Propaganda and Payoffs? Scientology vs. 'Anonymous'

KESQ News Channel 3, California/March 10, 2009

Protests in front of the Church of Scientology's headquarters near Hemet may soon be illegal.

Sheriff's deputies keep reminding protestors with the group known as "Anonymous" to stay within 50 feet from the center of the road going through the Scientology compound.

Video shown in our first segment shows just how forceful Scientology guards are willing to confront those who get a dozen feet past the line.

Last fall, Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone proposed a law that would ban protesting near residential zones. That includes the Scientology headquarters. Members of anonymous came to defend themselves.

Supervisor Taviglione asked one protestor at a public meeting, "What's the difference between your organization and the Klu Klux Klan?"

Protestor Francois Choquette responded, "It is not an organization."

Taviglione pressed, "Whatever you want to call it. The group that you are affiliated with."

Choquette replied, "It is a collection of people that protest anonymously."

Taviglione commented, "You know you're on TV here."

Choquette answered, "Absolutely. And I'm glad of it."

"Good. It's a good thing you didn't wear your cape and your mask," commented Taviglione

Supervisor Stone presented a booklet to his fellow supervisors. It alleges that Anonymous is a domestic terrorist group. The booklet claims Anonymous's web postings prove they hate Blacks, they hate Jews and they hate Gays.

Stone told his fellow supervisors while presenting pages of this booklet, "Here, they tell young people how to commit suicide. They show you exactly where to cut your wrists. I mean, is this not the most sickening material you've ever seen? Or here, let's promote suicide amidst our youth."

There is one thing the booklet does not have. It has no byline, no group publicly stating who wrote and produced this 50 page booklet. It is anonymous evidence to convict a group known as "Anonymous."

Late Tuesday, staff members from Supervisor Stone's office said they weren't certain where the booklet came from or who supplied it to them.

Campaign contribution forms show the Firm of Sam Alhadeff, the attorney who pressed the Supervisors to ban protesting near Scientology headquarters donated $5,400 to Jeff Stone's campaign.

The head of the Scientology compound's public relations department, Catherine Fraser, donated an additional $600.

News Channel 3 was invited by the Church of Scientology to tour the inside of their headquarters in December. After months of their postponements, we decided to give ourselves a tour.

Our cameras spotted long stretches of motion detector fencing. Many of the fence posts have spikes. The spikes face inward, not outward like most security fences.

We also spotted a hilltop observation post with camouflage netting and telescopes with a commanding view of the area. When they spotted our live truck mast camera looking at them, we were interrupted in the middle of an interview with protestors outside the headquarters gate.

As we asked attorney Graham Berry, "Tell me about the frustrating process if all these ordinances..."

At that point, a Scientology public relations employee tapped us on the shoulder and said, "Ok. I don't need the cameras on. This person has been trying to get a hold of you. His name is Mr. Tommy Davis. He is out media informational person. If you can please call him, that would be appreciated."

We asked, "Do you have anything to say to the folks out here?

The Scientology employee responded while walking back to the gate, "No. I don't."

One phone call later and we had our interview set with one of the Church of Scientology's leaders. News Channel 3 was heading to Hollywood.

Our one-on-one interview with Tommy Davis comes next. We ask why violent confrontations are happening in front of his headquarters and why camouflaged observation posts are needed. We confront Davis with the confidential works of L. Ron Hubbard and ask why there are threats of pneumonia for those who read it.

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