Toronto Picket Report 2001-12-01
02 Dec 2001
"Christopher Wood" <cwood@NOSPAMxenu.ca>

Toronto Picket Report 2001-12-01

Picketers: Me, Gregg Hagglund, Keith Henson, AndroidCat, the Unknown Picketer

Leaflets: No Science in Scientology / Scientology's Founder: Con Man by me (http://xenu.ca/pickets/leaflets.html), and Gregg's Xenu Special.

We started just before 11:00 AM, went about an hour and a half, and then went back after lunch for about another ninety minutes. The picket was mostly uneventful. Some notes:

The pretend-victimhood emanating from inside the Toronto org is showing some cracks. Scientologists kept walking past and standing close to picketers. Bits of the goon squad even made an appearance.

Al Buttnor called the police (the usual whine about suppressive persons, but in non-Scientology language). However, he went outside and stood near Gregg to do so, pointing out to the world that Buttnor doesn't mind standing near Gregg. This rather hints that Al Buttnor is not actually intimidated by Gregg, given that he deliberately went and stood near Gregg before calling the police. The police did the usual "1) respond 2) observe 3) leave" thing that they've done at past pickets.

The same Scientologist who, last time, was 'asking' Gregg to be quiet because "you're disturbing the students" went into dramatic mocked-up victim mode. She stood in front of Gregg and then backed away in exactly the same direction that he was proceeding, declaiming about how Gregg was harrassing her (the org didn't even call the police, so this was obviously for the benefit of passers-by). The second time, the Scientologist waited until Gregg had passed the org main entrance, and then did the exact same thing vis the backing away, but this time claimed that she was only going to her car (if she was really terrified, she'd have waited until he was away from the building door before going outside, of course). Then, after having repeated the backing-away performance, walked *back across the front of the org*, to cross the road and go down Isabella street, which is right across the road from the org's front entrance. It is to sigh at the blatant stupidity.

The first time she did this, I told her to stop acting like a "downstat low-toned Scientologist", and call the police instead of just whining. She said "Don't talk to me like that!" (Like what, like she's a supposedly able Scientologist pretending to be a pathetic whiny no-cause victim? I wonder if Scientologists are ever told how they can reconcile being victims with the Scientology claims that they're being made more able.)

Around this time, there was a Scientologist out front of the org, on Yonge Street, staring at Gregg doing his spiel. Mario went over, put his arm around the guy, and steered him into the org. This did a good job of annoying me (what, the man is mentally incapable of making his own mind up about a picketer's message or something??), and I said, directing it to the man being directed inside, "Somebody hasn't got his Grade Zero, can't communicate to anyone about anything." This apparently tweaked Mario's nose a little, because Mario then swore at me.

One passer-by, who said he was a jazz pianist, related a tale of the time he went into the Dianetics bit of the org, and said "So what about Lisa McPherson?" (this Lisa McPherson: http://www.lisamcpherson.org), at which point Mario went over to a red phone and called someone. I asked which red phone, and the pianist said "that red phone". Lo and behold, Mario was talking on a red phone on a desk inside the Dianetics bit of the org.

Later on in the afternoon, Keith Henson got part of the goon squad over staring at him. It's nice of Scientologists to keep approaching Keith, reinforcing the fact that they're not intimidated by him.

In the afternoon, a couple sitting in a car beckoned me over and asked me at some length about Scientology, and why we were picketing, and so forth. I went into things at some length, and I'm reasonably certain that I made a good impression.

Around that time, a young lady approached Gregg and asked him about the picket. As it turns out, this lady had taken some Dianetics stuff, and seemed reasonably happy with it. Unfortunately, she got far more information than she actually asked for, and went away quite overwhelmed. The next time Gregg gets too enthusiastic I'll have to slap him silly with my thetan hand or something.

Just before we called the picket, a bunch of people started talking to Mario about stuff. Coincidentally, I was babysitting the Unknown Picketer's sign, so had a double-decker sign, which is actually a good way of getting people interested in leaflets. Seeing this Knot Of Dianetical Discussion (hm, KNODD) taking place, I relocated myself down the sidewalk across from the KNODD. None of the KNODD took leaflets, but just before they all went into the Dianetics place one of them (not Mario, hehe) winked at me.

Apart from the usual acks and "way to go" and "I agree with you", during the picket I also got a couple of "it took you this long to figure it out?" jibes in relation to my sign ("Consumer Hazard: $cientology Bait and Switch Zone"). Of course, there were also some other people who didn't know why anyone would picket Scientology, so I think our picketing is not yet done.

In case anyone's keeping track, this was the 5th straight Saturday we've picketed. See you all at the org. ;-


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