3 Xenu fliers 1 Lisa fliers 124 Lies (It works) / What's Wrong with Scn 128 total ----------------------------------------------- Familiar faces seen:
Jeff Quiros Lucretia Familiar faces not present during this picket:
Mr. Get-Your-Facts-Straight Burly Guy Josh Craig El Greco Ms. A Mr. Tall Thin Sea Org Mr. Lady-I-Work-Here Movie Star Miss Pixie ----------------------------------------------- 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.
Photos at http://www.scientology-lies.com/picketphotos.000603.html. (Sorry - I took a picture of Jeff Quiros, but it wasn't very flattering so I didn't put it at the site.)
Peaches and I picketed the San Francisco org today.
SURE AS I'M SITTIN' HERE ======================== As Peaches has already reported, I am temporarily afflicted with an injured ankle, so I did my entire picket sitting in a canvas chair under a shady tree. It was nice not to get sunburned, but I got chilly enough that I was actually looking forward to the end of the picket. I would much rather have been up and walking around.
I was concerned about the legality of the chair (here in the US, we're supposed to keep moving and not block any sidewalks), so I made sure to check in with the police well in advance of the picket. I also set the chair on a corner of the property belonging to Scientology's neighbor, so I was definitely not blocking a sidewalk or interfering with Scientology's traffic flow. Best of all, it was a location where I generally like to hang out when I'm ambulatory anyway, a pedestrian walkway that leads to Market Street. It gets a lot of foot traffic and has the best visibility to passing cars stopped at the traffic light.
Peaches was an enormous help, driving me to and from the picket and managing to both cover the walking part of the picket singlehandedly AND stop by frequently to keep me company. She did a terrific job handing out fliers, achieving a personal best. Thanks a zillion, Peaches - you're the best!
LIES ==== I had a new flier for this month's picket.
One side was a condensed version of my "WHAT'S WRONG WITH SCIENTOLOGY?" page summarizing the reasons I protest the organization:
- Scientology locks people up.
- Scientology lies.
- Scientology is breaking the law.
- Scientology has a long, well-documented history of criminal activities.
- Scientology attacks free speech.
- Scientology hurts people.
The "What's Wrong?" page is the most popular page at my site (after the index page), and I thought it might make a good flier. (I still need to finish adding links to supporting information to the page itself; I'm about halfway done. You can see the page at http://www.scientology-lies.com/whatswrong.html .)
The other side of the flier said "SCIENTOLOGY'S LIES EXPOSED!", a parody of Scientology's "Great Lies Exposed!" series. (I toyed with "Mediocre Lies Exposed," but it just didn't have the same ring to it.) The specific lie was "Scientology works" and I included a handful of citations in which Scientology claims that the tech works alongside refutations of those claims. This was followed by pointing out that the contract you have to sign to take services specifically disavows any claims that Scientology works:
"Scientology requires people to sign a release before starting services that states: "... the Foundation makes no claims as to the results which may be forthcoming from the service. ... the Foundation makes no claims as to the potential benefits which may be experienced by an individual from participation in the Service." Scientology claims their tech works 100% of the time, but they say they make no claim about results or benefits.
"Are L. Ron Hubbard's claims about the state of Clear true? If they are, why won't Scientology stand behind them?"
(For the full content of the flier, see http://www.scientology-lies.com/fliers/lies001.html .)
I'm hoping to make this a series. I plan to have a new one for each month's picket, and I'll eventually link the fliers to the "Scientology's Lies" page at my site.
YOU'RE A FRIEND OF MINE ======================= At about 12:40, Jeff Quiros arrived and went into the org. Not long thereafter, he emerged for the OPS (obligatory photo shoot) (my favorite kind of OSA OPS <grin>).
Jeff was downright friendly today, to my great joy. He asked about my foot and how it happened; I told him I wasn't sure but I thought I hurt myself on an exercise machine (but of course he and I both knew it was his Gnarly OT Powerz <grin>). I told him my doctor said I wasn't supposed to walk more than I had to and he agreed that picketing Scientology constituted walking more than I had to. I snapped a photo, he snapped a photo, I gave him a copy of my new flier for his collection, and as he turned to walk away, I called out, "Nice to see you!" and he said "Nice to see you too ... not HERE, but ...."
Someday, the conflict between Scientology and its critics will be over. When it is, I look forward to having a nice celebratory dinner with my favorite local Scientologists, especially Jeff.
He is, once again, this month's recipient of the coveted Kristi's Favorite Scientologist award.
Hmmm ... maybe I should have an awards banquet?
FACE THE FACE ============= In general, the Scientologists passing my picket chair were much more "confront" than some have been in the past. At least a couple of them returned my "Good afternoon" and smiled in reply. I did see a few folks studiously avoiding looking at me, but in general they seemed less upset about a pair of friendly picketers than they sometimes have in the past.
PEOPLE MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND ============================== As always, we had several interesting conversations with various passersby. Many had a fair amount of knowledge about Scientology, although some had a few things wrong (or at least their information didn't match anything *I* had ever heard). One gentleman knew a fair amount about LRH but thought he had copied an evangelist named Armstrong in creating Scn. One lady knew quite a lot about his false war stories.
As Peaches reported, we had a long (at least it seemed long <grin>) conversation with a gentleman who seemed to have a serious M/U on the word "Scientology." As near as I could figure, he thought we were protesting SCIENCE. He said that without science we wouldn't have medicine, there wouldn't be rockets in the sky, and we wouldn't see the world around us (which is rather silly - people could SEE long before the development of the scientific method). Eventually, Peaches and I just stopped saying much and let him finish while we continued flyering passersby.
One young gentleman who was skateboarding along the walkway came over to take a flier but kept repeating "Uruguay" to let me know that he didn't speak much English. I launched into my rusty Spanish spiel, and between the two of us we managed to have a brief discussion about Scientology's criminal history.
A young lady came by and asked why I was protesting, and I began to tell her. She was surprised to hear Scientology called itself a church; she said "I always thought it was a store." I told her about Lisa, and she asked about Scn's stance on God, and I told her about the compatibility lie and the Xenu story (at which she promptly broke into giggles).
Quite a while later, she reappeared with another lady, older than her and quite formidable looking, who may have been her mother. The elder lady asked me to tell her what I had told the younger, so I did. She, too, remarked that she'd always thought the Scn org was a store. When I got to the part about OT III I emphasized that, to the uninitiated, it tends to provoke laughter, but to someone who's been involved for years and has given a lot of money and experienced things that seemed to work, it can be too much to assimilate - and for some people, it may actually induce insanity. She took that quite seriously and marched off with the air of someone determined to tell others what she had learned.
CAFE SOCIETY ============ Just as we were getting ready to leave, Phr arrived, so we gave him a warm welcome, handed out a few more fliers, and headed over to the cafe for lunch and conversation and a big hot apple cider to warm my chilly bones.
WHEN WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN?
========================== BIG thanks to Peaches for helping me picket without violating doctor's orders, and gratitude to both Peaches and Phr for joining me.
The next regularly scheduled first-Saturday-of-every-month picket is July 1 from noon until 2 pm, rain or shine. I hope to be back on my feet again by then. See you then!
Kristi -- Kristi Wachter 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.