London Picket 18 August 2001
19 Aug 2001
plmlp@eis.bris.ac.uk (ML Poulter)

Yesterday from 12.30 to 15.30 there was a picket of the Scientology exhibition at the QE2 Conference Centre, adjacent to Westminster abbey. It was a successful and eventful picket (one Jive Aces band member went a bit beserk towards the end) and it was handy to be able to keep track of the time using Big Ben. ;-) Photos will be posted soon.

Present were Dave B, John R, Hartley P, Jens T, myself, I. P. Freely, Duke the Dog, two placards, many hundreds of leaflets, the portable public address system and a helium canister to inflate our "Xenu loves you" balloons.

We were there because of the exhibition promoting Scientology and its "good works", which was being held on the third floor of the centre. The Jive Aces band were doing their thing in the square in front, and there were many body routers enthusiastically handing out leaflets and urging the public to go inside.

The square was busy with tourists, so hundreds of pro- and anti- leaflets were taken. A large proportion of the public reacted very negatively to the scientologists and shouted encouragement to us. We saw very few public actually go into the exhibition, and I.P.Freely did a scout mission just before the picket and saw that the visitors were greatly outnumbered by scientologists. Given that this is *prime* conference/exhibtion space, and that lunchtime on Saturday ought to be a busy time, we can conclude that this must be a big money-loser for the cult. A lot of the public who did go in to the exhibition collected leaflets from us on the way out.

I had a long friendly conversation with one scientologist, who allowed me to put at length my arguments why Scientology is bad. Contrasted with this pleasant and mature approach was some more typical Scientology behaviour. I'm sure the other picketers will chime in with their experiences.

There was one older couple there - a short, red-faced woman and a tall, white-haired bloke - who we've seen a lot before and who qualify as the most annoyingly dense-but-superior people I've ever met. She claims to be a lawyer.

My conversation with her went like this:

Me: How are stats?
Her: Wonderful!
Me: So what condition are you in?
Her: A great condition. [Don't remember her exact words for this bit, but
it was something vague and positive.]
Me: What condition are you in?
Her: A much better one than *you're* in.
Me: What condition are you in?
Her: Kiss my ass!
Me: "Kiss my ass" is not a valid condition. You are out-tech.
Her (riled): You are SO STUPID!

The white-haired bloke asked me why I spend all my Saturdays doing this. My reply was that I don't spend all my Saturdays doing this. Most Saturdays I do other things. "This is a Saturday, isn't it?" he said. "Yes, but this is just one Saturday. It isn't 'all my Saturdays'." "Oh, so you *can* discriminate." Seems like he expected me not to understand the difference between one Saturday and all Saturdays; a distinction he wasn't clear on himself. Wonder how much auditing it has taken to get to that advanced stage?

The Jive Aces were their usual plastic, smiley selves through much of the picket. It was a bit sad to see these actually good musicians getting such a lukewarm response from the passing public, but if they will insist on performing in these contexts, then that's what they get. As they were packing up however, though, the band's trombonist Alex Douglas went nuts, charging up to Jens and shouting in his face, literally nose-to-nose. Others from the band came and pulled him away. John remarked over the sound system that this guy's repeated shouting of "Wanker! Wanker! Wanker!" was not a good advert for Scientology and maybe he should re-take his communication course. Douglas ran back and did his yelling routine in John's face, eventually backing away, pointing at John and yelling "PEADOPHILE! PAEDOPHILE! PAEDOPHILE!" (Drugs, crime, paedophilia: Is there any human tragedy that Scientologists won't exploit to make themselves seem positive or to smear their critics?)

Well done to Jens and John for staying cool with a psycho screaming in their faces. Jens kept taking digital camera photos as the guy was ranting in his face, so hopefully you'll be able to see these soon.

Incidentally, here is the official bio of Alex Douglas from the Jive Aces site:

For all his innocence he's very unpredictable. If he leaps onto your table in a single bound during a horn duel with Ian don't worry, he's never broken a martini glass yet.


The exhibition, which opened on Friday the 17th, runs until 30th August. How much more financial loss and public hostility can they take?


MARTIN L: Postgrad. researching philosophy of belief and Bayesian inductive POULTER : logic at Bristol Uni., UK. * Visit http://eis.bris.ac.uk/~plmlp/ for Cult Concern FAQ + WEIRD (not WIRED) + "Bob" in the UK + Automated Love + Scientology Criticism + Sexual Politics + Helena Kobrin's Legal "Ethics".


The views and opinions stated within this web page are those of the author or authors which copyrighted and wrote them and may not reflect the views and opinions of the ISP or account user which hosts the web page. The opinions may or may not be those of the Chairman of The Skeptic Tank. The term "Scientology"® is trademarked to the Scientology crime syndicate. This information is provided in Fair Use for the public safety in the hopes that others don't fall for Scientology's related frauds. Return to The Pickets and Protests main index page Return to The Skeptic Tank's main index page.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank