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'First amendment audits' in california (religious harassment - Disturbing stuff)


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Wow:

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Anti-Religious Harassment For Profit Hits The Santa Clarita Valley

Posted by: KHTS Newsroom in Community NewsSanta Clarita Latest News July 19, 2021 - 10:00 am 1 Comment 889 Views

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Franklin Ornelas, aka PedoLibre Audits stopping churchgoers exiting church parking lot in order to film VIN numbers and posting them on two separate channels.

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Franklin Ornelas harassing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints earlier this year in Westlake Village. Via YouTube.

Oi.

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It’s a beautiful Sunday morning.  Parents arrive early with their children to church while the pastor rehearses his final Sabbath remarks. As smiling Sunday School teachers greet the children, suddenly, masked cameramen dressed in all black arrive in the parking lot and begin taking pictures of the families arriving while hurling insults at the Sunday School teachers.

“F— you Karen,” hollers one cameraman in a black mask as he gives the Sunday School teacher the middle finger and takes a picture of her license plate.  His associate, another cameraman dressed in all black, except a skull-face biker mask, hollers “Allah alyi Akbar” as he stops a car and films the VIN number on the dash through the windshield while waving military signals to others, supposedly hiding in the bushes.  The pastor runs out to see what the commotion is, but the cameramen refuse to identify themselves as they harass and intimidate cars coming into the parking lot, snapping photos of the drivers and their license plates while hurling insults.

Afraid the church is under some attack, or, that some violent protest is about to happen, the pastor calls police and orders the church on lockdown.   Several late-coming church members try and confront the cameramen.  As one of the cameramen tries to take a picture of his children, their father pushes the camera away.  The cameraman sprays him in the face with pepper spray claiming to be the victim of ‘assault’.  By now the police arrive and the father is in handcuffs, while the cameramen gleefully film from the public sidewalk.  They will make about $2,000 from this video.

Congratulations, your church just completed its inaugural “First Amendment Audit” and there is nothing you can do about it.

I wonder how far this will go before a more violent incident happens.

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Last Sunday, several suspicious and intimidating cameramen descended upon three Santa Clarita churches, harassing and intimidating worshippers.  Gathering in front of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on McBean Parkway, and later in north Valencia, the masked cameramen began hurling insults and profanities at church members trying to enter and exit the parking lot, while filming the VIN numbers and license plates numbers on the cars that exited and entered the parking lot.

“It was really creepy and unnerving,” said one church member.

“I was trying to drive out of the parking lot and this guy approached my vehicle, so I had to stop, and he began draping his camera over my windshield to film my VIN number on my dash,” said another member who wishes to stay anonymous for fear of future harassment from the cameramen.

“They looked like B.L.M. protesters trying to start a fight,” said another church volunteer.

Bishop James Hall commented, “it’s vulgar and it’s crude” in an interaction with the men that they published on YouTube.

The cameramen, dressed in black, refused to identify themselves, but, upon investigation by Los Angeles County Sheriffs and volunteers from the church, were found to be Franklin Jacob Ornelas, of Santa Paula, also known as “PedoLibre Audits” on YouTube, and Jose Armando Gonzalez of La Puente, aka “SGV News First”, also on YouTube.

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Jose Gonzalez harassing members in Valencia. Evidence submitted to law enforcement.

Here's a video:

And another:

It looks like the locals are handling things well.  Keeping the peace.  Being polite.  A bit of due diligence.  Call the police to create a record.

Back to the article:

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Both Frank Ornelas and Jose Gonzalez, in their videos, claim their harassment is constitutionally protected “First Amendment Audits” and they are “educating” the public on the First Amendment, but, to local churchgoers they appear to be at best, chaotic interruptions of worship, and at worst, anti-religious harassment-for-profit.

Ornelas was arrested in Santa Clarita on February 26, 2021, for “disturbing the peace by offensive language.”

First Amendment “auditors” are a community of YouTubers and social media content creators who film their experiences in public areas and their interactions with government and institutional officials to ensure their First Amendment right to free expression and assembly are not being infringed.  The content can range from funny, to serious, to non-sequitur.   Some auditors record humorous interactions as they walk into courthouses dressed like chickens, while others see how far they can go into a police station without having to answer a verbal question before being detained legally, but this new breed of auditor going through the Santa Clarita Valley seems to have crossed the line.

“These guys crossed the line from First Amendment auditing to ‘anti-religious-harassment-for-profit’ when they started breaking the law,” said Cardon Ellis, host of Problem Solver Politics on FM98.1, and a witness to the events.  “I have nothing but respect for the First Amendment, and, honestly, some of the content these first Amendment auditors create online can be really funny and start important conversations about our civil rights, but these guys crossed the line from protected free speech into ‘religious-harassment-for-profit’ when they began actively disrupting religious services and blocking traffic in and out of the church’s parking lot… religious minorities have constitutionally protected rights too.”

The Los Angeles County Penal and Vehicle code seems to agree with Ellis’ assessment.

California Vehicle Code 21950(b) states, “no pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk” and California Penal Code section 302 states “every person who intentionally disturbs or disquiets any assemblage of people met for religious worship… by profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior, or by any unnecessary noise…is guilty of a misdemeanor.”  And Frank Ornelas and Jose Gonzalez cannot afford any more misdemeanors say watch groups who follow them.

“According to public records, Franklin Ornelas of Santa Paula, is currently out on $75,000 bail in Los Angeles County alone and in Ventura County he would be in jail if it not for their Judicial Diversion program,” says informer Miles Somerset, who follows Frank Ornelas and Jesse Gonzalez with a group of online volunteers.

Judicial diversion is another controversial policy championed by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon to “decline prosecution on low-level crimes” and misdemeanors.
...

“Socially, we all know the line between free expression and worship,” says Somerset. He continues, “these guys are scum and are finding a way to profit on clicks and views by harassing common church members.  They speak in a gibberish that is often referred to as “fake Arabic”. They play on stereotypes to evoke fear in their victims.  They also use fake military-like hand gestures to infer they have other people watching and following their commands… Legally, however, as long as they stick to public property and do not stop the function of the public right of way or a religious service they can say whatever vile thing they want to record people’s responses.  But these guys go beyond that sometimes and we are trying to track their misdemeanors and expose their crimes.”

As of the writing of this article, Franklin Ornelas has a court date scheduled for July 28th for his Judicial Diversion and, according to Somerset, “Ventura County doesn’t mess around with this.”
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Volunteers from the church are warning friends in other churches in Santa Clarita and urging any other congregations in the valley to “keep their cool” if confronted by Frank Ornelas, Jose Gonzalez, or any other first amendment auditors that target their churches, because not all audits end so peacefully.  Another “First Amendment Audit” in Los Angeles at a Jewish synagogue, by a cohort of Frank Ornelas and Jose Gonzalez, resulted in gunfire.    They remind congregants harassed by first amendment auditors to:

  1. Always Stay Calm – most auditors profit most off of human reaction for clicks.
  2. Educate Clergy, Volunteers, and Congregants on First Amendment protections and limitations – “Auditors” are allowed to film, and sidewalks and parking lots can be indeed public areas where filming is allowed and protected in some cases, but certain religious activities are also protected.
  3. Audit the Auditors – If the “auditors” violate laws or private property protections, film them and present the evidence to law enforcement.
  4. Preach the Gospel – “Auditors are really uninterested in hearing about Jesus, or hearing you sing hymns. So, killing two birds with one stone by singing them a stirring hymnal or perhaps discussing an inspiring passage from the Book of John seems to be a wildly effective act getting them gone, fast!” declares a church volunteer, laughing.

Yeesh.  

The article also quotes Cardon Ellis, who really puts his oar in.  

Not sure what to make of this stuff.

Thanks,

-Smac

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It's not very often that Smac gets "Ninja"-ed ... especially not on stuff like this.  I wonder, will JAHS gloat? ;) :D

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Not sure what to make of this stuff.

It's the natural next step after certain groupd burned down cities for months and law enforcement was told to stand down.

Also another reason that people should be allowed to do what they'd like to do - Chinatown, Little Russia, etc. which are present in a lot of big cities. 

It all suggests to me that a separation is coming - like when the pilgrims left Europe and the early Saints left New England, OH, MO, IL for the West.

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I did say years ago sooner or later this stuff would happen.  No one ever listens to me......

Kind of like how no one would cause problems in the suburbs...

That being said, I'll be the good guy here.   Isn't it illegal to do that in California?  I thought they were a 2 party consent.  Then again, if these guys are antifa or something like them I'd wonder if they have felonies and nothing to lose.

P. S, waiting for someone in an SUV to lose it and run one of em over. 

Edited by poptart
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58 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

It's not very often that Smac gets "Ninja"-ed ... especially not on stuff like this.  I wonder, will JAHS gloat? ;) :D

Gloat! Gloat! Gloat! 😂

Smac can have it if he wants. 😉 More people will probably respond to his post anyway.

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58 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I reported them to YouTube, hopefully it gets taken down, losers. 

Here's the thing, people like this have their own echo chambers far removed from a lot of "normal" Social media.  Was thanks to some friends I know I got to see streams of events last year.  These people are scum, throw em in jail and like magic poof, they're out in days. 

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I think the members did the right thing by video as much as they could in order to memorialize the event in the event something illegal happens (heaven forbid). What more can be done? 

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3 hours ago, poptart said:

I did say years ago sooner or later this stuff would happen.  No one ever listens to me......

Kind of like how no one would cause problems in the suburbs...

That being said, I'll be the good guy here.   Isn't it illegal to do that in California?  I thought they were a 2 party consent.  Then again, if these guys are antifa or something like them I'd wonder if they have felonies and nothing to lose.

P. S, waiting for someone in an SUV to lose it and run one of em over. 

I don't know whether California is a two-party state or not (though it wouldn't surprise me).  It's not as though the question itself is utterly ridiculous.  As far as someone running one of the "Auditors" over, Nah!  Won't happen.  (I won't say it has not, in a moment of weakness, occurred to someone, but, of course, that's not the Christian thing to do.)

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3 hours ago, JAHS said:

Gloat! Gloat! Gloat! 😂

Smac can have it if he wants. 😉 More people will probably respond to his post anyway.

:D ;)

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1 hour ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I don't know whether California is a two-party state or not (though it wouldn't surprise me).  It's not as though the question itself is utterly ridiculous.  As far as someone running one of the "Auditors" over, Nah!  Won't happen.  (I won't say it has not, in a moment of weakness, occurred to someone, but, of course, that's not the Christian thing to do.)

My understanding is they are two party.  Problem is from the looks of it the bad guy has seen the inside of a jail more than once, kind of hard to ruin someone like that with charges.  Ahh man come on, can't you just blame it on the devil?  That mean ole devil, tempting those good folks.  

 

Edited by poptart
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Civil lawsuit?  Lots of lawyers in the Church, good chance if they try this often, they will run into one or someone with a friend will do it pro bono…but not sure would be very much, maybe for emotional damage…

Edited by Calm
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4 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I don't know whether California is a two-party state or not (though it wouldn't surprise me).  It's not as though the question itself is utterly ridiculous.  As far as someone running one of the "Auditors" over, Nah!  Won't happen.  (I won't say it has not, in a moment of weakness, occurred to someone, but, of course, that's not the Christian thing to do.)

I believe it was John Bytheway who said that if you are driving and an enemy is crossing the street in front of you and the scripture: “Slay him, for the Lord has delivered him into your hands” comes to mind you should NOT liken that scripture unto yourself in that moment.

Unless you are in Florida where you have civil immunity if you run over protesters. Sounds like a great deal but the downside is to use it you have to actually be in Florida which is bad because are, you know, in Florida. 

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"Unhinged parishioners ..."?

:D :rofl: :D

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7 hours ago, Raingirl said:

Highly unlikely. There are tons of “first amendment auditor” videos on YouTube. 

Yeah, and they have so many videos out there harassing your average people just trying to live life, they are the worst.

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