a picket at the Scientology building in San Francisco
Suppressives: phr, Meklar, and me
Date/Time: 8/28/98, about 12:00 until about 1:30
Handouts: fliers (sucker/law, mint/law, "Why I Picket", criminal allegations, Lisa, Xenu), suckers, mints, Attorney General postcards
Tools: sign, disposable camera, tape recorder, bag-o-suckers-n-mints
Weather: sunny and warm
Foot Traffic: steady
Street Traffic: steady
Scn Response: mostly ignored us; Stress Test table at the end; Scientologists picketed my residence
General Passerby Response: very favorable
Stats: 48 mint/law fliers; 44 suckers and 50 sucker/law fliers; 0 "Why" fliers; 6 Lisa fliers; 1 Xenu flier; 32 Attorney General postcards; 0 "is $cn breaking the law" fliers. Total: 137 fliers/postcards.
Note: as I do NOT have perfect memory, any quotes below are very close paraphrases. I apologize for any inadvertent inaccuracies and will try to correct any errors that are pointed out to me.
Phr and I decided to picket the San Francisco org on McAllister, and to my utter delight, Meklar showed up, too! We were kind of hoping Bob and Stacy might join us, but we did a dandy picket with just us three. I had a special incentive for picketing today - I wanted to let $cn know that I wasn't intimidated by their counter-pickets at my residence.
It was a pleasant day, with lovely weather, warm enough for the lighter red picketing top.
I gave out far more fliers than suckers and mints - once again, people opted for info over candy. Also, as before, people who declined fliers saying they already knew about $cn were more than happy to take an Attorney General postcard.
THE USUAL NON-CONFRONT
As I approachedthe org, I saw that there were no body routers, and the Stress Test table was not set up.
I saw one of the usual Scientologists, Usual Smoker, standing outside smoking. I wished him a good afternoon, but he didn't reply.
Later, I saw Mr. Get-Your-Facts-Straight, who, as usual, ignored me. I also saw a pleasant-looking black man leave the org, and, since I'd been told that one of the two gentlement who picketed my home on Wednesday was a pleasant-looking black man, I asked him whether he had, in fact, picketed my home. He, too, declined to respond. (Since I now know that I was picketed during this picket, by the same two gentlemen who came by on Wednesday, it seems likely that he was on his way over to my place when I saw him leave.)
SOMETIMES THIS IS REALLY HARD
One gentleman stopped to talk to me and told me about his own experience with Scientology, and how it destroyed his family. He said he had sued $cn for $100,000,000, but lost because the statute of limitations had expired. He said his wife had died due to $cn's attempt to handle her illness with $cn tech:
"She was in trouble and they didn't let her - she was coughing up blood, and the Scientologists said, oh, it was an ethics problem and sent her to ethics, and there they claimed that she was insane, which she wasn't, and $cn takes your children, and separates you from them. So they take your kids to a cadet org, and when a child really needs -" (we got interrupted for a moment here) "and then when she was bleeding they didn't want to take her to a doctor. They just let her bleed and she got worse." I asked him when this happened; he said 1980. "They used to follow us around and harass us," he said.
I feel terrible for the people who have lived through this horrific treatment. ... I'm glad that I can offer them a tiny boost by picketing.
THE MANY FACES OF SCIENTOLOGY
Meklar pointed out that he recognized very few faces; he doesn't make it to an SF picket very often, but he almost never sees anyone he's seen there before. I, of course, recognized Mr. Get-Your-Facts-Straight, the Usual Smoker, and Our Lady of the Stress Test Table (who brought out the table about an hour into our picket), but I was surprised not to see Jeff or any of the other somewhat familiar faces.
EVEN THE STRANGERS ARE PROTECTIVE
One gentleman asked me, "Aren't you afraid of what the Scientologists will do to you?" I told him I refused to let them intimidate me. I have a RIGHT to picket, and I fully intend to exercise it for as long as I wish to.
One very nice lady remembered someone else coming out and picketing the org; from her description, I'm guessing it was Wayne. I gave her the sad news that he's gone now.
As usual, some people wanted to know what $cn had done to me to get me out there picketing. I gave my usual response - it wasn't anything $cn had done to me personally that got me out there, it was concern over Lisa and fear that there might be others like her, and outrage that so many people had been so badly hurt - but this time I did also get to mention that they had picketed my home, which met with uniformly negative reactions from my audience.
And, of course, sometimes you can't win: one gentleman took a postcard because he disliked $cn, but then tore it up because he disliked Dan Lungren (current CA Attorney General, to whom it's addressed) even more.
$cn seems to have a hard time deciding about Christ. Was there one, or not? You can't tell until you open the box (or get to the higher levels).
One gentleman spent a fair amount of time with me, asking questions, probing the information on my fliers. He wanted to know how $cn scammed people, and I explained that they tell people they have a reactive mind, even though there's no evidence that such a thing exists, and that they can only get rid of it with expensive $cn services. We were standing near the stress test table, and he approached Our Lady Thereof and started asking her about the reactive mind. I left him to his conversation with her and continued picketing - but a moment later he called over to me that he couldn't get a straight answer out of her ("She's telling me everything but the truth!").
I called back a suggestion that he ask her whether $cn is compatible with other religions. (I believe he had told me earlier that he was a Christian.) So he did. She told him, "Scientology is all-denominational." I called over, "So ask her why they later teach that there is no Christ?" She denied that that's part of $cn. I called over, "She just lied to you. Either she just lied to you or she doesn't know." He looked back at me, annoyed, and said, "I can't get a straight answer out of her!"
I was several feet away, and she was talking to him, not me, but at this point I believe I heard her say that of COURSE there IS a Christ.
<sigh> I do believe I'm going to have to write up ANOTHER flier.
EVERYONE ENJOYS A SOOTHING BEVERAGE
Around 1:30, we adjourned to our usual cafe for liquids and snacks. Meklar only stayed for a bit. I was really glad to FINALLY have a chance to talk with phr - usually I'm in such a hurry that I don't have much time for conversation.
It was an excellent picket, I thought. Thanks to both of my co-picketers for joining me!
Kristi / Jour
This page was last updated on May 8, 1999.