Archive Message - 1995

From!!!swrinde!!!!!news Thu Sep 14 09:43:35 1995 Path:!!!swrinde!!!!!news From: (Michael Reuss) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Re: Boulder CO - protest results Date: 12 Sep 1995 01:14:08 GMT Organization: Hewlett-Packard Lines: 130 Message-ID: <432mt0$> References: <42suig$> NNTP-Posting-Host: Mime-Version: 1.0 X-Newsreader: WinVN 0.93.11 Let's keep all the Boulder Picket info in one thread? OK with everyone? My experience at the Boulder Mission protest: I got there right at 11:00. I had considered bringing Carmen, my dog (50 lb. Golden Retriever mix) with a "Don't Drown Me' banner around her chest, and as fun as that would have been, I decided that I didn't want to wrestle with her on a leash for 2+ hours. My sign said "You won't silence me" on one side, and "After your 'Clear' day, you will pay forever" on the other. I first introduced myself to the various protesters. It's nice to have some faces associated with some of the names on ARS. I also noticed there were three or four other people standing on the mall near the mission door, holding signs critical of "Copyright Terrorists." I posed for a picture by the roving Co$ photographer and also for a photographer from the Longmont Times Call (did anyone get a copy?). I talked with Deb Danos, the DSA (Director of Special Affairs at the Boulder Mission). I asked her if she would be making any more appearences on Peter Boyles talk show on KTLK (AM 760, Denver CO). She said no, and that he had not treated her fairly during the two Wollersheim segments. She said she'd paid less that $3000 to the mission in her 10 years as a Scientologist (she is pre-Clear) and that this amount was typical of long standing members in Boulder. We talked about the raids, and she begin to dead agent Wollersheim. She seemed to get confused and began talking about Mr. Fishman. I said that Fishman was probably acting on the orders of the church during his illegalities then when he got caught, the Co$ cut him loose and made him a scapegoat. She replied something to the effect that "it's impossible because Fishman had not implicated any Co$ members." I asked her how the infomercials were going and she told me they were doing "very well" and that 10% of callers were ordering their kit. She didn't say how many callers there were. Deb admitted that the church was behind the Cancelpoodle, much to my surprise! She said that this fact had come out in District Court the day before (CoS vs. Wollersheim & Penny). She and other Scientologists said that the OT materials posted on the net were not accurate, and had been altered by critics. She said she read ARS sometimes. She said the leaders of Co$ did not live lavish lifestyles and many of them didn't even own cars. She said that Helena Kobrin was the victim of unfair vilification and name calling by Internet critics. I said something about how Ms. Kobrin was not completely guiltless on the Internet, and had in fact tried to RMGROUP ARS and virtually wipe-out all Internet criticism of the Co$. I talked briefly with Robert Anderson the Boulder Mission Holder. He was very polite. He explained to me that the History of Man, Xenu and the volcanoes and such were almost irrelevant to Scientology. He said he was more interested in the 'technology.' The "Justified and Ancient One" upon learning that Mr. Anderson was the "mission holder" said that "Oh, he (Mr. Anderson) makes a 15% commission on all income from new recruits." This obviously was a hot button, as Mr. Anderson denied it and began demanding that Janda produce the documentation to prove his statement, when he could see that all Keith had in his possession was his picket sign. He gave me a copy of 'Freedom' magazine (more on that later) and one of the Co$ handouts (I'll try to get it scanned and posted soon). Perhaps the most interesting discussion I had was with Ms. Jan Fowler, an OT-6 (currently studying OT-7). I explained the 'patterns' of abuse I had seen and experienced in the last 7 months on ARS (she does not read this newsgroup) and why I felt compelled to protest. I explained the definition of the logical fallacy "ad hominem" to her (she was not familiar with the term) and that the Co$ used ad hominem and obfuscation in its arguments while critics used reason and logic. As we were talking, a print reporter from the Boulder Weekly (a free handout) began listening (and recording) our conversation. Jan stated that the Co$ was not fighting the release of the OT materials because it would damage the church financially, but because it was dangerous material in the wrong hands. The reporter said that in Friday's court hearing, McShane had claimed massive but unknown financial damage to the Co$ due to the OT levels being circulated on the Internet. When I learned she was taking OT-7, I asked her if she talked to plants and trees. She laughed it off, and pretended that she didn't know what I was talking about. When I told her that I had been threatened by Kobrin for posting the Dr. Doolittle text, she replied with the standard "copyright criminals" party line. I began to tell the reporter what the six lines were and Jan reacted very suddenly by throwing her open hand up in front of my face, as if she were going to clamp her hand over my mouth, then just as suddenly pulled it away. She said to the reporter "See, he's breaking the law right now!" I think she was briefly "enturbulated." This one tiny incident almost perfectly represents the entire ARS experience; A Co$ critic says something harmlessly silly on its face that the Co$ wants to keep secret, and a Co$ representative tries to forceably prevent it from being said. Anyway, after I explained what the 6 lines were, and how I had used them in a critique (protected under fair use) the reporter casually said something to the effect that "Many Native American religions have similar sounding beliefs." That surprised me at first, but as I thought about it, it was great, because it illustrated to Jan that having these beliefs out in the open does NOT *necessarily* mean they will be held up to ridicule by everyone. The reporter asked both Jan an I if there was common ground among the critics and the Co$. I said that my quarrel was not with Co$ members at low levels, but with the leaders, who were corrupt and manipulative. Jan said that we were both seeking the "Truth" in our own way. And I guess she's right. Her truth is the "we'll tell you what to believe" kind, and mine is the "rational, open-minded, gleaned from the best arguments of the ARS free-for-all" kind. Although Jan was mostly pleasant and polite, her advanced OT study did not seem to result in any superior debating skills. Deb and Jan both claimed that fair use did not apply to the famous six lines, because they were unpublished trade secrets. I argued that they *were* published (prior to Internet distribution), because every student that takes OT-7 gets a copy. Both responded that signing non-disclosure agreements was a required part of the OT study. When I said that Dennis Erlich and Arnie Lerma both disputed this, and that in Dennis' case, he claims the Co$ introduced his forged signature on such a document in court, my argument was ignored. I also tried to make the point with Deb and Jan that the way to combat lies and misrepresentations (which they accuse ARS critics of doing) is NOT to silence people, but rather with additional speech that exposes the lies and misrepresentations. This is one of the basic concepts behind our right to speak freely. Sadly, this concept seems lost on them. Or maybe they know that they cannot succeed, and so choose the stifling of free speech route. I also approached three other pre-Clear Scientologists, and I could tell that discussions made them uncomfortable, so I just chatted briefly with them. One younger lady held a sign the said something about "copyright criminals" and I informed her that there was no decisions yet in any of the copyright cases, and that even if the Co$ were to win their cases, the defendents could not rightly be called criminals, as this was a civil matter. The protest ended at about 1:15 and about 12 of the protesters had lunch together at Old Chicago. As I walked away, I told Jan that if she knows the "Truth" she should post it to the Internet, that way we could all share it. "Janda" bought lunches and beers for 10-12 people. Thanks a bazillion! -- Michael Reuss Honorary Kid


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