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Protest!

Picket report, San Francisco, Feb 3 2001
4 Feb 2001
Kristi Wachter <humanrights@racerrecords.com>

Date: Saturday, February 3, 2001
Start and End Times: 11:50 - 2:00 pm, then 4:15 - 4:45 pm
Location: San Francisco
Picketers: Peaches, Tim, Tory Bezazian, Murdoch, Keith Henson, Arel, Phr,
Kristi Wachter
Handlers: Jeff, Craig, Robin
Weather: gorgeous
Number of Handouts given away: 278 (upstat!) - includes all of us
Comments: fabulous, fun picket

flier stats:


20 Lisa fliers
53 Judges on Scn
2 advisory
150 Convictions/What's Wrong
53 Tax/What's Wrong

278 total

This is the number of fliers given out by all of us.

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Signs:

Peaches:
What "church" harasses critics & ex-members?
Scientology - A History of Deception - www.xenu.net
Scientology - $300,000+ for "Salvation"

Tim:
Scientology Kills
Psychiatry Heals

Tory:
Scientology Stop Hurting Children
Scientology Destroys Familys - www.xenu.net

Murdoch:
Scientology - I'll Tell You My Crimes, If You Tell Me Yours
(with pictures of Lisa McPherson & Noah Lottick)
What "Religion" DESTROYS People's Lives?
(with pictures of LRH, Jeff Quiros, & David Miscavige)

Keith:
Scientology - Cult of Blackmail, Bribery & Fraud - www.xenu.net
When's Your Next Sec-Check? - 909-727-9335

Arel:
Meet a (Former) OT VII
I Know Ex-Scientologists and I Believe Them!

Kristi:
Scientology - STILL Breaking the Law - www.scientology-lies.com
Scientology: Convicted of Lying - www.scientology-lies.com
Scientology Hurts People

-----------------------------------------------

Familiar faces seen:

Josh
Jeff Quiros
Mr. Get-Your-Facts-Straight
Ms. A
Craig
Atlas
Lucretia?
El Greco
Mr. Overt
Mr. Tall Thin Sea Org
Mr. Nice Guy
Robin

Familiar faces not present during this picket:

Frank
Guitarman
Burly Guy
Mr. Lady-I-Work-Here
Movie Star
Miss Pixie

-----------------------------------------------

Note: Quotes are not exact, since I didn't listen to my tape recording at all. Also, I occasionally rearrange the chronology slightly to enhance the narrative flow.

Photos of handlers and picketers at

http://www.scientology-lies.com/picketphotos.010203.html .

ALWAYS SOMETHING THERE TO REMIND ME
===================================

This picket was in honor of Joe Harrington. I hope everyone who reads this report will do a few web searches to find some of his many writings about Scientology.

He will be missed; he will not be forgotten.

YOUR KISS IS ON MY LIST
=======================

Although I've done a lot of pickets by now, I still find it's helpful to have a checklist to make sure I've got everything covered.

Item 1: call the police. Check.

Item 2: gather all the stuff: fliers, signs, tape recorder, cassette tapes, batteries, camera, stapler. (Sometimes I bring tape, too.) Water bottle. Sunscreen. (Hey, I just realized my inflatable alien isn't on the list. I've added it now.)

Once I've accumulated everything, I don all my stuff and head out the door.

Like last time, I did some picketing on the corner near my home while waiting for Peaches to pick me up; I handed out a few fliers to curious passersby.

EARLY IN THE MORNING
====================

Peaches and I arrived at the org early for a change - we were picketing by 11:50.

Right at about noon, we saw a pair of people walking toward us; one had a picket sign in hand. We greeted them as they approached, and they introduced themselves as Tim and - TORY! Yes, the famous (infamous!) Tory had appeared in our midst. She was decked out in a bright red top (hey... isn't that MY picket tech?!? <GRIN) and cute little devil horns to reflect her Eeevil SP status.

Tim had e-mailed me a couple of days before the picket mentioning that he and "a friend" would be joining us, and he asked if I could supply a picket sign for his friend. I e-mailed back, asking if there was a particular slogan she would like, and he replied with "Scientology Stop Hurting Children." So I printed up a slogan and brought some extra posterboard and yardsticks. As we were preparing to go to Peaches' car to retrieve the posterboard, who should appear but Murdoch! So we left Tim and Murdoch, went to the car, got the stuff, came back to the org, and used the trash can as a table top for assembling Tory's sign. (For the other side, she picked out "Scientology Destroys Families - www.xenu.net", one of the other slogans I had printed up.)

Once the sign was assembled, the five of us spread out, picketing and chatting and fliering the passersby.

(Tim had brought his own sign. One side said "Scientology Kills;" the other side said "Psychiatry Heals.")

COVER ME
========

Once again, I was closely shadowed by my very own personal Scientologist, Craig. (Tory wondered aloud if perhaps he has a crush on me.) He stayed right on top of me; I asked him again, as I had last time, to keep far enough away so that he wasn't obstructing me. He replied, rather petulantly, "I have a right to be out here too." I agreed, "You have a right to be out here, but you don't have a right to obstruct me - and I don't have a right to obstruct you."

Once in a while I had to announce to Craig that I was planning to do something - "I'm going to bend down and pick up those fliers on the sidewalk, Craig" - to make sure he didn't run into me.

Craig was handing out the same libellous bigot fliers as last time (pictures of Peaches and me on one side, stuff about Bob Minton and Nigeria on the other).

Later in the picket, after Keith and Arel arrived, there were just too many of us for Craig to adequately shadow us all, so at times I lost my shadow to one of the others.

(By the way, Craig, if you shadow me as closely next time as you did this time, I'm going to ask the police to speak with you about not obstructing my movement. I don't want to bother them with that, and I'm sure you don't want that either, so I hope you'll maintain enough extra distance next time that I'm not always worrying you're underfoot. I'm sure you can do that while still chasing after all the recipients of my fliers to give them yours. I fully acknowledge your right to speak your mind and hand out your fliers - I just don't want any accidental contact.)

BOTH SIDES NOW
==============

Craig had taken to talking over me as I handed out fliers. After a while I started countering that rude tactic by telling people taking my fliers, "He'll probably start talking over me." That seemed to discourage his bad habit, at least a bit.

During one conversation in which I used this technique, the gentleman I was talking to listened to what I had to say, then turned to Craig and said, "Rebuttal?" Alas, Craig didn't address anything I had said, claiming instead that I was making up everything I'd said. (!) Once Craig had finished talking, the gentleman turned back to me, and I pointed out that, contrary to Craig's statement that I was making up all my claims, I had links to supporting evidence at my web site (the URL to scientology-lies.com is on my fliers), so he could read the court documents and newspaper articles for himself; and that furthermore, nearly every page of my extensive site contains a link to scientology.org, so readers could see both sides for themselves - a courtesy not reciprocated by Scientology.

I was again dismayed, as I so often am, by the inability of a Scientology representative to respond intelligently to the issues we activists have raised. I'm sure Craig thinks he's following the tech ("Never defend, always attack"), but isn't it a Scientology crime to make Scientology look bad?

NOT ONE OF US
=============

Craig didn't seem to give much thought to the impression he was creating in the minds of rushed passersby.

There we were, five (later eight) protestors carrying signs criticizing Scientology; and there he was, handing out fliers with us. I would approach a pedestrian with a flier extended, saying, "Scientology's worse than you think!", and typically, the pedestrian would take it and start skimming it, reading about Scientology's major criminal convictions or the list of unflattering comments by judges. Then Craig would hand them a flier of his and say, "These people are religious bigots."

Now, the flier recipient doesn't realize Craig's got a different message - that he's not one of the protestors. So, associating things in a hurry, the recipient thinks Craig is saying that SCIENTOLOGISTS are religious bigots. Craig's flier has photos of me and Peaches, but do passersby have an opportunity to associate my face with the face on the flier? I doubt it. So the pedestrians walk away with both fliers in hand, thinking that Scientology is not only breaking the law and hurting people, but practicing religious bigotry as well.

(Of course, Scientology DOES practice religious bigotry, but that's not Craig's point.)

I could be wrong, of course, but I think most passersby do, in fact, react this way. One woman started telling Craig about her negative experiences with Scientology, and I interrupted to point out that Craig was a Scientologist. She turned toward me and said, "Well, I'll tell you, then," and proceeded to describe how she had worked with homeless youth, and how they were sometimes recruited by Scientology, exploited when they were at their most vulnerable.

If she couldn't recognize that Craig was trying to discredit us, rather than Scientology, how many others could?

GONE, GONE, GONE
================

On the other hand, it's still not uncommon for passersby to think that we're pro-Scientology, or even some bizarre reverse-psychology marketing campaign put on by Scientologists (as one gentleman told me, before pausing, re-reading our signs, asking me about our position, and then taking a couple of fliers).

One poor woman strode through our group screaming and shouting at us that we were assholes - that her brother had committed suicide because of Scientology. I tried to call after her that we were PROTESTING Scientology, but it didn't seem to sink in. (Murdoch told me later that he thought Tory had managed to reach the woman and explain our message - Tory, is that true?)

I feel such sympathy for people who have lost a loved one to Scientology.

THE BITCH IS BACK
=================

Shortly after the picket began, Jeff emerged from the org for the Obligatory Photo Shoot. I was at the other end of the sidewalk, so I didn't hear directly, but Murdoch reported to me that Jeff called Tory a bitch. (Honestly, Jeff - how rude.)

Jeff seemed fairly well-behaved after that (at least as far as I could see); he didn't say much (to us, at least - he spent a fair amount of time with Craig and Robin, possibly giving them instructions).

Although Jeff is not the lucky recipient of the coveted Kristi's Favorite Scientologist award this month, I was nevertheless very glad to see him.

WE DON'T TALK ANYMORE
=====================

Tory, bless her heart, was trying her best to open up communication with various Scientologists at the org. She tried talking with Craig, but he wasn't terribly interested - he did say she could talk to him as long as she kept near me (heh!), since he was following me around, but he wasn't terribly communicative with her.

He asked me whether I was willing to have a conversation with him today, and I told him I was happy to share little greetings and things, but that if he wanted to have a lengthly discussion, e-mail was the best place to do that - or we could have a conversation in a cafe sometime, but at the moment I was concentrating on picketing. Many of his attempts at communication were hostile - he got stuck on his favorite "Are you a psych patient?" for a little while, and asked me several times about Tim, our new picketer. (I had no information to share with him, but of course I wouldn't provide personal information to a handler in any case.) I told him if he had questions about Tim, he should ask Tim.

Later, he asked me what my religious views were - or was that too personal of a question? I said that yes, it was too personal. (He, of course, also declines to answer certain questions; Tory asked him about his status on the Bridge, and he said he didn't want to talk about that.)

I explained to Craig that his questions often struck me as hostile, and that I didn't believe he was interested in genuine dialog with me, and that I thought that our respective points of view were so different that attempting to talk wouldn't be very fruitful. (It's hard to discuss Scientology's abuses with someone who is unable to confront their existence.) He claimed that he was willing to listen to me, but I said I wasn't convinced of that.

Again, Craig, I invite you to contact me via e-mail if you wish to initiate a dialog. And I encourage you to use the ARC triangle (something I've rarely witnessed a Scientologist doing) to express your affinity for me, find things we agree on, and communicate something to me about your views.

I believe Tory managed to have a bit of real dialog with Craig late in the picket - if she posts a picket report, maybe she can provide more details.

Tory also had a good conversation with Mr. Nice Guy (I hesitate to nickname him that - I'd hate for him to become No More Mr. Nice Guy - but I'll risk it). It's nice that there's one Scientologist who's willing and able to talk nicely with us.

In fact, I'm going to have to award the coveted Kristi's Favorite Scientologist of the Month award to Mr. Nice Guy. Anyone who's that uptone and has that much confront is okay in my book!

ROCKIN' ROBIN
=============

While Craig was handing out bigot fliers, a young lady with strawberry blonde hair came out and handed out Purification Rundown brochures. After a while, to my dismay, she took over handing out bigot fliers.

I informed her that I believed the fliers to be libellous, and she said she thought what I was saying was libellous. I suggested she read the libel laws.

Later, I mentioned that I would be including her in my picket report, and asked if she wanted to give me a name or nickname to use. She paused (comm lag!) and said, "If you don't recognize me, Kristi ... " I looked a little closer and asked, "Is it Robin? Are you from Mountain View?" I apologized for not having recognized her before. (Her hair was a bit shorter at Mountain View - and it HAS been many months since I saw her.)

I was sorry to hear Robin claim to passersby that my complaints against Scientology were made up. At one point, I believe I heard her referring a gentleman to the bigotwatch web site (listed on the bigot flier), and telling him she "thought" there was more information there - leading me to believe she hasn't actually visited the site herself.

Last time I checked, there was no information at all at the bigotwatch site about me (or Peaches). Can't the folks running the site find any crimes to list?

FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY
=====================

One Scientologist - the same as last month - asked me how much I was getting paid for picketing, and I told him I'm not being paid. He indicated that he didn't believe me, and when I asked why not, he said "That's what a prostitute would say." I asked if he was calling me a prostitute, and he said yes. I asked him why, and he said I was prostituting myself.

One pronouncement of LRH's that I've found somewhat accurate - at least regarding Scientologists - is that the overt speaks loudly. (Craig and Robin claim I'm making up my criticisms of Scientology, when they're making up my alleged bigotry and the implied association with Bob Minton; Scientologists screamed about government agents infiltrating Scientology at the very time when they were most actively infiltrating US government agencies; Scientologists accused critics of being criminals while committing criminal conspiracies to frame critics for sending bomb threats and committing a hit-and-run.)

Thus, it occurred to me to nickname this gentleman Mr. Overt, and to wonder whether he's taken money to do something he would not otherwise have done.

Even if he hasn't, he clearly is failing to apply the basic evaluation tech laid out by LRH in the Basic Study Manual. Remember, Mr. Overt: "Data is your data only so long as you have evaluated it."

HEROES
======

'Round about 1 o'clock, we spotted a couple more picket signs bobbing toward our little group. It was Keith Henson and his wife Arel! Joy! I began applauding and called out, "Hail the returning hero!"

I really feel that Keith and Arel have been heroic in responding to Scientology's attacks on them.

Keith strode from spot to spot, hanging out with other picketers, picking up handlers (there's a picture of him talking with Craig). Arel tended to pick a spot and hang out for a while; she had picked up Tory's dance tech and was bopping along to the music on her headphones.

It was wonderful to see them both - I was delighted that they came!

THEY CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME
=================================

One minor point that annoyed me ever so slightly was that folks kept referring to Tory as a former OT7. Now, as far as I know, you can't lose the abilities you gain on the Bridge. (Yes, yes, I know, you don't actually gain any demonstrable abilities, but hypothetically - ) I mean, once an OT7, always an OT7, right?

( ... also, if I understand correctly, Tory didn't attest to OT7, since she was being sec-checked to death, so I think she's technically OT6.)

Later in the cafe, a few of us were discussing the levels, and we concluded that the SP levels must be higher than the OT levels, since to our knowledge no one's ever routed onto the Bridge after doing any of the SP levels. So Tory's SP level ( ... and what is that? SP4? 5?) outranks her OT level - but does not, I think, cancel or supercede it.

I welcome corrections, though, if I'm mistaken, provided you can cite the appropriate policy (from either Scientology or ARSCC(wdne) materials).

FUN, FUN, FUN
=============

Shortly after 2 pm, we decided to adjourn to the cafe. (This being a typical herd-of-cats group of critics, we of course had to spend about 20 minutes discussing whether to leave, deciding to take group pictures, trying to round everyone up for group pictures, starting to picket again, and then collecting everyone to head for the cafe.)

We completely overwhelmed the poor cafe guy with our handful of orders for sandwiches, but while we waited for him to catch up, we did a lot of catching up ourselves. It was just indescribably wonderful to get to chat with so many splendid activists, some we were meeting for the first time.

DO IT AGAIN
===========

After a couple of hours at the cafe, we begin to disperse (to use a favorite term of LRH's). Murdoch wanted to picket a bit more, as did Phr, so I joined them and we put in an extra half hour, without handlers.

BUS STOP
========

I spent quite a long time waiting for the bus (due to the Chinese New Year parade, traffic was a mess all over the city and the busses were delayed). While I waited, three people expressed interest in my sign and took fliers.

YOU DON'T SEND ME FLOWERS ANYMORE
=================================

Craig's been pretty consistent lately about revenge-picketing me on picket weekends. However, I didn't receive any reports that he'd been here, and I didn't get any bigot fliers at home, so he may well have skipped the revenge picket this time.

It was a fabulous picket, and I was just delighted to see Tim and Tory and Keith and Arel (and, of course, Peaches and Murdoch and Phr).

The next regularly scheduled first-Saturday-of-every-month picket is March 3 from noon until 2 pm, rain or shine.

See you then!

Kristi

--

Kristi Wachter the activist formerly known as "Jour" (before $cientology outed me)

If I am not who you say I am, then you are not who you think you are. - James Baldwin

I think $cientology is hurting people and breaking the law, and I want them to stop it. See http://www.scientology-lies.com for more.

Can you say "Xenu?" ... I knew that you could.

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