Picket Report, Warrior
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Subject: Austin activity report - Good Friday, April 14th, 2000
Date: 15 Apr 2000 18:50:03 -0700
Organization: Sunshine disinfects
Xref: news2.lightlink.com alt.religion.scientology:1099859
As posted by Wynot, he and I did a brief information campaign
around the Austin Org and the area just west of the University
of Texas on Good Friday, April 14 for about 30 minutes or so,
beginning at approximately 2:15 PM. (Note: I prefer to charac-
terize my activity as an information campaign - as opposed to
a "picket" - since I am not much personally interested in
directing my message towards the cult. My preference is to
instead reach non-members with the intent to better inform
them about Scientology.)
Wynot, for the most part, chose to postition himself directly
in front of the Org (at 2200 Guadalupe Blvd.), while I preferred
to do my little bit north of the Org. My preference for being
_near_ the Org (as opposed to being directly in front of it)
is based upon two factors:
1) it is not my style to "get in the face of" the cult's members,
and 2) I prefer to get my message out to those who have never been
members of the cult. Since there is a rather large flow of pedestrian
traffic coming across Guadalupe Blvd. at the crosswalk between 22nd
and 23rd Streets, I positioned myself where the majority of students
leaving campus while walking west would see my sign.
For the most part Wynot and I were apart from each other during our
brief activities. Our hand-held signs (with no sticks) both contained
the same messages. One side simply said "Who is Xenu?" in bold black
letters on white posterboard with "www.xenu.net" underneath. The other
side read "Scientology lies!" with "www.scientology-lies.com" underneath.
I would frequently flip my sign around to let people read both sides.
We had been in the area for perhaps 5 minutes when four different handlers
emerged from the Org. One of them had a digital camera (Sony Mavica),
while the other had a videocamera. Two others mainly observed our actions
What followed was the usual barrage of harrassive questions and insults.
Some of which I recall as being:
"Who is Xenu? Is he the evil galactic overlord who murdered the souls of
dead space aliens? Is that who he was??? Sounds like a disinformation
campaign to me."
"_That_ must be what it is: a disinformation campaign."
"Why are you doing this???"
"Why are you doing this? Do you think anyone cares???"
"No one is paying any attention to you guys!!"
"You guys both look like nut cases. No one is interested in what you
loonies have to say."
"What's your name?"
"Who sent you here?"
"Can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Why are you harrassing my church [sic]?"
I found this last statement particularly hypocritical since the
cult's members were the ones harrassing me! But I was completly
unsurprised by _all_ of their statements and questions. After all,
I am an ex-member of 14 years, and I *know* the "drill"; I know
the "patter"; I know the "on Source handlings" for such situations.
I can only describe the cult's members' actions as infantile, inane,
_completely_ predictable almost to the word, harrassive, as well as
characterising the actions and words of warped, deluded, "ser-fac'ing"
Ronbots. Sad, actually... I do have compassion for them as members of
the human race. And since I used to "think" very much like them,
I _do_ understand. I find it equally saddening that they have no idea
(in my opinion) how ~batty~ they sound and appear to "wogs"... And to
think that they are the ones calling _me_ a "nut case" and a "looney",
I was not there to "deprogram" or "handle" or "confront" or to
otherwise engage them. Nor did I choose to respond to their antics.
In fact, during the entire time I was on Guadalupe Blvd., I never
once uttered a single word to anyone but students and other passersby.
All the time this was going on, one of the handlers with a videocamera
was in my face filming me. I simply kept on picketing and smiling away
while posing occasionally. Every now and then the guy with the video-
camera would stop to ask a street vendor or student what they thought
about us picketers. I did hear one gentleman remark that he felt it
is our right to peaceably demonstrate and to exercise our right to
Freedom of Speech. (Right on!)
As I said above, I did not utter a single word to any of the four
Scientologists in response to their harrassive taunts, insults and
"questions". One handler claimed that he did not work for Scientology,
but that he worked for a group "up the street", while pointing north.
I found this to be very amusing since he had clearly come out of the Org.
And, even more importantly, that he _volunteered_ this "information" was
curiously strange. It was almost as if he had been coached to say that.
But as I had not even asked him a question, I can't imagine why he
volunteered this little laughable gem of "info" to me. Oh well... He
can always report to Qual Cramming to "refine" his "technique".
At one point near the end of my activity on Guadalupe Blvd., a car
pulled over with both the driver and passenger beaming enthusiastically
and energetically giving me "thumbs up" while yelling in unison
"We *KNOW*!!!", in response to the side of my sign which said "Scien-
tology Lies!". Then the passenger excitedly shared with me a flier he
had been given by an unknown fellow earlier that same day! I happily
looked at the flier and saw that it was indeed the work of a critic,
for it had Xenu's picture along with some info and websites. (Later I
was to learn that Albert was responsible for this cool product!)
All in all I had a great time getting my point of view out to folks,
chatting and answering questions from a few students and other pedes-
trians, while not allowing OSA's handlers to distract me.
Close to 3 PM I had to leave, so I headed on foot north up the Drag
(Guadalupe Blvd., as known affectionately by the locals). Then I turned
west on 24th Street for a block, then turned south onto San Antonio
Street towards my car. Realizing that I was being stalked by two of
the four handlers who had been on Guadalupe Blvd., I stopped in at
a parking lot booth and politely asked the attendant if I could use his
telephone. The fellow was very nice, and he offered to dial 911 for me.
(Most Texans are very friendly folks, I kid you not...) :-)
After getting the police on the phone, I calmly and assertively stated
that I was being stalked by persons whom I believed to be Scientologists
and that I requested an officer to respond to the corner of West 23rd
and San Antonio Street. I told the policewoman taking my request that I
would wait right there until an officer arrived.
While waiting for the police, I continued to show my sign to approaching
traffic as well as to the pedestrians. After awhile I decided to do a
little "confront" with the older Scieno watching me from a bench perhaps
15 yards away. He was the oldest Scieno of the four I had seen so far
- about 45 years old - approximately 5'9", dressed in a white shirt
and tie, with sunglasses on. He had a huge "beer gut" hanging over his
belt, and I estimate that he weighed about 240 pounds, or about 50% over
his ideal weight for his size. His hair was a greying light brown, and he
had a grey mustache as well.
As I stood near the southeast corner of West 23rd and San Antonio Street
while waiting for the police, I began to focus on him as I held my sign
with the side with "Scientology Lies!" facing straight at him. He confronted
me for 8 seconds before looking away. Then, looking back, he confronted me
for another 8 seconds before breaking eye contact. The third time he lasted
all of 30 seconds before his "TRs went out". Meanwhile I continued to confront
him without so much as a blink...
Shortly, a fifth Scieno made her presence known. It was the inimitable
Cathy Norman, Austin's very own DSA of many years. She walked straight up
to me and asked, "Are you the one who's been putting graffiti around here?"
Then she remarked that the graffiti consisted of the exact same slogans
as the ones Wynot and I had used on our signs!
I chose not to answer her ridiculous "question" (actually delivered with
the tone of an _accusation_), instead preferring to simply look at her
with a disgusted look. I continued to ignore her "question".
She remarked rhetorically, "Aren't you going to answer me? Oh well, I
guess not!" Then she abruptly left.
I went back to showing my sign to everyone in the vicinity. While
standing there I noticed a silver economy-sized car had passed by me
for the second time. Within the next ten minutes or so, the same
vehicle with a female driver passed by me yet three more times,
making a total of five passes. I believe this was probably yet
another Scieno (for a total of perhaps six handlers this day).
Shortly after that the police arrived. Two officers in seperate cars
arrived. The male took my report and my identification, while the
female asked Cathy Norman to step away from me and the other officer
so she could speak with Cathy.
I stated simply that I was being stalked and I wished to make a report
since it is illegal to stalk people. The officer told me that I was
correct to have made the report/complaint. I then inquired as to whether
it is legal to picket or protest in residential areas in Austin. He
informed me that it is, so long as the picketer(s) remain on _public_
property, and that should they trespass onto my property it would be a
violation of the law.
He also informed me that should the cult leaflet my neighborhood with
pamplhets calling me a "religious bigot", that I should be sure to get
a couple of copies and to use them in a follow-up report, while adding
that they would be useful evidence in a defamation suit! (I wondered
whether he reads a.r.s.!)
While the male officer was taking my statement/complaint, Cathy Norman
kept creeping closer in an obvious attempt to listen in on the conver-
sation. That was the point at which the female officer (mentioned above)
had asked Cathy to step away. I did manage to hear Cathy ask loudly (as
if she intended me to hear her) when she asked the female officer about
obtaining a copy of my report/complaint.
I let the officers know I had to be going so as to get Wynot to the
airport. The officers assured me they would remain there and make
sure the culties did not continue to follow me. Again the male officer
informed me that I did the right thing by calling the police and making
I thanked them and left smiling causatively, proceeding south along
San Antonio Street towards my car with Wynot waiting worriedly inside it.
All the best,
This page was last updated on July 10, 2003.