Small newspaper looking for anonymous sources

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PuppySparkles, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. PuppySparkles Member

    I'm a writer for New Times, a weekly paper in San Luis Obispo, CA.

    I'd like to do a story on Anonymous/hackers/all things protest. But I need people to talk to, and it's not like there's a database of people I can go to and find interviewees.

    If anyone is in or near San Luis Obispo County and wouldn't mind chatting, anonymously of course (we have all sorts of great journalistic shield laws to protect anonymous sources) I would love to pick your brain.

    You can e-mail me at or just call 805-546-8208 ext. 33 and ask for Colin.

    I'm not looking to do a hit piece or expose anyone, but instead I'd just like to get more insight on an interesting group and topic, i.e. hacking.
  2. Anonymous Member

  3. LocalSP Member

    L. Ron Hubbard's last refuge

    A controversial leader's time off the radar in Creston

    The Man
    L.Ron Hubbard 1966


    In Santa Barbara’s Church of Scientology, as in each such outpost worldwide, an innocuous office sits equipped but vacant. This office is located beyond shelves of shrink-wrapped books, beyond training rooms, the “comm” rooms, and a room occupied by enigmatic bowls of stones and other obscure objects.

    The office, with white walls and plush blue-and-gray carpeting, waits, should he somehow return, for the man once known as L. Ron Hubbard.

    His full name was Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. His followers—in keeping with their love of acronyms and meaning-imbued abbreviations— know him as LRH. However it’s said, his name is known worldwide mostly because he plastered it in large capital letters on everything he wrote, totaling millions of words in all. He lectured and wrote extensively, purportedly until the day he died, as he created and grew what is arguably the most controversial religion in recent history. In Hubbard’s own words, he “discovered” Scientology and its backbone, Dianetics. Yet it hasn’t been as easy to discover Hubbard, to wade through the legend to uncover the man.

    Regardless, it’s clear that his death was a dim shadow of the way he lived. A famed writer who seemed to revel in controversy, Hubbard spent the final years of his life in seclusion. Though he revered communication, a devastating brain lesion had impaired his ability to speak.

    Only a privileged few knew where he was for roughly six years. He was a man about town, according to church representatives, but in SLO County where he died, on Jan. 24, 1986, he resided largely unnoticed.

    L. Ron Hubbard’s body was found in a motor home with the air conditioner running, tucked behind animal stables on a small ranch outside Creston. His family wasn’t there. His wife was in prison and his estranged son believed he was either dead or insane. In his final moments, the man who created a religion with a massive following was accompanied only by his doctor and lawyer.
    The death

    Deputy Charles Gassett and his partner Gary Bang were sitting in the Golden Hill Cafe in Paso Robles sipping coffee. It was a sunny day, Gassett remembered. “Just a typical sunny nice day in the middle of winter.”

    A call came over his radio at about 7:30 a.m. It wasn’t overtly mysterious, just peculiar. Someone from the Reis Family Mortuary in San Luis Obispo made an apprehensive call to the Sheriff’s Department. That morning the chapel was contacted and informed there was a body that was to be gathered and cremated immediately, although the man died a day earlier. Gassett and Bang were told to make sure there was no foul play. The name didn’t register at first, Gassett said, but his partner knew exactly who they were going to see: L. Ron Hubbard had been living just north of San Luis Obispo, but two deputies inadvertently would be the first people outside the church to learn of it.

    “You know, I once in a while mention it, but not very often,” Gassett said. Many seem doubtful about the story. “It’s just one of those things that a lot of people, they kind of look at you like, ‘Yeah.’”

    The ranch in Creston where L. Ron Hubbard spent his last years is still perfectly maintained after 23 years. It’s owned by the Church of Spiritual Technology, a branch of Scientology, and church symbols mark everything from the horse racing track to the front gates.


    Hubbard’s ranch, now owned by a Scientology offshoot, is the most manicured property in the area. On that morning, the wheels of a sheriff’s patrol car rolled off the asphalt of O’Donovan Road and crunched over the dirt and gravel driveway leading past other ranches to Hubbard’s secluded 160 acres. A perfect white fence borders the ranch. Thick green grass lines the way. Horses, cattle, and sheep still amble and graze. Back then there were also llamas and buffalo roaming freely.

    Gassett and Bang arrived at the ranch where they were met by Hubbard’s attorney, Earle Cooley, and his doctor, Gene Denk.

    “It was like, ‘Here’s what happened and we don’t want anything else going on here,’” Gassett remembered of their conversation. “‘We just want you to take the body and do the cremation.’”

    They were led past the southwestern-style house and behind the stables to a 1982 Bluebird motor home. Both remembered it was a pleasant day, but the air conditioner was running inside. Hubbard’s body was unattended.

    The man they saw was unrecognizable from the image of a spry young writer Hubbard had pasted on so many of his book jackets. His body lay in bed with the covers drawn to its chest. His hairline was receded but his mane had been grown long over the back of the neck. Hubbard’s remains were slim with long, unkempt fingernails and toenails. His hands were folded on the chest, Gassett remembered.

    Bang knew of Hubbard because he, like many others, had bought Scientology’s equivalent of the Bible: Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. The book was advertised as a powerful answer to life’s problems, so Bang decided to give it a try. He hadn’t read the first page, however, and after coming face to face with the author, he never did.

    “After I saw what happened, I threw the book away,” he said in a phone interview from his Florida home. “He left the strings of his family [and] died by himself in the motor home.”

    They gave the body a quick examination but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Hubbard had suffered a stroke a week prior. His cause of death was determined to be a “cerebral vascular accident,” according to the coroner’s report.

    The deputies then went and waited with Cooley and Denk for someone from the funeral home to arrive.

    “They told us a little bit about who he had been,” Gassett said. “He had been living up at the ranch for a couple of years and he had grown his hair long and basically had blended in with the general population and nobody knew him up here by sight. He could come and go in town as he pleased.” According to news articles and church statements, Hubbard used to drive his motor home around frequently, often spending the day in Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo.

    The famous Scientology Celebrity Centre in downtown Los Angeles is known for visits by Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kristy Alley.


    The message from Cooley and Denk was clear that Hubbard was to be cremated immediately. Hubbard had drafted a new will that stated there would not be an autopsy because it violated his religious beliefs. The will was signed, dated, and imprinted with Hubbard’s inked thumbprint. The new will, giving more assets to his family than a previous version, was dated the day before he died. At the time he was worth about $25 million.

    The Sheriff’s Department feared controversy and pressed for an autopsy. Cooley and Denk finally agreed to allow the coroner to do an external examination and collect blood and urine. Records of his fingerprints were sent off to be matched with federal and military records to verify that it was indeed Hubbard. According to the coroner’s report:

    • There was a bandage on his “right gluteal area” covering 10 “recent needle marks.”

    • Hubbard’s blood contained traces of Hydroxyzine, also known as Vistaril.

    The last detail has proven difficult for his followers to reconcile. Hubbard disdained “psychs” and their medications. In internal writings to Scientologists he often described psychiatrists as criminals and con artists who knew they could not cure mental illnesses. Scientologists are not against all prescribed medications, only the psychiatric variety.

    More at link.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. mongrel Member

    You do realize that this particular segment of people who wish to remain anonymous is primarily focused on the scam of scientology? And that our beloved nazimods do not allow any posts promoting illegal actions, i.e. hacking?
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Anonymous Member

    I know this is just an example but if you did any research on WWP, you'd have already known WWP does not condone illegal actions, and hacking falls under that. So its unlikely you will find detailed information on such activities. And whereas hacking is considered a staple for Anonymous by the public, it isn't the defining characteristic of Anonymous. Neither is WWP. Neither is Chanology. Please see the picture below for example:
  6. Zak McKracken Member

  7. Zak McKracken Member

    I don't necessarily support COLAB.
    I do, however, support their right to stay anonymous.
    However, I do tend to agree with the author of that article,
    that in this particular case their "fear of retaliation" sounds pretty specious.

    Posting a list of their names (from public records / tax documents) is funny, though if you'd posted a list of their names leaked/ripped from some private (non-public) source, I imagine I'd be less amused.

    Welcome. Feel free to lurk moar, and uncover all our (not secret) secrets. ;)
  8. veravendetter Member

    Wanna cyber?
  9. PuppySparkles Member

    I didn't even think that the timing is weird. Woops.

    But that story was about a semi-public group that was hiding its board members. If, say, their members came to me with a story and wanted to remain anonymous, that would be a different story. And yeah, public record is public record, so it's kind of hard to ask for anonymity when it's not expected.
  10. vaLLarrr Member

    A journalist, you say?
  11. Loki's spawn Member

    This site has tons of relevant material about Anonymous, Chanology, FOI, Sony, and what Anonymous means to people. Lurk moar, please.
  12. Zak McKracken Member

    Not weird at all.
    It seems to me you're asking (some of) the right questions,
    and thinking about (some of) the important issues at stake in the public forum.

    Its good for journalists to ask stuff and think about stuff. :) very.
    There's no particular need to defend yourself here; your work at New Times would seem more than adequate in that regard.
    I suppose I had meant "we're anonymous. Like COLAB, but different." so that you could look for yourself and note both similarities and differences, if you hadn't already.

    One thing that I'm less sure is clear...

    Anonymous (the loosely affiliated Internet coalition) is fragmented into several quite distinct communities, some of which have considerable overlap and others which do not.

    • anonops
      The IRC Anons have been the ones that organize 'DDOS' and other direct attacks on various targets. There isn't any good place to find them since the 'Anon Ops' IRC networks were torn apart by civil war a few weeks ago. You can't really ask about them here on Why We Protest, since much of anonops activity is illegal or questionably legal or questionably productive at any rate.

      WWP (officially) doesn't support any illegal activity, and the vast majority of users on WWP don't either. Additionally, any users who did support such things are mostly idiots and likely to find themselves in prison sooner or later.
    • WWP
      The site you're on right now. We mostly focus on exposing the criminal and ethically challenged activities of the cult of L Ron Hubbard. As a secondary (though significant) focus, we support the persian Green community. Also secondary, is a campaign in support of "Freedom of Information". The Anti-Scientology efforts generally fall within the context of "Project Chanology" - an offshoot of another Anon community that preceded this one:
    • /b/
      The original 'Anonymous Hive'. It's a pretty awful place. You probably won't get much rational or sensible discussion there. They did launch Chanology, and they have done some noble and useful things, but for the most part /b/tards throw poop at each other. You might find people there interested in discussing "hacking" but they'd probably prefer to throw poop at you. /b/ is the moral core of Anonymous, and its probably the largest severable "chunk". They don't really like Chanology, they don't really like Scientology, and they probably won't like you unless you're a girl and willing to show pictures of your [privates].
    • hackers on steroids
      A mythical description, invented by Fox News. Anons wear this badge with pride, though almost none of them know any more about hacking than Tom Cruise does. The people who exploit security holes and break in to (e.g.) places like Sony and HBGary are a very few individuals who happen to creep in behind the rest of the Anonymous masses. A larger group ( I would guess, still less than 1% of Anons and perhaps much, much less) had any involvement in "attacks" on Sony or other sites, but even then the vast majority of the ones who participated were only doing massive "denial of service" - which means, using your computer and a few of your friends' computers to throw lots and lots of random traffic at the servers. That's not really hacking, but its much easier to catch- which is why many of the people who run DDOS are likely to end up in jail.
    • "attacks" on random websites
      There might have been an anonops coordinated attack on Sony (denial of service), and possibly similar at BofA but I would imagine nearly all of the reported "threats" of attack and "hack" are bogus and neither credible nor creditable. Not sourced through any of the larger Anonymous communities, and only attributable to anons in that the people making the threats do not identify themselves.
    • Wikileaks
      Considered "friendly" to Anonymous, for their support of hosting documentation on the abuses of Scientology and others. Anons by-in-large support WL quite a bit. Very few Anons actually have any connection or affiliation with WikiLeaks, and the principals in THAT organization are not Anonymous. Julian Assange certainly isn't. Many Anons support him (and Bradley Manning) but others do not, or are neutral.
    • Misc
      Other IRC networks (like anonnet) have a smaller intersection with anonops than might be clear.

      ESMB and OCMB are loosely affiliated with WWP ( ) but are part of the larger Chanology effort. They're mostly not Anonymous, but may be able to give you some "outside" perspective on who or what Anons are. Probably not neutral, but you can use your smarts to weigh their various biases (both biases in Anons' favor and ones in disfavor) for yourself.
    • Like Like x 5
  13. Loki's spawn Member

    Just wondering, why is this in New Members Area? Wouldn't Off-Topic be more appropriate?
  14. Anonymous Member

    I gave this advice to the OP in 'conversation' but it was ignored. Seems that its mind was made up on how to approach and obtain support and that I should GTFO. So I did.
  15. Loki's spawn Member

    I wonder why OP would think New Members would be the best to talk to about Anonymous?
  16. yeah nice try you fucking clam! go fuck yourself!
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Zak McKracken Member

  18. Anonymous Member

  19. Zak McKracken Member

    Uh. Who claimed that? Where?

    Its not exactly a fawning tribute.
  20. Anonymous Member

    Message #3 ITT.
  21. I got a request on my Youtubechannel for an Interview lol
    • Like Like x 1
  22. Zak McKracken Member

    LocalSP in message #3 claimed that the author of this article (and by extension, the journalist OP) was a clam?

    Can you quote LocalSP's own words to that effect?
  23. Dragononymous Member

  24. Anonymous Member

    Apologies for the mis-statement(s). No, the OP led to LocalSP posting a published article by the OP.

    There were no claims to "clam" that I'm aware of except for LastOneStanding.

    I pointed this out in a 'conversation' with the OP:
  25. A student of Journalism, translated to English

  26. Anonymous Member

    I received this in my Inbox way back in April:
    I gave no reply.
  27. LocalSP Member

    I only posted the article to let people know that the OP was a legit journalist.
  28. Anonymous Member

    I understood that from the outset.
  29. Dragononymous Member

    I did, he never did afterwards
  30. i dunno, maybe not a clam but someone out seeking anons to incriminate themselves but taking into account what auntie said about getting shot down by op when he pm'd him, it makes it a bit suspicious.
    then again maybe im just a paraniod android. (10 points if you get what i did thar)
  31. Dragononymous Member

  32. wrong!
  33. Dragononymous Member

    far off?
  34. Herro Member

    To everyone except the OP:

    • Like Like x 1
  35. Zak McKracken Member

    to be fair, OP seemed to immediately lose interest on discovering there weren't any hackers on steroids ITT willing to chat.
    I do hope he returns sometime. I look forward to reading his forthcoming articles (on any subject).

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