Preliminary picket report, San Francisco, May 5 2001
5 May 2001
Kristi Wachter <humanrights@racerrecords.com>

preliminary picket report (to be in time for Week In Review)

Date: Saturday, May 5, 2001
Start and End Times: 11:45 - 4:30 pm, minus break from 2-3
Location: San Francisco
Picketers: Peaches, Phil Scott, Keith Henson, Arel Lucas, Phr, Kristi - oh, and No-Longer-(As)-Nasty Mark, Bill Crawford, Robin, and a couple of other Scientologists
Handlers: Jeff, Craig, Robin, No-Longer-(As)-Nasty Mark
Weather: GORGEOUS - sunny, windy toward the end
Number of Handouts given away: well over 250 - includes all of us
Comments: 4-5 Scientologists join us in picketing the org with their anti-psychiatry signs

We had an EXCELLENT picket, starting with me and Peaches at the org. I had a loaner video camera, so I took some video as well as getting some pictures. Shortly after we arrived, No-Longer-(As)-Nasty Mark came over to me for a chat. All he wanted to talk about, though, was psychiatry, which I have declined to talk about at pickets, as I consider it a distraction. I told him I didn't want to discuss that, and he responded by talking about only that, with no response from me, for about 15 minutes. After a while, he tried talking to Peaches, who told him loudly and unmistakably that she didn't want to talk to him at all about anything. He persisted, so she said at the top of her lungs, "Get away from me! This Scientologist is harassing me! He won't leave me alone!" - which pretty much put a stop to his hassling her.

I told him I thought it was rude to keep trying to talk to someone who'd said she didn't want to talk to him, and he said "Oh, you think you're polite, bitch?" - so alas, I can't honestly call him No-Longer-Nasty Mark.

A bit later he went inside, and Peaches and I picketed on our own. Then he re-emerged, wearing a Psychiatry Kills t-shirt, and he and 3-4 other Scientologists picketed the org with big Psychiatry Kills and Psychiatry Destroys Lives signs. Peaches and I figured we'd let them have the picket to themselves for a bit, so we took a half-hour break (12:20-12:50), sitting on the curb, chatting, taking video, and handing out occasional fliers. Jeff came over at one point and asked what the strategy was, us sitting around, and I said "We thought we'd let you guys do the picket."

Phil Scott showed up around then and hung out with us, chatting up the Scientologists and handing out copies of Rev. Bagley's classic letter to passersby.

I had come to picket, though, so after a nice leisurely break, we got up and continued. Shortly thereafter, Keith Henson and Arel Lucas appeared! I was so thrilled to see them! The two of them joined us, and each had conversations with their Scientology handlers. Arel's conversation with Craig was rather heated, as he kept goading her about hating him and she kept saying she didn't hate him or any Scientologist, she hated the organization they belong to. Keith had a big long chat with Mark, as well as with some other folks.

Interestingly, none of the Scientologists fled at the sight of Keith, and NL(A)N Mark strolled with him for perhaps an hour, maybe longer. Clearly Keith's presence wasn't interfering with the San Francisco Scientologists' religion or terrorizing them in any way.

Among the Scientologists holding anti-psychiatry signs were Robin (whom I first met at Mountain View) and my old friend Bill Crawford, with whom I had a very nice brief chat.

Craig tried to engage me in conversation. I told him I didn't like talking to him because he keeps talking over me. He said "Okay go ahead," indicating he was willing to listen while I replied, but then he kept talking over me, so I gave up and went back to ignoring him (after making a loud comment to Peaches about how it was almost like he was trying to deliberately cause an ARC Break).

I did have an excellent, brief conversation with a young Sea Org gentleman, Jamie. He asked what I had read that made me think Scientology was breaking the law, and I said "A lot of things, but mostly my own reading of Scientology's own policies and my own reading of the law." He asked what laws, and I explained how I believe presenting the OCA test and its evaluation as scientific was fraudulent. He asked how I knew it wasn't scientific, and I explained both the investigations that had been done and the fact that there was no research available for people to evaluate. He asked about the investigations, and I asked if he had access to the net.

He said yes (I didn't think Sea Orgers had net access???) and I gave him a flier with my e-mail address on it so he could e-mail me and I could point him to the studies on the net. He excused himself and showed the flier to Jeff Quiros, who slowly and gently got it away from him. I called over to Jamie that if he "lost" my e-mail address he could always write me at info@scientology-lies.com (pointing to the URL on my sign).

He was polite, able to confront, willing to listen, and personable - and even willing to give me his name - so I am delighted to award Jamie the coveted Kristi's Favorite Scientologist of the Month award.

We took a break from 2-3 for beverages and sandwiches, then went back out from 3 until about 4:30. Due to the various Cinco de Mayo festivities, a big hemp rally on Market Street, and general city traffic on a sunny Saturday, the busses were slow, so I walked home, handing out several fliers on the way.

I really will try to post a more extensive picket report this week, and I'll definitely get photos posted, including photos from last month.

For now, though, I'm having me a big ol' pizza and watching "American in Paris" and "Brigadoon" on PBS.

Thinking about "Brigadoon" but hearing only songs from "Finian's Rainbow" in my head (and probably Scientology can help me with that),


Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Kristi Wachter the activist formerly known as "Jour" (before $cientology outed me)

If I am not who you say I am, then you are not who you think you are. - James Baldwin

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.


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