Clearwater 2000 Picket Report: Nov 29-Dec 3
01 Jan 2001
ptsc <ptsc@my-deja.com>

I'm posting this because it seems like virtually nobody actually posted a picket report except Tilman. Bad SPs. Bad, bad SPs. Downstat, no biscuit.

If any SPs have picket reports they should post them. While the picket itself was mostly uneventful and went off without a hitch, despite a few minor skirmishes, even a boring picket report is better than none at all. If you don't actually have a picket report but just a comment or a correction, post it in this thread. On re-reading this after the first draft and comparing it to other people's reports, the schedule of picket activities and other sources, I realized that I had myself eating two dinners on Friday (one of them a dinner I actually had on Sunday), that I had the vigil happening on Sunday, and closing the report, and that a few less critical details were inaccurate. I assume there are still inaccuracies and I also may have shuffled chronology for narrative convenience. If I noticed, I corrected, but feel free to pop in with clarifications.


I actually got into town quite early, Wednesday night to be exact, which was a bit inconvenient as I had no hotel reservations until Thursday night. I think the first "picketing" would have been on Wednesday afternoon as Arnie shouted "No OTS there!" out the window as we drove past the Coachman.

Also did a brief drive-by of the Ft. Homicide and other properties, the One Stoppe Shoppe was pointed out, and we drove past Antonio Avila the OSA camera goon and off-duty CWPD, and waved to Patricia Greenway at the back of the LMT before going on to the Belleview Biltmore for the night after a long long drive. (No, I can't afford the Biltmore, thanks to you-know-who-you-are for that convenience. This is an elegant hotel and the guards at the front probably will prevent any casual OSA, though dedicated personnel could of course get rooms there themselves at significant cost. I recommend this place to the more upscale picketer, which on most occasions wouldn't be me. The Holiday Inn, however, is where almost everyone stayed so is probably the best for socializing in the evening or after picket activities.)

I won't go into specifics on that except that I came down with Arnie in his horrendous (but reliable) beast of a car, a monstrous Malibu that somehow is still on the road, in an all-night hell-for-leather non-stop drive.


After breakfast, headed downtown to the LMT for the first time. I can't remember if there were OSA idiots filming in the back lot by this time, though I think there were. I also can't remember exactly when I first got served an injunction, though I'm sure someone has it on videotape somewhere. I think it was Friday morning sometime.

The whole time in Clearwater was a bit surreal and you ended up feeling a bit like a celebrity, with people constantly videotaping you, either OSA or other picketers, and often both at once. I think someone once commented a while ago that some day, there won't be pickets any more and we will just go videotape each other videotaping each other. It hasn't quite reached that level yet but obviously this trend has already gone too far.

In any case, the LMT is of course incredibly secret, so I won't report on the inside, except to comment as Tilman did that they have an Office of Special Affairs there, for business so secret that only one person is allowed inside at a time.

There's a lipstick camera on an adjoining building pointed at the back entrance of the LMT, and the OSA goon Antonio Avila always hangs around on the alley that traffic takes into the parking lot, often with an off-duty CWPD officer or two.

None of the OSA dorks or "clamera" people would communicate at all in any way, remaining entirely silent. The rotund cameraman we called "Ollie" (who turns out to be Greg Colson, husband of Lindsey Colson, the "process server" who hounded picketers the entire weekend) would smile occasionally if you joked to him. I can't say I minded terribly being videotaped, though I imagine the novelty could wear off eventually.

Arnie and I had been discussing the possibility of a picket from 1:30-2:30PM on Thursday when they were doing stats since the picket would have to count in both weeks, and in the first week would have to be considered "unhandled." Eventually Keith, Arnie and I went down to the Ft. Harrison to picket out in front of it.

I noticed that the parking garage to the left of the entrance was practically an echo chamber and gave a hearty "No OTS there!" every time I walked past it. Since this was just a quickie for starters, we left after about 50 minutes.

Keith Henson and I headed over to the Sandcastle to give it a quick picket. An odd thing about the Sandcastle this time around was that they had a literal barricade of Christmas trees entirely blocking the view of the street. I counted the Christmas trees, I believe there were 135 or more, all arranged to prevent any possibility of a view from the street. It is just like the Scientology cult to build a military-style barricade out of, of all things, Christmas trees. This is about as charming as setting up a Christmas village and then filing a complaint against Tory Bezazian for sitting in Santa's chair. One gets the notion that these cultists have no clue whatsoever about the "Spirit of Christmas" and view it as just yet another excuse for Fair Game.

This picket was pretty brief. I also had the first and last comm cycle with a Scientologist at this time. He approached, a young man with a clipboard and blazer, a cloissone pin over the left breast with something Hubbardian on it, maybe an IAS pin of some kind. He asked three questions. One, does the press tend to report things accurately? (On request for clarification he wanted to know if they tend to focus on the positive or negative.) I said they tend to prefer the negative because it's more interesting. The second was whether it's considered acceptable for men to wear makeup in society. I said Yes, definitely and gave him a big grin. (No change in expression.) Third, do people tend to work as much as they did twenty years ago. I said yes. Keith piped in with "More."

Then he thanked me and walked away. I was a bit flabbergasted, as I thought this was some bizarre handling, but apparently it was just this guy's assignment for the day. I'd guess an early course. He didn't appear frightened or enturbulated, so I'd guess he hadn't yet reached the exalted OT level that teaches you to be terrified of picket signs or to flee wogs. Good TRs, excellent confront. This was a minor incident, but the only real encounter with a Scientologist in a weekend in the "spiritual headquarters" of the entire cult.

Picketing, or walking between picket sites with signs upraised, we received constant acknowledgements and approval from vehicles passing by, that honked enthusiastically or gave thumbs-up or even shouted things like "Right on!" There were also a few OT Death Stares, and even a couple one-finger salutes, one from a Flag vehicle and one from a sedan with a back windshield decal with a Scientology logo of some kind on it.

It was quite pleasing to get such acknowledgment.

After this picketing, I met Gregg Hagglund at the Holiday Inn and checked in, to settle in for the evening and get my entheta together. I forget exactly when this was, and actually am pretty muddled on the chronology. I had brought a book of index cards intending to note down things like this, but this system broke down right after the Sandcastle picket and I didn't take a single note the rest of the weekend. Gregg gave me an "Air Xenu" button that I wore the rest of the weekend (and which you can vaguely see on pictures of me). We turned in pretty early this night.


Entering the LMT that morning all and sundry were handed the famous mutual injunction by Lindsey Colson. I took mine, others refused to take it and let them drop to the ground, accusing her of littering. Her husband Greg videotaped, as well as a few other OSA idiots and malcontents, with OSA agent Antonio Avila lurking around. A certain muscle-bound guy with a goatee was also present as he was throughout the weekend. I forget this guy's name.

Various enthetans had lunch at Ottavio's this day. I had a very light lunch with bruschetta and a salad, which was excellent. Bob Minton, it is alleged, picked up the tab. (Minton Money Minton Money What's Your Crime!) This was the first time all present were together at a table and all sorts of suppressive discussions rolled around. Keith Henson discussed having been the first picket, a solo picket at the Ft. Harrison, since he's as usual adventuresome. I had thought before this that the Thursday stat time picket was the first, but no, it was Keith's. Ida J. Camburn was there as well. So were Stacy, Bob and Jesse. These worthies did not live up to their reputation as vicious criminals and were all in fact quite charming. Bob was as you would expect him to be. The only thing about Bob that contrasted at all with his net persona is that he is quite modest and soft-spoken. Whenever someone would try to compliment him he would deflect it back to the complimenter.

Ida Camburn is an amazing woman who has fought the Scientology cult for decades and still has a spring in her step and a sparkle in her eyes. She has faced all sorts of bogus harassment spanning over four decades, and despite the Scientology crime cult's edict to "ruin them utterly" is still vivacious and witty. I am thrilled to have met her and will always treasure two photographs I have, one that she took of me with Grady Ward, and one of me with her. Hi Ida! Give 'em hell!

After lunch it was time for more picketing

Gregg Hagglund was there, too, with videocamera, and since the only cultist was the dude out front (a guy who barely even spoke once and just stood there looking sour and constipated or jabbering agitatedly into his Nextel phone/walkie-talkie occasionally), Gregg decided to do a bit of practice bullbaiting and taunted me incessantly for a bit, asking me "What's your crime" and other typical OSA lines. One passerby actually thought he was a Scientologist and told him to leave me alone. (Not surprising, he has the patter down pat. I was glad when he stopped doing that.)

At some point someone left and left me with another picket sign, so for a while I was picketing two-fisted with a picket sign in each hand. This is pretty effective but also fairly tiring so shouldn't be done if you don't mind aching arms.

As for the injunction, none present were directly named, and we took the position that if our names weren't on the injunction, it didn't apply, and I am generally of the opinion that "actual concert or participation" should require something more than casual association. To construe this phrase broadly seems to create a great deal of risk in enjoining third parties. A broad construction leads one to the absurd conclusion that by showing up at someone else's picket, Bob Minton, or any other LMT member named in the injunction, can somehow force others to be "acting in concert" by his mere presence. No LMT member named in the injunction directed or ordered any activities by picketers and in fact they would specifically refuse to discuss planning, precisely because of this issue. I also don't think that borrowing signs, most of which existed in 1999 prior to the existence of the LMT, constitutes "acual concert."

So we went down to picket the front of the Ft. Harrison, and did so for about an hour, then heading up to the Coachman to picket that for a while, hitting both sides. The activity inside was ridiculous, with people not being allowed to leave while the picketers were there, and rushing into vans. People were crowded around the back entrance, obviously waiting to leave, presumably for dinner, but instead they were hustled into vans with opaque "holiday" paper on the windows to prevent them seeing out. (If anyone doubts that this was because of the picketers, they should note that the opaque film was removed from the vans directly following the pickets.)

There were two minor confrontations, one in front of the Coachman. One Scientologist loudly and nastily yelled that I was going to Hell. Riled, I started yelling back that they didn't believe in Jesus anyway and L. Ron Hubbard said "The man on the cross, there was no Christ" and cited the Assists Lecture on it and was more or less ranting along these lines while continuing to walk to where I was going. The Scientologist blew me off at this point and went to hassle someone else. I was told later that he was pulled inside the Ft. Harrison by an OSA handler who wouldn't allow him to communicate with the picketers because OSA doesn't believe in freedom of speech for their members.

There was a second minor confrontation with a guy across from the Ft. Harrison who started yelling at me and Keith and Arnie, something about dentists. This was funny since he had completely bizarre buck teeth that were filthy, way worse than my nicotine stains. I turned this back on him and made fun of his own teeth for a while and asked him if those were really his teeth or if he bought those Billy Bob Teeth you see on TV and on the web. (http://www.billybobteeth.com)

This Scientologist also blew pretty quickly, with no real communication but a brief exchange of insults, though a couple others present tried to talk to him about Scientology.

I also briefly had a demonstrative moment with the goateed muscle-dude with the camera, who is a PI whose name I can't recall. Keith and I were talking to some passersby (local students who later briefly joined the protest, though they were infiltrated by two or three Scientologist kids who stole signs and took them into the Ft. Harrison and later spouted obscenities at a camera person on our side when she asked them why they stole them--incidentally contrary to some gossip I heard, not all those kids were Scientologists, and not all of them stole signs--most of them returned the signs--how about that, a "Church" that teaches children to steal), and I felt crowded by the PI guy, so I held up my index, middle and ring finger at the dude's camera lens and told him "read between the lines" for my one gratuitous bit of rudeness.

The sheer number of these vans is astonishing, and a large portion of the traffic at any given time is these Scientology vans with Flag logos on the side. Previously the Scientology cult had rented this fleet of vans for pickets, but after the arrival of the LMT they went and purchased a huge fleet of them. These vans, and the drivers they require, must add up in costs for the crime cult, and their only real effect is to make their own members wonder why they are so afraid of a few picket signs. Major non-confront, and major ka-CHING, and all for nothing as we'll see on Sunday. (But let's not get ahead of ourselves.)

After these pickets, the police finally got around to interpreting the injunctions that had been dumped on everyone that morning. At first this led to some weird interpretations, but eventually it came down to a few pretty simple rules which the police would apply, and which almost seemed to diverge from the injunction. Essentially, the police would interpret all picketers as being "in actual concert or participation" with the LMT, and further, that the mutual part of the restraining order would restrain all Scientologists from approaching any picketer (in the orange zones on the injunction maps) or from any specifically named person in the injunction, even if they were in front of the Ft. Harrison, so long as they were not actually picketing.

A few people remonstrated with the police officer, the shift commander of the parking and safety division (may be slightly incorrect) of the CWPD, who got a bit annoyed and demanded a stop to interruptions, before going on and finishing his explanation. A few people argued with this back and forth for a while, but he made clear what his position was and left it up to the picketers. Essentially if anyone not specifically named in the injunction chose to ignore it, he would testify at any hearing and take down all available information, and leave it up to the judge to determine if it was a contempt, and while this wasn't stated, he would probably be greatly vexed at the person doing it and wouldn't be likely to be very helpful to them.

The non-LMT picketers got together, usually in small groups, and discussed this, and arrived at no general consensus on this day that I am aware of, though it later turned out that all picketers including the non-LMT picketers chose to adhere to the police interpretation and not picket outside the orange zones.

In return for acting as if we were bound by the injunction (though many still disagreed with this interpretation), the police would also grant to all picketers the same protection as if we were actually named in the injunction! So all picketers got to picket in the orange zones with Scientologists held back ten feet on pain of immediate arrest!

While I'm not sure how the legal ramifications of this will play out, in actual practice this was a very neat solution by the CWPD. In contrast to some of the statements concerning CWPD conduct prior in this year, I have to say that I witnessed no untoward behavior of CWPD officers, who did their best to make a difficult situation tolerable for the picketers, the Scientologists and themeselves. They should be commended on their professionalism instead of castigated, at least with regard to this particular picket.

Anyway, these considerations were discussed by many, including I am sure discussions I did not hear, and presumably the LMT took advice of counsel on their conduct, since I'm sure they knew that a frivolous OSC would be filed regardless.

Another return to the Holiday Inn for a tolerable buffet dinner and some R&R, and then some sleep. (This night I think we ate at a BBQ place, which was my favorite dinner place, but I forget the name of the place.) (Looked it up, Rogers Barbecue.)


Breakfast at the Holiday Inn with Magoo, Tilman, the ARSCC Vienna lady, Gregg, Warrior, Bruce Pettycrew, Beverly Rice, and others I'm either not naming or have forgotten, or both. Dumped a couple picket signs into the back of Gregg's rental vehicle, and headed down to the Trust to see what was going on.

Jeff Jacobsen had set up the Edgewater Room at the Holiday Inn packed with picket signs (many featured in photographs from the 1998 and 1999 pickets, including picket signs with the famous "orange dots" that the cultists had painted on everything in a bizarre interpretation of Judge Penick's "picket chicken" injunction of 1999), and reported that Frank Oliver was going to be showing up with sign materials as well.

On the way into the Trust, Lindsey Colson served me with an injunction with my name on it and I noted that it was a deposition subpoena with check attached. I generally take the position that you might as well take legal papers served on you whether it is done properly or not, as if you are legally served it would be best to be aware of what you have been legally served with, and if it requires actual notice to be effective and the service does not technically qualify as actual notice, then it's not binding anyway. IANAL so I will not comment on my opinion of its status. IANAL but I will regardless comment that I think the willy-nilly "service" of the injunction was flagrantly bogus at best and that randomly handing out an injunction to non-parties may not constitute anything at all except possibly littering.

At some point with all these injunctions flying around, Gregg Hagglund struck on the brilliant idea of turning the tables and instead serving the injunctions back on the Scientologists, doing so in sight of the police and being as loud about it as possible so it could not be ignored that these individuals (including a certain Mr. Ben Shaw) had been served. If Colson, et al, were validly serving people with this injunction, then so was Gregg and his service was equally binding.

On the way to the Ft. Harrison we were stopped by a CWPD officer who insisted we jaywalk because of the injunction, since it went ten feet from the Clearwater Bakn building, so crossing on that corner was out of the question, he said. Gregg remonstrated a bit and we eventually jaywalked under protest. This was the only time this happened, and later the police clarified this so that picketers could walk through a "no picket zone" so long as the picket signs were down and not right-side-up. Pickets could also occur in orange zones. There was also a brief disagreement about picketing on the sidewalk in front of the scaffolding across from the Ft. Harrison, which Jeff Jacobsen eventually finessed, so that we could picket on that sidewalk and on a brief area of grass, but another area beyond that was off-limits. Since this was as confusing as it sounds, a picketer was stationed at the end of the legal area to keep anyone from trampling the grass at the end, and picketing commenced.

The green tarp material that had previously blocked the view from the Ft. Harrison had been removed, and John Merrett had apparently arranged for this great improvement, so there was no silliness with attempting to raise picket signs over the tarp stuff.

Now this day was the main picket day and picketing was the order of the day, mainly at the Ft. Harrison and the Coachman, though some people apparently hit the Sandcastle and Magoo and I and Keith Henson and a couple others briefly picketed a Merrill-Lynch building with a huge portrait of L. Ron Hubbard in it that was visible from the other side of the street, and later I found that this Merrill-Lynch building was on the injunction. I wasn't sure at the time and picketed it from the other side of the street, although I could have picketed the front or side of it, just not within ten feet of the doors.

Frank Oliver had set up a mini picket sign factory behind the Ft. Harrison and was rapidly cranking out picket signs to anoyne who needed one. A popular one was shaped like a stop sign. A picket sign I used a lot said "Doubt is Not a Crime" on one side and "Honk if You Think Scientology is a Cult!" on the other. Needless to say, people honked constantly whether or not the sign said to do that.

It was very impressive and emboldening that whenever traffic bunched up at the light on the corner, we would end up with a solid block of cars all honking in unison in a roar of disapproval of the crime cult in their midst. I wonder about the cognitive dissonance that must go through a Scientologist's mind realizing the overwhelmingly negative public opinion of their cult.

I started out my picketing with a few shouts of "No OTS There!" and then started conjugating all the possibilities of "Never have been. Never will be." Running out of tenses led me to wonder what else I should be saying. Luckily, Mark Dallara suggested Incident I, that "Cherub comes out, turns right, turns left. Blows horn, etc etc" nonsense from OT III. It's shorter than Xenu and about as ridiculous. Plus it was quite fun to wait for a barrage of car horns and then shout out sarcastically "BLOWS HORN!" Eventually someone came along and handed me a paper megaphone, so I blasted out my voice across the street, and was told it was quite audible and clear even across the street, at least when the traffic was light.

I noted occasional activity across the street, and watched it from time to time but generally didn't take note of it. Gregg Hagglund was videotaping, and thus according to the police's interpretation of it, he was allowed to be directly in front of the Ft. Harrison doing his videotaping and not only this, the cultists weren't allowed to approach or harass him. They had to stay ten feet away from him even in front of their own building!

It was quite amusing to see the cult get publicly buggered by their own injunction in this fashion. Apparently this also applied to Bob Minton and Jesse Prince, who just happened to stroll by the front of the Ft. Harrison to the dismay and despair of the cultists who had to stay back. This is absolutely ridiculous. The cult, in an attempt to harass the LMT, ended up "winning" for themselves an injunction against every single member of their own "Church" prohibiting them harassment. (I believe that injunction to be overly broad and that it is absurd to enjoin all Scientologists when they have not each personally had due process in the matter, but there you go. Scientologists everywhere can thank Ben Shaw of OSA for this astoundingly stupid foot-bullet.)

I yelled through my megaphone taunting them about this and made a joke about how they couldn't keep away the off-planet beings.

As usual, the dork in front of the Ft. Harrison looked miserable and ran inside the Ft. Harrison, as he seemed to do any time Bob Minton came into sight. I felt sorry for this poor pathetic fool. What a lousy job.

Gregg did a bit of yelling from across the street to me, asking me questions, but a police officer present (Lt. Hall I believe) told him to stop and that he could only do that in the picket zones. Gregg reported later that he believed himself not to be covered by the injunction and stated he was a non-resident of the US. The police officer pulled a very clever ploy at this point and stated that he was free to act as if he was not covered by the injunction, but that at that point he would no longer be protected by the mutual part of it, and that Scientologists could harass him at will, leaving it up to Gregg to decide what to do. Gregg, convinced by this, accepted it. On hearing this recounted I was impressed by the subtlety and professionalism of the police officer in getting the cooperation he wanted.

I continued shouting until my voice was about to give out and then took a soda break for my voice. While I was gone I missed the only real piece of police excitement during the whole picket weekend, which was that guy getting arrested, the ex-Scientologist head case who had previously jumped the back wall in a ninja suit with a knife and terrorized Flag security until the police came and subdued him. He was removed quickly before I even got back, and I missed the whole thing. (Note that I base the reports of this guy's earlier conduct entirely on picketer comments and on the testimony of OSA agent Ben Shaw, and weigh it appropriately.)

I had memorized another little bit of Hubbard to add to my rant, the quote about Scientology having opened the gate to a better world and "It is not a psycho-therapy nor a religion," complete with page cite, edition and publisher, demanding that they go look it up in the 1971 edition of Creation of Human Ability and compare it to the current squirrel versions. Other rants included that David Miscavige was the biggest squirrel in the world, that CST is the "Church of Squirrel Technology" and that RTC is nothing but a pack of damn squirrels. "The man on the Cross, there was no Christ" got some play. "No OTS there" got a lot of play, from Arnie as well. Magoo yelled "Give me my money back!" There was a lot of that kind of stuff.

Incidentally, I was made aware later that this shouting business had created quite a stir from OSA idiot Ben Shaw and the other twittering nitwits across the street, though I only looked at what was going on to determine whether it was likely to come across the street and attempt to impede me. It never did, but this is what was happening.

OSA idiot Ben Shaw complained bitterly and vociferously to the CWPD about my shouting through a paper megaphone, and claimed falsely that this was in violation of a Clearwater noise ordinance about amplified sound. (It wasn't, we had already checked that.) The CWPD quite reasonably informed him that the ordinance only applied to electronically amplified sound (as we already knew, hence the PAPER megaphones). Despite this, OSA idiot Ben Shaw was not at all satisfied with this, and continued his pissing and moaning up the chain of command to the City Attorney, who despite the poor guy having a busted foot, came out to the picket site, watched a copule minutes, and informed them there was nothing wrong with what I was doing and that I could keep doing it.

(This information from Gregg Hagglund who was on the other side of the street videotaping the picketers, and possibly this discussion with the CWPD and then the City Attorney.)

So I went on merrily, unaware of the pitiful machinations of the crime cultists across the street, but enjoying their enturbulation nonetheless. I continued to inform them in my best Tone 40 that here we were, picketers, and that despite all their cult's schemes and contrivances, that there they were enjoined even in front of their own building, incapable of doing anything, and completely at effect.

Grady Ward brought along a boombox and played (at low volume) various music including Queen's "We Will Rock You." Some picketers, including of course Magoo, started dancing, and everyone was pretty much enjoying themselves.

Other picket locations included the Coachman and the corner where the Coachman adjoins the Clearwater Bank Building, which is catty-corner from the location of the hypothetical Starbucks. It would actually have been nice to have a Starbucks right there to retreat to, even if Starbucks management worries about being right next to a crime cult because of the constant picketing of its criminality. Perhaps if Scientology quits constantly committing crimes they can have their Starbucks, and of course I'm sure the picketers wouldn't mind a Starbucks there even if the crime cult doesn't stop committing crimes.

Once when I was walking across the street and in front of the Clearwater Bank Building (with picket sign held down), a rush of Scientologists was directly and closely in front of me. One of them very very quietly and very politely asked me to get ten feet away. That wasn't really the terms of the injunction but the Scientologist was very polite and non-aggressive about it so I stepped back a bit and let them all pass before continuing on. This was another rare bit of communication and I was surprised and pleased enough at its relative level of courtesy and just that the person had actually confronted even enough to say that that I felt obligated to return that communication by actually doing it.

I respond much better to a polite request than to an insane thugs threatening and trying to intimidate me with bogus third-party injunction service, stupid and frivolous deposition subpoenas, anonymous smear morons and other stupid cult tricks. I imagine many other arsers are that way as well, and that the crime cult would probably have not had all the problems they have had without their own insane and belligerent bullying behavior.

I'll note that the Mormons have beliefs that rival Scientology's for wackiness, and that they wanted a "no secret scriptures" moderated newsgroup, so they politely requested it, rather than declaring war on Usenet, and convinced enough people by purely persuasive speech and compromise that they gained "Yes" votes even from people who had initially opposed it, and neutralized enough "No" votes to get their newsgroup. They got this because they talked to their critics and acted reasonably; not because they were belligerent, threatening, or attempted to harass their way into control of a newsgroup.

As long as the Scientology crime cult behaves the way they do toward the Internet community and toward the world at large, they will continue to earn the contempt and loathing of decent people who will forever oppose their criminal schemes and loathesome conduct.

We had lunch at Harrison's, which was incidentally Lisa McPherson's favorite restaurant. That was rather sobering. The lunch was rather good.

Then more picketing. The cult had a sort of holiday festival going on on Cleveland, which I didn't pay much attention to since I was more interested in picketing than disrupting their R6 mockup, as saccharine and cloyingly bullshit-filled as it is considering that L. Ron Hubbard states that there was no Christ and that all these social rituals are just dramatizations of the R6 implants anyway. When the cult does stuff like this, frankly I think it's just like the cover of Dianetics, an attempt to use "restimulative" imagery to generate a desired emotional response. Pure manipulation and chicanery is what it is, and repugnant.

They also had a Santa's chair in front of the Clearwater Bank Building and this, I believe, is the Santa's chair which prompted the bizarre attempt by the crime cult to charge Tory Bezazian with "Crimes Against Santa." That alone shows what a bullshit fake the cult's "Christmas festival" really is. Nevertheless, it's also basically a distraction, so I'm going to ignore it except to comment that their Christmas singers were at least technically competent, though the cult's malign actions in having the sheer chutzpah and gall to use Santa Claus himself as an instrument of Fair Game belie any benevolent intentions they intended to portray.

Speaking of Tory, I think it was some time Saturday that she tried to buy film for her camera or batteries or something at the One Stoppe Shoppe and the jackass (Paris) behind the counter rang everything up and waited for her to take out her money to refuse service. She got pissed and denounced the whole place and left, and later Gregg and I and Tory and someone else I think picketed the One Stoppe Shoppe for a while denouncing them for their religious bigotry, since they refused service to Tory solely because she no longer belonged to Scientology, and because of the Suppressive Person declare agianst her, which is a religious document that does not justify religious bigotry by a public business. I think what these One Stoppe bigots are doing is completely illegal, but whether or not it is, it's repulsive, and these slime deserve to be picketed more often. In America, a crime cult is allowed to declare that its "apostates" can not receive service at a store which is one of the only convenience stores in downtown Clearwater. It makes me spit. Fuck you, Paris! Here's hoping you go bankrupt from your criminal policies.

This night was the night of the Lisa McPherson vigil, which is the centerpiece of the protest and the most important single event. More people showed up for the vigil than for any of the pickets, I would estimate sixty or more though I lost count at fifty. Despite some trouble getting candles lit the ceremony went off with dignity.

The bagpiper was quite impressive. I can't believe that when I first heard of the bagpiper idea I thought it was dumb. It's quite effective and has great emotional impact. Then the somber procession in the dark across from the Church to the back of the Ft. Harrison, to deliver the wreath to the back, the room where Lisa died.

(The cult had parked a vehicle directly in front of the actual room--enjoined from approaching and harassing, they had to just get in a little ghoulish dig at the expense of their victims.)

Gregg Hagglund read an prayer, an abbreviated form of Thomas Gandow's, and we all approached with candles, individually blowing each out before laying it beside the wreath.

Very simply but very lucidly, that is why I came.

And many others, from around the world, to lay a candle at a wreath, after snuffing the candle signifying the life snuffed out by organizational stupidity.

I thought: We should not have to be here doing this.

But we do. And we are.

Dinner After the Vigil

There was a minor confrontation at this point with OSA goons who couldn't restrain themselves from a bit of harassment, and were approaching too close with cameras. Gregg Hagglund can report somewhat on this, but I will only state that the police were very angry about this harassment at this time, and the OSA were seconds away from being arrested and jailed.

As it was they were sternly warned that it was "crowbar hotel" if they kept it up.

On the way to Ottavio's after the vigil, Lindsey Colson attempted to serve Mark Dallara, among other people, with a copy of the injunction. Mark was exasperated with this and demanded she produce a process server license, which she wouldn't do (which sounds silly to me since as far as I know she actually is a licensed process server and has produced the license before). There was a brief confrontation with them videotaping each other, which I watched carefully until it was clear that it would likely resolve without incident, then I walked on to avoid too much "clumping" since that's always a bad sign. It did indeed clear up without further incident.

That night it was Ottavio's, and there was brightness and light inside. We filled up the whole place and you could barely make it to the bathroom. The rooms buzzed with conversation and anyone else trying to get a table must have been amazed at the crowd inside.

Except to say that the food was excellent, there is only one final humorous note. Keith Henson, or Gregg, I forget, were talking about Penick and "picket chicken" and found out that Bob had ordered chicken parmigiana. We suggested to Robert (of Ottavio's) that some time, he ought to put a couple little toothpick picket signs in some chicken and serve it to Bob as "picket chicken."

That indeed happened so that night, Bob Minton got a real "picket chicken" for dinner.


The picketing this day was more of the same, and at least in my case mainly at the corner near the Coachman and Clearwater Bank Building, where we could picket three corners, just not the Clearwater Bank Building corner. There we met an occasional ars poster and talked for a while. I don't know if the poster wants to be identified so I won't.

This day was mostly uneventful picket-wise, with most of the picketing fairly sparse and dispersed, so I won't comment on that any more except to note that the public response at this particular corner is excellent, with backed-up cars letting loose a fusillade of honks every time the light turned red, causing traffic to back up in one direction. This was very gratifying and echoed resoundingly.

The picketing in front of the Ft. Harrison, the Coachman, and the corner continued throughout most of the day, generally without event, until an amazing thing happened later in the evening right before dinner. Right before this, some locals showed up after reading about the protest in the paper, and then some of their friends showed up, and then some more, and Frank Oliver very rapidly had them outfitted in T-shirts and picket signs, and suddenly our picket had new energy. This happened so quickly that I was rather amazed. This was another moment I was impressed with Frank Oliver and quite glad he was no longer on the other side.

Incidentally, this picket occurred after poor Jeff had already told the police that we were done, an occupational hazard in herding cats. It later moved to the back of the mess hall where cultists were arriving for dinner in buses with locations like Hacienda Gardens and the Sandcastle on them. Paul Kellerhals was herding Scientologists into the mess hall in large groups, presumably having told the other OSA idiots that the coast was clear, when suddenly our picket group showed up en masse, with fresh reinforcements, as large a group as we had fielded.

We got over to the sidewalk opposite the unloading herds of Scientologists and picketed throughout this entire surreal event. Kellerhals would direct the buses over, then let them sit there for a while, then try to relocate them to the other entrance further down the alley, whereupon the picket would relocate there. Eventually we just spread across the whole sidewalk, since we could. Desperately trying to as-is the growing Hill 10 situation, Kellerhals and other OSA idiots scrambled around in a growing attitude of despair, while Oliver and others taunted him about giving the all-clear too early.

Now this may sound like a simple enough event, unloading a few buses, and it would have been, with or without a picket, except for the completely bizarre and lunatic behavior of OSA during this time, doing anything humanly possible to avoid any possible exposure of their publics to picketers or protesters of any kind throughout the weekend, a total blackout they had successfully maintained until this event. These machinations were typified by the bizarre injunction proceedings in Penick's court from 1999-2000, where they tried to get injunctions against the LMT and their request resulted in them ending up being enjoined themselves, in a sweeping mutual injunction purporting to enjoin every member of Scientology (which is probably a First Amendment violation as well as a violation of due process). They also purchased a whole fleet of vans, the same vans they had rented in 1999, and placed opaque film over the windows.

The milieu control was positively Orwellian, and in one of the largest presences of Scientology population in the world, nary a Scientologist could be found on the streets they used to lord it over, swaggering in mobs like a paramilitary Mafia in bizarre faux-Navy uniforms.

Here all that got shot to hell in short order, as the whole arriving dinner crew had to face a swarm of picketers. Orderly and restrained, on the other side of the street, and in a designated orange zone, completely legal, but nevertheless, picketers. Their response was amazingly absent, as they shuffled past in herds with zero confront and with blank expressions. I know if I were in a religion and thought it was being attacked by a swarm of bigots that I would at least have a hearty fuck-you for them, but nothing. Not a peep from a single Scientologist throat, as Kellerhals looked more and more frantic.

After some final taunts about the inevitable ethics conditions PK would have to face for his treason in allowing this, we left the cultists to their dinner and went to our own. The injunction was seeming not all that terrible at this point, with the maps on it seeming like a sly "to-do" list given to us by Penick in a fit of covert hostility from a PTS Type J judge.

Then off to dinner, this time at someone's Crab Shack. I think Joe's. Tikk and I split an order of crabs which were disappointingly dry, but the rest of the fodo was good, and there was an excellent clam chowder. Still, a crab shack should have decent crabs. Give me Chesapeake Bay crabs any day.

Tilman had a bizarre concoction which was sort of a multi-layerd multi-colored margarita in a funny-shaped glass, and everyone watched him drink it and order another one. It looked pretty good actually.

After dinner there was speaking by Bob Minton, Stacy Brooks and various LMT people, during which a somewhat fiery discussion of the use of Xenu broke out, with some stating that it's completely useless, some saying it was absolutely essential, and some saying it was sometimes useful and sometimes not. I won't go into this further. (The LMT people say they prefer not to use Xenu all that much, but Frank Oliver had a fascinating story about Xenu and how it affected him, which I'll leave it up to him to share if he wants to do that. If not, if you ever meet Frank ask him about Xenu, I'm sure he'll share.)

A number of other people spoke including Magoo, mainly ex-Scientologists. I won't go into much more about that since it was semi-private. Anyone who wants to report more fully can do so at their discretion.

Tikk and I later ended up at the Holiday Inn room with Warrior and Gregg and we went on irc for a while, and rummaged through a bulging folder of weird and obscure docs from his Scientology career, most of them documents that have never been seen on the net, including a bizarre and hilarious "Sanity Scale" that had me literally rolling helpless on the bed in gales of hysterical laughter at how ridiculous it was. Tikk wrote down the content of it, it was just a few words, but really has to be seen to be believed. I was amazed Scientologists get handed stuff like this and are supposed to take it seriously. It looked like Subgenius humor and had high Bulldada value.

I passed out some time after this, freshly flabbergasted at the idiocy of Scientology.


Not much to report. I said my goodbyes to Deana, Tilman and others. I waited for Arnie to show up, worried that he'd already left (why?) and paranoid as hell for no particular reason.

That aside, of course everything worked out fine and I got home, otherwise I wouldn't be typing this.

Now that the picket is over, the legal wranglings continue.

And no matter what they do, the cult just can't stop the truth about themselves from becoming ever more widely known.

So it has been, so it will be, mene mene tekel upharsin, amen.



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