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A IS FOR ANONYMOUS

I've been down in Hollywood a couple of times when these big Scientology protests are happening, and if you haven't seen the anti-Scientology group "Anonymous" at work, you're really missing out. Whether you agree with their cause of not, we can all agree these guys are going about this all wrong. First of all, Anonymous is a grassroots internet movement. This means that by nature, the people involved are internet savvy (read: overweight) and well-informed (read: have not spent a whole lot of time outdoors). One would probably only feel physically threatened by this group if one was an unattended box of glazed donuts. Their sloth-like demeanor aside, Anonymous is also hard to take seriously because their MO seems to be "disapproval from afar." While I have never heard of a proactive Anonymous "write your congressman" campaign, I have seen plenty of strongly worded YouTube videos and a large amount of docile chillin' (protesting) outside the Hollywood Scientology centers.

Anonymous has also taken the completely wrong approach to striking fear in the hearts of the church. You would think if a group of protesters was trying to look intimidating, they would dress in all black, or wear ski masks or dark cloaks, or something. But Anonymous has adopted the uniform of the Guy Fawkes mask. I understand they’re going for the "strong, uniform mass of anonymous objectors" thing, but considering the recent resurfacing of this mask in the movie V for Vendetta, I think it was an extremely ill-advised choice. If you’re a church official sitting in your office high atop the Scientology center, the "frightening" image you see on the street below is a bunch of slovenly-looking dudes wearing the mask from that Natalie Portman movie. I haven’t checked the protester’s rulebook, but I’m pretty sure Rule #1 is to avoid your target mistaking your protest for a special event line at ComiCon. I’m certainly not suggesting Anonymous do anything radical or violent, but if the Revenge Of The Nerds movies have taught us anything, its that geeks don’t gain the respect of their adversaries until they’ve proven themselves proficient at something.

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