AnonSparrow aka Brian Mandigo has been protesting the Washington DC Church of Scientology since 2008. YouTube has countless hours of him yelling provocative one or two-liners toward the org and adjacent traffic intersection, punctuated by occasional conversations with passers by or OSA handlers. Sparrow once was on staff at the DC org and sometimes says, "Hi so-and-so," to people he knows as he stands on the sidewalk with his sign, camera, and Guy Fawkes mask.
In August of this year the DC org's Executive Director, Kim Belotte, requested and was granted a temporary restraining order against Sparrow. Later, the DC district attorney charged him with "attempted stalking," whatever that is. Scientology's infamous in-house attorney and Operation Snow White unindicted co-conspirator, Kendrick Moxon, is representing Ms. Belotte.
Listen to Sparrow's innocence (as in "n00b") as he asks the officers in the video below, "She's gonna go try to get this order that you're talking about, but do I have a say in this? She can't just go, 'Get me this order,' and it gets issued. They have to hear my side, right? They can't just take her word for it."
The officers try to explain how restraining orders work. I'm not sure Sparrow understands. Fighting a restraining order isn't the same as fighting a criminal charge. The presumption of innocence isn't as important, and the subjective sense of fear articulated by the alleged stalking victim counts for a lot.
If Sparrow understood what the officers were saying, I don't think he would have responded with a comment like, "I'm not gonna stop (protesting)."
Notice how the police refer to "she" and "her complaint," while Sparrow refers to "they," saying things like, "they can bring it," when the officers mention "the possibility of an arrest warrant" about five minutes into the video. Sparrow is clearly stuck in the protester's mind set, imagining himself struggling against impersonal, corporate Scientology when in fact his immediate opponent is a particular woman who has reported to police that she is frightened.
My heart goes out to Sparrow as he faces a legal mess for months and perhaps years to come.
Hubbard's advice to use the legal system as a means of bullying perceived enemies has become something of a sacred ritual within Scientology. The practice highlights a particular weakness of our system of justice: the mere process of going to court is injurious to the parties involved in terms of time, money, anxiety, and lost opportunities to do other things. Ergo, a corporation with a deep legal war chest can win, even when it can't win, simply by outlasting the financial and emotional reserves of the opposing party.
Imma cross my fingers for the poor endearing, idealistic, and somewhat nerdy Sparrow, and for great justice.