Monday, March 17, 2008

Intro to Operation Reconnect

Since someone commented asking about Reconnect, I figured I'd put up the few details I have thus far.

It will occur on Saturday, April 12th, at 11:00am. The location will be the same: sidewalk across from the Scientology bookstore at 1906 E. Carson Street on the South Side.

This protest is supposed to focus on the Church of Scientology's policy of forced disconnection from family members and friends who refuse to convert to Scientology or who criticize the organization. This policy is designed to lead to isolation of new members from support outside the Church, making it easier to control them and forcing them to become dependent on the cult for socialization and emotional support.

Regarding signs and media for Reconnect: while the typical "Honk if you think Scientology is a cult" fare will still be useful, propaganda should lean more toward exposing how Scientology tears apart family and friends, which is a standard cult practice designed to seize control over a victim's life. It is also an effective recruitment technique, forcing new members to either bring their loved ones into the organization or to cut off all contact with them.

Media coverage, as I had begun to expect a few days ago, is going to be somewhat less for Partyhard than it was for the 2/10 protest. Why? Well, I contacted all the same media outlets as before, spoke to the same people, etc., but this time, it was St. Patrick's Day, there was a huge parade, and the Clintons were in town, with Hillary Clinton marching alongside Governor Rendell and Mayor Ravenstahl at the same time as our protest, whereas 2/10 was a comparatively slow news day, and the only article that trumped us on the PPG front page was one covering a mass wedding ceremony.

So, we need to start working early on perfecting our coverage for Reconnect, and start honing our message to focus on the theme of the 4/12 protests. One idea is, in addition to me contacting the media as Anonymous media representative, for all willing Pittsburgh Anons to pick a station or paper or two, give them a call as an average citizen who happened to hear about these protests and would love to see them given more attention in the media, since you've come to feel strongly about educating the public about Scientology.

Give a name when you call, for the sake of sounding more normal and approachable and average-Joe-like, but it doesn't need to be your own. Just make up a reasonable pseudonym, even just a first name. They shouldn't need any further contact info. Emails can be sent with a throwaway gmail address that uses your fake name. If you're really paranoid and you don't have an unlisted number, there are these nifty things called payphones that actually still exist.

I've compiled a list of media contact information for this purpose, to simplify things. I'll post it here, so you can all start when you're ready. If you'd like to contact people sooner rather than later, one approach would be to state that you saw an interesting slideshow about this on the WPXI site, and you've heard there's another protest planned for next month, and you'd appreciate more coverage of this issue. One or two calls like this might get ignored, but a few dozen would have an impact. If you have too much time on your hands, make up multiple pseudonyms, mix up your story a little, and repeat as many times as you like (well, within reason).

If I've missed any important contact info, please leave it in the comments.

Miss Anonymous

Pittsburgh Media Contact Info

WPXI (telephone): 412-237-1100
WPXI (email):

WTAE (telephone): 412-244-4444
WTAE (email):

KDKA (telephone): 412-575-2245
KDKA (email): Submit via form on this page

Post-Gazette (telephone): 412-263-1100
Post-Gazette (email):
Post-Gazette reporter who covered 2/10, Jerome Sherman:

Tribune Review (telephone): 412-321-6460
Tribune Review (email): (for letters to the editor and giving your opinion -- they don't really have a more appropriate avenue for directing emails listed on their site).

Local University Press

CMU, The Tartan (telephone): 412-268-2111
CMU, The Tartan (email):
CMU TV (email):
CMU, WRCT Radio (email):

The Pitt News (telephone): 412-648-7980
The Pitt News (email):
Pitt TV (telephone): 717-475-2848
Pitt TV (email):

The Duquesne Duke (telephone): 412-396-6629
The Duquesne Duke (email, editor):

Point Park, The Globe (telephone): 412-392-4740
Point Park, The Globe (email):

CCAC Student Newspapers:
Allegheny Campus (telephone): 412-237-4632
Boyce Campus (telephone): 724-325-6730
North Campus (telephone): 412-369-3698
South Campus (telephone): 412-469-6352


Trent said...

I feel bad about not keeping up, but could someone give a list of which media outlets have already covered the protests?

It could help to know when to say "I appreciate all the coverage you've given and would like to see more," and when to just say "I'm curious about this and would like to see some coverage."

free said...

Some ideas on there say they are going to have people speak about their experiences within the church, I am trying to figure out a way to find ex members in the Pgh. area any ideas?

I thought about Craigslist but I don't know if anyone even uses that stuff anymore?

Miss Anonymous said...
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Miss Anonymous said...

Yeah, there was a woman from Boston I spoke to during Partyhard who intended to write about her experience on enturb, so I'll be watching for that.

In addition, former Sea Org member Chuck Beatty lives in Pittsburgh, and he's become a CoS critic. (
Contact info available on that link. I don't know if any PGH Anons have spoken with him yet.

As for earlier coverage: WPXI did slideshows of both our protests on their site. I made a statement on TV for WTAE on 2/10. The Post Gazette's reporter, Jerome Sherman, did a front page article on us after 2/10. I don't think KDKA and the Trib have covered us yet.

Miss Anonymous said...
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Miss Anonymous said...

Oh, and thanks for the link, I incorporated it into the main post.

free said...

No problem. I'll make some calls tomorrow to the news orgs and try to shoot mr beatty a line.

Anonymous said...

What about contacting City Paper or university student papers? Any thoughts?

free said...

I'll have that all on tomorrow's agenda. I shot the email to mr. beatty, time will tell with that.

free said...

oh and whats the irc info?

Miss Anonymous said...

There currently is no IRC. Our channel on the partyvan server is still inaccessible and I'm bugging Xenu to try and set up something in the meantime, since I'm not exactly an expert.

University press is a good idea, I'll look for some contact info for major Pittsburgh schools and add to the list.

ManySigns said...

I'm not actually from the Pittsburgh area (I'm from central PA), so calling news agencies will be a bit difficult for me, especially since I'm not currently paying my own phone bill. I will put some emails together when I get the opportunity, though.

free said...
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Miss Anonymous said...

Updated for college media.

Xenu said...

Yeah, I'm trying to run an IRC, but really the problem is more just that my router sucks, and doesn't always quite grasp the concept of port forwarding. So, I can get the server running fine locally, but nobody can connect because of the router.

free said...

I share your pain.

ManySigns said...

Ugh... I know that frustration... I sometimes suspect that port forwarding is one of those computer myths that some people say they can get to work, but is actually a non-functional component of the router...

Miss Anonymous said...

I've been on xenu's connection, and what he NEEDS is a new router.

BeardedAnon said...

Actually, just turn DMZ on the server computer. It should open all ports. :P

Roj said...

I have a website and all the hosting for an IRC server. Give me some time and I'll set one up.


free said...

In a message dated 3/17/2008 11:28:31 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Mr. Beatty,

Anonymous is holding a local faction of the Operation Reconnect on 4-12-08 there is information below at the link provided. We are looking for ex Church of Scientology members to speak out about the family splitting processes of the CoS and help protest them. Interested in helping?



Ok, chuck emailed me back, didn't expect this but he has a diff PoV than some.
Of course.

Maybe I should explain myself in detail first of all, because my angle of observation was quite under the control of Scientology, and I know almost how to defend them from their viewpoint better than they are able to defend themselves.

In otherwords, I can play the role of a Scientology PR person defending Scientology better than they can.

I am opposed to certain specific rules/policies and am more the Scientology policy nerd, I have a full set here at my house, donated to me by an ex member who donated about 12 thousand dollars of Scientology materials to me, as I am versed in the administrative angle of Scientology pretty well, and I converse with scholars and media and quote Hubbard policy as needed.

so, on the policy angle, I can be helpful.

I myself did NOT get any of my family into Scientology so the family splitting tragedy has NOT affected me directly.

I've seen it in others, but I don't have any Scientologist family members.

I'll be on call however you wish.

I can defend Scientology better than most of their PR people can, due to my administrative training.

I trained a number of the PR people.

Best, Chuck Beatty

Miss Anonymous said...

Ah, glad we at least got a reply from him. I'm sure his knowledge will be useful at some point.

Xenu said...

See, the thing with my router is, I am the DMZ, and it still doesn't forward ports right. I'd buy a new one, but I'd only be using it for a couple more months. Not really sure if it's worth it if we can get something else running.

anon4justice said...

I seem to be jinxed when it comes to the dates of these protests. I will make sure to do what I can as far as calls to the media and such since I won't be able to make it. Again.

Anonymous said...

sadly I won't be present on Apr. 12 due to my mother being in town for a visit. But I CAN offer my services to set up an IRC server if the need should arise.

My personal suggestion, though, would be to just grab a channel on Freenode; or if something makes that unsuitable, one of the more warezy networks, i.e. efnet/dalnet/undernet. There's really no need for our own server... Absent any reason otherwise, I nominate

#anonpgh on Freenode

to be our channel. :-)