South Bay Picket Report 8 Jul 01
13 Jul 2001
Prignillius <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]>


Well, if the San Francisco picket was uneventful, it was still a veritable three-ring circus compared to the picketing in San Jose and adjoining city that Arel Lucas and I did on Sunday, July 8.

I was a 3-org kind of day in the South San Francisco Bay area. I wish it had been a 5-org kind of day, but we got a late start, due to my doing touristy things (I *was* on vacation, after all ;), and then I had to catch a plane.

We finally hit the Los Gatos org (I guess it used to be in Los Gatos -- it's now in Campbell, just south of San Jose, on Bascom) at about 3:00 on a bright, sunny afternoon with temperature in the mid- seventies (F).

This org is very anonymous. I had to drive by it 3 times before I could see it. It has a sign about 8 inches tall and about 8 feet wide that says "Scientology." It's about 10 feet off the ground. On the side of an office building.

Arel and I walked back and forth in front of the office building for about 20 minutes. I would not have even sworn they knew we were there, although I did see three young men wearing white button-down shirts and slacks come out and get into a car at one point. I guess they might have been from the org, but they could just as easily have been from one of the other businesses in that office building. I made sure they got a good look at my sign, both sides, wherever they were from.

However, Arel said the Scientologists did sneak out and take our picture at one point. They must have gotten a good one of my backside, because I sure didn't see them.

I remember 2 horn-honks, 1 of which was accompanied by a very enthusiastic thumbs-up, and no other activity or response.

Next we went over to the tiny San Jose Mission, at the corner of Hedding and Winchester. If they hadn't had "Personality Testing" in cheap construction-paper cut-out letters in the window, I never would have found this place. They do have a sign, that says "Scientology," in multi-colored letters on a yellow background, so faded as to be illegible from a distance of more than 2 or 3 feet. The sign is about 18 inches tall by 3 feet wide. I thought it was interesting that there was an Allstate Insurace agency in the same building.

Arel and I walked back and forth for about 15 minutes. The org was closed (they're only open 10:00 - 1:00 on Sundays). Car traffic was light (Winchester goes from 4-lane to 2-lane there, and the speed limit decreases to 25).

The only response of any kind I got was when I was walking across the cross-walk to get from where I parked to the mission. A guy making a left turn honked and gave me a thumbs-up. I waved. As he passed me, he said, "They *do* lie." I grinned, and said, "They do."

A young guy, maybe 19 or 20, went by on a skateboard twice while we were picketing. The second time he gave me some kind of an ack, of which I didn't understand the words, but his facial expression and body language indicated he was supportive of what we were doing.

Lastly, (I had to catch my plane, so we were unable to do the Mountain View and Palo Alto orgs), we went over to the San Jose org on Rosemary. This org is quite large, two stories tall, and about half a block long and a quarter of a block wide.

It's not at all on the beaten track, however. It's at the edge of a residential area where it joins up with the no-man's-land surrounding the San Jose Airport.

Arel and I walked back and forth in front of it for ten or fifteen minutes. The only Scientologist I saw was a woman who got out of her car just as we were starting to picket. Her eyes opened wide in surprise, and she hurried into the building. I didn't see anyone else. I don't know if they were staring out of their tinted windows at us or not -- I don't remember looking at the org the whole time we were there.

At one point, a woman crossed Rosemary towards us, craning her neck and obviously trying to catch every word of Arel's sign. When she finished reading it, she said, "I believe it," in quite an ominous tone.

It was cool and shady, and there was a cool breeze. The most pleasant spot I've ever picketed in. Too bad there was so little car traffic. I think there was more foot traffic than car traffic. Maybe 5 people walked by us while we were there.

This was the only org where it was really possible to count cars. There were 4 in front, 4 on the side on the edge of the no-man's- land, one of which had obviously been there for quite a while, as its left rear tire was flat. There were 4 more cars on the other side, and, I think, 1 car in the far back. There were likely other cars in the far back lot, but I couldn't easily see them without trespassing.

For all 3 pickets, Arel and I carried the same signs we had on the previous day:


"Scientology Is Trying To Kill My Husband"
"Henson Is Innocent, Miscavige Is Guilty"

mine said:

"Stop [in red] Hurting People"
"Scientology LIES! www.xenu.net"

To the best of my knowledge, nobody took down my license plate number. In fact, I don't think anybody even saw the car I came in. I definitely wasn't followed from any of the orgs.

Fashion note: I didn't wear my suit today. I picketed in a red t- shirt that has a wrap-around boa-constrictor on it, and black bermuda shorts. Arel was not as dressed-up as she had been the day before, but looked a lot classier than I did! ;-

I don't think there is any photographic evidence of these pickets.

One thing that struck me about the whole San Francisco area public response: I got no hostile shouts, no "fuck you"s, no middle fingers (I have gotten all of these things at pickets I have participated in in the past). I got many acks, honks, and thumbs-ups. The public who were not apathetic seemed to have a rather low opinion of Scientology in the Bay Area.



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