Friday, July 18, 2008

Anonymous discusses "Using Youth as a Weapon"

On July 9, 2008, Anonymous started a thread on titled
"TIP: Using Youth As A Weapon"
I did not put that much attention at the time but two incidents that happened a few days after this thread makes me wonder in which way that idea didn't find its way in the mind of some anons.

The first one is an incident where Anonymous forces their entry in a Subway shop hosting a
"No Anonymous"
sign, using three masked children. The argument was "why do you deny the right of these small children to buy ice cream?", and the incident was further exploited in outraged titles about "Scientology harasses little girls".

The second incident happened slightly later, in which critics were successful to get the management of mall in the UK to ban the CoS from its premises on the (unsubstantiated) accusation that the stress test was offered to children, something the CoS denies.

See below for details of these two incidents.

Anonymous Uses Children as Weapon

A family with 3 masked kids were prevented by a Scientologist to go in a Subway shop because they were wearing masks. Later on, LAPD arrived, the Scientologist went away and they were allowed to go in.

Dramatized exploitation of the incident abound:

However, consider this:
  1. during the protest, an anon posted about the sign at the Subway shop: "
    "I was eating at the Subway deli across the street from Kaiser Medical Center (which had their own security officers assisting the Scilons) when I short, blonde-headed woman accompanied by OSAbot Ed Parkin walked in and sat down next to me preparing a "No Anonymous" sign which she taped to the window of the deli.

    She continues to sit at a table there monitoring the area. (Hey, it's freaking hot outside. She picked an air-conditioned place to do her surveillance). "
    This report was further clarified in comments after the incident:
    "I was the one that first reported on ARS of the sign going up. In fact, I was quietly eating a sandwich prior to the protest when Noelle came into the restaurant, sat down next to me, and proceeded to put loads of tape on the “No Anonymous” sign, then proceeded to attach it to the window, reinforcing it again with even more tape. She had the OK of the manager. Most of the employees were Hispanic - I say this because the residents in the vicinty of the Big Blue on Sunset Blvd are primarily Hispanic & they have to live with the cult & their goons every day. I suspect that manager gave Noelle the OK to hang the sign out of fear. I also watched her take a table by the door to assure that Anonymous didn’t enter the deli."
    Therefore, Anonymous knew about that ban before the incident happened

  2. Anonymous recently discussed "Using Youth as a Weapon"

    What are the odds, then, that, knowing adult anons may have difficult to enter, they didn't use children "as a weapon", knowing that if they would be barred entry they could make the type of titles as above?

  3. My impression is re-enforced by the fact that the video they show even recorded the "we are hungry" expressions of the girls

  4. The video has been heavily edited and whole chunks are missing. It would have been interesting to see the video in full

  5. The end of the video is particularly outrageous, as we see the little girl spouting things she obviously can have no idea of, such as "my right to free speech expression". It reminds me of terrorists using children for their propaganda.

  6. For that matter, what business does anon have to bring their children at the protest? The believe the CoS is highly dangerous then bring their 5-years old at an emotionally laden protest, yeah right... In this sense I agree with a comment posted on the glosslip page:
    "I love me some anonymous, and yes, the cult sucks, but I am always bothered when parents of any stripe indoctrinate their children into very adult activities like politics or civil disobedience. I don’t care if it’s a “good” cause or not. Children aren’t able to hold sophisticated concepts like: “Scientology is run by unscrupulous people who are harming the people like the lady who stopped us at Subway. We are protesting to help the bad lady because she’s been brainwashed”. How different is it in practice than Fred Phelps making his darling little grandchildren sport “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” T-shirts? I’m serious, my parents used to take me to rallies against the Vietnam war and they got very hairy and I used to think anyone in a military uniform was a murderer. I learned better as an adult, but when I was seven, I just wanted to please my folks, I had no frikkin’ idea what was going on. Using young children in emotionally charged situations like a protest is a very bad idea. Scientology sucks, but lets leave the kiddies out of the fray."

Church of Scientology banned from shopping centre

The Birmingham reports that

"THE Church of Scientology has been banned from a Midland shopping centre after a string of complaints that they had been preaching to children."


"We had complaints that kids had been invited to take part in a stress test and were then being asked questions about religion,” said operations manager Colin Quinton."

However, Graeme Wilson, the church’s public affairs director, said:
“Apparently there was one complaint by one person, who didn’t identify himself, saying he had seen children approached and offered stress tests.

“I understand that he did not claim to be a parent of any such children, and no evidence has been presented.

“Our stress tests are not offered to children,” Mr Wilson added.
The reasons I find the CoS report in this case more credible are:
  1. Where are the evidences of the parents complaining?
  2. Operations manager Colin Quinton is obviously biased at the start, as he is quoted saying
    "we wouldn’t have allowed them in if we had realised who they were"
  3. False accusations using children is a favorite anti-cult tactic. One will remember the recent FLDS incident, as well as the Waco tragedy:
    "According to CAN critic Dr. Gordon Melton of the Institute for the Study of Religion in Santa Barbara, California, CAN has used a number of means to try to destroy small religious groups: they unsuccessfully tried to expand "conservatorship" to allow families to remove members from "cults"; they unsuccessfully tried to have laws passed against "cults"; they unsuccessfully sued the American Psychological Association for rejecting their views on "brainwashing." However, they have found one successful method of disrupting groups: false anonymous charges of child abuse. Anonymous reports are legal under current law. [24]
  4. Anonymous has recently discussed the opportunity to "Using Youth As A Weapon"

Beck Wins Over His Critics

Beck's new album is so good it even wins over his critics:
"Beck, we were pretty much done with you. It wasn't so much the whole Scientology thing. Or the egomania. We just had not been that jazzed with the last few records. But then you had to go and make the record of your career. We always hoped you would get back to the "Mutations" style, but with the addition of some Bowie and some Pink Floyd spaciness, we may be falling in love all over again. Damn you."

Daily Argus Hamilton

July 16 entries
"Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt gave birth to twins last weekend in France, adding to their growing brood. It's one noisy house. The children they have adopted have already begun demanding international development aid from the children they have had."

"Miss Venezuela won the title of Miss Universe Sunday. Miss USA slipped onstage and fell legs up in a slit evening gown for the second straight year. Ever since Britney Spears started doing their choreography they get a lot more views on YouTube."