Nonviolence and Picketing

In the early '60's the civil rights activists in the US started the Freedom Rides on buses. They would ride into southern towns and challenge the segregation laws and rules, such as seperate restrooms for whites and blacks. A black Freedom Rider would use the white restroom, and a white Freedom Rider would use the black restroom, etc. This became violent. In some spots, white mobs would be waiting to attack the Freedom Riders. In one case, some whites stopped a bus outside of town. The Freedom Riders locked themselves in the bus, but then somebody threw a fire bomb into the bus. As the Freedom Riders got off, they were beaten.

CORE, the organization that began the Freedom Rides, decided to halt the Freedom Rides at least temporarily, but SNCC wanted them to continue. Diane Nash of SNCC called Jim Farmer of CORE and delicately asked if they could take up where CORE had stopped, that is, continuing the rides farther into the deep south. Now here's a quote from the book "The Children" by David Halberstam, page 283 - "'It's the most dangerous thing I've ever seen,' he told her; 'the other side, the Klan, they're well organized, and they're working in partnership with the local cops and state troopers.' But she persisted and he understood why they were coming in. 'Well, you guys have good instincts and you're well trained, so go ahead,' he had said."

Now, imagine this; these mostly college students were going to ride a bus into communities where the Ku Klux Klan had great power, and were in cahoots with the local police and authorities. There had already been previous beatings and even attempted murders of previous riders. Their intelligence told them that there would be more such incidents. They were pledged to nonviolence, so they had no protection with them. The federal government was no help and in fact had tried to prevent the Freedom Rides. And STILL THEY WENT!!!!!

As far as picketing Scientology, I'll be afraid to go picket in Clearwater when the police are on the side of Scientology and leave when it's time for church members to beat up on picketers. I'll be afraid when the mayor of Clearwater announces that the picketers are just outside agitators and the city cannot guarantee their protection. I'll be afraid when someone heading to Clearwater was attacked and beaten. I'll be afraid when the media refuses to cover the event.

Imagine, for example, if the Freedom Riders had gone with guns and vowed to protect themselves at the slightest provocation. What do you think the result of such a ride would have been? As it was, the Freedom Riders succeeded, using nonviolence. They ABSORBED violence, they did not USE violence. And like many other cases in history, nonviolence worked for long-term results.

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: David Miscavige = Bull Connor From: cultxpt@globalcrossing.net

Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 06:52:53 GMT

David Miscavige = Bull Connor

We as critics of Scientology can learn a lot from the successes of the U.S. civil rights movement in the early 1960's. These brave young people, mostly college students, followed Gandhi Tech to such a degree that they allowed themselves to be beaten by rabid crowds simply to show the world that they should have the right to sit at a lunch counter, use non-segregated restrooms and drinking fountains, and especially to vote. These nonviolent actions on their part led directly to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, despite the armed, violent, and much more powerful entrenched opposition.

I've just finished reading "The Children" by David Halberstam. There are striking parallels between our struggle with the Church of Scientology and the civil rights activists' struggles, especially in how Scientology has reacted to our efforts. [note: page numbers are from the above mentioned book]

For hundreds of years in the U.S. south the social order was unwavering and deeply engraved on the minds of all. Blacks were second class citizens. They were kept seperate from whites in most situations, they could not vote, and the political and judicial systems were basically stacked against them. The civil rights movement began, not to take over the South, but simply to gain equality for blacks. The method was simple - they would use nonviolent direct action to challenge the status quo.

The first such action was to go into whites only lunch counters, sit down, and order a meal. If no one would take their order, they stayed there, quietly waiting for a chance to order. The restaurant workers and owners were beside themselves over what to do, so they would often close the establishment. [p.104-5]

Well, surprise! In Clearwater in December 1997 and in Los Angeles in March 1998 the Church of Scientology closed down its properties that were targeted for picketing! We just went there to peacefully voice our opinions, and they got so confused over what to do that they simply ran away.

Segregationists tried the usual methods of intimidation on the civil rights activists. They attacked their families, [p.165] as Scientology has done to Grady Ward, Bob Minton, myself, and many others.

The segregationists used what Scientology calls "dead agenting" to silence critics. [p.188] This is simply the attempt to smear the reputation of the critic. The Church not only uses this, they've coined a phrase for it.

The segregationists would shadow and photograph the activists, as the Scientologists do to us today. [p.22, 574]

The segregationists would accuse activists of being outside agitators who didn't understand that everything locally was actually fine and dandy. [p.114, 121] At all three pickets in Clearwater so far, the Church has accused us of being outside agitators there simply to upset the status quo. This is bunk. Several times when I have picketed here in Phoenix, the local Scientology representative would tell the media that it was silly for us to picket in Phoenix because our complaint was actually with Church leadership, not the locals.

So, then we take that advice and go to Church headquarters to protest, and when we get there the Scientology representative tells the media we are outside agitators. The lesson? According to Scientology, there is NO PLACE that is the right place for us to protest.

Segregationists decided that if they could silence the leader of the activists, the movement would collapse [p.197] But little did they know that the civil rights movement was run by concensus, not by hierarchy. They went after Jim Lawson, the man who prepared and nurtured the activists before they did any action. But "Though Jim Lawson was their teacher and he was to be the keynote speaker at the meeting, they in no way deferred to him." [p.216] The activists talked ideas out and came to mutual agreements as to what to do. And that is how we operate. Scientology has thought that if they could just take out Larry Wollersheim or Dennis Erlich or Bob Minton or whomever they think at the moment is head of the ARSCC, we would all shrink back to our pitiful wog lives.

Just as the segregationists thought the old tried and true ways to handle the "niggers" would work on the civil rights activists, so Scientologists thought the Hubbard Tech of "attack the attacker" would work to silence us critics.

The civil rights activists wanted to march through Selma Alabama on March 17, 1965. They peacefully walked over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and could see on the other side Major John Cloud's Alabama state troopers and Sheriff Jim Clark's deputies, some of them on horseback. Everybody did what was expected of them - the troopers pummeled the marchers, and the marchers absorbed the blows. The Good Ol' Boys no doubt went home all proud of themselves for protecting the Way of the South. But of course, in actuality, their actions greatly sped up the time when segregation collapsed. The activists had used the predictability of the segregationists' mentality against them. The television tapes of these vicious attacks are still hard to watch without getting ill. But all of America did see them. The Good Ol' Boys were stars in a play not of their making.

Scientologists dutifully come out to harass and intimidate us critics using the tried and true Hubbard Tech. But I think they are beginning to see now that things are not as they once were. We EXPECT to be harassed and in fact we WANT it at times, to show the world the true face of Scientology. This is the essence of Operation Footbullet - they use Hubbard's rabid attack methods on us, and we expose this to the world. The result is that Scientology is known for their rabid attacks more than anything else.

The segregationists seriously mis-read the activists they came up against. They just saw them as "uppity niggers" that could be handled by simply ratcheting up the old methods. But things were changing. Here's one of my favorite paragraphs from the book:

In 1995, on the thirteenth anniversary of the Battle of Selma [the confrontation at the bridge], the Reverend James Luther Bevel returned to that city along with Jamese, his sixteen-year-old daughter, to be a part of the ceremonies commemorating both the past and the future. There he had received a surprisingly warm welcome from one of his old adversaries, Joseph Smitherman, who was still the mayor, and who told Jamese, "All of us were more afraid of your father than we were of any of the others. Your father's a small man physically, but when he would ride that bike by himself in the morning, with that hard look on his face, it scared us, not only because we had no idea what he was up to on those rides, but because we knew he didn't fear us. I mean, he was not supposed to be riding around by himself - Selma was dangerous for black people in those days, but he didn't seem to know it. We were more scared of him than of Dr. King." [p.684]

So, the segregationists, in charge of the police, the courts, the political machine, and the social order for hundreds of years, were afraid of one black guy on a bicycle. Why? Because he didn't fear them.

Here's another bitter pill the segregationists had to swallow because the blacks began to lose their fear;

On a subsequent occasion, Lewis brought his people to the courthouse, only to find their way blocked by Clark [Sheriff Jim Clark of the bridge fame]. The sheriff ordered them to go back, but Lewis stood up to him. The courthouse, Lewis said, was a public place and they had a right to go inside. "We will not be turned around," he said.

"Did you hear what I said?" Clark asked. "Turn around and go back." He seemed closer to an explosion than ever, some people thought, after Lewis' defiance.

"Did you hear what I said?" Lewis answered. We are NOT going back." And he stood his ground. Finally Clark, in some irritation, backed down and told them to go on in. Watching the scene, James Chestnut was amazed: the mighty Jim Clark BACKING DOWN in front of this young boy? He had been sure that Clark was going to beat John Lewis on that day, and yet he had backed down. Chestnut had thought to himself, he later wrote, that it was a moment when his eyes had opened. "To hell with [Judge] Hare... I have spied your nakedness. All my life I believed that white people could and would draw the lines whenever and wherever it wanted." Now for the first time he was not so sure. A revolution was taking place in the minds of the local people. [p. 497]

Ex-Scientologists and Scientology critics today have lost their fear. Scientology is seen as the King in the fairy tale, strutting around in his finery, until a little boy shouted "the King is naked!" Scientology is naked.

**************

Now I've shown Scientology many of the inside secrets of the ARSCC. They can see now how Operation Footbullet works, how we are "organized", how to deal with us at protests. But I have no fear of exposing our secrets. Why not? Because they are stuck in a dilemma. On the one hand, they MUST follow Hubbard's teachings to harass, intimidate, and attack critics. But on the other hand, they know that when they DO follow Hubbard, it creates all sorts of bad publicity and detrimental consequences. So, if they don't follow Hubbard, it will be better for them, but then they won't be Scientologists, will they? So, they will predictably follow Hubbard Tech, and we will just as predictably oblige by showing the world just what the Church of Scientology is all about.

I leave you with one more quote from the book:

The members of the central committee met every day and remained on red alert. Their confidence had grown steadily. They had a mounting sense that they were on the winning track and they could laugh about some of the confrontations now, about the befuddled white woman who had panicked when they had staged the sit-in at Harveys on Big Saturday and had rushed from the restaurant to the ladies' room, opened the door, and found two black Fisk co-eds there, and had started screaming, more in dismay than anger, "Oh my God, they're everywhere! They're everywhere!" [p. 211]

Jeff Jacobsen August 27, 1998 for the ARSCC

*****

"The idea that one can 'push' Scientology

and get no penalty is a false one." Russell Shaw

"To punish to the fullest extent of my power anyone misusing or degrading Scientology to harmful ends" (The original Code of a Scientologist)

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