state relations as previously written about by Eugene Volokh and Scott Pilutik.
Supervisor Bob Buster saw right through the stratagems of the Scientology team of attorney Sam Alhadeff, Gold's Office of Special Affairs (OSA) Secret Service Agent-Public Relations person, Catherine Fraser, and Scientology fellow-traveler, Supervisor Jeff Stone. The Board voted unanimously to suspend the ordinance for a month
From an anon real time transcript at WWP:
while county counsel and the Sheriff's Department determined exactly where protesters could assemble and what form their protests could take.
"The county counsel and the sheriff can get together and make it crystal clear what we are doing," he said. "This has gotten broader than we had anticipated." - David Kelly.
Stone: "Supervisor, I've said before this isn't about $cilontology... we've had other cases.. umm Mormons was it I believe.... we're just following suit to protect the tranquility of people who live in private residence."
The arguments of Scientology lawyer Sam Alhadeff and OSA Public Relations person Fraser were essentially to assert a Constitutional Right Not To Be Bothered and a Right To Tranquility
$cilon: It bothers people who go to and from the communal dining hall, which is when these people like to yell at them, and it bothers them ... Because we're trying to protect people who live there walking to a dining hall, who don't appreciate having to listen to what these people are saying.Gold Base is the international headquarters of Church of Scientology International and its front groups. It can be looked at as a corporate campus, like google; the headquarters of a religion like the Vatican; the headquarters of a totalitarian state like the Kremlin; or as a military war headquarters.
Gold has aspects of all the above. Following sociology of religion Professor Steven A. Kent and former Sea Org executive Lawrence Brennan we can say that:
Organized Scientology is an infra-totalitarian, multi-national corporate empire engaged in an all-out societal war-to-the-death against global medical and mental health professions and of which religion is just one element, which is primarily used to cloak its fundamentally profit-seeking nature.
When it comes to protesting and raiding there is a war going on. Gold Base is the Global Command Headquarters for the War on Psychiatry in which the end justifies any and all means, and Sea Org members in their comic-opera naval uniforms are the anti-psych hate machine soldiers engaged in the urgent task of "Clearing the Planet" and installing Hubbard Technology in every realm of life.
Anonymous knows this. Anonymous knows that Scientology has been at war on and against the internet since 1994 with alt.religion.scientology which resulted in unconstitutional invasion of the homes of Scientology critics and the subversion of their lives by OSA (The Office of Special Affairs).
Anonymous knows of the Xanadu of Xenuphobia's threatened obliteration of YMTD in 2006. Anonymous knows that when it declared war a year ago on /b/ on January 15 and publicly on YouTube on January 21 it was in fact creating an insurgency in a war Scientology had been waging on society since the publication of Dianetics in 1950.
The raiding of Gold reminds me of the raiding of the School for the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia. SOA has for years trained South American military including the Salvadoran Army who massacred six Jesuit priests from the Jesuit University of Central America, their housekeeper, and her daughter on November 16, 1989.
Every year in November School of Americas Watch raids Fr. Benning. From Wikipedia:
Every year they have a funeral procession and recite the presente litany. The names of people killed by totalitarian regimes are read off one by one. As each is read, the raiders respond: Presente! The presente litany at the funeral of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda was the first act of public protest against the Pinochet regime.
On Sunday, November 20, 2005 nearly 20,000 protesters attended the Ft. Benning vigil, "remembering those who have been silenced by SOA violence." Forty protesters climbed over or under the fence and were arrested by military police. Columbus police also arrested bystanders, including some who lifted the fence. Since protests against the school began, 183 people have collectively served over 81 years in prison for their civil disobedience.
Sunday, November 19, 2006 marked the following year for the School of the Americas protest. Over 22,000 protesters attended the vigil--a record high since the protests began. Two weeks later on December 3, 2006 Georgia Public Radio broadcasted "The Sounds of Protest at the School of the Americas", an hour-long documentary with audio collected at the 2006 protest. "Sounds of Protest" Audio Documentary
I have not yet discovered mention of military lawyers asserting a right not to be bothered for the troops at Fr. Benning. Or of a right to tranquility.
As an intra-totalitarian command headquarters, Gold has its penitentiaries, the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) and for hard-core fuckups, like the imprisoned President of all churches of Scientology, poor Heber Jensch, the RPF's RPF.
OSA has been trying to prevent Anonyous protesting slave labor camps and coerced abortions at a slave labor camp that coerces abortions.
Imagine, if not 22,000, at least over 9,000 anons raiding Gold Base on the Thursday nearest the deaths of Lisa McPherson (December 5,), Uwe Stuckenbrock (October 7), or even L. Ron Hubbard (January 24) since he started this whole tragic waste of human lives through his own grandiose self-victimization.
Imagine a presente litany of the names of the victims of Scientology's medical malpractice, psychological abuse, coerced abortions, and disconnected families.
Imagine over 9,000 anons rickrolling, waving their Marcab Confederacy, Headless Guy, White Rose, Mudkip, and "Serious business. I undertake" it flags and eating delicious caek for epic win and great justice.
Speaking of epic win for great justice, this excellent summary is just in from I'mglib who was at the meeting:
Wow wow wow! The meeting today was so awesome in just about every way.
Here are the highlights:
- Two woman who were Riverside County residents who weren't affiliated with either side spoke against the ordinance, and the speeches were really powerful. The 1st one to speak was especially brilliant, and she addressed Bob Buster specifically, saying something to the effect of, "You know this is a bad idea." She also pointed out, What if a business decides to put a shack on their property? Does that mean they can't be picketed? The other woman actually said she wanted to see the supes financial records, implying they were being paid!
- I spoke, liberally using quotes from T. Jefferson, about the importance of being able to protest, even against a Church. (Thanks to Optimisticate).
- Smurf and AGP both spoke and they were great. Smurf was very passionate, and even talked about how Catherine Fraser told the sherriff that he had a medical condition that might make him a danger to the people inside! Also, AGP was great. He had pictures of the razor wire, the speakers, and the eagle's nest. He even played the Gold Tone, right into the microphone.
- Graham was brilliant. He was passionate, yet measured. He got in a lot of digs against COS, and against the ordinance. He had 6 mintues, because Benny's Friend/Resistance gave him her minutes. AO had specified that Graham got his minutes, too, but there was confusion, so Graham was cut off.
- Then the other side spoke, and they failed miserably. Especially Catherine Fraser. I almost feel bad for her, because she was asked why she called the cops as soon as the 3 protesters arrived, and she fumbled that one. When asked whether people could protest in front of the guard gate, all of a sudden she brings up that that is near the CAFETERIA! So she tried to throw this red herring in there, which made it obvious they were going to try to say one thing and do another.
- Bob Buster is the hero, again. He spoke for a long time with Alhadeff about how badly written the ordinance is, because it's so unclear etc. He wanted to know, if people are going to be able to protest just the same as ever, in the same location, then what was the point?
- Then, because of the confusion, AO got to speak, even though he had given Graham his minutes. I will admit I was VERY NERVOUS about this, because the supes clearly don't like him, but he pulled a stunt that was BRILLIANT! He had a sign that said DAVID MISCAVIGE HIT MARK HEADLEY on one side, and a picture of Jeff Hawkins holding a sign saying DAVID MISCAVIGE BEATS UP HIS STAFF on the other. So he waves this thing around the room, and points out that if the ordinance passes, it means he can't carry this sign at the protest.
- Then Graham got to speak AGAIN because BF/Resistance gave him her minutes (after going up and telling the clerk that her minutes hadn't been given to him yet). So that was great. Graham tells the supes that they are letting the foxes into the chicken coop by letting the Scientologists decide where people get to picket. He also got some more digs in about Scientology PIs (because AO brought up that he was followed there) and he even said that Scientologists had picketed AO's house.
The really cool thing that can't be described is the ATMOSPHERE in the room. The place was packed with people who were there to talk about an animal shelter or something, but I would bet that another couple hundred COS critics were born today.
There were laughs (Graham said that the anons eat cupcakes, dance, and that AO shows up in a purple Barney suit) there were gasps (AGP and SMURF were very emotional and dramatic) and there were fireworks (between Bob Buster and Scientology lawyer Sam Alhadeff).
So the result was they put it back into review AGAIN. I don't think Jeff Stone was happy, because it definitely looked bad for him.
As we were leaving we saw the LA Times reporter, the local reporters, and a Channel 7 van parked there.
All in all VERY EXCITING, and in my opinion a huge win.
Propaganda poster: LadyNonymous, Anonymous Project Chanology Hamburg