Picket Report, Anti Reg
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Subject: An interesting picket in Salt Lake City 3/4/2000
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2000 18:48:14 -0700
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It was an absolutely beautiful day for a picket. The sky was clear, it was
warm, and there was no wind.
I arrived at the Salt Lake City org at approximately 1 pm and noticed that
Mirele was already picketing. Phil Parke, the resident OT8 and "picketer
handler" was walking alongside her. I parked on the north side of the org
and got my picket sign out of the trunk of my car. I glanced through the
course room window and noticed a mostly empty room with only a few long-time
I began walking back and forth in front of the org. Phil introduced himself
and we had a short uneventful conversation. About 3 or 4 minutes after I
arrived, a short, heavier-set man with bushy eyebrows came out of the org.
He was wearing a blue sweater and he was carrying a manila folder. I had
never seen him before. He came over to me and asked if I was Sean Ostler.
He was noticeably nervous (must not be a Pro TRs graduate). When I replied
that I was, he gave me his name (which I wish I could remember) and stated
that he was from OSA. He said that he had been trying to contact me for
several weeks. He pulled out of the manila folder *copies* of five or six
checks made out to me, all totaling about $13,000. He said that he had gone
to great trouble to get the checks and that he wanted to end the situation.
He said that all I had to do was sign a waiver to get the checks. I read
the waiver, which contained 12 or 13 items stating that I agreed to give up
all claims against the Church of Scientology, that I would not sue the
church, and that I would never again speak publicly about the church.
I told him that the only item I would agree to was number 7, which stated
that I would not receive Church of Scientology “services” again. I told him
I would not sign the document. He tried to tell me that it was a standard
agreement when receiving refunds, at which point I told him that this was a
return of advance payments and that they didn’t need a waiver for that. He
took back the waiver and the copies of the checks and put them in the manila
folder. He said the church had made every effort to make the situation
right and that because I would not sign the waiver, my actions would be
considered extortion. He said that he had read all of my posts on the
Internet and that giving me back the money would not accomplish anything
because I had ulterior motives against the church. He said he was going to
report this to OSA and then he walked back into the org. There were two
witnesses to this conversation, Mirele and a very nice friend of hers.
Yes, you heard it right… as unbelievable as it sounds, the Church of
Scientology tried to buy my silence with my own advance payments and then
when I refused to sign away my First Amendment rights, they accused me of
extortion. It was the sleaziest thing I have ever seen.
Mirele and I resumed our picketing. Phil Parke just stood there and watched
us. Then, after about ten or fifteen minutes, a single officer arrived in a
police car. The OSA guy came out and he and Phil talked to the officer.
Mirele tried to get in on the conversation but, from what I could see, the
officer asked her to step away. I continued to picket and every time I
passed by the officer and the OSA guy, I heard little snippets of
conversation. Apparently, the OSA guy was showing the officer copies of
posts I had made to the Internet and he was accusing me of being there
trying to extort the Church of Scientology of money. Then I heard the
officer give the OSA guy a long lecture on the First Amendment and how any
articles I posted on the Internet had no bearing on my right to be there and
demonstrate peacefully. The OSA guy looked frustrated as he went back into
Then the officer came over and very politely gave us a few guidelines on
what we can and cannot do when picketing. Then he went back to his car,
watched the situation for a few minutes, then left. Thank God we live in
America. I will never complain about paying my taxes again.
There was no further “handling” from the Scientologists for the rest of the
picket. Phil Parke left and I noticed a few of them mulling about inside,
but that was about it.
The picket sign that I made was a big hit and it got a lot of attention.
The side that I kept toward the street had the words “WARNING: GREEDY CULT
ZONE” in large 6” black letters and there was black and yellow caution tape
on the top and bottom. There was a steady stream of cars along the street
in front of the org and we got a lot of honks, waves, smiles, and thumbs up.
We even got a fair amount of foot traffic and a few people stopped and
talked to us.
After about 45 minutes, another ex-Scientologist joined us. So we had three
picketers total, which I believe means the Salt Lake City picket stats are
in Affluence for the week. In all, we picketed for about 2 hours and
delivered the truth about Scientology to hundreds of people.
I had fun. Mirele now has a new picket partner.
A.K.A. Anti-Reg, ATS (Actual Trouble Source)
"I got regged one too many times!"
This page was last updated on July 10, 2003.