Review and Critique of Flag Down 2014

Discussion in 'Scientology and Anonymous' started by Jeff Jacobsen, May 19, 2014.

  1. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    I think it's important to look over how things went in such events as Flag Down. I wasn't there, but I don't see any post specifically for reviewing how things went and what to learn from the operation. So, here's my little outline from afar. Feel free to completely ignore my viewpoints, but I still think a public de-brief, after action review, critique, or whatever you want to call it should be done. This isn't to shame or praise any individuals. It's so the next event can be better.

    some great speakers
    event/protest combination is good
    Security seems to have worked

    Have a theme

    * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    no press conference
    acoustics of room not considered
    you could only see the first speakers' heads (podium too tall) at Minnreg
    schedule of speakers kept a secret
    Cursing from some speakers, now forever on important videos

    Look at previous such events and learn from them
    Test things ahead of time (acoustics, podium height)
    Do a lot of "what if" thinking. Like, what if so-and-so doesn't show up?
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  2. I agree that a post-event review is needed if Flag Down is an annual event.

    I'm not so sure the cursing from speakers is a bad thing. IMO, the cursing emphasized the pathos of many speakers' stories. DeWolf''s speech is a perfect example of this.

    The bad acoustics at Minnreg were one of the teachable moments, agreed.

    Many speakers forgot to thank the entire Flag Down team, including amaX. Regardless of what anyone thinks of her personally or her actions, she put a tremendous amount of work, time, and effort into this project. She should be acknowledged along with the other coordinators.
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  3. I am with you on your first three comments.

    On the last one, not so much. I too thank those who helped. But I don't think anyone "forgot" to thank the Flag Down team including amaX. Remember that amaX herself said that 2/3 of the group disagreed with the way she handled Mark Bunker and Tom Smith, before she subsequently resigned as an organizer. It seems like the silence in this case was very telling.

    So I think one of the bad things about Flag Down was all the egofaggotry. Too much about certain individuals running the whole show. Clashing personalities galore. All while the hivemind was left without key information, supposedly due to security concerns, until it was too late to fix issues with the venue, video, sound, financing, etc.

    If there is a next event, it should be done by group input. We should discuss the city where it is to be held, venue choice, the dates, budget, etc. Then we can actually pool our resources and expertise to pull this all off. Who cares if OSA knows. Let them try to torpedo the place and create another footbullet that blows up in their face. They are the ones with something to hide, not us.
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  4. Nancy Beazley Member

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  5. Do you have something you want to say to me? If you don't like my choice of words, I have no problem airing things out to get things corrected.
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  6. It did seem like the secrecy surrounding things went against the event in the end.

    I liked the idea of the conference and hotel rooms for the speakers at the same place. I believe someone said, If you book so many hotel rooms for the conference, the conference room can be discounted. Probably should be with a larger name hotel like the Holiday Inn. They might be better equipped to deal with any hijinks of scientology.

    It's also been pointed out that scientology could book all available rooms at the venue if they found out ahead of time. So maybe booking the speakers' hotel rooms and conference room at the same time would work out. If the scilons did that, it would leave attendees having to go to another hotel, but there are lots in the area.

    Good idea for a separate thread for this.
  7. Let them rent out the other rooms. Perhaps that can be part of the strategy. Try to get a decent conference room at a very large hotel that hosts a few events at a time. One with like 800 to 1000 rooms. A) That's a lot of rooms to buy, B) There might well be other events occuring which will also conflict with a sci buyout strategy, C) Those kind of places are usually in a stone's throw of other big hotels. How many can they buy out?

    Also in my experience, a group holding an event can often put a hold on a number of rooms to give their folk first shot. Sometimes discounts are even offered for three-day plus stays. This period expires several weeks before the event.
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  8. The Internet Member

    I think it is fine for people to say, I liked this specific thing; I did not like that.

    But fuck off with the over generalizations like, “too much egofaggotry” else I will have to lecture about cold reading again. Then the elephant in the room will shit all over the rug. Nobody wants that.

    I could be wrong, but I think a hand wringing thread about FlagDown is here someplace already. This one does have some pearl clutching so maybe that is a bonus.
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  9. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    How were the speakers decided on? Any thoughts on whether a theme would be better? like Slavery in Scientology or something.
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  10. What a bunch of sanctimonious jerks.

    Do you really think any venue in Clearwater would have anything to do with hosting an anit cult
    event? Call now, tell them what you want to do and line it up. Go ahead. I'm waiting.

    The armchair quarterbacking would be amusing if it weren't so sad. Do you want to know why
    the Holiday Inn gave their conference room for the last night? Because they had no idea it was
    an anti cult event. The evidence is in the in the fact that when people called or asked at the front desk where the event was being held they had no idea. Why did they have no idea? Because no one
    told them.

    Find a venue that will host this event. Post it here. Do it.

    None of you live in the belly of the beast so you have no fucking idea what you are talking about.
    Let the old guard take care of it. They seem to know more than the little annoying gnats that are
    anons to them.

    You think this can be a hivemind event? Start now. See how effectively you can heard the cats.
    I'll be watching and laughing my ass off.
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  11. moarxenu Member

    Thanks OP for your thoughtful approach and remarks.
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  12. rickybobby Member

    There are many, many, many, many (did I say many?) hotel rooms on CW beach within walking distance of "the strip." Ain't no way Scn can book 'em all. They are all within walking distance. Also. Scn just doesn't have as much influence on CW beach as you would think.... they live on tourist and convention dollars. This is a very different dynamic from downtown CW.
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  13. The Internet Member

    You are a silly person. OG were often posting anonymously on Usenet and still post anon here and elsewhere. Some personalities have old grudges, just like every group of people. But OG v Anonymous is not real, due to Anonymous being Everything.
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  14. OK, wait a second. First you post this:
    And then you post this:
    You can't complain about generalities in your first post then give a big one yourself in your second post. There is no OG v Anonymous because it isn't Anonymous protesting scientology, it's Chanology (a bit of a generality itself) and you know it. 4chan left the party long, long ago. So did Something Awful. Haven't heard of any Internet Haet Machine black faxes, DDOSing, etc., going for a long while. Furries are off doing what furries do.

    Also, sorry for being stupid, but your overuse of hyperbole honestly makes it hard for me to understand what you are even trying to say. Can you please translate into plain English and be consistent yourself about not using generalities?

    In the meantime, I can further clarify on the "too much egofaggotry". The conference was about taking Flag Down. IMHO, the big drama surrounding it, much that has been well discussed now, occurred in great part due to the egofaggotry. Examples that come to mind include amaX leaderfagging about how everything was to be run, Bunker and Tom Smith crashing the first event despite knowing they were not invited then posting their smug pictures and gloating on WWP threads after they were allowed into the event (just search for their last several posts), Geir Isene with his own camera crew following his ass and lecturing everyone about how awesome he was and that he would do scientology all over again (like who allowed him there?). I would even include pedrofcuk as the main organizer avoiding WWP just before and during the conference like it was beneath him (while amaX was taking her hits) while at the same time posting on Facebook and taking his bows and accolades on there instead. Much if not all of this stupidity could have been avoided if the egos were put aside allowing for the differences to be sorted out beforehand.
    NoLeaderfags NoLies
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  15. TerapinEd Member

    Questions and views on Flagdown
    Attended the 1st night, just listened to the 1st few speakers then left (NBA playoffs on TV), watched the rest on live stream and also participated in the protest.
    First off everybody should be let in. That being said the organizers have a rights also. If the organizer exercises the right to bar somebody, I disagree with the barring but not their right to bar.
    Mark Bunker, I really wonder about this guy. It was made clear to him he would not be allowed in, He shows up anyway. WTF. Then he cries to the one person that can blow this out of proportion , Tony O, and Tony O obliges. This tells me that Mark Bunker does not have his EYES ON THE PRIZE, taking down scientology, he's in it to call attention to himself. Kind of a scientology media whore. I mean cmon, if you are not invited, be an adult, don't show up and don't cry about it. Be a Man. Then afterwards gets all smug about it. Good thing he didn't protest because I'd have probably told him how immature he has been acting to his face. It wouldn't surprise me if he is saving his movie for the eventual demise of scientology. I can see it now, the movie will start with "Hi, I'm Mark Bunker, I took down scientology"

    I don't care about expenses, but am curious who paid there own way.
    I liked Ishmael Bey and what he had to say. Was really impressed when he said he came at his own expense. Unlike Mark Bunker, Ishmael has his eyes on the prize..
    How many other speakers and organizers paid their own way?
    A lot of people had a problem with Geir Isene. I was there live for his talk. It was interesting. I think at a conference, its important to listen to all viewpoints. I actually applaud the organizers for inviting him.
    I like Pete as an MC, he's got the right personality to be an MC.
    I appreciated Russell Miller but all he did was rehash his book. wasn't interesting because I read the book.
    I wasn't impressed with John Sweeny. I'm the guy that asked him the question about all religions not free.(religion costs in my view but that's another topic) I think I pissed John off.
    I like speakers that bring something new to the table that I have not read or heard about.
    Jamie Dewolf was fantastic.
    I'm curious about the guy Arnie brought. What did he say? A lot of kooks out there, is this guy a kook? What did he say? curious

    Clearwater Beach was a good pick for the final conference. Scientology has absolutely no pull in the Clearwater Beach Area, unlike downtown.

    Hopefully this was the 1st of an annual event. The emphasis really has to be on the livestream and videos. More are watching online then live and even more will watch when the videos are posted. A great effort for 1st timers. Looking forward to next year.
    By the way, anybody know if the pizza place was free :)
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  16. The Internet Member

  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    The audio could be improved immensely by running the feed from the speaker's mic, and a second mic that would be handed to those in the audience, into a basic mixer that would be fed into the PA system and whatever you're recording with.

    Do it this way and the acoustics become much less of a factor.
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  18. Bobby McGee Member

    I was at Flag Down. It was a learning experience. Clearwater beach was fabulous. Two venues were secured within half an hr. One was more expensive so they chose the one that was used. Great Choice.

    I personally don't care about what $ was spent where. I will leave that up to the Organizers. Decorations are not needed. A great sound system, speakers and a venue that is conducive to the size of the crowd and sound for the live stream. It should be held in Clearwater.

    I also would like the Organizers to have a list of those who could help. Pick up and drop off at airport. Greeter at the door with agenda for the week. I would be more than happy to be on a committee to assist. There are many of us willing to share the load. To make the phone calls, e mail, mail etc.

    If started early enough one person should not feel overwhelmed. We are a team. I am a newbie here, but have been active for 4 years in the anti Scn movement.
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  19. laughingsock Member

    Okay I'm probably going to get beat up here but here goes,
    What about an open air conference that appears to be a free concert from a distance? This is Florida so weather concerns are a must but how can a state park take sides? Picnics, springs, nature and some live music too? People walking by might say to them self ” huh they look like some happy folk” and that's the hook.
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  20. Nancy Beazley Member


    For one thing, the sound could be horrific. There'd be NO acoustics. And if you did figure out a way to mike the speaker, you'd probably find that you failed to get a permit for using a sound system in a public area.

    For another, you'd have ZERO provacy from OSA. They'd film the whole thing and then edit it to look like all attendees did was scratch their asses and pick their noses.

    For every person who loves the outdoors, another one despises it.

    On that front, being outdoors for hours would sunburn some folks. And, as you said, weather. Sun, rain, cool, breezes.

    I'll stop there.
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  21. laughingsock Member

    Okay, how about just one day in an open area? Why hide inside and all. Isn't the point to raise awareness?
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  22. Nancy Beazley Member

    That would be better, I think -- but the sound / permitting / seating issues would still have to be dealt with.

    Let me hasten to say that I am not an audio tech. I speak often in hotel rooms the size of Flag Down and occasionally in huge rooms, where actual pros are wrangling sound and lighting issues.

    BTW, one thing I do know is this: When you're speaking ANYWHERE, you need to be present at the site BEFORE the show begins, doing sound checks -- in this instance (1) mic checks; (2) room / conference space sound checks; (3) audio / video / technology live streaming tech / sound checks.

    It's not cool to not start a program on time because you started doing sound checks at 7:00 pm for a 7:00 pm presentation.
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  23. OTeleventy Member

    I like every single idea and I think they should all be considered. I contributed money and I could give a fuck how it was spent, because, well, fuck, let it go ...thats what donations are for. It's a good cause, and I couldn't be happier. But, I really would like 2015 to be more free, and beachy, and fun. Does that mean I'm derp?

    Anyway! if it was more holiday like, I might contribute more and actually show up. What could be better? Fun in the sun plus srs bzns.
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  24. #1 Rule with events: Size Matters. Until you have Confirmed numbers, you are flying blind, so #2 Rule with events: You want professional, you hire professional. Event Planners.Their homework is to find out what you want, figure out what you really need, and present you with (usually) 3 options based on Rule #1. It is always always cheaper to hire professionals. #3 Rule. Event planner lays out the options with all basic information, including activities menu choices, costs, locations, and (trust me, go with a 3-day plan option) and if you have a real pro, media interest. An Event planner will hire professional, local audio and visual among many other details. Once the options are laid out with all costs involved, those interested need to make a Confirmation with a deposit. Pro planner will work the media as well. This is how it is done.

    I might suggest considering downtown St Petersburg, FL because it has more conference possibilities, actual parking, real hotel discounts, more diverse activities like professional sports, museums including Dali, wild array of restaurants, fishing and dinner cruise boats, theater, live band venues, shopping, marinas, and trolleys to the beach across the county. Some media are on St Pete side, but those on Tampa side are 15 minutes bridge drive away and much more accessible. Potential attendees can be given a choice of activities and interests in a survey and from there, discounted scheduled activities included in the conference program. If not St Pete downtown, Holiday Inn, Indian Rocks Beach has conference rooms, but would have to come up with some seriously discounted group discounts for rooms. They're overpriced normally.

    I can't emphasize enough that having a focal point would allow any media a helpful leg up as well as a creative stream to advisers and volunteers to assist the event planner. Narconon, for instance, is an obvious achilles heel, hot topic, and high interest as it revolves around an entire subject of lax regulations on drug rehab and insurance issues. Just an example. Or tax/501C3 issues which is hot right now, or humanitarian issues, slave labor. But pick One and theme it.

    A travel coach bus (or 2 or 3 depending on numbers) could be reserved for a final day of protest at Flag, driving up the coast line, staying two hours during key time (meals?) . Conferences should include hiring a band (variety so all are appeased; again, event planner would offer vids of possibles) after speakers with a dance floor. For godsakes, Don't live stream, but do have event planner know video for later Utube distribution will be a must and give time frame. If you want professional And fun at a manageable price point, don't do livestream. There Must be considerable group discounts for rooms. As far as airport transport, some hotels have their own transport but if not, SuperShuttle or coordinate with other attendees to chip in together for a taxi.

    Might ask accountant/tax shrews if there is a way to legitimately create a group that would make all this at least tax deductible to some degree. The point is that this should be a fun vacation destination as well as a conference where anyone can attend and plan for at the very Minimum 7 months in advance to get the a) a list of options from an event planner to give input to and then b) prices. But there Must be a cut off time where those interested confirm. All the above avoids All the usual pitfalls and might make people actually want to come to this thing. Should be first week in May or when Seasonal rates go considerably down. Share rooms; use Southwest airlines, other options to stretch budget. But a full conference and vacation for free? Get real. The more who attend, the less $ per head. And please use wireless headsets for speakers. Make it fun, people will come and everyone pays their way. I know, tldr.
    I'll refund my 2 cents.
  25. Mr.TKN Member

    Also, all that's really needed is a conference room in one of the hotels at CW beach - anything on the same strip as the Holiday Inn that was used the last night.

    The bus is $2 and runs down Gulf Ave, to some much much cheaper hotels (like the ones some of us stayed in this time). It runs pretty regularly, is air conditioned, and is an easy and quick ride.
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  26. Mr.TKN Member

    Agree completely! Due to some of the paranoia about how to know who is for real and who is OSA OSA OSA, a lot of things like ride shares and rooms shares weren't able to be arranged. But now we at least have a starting group from this first one. And although caution should not be thrown to the wind, we have a nice core group of folks who know each other now - and hopefully can do stuff like Bobby says - greeting, arranging rides, etc.
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  27. edit: A real pro planner will get the deepest discounts because they provide a steady stream of customers to hotels, restaurants and more throughout the year. Also, if only 20 to 30 people are interested, honestly, just Skype it or Skip it.
  28. I agree with everything in your post with the exception of the quoted text above. Creating any legal entity is like taunting the red flag in front of a pissed off bull that has its nuts in a vice.

    It's harder to legally attack individuals meeting at a private event, on private property than it is a legal entity (that is required to give a service name and address) that is generating revenue by using (according to possible causes of action) "slander" or "trademark" violations. We don't want another Cult Awareness Network on our hands, right?
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  29. rickybobby Member

    Here is a primer on 501(c)3 vs. 501(c)4.
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  30. SockIt2Me Member

    I believe she was a conference organizer, aka leaderfag. So you are condemning her for doing her job.
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  31. rickybobby Member

    Oh, fuck you.

    Good point.

    Stop making so much sense.
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  32. Darlin....I know the differences. It doesn't matter if it is a C corp or a 501(c)(7). What do you think is easier - filing a civil suit against an individual (or multiple individuals) for tarnishing your reputation in a private setting where revenue came in the form of donations or a legal entity tarnishing your reputation on a large scale and receiving revenue for it?

    If you generate revenue (regardless of what you are allowed to do with the margins, if there are margins) as an entity, and Scientology can prove damage then you have the settings for possible litigation. Why make it easier for them?
  33. rickybobby Member

    This was not pointed at you. I genuinely meant it as a basic educational reference for those who wanted to brush up on it. There is often confusion about the difference between a c(3) and a c(4). My bad, because I am on mobile and can't write more than a one paragraph post without frustration, so I post with a minimum of explanation. I will shutup now.
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  34. vaLLarrr Member

    What we need is free personality tests. And a booklet.
    • Like Like x 7
  35. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    A big part of my job at most of the protests in the 90s was picking people up at the airport. I had a big XENU sign to hold up so people could find me. It was fun. And scary, But fun.
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  36. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    there's some good stuff here, but honestly, it sounds more like you're planning a Shriners' convention than an educational conference and a protest. Things have to be aimed more toward the target, like setting a date based on an important time for Scientology, so larger numbers of Scientologists could be in town to see the protest. Stuff like that. And honestly, we didn't really have much spare time to go see the Dali Museum or such things. If you want to do stuff like that, book a 2nd vacation.
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  37. It's good that you've been keeping up with the Anonymous 101 reading assignments. There will be a pop quiz later on this week.
  38. pedrofcuk Member

    Cities, dear boy, cities.
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  39. vaLLarrr Member

    Worth mentioning that the 80,000 people registered on this website is at least 3 times the amount of globally registered $cientologists.

    We Run This.
    • Like Like x 4
  40. I think the group who moved the location to Clearwater Beach had an advantage. They knew the approximate size of the audience, and were able to secure a smaller but nicer venue.

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