SD: Clamarama at the ComiCon! -- Barb
21 Jul 2001
The annual comic convention attracts thousands of people to San Diego. Collectors, traders, and fans gather at the downtown convention center in droves, filling the sidewalks with Klingons, mundanes, and whatsits. There's always room for one more off-world being, however, so I packed up some Xenu fliers stuffed with half-page Scientology Hurts People inserts, printed out a new sign, WARNING! BRIDGE PUBLICATIONS IS $CIENTOLOGY, which had a fetching color portrait of Xenu. Ida's friend Richard came down with his two nephews a little after noon, and we took a cab to the Con. It was a beautiful day to be out and about, and we started our adventure off with some great tacos at a new restaurant, The Tin Fish, which has an outdoor patio, right across from the Convention Center.
Our afternoon's entertainment was provided by a musician with a steel drum and recorded background music. He spotted our signs and said, "Hey! I used to be in that!" He got out, but still adheres to the shore story that Hubbard was a humanitarian, and Scientology was screwed up by DM and Ron's wife. Hopefully we put that illusion to bed for him. Having consumed mass quantities of tacos (mine, squid, extra tentacles) we proceeded to the entrance of the Convention Center and started handing out fliers.
It wasn't long before security approached and requested that we move on to public property, and we cheerfully complied. We were escorted by an older man in a faux Navy uniform (no, not SO) and had a pleasant chat as we strolled down to the corner. On the way, several people asked me for fliers, and he didn't complain, as I was not soliciting folk to take them. One of Richard's nephews went into the Con to look around, so Richard had to wait for him while nephew 1 and I started fliering on the public thoroughfare.
Amusingly enough, we already had picked up two watchclams. They were easy to spot, as they not only followed us, but positioned themselves on either side at a distance of about 50 feet. Both of them watched us constantly and used their cell phones frequently. Later, Richard and nephew brought another one along, trailing after and muttering into his phone.
The public property where we made our stand was quite pleasant, a bit of a grass-covered hill with big trees and nice shade. One of our watchers stationed himself behind one of the trees, the other occupied a piece of sidewalk. The tree clam was an older man with a paunch and a fedora. Sidewalk boy was a big bearded clam about three feet wide in girth, who made the crowds edge around him inconveniently. Both of them stared at us the whole time, as if we might vanish if they looked away.
This was some of the easiest fliering I've done since Brighton. People would approach and ask for a flier. Some stopped to chat, several thanked us for being there and informing people. Many of the folks we talked to already knew something about the cult, a few knew Bridge Publications was a tentacle of Scientology. Several people who took fliers intended to ask the folks in the Bridge Pubs booth about Xenu! One guy told us that his girlfriend's mother was very high up in the Scientology Organization in Arizona. A woman spoke with us, she had just read Corydon's Madman or Messiah, and was hoping to acquire Barefaced Messiah and Piece of Blue Sky. One guy read my sign as he passed by and yelled, "Down with Xenu!"
While we were there, we were near a security guard who was directing traffic into the Con. His radio was turned up very loud, and I kept hearing transmissions about somebody being on public property. Our "Navy" guy (his Captain's hat said, "Welcome!") came by to tell us that where we were was fine, all was well. I expect he did this in response to heavy cult complaining from either the Bridge folks or the watchers assigned to us.
I thought it was very courteous of him to let us know we were okay, perhaps in case some wanna-be security clam tried to make us leave.
It only took us a couple of hours to dispose of all our fliers. Running out of fliers, time to go. We decided to split up, just to see what our guardian clammies would do, and meet back at the restaurant. I took one nephew down the front of the Convention Center back the way we came in, while Richard took the other across Harbor Drive. That one arrived at the restaurant without Richard, who was doing some circuitous legwork trying to ditch his unwanted clampanion. As we waited for him on the patio, we spotted two of our stalkers lurking amongst the palm trees of the Hyatt Hotel. When Richard arrived, having ditched his, we were left with only the fat, bearded clam, who was peering at us and jabbering on his phone. Those guys must make Verizon very happy!
We decided to try and lose him, but for a fat guy he was quicker than we thought. No back exit from the Tin Fish, so we scooted around the corner and headed for the Clarion Hotel to grab a cab. By the time we reached the end of the block, our clam was huffing along about 3/4 of a block behind us.
Fortuitously, at that point a Yellow Cab was passing, so we flagged him down, hopped in, and told him to step on it! The last I saw of our hefty friend, he was stuffing that cell phone in his ear as we waved bye bye to him.
Back at the crib, Richard & Co. departed before OSA could arrive to take license plates. The cult probably already has the number anyway, he's parked outside of Ida's place in Hemet before!
It's interesting to note that they were ON us instantly! We spotted them within five minutes of our arrival. Oh, yes, they were expecting me, at least. I went into the Con of Friday to check it out. As I passed the Bridge Pubs booth, one of them snapped my picture. Later, I caught a guy videotaping me. Very peculiar, I was not dressed as a Klingon or a Space Babe, wasn't wearing a Scientology related shirt or anything. But, I saw his lens track me as I walked past him. He saw me staring at him. He moved the camera aside. I looked away. When I looked back, he was taping me again! I approached him and asked, "Hey, are you with Bridge Publications?"
No eye contact. "No." he said.
"Are you with Scientology?" I asked?
Still no eye contact. He denied being a Scientologist. He was wearing an exhibitor's badge, and, although I didn't see him at the Bridge booth, I will bet you cash money the guy had BTs all over him.
The Bridge booth had huge banners advertising L. RON HUBBARD! BATTLEFIELD EARTH! and L. RON HUBBARD'S MISSION EARTH! I heard one of the inhabitants try to snag a passerby with the intriguing come-on, "Hey, do you like science fiction?" but it appeared to me that people were staying away in droves.
Being photographed when off duty on an off day kind of creeped me out in a weird way. I couldn't get the stupid grin off my face, had they staked out all four days of the convention in case I dropped by, or what?
I hope it cost them some money. I hope Bridge enjoyed answering all those Xenu queries, too! I hope they enjoy it as much tomorrow! BAhahahahahaha, stupid clam-animals!
This is true,
"Every week, every month, every year, every decade and now every century, Scientology does weird and stupid things to damage its own reputation." -Steve Zadarnowski
"Comparing Scientology to a motorcycle gang is a gross, unpardonable insult to bikers everywhere. Even at our worst, we are never as bad as Scientology." -ex-member, Thunderclouds motorcycle "club"
Any text written by other authors which may be quoted in part or in full within this exposure of the Scientology cult is provided according to U. S. Code Title 17 "Fair Use" dictates which may be reviewed at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html If you're an author of an article and do not wish to allow it to be mirrored or otherwise provided on The Skeptic Tank web site, let us know and it will be removed fairly promptly.E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank