As advertised, last night’s “fancy raid” put on by the local chapter of Project Chanology (the Anonymous wing that protests Scientology) was a sartorial riot.
About 20 young Anonymous members showed up with Snidely Whiplash mustaches (even the women!) and with interesting choices in head wear. I hope this rough video I threw together gives you some sense of it. I also went into Scientology’s org itself in search of a comment about the protest. More about that after the jump.
As usual, the protesters were confined to a small area on the street across from the 46th Street church.
And, also as usual, there just happened to be a big Budget rental truck parked in front of the Scientology org, shielding it from the protest.
Still, the Anons managed to get a lot of attention from theater-goers who were walking by and wondering what was up with the funny British accents and odd clothes. Also, the netting that had covered the Scientology building for much of this year is finally down, and we saw curious Scientologists looking out at the protest from the second floor.
At some point, I went across the street and walked into the org itself. There were several people just inside, who all looked a little alarmed at my presence, and a man in a white shirt and tie immediately approached me.
Before he could say anything, I identified myself and asked if I could speak with Rev. John Carmichael, the org’s president.
“You’re not welcome here,” said the man, whose named turned out to be John. He asked me to step outside before answering any of my questions. He asked me to stand on the sidewalk away from the front doors as he went to notify Carmichael of my request.
A few minutes later, he came back and requested my business card, saying that he would have Carmichael call me, since he wasn’t at the building.
Well, so much for that. I went back to the protest, and waited around until it ended at about 7:15.
PokeAnon, who I interviewed in the video, told me that their usual tradition, after “raiding” the Scientology org, was to then go and visit the Black Hebrew Israelites, the stark raving mad morons who hold court in Times Square with their bizarre, racist rantings for the tourists. (Our Steven Thrasher provided an entertaining profile of the Israelites in March, and even went back with them to their lair.)
It turns out, the anons told me, that some of their signs aimed at Scientology also work quite well with the Black Hebrew israelites.
“Cult of Idiots” read one of those signs held by a young female Anon as she and the others stood right in front of the speechmaking Israelites and tried to bait them.
Tourists seemed intrigued as the batshit crazy Israelites tried to ignore the Anons while giving their usual crackpot racial theories.
Things got rather intense at one point, but then the Anons decided they’d had enough and decamped to a nearby Chinese restaurant.
While there, PokeAnon told me something I found pretty interesting. I had asked him about Occupy Wall Street, and as soon as those words left my mouth, I could see eyes rolling hard all around the table.
Poke explained that he and other members of Anonymous were surprised to see that some in the press were calling OWS an Anonymous operation. In fact, he said, only a few Anonymous people he knew were involved, and, “they were the ones most into conspiracy theories.”
The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#1: L. Ron Hubbard
#2: David Miscavige
#3: Marty Rathbun
#4: Tom Cruise
#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church’s HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#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
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he’s been writing about Scientology at several publications.
Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin’ Scared
SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE
[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing “disconnection”]
[Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The “Fair Game” operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]
MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS
[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun’s open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun’s cause] | [Squirrel Buster’s claim to be making a “documentary”] | [VIDEO: “On a Boat”] | [“Anna” sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology’s highest levels]
SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND “FAIR GAME”
[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology’s West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology’s enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard’s remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to “handle” the Voice]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: “No one’s going to take my eternity away”]
SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES
[“Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle”] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | [“Tom Cruise not a kook!”] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his “suppressive person” declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology’s retaliation is “scary and pathetic”]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo’s “Turnaround King”: [Doing Scientology’s dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone’s smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips “the business that is Scientology”]
JANET REITMAN’S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY
[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman’s first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn’t like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman’s print reviews, and why isn’t she on television more?]
HUGH URBAN’S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT
[Marc Headley: “Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle”] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman’s Story] | [Jeff Hawkins’ Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]
[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige “toxic” and “violent”]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]
[Australian farmer blamed for giving Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, loses her friends, family]
ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS
[Scientology singalong, “We Stand Tall”] | [Captain Bill Robertson and “Galactic Patrol”]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The “Ideal” dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York “org”]
THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE
[A scientologist’s letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]
[Scientology High School, Dating and Super Powers!]