Welcome to WhyWeProtest!

Discussion in 'New Members Area - Start Here' started by Anonymous, Jun 11, 2013.

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  1. Anonymous Member

    Welcome to WhyWeProtest!

    Given how large and active the WhyWeProtest community is, and how much information has been amassed in the WhyWeProtest forums, it is understandable that new visitors to the site may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where they should start. For these reasons the WhyWeProtest community have produced this guide.

    It is strongly recommended that all new users and visitors read this guide in full.

    This guide is intended to give an introduction to WhyWeProtest including its culture and its history, to provide tips on protecting your anonymity, and to provide tips on how to participate in WhyWeProtest initiatives.

    Important note: WhyWeProtest does not support, condone or endorse any illegal activities. If you, as a visitor, have come to WhyWeProtest seeking out such activities (eg: hacking, DDOS, violence, etc.) then you have come to the wrong place. Any postings made that advocate any illegal activity will be removed and the poster banned. We encourage all members of the WhyWeProtest community to report such postings by using the ‘report’ link – this will greatly assist WhyWeProtest staff to remove any calls for illegal activity.

    Important note: The WhyWeProtest community strongly recommends that all participants maintain their anonymity when conducting WhyWeProtest activism. It is strongly recommended that you do not log into WhyWeProtest using your Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account unless you are using an anonymised sock account – doing otherwise could compromise your anonymity.
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  2. Anonymous Member

    The History of WhyWeProtest

    2008 saw the birth of “Project Chanology”, an internet-based campaign to expose fraud and abuse inflicted by the Church of Scientology upon its members. This campaign was initiated by ‘Anonymous’, and included ex-members of Scientology and long-time critics of Scientology. Anonymous is simply a group of people who communicate using disposable identities, or not using any identity at all. The term ‘Anonymous’ can refer to the millions of people who post on various websites without using their real identities, it can refer to any given subset of those people, or it can even refer to a single person.

    In mid-2008 WhyWeProtest was founded, and has been the central hub for Project Chanology activism (including the organisation of peaceful protests) ever since. It has served as a place for the community to share information on Project Chanology, as well as providing a centralised planning platform. Since its founding, WhyWeProtest has grown and initiated planning and discussion in other pro-free speech areas. WhyWeProtest’s role has been to provide a stable platform to discuss legal methods of protest and information dissemination.

    A more detailed account of Project Chanology can be found here.
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  3. Anonymous Member

    The Culture of WhyWeProtest

    WhyWeProtest began as an offshoot of the wider Anonymous collective. Anonymous internet culture typically involves a lot of ‘memes’ and ‘trolling’, and this culture has largely carried over to the WhyWeProtest community. As you browse the forums you will notice unusual terminology, repeated instances of the same misspellings, posting of pictures with cat imagery, in-jokes, etc., which are all aspects of this culture.

    Please note that while some posters may appear overly harsh (if not visceral) in their comments, this is a normal part of WhyWeProtest culture and how frank and heated debate is conducted. New users and visitors are encouraged not to take such comments seriously and ‘not to feed the troll’. Please also note that some of targets of WhyWeProtest’s activism (most notably the Church of Scientology through their Office of Special Affairs or OSA for short) try to post disruptive material in an attempt to derail forum threads.

    The WhyWeProtest forums offer the option to post ‘anonymously’, which allows users to post information without their posting being tied to their WhyWeProtest username. Many in the WhyWeProtest community prefer to post this way (which is why you will see a lot of ‘Anonymous’ postings), and it contributes to a forum dynamic that new users and visitors may be unfamiliar with.

    Some of the terminology used on WhyWeProtest, which may be unfamiliar to new users and visitors, is as follows:

    AFK – Away From Keyboard.
    B& - Banned. WhyWeProtest staff who have banned a poster are said to have ‘wielded the b&hammer’.
    CO – Call Out. This is used when the community wants to ‘call out’ a particular poster. The reasons for issuing a call out can vary greatly, and range from wanting to troll someone to calling out an act of gross stupidity.
    Dox – Means documents or evidence. When making a claim it is recommended that you post ‘dox’ to evidence that claim. Unevidenced claims will usually be greeted with the phrase ‘Dox or GTFO’.
    Doxing – The practices of posting personal information. When someone’s personal information has been posted that person is said to have been ‘doxed’ or ‘namefagged’. If you see a posting engaging in doxing please report it to the WhyWeProtest staff.
    Fag – A suffix used to mean “has the quality of”. For example, a person from Germany would be described as a ‘Germanfag’, and a person who was talented at graphics would be described as a ‘graphicsfag’.
    GTFO – Get The F**k Out, a typical way of requesting that a person leaved the given forum thread.
    IRL – In Real Life. Used to signify activities performed in person and not via the internet.
    ITT – In This Thread.
    Leaderfag - A person who tries to overly dictate how things should be done, usually through unwarranted self-importance and to the detriment of the group or initiative. The act of 'leaderfagging' is usually frowned upon and an activity resented by the community.
    Lurk Moar – A request that is often new users and visitors of WhyWeProtest asking them to spend more time reading the forum. It is specifically suggesting that the person in question has not read the relevant documentation for a given topic.
    Moonbat – The term used to describe a poster making claims that are outrageously stupidly moronically conspiratorial.
    Necromancy – The phrase used to describe when someone posts in a thread that has been inactive for a very long time. Check the date of a thread before posting and, unless you have important new information to add, don’t resurrect long-dead threads.
    Newfag – A term used to describe new users and visitors of WhyWeProtest.
    NMA - New Member's Area
    NSFW – Not Safe For Work, a phrase used to warn others than certain content is highly offensive and not appropriate to access in a public place.

    NYPA – Not Your Personal Army. Used by the userbase to signify that they have no interest whatsoever in helped you in whatever particular cause you are promoting.
    OP – Opening Post or Opening Poster. Used to refer to the first post in the a thread or to the person who posted it.
    /r/ - Short for ‘request’.
    Raid – The term given to a protest gathering.
    Sock – Short for sockpuppet. This refers to when a WhyWeProtest participant uses multiple registered accounts. The term is traditionally used as a pejorative, and refers to when a poster is using multiple registered accounts to make many posts to give the illusion that there is consensus for a particular point of view. The term can also be used to refer to the use of multiple accounts in order to maintain anonymity, with this being the most common use of the term on WhyWeProtest.
    STFU – Shut The F**k Up, a typical way of informing another that you wish they would cease posting on a given topic.
    The Dome – Short for ‘Thunderdome’, and is the name given for the sewer of the WhyWeProtest forum. Posts and threads that are derails, spam, advocating illegal activity, tinfoil or just plain stupid are moved to the dome.
    Tinfoil – A term used to describe when a poster makes claims that are excessively paranoid.
    TLDR – Too Long, Didn’t Read. Used to signify that a given post is too long. Can also be used a means of requesting a summary. Some posters add a ‘TLDR’ summary at the end of length posts.
    V& - Vanned. This refers to when a person has been arrested by law enforcement, with the term ‘partyvans’ referring to law enforcement vehicles.
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  4. Anonymous Member

    Guidelines for Maintaining Your Anonymity

    Some WhyWeProtest initiatives involve activism against dangerous foes. Project Chanology, which is directed against the fraud and abuse of the Church of Scientology, is one such example. The Church of Scientology, through its Office of Special Affairs, has a history of targeting and harassing its critics. In cases such as this it is necessary for activists to retain their anonymity in order to ensure they are protected.

    This guide is intended to give new users and visitors of WhyWeProtest tips and advice on how to remain anonymous.

    - Do not use the same name on WhyWeProtest that you use ANYWHERE else. Doing otherwise will make it possible to connect your WhyWeProtest identity with your other online identities, making it easier to identify you. When choosing your WhyWeProtest username, pick a new one that is completely unrelated to you or any other profiles you use anywhere else.

    - Do not use your normal email on WhyWeProtest or for anon-related activities. Register a new one, and choose a username that is not connected or traceable to you. Alternatively, you can use a temporary email address for registrations. 10 minute mail is a very good service for bypassing website registrations that require an email confirmation.

    - Do not use the same password on WhyWeProtest that you use anywhere else. If you use the same password across many different internet sites it means that, should any single one of those sites become compromised, then all your internet accounts are compromised. This is good advice that should be followed even for activities unrelated to WhyWeProtest.

    Important note: Regardless of what website or service you are registering for, always ask yourself “what information about you would be revealed should said website or service become compromised?”. There is no such thing as a 100% secure website, and the only way to protect your anonymity is simply not to use any of personal information when registering.

    - Try to use an anonymous proxy service, such as TOR, when accessing any website you do not believe to be secure when you wish to remain anonymous. You can find a detailed tutorial for setting up TOR with Firefox here. TOR is also available for iOS as the Onion Browser app (in the App Store), and the Android version, Orbot. Instructions for using TOR in Android can be found here. Using a proxy service is particularly important if you are engaged in activism in locations such as Iran.

    - Be mindful about what information you reveal about yourself when you make postings online, even when using a pseudonym. Even though no single post can identify you, nevertheless over time a series of postings may contain enough clues and facts about yourself to allow others to identify you. The general rule is simply to not post any personal information, period.

    - If you engage in a protest in real life do not talk about your online identity. This information isn’t necessary to conduct the protest. Keep your mask on and follow the tips in our protesting guide. Be aware that engaging in socialising activity as part of a protest always carries the risk of exposing your identity.

    - Try not to drive to protests if you can avoid it. License plate numbers are an easy way for others to identify you. If using public transport is not possible, try to park far enough away from the protest location to keep your identity safe. Be vigilant when returning to your car to make sure you are not being followed. To illustrate the importance of this, in March 2008 the Church of Scientology named 26 individuals in a lawsuit while attempting to obtain an injunction against protesters (which was denied), and had used license plate numbers to identify some of the previous protesters.
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  5. Anonymous Member

    Participating in WhyWeProtest Initiatives

    It is strongly recommend that new users and visitors ‘lurk’ in the forums of any initiative they wish to participate in. Reading through some of the threads associated with an initiative will help you learn what the initiative is about and what you can do to assist.

    All users and visitors are encouraged to maintain their anonymity while participating in WhyWeProtest initiatives. Do not share your name or personal details with other members of the community. Initiatives such as Project Chanology may entail some element of personal risk (the Church of Scientology has a documented history of harassing its critics), and maintaining your personal anonymity is the only sure way to protect yourself.

    Before you jump into the forums, please take note of the following advices. Learning from them will everyone a lot of grief, and will help you communicate more effective to, and be better by, the wider WhyWeProtest community.

    1. Take your time.
    This should go without saying. There is no rush to hear your important message, and taking a minute or two to look over it for spelling or grammatical errors will help greatly. Badly worded screeds that lack structure are never received well. WhyWeProtest is NOT a real-time medium of communication, so crafting carefully worded thoughtful posts is much better for this medium than spewing out ill-conceived word vomit.

    2. Learn how to spell.
    Few things make people disregard your posts faster than a slew of misspelled and misused words. Common mistakes that can often lead to confusions are mistaking the various forms of your/you're, to/two/too, and their/there/they're. Even if you lack your own text editor, in most web browsers the WhyWeProtest text input box has a very handy spell-checker – and will underline misspelled words with a red squiggly line. Correcting those mistakes will significantly improve the readability and coherency of your message.

    3. Plan ahead.
    Ask yourself what is the message that you are trying to get across. A good rule is to articulate one idea per paragraph. Try to make a mental list of the main points you are trying to make, and boil each of those points down to a thesis statement with supporting arguments. Well thought-out paragraph structure will help you avoid rambling, will assist you in gathering your thoughts and will dramatically help you in communicating your message. Paragraphs work and they help people.

    4. Use your resources.
    Please, on behalf of all the WhyWeProtest community, do not jump into an Operations threads, Press Release threads or any other threads half-cocked. Do your homework before trying to contribute, and decide what information it is that you want to convey. If you are making a claim then a quick Google search will typically show if that claim has merit or not. Gather your sources beforehand, and make sure you read them (and understand them) in their entirety. Remember the rule: Dox or STFU.
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  6. Anonymous Member

    General Guidelines for All Protests

    Following a few basic common-sense guidelines at raids will help you to protest effectively, to avoid problems and to enjoy yourself. Much of the content here was developed for Project Chanology, and as such may not always be applicable depending on the type of protest you are conducting. Use this content as a basis for your protest and always use common sense on what is and is not appropriate.

    • Do not raid alone. Doing so could make you a target for handlers/hostiles, and there really is safety in numbers.
    • Before planning a protest always check local laws regarding public gatherings. Get a permit if one is required.
    • Collect all the information (date/time/location/local laws) that participants need to know and put it in one location that can be used to promote the protest.
    • If this is your first protest, contact your local anon group and arrange to meet beforehand. Stay together.
    • Organize in squads of ten to fifteen people, with no more than one megaphone per squad.
    • Prepare signs and flyers before protesting. Make sure they are simple, readable and pertinent to the protest.
    • Have a camera operational at all times. This will discourage handlers/hostiles from messing with you, and will provide evidence against any claims the target of your protest will make regarding you. Some targets (for example Scientology) have a long history of lying to police regarding peaceful protesters, and having a camera is one way to prove your side of the story.
    • Filming protests will also make it possible for you to share a post-game video. This provides entertainment to the community as well as learning material on how to protest properly.
    • Consider protecting your name, face and identity for safety. In general, WhyWeProtest encourages protesters to avoid sharing personal information even with other anons.
    • Avoid behaviour that can be considered aggressive or annoying. Be polite at all times.
    • No alcohol. It can impair your judgement and lead to needless problems.
    • Stay across the street from the object of your protest. If there's no street, look for another natural boundary.
    • Some protests are not target-specific. In such cases, areas with high foot traffic are desirable.
    • Try to ensure that your protest is not disruptive to local businesses. Contacting such businesses before a protest can help with diplomacy, and can help nip issues in the bud and can help garner new allies.
    • Stay off of private property.
    Working With Police
    • If appropriate, give your local police notification of your protest. Inform them of your peaceful and legal methods.
    • Be polite, low-key, and cooperative when talking with police (This includes providing identification if requested). Thank them for their involvement, even if decisions do not go your way.
    • Do not ask for badge numbers unless police are behaving very abusively.
    • Contact the police immediately if anyone in the group is harassed.
    • If police are unavailable, film any suspicious behaviour and leave.
    What to Bring
    Consult your local cell for advice about what to bring (and not bring) to a raid. A few things are essential, though:
    • Cash for transportation and food
    • Identification in case you’re stopped by police
    • Water
    • Comfortable shoes
    • Seasonal clothing
    • A sign or pamphlets
    What to Wear

    Clothing: What you wear can change or conceal identifying physical characteristics. These suggestions will help you to dress anonymously.
    • Cover your hands.
    • Women, pad up or strap down.
    • Do not use the same disguise or clothing items over and over at protests. Avoid your usual clothing styles, brands or logos.
    • To avoid buying multiple winter coats, have each anon in your cell buy a couple of oversized, different-coloured waterproof ponchos. Snip generous vents and wear a warm base layer to avoid hyperthermia. Randomise who wears which poncho at each protest.
    • Do not wear the same shoes to raid after raid. Vary shoes’ sizes and styles—but keep them comfortable.
    Face Coverings: A Guy Fawkes mask is the traditional Anon face covering, and it's a good one. Before buying a mask to protest in, check your local laws and ordinances and consult your local anon group - in some locations masks are not permitted. If you do not have a mask, or cannot wear one because of local laws or do not want to wear one, any face covering will do: theatrical masks, surgical or dust mask, scarves or bandannas, face paint and veils are good alternatives.

    To find a Guy Fawkes mask, ask your local anon group or check out online vendors:
    Hair Coverings: Always cover or change your hair while raiding. There are lots of ways to alter the appearance of your hair:
    • To avoid showing any hair, tuck it into a skullcap (easily made with a pair of pantyhose or purchased at a beauty supply store) and wear another covering over it. You may also find hairpins, spirit gum and double-sided tape helpful.
    • Wear a wig to conceal hair, hairlines, ears and other identifying characteristics. Choose a wig that is a different color and style from your hair.
    • Wear a hood or hat.
    Additional Disguises: There are a few other steps that you can take to further ensure your anonymity:
    • Make sure to disguise any unusual features.
    • Use make-up or clothing to cover all tattoos, birthmarks, and scars - not merely those that are immediately visible. To disguise tattoos, stencil something elsewhere, and do a similar decoration over your real ink.
    • Disguise distinctive piercings and add fake ones - the bigger, the better - by using nose, lip, and eyebrow jewellery.
    While it is not very likely that you will be followed, it has happened many times in the past so you may as well be prepared. Scientology operatives, for example, have followed protesters in attempts to identify them.
    • Use public transportation whenever possible. If using public transport, travel to a random destination, then change routes. Leave the vehicle, then re-enter it at the last moment. Consider parking at a stop you don't normally use, going a stop past, and walking back to your car.
    • If you drive, park some distance away from the raid location.
    • Assume you are being followed when leaving a raid, and take evasive manoeuvres habitually. Take a wide, unpredictable route so it will be hard to confirm that you’ve entered or left an area. Crossroads, underpasses and bridges. This makes you harder to follow and forces anyone who tries into revealing themselves or taking another route.
    • If on foot, don’t leave alone. Walk through large, busy buildings with multiple exits. If possible cross to adjacent structures overground/underground. Walk in the opposite direction from oncoming traffic, and cross large empty spaces (parks, carparks, public squares, shopping malls) so you’ll be able to see anyone following you. Don’t go into parking garages or other empty areas alone.
    • Pack an extra disguise and decide beforehand on a changing spot (subway stairways or any business with a bathroom, for instance). Stop there on your way home to change your appearance by adding or removing clothing and headgear.
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  7. Anonymous Member

    Introduction to Project Chanology activism

    WhyWeProtest is the hub of Project Chanology, an internet-based campaign started by Anonymous to expose fraud and abuse inflicted by the Church of Scientology upon its members. Several years ago, the loose collective of activists called Anonymous chose Scientology as a campaign target because of its aggressive attempts to remove the now infamous Tom Cruise Scientology video from the internet. Today, Anonymous along with ex-Scientologists and other activists continue this crusade. Since the anti-Scientology campaign began, activists have exposed many serious misdeeds, including but not limited to:
    • Free speech violations
    • Human rights violations including suspicious deaths, torture, coerced abortions, the deliberate separation of families, and human trafficking
    • Illegal actions such as harassment, slander, libel, extortion, and vexatious lawsuits
    • Fraudulent activities including questionable tax exemptions, unsafe drug rehabilitation practices, irregular business practices, bogus educational and charitable organizations designed to infiltrate schools and recruit young people

    More Information on Scientology Abuses

    Visit the pages and sites below for more information on Scientology abuses. As these abuses are widespread and voluminous, these websites contain a LOT of information:

    Operation Clambake
    The St. Petersburg Times Truth Rundown
    Archive of Publications (featuring downloadable PDFs of books written about Scientology)
    Xenu TV
    The Underground Bunker
    Dublin Offlines Conference
    Reaching For The Tipping Point
    Ex-Scientology Message Board

    The Role of WhyWeProtest in Project Chanology

    WhyWeProtest serves as a stable platform for Project Chanology activists to share information regarding the Church of Scientology, as a place to network and arrange media interviews, and as a place to organise peaceful protests (known as ‘raids’) outside of Scientology enterprises.

    One of the core activities are the peaceful protests, which are aimed at warning the public about Scientology’s fraud and abuse. These protest are also aimed at current Scientology victims, with the intention of sharing with them critical information about their organisation and to help those members feel empowered to leave.

    Guidelines for Scientology Protesters

    Following the General Guidelines for All Protests will help you to avoid problems, to protest effectively and to enjoy yourself. Harassment, violence, and legal actions against Scientology protesters are less common now than they used to be, but they do still occur. Use common sense and conceal your identity from strangers and even from other Anons, and follow these guidelines:
    • Before conducting your first protest, go to Youtube and search for "Scientology Protest" and see what others have done in the past. There may even be a video specific for your city. This will give you new ideas for your protest, as well as helping to give an idea of what to expect.
    • Stay across the street from the Scientology location being protested. This will make it much more difficult for Scientology handlers to harass you and will help you keep good relations with the police. If there is no street then find another natural barrier.
    • Never enter the Scientology property. Aside from being illegal and likely trespass, it is a really stupid thing to do given Scientology’s history with protesters.
    • Film the protest, preferably with at least two cameras, and particularly any interactions with Scientology handlers.
    • Don’t use real names or WWP nicknames while raiding or socializing with other Anons.
    • Keep backpacks, purses, and pockets closed, and check their contents. Consider leaving cell phones at home or using disposable phones.
    • Example flyers for your protest can be found here.
    If you have questions, contact your local anon group for advice. Protesting Scientology is generally not dangerous these days, but being cautious will ensure your safety.
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  8. Anonymous Member

    Starting an Anonymous Group

    So you have read WhyWeProtest’s forums, or perhaps you came to WhyWeProtest because you wish to get involved with some of WhyWeProtest’s initiatives, and you find that there is no local Anonymous group in your area. In order to help you found an Anonymous group in your area the WhyWeProtest community have produced this guide. It will give tips and guidance on what to do, as well as pointing out important things you will need to consider in order to make your Anonymous group a success.

    Important note: Much of the content of this guide is based on Project Chanology and activism against the Church of Scientology. As such there may be sections of this guide that do not apply to your proposed Anonymous group, and this will depend on the particular initiatives your Anonymous group wishes to pursue.

    Starting Considerations

    Before you even consider founding an Anonymous group you need to decide what causes and initiatives (eg: Project Chanology) you want the group to pursue. Those causes and initiatives will play a vital role in guiding the formation and growth of your Anonymous group. Without a well-defined specific cause or initiative, and associated goals, your group will be rendered ineffective and useless.

    Having decided on a cause and/or initiative, the next step is become well-versed on the issues surrounding that cause/initiative. It is not possible to be effective on a given issue without being extremely well-informed on that issue. The onus will be on you to explain to others why a given cause/initiative is worthwhile, and to do that effectively you will need to be capable of presenting cogent argumentation supported by dox – something that you will be unable to do if you are not sufficiently knowledgeable of the topic. Lurking the relevant WhyWeProtest forums and asking questions is a great way to learn.

    Note: The WhyWeProtest community has considerable expertise to offer that can be useful to founding a new Anonymous group. Due to the trolling nature of WhyWeProtest culture, the delivery of this expertise can be quite blunt (even rude). Don’t take the trolling seriously, grow some skin and take the lessons that are on offer. This is especially so when the WhyWeProtest community is challenging conspiracy nonsense and you are unable to defend your unsupported assertions.

    Laying the Foundations for a New Anonymous Group

    Now that you have decided on the cause/initiative you want to pursue, and you have done sufficient research on said cause/initiative, the next step is to lay the foundations for recruiting new participants in your area. Before you begin reaching out you will need to have somewhere you can direct potential participants to allow them to learn more.

    Writing about your cause/initiative, describing why it is important, explaining how people can help, and presenting supporting information and documents is crucial for any recruitment drive. A WhyWeProtest thread is a good place to start when collecting the documents and information you need and to get them in one location. For some initiatives (eg: Project Chanology) there may be existing materials that you can use for your new Anonymous group and you will find these in the relevant WhyWeProtest forums. If there are no existing materials (maybe because your cause/initiative has not been covered before on WhyWeProtest) then you will have to make/write them.

    Where possible your materials should:
    - Explain the purpose of your cause/initiative
    - Provide a persuasive well-reasoned argument supported by dox (with links to further information and media articles when necessary)
    - Give guidance on how participants can retain their anonymity
    - State specific goals to be achieved
    - Identify specific actions that potential participants will be able to conduct in furtherance of the cause/initiative
    - Have a focus on public education regarding the issues relevant to the cause/initiative

    It is important that the above foundational information be located in one place that you will be able to direct potential participants. Your choice of the best location for this material (eg: on WhyWeProtest, on a decentralised website, on Facebook, etc.) will depend on the particular cause/initiative. As a rule it is probably better to use WhyWeProtest as your location for the initial stages of your Anonymous group, and only when you have a few new participants should you move to a decentralised site/forum.

    Considerations on Decentralising

    Forums are the lifeblood of any Anonymous group. They are where planning takes place, where ideas are discussed and evaluated, where information and expertise is shared. In short if your group doesn't have a forum then you need to get one. WhyWeProtest is an excellent place to begin, although after an Anonymous group becomes established such a group can benefit greatly from having a decentralised website and forum where they can concentrate on local matters without the need to sift through the massive amount of information available on WhyWeProtest.

    There is no shortage of free tools available, but there tends to be trade-offs in terms of features and stability. Facebook, for example, is free and highly stable but many anons regard it as being useless when it comes to preserving anonymity. Other sites offering a free service such as Yuku, Mixxt, or Yooco promise a one-stop-shop. But there are limitations to free sites, and there is no guarantee that those sites will continue to offer free services (examples of sites that ceased offering free services include Ning and As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

    If you have a bit of cash and/or some technical expertise, buying proper hosting can be a worthwhile investment. Costs for hosting, including a domain, can range between $4 and $10 a month. There are many approaches that can be used, but a good one is to combine Wordpress as your Content Management System with a phpbb3 forum (Wordpress and phpbb are open source freeware). This combination easily caters for allowing more people to participate in website administration tasks, and is probably the easiest installation available for a self-hosted website.

    Useful tips for decentralisation include:
    · Register your domain separately from your hosting (and, if possible, get whoisguard or similar to protect your anonymity). This ensures that, should you ever need to move hosting or to a new free site, you will only have to redirect that domain. (You can also point your domain to the relevant WhyWeProtest thread if you are still using WhyWeProtest)
    · Be sure to follow WhyWeProtest for updates that may be relevant to your local group and your cause/initiative. Should your group discover information that would be of interest to the WhyWeProtest community please cross-post it as necessary.
    · Don’t let all the workload fall on the shoulders of only one person. This has proved to be a bad idea time and time again. Find ways to share the workload and to get people involved in the development of your group.
    · As an Anonymous group grows, people of different skills and talents will participate. These skills and talents can be a real asset if you can find ways to cultivate and utilise those assets.
    · Make sure ONE person holds all the website keys. This person should stay neutral and focus on keeping the site running properly at all costs. Preferably they should keep out of local drama and only weigh-in if it is a group breaking issue.
    · Have a set of website moderators that act as a counsel. They should dictate social direction and represent a broad set of ideals and experiences.
    · Many in the WhyWeProtest community participate in decentralised groups, and have a wealth of experience that might prove useful to your group. Seeing what other Anonymous groups have done, and learning from that, is a good way to get ideas. If you need help or advice with something ask the WhyWeProtest community, and they will be able to point you in the right direction.

    Promoting and Growing Your New Anonymous Group

    Posting a thread on WhyWeProtest is only the starting point, and the onus will be on you to reach out to your own local community. Hitting up your local internet forums to spread the word is a good idea. Posters and leafleting also work. In all cases, it is strongly recommended that you have a specially registered domain name that you can direct people to for more information (particularly if that information is localised).

    Some causes/initiatives are best conducted through rallies/protests, and events like these are ideal for spreading the word and for reaching out to potential participants. The planning of such events can also serve as a catalyst to help the formation of a new group. Setting a definite date, time and location for a rally/protest are essential. It is also essential to have all the information regarding local laws and ordinances as they relate to rallies/protests, and to make this information easily available for event attendees. If in doubt on any matter of law then get in contact with your local law enforcement officials. Having good relations with law enforcement can help your activities proceed smoothly. How well you liaise with your local law enforcement and city councils will have a direct effect on how well your protests and flyering goes. Flyers should have a coherent message and contain weblinks for readers to learn more information (artwork/logos can be found on WhyWeProtest).

    As your group becomes established it will also develop the infrastructure to recruit and cultivate expertise. An example of this is where, for Anonymous groups involved in Project Chanology, ex-members of Scientology become involved and share their inside experiences and knowledge (including Scientology materials) regarding the Church of Scientology. Find ways to use this expertise. Having media contacts, as well as writing press releases, is a great way of promoting your message. It is also important to develop the infrastructure to capitalise on media opportunities – an example of this in Project Chanology is having ex-members of Scientology and knowledgeable critics available for local media interviews when a large story breaks.

    Learn From What Other Groups Are Doing

    There is no shortage of activist groups in the word, and no shortage of innovation when it comes to pioneering activism techniques and strategies (although with varying levels of success). Rather than having to invent the wheel on your own, checking out what other non-anon activist groups have done can be a great source for ideas. Some examples of sites with interesting activism resources are American Majority, Student PIRGs, Occupy Wall Street and Amnesty International.

    Advice on Sustainability

    Sometimes personality clashes and drama occurs, and this is a normal occurrence within Anonymous and WhyWeProtest culture. If a website administrator ‘loses their shit’ then abandon ship and rebuild. If a moderator ‘loses their shit’ remove them immediately and replace them with someone that represents the interests of the group. Rinse and repeat until you have a well-oiled machine.

    Keep the information and expertise exchange between WhyWeProtest and your local group active.

    Stagnation and boredom are common issues with groups pursing causes/initiatives – find ways to mitigate this and try to have fun with your activism.
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  9. Anonymous Member

    Guide to Gathering and Using Information

    Getting accurate information, and disseminating it, is crucial to any initiative or cause. This guide, whose content is largely based on Project Chanology, will give you tips and guidance on how to source and process relevant information into a form conducive to public education.

    Conducting Basic Research

    Thanks to the advent of the internet, a whole new way of finding, accessing and spreading information has been opened to us. On almost any topic a simple websearch will return hundreds of pages of information. However, also thanks to the internet, a whole swath of garbage moonbat conspiracy nonsense has become widespread - so care and judgement are needed. Even for non-internet-based research it is necessary to conduct extensive fact-checking of any material you source. Remember, the art of good research IS the art of fact-checking.

    Here are some tips to help with fact-checking claims:

    - Can you find the primary source of the claim? The internet is a rumour mill all of its own, complete with its own distribution network. It is not uncommon to find that a given claim has been widely repeated across hundreds of websites and blogs. Following claims back to their source is a great way to see if that claim is reliable. If you find that the source of a claim is series of peer-reviewed scientific papers from leading universities then the claim is almost certainly true. If the claim originated from a comment on a blog from someone claiming they heard it from their aunt’s hairdresser’s uncle’s mechanic then the claim is significantly more suspect. A good video discussing tracking claims to their sources is here.

    - Can you find dox to support the claim? Finding source documents, pictures, videos and/or audio recordings, if they exist, is a great way to verify whether a given claim is true. For example, participants in Project Chanology make the claim that the Scientology enterprise uses deceptive recruiting techniques. They show this by presenting Scientology’s own internal documents detailing the recruiting process. No matter the initiative or cause, being able to present the dox and primary source materials needed to prove a claim is a must.

    - Are your witnesses reliable? If a person makes a given claim on their own, without any dox to support them, then it can be difficult to take the truth of their claims at face value. Cases where there are multiple witnesses, and supporting dox, are much more likely to be true. In the case of Project Chanology, ex-members of Scientology have described the same stories of abuse, disconnection and financial deception spanning decades – with the same claims also being made for different locations. When you have thousands of ex-member accounts, which are consistent in their details of Scientology abuses, then the claims being made by those ex-members is almost certainly true (see the big list here for details). The ability to fact-check and verify witness testimony is a crucial aspect to ensuring accurate information is at the heart of your cause/initiative.

    For any claim, regardless of its nature, the mantras to keep in mind are ‘Pics or it didn’t happen’ and ‘Dox or GFTO’.

    Where to Source Information and Expertise

    This is a difficult question to answer for the generalised case, but there are some rules of thumb that are helpful in providing a starting point. It should be emphasised that any information you collect should be rigorously fact-checked, and care should be taken not to fall into ‘group-think’.

    - Ex-members/whistleblowers. If the target of your cause or initiative is an organisation, then it is a good idea to seek out ex-members of that organisation who will be able to supply expertise and possibly even internal documents. If you are fortunate enough to have contact with a whistleblower then take any and all steps to ensure their safety. Disinformation and credibility attacks against ex-members and whistleblowers are not uncommon tactics used by some organisations. The following paper, by Stephen A. Kent, gives a decent overview of some of the challenges involved: “The History of Credibility Attacks Against Former Cult Members

    - Academia & Industry. Some topics, such as freedom of information, have a degree of technical detail at their core. Being able to understand and articulate those details is a must, and seeking out academic and industry experts for their input will dramatically improve the quality and understanding of your information.

    - Hobby & Critic Groups. The internet has helped groups with similar interests to flourish, and it is always a good idea to seek out and make contact with such groups where their interests overlap with your own. An example of this is when Project Chanology made contact with experts involved in cult-awareness groups. This is particularly important given that such groups may have amassed a wealth of historical information relevant to your cause/initiative.

    - Books, Newspapers & Research Papers. Often, for many causes/initiatives, there can be an archive of books and media reports covering the subject. Thanks to the internet many of these are accessible via a simple websearch.

    Conducting Interviews

    Sometimes, as in the case of ex-members of a group or for spokespeople of that group, it can be a good idea to conduct an interview. This will not only help in the gathering of information, but can also lead to a finished product suitable for public dissemination. Some tips to keep in mind:

    - Choose the Right Format. Email interviews are crap, with forum-based interviews being only marginally less so. Both these methods are suitable for a survey but not for a proper interview. Face to face is preferable, since the rapport generated with such a meeting can help put the interviewee at ease while helping to grease the flow of information. Telephone or Skype are also good. In all cases it is strongly recommended to use a recording device – if you don’t you won’t remember all the content and, frankly, trying to take notes is a distraction that will lower the quality of the interview. If possible have two recorders in case one malfunctions.

    - Allow Enough Time. It is almost impossible to predict the length of time an interview will take. Always leave enough time and ensure you have secured such from your interviewee. Interviews that are for information-gathering often turn into ‘friendly chats’, and as the conversation continues more information comes out. It is hard to overstate the value of information that has come from extended chats down the pub.

    - Decide on the Purpose of the Interview. Some interviews are information-gathering exercises, while others are intended for providing content for public dissemination. Different purposes require slightly different approaches, and it is important that any interviewee is fully informed of the intent behind a given interview.

    - Prepare a List of Questions and Topics in Advance. It is absolutely invaluable to have ready-made notes when doing an interview. It means you can keep the discussion flowing while ensuring you cover all the topics of interest.

    - Make Sure the Interviewee is Fully Informed. Being able to conduct a good interview relies upon a bond of trust between the interviewer and the interviewee. Do not break that bond or any way compromise privacy. In some jurisdictions there are legal requirements regarding informed consent when recording an interview. Even in a jurisdiction without those requirements it is always a good idea to inform the interviewee of your intent to record the interview.

    - Do Not be an Asshole. Use common sense, be courteous and allow them to speak freely. The interviewee has taken the time to talk to you, and in return for that you owe them a duty of care and a duty not to be a prick.

    Using Information Effectively

    The art of using information effectively is in taking accurate verified information and putting it into a format conducive to public education. Different formats (eg: a video or a flyer) require very different approaches, but observing the following guidelines should help:

    - Get to the Point. Some formats require a long detailed explanation, while others require a succinct almost bullet-pointed approach. In either case, do not waste time with superfluous information not pertinent to the point being made. Don’t use forty sentences when one will do.

    - Reference Your Claims to Sources. In any piece intended for public education, regardless of its format, the key content will be a series of claims. For formats where space is extremely limited (as in a flyer) it may not be possible to reference sources. In cases where the space is available it is a good idea to reference your sources. Being able to support and evidence your claims with reference to reliable sources will go a long way towards making your piece persuasive and credible. Citing your sources will also allow your readers/viewers to check out those sources for themselves. It is absolutely vital that you never EVER misrepresent or exaggerate any sources you use.

    - Using Spokespeople. ‘Spokespeople’ is the wrong word to use here, but within any anon group there will be some people who are naturally more articulate and verbose than others. These are the people you want talking to the press and to the public. Answering journalists’ or public’s questions is a great opportunity to share the information that has been gathered. In the case of journalists, informing them of (and putting them in touch with) source documents and primary witnesses has proven to be an effective strategy.

    - Writing Effectively. If you examine Wikipedia ‘Good Articles’ you will notice a certain style that has brevity, clarity and simplicity, and are a great resource for learning how to write in an effective manner (and how to properly cite your sources). It is also a good idea to try avoiding excessive ‘dryness’ and ‘dullness’ in your writing. Try not to use overly-long sentences or excessive technical jargon. Even in a serious piece there can a place for humour as a tool in public education. A good source of ideas and guidelines for writing can be found the free book ‘Elements of Composition and Rhetoric’.

    - Keep the Audience in Mind. It is worth keeping in mind that the information you know may not be common knowledge, and when producing material for the public you may have to spend quite a bit of time explaining foundational concepts and acronyms. Members of the public (generally) won’t be as well-versed in the topic as you are, and the onus is on you to put in the effort to explain it to them. It is a good idea, depending on your cause/initiative, to compile the basic information of the topic into a short and easily-accessible piece - and work at being able to communicate these basics quickly and competently. As an example, in Project Chanology activists have explained what OSA, SPs, BTs, etc. are literally thousands and thousands of times to both members of the public and of the press. For activism that involves a public education element, this type of repetition of basic concepts is a necessary evil.
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  10. Anonymous Member

    Final Comments

    If you have any questions about WhyWeProtest that have not been answered here please feel free to contact any the WhyWeProtest moderators – you can find the names of moderators who are currently online in the upper right corner of the main forums page. Also, you can post any questions you have to the Still Got Questions? Ask Them Here thread. New users and visitors are also encouraged to browse the New Members Area which contains useful information on getting started on WhyWeProtest.

    Links to Further Information

    New Members Introduce Yourself Here thread
    Introduction to the Iran initiative
    Introduction to the OpInnocence initiative
    WhyWeProtest Staff

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: I just signed up to WhyWeProtest and I am unable to change my profile details. It says I don’t have permission. Why?

    All newly registered user accounts are placed in a probationary group that restricts account permissions. This is a necessary precaution to protect WhyWeProtest against the many spam bots that sign up daily. Only after you have made a few posts will you be removed from the probationary group.

    Q: I’m really young – can I still participate?

    Yes. Participating online with research in WhyWeProtest initiatives is always appreciated. We do recommend, however, that you get your parents’/guardian’s consent before you attend any protests or demonstrations though. Maintaining your anonymity is always a good idea – and that includes not divulging your age to other anons.

    Q: I see references to 4chan and something called ‘/b/’. What are those?

    4chan is an imageboard site where users can anonymously post images and leave comments. It has various sections devoted to different interests, ranging from Comics&Cartoons (known as /co/) to Science&Math (known as /sci/). /b/ refers to the ‘random’ section where there are only two rules – nothing illegal and no child porn. The /b/ section, for want of a better phrase, is the ‘sewer of the internets’ with all manner of disgusting content.

    Project Chanology has its roots in 4chan’s /b/ board, and despite now being separate still retains much of the humour and in-jokes – hence why WhyWeProtest community culture is rich in 4Chan memes. See the Wikipedia article on 4chan for more information.

    Q: Why do you keep typing out ‘WhyWeProtest’ rather than using the shorter acronym ‘WWP’?

    This is a way of saying ‘fuck you’ to the Germanfags. In their stereotypical search for efficiency they noted that, when speaking, using ‘WWP’ involves using more syllables than saying ‘WhyWeProtest’. Darn those Germans with their efficiency.

    Q: I see a lot of posts referring to something called ‘OSA’. What is that?

    OSA is shorthand for ‘Office of Special Affairs’, and is the branch of the Cult of Scientology that tries to handle critics. It is, in essence, the ‘dirty tricks’ brigade of the organisation. WhyWeProtest, due to being a thorn in Scientology’s side, has attracted the attention of OSA who regularly try to derail/disrupt WhyWeProtest threads and spread disinformation.

    Q: Where is the war room to hack shit and DOS people?

    There isn’t one. WhyWeProtest is entirely committed to legal forms of activism. If you are seeking out the illegal kind then you have come to the wrong place and would be best served elsewhere.

    Q: People keeping posting for me to ‘lurk moar’. What does that mean?

    ‘Lurk moar’ is the communities way of telling you that you need to spend more time reading the relevant WhyWeProtest threads (a practice known as ‘lurking’). The best way to pick up how the WhyWeProtest community operates is to observe its threads, and is often a requirement in order to get fully up-to-speed for certain causes/initiatives.

    Q: What is ‘IRC’?
    ‘IRC’ stands for ‘Internet Relay Chat’, an internet protocol for accessing a chat room. WhyWeProtest hosts a channel on AnonNET which you can access through your IRC client by using the following details (instructions on using mIRC are here):
    Channel: #whyweprotest
    SSL port: 6697 Non-SSL port: 6667

    If you don’t have a client you can access the channel via webIRC here. Be sure to read the AnonNET FAQ for more information. Note: WhyWeProtest operates the #Wwhyweprotest channel only, and does not endorse any other channel on the AnonNET network.

    Q: What is ‘the dome’?

    The Dome, also known as The Thunderdome, is a special area of WhyWeProtest where the community are allowed to post material that is defamatory, derogatory, or downright disgusting. Occasionally threads that are trolling, really stupid, or moonbat are moved there (known as ‘feeding the dome’).

    Because the dome operates on different rules from the rest of the WhyWeProtest site, and because it is extremely caustic in nature, access to it is restricted. To learn more, and how to access it, please visit this thread for more information.

    Q: Is it safe to assume that all the information I read here is accurate?

    It’s never safe to assume anything - check it out for yourself if you have questions. The WhyWeProtest community does insist on backing up assertions with evidence ("Dox or GTFO"). Users demand documentation of one another.

    Q: I see a typo in this guide and/or think something should be added. What do I do?

    Kindly post any suggestions you have into this planning thread.
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