Picket, gold base, 6 Jan 2001
08 Jan 2001

Picket, Gold Base, Jan 06, 2001

In honor of Ida's birthday, a picket was arranged in Hemet. My dad and I drove up from San Diego. We met a local from Riverside, Richard, and a mystery guest at Ida's place. The mystery guest is an ex-scio who spent ten years in the cult and is concerned about the possibility of the special harassment they reserve for their dissatisfied customers. It was their first official picket, although Richard has had the dubious pleasure of meeting Ken Hoden on a previous occasion or two.

After a delicious meal of Ida's patented potato salad and two kinds chicken wings, we were ready to hoist our signs. Gold Base was very quiet, despite the number of busses in the lot there.

We parked at the Ashlee memorial, which has sadly degenerated into remnants. Little bits of feathers, flowers, and other offerings are returning back to the earth, monitored by the camera mounted at the pullout area. The apartment buildings under construction appear to be nearly completed, and the parrot is back. We could hear him practicing his wolf whistles while we picketed.

We made one pass up the road to Davey's house and back, and a strange parade it was; two older men, myself in my usual white hat and Scientology Kills T-shirt, and our mystery guest wore a rainbow wig and feathered mask. One fellow pulled over to inquire about our signs, and I gave him one of Richard's cool business card sized flyer with URLs on it, and a brief rundown of why we were there.

Dad was snappin' pix like a real tourist as we stumped along, unmolested. As we returned on the first pass, a car pulled out and waited for us. It had two characters with cameras on board, one of whom was our PI buddy Frank, the same fellow who assisted Keith Henson into the highway on one occasion, and tried to run him down on another. Frank was wearing his silly grin, but didn't acknowledge my greeting to him. It's pretty bad when you get to know these jokers by name! He dropped off his companion, and drove down past the Ashlee memorial, where he parked across the street with his beloved telephoto lens.

As we approached our car, my dad noticed that the keys were not in his pocket. That put a monkeywrench in the works! Under Frank's watchful eye, we shuffled around, peering into the car and searching around for the elusive keys. The only cell phone available was locked in the car!

After a few minutes of this, a car pulled over to ask about our signs. We enlisted them to give Richard and Miss X a ride to the Golden Era golf course and a phone. I stayed with dad and the car. When the car full of SPs and good Samaritans pulled out, Frank hastily followed them to the golf course, where Miss X got to meet a very, very curious Muriel Dufresne. They left her none the wiser.

Meanwhile, dad and I sat on a stone wall near the car, waiting and watching the sun go down, something I don't recommend to SPs in that area. Finally a tow truck arrived to open up the car. I found the keys on the passenger's seat, under a cushion. Dad had leaned into the car to cover up the scrap of paper with Ida's address on it, and the evil keys slithered down under the cushion. Ida, Richard, Miss X, and a neighbor drove out to check on us just about the time the tow truck arrived. We convoyed back to Ida's for a brief chat before hitting the road. As is pretty usual for Gold, we had a lot of honks, waves, and people yelling 'All right!' as they sped by. We talked to two drivers and gave out one flyer. The object of a Gold picket is not to inform the public, as they're mostly flying by at 70 mph. We reminded the cult that we will not be intimidated, we're still here even if Keith isn't, and we are not amused, terrified, or 'shuddered into silence' by their shenanigans. We can picket on the very doorstep of Davey's house, and there's not a damned thing they can do about it! Nyah, so there.

No PIs followed us to Ida's. There were no strange vehicles on the street when we returned.

Coincidentally, the day after the picket, I received a strange and vaguely threatening email from a Kenneth Pangborn, who I understand lives in Florida very close to Clearwater. He is apparently some nutcase in his own right, I don't know if he's a Scientologist or not, but he has a history of harassing people. He is so special, there's a website dedicated to him:


He apparently highjacked somebody's email address from AOL, and has been reported to the local police department, just to start a paper trail in case his messages continue.

Ida gave me several great T shirts she acquired in Clearwater this year, and a shirt from the Mr. Scary benefit SIGNED BY the great-grandson of L.Ron his own self!

All in all, it was great. Met some new folks, Ida had a nice birthday picket, and minor enturbulation ensued. I hope MUriel doesn't waste too much time worrying about our mystery picketer. Really I do. "Saving" the planet is hard enough without all the extra burden of mysterious enemies in rainbow wigs.

This is true.

Chaplain, ARSCC

"Every week, every month, every year, every decade and now every century, Scientology does weird and stupid things to damage its own reputation." -Steve Zadarnowski


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