Scientology Crime Syndicate

From shy_david@nospam.org Wed Dec 09 22:15:24 1998
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: CLEARWATER PICKET: A familiar face?
From: shy_david@nospam.org (Shy David)
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 06:15:24 GMT

Saturday I had to take time away from the picket to attend a dinner at another function (a freethought dinner). Captain Ahab and I did not have time to change our $CIENTOLOGY KILLS tee-shirts, so we were wearing them when we entered the restaurant. But then we also carried one of the pciket signs in, to show the diners what we were doing in Clearwater. The dinner was held in Saint Petersburg, some 30 minutes away from the Fort Homicide Hotel.

About the time the goat cheese pizza arrived, I saw a man walk by the restaurant looking at me while talking into a radio. I assumed he was some kind of "mall security" person so he didn't really register on my cognative machinery.

Then he walked into the restaurant--- wearing a different shirt, but it was the same guy.

He walked up to the table we were sitting at and said "howdy," etc., and I noticed that his face was very familiar. I had seen his picture on the internet very recently, possibly from the Toronto picket. I told him he looked very familiar and that I had seen him on the internet. His smile turned to rubber and sagged a bit; I said I couldn't say exactly where and in what function I had seen him, but I insisted that I had indeed seen his picture. When I asked him why he was so familiar to me, he did not even shrug: he completely ignored my query, as if I had not even asked it. This seemed extremely strange to me: if someone I'd never met before told me he had seen my picture on the internet sometime in the past week or so, I would be very interested in where.

I asked him if I had seen him at the marina, since he had a weekend- sailor kind of look about him. This deflated his smile a bit more, and he ignored this query as well. He didn't just not answer: he didn't acknowledge I had asked a question.

Then he sat down at our table. He didn't ask. He was not invited. He then started asking questions. Who were we? Was Captain Ahab and I part of a much larger group? Was every one at the table part of the same group? What were our names? What were we doing here?

Then No Blink came in. Whereas the first guy was trying to be ingratiating and pseudo-friendly, No Blink was fighting hard to not appear hostile. No Blink sat down next to me--- without an invitation. He asked why only "the two of you" were wearing $CIENTOLOGY KILLS tee-shirts (there were 8 other people at the table), and where did the tee-shirts come from. I jokingly said that Eli Lilly was paying me to be there and had provided the shirts.

It was here that I took Captain Ahab aside and told him I had seen the first guy on the internet recently. I told him it was very unlikely that the two gentlemen were Scientology goons, but we should mind what we say.

The two continued trying to extract information from us, and they expressed anger (real of feinted) when we gave evasive replies. But here's the thing--- when we started asking THEM the same questions, we were met with evastions, or were completely ignored.

Scientology goons? I do not know.

Since we had to rush to get to the McPherson Memorial in time, we cut our dinner short. Captain Ahab warned one of the freethought diners (Gary P) that the two "guests" at the end of the table might be OSA/GO goons, and to watch what they say. Gary, not being one to beat around the bush, then introduced the two "guests" to the rest of the diners as "two Scientologists." Even No Blink blinked furiously at that and turned a little pink. "I... I... I... I'm not...." he stammered. The other guy piped up and said "We're not Scientologists. Are you guys Christians? What is this group? Do you believe in Jesus? I have a great respect for Christianity. What are your names?" This said loudly and quickly, and in my opinion it was an effort to change the subject away from our "guests" being Scientologists are not.

Gary P., being a freethought bloke who has been around the block a few thousand times, is an old hand at such evasions. He said "You two are Scientologists, aren't you?" The two kind of shuttered into silence and went to go sit at the bar.

It is entirely possible, even probable, that these two gentlemen were not Scientology goons. I do not know the social behavior in Florida, but here in California these two people's behavior would be considered very, very rude--- sitting down at a table uninvited while a group is talking, and interrogating two of its members and getting upset when we declined to answer. Is such behavior considered anything other than impolite in Florida? I've sailed half-way around the world, going to restaurants in some 12 different countries: in many instances I have joined people at their tables, or allowed people to join me, but only after being invited. I've never had some people just walk up, sit down, and start demanding answers. Mexico; California; Panama; Costa Rica; Tonga Tapu; Saith Barth's; Saint Martin; Marquesas.... dining space is sacred and social form requires an invite.

And damn it all, I didn't have my camera with me!

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