Photographing Scientologists

oneonewasaracecar

Gold Meritorious Patron
Over the last few months there have been numerous assaults at protests. As a result, anons may have been photographing the Scientologists more (in Sydney this is definitely the case).

This is a double edged sword. It seems the more we photograph, the more hostile they become. They hate being photographed. At the same time, it is necessary for defense.

In my experience, it seems that the following seems generally to help.
- Being at a distance (Using a zoom lens)
- Being subtle.
It seems the following things don't help.
- Using a flash.
- Being too close.
- Photographing women with low self-esteem.
- Having any children in shot.

Regarding photographing children, it is difficult, even with a zoom lens to track and focus on a moving adult target and cut them out of shot. It also raises the question as to whether or not we should be cutting children out of shot. The organization traffics children, and there is a woman in Australia now who appears to be bringing children from Taiwan, grooming them in Australia for recruitment into the Sea Org and transporting them to the USA (presumably Hemet).

What I am interested in is the following
- For which of the following purposes should we photograph Scilons?
.....Documenting for defence.
.....Enturbulation (Yes it pisses them off).
.....Documenting to estimate org membership size (how effective raids are being).
.....Documenting so that exes can figure out who might be distancing themselves and might be reached.
- Should we attempt to be more subtle about photographing them or should it be a part of the pressure applied to them?
- Can any exes shed light on whether or not the pressure put on them by photographing them helps push them out of the cult or further in?
- Does the child trafficking give enough justification for photographing children?
- How does it make us look to the general public and to Scientologists be doing this?
 

Mest Lover

Not Sea Org Qualified
I was photographed at CLO EUS while I was taking the trash out at about 4am. At the time I had no idea why anyone would want to take a picture of me. I put it in my security stat report to INT though because I figured I could be upstat for 1 week at least.


I wonder who has my photo? 1989 it would be.
 

GoNuclear

Gold Meritorious Patron
a strategy

Use the enturbulation factor to advantage.

Have a huge, very cheap but very large and very expensive looking videocam to work close in with AS BAIT. The other folks will be working the real cams. What you want is a Scilon going after the expensive looking bait cam.

Pete
 

Type4_PTS

Diamond Invictus SP
What I am interested in is the following
- For which of the following purposes should we photograph Scilons?
.....Documenting for defence. Yes, absolutely!

.....Enturbulation (Yes it pisses them off). Generally I would say no to this. I don't see that it serves any useful purpose.


.....Documenting to estimate org membership size (how effective raids are being). I think it IS useful to document with video the amount of public going into orgs for services. If DM and TD are putting out on national TV the lines about unprecedented expansion and that there are millions of scientologists but in actuality the orgs are mostly empty, this needs to be documented. (in my opinion)

.....Documenting so that exes can figure out who might be distancing themselves and might be reached. How would you determine this?

- Should we attempt to be more subtle about photographing them or should it be a part of the pressure applied to them? I don't see how it is useful to intentionally apply pressure on them this way, but cannot speak from any personal protesting experience, but do have experience as a staff member. I believe that the focus should be on giving them information that will make some of them question the BS being fed them by their "church". Make them question if they should be there on staff. I think most all staff members go through periods where they have doubts about the CoS and are considering the possibility that they should leave staff. If you catch one of them at the right time you may be able to help tip the balance. Same thing with the public.......hopefully give them something to think about so that they'll go home and use Google as their friend, exploring what is the truth.

- Can any exes shed light on whether or not the pressure put on them by photographing them helps push them out of the cult or further in?
Unfortunately, the anon's were not around yet when I was IN.



- Does the child trafficking give enough justification for photographing children?
Personally I feel that this should be avoided unless there is strong evidence that children in question are working on staff illegally.


- How does it make us look to the general public and to Scientologists be doing this?

..
 

practice

Patron with Honors
I remember the first time I encountered people documenting a fight with video. It was not Scientology related.

It creeped me out.

I think, that is the message you are sending when you photograph: creeeepy.

I don't think that message is one you really want to be sending if your goal is to get those inside to come to your side. Remember, Scientologists are people too, and most value their privacy as much as or more than you value yours - and they see this as one-sided harassment coming from you (most Scientologists have never heard of OSA).

But, it seems like you find it necessary - maybe there is a happy medium? Only photograph when you must?
 

Outethicsofficer

Silver Meritorious Patron
Photographing people who protest the church is an operating basic as far as they are concerned it is what they do. These days you cannot walk into an org without it being recorded on their surveillance equipment. And protesters are photographed.

They are getting what they have been outflowing: I say photograph away. I like the suggestion of telescopic lenses.

James
 

practice

Patron with Honors
Photographing people who protest the church is an operating basic as far as they are concerned it is what they do. These days you cannot walk into an org without it being recorded on their surveillance equipment. And protesters are photographed.

They are getting what they have been outflowing: I say photograph away. I like the suggestion of telescopic lenses.

James
Do the rank and file public Scientologists realize that they are participating in this photography of anons?

Even if they deserve it, I don't think you should stoop to their level unless forced to. Hidden cameras could be the way to go (is that legal?), or maybe keep your camera in your pocket till something happens (but you might miss something if it happens too quickly).

Or you could do no photographing, to make a point along the lines of, "you might attack me, and I am not afraid of that." Could backfire if there is a real reason to be afraid though.
 

uniquemand

Unbeliever
I'd say, whenever dealing with Scientologists, particularly when you are alone, video is a very good idea. Don't make it a secret. Make sure they know they are on record.

While most rank-and-file Scientologists may not be very aware of OSA, as a public protester or person meeting with people that you don't know well, who have a reputation for illegal activity, unscrupulous motivations, etc., make sure you have a record. Better yet, have witnesses, as well. Might sound extreme. Most scientologists wouldn't hurt a fly. Then again, there's Mo Budlong. There's Rex Fowler. There's the guy who threatened DCAnon, and technically struck her. I've known some people in OSA who wouldn't BLINK at having someone threatened or beaten up, if they felt they could get away with it. I've known other OSA personnel who I didn't think would do that sort of thing: they would operate within the law, even if their activities didn't keep the spirit of the law. Since you don't know what variety you'll get, cover your ass.
 

byte301

Crusader
Photographing people who protest the church is an operating basic as far as they are concerned it is what they do. These days you cannot walk into an org without it being recorded on their surveillance equipment. And protesters are photographed.

They are getting what they have been outflowing: I say photograph away. I like the suggestion of telescopic lenses.

James

This. ^^^ I thought we settled this question in 2008. Take all the pictures you can of all the scilons you can.

That guy you just got a picture of could be the one who assaulted an anon months or years ago.
 

Kookaburra

Gold Meritorious Patron
I say snap away. It is a much better form of defense than threatening or beating up your opponent. And it is a good way to stay out of jail or avoid trumped up charges. Scientologists LIE! Cameras don't, at least not if the pic is still on the SD card.

I like the idea of knowing who is still in and towing the line. And once in a while you get some real gems like George Bailley or that woman who would dance and sing at the mention of dead babies.

As long as the people you are photographing are in a public place where they have no expectation of privacy there is no reason you should not photograph them.
 

Emma

Con te partirò
Administrator
If it's not illegal and it's not overly intrusive or harassing, I'd say keep taking the photos.
 

Type4_PTS

Diamond Invictus SP
I'd say, whenever dealing with Scientologists, particularly when you are alone, video is a very good idea. Don't make it a secret. Make sure they know they are on record.

While most rank-and-file Scientologists may not be very aware of OSA, as a public protester or person meeting with people that you don't know well, who have a reputation for illegal activity, unscrupulous motivations, etc., make sure you have a record. Better yet, have witnesses, as well. Might sound extreme. Most scientologists wouldn't hurt a fly. Then again, there's Mo Budlong. There's Rex Fowler. There's the guy who threatened DCAnon, and technically struck her. I've known some people in OSA who wouldn't BLINK at having someone threatened or beaten up, if they felt they could get away with it. I've known other OSA personnel who I didn't think would do that sort of thing: they would operate within the law, even if their activities didn't keep the spirit of the law. Since you don't know what variety you'll get, cover your ass.

I agree with this post, particularly the parts I bolded. :yes:

If staff or public get upset that they're being photographed and/or videotaped I would explain to them why it's necessary. And it IS necessary.
But I wouldn't do it with the intention to piss them off or harass them.
 

oneonewasaracecar

Gold Meritorious Patron
I love that you wrote that and enjoy imagining what you were thinking of. :) <3
LOL. Actually, I was thinking maybe photographing her doesn't help her self-esteem and maybe that pushes her further in. On the other hand, she actually opened up comm lines and so did Cyrus (admittedly to rip into me). I was so taken aback, that I didn't take advantage to really open up a dialogue. They walked off before I could pick up my jaw.

See they can ignore us when we protest because of the TRs. But the TRs don't help them against flash photography. That is why that ape-woman was flailing around, that is why the assaults have happened. That is why Cyrus spoke to me (I feel so special). I see it as having an enormous impact on them. I just don't know if it is a beneficial one (stops them to think), or damaging one (forces them further in).

The fact is it is the only thing I have seen in 6 months that seems enturbulate them at all. And it enturbulates them a lot. I would like to hear much more about whether or not the enturbulation should be downplayed or not. Does it raise doubts or does it reinforce the propaganda they are fed? Does it stick in their mind and make them wonder why anyone would want to do that or does it make them run to a handler? I would really like to hear further reasoning along these lines, especially from people who have experienced it. I don't want to abandon such a strategy if it might help people get out. On the other hand, if it doesn't have an overall positive effect, as I want to be a subtle as possible.

I remember the first time I encountered people documenting a fight with video. It was not Scientology related.

It creeped me out.

I think, that is the message you are sending when you photograph: creeeepy.

I don't think that message is one you really want to be sending if your goal is to get those inside to come to your side. Remember, Scientologists are people too, and most value their privacy as much as or more than you value yours - and they see this as one-sided harassment coming from you (most Scientologists have never heard of OSA).

But, it seems like you find it necessary - maybe there is a happy medium? Only photograph when you must?
Your point about the message not being right if you want them to come to your side is well taken. I have noticed at protests that although many of the people there say things like "it's much better on the outside," "There are people that will help you out when you leave." (most of these sorts of messages are by exes) that there are also cries of "tax the cult!" "Your church is shrinking" "Castlereagh St is closing forever" (usually anons). For me I see contradicting messages being sent at protests all the time. It's like good cop/bad cop (which incidentally is also effective at breaking down people's defenses, whether or not it is ethical is another question entirely). In a way, my question about whether or not using photography as enturbulation is effective or ineffective is one of many similar questions that have plagued me. I have learned a lot by watching imnotafraidanymore protesting and seen effective messages to get across. I suppose different things may affect different people differently but not having been in, I have to defer to the advice of those that have.

Thanks GoNuclear. I have mixed feeling about this strategy but I would love to hear the reasoning behind your post.

Thanks Type4_PTS for taking the time to address everything so carefully. In answer to your question, how would we determine who might be distancing themselves from the church. If we have photos of someone every month and then no photos, they might be reachable.

With what I have said above in mind, I would be very interested in hearing your opinions on whether or not enturbulation is a desirable effect, or something to be downplayed as much as possible.

Do the rank and file public Scientologists realize that they are participating in this photography of anons?
Yes they do. They do it to intimidate. If you have a look at the post-raid on 20th March 2010 you will see a photo of an iphone being held around a door. I also have pics of a video camera being used on the same day but didn't post it. Everyone who walked in the door saw it. They know. But for me, it is not about they did this, we did that, we do it for protection. My only concern is the psychological impact of doing it, does it help get people out, or push them back in? Amplify or downplay?
 

Type4_PTS

Diamond Invictus SP
Thanks Type4_PTS for taking the time to address everything so carefully. In answer to your question, how would we determine who might be distancing themselves from the church. If we have photos of someone every month and then no photos, they might be reachable.

OK, now I get what you mean. I guess that could be useful, I'm sure that those people who have families and friends that are in that they've been disconnected from would like to know this info.

With what I have said above in mind, I would be very interested in hearing your opinions on whether or not enturbulation is a desirable effect, or something to be downplayed as much as possible.

I personally don't think it is an effect one should intentionally try to maximize. But just being there protesting is going to enturbulate some people. My primary purpose (other than innoculating NEW people that are walking or driving by) would be to say things to the staff and public with the intent of really communicating certain things to them that they need to know. Even though they've been ordered to ignore the anon's and pretend they don't exist, some of them are still hearing what you are saying or reading what's written on the signs and it can have an effect of them. They might not acknowledge your existance at that moment but might go home later and get on the internet and Google some of the things written on the signs or said to them.
 

byte301

Crusader
I'd say all the public scilons here in Albuquerque know anons are being photographed. They had a video camera up in the window for months that anyone could see walking up to the org.

At our protest Saturday they got Ric Shube, a public scilon, to cross the street and take pictures of us.

So they aren't oblivious to what's going on by a long shot. :p
 

namaste

Silver Meritorious Patron
Members of the Church of Scientology have never had a problem with invading the privacy of others even amongst their own ranks. They have always felt that they have that right -- saving mankind and all that.
I say, if any of them do not care to be photographed then that's just tough s#!t for them.
They should consider themselves lucky that we are not calling them at all hours of the night/morning and confirming that they come to protests and barging into their places of work demanding to speak with them, harassing their family members, demanding donations from them, etc.
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Yeah, THEY want to be the only ones photographing ppl. The church wants to be able to photograph critics and picketers but god forbid they get a dose of their own medicine.
 

SchwimmelPuckel

Genuine Meatball
coppickt-05.jpg

Nice surveillance cam the scios got there.. That bowl is almost as big as a football, so that's large bore optics and motion tracking. Good zoom capability so that the 24/7 watch can zoom in and get the nicest mugshot yea' ever saw!

That thing is on the facade of AOSHEU in Jernbanegade, Copenhagen, overlooking the public sidewalk.. That is actually illegal in DK.. Just so you know!

I'll stop photographing them when they've taken that thing down!

:yes:
 
Top