Jeff's picket report, March 16-17 in LA
25 Mar 2001
cultxpt@primenet.com (Jeff Jacobsen)

March 13 is LRH's birthday, and Scientology has a big celebration each year, usually the weekend after the 13th. We had picketed in LA in March '98 and March '99, but I don't think there was a picket in 2000. You can see a great photo from '98 at http://www.primenet.com/~cultxpt/demo.htm

I went to the Big Blue building on the Sunset Blvd. side about 10am on Friday the 16th. I forgot if we were supposed to meet at 10 or 11, so I wound up picketing alone until 11. I stayed on the Sunset Blvd. side since I was alone and wanted witnesses if anything might happen.

A guy in his 50's came out pretty early on and talked to me about 15 minutes, asking the usual things like who is paying me, why am I doing this, etc. He was reasonably nice and didn't seem to know who I was. Then after he left a thin redheaded woman placed herself on the east corner and a shorter guy stood on the west corner to keep an eye on me I guess. I talked to both. the first thing the guy said was "who is paying you?" Now, I've picketed in many places at many times, and this seems to be a Scientology mantra. It's a given that this question will be asked. I can answer it - I paid my own way completely.

At 11 Lawrie and Astra Woodcraft came. We picketed until about 12:30 or so. Gradually we tried to find out from the cops if we could walk down L.Ron Hubbard Way, which was closed off with a few kids playing volleyball and such in the street. There were also balloons and a big banner promoting the Saturday night event at the Universal City amphitheater. The cop on LRH Way said we couldn't. So after a bit I found the sargent on duty and asked him. The Scientology security guy happened to be right there at the moment as well. The sargent said of course we could. The Co$ security guy blurted out that no we couldn't because they had a permit closing the street. The sargent pointed out that that applied to the street not the sidewalk.

So a bit later, Graham Berry showed up. We decided to walk down LRH Way but I told the cop right there first. He said no way unless his sargent tells him directly that it's ok. So I had to go around and get the sargent to come over and give us the green light, which he did.

We went down and back uneventfully, though 3 Scientology handlers went with us.

It was time to go to the Celebrity Center, so we left and met over there. Tory was there with a photographer, and Peter and Patricia were there as well. So we picketed, posed for the photographer, and just had a good time.

We got tired of CC so went down to the Hubbard Life Exhibit. Again it was reasonably quiet but we had some good input from locals, who were all grateful that we were protesting Scientology. We went to the property further down Hollywood Blvd. as well and picketed there, then quit.

Saturday morning we met at 10am at the Celebrity Center. Goonybird was there, as were all 3 Woodcrafts, and several other people. It was a good crowd. We basically just walked around the entire complex. I counted security cameras (13) while Peter and Patricia and Tory dealt with a PI they had seen following me. It was a relatively quiet picket with no handlers other than the PI.

We decided to go to the Life Exhibit to reach more public, so we met down there. Snefru showed up as well and had the WWW.XENU.NET banner. So he and I held this in front of the Life Exhibit for over an hour. While there an ambulance pulled up and the guys went in. We heard later it was someone who had fainted, and this is a regular occurrence.

Then we went back to the Big Blue building. By the time I got there everyone was walking up and down LRH Way, so I just joined. Snef and I carried the banner. This time several Scientologists came out with huge signs promoting the evening's event and a big "Happy Birthday Ron" banner on poles. These were used to hide our signs.

Snef and I decided to hang out at the corner of LRH Way and Sunset Blvd., but the jerks with the Ron banner kept standing in front of us. So we walked to Sunset Blvd. and stood right on the curb, forcing them into the street if they wanted to hide our banner.

Then our handlers noticed that we were just holding our sign below theirs, since ours didn't have poles. So, they had to hold their sign UPSIDE DOWN in order to hide ours. Here they were, intentionally blocking our sign, standing on the street, holding a "Happy Birthday Ron!" sign upside down! How ridiculous. After a bit some other guy whispered in one of our handler's ears and they left us alone.

So we finished off the day picketing LRH Way or standing on the corner with our banner.

That evening I went up to Universal City Amphitheater to watch how many people went in. The doors were supposed to open at 6 but actually they didn't let anyone in until 6:15pm. There was a good crowd that I have no way of estimating how many, but it was a reasonably steady stream of people until about 7:30 (it was supposed to start at 7pm sharp).

About 6:30 I went to the bathroom. When I came out a friend had called me on my cell phone. As I was talking I noticed a young guy in a suit eyeing me from a distance. I assumed I was being followed as I had in '98 when I did the same thing. So I pretended I didn't see the guy, walked up the escalator, went right into the elevator and back down, and lost him. I went upstairs across the way to watch the back entrance of the amphitheater, but nothing was happening there, so I went back around and down the elevator again. When the door opened who was there but my stalker! I said "I lost you" and he said "yes you did." We chatted as we went back to the main amphitheater entrance. Tory and a friend were there. Tory was watching for friends going in and would say hi to them. I saw at least 6 of her friends come over to her, when suddenly an OSA goon would rush over to the friend and say something like "Tory's been declared, don't talk to her" and instantly the "friend" would walk away. Some friends.

Tory, her friend and I then walked to the Mexican restaurant up there. While we waited for seating we noticed 6 Scientologists milling around outside the restaurant watching us. After we were seated I waited a while then went out and sure enough 2 of our stalkers were waiting outside.

After dinner Tory and her friend left first, then I left. I saw the 2 stalkers still out there, but I tried to walk real fast through the crowds to my parking area so I could leave. But when I got close I looked back and there one of them was! This pissed me off so I walked back into Universal City and looked high and low for a cop. I finally found 5 of them in a little clutch chatting away. I told them I was being stalked and pointed out one of the stalkers, an older guy with an earpiece for his walkie talkie. 2 of the cops went over and took him somewhere, while another cop stayed with me as I tried to find my 2nd stalker. I couldn't, so he walked me to my car.

The end

"The idea that one can 'push' Scientology and get no penalty is a false one." Russell Shaw

"To punish to the fullest extent of my power anyone misusing or degrading Scientology to harmful ends" (The original Code of a Scientologist)


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