picketing on Hollywood Boulevard and at Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles
Suppressives: Zinjifar and me
Date/Time: 8/26/98, about 11:45 am - 12:30 pm
Tools: sign, disposable camera, tape recorder, bag-o-suckers
Weather: sunny and warm
Foot Traffic: Heavy on Hollywood, non-existent at CC
Street Traffic: Heavy on Hollywood, light at CC
Scn Response: Handly, lying?, following in traffic, waste of taxpayer money; Scientologists picketed my residence
General Passerby Response: Favorable
Stats: 2 suckers and 3 sucker fliers; 1 mint and 20 mint/breaking-the-law fliers; 18 "Why" fliers; 7 Lisa fliers; 1 Xenu flier; 2 Attorney General postcards; 1 "is $cn breaking the law" flier
Note: as I do NOT have perfect memory, any quotes below are very close paraphrases. I apologize for any inadvertent inaccuracies and will try to correct any errors that are pointed out to me.
I had reason to be in Los Angeles Wednesday, so I e-mailed Zinj and arranged to meet for a picket. Zinj obligingly let me use one of his nifty picket-poles, and we spent a few minutes mounting posterboard on them and affixing our signs. Mine said, "DID SCIENTOLOGY STANDARD TECH KILL LISA MCPHERSON? ASK SCIENTOLOGY ABOUT THE INTROSPECTION RUNDOWN" on one side and "SCIENTOLOGY COSTS $400,000 - WHY WON'T THEY PAY MINIMUM WAGE? www.xenu.net" on the other. I was amused to see that Zinj also had minimum wage complaints on one side of his sign. Entheta minds think alike. ;-)
I happened to be staying not far from the $cn building on Hollywood Blvd (the one with the big vertical sign, where I think they do a lot of their body routing), so I suggested we picket there. Although I think I've seen people lined up there before, waiting to go in (for Orientation? for classes?), today I only saw a lone body-router handing out tickets (Orientation, I imagine). The only Scientologists I noticed were him and our two handlers. I didn't see anyone go in or out - although it was a busy picket and I would probably have missed it if it happened.
AN EENTSY WEENTSY LITTLE MINT
It seemed a good occasion to break out my brand new "mint/breaking-the-law" flier. On one side, it says:
SCIENTOLOGY COSTS A MINT!
SCIENTOLOGY COSTS OVER $400,000!
WHY DOES IT COST SO MUCH?
DOES SCIENTOLOGY LIE ABOUT THE COST OF AUDITING?
WHERE DOES ALL THE MONEY GO?
DO SCIENTOLOGY EMPLOYEES MAKE A LOT OF MONEY?
BUT THEY GIVE REFUNDS, RIGHT?
and, on the other side:
IS SCIENTOLOGY BREAKING THE LAW?
THERE'S EVIDENCE THEY ARE.
with text about the convictions, the allegations, and a call to action (contact the Attorney General).
Both sides end with my standard look-for-yourself text:
Learn more about Scientology on the Internet:
* Scientology's own site is at www.scientology.org
* the best critical site is at www.xenu.net
* the latest news is on the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology
* find out why I'm picketing at http://www.scientology-lies.com/re.cgi?http://members.aol.com/jour0
The "mint" side of the flier goes with my new bag-o-mints. Since I chose to concentrate on the breaking the law side today, though, I only gave out one mint - to Zinj.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT
I was in fine picketing form, if I do say so myself. I was, of course, dressed in my standard red picketing jammies. We walked up and down from corner to corner, and as we passed people, I said, "I think Scientology's breaking the law. Would you like to know more?" Since this is in a crowded tourist area, I managed to give away all 20 mint/law fliers in just a few minutes. (I got fliers into the hands of several of the employees at neighboring businesses, including the Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not museum. Xenu ... body thetans ... Marcabs - Believe It Or Not!)
I hadn't printed up a lot of "mint" fliers, since this IS LA and we never give out many fliers in LA, but fortunately I had a lot of "Why I Picket" fliers with me, plus a few of the various others. Doing some quick arithmetic, it looks like I gave out a total of 50 fliers.
Our first handler, a well-built, stocky gentleman with whitish, short-cropped hair, stuck more with Zinj than with me (which was fine with me, since I've gotten plenty of opportunities to talk with Scientologists at previous pickets). Right when we arrived, he asked if we were planning to be there long, and we said no - although I asked if he'd like us to stay a long time, to help bring in new recruits.
SE HABLA ESPANOL
One couple took my flier and asked in broken English for more information. The lady said, "We're Argentine," and I got to practice my Spanish on them. I was able to communicate the gist of Lisa's story, my concern with $cn policies on false imprisonment, and their total opposition to psychiatry. The gentleman, a neurologist, told me about a case in Argentina regarding a woman who delayed medical treatment because of her involvement with a cult. We swapped email addresses; hopefully he'll write back and I can get more details.
I spoke with them for about 10 minutes (a long time on a short picket) and finally excused myself so we could finish up and move on. I thanked them for their interest and they thanked me profusely for picketing. "Sigue, sigue!" said the lady - "keep it up."
THE ONLY WAY TO CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM
As soon as I finished talking with my Argentines, I got a handler of my very own. She was VERY unhappy - definitely hostile - and her comments to me verged on ranting. She said that I was interfering with her religious freedom; I told her I respected her right to her beliefs but not $cn's history of locking people up. She said $cn doesn't lock people up; I said I've read the Introspection Rundown and asked if she had. She said yes, and that it didn't call for locking people up; I said yes it did, and what about the RPF? What about the armed guards at Gold? She said, what ABOUT the armed guards at Gold? (That about made my jaw drop.) She said I had to know that the people I'm picketing with were inciting violence and going into $cn buildings and shooting people. I told her that was not true of anyone I knew or had picketed with.
I let her rant for a bit and kept handing out fliers. She told me a couple of times that I was out of control; I, of course, disagreed. Finally, she said, "You're going to have to leave." Well, I was chagrined, because Zinj and I had already decided to leave <grin>, so I told her we were leaving but not because she asked us to. (If I had had any more flexibility in my schedule, I would have insisted on staying longer just to prove to her that we didn't "have" to leave just because she said so.)
I did want to get some photos, though, so I handed my camera to Zinj and wrapped up my conversation with my handler. I thanked her for talking with me and looked her in the eye and told her with all sincerity, "There is nothing I'd like more than to be proven wrong." I told her that the very first Scientologist to come out and talk to me, Darlene at San Jose, had told me that $cn would NEVER break the law, but that clearly it had and was. She said, "You're talking about the Guardian's Office, right?" and started doing the that's-all-in-the-past thing, and I said, "No, I'm talking about Italy, and manslaughter in France, and breach of the faith in Canada." She told me that the Italy case had been overturned and so had the French case. I don't believe a word of it, but I'd love to see some evidence. (Anyone?)
I asked her her name (I'm PRETTY sure she said "Leslie" - wish I could have one of those nifty perfect memories Clears get to have) and shook her hand (I had brought her up the Tone Scale and we were practically friendly now) and told her I go by Jour. "You're Krista Wachter, right?" she said. I grinned and said, "Where did you get that name?" and suddenly, although a moment ago she had had all that info about France and Italy at her fingertips, she couldn't remember who told her. She asked again if that was my name, and asked what my address was so she could send me hard-copy documentation that RPF policies don't call for false imprisonment. I told her if it was in the Red or Green volumes, she could just give me the references and I could look it up for myself. She said it wasn't in the Red or Greens, so what was my address? I said if she could find out my name, she could surely find out my address.
I believe Leslie was lying to me - about picketers shooting people, about France and Italy. Would anyone - ANYONE - care to provide me with evidence that she was right? (Since Gail failed to forward me the info on the Purif that she promised me at my last LA picket, I'm not confident that Leslie will send me anything - although I'd be delighted if she did.)
OUR VERY OWN FOLLOWER
LRH has his legions of followers; now Zinj and I had one of our own. We hit the road en route to our next picketing spot, and lo and behold, the security gentleman followed us through the streets, sitting right on our tail. I snapped a few photos of him behind us. (At the rate I develop film, you'll all be able to admire his grin and his driving skills sometime in 2011.) We lost him in traffic, drove around a bit, and ended up at Celebrity Centre.
The long tall picket poles came in extremely handy here, as they're long enough for even a short person like me to lift the sign up to a height above the tall (10 feet high?) bushes.
As we came around the corner, we hit a little more traffic, and a gentleman slowed his car down to read our signs. I let him see both sides, and he gave us a thumbs-up and drove away.
We got to the CC sign, and I thought I might like a photo, so I posed while Zinj aimed. A well-built gentleman with dark, cropped hair (looking rather jock-like) stood right in front of me - was he deliberately blocking the shot, or just oblivious? We rearranged the shot a bit and Zinj snapped a few photos. We continued around the block. I greeted the security guards with a pleasant "good afternoon" and a smile.
When we got back to the car, our follower had illegally parked in front of our vehicle, in an apparent attempt to block our departure. We decided to call it a day and managed to make it out of the parking space.
Our dedicated follower tailed us again, but after a few minutes we lost him.
Since returning home, I have called the police department and gotten info on filing an LA police report from here in San Francisco.
Zinj dropped me off at a restaurant, where I had a lovely lunch with my travelling companion before leaving the City of the Angels to return home to the City of Saint Francis.
WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE
After the long drive north, I arrived home to learn that a couple of representatives from $cn San Francisco had picketed the apartment building where I live. (More on that in another thread.)
Guys, guys, guys. I've already told you - that kind of negative reaction to my activism will only make me more dedicated. If you'd like me to stop picketing, it's perfectly simple: start behaving yourself. Stop breaking the law. Stop hurting people. Stop lying.
I know you can do it.
Kristi / Jour
This page was last updated on May 8, 1999.