Picket Report, Kristi Wachter
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San Francisco >Picket Report, Kristi Wachter
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 01:05:48 -0800
From: Kristi Wachter
Subject: picket report, San Francisco, March 4, 2000
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
X-Trace: 6 Mar 2000 04:05:59 -0500, 22.214.171.124
Organization: Lightlink Internet
Xref: news2.lightlink.com alt.religion.scientology:1081718
Date: Saturday, March 4, 1000
Start and End Times: 11:40 - 2:15 pm
Location: San Francisco
Picketers: Keith Henson, South Bay SP, Phil Scott, Peaches, Kristi Wachter
Handlers: Jeff Quiros
Weather: overcast and a little windy but otherwise pleasant
Number of Handouts given away: not sure
Comments: one new picketer, two videocameras
Familiar faces seen:
Familiar faces not present during this picket:
Note: Quotes may not be exact, since I didn't listen to my tape recording
at all. Also, I occasionally rearrange the chronology slightly to enhance
the narrative flow.
Five of us picketed the San Francisco org on Saturday. It was delightful
to see old friends and to meet our new South Bay SP (SBSP), who came fully
prepared with a videocamera. Aside from several semi-amiable photo
sessions with OSA Hunk Jeff Quiros (honestly, he's hunkier with the
moustache), it was a pretty uneventful picket.
THE PRE-PICKET PICKET
Before leaving for today's first-Saturday-of-every-month picket, I called
the police, as usual. I also scrounged around for a bookbag to hold my
fliers (I had some in an over-one-shoulder bag for easy fliering access
and loads of extras in a backpack).
The bookbag was a gift from a teacher I used to know (I spent some time
volunteering with schoolkids), and until today, I hadn't realized how
appropriate it is for picketing: it says:
"What part of 'KNOW' don't you understand?"
I had the same picket slogans as last time. On my large sign, I had:
SCIENTOLOGY: -> STILL <- BREAKING THE LAW www.scientology-lies.com
SCIENTOLOGY: -> CONVICTED <- OF LYING LEARN THE TRUTH
On my front sandwich sign, I had
SCIENTOLOGY HURTS PEOPLE
I also had a new flier, entitled "Is Scientology's Tax-Exempt Status
Illegal?" I thought it would be a helpful handout as US tax time
approaches. Like most of my fliers, it's a half page; it had "Scientology
Charged With Felonies In Lisa's Death" on the back. (I'll try to post the
new flier to my web site in a day or two.)
With all my extra preparations, I was HORRIBLY late, as usual. I didn't
even leave until noon, so I arrived at the org at about 12:25. However, I
did flier all the way there - I probably handed out one or two dozen
fliers on my way.
As I hustled over to the org, dismayed to be so late, I was greeted by the
vision of FOUR picketers already in action. I hadn't expected Keith Henson
and our new SBSP! I stopped to try to shoot a picture, then joined the
I distributed hugs and copies of my new flier and showed off my new
bookbag and offered a picket advisory to our newcomer. Phil showed me his
new sign (one side commented that three OT7s and an OSA guy had just left
and were talking), which we all admired.
With five people, we were able to cover the sidewalk quite well. The
others tended to pair off for conversations, and I hung out by the walkway
where Leavenworth deadends - there's always a lot of foot traffic there as
people head over to Market Street, and I'm able to do a lot of
fliering. Just like last month, I found that "It's worse than you
think!" (Thanks, Arnie!) was a more effective fliering slogan than the
less intriguing "Would you like some info?" or the lengthy
THROWING IT ALL AWAY
I noticed SBSP filming the trash can and surmised that there must be
Scientology literature in there, and sure enough, he pointed out some
glossy brochures that had been thrown away. Later, it occurred to me to
pluck them out for further perusal. I'll post more about those later, if I
find anything interesting in them.
GIRLS ON FILM
SBSP spent more time picketing than filming, but I saw him judiciously
shooting video at the appropriate moments. It looked to me like he got
some good footage - I'm looking forward to hearing what he got.
At about 1 pm, another person came by with a camcorder of her own. I'd
seen her at previous pickets and believe her to be friendly to the SP
cause. She said something about having a radio show on the air later that
afternoon. She got lots of interview footage with each of us - although
she didn't realize who Keith was at first, and after I introduced him as
the guy Scientology had sued over copyright infringement, she went back
and asked him a whole slew of other questions.
I didn't hear what station her show is on; I wonder if we could get a
THE STORY IN YOUR EYES
As usual, we got some interesting stories from passersby. One gentleman
remembered the Life magazine story (from the 50s, he thought); he said the
reporter went undercover to get the scoop on Scientology and it messed him
up so badly that he needed lots of therapy to return to normal. Does
anyone know whether this article is online?
We also spent a long time talking with a gentleman on a bike who had
developed a bit of interest in Scn but then turned away from it because he
was interested in Christianity and interested in yoga and he was told that
he couldn't mix practices. (Phil and I both told him how unusual it was
for him to be told that so early in his experience with Scn.) He told me a
lot about his own spiritual quest, and the things he liked about what he
was told about Scn (they told him you could only get so far with
Christianity, and yoga is dangerous because it opens up the mind but then
doesn't give you the answers); in response, I informed him about what
answers and techniques he would have gotten in Scn. I told him about the
myth of the reactive mind, and then showed him a Xenu flier. He was quite
amazed to see find out about Scn's space opera teachings (not to mention
the "There was no Christ" quote). While we were talking, a pickup pulled
up on the sidewalk in front of the org, and a gentleman came out and
started operating a woodcutter in the bed of the pickup, wafting
woodshavings in our direction and creating a LOT of noise. Interesting new
anti-SP tech ... I'll be curious to see whether sidewalk woodcutting
becomes a trend outside picketed orgs. Later on, the gentleman I was
conversing with went inside the org; I'm not sure if any of us spoke with
him after he came back out.
We also had a chat with a gentleman who'd had a couple of auditing
sessions. He was decidedly underwhelmed; they'd asked him how effective
the auditing had been for him and he said "about 1%". He was completely
unaware of Scientology's criminal past, and of course the Xenu story was
news to him as well. He said he knew a lot of programmers who were
beginning to get involved in Scientology, and he was anxious to research
Scn more and warn his friends about what he'd just learned.
YOU EVER FEEL LIKE SOMEBODY'S WATCHING YOU? WELL ... THAT'S GOING IN YOUR
(apologies to Dennis Miller)
As I mentioned, Jeff Quiros came out several times to take pictures of us
all - we even posed obligingly for a group shot. Keith hadn't realized
this was the infamous Jeff Quiros and had some sort of conversation with
him but I'm afraid I didn't catch what he said.
While I was talking to the guy on the bike, he noticed Jeff and asked if
we were going to be in the paper. I told him the pictures were for Scn's
secret files on their critics. Jeff mockingly said "secret files" and
smirked. I called over and said, "You mean you DON'T keep files on
critics? If they're not secret, can I see mine?"
Seriously, Jeff - if they're not secret, I'd LOVE to see all of
Scientology's files on me! Consider this an official request - Rhea Smith
(or whoever's currently monitoring ars for OSA) can relay it to the
appropriate channels for me. Of course, if this were someplace civilized
like England, you'd HAVE to show me, wouldn't you?
THIS MAGIC MOMENT
There were a couple of other moments that stand out for me:
A gentleman took a flier and his young daughter (who was probably not yet
old enough to read) kept asking him what it was and what it said. I
thought she was darling and I turned to SBSP and said, in my best
little-girl voice, "Daddy, *I* want to read the entheta!"
Phil was talking with some of the standing-around-smoking Scientologists,
and as I strolled by, I asked him (rather loudly), "Hey, Phil - didja tell
'em about the squirrelled tech? Didja tell 'em about RTC squirrelling the
tech?" And by golly, he went right ahead and did just that.
And I got a couple of nice compliments - one gentleman asked me out for
coffee, and another took a flier and then told me I had a nice smile.
Ah, a lovely afternoon picketing - exercise, good friends, civic duty, AND
kind words! What more could a girl want?
I picketed on the way home, too, and handed out many more fliers.
Once again, I failed to notice my revenge picketers, but on Sunday I found
a couple of bigot fliers (one stuck in my gate, one down the street a
ways). Just like last month, the bigot fliers have the parishioners.org
address on them, but I STILL don't see anything there about me. If anyone
bothers to go to the site, I think they'll be confused.
My thanks to all the wonderful SPs - Peaches, Phil, Keith, and our new
SBSP - for joining me! It was utterly splendid to see you all!
The next regularly scheduled first-Saturday-of-every-month picket is April
1 - April Fool's Day! - from noon until 2 pm, rain or shine. See you then!
the activist formerly known as "Jour" (before $cientology outed me)
I think $cientology is hurting people and breaking the law, and I
want them to stop it. See http://www.scientology-lies.com for more.
Can you say "Xenu?" ... I knew that you could.
This page was last updated on July 10, 2003.