Get Ready to Purify Our Rundwons, Bitches July 13, 2006
Making an informed and independent evaluation of the merit of someone’s views sometimes requires going straight to the source. And to the source is where we’re going to find out what’s behind one of the more mysterious, controversial, and litigious organizations in today’s world- Scientology. In response to our e-mailed queries, we got the following response from the Church of Scientology in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia@scientology.net):
Thanks for your email. Let me break down my answers for you:
Would you consider it a science, a philosophy, or a religion? And how do you connect all these?
SCIENTOLOGY IS ALL THREE OF THESE.
(Note the use of all caps- it’s as if L. Ron Hubbard’s voice resonates through cyberspace from the great beyond. Also note how seamlessly Scientology integrates all three schools of thought. Lesser minds struggle to reconcile the different views of religion, science and philosophy, but not Scientology. Why? Because it IS ALL THREE OF THESE.)
Does scientology allow for a sense of humor?
(While Scientology shuns psychiatry and prescription medicines, it embraces emoticons. If you know someone struggling with post-partum depression, send them a few smiley faces.)
This is No Hoax July 12, 2006
The research team at Gonzo Rangers has come through: by using aggressive journalistic techniques and working tirelessly all night and day this week, we’ve finally tracked down Joanne. Actually, by “working tirelessly” we mean that we sat on our asses and waited for email, and by “aggressive journalistic techniques”, we mean we followed up on an anonymous tip from someone who gave us her contact info. (Thanks Mr. Tipster, you know who you are.)
Anyway, onto the point. This is no freaking joke. A Gonzo Rangers operative got in touch with Joanne last night via email and spoke with her on the phone today regarding her Darrenator ordeal. We’re 110% convinced that this is no hoax. In spite of any similarities to the unconfirmed entry on Snopes, this is the real deal. The only “viral marketing” going on here is that the Darrenator is like a loathsome virus, or a virtual marketplace riddled with sketchy stalker services.
Obviously, we aren’t going to post any of Joanne’s info, she has been through quite enough, and in addition, she was very nice to us on the phone. Certainly though, there’s more to the story than we’ve even posted.
Big Daddy Darren DID contact her employer (not a big deal, she says, but it could have been), and additionally, placed multiple phone calls to the police to complain about her; we even got to hear a voicemail the 19th precinct of the NYPD left her.
Joanne, by the way, is pronounced “Jo-Anne”, not “Joan” as the phonetically challenged Darrenator thinks, and she was more than happy to confirm that she did receive the original five voicemails the from Darrenator himself. Fearing for her safety (shit, we don’t blame her) she started saving them, and after sharing them with a friend or two, they got out as an email chain, spread like wildfire, and eventually landed in our inbox and a place in immortality on the Internet.
Now that we know for certain that he is a real human, we’ve decided to remove his last name from the site. We’ve been planning to do so as soon as he asked us, but surprisingly he still hasn’t done so. Most reasonable men would have sailed on that ship already, but the Darrenator is enigmatic and not like many other men — he prefers to communicate via pseudonym and negotiate exclusively with threatening language. Here’s a case in point: a reader claims to have seen this email, sent to an acquiantance of Joanne’s:
From: Darren [mailto:XXXXXXXXX@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 2:00 PM
To: Donald B
i let it go.
if anything should appear on the web, you and Joanne can expect a lawsuit.
i have let it go. you should do the same.
Everyone is shaking in their boots, Big Daddy D.
Post your comments, thoughts, or legal complaints from “I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Law Firm” below.
Gen. Hayden Kicks Back July 9, 2006
Gonzo Rangers operatives recently spotted the shiny new Director of the CIA, Michael Hayden, hanging out with his family on the 4th of July. Instead of a normal American Independence day activity, like a BBQ, baseball game, or monster truck rally, Gen. Hayden was conspicuously watching world cup soccer. Not that we have anything against world cup soccer, we actually kind of like it. But it seems fitting that the former NSA director, a man who is responsible for tapping our phone lines and dismantling the fourth amendment, isn’t really into celebrating our nation’s independence from tyranny.
We’re not certain who he was rooting for but we have a few ideas. We think that he was either rooting for the German team, because he respects the Third Reich and Germany’s fascist history, or that he was there supporting the Italians, because he is a big fan of Benito Mussolini and the Italian fascist tradition. Either way, our operatives, who spotted the General at Finn McCool’s in the Eastern Market neighborhood of DC, were understandably afraid of taking his pictures, even though in person, he sort of resembles a cuddly bespectacled piggy.
That’s exactly how an effective fascist operates. A few years after convincing you that it’s OK to give up a few unessential freedoms and your right to privacy so you can feel a little bit safer; Wham! No more football, monster truck rallies, snowboarding or listening to rock music. Gay people, Mexicans and bloggers get thrown in prison and the we all just sit there thinking, “Damn, that little fucker seemed harmless enough.”
Or, maybe we’re just being paranoid and the lil’ guy will catch Bin Laden for us. We’re thinking that he’d better stop listening to our phone calls and get to work if that’s what he intends.
Damn, we’re amazed that so many of you are as into the Darrenator saga as we are. We’re thinking that if big daddy Darren weren’t off trying to contact everyone’s employers, that he might actually be able to take his show on the road and make some real loot.
We want to clarify though, for those of you who failed to notice the complete lack of ads on our site, that we certainly aren’t making any money off this guy. We’re in it for the chicks and because we’re really hoping to get a job reporting for the Wall Street Journal. And for the geniuses over at Metafilter who think that this is all a viral marketing scheme to pump up the site (or our links as one of you suggested)… pffft. We got the original info in a forward just like a lot of you did. Certainly, if this thing is a hoax (and we’re still guessing it’s not) we’ve been duped just like everyone else.
Another myth to clear up is that the real Darren probably hasn’t been posting comments here. Clever though they are, just about anyone can go and post a comment as “Darren”, “Darren S.” or “Darren’s Mom.” (Go ahead, try it now, it’s killer. You can even post a comment as “Chodeo”, “George W. Bush” or “Lorena Bobbit” if you really want to. Woohoo.) We did get a kick out of the fake Darren posts, and especially enjoyed hearing from Darla Darrenator. We’ve done our best to keep every comment up there, because we believe in freedom. Keep ‘em coming.
Finally, if you emailed us about Darren or a stalker of your own, we apologize for not responding. Our ISP is weak sauce and our web engineer is a recovering crack addict, and consequently, we can’t reply to our gonzorangers email yet. Hopefully we’ll square that away soon, but until then we’re always listenning at email@example.com.
The Darrenator Strikes Back July 5, 2006
We decided to get to the bottom of it and go right to the source — Big Daddy Darren himself. We sent him the original chain of emails, voicemails included, and offered him a chance to comment. The Darrenator responded immediately with this email, which kind of gave us a jump at first:
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2006 00:43:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: “Police Matter” firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Cease & Desist In Your Actions - Criminal Investigation
To: Gonzo Rangers
You emailed me regarding an issue that is presently an on-going criminal investigation by the Police Department and the F.B.I.
I am requesting that you cease and desist ANY action on your part regarding your intended actions denoted in your email until we have an opportunity to chat.
Importantly, this email will serve as a record to address your email. For my records, I have blind “cc” myself on this email should this correspondence be needed in any way.
I would like your phone number so that I can reach out to you to discuss your email. Would you please email your full name and phone number?
Thank you very much for your cooperation in this on-going criminal matter. Your email is very important to me and look forward to the opportunity to respond.
Want to be your own boss? Learn how on Yahoo! Small Business.
WTF? Does the Darrenator really expect us to be spooked by a fake free Yahoo account? Why is he such a douchebag? We gave him our real phone number but apparently, he was too busy searching for women to stalk on JDate to give us a call, although we did receive this email back:
More Darrenator email after the jump…« newer posts | older posts »