Toronto Dec. 8 picket
09 Dec 2001
hkhenson@cogeco.ca (Keith Henson)

The picket today was the 6th Sat. in a row. Gregg had a mild cold, but between Boudwin van Ingen (Bogie@xs4all.nl) being in town on the last stage of his arscc sponsored Canadian tour and Gregg having read a poster about this weekend being some kind of event, we could not miss today even if it was a bit chilly. As we have come to expect, it did not rain. It started to rain lightly on the party as we left.

The three of us started about 11:20 and put in two shifts, taking a break in Starbucks to warm up in between. As usual I was on the far side of the street. Gregg hung out in front of the org since the org had permits to block off both a half block of St. Mary street and its sidewalks. The org is on the corner of Yonge St. and St. Mary. The event was an R6, "there is no Christ," festival. Actually, they got a bunch of kids and adults there to sing Christmas carols. The org does not have nearly enough kids for this, so many of the kids were their kids friends (rent a munchkin) borrowed for the day.

At one point early in the picket there were at least 9 cops there. Two undercover cops, two uniform cops, a patrol car cop and 4 bike cops. This for 2 picketers, three if you count me across the street.

One of the undercover cops became curious about what Gregg had to say and asked for the Xenu and Children Sec Check flyers. After reading the flyers and discussing scientology sales tactics, the cop agreed scientology was on a par with the Gypsy curse (give me $500 to get rid of your curse) scam. The cop also observed that the city of Toronto hardly has the budget to take on scientology for their criminal activities, unless, of course, the province or the feds were to finance the investigation that Gregg is pressing various government officials about.

At first the female half of the goon squad showed up. They almost sprained their necks "not looking" when Gregg made his announcements between the R6 carols. "This entertainment brought to you by the Cult of Greed and Power." "Scientology processing is guaranteed not to rip, run, ravel, or smell bad." "Next right here on our stage will be Xenu the Galactic Overlord and his dancing Body Thetans." etc.

First time Gregg did the "entertainment" announcement, someone (Al maybe) rushed to turn on fill in music, almost knocking over the table.

One really amusing thing is that a bunch of dianetics people were trapped by Gregg being outside.

The irony of scientologists singing Christmas carols was not lost on the locals, many of whom commented to Gregg and Bogie about the hypocrisy involved. They got many words of praise from the passers by causing one of the cops to comment how Gregg and Bogie were "real crowd pleasers."

The R6 carolers alternated between children and adults till they figured out that Gregg was not spoiling the kids fun of singing with announcements when the kids were on. Thereafter the adults had to sit on the bench. Gregg remarked that while the kids were cutely off key, the adults all sang in the key of H (demolished).

After we took a break to warm up, they brought out the male goons. The usual suspects, Peter Ramsay (keeping his distance in case Gregg whipped out OT 3) Andy Hill, Daffy Dan Bryenton and Brian McPherson.

After a while the male goon squad once again began badgering Gregg, so Gregg decided to make head goony Brian McPherson sweat a bit about the last time Brian blew the org (ain't inside information great!) Needless to say, McPherson almost blew a gasket.

For extra amusement, Daffy Dan tried to convince the cops that Gregg was a mad stalker. This of course did not sell since the undercover cop apparently knew all about scientologist picketing Gregg's home, stalking picketers in Toronto, and even traveling as far away as St Catherines to bother Kim and directly harass her children.

Early in the picket, 4 bike cops came over, probably called in by Al Buttnor. Al looked so pleased, but it turned utterly sour when the biggest of the bike cops gave Gregg a friendly pat on the shoulder and asked how he was doing like an old friend (which he was, being one of the good cops who kept the goon squad under strict control some years ago.)

Apparently the undercover cops had been brought in because the org insisted the picketers would have disruptive people in the crowd. From what Gregg could see, the "crowd" which never got very large consisted of almost entirely scientologists plus guests the scientologists had convinced to come along. Boy did that backfire! Many of these people were listening carefully to what Gregg was saying about scientology, reading his picket sign and taking flyers. Gregg didn't even try and people took over 100 flyers.

Gregg was handing out the children's sec check as well as the Xenu flyer today. One of teen age girls (a guest about 14) took one. She and another wog friend were discussing it with a scientology girlfriend of about the same age. The gist of the conversation went that at first the friends could not believe this was for real. Then when the scientology girl confirmed they were subjected to having these questions asked them upon occasions one of the Wog girls said they would tell parents to "fuck off" if they her asked such questions. After admonishing her wog friend not to swear, the scn girl said "my mom doesn't ask the questions, an auditor does and my mom has to pay for it." At this point, Val Hill (last week's boohoo clam) jumped on the girls and herded them hastily into the org, realizing the wog girls were now PTS.

LIke two previous times, a scientologist came over to photograph or tape me. This time the guy was one of the goon squad, I got a complete description of him on tape and Gregg has video tape. But other than knowing him as a goon squad member Gregg didn't know his name.

Notably absent form the goon squad were Gwen Jones and Paulette Layton. Doubtless Paulette is working in a cheese factory souring milk just by looking at it.

Talking with Gregg, one officer observed there was a missing age bracket. There were adults of 40 and up, and kids 15 and below.

Gregg felt today's picket was particularly successful because the majority of the scientologist in Ontario, their family and friends were exposed at length to entheta about scientology. Particularly effective were the statements "There are no OTs, otherwise I would not be here" and "If what I have to say about scientology is not truth, they have the money to shut me up and they have failed to do so for 5 years."

Keith Henson

PS as an amusing after thought, this was a drug free marshals event. There were a mess of sponsors listed, but scientology was not amount them. Of course, scientology does not spend a cent on community acclivities since it is "rewarding the downstat." Still getting others pay for their PR seems raw even tor them.


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