Sunday, January 18, 2009

Is Close-in Pictures of Passer-By Legal?

YouTube - Clearwater Anonymous Protest – January 17th – Bullbaiting Failtroll Angle 1

This video shows an incident where a passer-by objects to being photographed and filmed. He smashes the camera, not the people. Unfortunately, what happens before the incident is not shown.

I don't know whether the guy is a Scientologist or not. Jeff Jacobsen seems to think he is not.

But anyway, would you like if masked people would take your picture and film you a few inches away from your face as you are walking the street? They were probably hurling offensive statements as well, as they usually do.

I do not know the legality of taking pictures of people against their will, and much less publishing them on the Internet. I believe in Europe that would be illegal.

However, I really do think that there ought to be some ordinance restricting people at least from coming that close in taking pictures.

Independently from any Scientology issue, do you think it is not harassment doing so to passer-by in the street? It seems to me it is.

On the whole, Scientologists have been remarkably cool in face of such behavior. I don't know if this guy is a Scientologist or not, but I can perfectly understand why he would think that this is harassment and even illegal.

I know Scientology handlers have also been doing this towards protesters. I think it also is wrong and harassment, but then we are also in a different situation here. They are filming people who are in front of their own building and who are directly addressing them. Whereas it seems to me that this guy was just a passer-by, Scientologist or not.

Requiring the protesters to be on the other side of the sidewalk in such circumstances seems to be a reasonable request, and would avoid this kind of incidents. The line between peaceful protests and stalking is easily crossed, as we have seen before. Turning this line into a street seems to make sense.

Update Feb. 1: The same video is show on this other youtube channel. However, it claims that the Scientologist was "detained by the police". This simply is not true.

It also calls the Scientologist a "bull-baiting" Scientologist (like the initial channel above). In fact, it is just the reverse. The Scientologists (if he is a Scientologist in the first place) is only trying to defend himself from in-your-face cameras. The masked anons surrounding him are the one doing the bull-baiting. Ask yourself if you would like to be surrounded by a flock of masked anons waving signs insulting your religion and holding camera to your face to film you against your will while trying to provoke a reaction as you peacefully walk in the street.

I am sorry but this has nothing to do with "peaceful protests". To me is simply is stalking and religious hate.

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Steve Hassan Supports Magoo's Lies

Monica Pignotti, MSW: Inaccurate statements by Steve Hassan to CNN:"Hassan went on to say: "I have a friend, Tory Chrisman (ph), who was a member for 30 years and was OT-7, which is one of the highest levels, which John Travolta is OT-7, as well, who had -- has epilepsy and continually had seizures during her membership and kept appealing for help. And they kept giving her more and more auditing. And finally, she just went on medication and said, "Screw it," and eventually left the group. "

Monica Pignotti posts on her blog about a transcript from CNN in which Hassan, among other things, forwards Tory Christman's demonstrably false claims about her seizures.

Monica also mentions the fact that "Hassan also offers "reasonably priced" counseling at $100 for a half-hour phone session as well as other options that include people traveling to Boston to do "intense, deep work" with him for 6-8 hours per day for a period of a 3-4 days which he claims (without empirical basis) is the fastest most effective way to recover"

At this rate, Hassan may even be more expensive than Scientology who, like him, claims that psychologists are incompetent compared to their own method. By all means, that's twice what my lawyer charges, and he at least provides me with useful legal advices, not quack pop psychology based on the long debunked myth of "mind-control".

Scientology Never Convicted for Practicing Medicine without a License

Danièle Gounord » Blog Archive » Jett Travolta : une polémique indécente: "Enfin, il convient de souligner que la Scientologie n’a jamais été condamnée pour exercice illégal de la médecine, ni en France, ni dans aucun pays dans le monde."

Daniele Gounord, spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology in France, claims in this blog entry that "Scientology has never been convicted for practicing medicine without a license, either in France or any part of the world".

I don't know if true or not but guess she would not report such a thing if it could be proven false.

Anonymous Attacks a 15-Years Old Boy and His Family

You may remember the incident reported by one year ago in which Anonymous posted the home address, phone number and cell numbers of a Stockton 59-years-old man who barely knew anything about computers, claiming he was a member of the hacker group who targeted them in retaliation of Anonymous hacking of Scientology sites. The poor man then started to receive daily obscene and threatening phone calls. After receiving a death treat, he and his wife got really scared because their address was posted as well.

Now this is happening again, this time towards a 15-years old boy who dares make a decency campaign, which Anonymous has decided is "threatening free speech". Here is the article in full, which of course you can also read through the link.

'No cussing' teen faces net hate campaign:

'No cussing' teen faces net hate campaign
07:00 AEST Sun Jan 18 2009
2 hours ago
By Shaun Davies, ninemsn

A boy's crusade to stop swearing has drawn the unwanted attention from notorious internet group Anonymous.

McKay Hatch's No Cussing Club, which encourages teens to "chill on the profanity", claims to have over 20,000 members worldwide.

Hatch, a 15-year-old from South Pasadena in California, garnered wide media coverage for his anti-swearing campaign, including a appearance on Dr Phil.

But at the beginning of the year, Hatch's email inbox began clogging up with hate mail from an unknown source.

Pizza and porn deliveries became commonplace for his family, who eventually called in the FBI after numerous receiving death threats and obscene phone calls.

Anonymous appears to be behind the attacks, with threads on sites such as and identifying their members as the culprits.

And the pain may not yet be over for the Hatch family — Anonymous appears to be planning future raids and has threatened to "wipe this cancer [the No Cussing Club] from the face of the internet".

In one 4chan thread, a number of users boasted about sending bogus pizza deliveries and even prostitutes to the Hatch's house, although it was impossible to verify if these claims were genuine.

The same thread also contained a credit card number purported to be stolen from Hatch's father, phone numbers, the family's home address and Hatch's instant messenger address.

In an interview with US network ABC, Hatch's father said the boy had been reduced to tears by the flood of messages from "bullies".

Hatch himself defended his anti-swearing campaign, which his enemies were deriding as an attack on freedom of speech. "A lot of people were saying I was taking away their freedom of speech … All I was trying to do was raise awareness," the teen said.

It appears that the earnestness of Hatch's campaign, including his faux-gangster rap video “No Cussing Club Song”, may have drawn Anonymous's ire.

A line has since been posted on the No Cussing Club website, claiming that Hatch is the "most bullied boy on the internet".

Anonymous is perhaps best known for its extended campaign against Scientology and has been embroiled in a number of other controversies.

It was a 4chan user who hacked Sarah Palin's email and posted it to the site's "random" section, otherwise known as /b/, during the US election.

Anonymous is difficult to define — less an organised group than a loose affiliation of certain websites.

When enough of these users decide to take action against something or someone, they will do so in the name of Anonymous.

The group has no leaders, no set agenda and has a tendency to focus on soft targets for its own amusement.

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