(Seeing that I still have my reactive mind and thus have a less than perfect memory, the events I describe may not be in exact chronological order, and any conversations described below are paraphrased.)
Yes, I know I said I was taking a break from ARS and picketing and all that, but then I found out after my announcement that Barb's parents had two Scienos come to their house, and I got so angry I decided to temporarily "un-retire"--I figure the cult pulled in a picket with that stunt!
Barb and Blue Xenu covered everything pretty well in their picket reports so my report won't be all that lengthy. Blue Xenu was in town on Saturday; I got over to Barb's place late Saturday afternoon and Blue Xenu joined us about a half hour or so later. I had my customary "Who Is Xemu?" T-shirt, my old reliable "Scientology: Space Alien Scam"/"Does the Bridge Really Cost $360,000?" picket sign, as well as copies of Roland's Xemu, Space Alien Scam and Insane Cult flyers. We started walking to the org, and on our way over Barb's sign started coming undone so we detoured over to Blue Xenu's Xenumobile to get some tape to fix it with.
We got to the org about 6:15 and saw that several Scienos were already outside waiting for us--some guy in a blue shirt and dark pants standing on the sidewalk by the org, plus a few Scienos standing by the wall of the org in the parking lot. We went up to the corner of 4th and Ash and settled in.
A few minutes after our arrival, a middle aged Scieno guy came out to take our pictures. He first took a couple of pictures of Blue Xenu and me; Blue Xenu got his camera out and started taking pictures of the Scieno. Right around then we got a "thumbs up" sign from a passing motorist and I waved and said "Thanks" and commented, making sure the Scieno could hear me, that "We sure have been getting lots of thumbs-up signs from people since we got here!". I told the Scieno to make sure he got a good picture of my shirt, and smiled and said, "Let's all say cheese--say Xenu!" He didn't seem to want to take any more pictures of me after that! :-) However, he *really* liked taking Barb's picture--he probably used up at least a half a roll of film taking pictures of her! She was moving her sign around and it was blocking her face at one point, and the Scieno asked her, "Why are you trying to hide?" and she answered, "I'm not! I just don't like the way you just think you can start taking my picture without asking politely! Why don't you try asking me, 'Is it okay if I take your picture?' and maybe I'll oblige!" She bullbaited the guy a little more, giving him the finger and saying, "Here, take a picture of this!", and he continued clicking away with his camera, then he went back inside.
We had one passerby who talked to us for a little bit who had studied about cults, and said he'd read "L. Ron Hubbard: Madman or Messiah?"
(co-authored by L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., AKA Ron DeWolf), so he already knew quite a bit about Co$. He took a copy of each of my flyers as well as a copy of Barb's flyers, and wished us luck and went on his way.
I don't know the exact count, but we probably had at least 10-12 thumbs-ups/car honks from motorists, one woman passenger who pumped her fist and yelled, "Whoo-hoo!" as they drove by, and one male driver who slowed down and yelled, "Fuck Scientology!", then drove off.
After about 45 minutes in front of the org, we decided to go do some stealth picketing, plus Blue Xenu wanted to grab a bite to eat, so we went down the street to a restaurant over near Horton Plaza and sat at an outdoor table. We gave out several more flyers to people walking by. Two women talked to us for a couple of minutes; one was from Los Angeles and one was from Boston. They'd said they'd heard stories about Scn and what a "scary" group they were, and Barb told them how the cult sent two of their members over to her parents' house, which made them agree more about what a nasty nut-cult the Co$ was. They wished us good luck with what we were doing and went off. Two other young guys commented on our signs but declined our flyers, saying they were from L. A. and already knew plenty about Scn!
I couldn't stay for very long and said I should get going, and Barb and Blue Xenu kindly walked with me to the trolley station. We gave copies of our flyers to another passerby at the trolley stop who started talking with us about he briefly dabbled in Scn in L.A., but didn't stick with it for long because for one thing he liked to *invest* his money and probably wasn't all that keen on giving all his money to Scn! Also, he said that he used to smoke and he had really wanted to quit and he hoped Dianetics would help him do that, and then he said he would see the staff guy that was regging him who smoked like a chimney! We then mentioned how LRH claimed that smoking *prevents* cancer. My trolley arrived by then so I didn't get to continue the conversation; Barb and Blue Xenu were still talking with him as I left.
A couple of passengers noticed my picket sign and commented, and one older guy with an accent sat in the seat across from me and asked why I thought Scn was a scam and how much it costs and that he heard that Travolta was a member. He didn't say anything more after that. I wasn't sure if anyone was following me or not, but fortunately there are security guards on duty riding the trolley cars; plus, I had arranged for a friend to pick me up from the trolley stop and give me a ride home, and I made it a point of calling my friend from my cell phone and saying I was on my way, making sure people sitting near by could hear me. Fortunately, nobody did follow me and I was on my merry way.
(now back to lurking, unless the cult does something else to piss me off, then you might see me again sooner!) Sue, SP4(:), listed on the Scieno Sitter list 5 times!
http://www.primenet.com/~xenubat "It will take a *long* time to find another enemy with the combination of evil and incompetence you see in Scientology."--Keith Henson