Anonymous propagagnda film to convince doubtful new recruits and skeptics. Notice how quickly the subliminal message flashes by from the old slogan, "Because None of Us are as Cruel as All of Us" -- a message that Anonymous wants absorbed by movement activists, but avoids fronting now on its JustSec op as counterintuitive. The training film claims that "anyone" can decide to run an "op" that will be "democratically" decided as good or bad by the "the public". But as this slice of Anonymous life below illustrates, there is no democracy.
Many journalists and a few of the "progressive" scholars of Anonymous (I wish some more critical scholars would show up) start with a fundamental premise that Anonymous is a "loose-knit" or "an informal collective" or "constantly shifting or changing" or "democratic" in some sort of rough and ready online way.
Anonymous propaganda (see above) claims it is the "first democratic institution in the world necessarily being good by definition".
Nonsense. Anonymous is a rigidly disciplined and hierarchical organization that is more like a paramilitary or terrorist or gang organization than any sort of Tupperware party or geek G+ hangout, which is how people want to pretend it is. I've written an essay summarizing my experience that this is not the case.
Whatever some very new and low-level recruits may think about it, Anonymous has only a few top leaders and a cascading hiearchy based on quests and accomplishments and obedience, and has a highly-refined system of bullying, hazing, and heckling of its own recruits, sometimes out of sight, sometimes visibly, something like the dedovshchina (hazing by elders of juniors) in the Soviet army or the press-khata in the Soviet labour camp (beatin by trusties of political prisoners). It has very clearly defined and elaborated symbols of power, identity symbols, memes that are transferred around, etc. just like the Bolsheviks or the Nazis or any authoritarian movement trying to come to power.
That's obvious to anyone who has studied the totalitarian movements of the 20th century, the anarchists and the Bolsheviks and the Nazis, as well as the subcultures that form in teen gangs, prisons, and online MMORPGs. I'm not a sociologist and I only study this in an informal way as a blogger, and unfortunately, there just aren't any really good scholars of these modern descendents of Lenin and Bukharin and Trotsky and Stalin -- those on the left completely discount any relation to past anarchist traditions and babble on about transgressive behaviour and emergent behaviour, doting on the wunderkind. We really do need to have public scholarship on Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street that is not captured by the leftists, the Soros nonprofit circuit, etc. and is independent also of the US military and government. Will we ever get this?! When will I win the lottery!
One of the hecklers asked me tonight to define Anonymous and tried to give me a three-minute propaganda film about his cult that he thought would "convert" me.
Of course, whether he realized it or not (some of this is rote training that recruits imitate without realizing its deeper meaning), he was echoing the classic KGB operation: when a KGB agent attempts to recruit a new agent, or attempts to subvert a dissident into informing on others, he will start with a simple, seemingly innocuous task, to see if the recruit will perform it on command, and get sucked in. So it might be something like, "Oh, you mentioned that newspaper article, can you send me a clipping". Or, "here's a book you might like to read, tell me what you think of it". Or, "Is that the restaurant he normally eats in?" -- anything to draw the person into their clutches.
So instead of following his instructions, I gave him the definition that I think best suits Anonymous, from Lenin: "a complete and open liquidation of democratic forms for the sake of revolutionary dictatorship"
How can that be if this group claims it is "democratic" and seemingly resting on public consent? Because they don't let the public decide openly; they decide in secret behind masks. Because they bully and harass and dox any critics and prevent actual debate. Because they claim falsely that they don't exist when in fact they have high-level secret councils and some of their main operatives are arrested.
Here's what I would have to say about JustSec in Stuebenville and OpLastResort avenging Swartz: I would say it's more about breaking down organic Justice and imposing revolutionary justice via the Internet than it is about the literal cases selected for the "ops".
And it's what Lenin said after closing down the Provisional Government and the parliament by saying "the guard is tired". This is a very good summary of the events of 95 years ago by the Russian journalist Kara-Murza, who himself was forced to leave Putin's Russia due to threats of prosecution and harassment for his critical writing.
So what you see in this little slice of Anonymous Twitter life is the following:
o a new Anonymous recruit answering the call to all cadres to come and harass someone identified as a "bully" (me, for criticizing vigilantism) comes to give me "the treatment" (doxing, heckling)
o she attempts to use the cognitive dissonance propaganda stunt by harassing me with swear words and insults into adopting her special cultish usage of the word "cunt"
o when I refuse to be bullied and stand up to her, she calls in reinforcements, consulting a higher-up in the chain who she thinks will help persecute me better and more scarily
o he arrives and then tells me I'm not worth it and that essentially, the Anonymous position is that they don't harass people for criticism of themselves because that's freedom of speech. But that isn't really their position -- it's like the Taliban saying that they're for girl's education -- they aren't really despite whatever showcases they put out front while they throw acid on the other girls or kill the vaccination workers. Even as he is telling me I won't be harassed for my criticism of Anonymou, two of his comrades are busy doxing me on Pastebin.
o he informs me that I should realize I am small fry
o she keeps up the harrassment and brings in some friends
o meanwhile another "wise soul" contacts me to tell me that he is preventing harm and is able to convince some Anonymous operators not to harm civilians (*snort*) and that he can't tell me too much about this (or he'd have to kill me LOL!) but he really does accomplish this
o likely the scenario played out about was his manipulation to prove this
o he then scolds the noob who was harassing me and appealing for help and tells her essentially she's giving the whole op a bad name.
Look, guys, do you really think nobody knows that Feb. 23 is Soviet Armed Forces day? A day in which the KGB often plans attacks on its enemies? If you didn't know it, they do, and they are right beside you, and you don't realize it>
So, this little scenario above with the free-lance harasser coming to annoy me, whistled to by other Anon regulars, and then seeking higher-level griefing capacities and getting rejected, as in fact a text-book illustration of a claim made by another interloper who said that Anonymous knew how to restrain itself for the greater glory of its Steubenvill op. But it's also a classic illustration of the secretive cadre organization where people are under "Party discipline" and cult rules.
So, follow along:faceyet @faceyet
@catfitz I'm looking for a way to get that crew to expressly say who is/isn't ops-responsible, because their tracks are on a few domains.faceyet @faceyet faceyet @faceyet
When I object that Anonymous' business plan does not include harm reduction, he responds:
@catfitz No Anon is an island. And there are gradations of Anons. | Choices made--and holding back, in some cases--may matter for lives.faceyet @faceyet
@catfitz Easy for you to say; that's your specialty. I've seen this very night efforts to keep Anonymous folly from hurting innocent folks.faceyet @faceyet
@catfitz I dare say I've seen more of the nasty parts up close than you have. I don't flaunt accomplishments; you won't know how I've done.
So, some kind of black hat who thinks he is doing Anonymous and the world a favour. One of them cut from the same cloth, anyway.
The old MMORPG style of speaking cryptically like Aesop on a quest as if ancient and wise and rueful. He tries to discipline Anonymous' ranks:faceyet @faceyet
@luxecunt It's bad form to intrude and insult from behind a block. What more do you have to say about https://twitter.com/luxecunt/status/300136799085400064 …?
@faceyet has secret l33t skills to check for blocking on Twitter! I've blocked @luxecunt as I block all these people to show up to heckle though of course anyone can look up a feed -- it's just to minimize their harassment. Actually, the skill is not so l33t. Maybe I could even use this command:
If you are blocked by a user that you are following, your user_id will no longer appear in the list of follower ids for that user, which you can retrieve via GET followers/ids.
So he reprimands this Anonymous noob:@faceyet
@luxecunt Do you even know how to check for blocking? You are ignorant about trolls. Did you study under Sabu?#JusticeSec Lux @luxecunt faceyet @faceyet
@luxecunt So you desire to be a jimmies-rustlin' troll. Don't you think you should stop being part of an opsec calamity?#JusticeSec Lux @luxecunt
So, rustle my jimmies? From 4chan? From people who say they've never been there? But you don't have to go there in the hologram that is the Internet! Sabu? the Lulzsec guy who turned state's evidence and sang to the FBI in exchange for his freedom?
So the foot-soldiers keep up the threats, and if they send the right signals to the right people, and those right people go higher up the chain -- "expect us"!Anonymous-Ohio @AnonXain Anonymous-Ohio @AnonXain
@catfitz lets take america for exaple then, you are a drone controlled by a subliminal message. a place that swears by freedom and takes..Anonymous-Ohio @AnonXain
@catfitz me and my family, for the courageous acts we do, to keep the home you sleep in safe, and fight for your right to even have a blog.Anonymous-Ohio @AnonXain
@catfitz thats when a retaliation will occur. it may not come today or tomorrow, but when the sites are set, its done.
So again: this is what you get when you sign up for JustSec. The women's groups and the lefty movements and publications that think this is all lovely grassroots stuff which is just what the doctor ordered to fix "the broken" justice system, look at what you are getting -- a rigid, destructive, coercive movement that seeks to brutally punish anyone who gets in their way.
Meanwhile, "the lady doth project too much," the noob comes to instruct her fellow noob in the way only noobs can do:#JusticeSec Lux @luxecunt Anonymous-Ohio @AnonXain
If we are to prevent this coercive embryonic totalitarian movement struggling for power from coming into being and destroying society and institutions, we have to keep documenting and opposing it. It's difficult because every kid with a cell phone now can be whispered to and flattered and recruited to fight the Man on Twitter -- even Rep. Issa shouts it from Congress.