San Francisco Picket Report, Saturday March 3, 2001
04 Mar 2001
realpch <realpch@aol.com>

San Francisco Picket Report, Saturday March 3, 2001

It was a grey day, threatening rain, but nonetheless a good day to go picket the San Francisco Scientology Org.

Jour let me know in advance that she wasn't going to be able to make it to this picket. So I actually had to make sure that I had leaflets myself, that I had a camera, that I had a tape recorder with a tape and working batteries, and that I had called the police department to let them know that there would be a picket.

I arrived a little after 12 pm and had to wait a little bit until Phr arrived, as I consider it to be inadvisable to picket Scientology alone. I know many stalwart picketers don't worry about this, but I'm not one of them. Phil showed up at about 12:15 and our picketing complement was complete.

As it turned out, our handlers were somewhat testy and pesky for this picket. Perhaps they were still upset by last month's picket which was well attended and featured those notorious suppressives Keith Hensen and Tory Bezazian. Tory was quite charming and an eyeful with her red devil's horns perched on her blonde hair. And like other ex-Scientologists, she was enthusiastic about communicating with Scientologists still in the organization. Maybe they thought that she would grace the picket again, because Nasty Mark was there for the event, and behaving badly.

I haven't been bullbaited since the last time that Nasty Mark tried it and the police were called. He seemed a bit half-hearted about it, and after remarks about med dosages and queries about my general state of happiness and marital status, he resorted to reading me a list of "Psych Atrocities", which was pretty humorous, because it was like reading the article titles in ARS lately. He also worked heavily on Phr, doing the crowding routine and more bullbaiting. Luckily Phil was there, and occupied much of his time with congenial chat. I have mentioned before that Phil enjoys such discussions.

Craig the Scientologist was there too, with his video camera and the usual "Religious Bigot" flyers. Lately he has taken to taping Jour quite a bit at pickets, and dogging her every step. He was a bit at a loss, with her absence, and resorted to videotaping me and Phr. As at other pickets, he continued to attempt to engage me in some sort of negative exchange, though I have told him many times that I am not interested in talking with him. He also intruded his person into conversations with passerbys, to whom I explained that I make it a practice to avoid such discussions, and excused myself, leaving him the field. He was overheard exclaiming, "These people are against all religions! Ask them about other religions!" Nobody did, though a surprising number of passers-by take the opportunity of giving me their general impressions about religion at these pickets.

I handed out an unknown number of flyers, since I didn't count what I had started with. Definitely a fraction of the number which Jour regularly hands out. I also had printed mine on white paper, which makes it hard to grab a specific flyer out of the handful, and also renders the flyers lots less attractive to the people being encouraged to take one. Ooops! All around, we missed Jour with her eye-catching ensemble and her upbeat attitude, but we did ok. We broke at 2 for refreshments at our favourite coffee house.

Phil informs me that Nasty Mark told him that he (Mark) was "a major player in the OSA ops". What the heck this means, I have no idea. Perhaps Mark would like to address the ARS newsgroup, and detail his Adventures In Scientology. Phil also suggested to Jeff Quiros DSA, who of course was at the picket and asked about Jour's well-being, that rather than handling picketers in an unpleasant manner, the Org (in the interests of good PR) should offer them coffee and publicly demonstrate how reasonable is the Church of Scientology towards dissenting views. That sounds pleasant.

On a fashion note, since I knew that Jour would not be there with her Red Picketing Jammies to enliven the picket, I did wear a red silk turtleneck under my black and grey plaid plush jacket. I also wore dark green plush leggings, little black boots, and a long taupe raincoat. If you are wearing leggings, and haven't been to the gym lately, I advise completing the ensemble with longish over garments. I wore no co-ordinating jewellery, but considering the Anti-Psyche theme of at least one of our handlers, I think I will have to hunt out my smiley face "I took my Prozac today" lapel button and wear it to the next picket.



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