Like a veritable Bill Cosby on Psych drugs, Dennis Clarke showed his fine parenting skills this afternoon on the streets of Clearwater.
Graham Berry and I walked out of the LMT and headed toward the police station when we saw Dennis Clarke walking our way. I had brought the mini-MintonCam with me in case there was trouble...and nothing spells trouble quite like Dennis Clarke.
I grabbed the camera and turned it on but kept the zoom way back because Dennis had his kid with him and I wasn't looking for footage of the kid. Clarke grabbed his kid and threw him behind himself and started shouting obscenities. He walked toward the parking structure but stopped to tell me he would kick my fucking ass. Then he started toward me.
I was standing right next to a k-9 squad car so the cops came out to stop Clarke and send him away.
While Clarke was speaking with the cops, Tory drives up and has a pleasant exchange.
It's all on tape....
and you can't see Clarke's kid...I promise.
Later Graham wondered if everyday was like this in Clearwater and I explained it was a like a big beach where most of the fish will swim around without harming you but there's one shark you have to look out for.
Dennis Clarke is the great white shark.
Tomorrow... footage of the other fishies who swam around us during tonight's picket... including Mary DeMoss (big mouth bass?) and many other favorites.
> I'm sure you and others at LMT know far more of the Dennis Clarke situation
> than most from his bullying confrontations at the pickets, also in having to
> deal with that football 'front lineman' physique of his and
> disposition,where, it would be better for your blood pressures I'm sure not
> to have him jump in your face's when he's behaving like a social monster and
> thug. In the context of his behavior at the pickets or his outright breaking
> of the law or personally initiated muggings, the filming of him is
> courageous and correct. If there's a candidate for the 'paddy wagon', it's
> I have to say though that after viewing the video you recommended here, that
> I personally had a problem with the fact that a small child had to be
> brought into this 'zoom lens situation which didn't really reveal any news
> except for the fact that filming him walking down a street with his arm
> around his daughter just out of doing that filming, would predictably
> trigger him into another tirade response of blind hate.....His daughter
> doesn't look older than 5 or 6. Even if Dennis Clarke has an IQ of 5; is a
> totally brainwashed SCN Mike Tyson type with the emotions of an elementary
> school bully, I believe that whenever small children are present, in this
> case his own, (it seemed), whom he had his arm around while escorting her
> somewhere, where nothing else seemed to be going on of importance to film,
> that unless the context of the social situation present warranted a video
> taping and confrontation with him, that respect for any small child's
> feelings should be primary to where just ignoring him without shooting
> should be the norm for respect of the child. I'm just going on what I saw in
> the video. It starts with just he with his arm around his daughter, walking
> along the opposite side of the street going somewhere. That's all. If that's
> the case, maybe just ignoring him in a 'no news' typically mundane social
> context would be the best option out of respect for the child. I don't mean
> to sound 'Polly Anna,, it's just that context sometimes means everything.
I understand your feelings and I thought about all those issues but here's two points:
1. Clarke was one the same side of the street as we were heading in our direction. There was going to be an interaction no matter what and I felt it was important to have the camera on for safety reasons. He only crossed the street because of the camera.
2. I believe the kid is a boy...in which case I was correct in keeping the zoom level back far enough so the kid wouldn't be recognizable.
I seriously mean no harm to the children of Clarke or any Scientologist but so many of the Scientology parents have been bringing their children into these situations. Clarke didn't use his kid this time. It was just unfortunate timing, but the same can't be said about Ian Shillington who had his son picketing the LMT at his side several times, or the many people who brought their kids to the airport to shout Nazi slogans at Ursula.
Wait till you see the footage of the man who is the leader of a Scientology boy scout troup who brings his children over to introduce them to the evil Bob Minton who brought the Nazi over from Germany. He knew the camera was rolling but he trotted his kids out anyway.
Or how about last December when the church used little kids as cannon fodder by making them sit on an empty street from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. so it would make the picketers look like evil people picketing children and christmas. If our messages are so bad, why force their kids to see them?
Just now, three staff members of the Lisa McPherson Trust entered our building from the Watterson Street side. Antonio, the OSA cameraman, videotaped us as we entered. With us was the young child of one of the staff members. The child's parent did not shout obscenities, grab the child by the face and hurl the child into a parking structure. Instead, the parent walked her child into the building and went back to work.
LMT Tech works.