Scientology Crime Syndicate

Subject: Toronto Picket Report 1999/05/22
From: wulfen@NOSPAMtotal.net (Wulfen - www.total.net/~wulfen/scn/)
Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 11:19:09 GMT


Picketers: Me, Gregg Hagglund, Alan Barclay (outed by the cult, formerly known as Artemis), Ron Sharp (outed by the cult, formerly known as Android Cat), Gypsyblue, and Granfalloon doing his pastry resupply run in the middle (thanks, it was good, and you can read about why Granfalloon left the cult at http://www.total.net/~wulfen/scn/gran.htm ).

Leaflets: Gregg's Crimes/Xenu, my $cientology costs a MINT/HUMAN COST of $cientology leaflet, the updated version, more of Deana Holmes' Witness Affidavit leaflets, some of Ron's Xenu (and something else) flyers, and my last $cientology: Insane Cult leaflet by Roland Rashleigh-Berry. We passed out around 750 of them all told.


Things are definitely getting nasty in Toronto. We can thank the *ethical* Toronto Scientologists for that...

The day started the usual way, I lugged my sign (and 3 that Gregg entrusted to my care) to Starbucks near the Org, and waited for the other picketers. Gregg and Ron turned up within a few minutes, and they were pretty steamed... Peter Ramsay's letter was the topic of conversation (and not a little J&D). If the police Hate Crimes unit isn't interested in this little theta gem for any legal reasons, then it's going on my website.

Well, after a short wait it was time to get to the Org. The two of them went to their cars to get signs and leaflets, and I wandered over to the Org to see if the police officer was there yet (he got there after a few minutes, yes, the cult had to pay $350 or so for an off-duty police officer again). There wasn't a police officer there, so we just set up to picket.

This is where things start to get funny... The Scientologists had their video camera set up by 700 Yonge St., the Hubbard Dianetics Foundation. So, Gregg set up his tripod by 696 Yonge Street, the main Org entrance. The camera guy moved his camera to the main Org entrance, and Gregg moved to 700 Yonge. What does this prove? Well, nothing... Except that we don't feel like rolling over for the cult's videotaping whim anymore.

We started picketing, and I saw the police officer. I went and introduced myself, and got a short "Be good, don't be bad" (redacted, paraphrased) instruction set. Fair enough... I do anyway.

Shortly after, Alan showed up. Now we had Gregg at one end, Alan at the other, with Ron and me walking back and forth in front of the Org.

Dan the Scientologist was there from the start, trying to engage us in conversation. The apparent reason for this tactic is to take our attention off of picketing. Given that he only talks to us at pickets, and never about our concerns with Scientology, I largely ignored him. About halfway through the morning Dan asked me for a copy of my leaflet - I told him that since he got a leaflet from Alan at the last picket and then promptly tore it up and threw it in the garbage, I wouldn't give him one of mine. For the next half an hour or so, every time I'd wander near and offer a leaflet to passers-by, he'd stick out his hand for a leaflet - and I'd just ignore him. Dan seemed to be getting a little upset, but that's life - he had his chance. Later on, he asked me if he could ask one of the passers-by to give me theirs, and I shrugged and said "sure". A few minute later, Dan showed me that he had one of my leaflets. I shrugged - so what? When I give it to a passer-by, it becomes their leaflet, and that person can do with it as they please.

Given that the weather was warm, we had lots more passers-by than the last picket. While I was spotting Gregg on point One guy, who claimed to be a US Army (or maybe Marine?) officer, and something to do with NATO, told me that he liked the way Scientology made decisions and that he supported everything Scientology did. I countered with specific examples such as the death of Lisa McPherson and the criminal conviction in Canada, and he just kept parrotting the "I support everything they've done" line. He said Scientology had helped him, and I asked specifically how, given that his problem was apparently radiation exposure from government experiments (according to him, and yes, my troll alert was sounding), did Scientology help him with that? He told me that he was a nuclear physicist, at which point Gregg jumped in and asked for the guy's science. With another repetition of the guy's support line and one more of Gregg's requests for proof, the guy stomped off down the street, telling Gregg that Gregg had called him a liar and "you'll pay for that!"

Shortly after, another guy wandered past who claimed that he'd read Dianetics twenty years ago, and how a lot of the concepts had been proven by subsequent science. I pointed out the obvious counter to this, Hubbard's claim that some peoples' problems stemmed from their mothers trying to abort them with knitting needles before they were born. He said that he was referring to the concept that pre-natal sounds and sensations can have an effect later in life. I pointed out that this was Hubbard's engram concept, and the reactive mind had never been shown to exist. He kept saying this was scientifically proven later on (I think he was a bit confused between the general concept of prenatal memories (unproven, afaik) and the specifics of Dianetics that he read 20 years before) when one of the Scientologists jumped in, and related a tale of how one of the people she was "helping" (I assume auditing) had nearly drowned while pregnant, and how that person's kids now wouldn't go swimming. Well, the guy pretty much ignored me after that, so I kept picketing...

As a side note, I imagine that this is how a lot of people who read Dianetics get into Scientology - if they can get past the knitting needle stuff, and the homophobia, and the racism, AND still think that Hubbard knew what he was talking about, then they are good candidates to get sold more Hubbar.

Dan then started in on me again, telling me that if I kept attacking Scientology, it would come back to haunt me. He laid a whole bunch of hoary old phrases on me, ending with "What you reap, you shall sow" (from the Christian Bible, I believe). I pointed out that I wasn't attacking, I was criticizing - there is a difference, after all. Dan got all frothy again, and said "You just keep attacking, Chris.. Just keep attacking."

Another side note: If a Scientologist wants to tell me that I'm about to "pull in" bad things as a result of picketing Scientology, I'd like to remind them of another saying that Dan forgot (paraphrasing): "He who sows the wind, shall reap the whirlwind." And since Scientology has spent its history lying to people to recruit them, treating them badly while in Scientology, and then trying to intimidate people who criticize this, I'd say that Scientology has in fact reaped its whirlwind of newspaper articles, pickets, lawsuits, and government/police attention.

After a while Gypsyblue showed up, and grabbed some Xenu leaflets. Since there were Scientologists leafleting across the street, she went across and handed out quite a few leaflets of her own. Just as Gypsyblue ran out of leaflets, it was lunchtime.

After lunch, we got back to the Org five minutes early, and started picketing immediately. Unlike the last time we were there, the Scientologists didn't immediately run out of the Org and begin counter-leafleting - this time, they waited for five or ten minutes.

Picketing for the first hour, I handed out a number of my leaflets (which is unusual, usually other people hand out more of my leaflets than I do). I also met several people who told me much the same story - they'd gone into the Org to try the "personality" test, and had been told that they had problems which Scientology could help them with, for a fee. Sound familiar? One guy who walked by told me that he'd gone in with his girlfriend to get info on Scientology for her World Religions class in high school, and the Scientologists in the Dianetics Foundation kept trying to sell them books - even after repeatedly being notified that these two people were just there to get some information for a school class.

The second and third afternoon hours were when the picket got nasty, thanks to the (sarcasm on) -incredibly ethical- (sarcasm off) Scientologists. And perhaps in part due to a mistake of mine, for allowing a sudden burst of niceness on my part to flower (instead of tramping it down). Here's what happened:

As I was picketing my way toward 700 Yonge from 696, I saw a Dianetics ad leaflet lying on the sidewalk. I thought that since I already had a copy of this leaflet from this picket, that I should be polite/nice/well-behaved and return it to a Scientologist. So, I gave it to the nearest Scientologist. What I later realized I should have done is just ignored her and thrown it in the garbage, but that's another story...

Then, I stopped for a while between Gregg and the street sign, to absorb the entheta atmosphere (and maybe to hand out a few of my leaflets, you never know). The Scientologist I gave the leaflet to came up to me and said (close but perhaps not exact), "Research has shown that people who criticize our church have crimes. What crimes have you committed?" Then she launched into the most amazing bull-baiting that I've ever heard. She would pick a phrase, and then keep repeating it to me, from right in my face. Some of her phrases were (remember, each repeated ad nauseaum {sp?}):

"How many children have you killed?"
"How many people have you murdered?"
"How did you kill them?"
"Are you gay?"
"How many people have you given AIDS to?"
"Are you seeing a psychiatrist?"
"What have you done to women?"
"What have you done to men?"
"Are you a Nazi? Did you kill them in Germany or here?" (only 1 instance of this one)

I tried a reverse bull-bait (I thought she wasn't serious, stupid of me), but of course this didn't throw her off. After a few minutes of this, it got really disturbing (apart from just weird at the start). So, I started to picket back down the sidewalk again to get away from this deranged woman - and would you believe, she followed me! Spouting the same bile, all the way down to 696 Yonge and right back up. Halfway back I asked her to leave me alone, and being a very theta lady, she didn't.

I went and complained to the police officer, whose reaction was along the lines of what did I expect when I picketed Scientology, and if I didn't like it I could leave (ie stop picketing). So, what could I do... Except keep picketing and ignore the deranged Scientologist? So I did. The Scientologist started taunting me with "The police officer isn't helping you, is he? Are you scared of me?" and so on. When she got to the child-killing and Nazi bits I complained again to the police officer - his reaction was "Ok." So, essentially, the Scientologists at the picket had free reign to taunt, bull-bait, and harrass us as they pleased.

In the officer's defence, he did know what she was trying to do - later he encouraged me not to let them get to me. The end of that conversation went like this:

Me: "Like what happened in Boston." (referring to the Minton/Offman thing)

Officer #952: "Exactly."

I think this police officer was simply trying to apply the law, though. Although he may have erred on the side of laxity. I'll have to ask 52 Division about this - at previous pickets the Scientologists weren't allowed to do this. If the police say this is fine, then them's the rules - but I truly wish the picket rules as interpreted by the police wouldn't change from picket to picket. Also, I have a new-found respect for American picketers, where this sort of thing is par for the course instead of (I always thought it was, anyway) illegal as it is in Canada.

Well, after this, the Scientologists really let loose. The deranged Scientologist who'd been bull-baiting me went after Alan, who played with her - he'd walk along, then suddenly change directions, whereupon she'd scurry after him and keep on baiting. Alan noted, "I've got an OT on a string!"

The other Scientologists who were there joined in too. They'd hold loud conversations whenever I picketed near 700 Yonge, with things like:

"Meet Chris, he's gay."
"You should wear an earring."
"What have you done to help people?"
"Almost five o'clock, then you can go get drunk."
"Unconsciousness will be good for you."

Even Wimpy the (apparent) Sea Orger joined in. This was definitely a sign that things were different at this picket - usually he's a non-confront coward. His comment was "You've lost, you may as well leave" (I think that's the correct quote).

This also showed me the true face of "Church of" Scientologists (as Safe, another poster to alt.religion.scientology puts it). They definitely seemed to take pleasure in their homophobia and loathsome comments. It got even worse when I considered that these men and woman are parents - is this the example they want to set for their children?

The Scientologists also started butting into my conversations. Various female Scientologists would come up to me and the passers-by I'd be talking with, and then start talking over me in an attempt to drown me out. Sometimes, they'd walk up, say something strange (like "He's getting paid $40 an hour to do this", and "He has crimes"). Since many passers-by don't like Scientology in the first place, it simply confirms their opinion of the Org. Thanks for the accidental entheta, you theta beings...

Well, after a few more minutes of this, it was 5:00 and time to go. Gregg and Alan ran out of Xenu/Crimes, and had spent the last few minutes passing out Lisa and Human Cost leaflets. So, I got the police officer's badge number (#952) and then we went on our way.

Then, when I got home, I found evidence that Scientologists *had* actually picketed my apartment while I was down by the Org! Guess what the evidence was? That's right, garbage. I picked up five pieces of theta litter: 3 of the "WHAT would you do if these people took your put your child's picture and put it up on the Internet?" leaflets the Scientologists were handing out at the picket (this time with pictures of me, Gregg, Alan, and Ron on them), and 2 "buy our book - $8.99 paperback" Dianetics flyers. Yes, even when the Scientologists are supposedly demonstrating for "Religious Liberty", they're trying to get money from people. How very theta.

And you know what? I really don't mind that Scientologists were picketing my apartment building. It just indicates to me that I'm affecting the organization, and that they *still* can't address my points about the negatives of Scientology. However - to the Scientologists - DON'T litter my neighborhood! I don't mind if you spread your leaflets all over the sidewalk in front of your Org, but *please* don't spread your trash over my neighborhood!

Final note: The next Toronto picket is Saturday, June 19th. I *will* be there, as usual. All the harrassment, bull-baiting, revenge picketing, potentially libellous leaflets, and threats that you can muster *won't* stop me from telling the public that your despicable little cult is a *bad thing* and advising them to steer clear for the sake of their wallets, their health (mental and physical), and possibly even their lives. If you want me to stop picketing, address my issues and get your ethics in.

I'll be back, cult.



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