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Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Picket stories

From: rkeller@netaxs.com (Rod Keller) Date: 13 Mar 1997 13:24:40 GMT

[reposted, because nobody seems to have seen it]

I think the basic story of what went on this weekend has been well covered, so I'll just tell a few stories y'all might like to hear. I don't think I've even told the other protesters about some of these.

One kid I saw was refused entrance to the Ft. Harrison. He was probably 18 or so. They asked him "Are you a Scientologist?"

"Yes"

"No you're not, you have scabs on your arms."

I think they let him in eventually, scabs and all. I don't recall any protesters having scabs visible. Like somehow Scientologists don't get scabs if they fall off a bike.

I tried, but failed to get Elliot Abelson to repeat his famous "Liar, liar, liar, lair, liar, hateful liar" statement for conversion to a sound file. He also refused to comment on the allegation that Lisa died 6 hours before she arrived at the emergency room.

I tried to get a picture of Leisa Goodman at the picket. I had a group of very persistent high school girls at the time, and they waved their signs in front of my camera. I called over to her "Leisa, can I take your picture? Can you tell these young ladies not to block me with their signs?" She looked at me with the eyes of a veal. No reaction, but she clearly heard and saw me.

For quite a while, I parked myself in front of the FH. I would go about 10 steps in each direction before turning around. I had my group of about 4 at the time, and I got them all to school with me. I'd call out in a very loud voice "3-2-1 Turn!", then we would all do an about face simultaneously. It was pretty funny to see. Some of the clams couldn't even keep a straight face. The smile was dropped when I said "At cause, my ASS".

There's a row of newspaper boxes by the FH, with about 2.5 ft. of sidewalk next to the street. I went through there a lot, because some of my squad would have to go around. Once, I went through, and a counter-protester came in the other way. I turned around, and one had followed in the lane behind me. I turned back, looked both ways. Neither one was moving. I looked over to the police, and told them I couldn't go either way. They told them they had to keep moving, and I got out.

I took a break after a while to unload my camera and rehydrate. While I was waiting over by the courthouse, Bob Minton and Lawrence Wollersheim came around the corner with two couter-pickets in tow. I walked over and told them "You must be misinformed, Mike Rinder said that there would be no counter-pickets around the courthouse, so you have to leave immediately." Happens to be true, he told the police that. They looked at each other and left. I found that funny, dunno why.

I previously posted about the little girl who asked me about Lisa. I also spoke to a 10 year old whose picture is on the web site. He asked me why we were out there. I told him about Lisa, the dehydration, etc. I asked if he could pose for the picture, and when he was walking away, he turned around quickly and said sarcastically "Yeah, like I really believe you." He wasn't very convincing. If I could keep only one picture from the bunch, I would keep that one. I may have it blown up to remind me what they did out there.

The older kids were trying their best, but their level of taunting doesn't really work on adults. Remember high school, except pretend that the adults are encouraging them to be cruel. I explained about the cockroach bites to one high schooler, and the newspaper article that quoted an entomologist. He turned around and told me I should know about cockroach bites, since I have cockroach teeth in my mouth. He was winging it, I guess. The high schoolers did the majority of the candle-blowing that I saw at the vigil. But one guy in a hawaiian shirt and a moustache got me once also. I think I had 4 or 5 candle blowers.

The series of handlers at the vigil was interesting. They would assign one after another, first a pretty young girl, then a loud young guy, then a middle-aged woman who was sorry about the candle blowing. Then my DC OSA pal Sylvia Stanard came over. I told them all, "This is a silent vigil, I'm going to be silent now."

I was interviewed by Channel 28 during the vigil. He asked me why we were doing this, as I walked along. I answered as best I could, but the 7 or 8 kids yelling over me made it impossible for him to record what I was saying. I told him to run the tape, that the fact that they had to shout me down said more than I could ever say in a 10 second sound bite. He agreed with me, but it didn't make the news.

I was really proud of the protesters, we all kept our cool. A few of the local women who joined us had a hard time at the vigil. I was trying to keep it a silent vigil, letting silence speak louder than the words we used earlier in the day. When I saw some of the locals getting really upset in an argument with some Scientologists, I just walked over and put my arms around them. It was funny, because I didn't know them, hadn't even been introduced. It just felt so right to do on the spur of the moment, and they returned the hug. We walked down the sidewalk, arms around each other's waist until we had to break for the oncoming traffic. I did this twice.

I really think that this year was a lot like last year. Not for us protesters, but for the impact we made. We got stories on all 4 TV stations, the front page of the metro section of both newspapers, and a lot of people saw folks protesting Scientology as they drove down the street. The main differences are that Scientology showed in public what complete jerks they are. A _church_ told its members to go out and be as nasty as possible to people on the street. The implications of displaying that in public just astound me. The second main difference is that they exposed our message to hundreds of their own people. In particular, the kids, many of whom I think are at an age when they start to question what adults are telling them. This picket could have lasting effects for them, at least I hope so. But if I had my preference, I'd rather not see the kids out there. It's really a shameful tactic to use your own children like that.

--

Rod Keller / rkeller@voicenet.com / Irresponsible Publisher

Black Hat #1 / Expert of the Toilet / Golden Gate Bridge Club

The Lerma Apologist / Merchant of Chaos / Kha Khan countdown: 9 to go Killer Rod / OSA Patsy / Quasi-Scieno / Mental Bully

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