Scientology Crime Syndicate

CW '99 Picket Report: Xenu Babies Plea For Dad's Release
ethercat@arscc-atl.com (ethercat)
08 Dec 1999

[emailed to Andreas for the mentions of xenu.net]

As I think back over the weekend to make this picket report, what stands out in my mind is this: I have never felt so appreciated in my life, and by so many people. The citizens of Clearwater gave us a very warm welcome. Their responses varied from outright honking, shouting of approval, and thumbs ups out the car windows to silent thank yous, nods and winks. I was moved by the people who were torn between their fear of being seen acknowledging us and their desire to let us know they appreciated our presence. Their fear of being seen is not unrealistic - I noticed OSA with cameras on top of the Fort Harrison; they could see over most of the downtown area; they were actually using it like a fort... Constantly surveying the surrounding territory...

The orange markings painted in the middle of the night on Thursday, 10 feet around cult properties (also referred to as defacement of public property), which were not all successfully removed, combined with the torn up sidewalks turned out to be a double whammy footbullet. The torn up sidewalks encouraged us to spread out all over town, and the orange marks showed us where to go to picket.

Since Lord Xenu's primary mission is to make his existence known, to help achieve that goal, he sent two of his children to Clearwater with wynot and me as goodwill ambassadors. The Xenu Babies were dressed in purple felt robes with gold trim, and tied about the neck with gold cords with tassles on the ends, and I strolled them all over town in a "Sit and Stand LX" model baby stroller. To stay amused during the trip, they brought their toys with them. Xena, the girl, carried a glow in the dark Xenu doll dressed in a silver suit, which, when squeezed, said "Earthling, take me to your leader." The boy, Xeno, carried a rubber ball which looked like the earth. They had their own matching picket sign (purple, with gold trim) with gold letters spelling out simply XENU.NET.

There was nothing negative about scientology anywhere on the Xenu Babies display, and unless the URL or the Xenu story was known to onlookers, I would have looked like just a publicity stunt for a web site. Yet from what I heard, OSA was obsessed with us. I heard that they tracked "the stroller" everywhere with their radios, but I haven't had a chance to hear any of it. (If anyone saved any of the Live OSA broadcast, will you please post a URL? TIA.) And Croc must have at least three solid hours of tape of the Xenu Babies.

The first few times I strolled up and down Cleveland St. with the Xenu Babies, the Scientology children there loved them, and thought they were cute, and were smiling at me and being just as friendly as could be. Even the few Scientology adults there were amused by them. Of course, the OSA lurking in the buildings and around corners were not amused, and after a few passes, all the people at the booths were scowling and no longer friendly.

Across the street, in front of the "OSA Bank" there was an unattended Santa Chair, and several of us had fun putting the Xenu Babies in the Chair and taking pictures of them. On Friday, we did this and got away with it, but on Sunday, when Tilman and I went back for him to get a picture there, we had a slight problem with an OSA. As a lady police officer looked on amused but trying not to show it, the OSA lady told Tilman to "keep his things out of the chair". I apologized, saying that I didn't believe it had hurt the chair, but that I would be happy to pay for any damages. I said that it wasn't been marked as being part of the Scientology exhibit, and we had thought it was a city thing. I told her I didn't catch her name, and she said she'd rather not give it. I told her that where I come from, we introduce ourselves to be polite, and that my name was Ann. She told me I could call her "Lucy". (Must have been the doctrine of exchange operating there, but I think I got defrauded...) I am sorry that she thought putting a rubber doll on a chair which was sitting out in the weather for at least four days was so awful, but then I guess there's no explaining the reactive mind once they've created one for themselves... At any rate, this was the most confrontational thing I saw.

Strolling the Xenu Babies around gave me a chance to picket with lots of different people. I don't mean to skip over anyone, but in the interest of time will just hit some highlights. To everyone I don't mention by name here: It was great meeting you all! I would say 40-50 critics attended. A lot of the time over the three days of picketing (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) wynot and I wandered around together with the Xenu Babies, and his sign that read "Scientology Tax Exempt UFO Cult". We followed Gerry Armstrong around on a personal tour of the Scientology owned properties. We shouted "NO OTs HERE!" at the Fort Harrison with Arnie, and talked to a friendly officer for a few minutes and explained what OTs are supposed to be. I remember 3 local kids on bikes who I heard telling a picketer that when they passed the scientology buildings that they yelled things at them, then the next thing I knew, they had picket signs and were riding around picketing on their bicycles.

I remember seeing FLAG vans circling the block, drivers on their radios presumably for instructions on how to avoid letting their passengers see us. I stood at the only entrance to the Fort Harrison, across the street, being watched by the OSA behind the gate. The gate was wrought iron, and would have probably looked very nice, except for being covered by large metal sheets painted black covering all but about a foot at the top and bottom.

Roger Gonnet was wonderful, shouting in his heavy French accent, "Geeve me your money! I want more money! I want ALL your money!" When I first met Keith Henson, he stood behind the green (flammable) tarp tunnel across the street from the Fort Harrison, holding a sign up through a 4 inch slot, hopefully it was the "Scientology Hides Here" sign, though I couldn't read it from inside the tunnel. We stood with Deana and the Xenu Babies directly across the street from a cult driveway, to shut down the building, just with our presence.

We stood with Beverly and Tilman in front of a building where advanced level classes are held. There appeared to be no activity there. One lady came and had to knock and wait for the door to be unlocked and let in. Soon afterwards, a police car came by and told us that someone had complained that we were blocking the door. There was plenty of room around us, and he could see that. We would have happily moved aside and never blocked anyone's way in. Or out. The next policeman that came by was bored, and asked jokingly, "Can't you throw a bottle or a rock or something?" All the police were on overtime, there was at least two officers on every corner around the cult buildings, and there was absolutely nothing for them to do but chat with their fellow officers and the picketers. He said that we were the most peaceful bunch of people he had ever seen. :-)))))

I saw Bob Minton picketing (over 10 feet away from the cult buildings, but still very much a part of the picket) with his Nazi sign, and guess what? There were no riots breaking out, no skinheads joining him, and the sign just blended in with all the other signs. No one that I saw misunderstood his message.

I went over to say hello to him and Stacy, and was interviewed by the Channel 13 news with the Xenu Babies. I didn't see it on TV in Clearwater, and still haven't seen it, but I was told it was on and that others did see it, so I hope I did well, and I hope I will get to see it. And hopefully the XENU.NET sign was facing the camera the right way and got in the picture the whole time!

(The following is paraphrased.) I was asked what the Xenu Babies were for, so I said to call attention to the fraud, and told a quick version of the Xenu story (a $360,000 fraud); I was asked if I was an ex-member, and I told about my X-Friend, and the disconnection policy and how a year after he had disconnected from me, he had pressured me to remove the International Pickets page in exchange for his friendship back. I had made a pin with a rubber cockroach and was wearing it, and the reporter asked about it. I told about the cockroach bites on Lisa's hands in the autopsy pictures, and how her fellow members cared so little for her that they wouldn't even wipe the bugs off her when she was too sick to do it herself, and that I didn't consider these the actions of religious people.

At the dinner after the vigil Saturday, at a delightful resturant called Ottavio's Place, which I recommend highly to anyone who finds themselves in the Tampa Bay area, I was moved by meeting Lisa's family, and struck by the realization of how hard it must be to be a part of a dinner like this. I almost cried looking into the eyes of Lisa's aunts and seeing the emotion there. I gave a cockroach pin to Lisa's cousin (I think it was) - he had admired mine and I had an extra. I didn't know any better what to say to them than I had known what to say to the Lotticks when I met them the previous night...

Had some fun with Jesse Prince and Mad Cow on two-way radio - Mad Cow outside the resturant giving locations on the Flag vans within hearing range of them, and Jesse inside, talking about the raid to commence at midnight and how we had to verify the exact location of David Miscavige, and not to worry about any minor infractions of the law that we had to commit, the FBI would not be concerned with them at the time, etc.

After the dinner, on the way back to the car with Deana, we saw an RPFer cross the street in front of the Fort Harrison, and walk down a side street, the street we were parked on. He wore black coveralls, and appeared to have a radio in his pocket. He looked so tired and thin, I wanted to run up to him and say, "Can I buy you dinner and will you tell me about scientology?," but he made sure not to look at us, and trudged quickly away as we turned the corner toward the car.

Everyone loved the Xenu Babies; the citizens, the picketers, the police, and even the scientologists loved them until someone told them not to. They worked out well, sitting beside us in the resturants while we ate, because the sign didn't mention scientology, people didn't realize they were part of the picket and would ask about them, and that gave us the opportunity to tell the whole resturant about scientology without appearing to be making a speech.

Several people who I presume were scientologists had some "witty" comments to make about the Xenu Babies. I was told "Cute kids" three or four times, and one of the scn children said something about them looking like me. One adult driving by said, "Cute, very cute", with a nasty look on her face. I smiled and said "thanks." She said, "Why don't you find something important to protest about?" "We have", I replied. And with that, she was hurridly dialing her cell phone while speeding away, and then was gone.

Another guy asked "Were you late to work one morning or something?" Try as I might to wrap my head in cult think and understand this comment, all I can come up with is maybe he thought I was being punished for being to late for work (no doubt, at my job with the ARSCC, or Bob Minton, or the German Psychs) by having to walk this ridiculous (in his mind) baby stroller with two rubber alien dolls... All I could think of at the time though was to ask, "Why would you say that?" He said he was making a joke, and wynot told him we didn't get it... As we continued to walk down the street, we discussed it and this was all we could come up with...

As a sideline mission for Xenu, we were assigned to distribute pay in Marcab dollars to the picketers, and I was honored to personally present Bob Minton with his pay from Xenu. He was honored to receive it. Xenu expects that it will more than finance the coming year's entheta. (Chill, MFC Conspiricists, I had a bag of small Xenu head pencil erasers, in green, orange, blue, and pink, and I gave them around to everyone, including to citizens as souvenirs. Even gave one to a scientology kid, but then later "Lucy" gave it "back" to Tilman. I wondered what the kid will think about it when she wonders why they were so upset over a pencil eraser...)

None of the scientology kids seemed to be very excited about the craft fair, or being out of school on Friday, and we spotted a very sad looking little boy playing on an upper level of the Fort Harrison parking lot. There were several young girls doing Christmas crafts in the building the boy scout troop meets in, and they cheered up when I passed the window with the Xenu Babies.

THANK YOU Citizens of Clearwater, and Fellow Critics who attended (including all those I haven't mentioned here, but haven't forgotten), and Clearwater Police, and yes, even, THANK YOU Cult of Scientology in Clearwater for a most inspiring and spiritually rewarding experience!

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--(((---(((----------| ethercat |---------- (ascii art by Mike Rosulek)


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