Anonymous Plans Counter-Protest of Scientology's Protest of Psychiatry Convention in San Francisco
It looks like the Church of Scientology will be out in force to protest the upcoming American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco next month. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Scientology's anti-psychiatry activist arm, will apparently be setting up their "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" exhibit next to the Moscone Center for the duration of the convention.
How do we know? The flier above was discovered by Anonymous, the masked shock troops who sprang from the Internet over a year ago to form an international protest movement against the church they call a money hungry cult. (Our informant - who wished to remain anonymous, of course - won't reveal how they got ahold of it.) Read our cover story on the conflict between Anonymous and Scientology here.
As the version on the local Anonymous internet message board has it, masked individuals showed up outside the San Francisco headquarters at the foot of Columbus Street earlier this month for the advertised planning meeting, and started videotaping the white board inside where the Scientologists were scribbling down protest responsibilities. When the Scientologists tried to block their view with curtains reaching half-way up the length of the windows, the Anonymous members hoisted the camera up on two spare tripods to peek over the top and continue filming. (Jeff Quiros, the president of the San Francisco org, didn't return calls on Friday.)
The Anonymous hijinks don't end there. They plan to form their own counter-protest of the Scientologists' demonstration for which an estimated 50 to 60 Anonymous from all over the West Coast will gather, our source says. It may not measure up to the 2,000 that Scientology is claiming will come out on the flier, but it's sure to cause some delightful conflict nonetheless.