March 14, 1998 - Deep Wog
The local Toronto, CANADA cell of the ARSCC(wdne) pulled off
a ~5 hour picket of Org on Yonge Street. The mission is
complete, the elite corps picket-hardened protestors are
now relaxing at home, soothing their aching knees and hips.
It is now time to recall the highlights:
1. The picket was 'officially' set to start at 14:00 local.
However, our marshall -- the indefatigable Gregg Hagglund
-- had notified the local constabulatory a small group would
be present from 10:00 local to 13:00 as well. We took the
Org by surprise! There was the usual panic, but it didn't last
for long. I think of greater impact was on their schedule: I
would bet they had re-arranged whatever internal
machinations such that the poor 'normal' members would
not be exposed to the picket from 14:00 to 17:00. Hence,
more than a few members had to endure a taste of our
picket signs as they arrived in the morning. Some of them
audibly sniffing in derision! But could we have caused an
unwashable stain of doubt? One can always hope.
2. Initial Org response was a single female handing out
leaflets. She didn't look well; and was somewhat
underdressed for the occasion (a ratty looking knee-length
grey coat). And she was dreadfully outnumbered: she was
up against four highly trained SP's, all well prepared for a
lengthy stay. A nasty, brutal pox on the doorknob who
assigned her that role! I later photograph her (albeit, after
she began receiving some backup), trying to emphasize her
3. The later Org response team is a frantic female,
desperately trying to attract attention by waving around a
clipboard, handing them propoganda and if the mark slows
or stops, she starts moving to the door to the Org, hoping
the person will follow along and take the "free personality
test". If these are typical cult body-snatching techniques,
we finally have an explanation as to why Operation Foot
Bullet is proceeding so well! Backing her up are 4 sullen
looking males, who just stand around and glare at people.
4. Excellent public response. Countless acks, thumbs up,
etc. Xenu and Dy'n Ethics phamplets are handed out in bulk
at times. I think I was doing about 2 phamplets every 5
minutes or so -- maybe ~100 in total for me.
5. Cult-sanctioned leaflet distribution technique: shove the
damn thing right in front of the person as they walk by.
Upon rejection, whisk away before the person collides with
the cult-member's arm. ARSCC(wdne)-sanctioned leaflet
distribution technique: catch the eye of a passerby, say
"Learn the secrets of Xenu, Galactic Overlord", passerby
smiles [who wouldn't?], then you politely offer a phamplet
for the taking. Works great!
6. Cult attempts to hand out leaflets up and down stream
of the Org. I find it makes my job all the easier, so I ain't
7. A guy walks by the org. He doesn't look very interested
in whats going on, so I leave him alone. But as he passes
me, he loudly horks up a huge goober and lets it fly --
landing on the Org/sidewalk border near the main entrance.
A fellow SP, who also witnessed this, comments: "He
should attest SP1 !!"
8. I spook Gregg a bit when I entertain a nut for too long.
But he was justborderline nutcase; I could tell there was
something there to find. After five minutes, I finally realize
that his argument was that ideologies are not bad, people
are. I suppose. But as has been remarked in
alt.religion.scientology, "ideas have consequences". If they
didn't, what would be the point?
9. Cult members are camera shy! The frantic woman trying
to route people into the personality tests didn't like her
picture being taken. No sir! Another ARSCC(wdne) member
reported to me that one of the down-stream leafleters
scurried away at the sight of his digital camera! For some
reason, the image of cockroaches running from light leapt to
mind. I play a game of chicken with the video-recorder guy.
I take pictures of him recording me, while he records me
taking pictures of him. A guy with a polaroid thinks he
sneaks up on me to get a profile shot of me and my big
nose; I let him get away with it. Like, as if I care? How
many pictures of me do they need, anyways? Hypothesis:
the proclivity of picture taking on the cults part is their
attempt to manifest fear in us, on the faulty belief that we
will be as terrified as they are when a lens is aimed at
10.I take to photographing the cult leaflets people have
dropped on the sidewalk. Especially ones that have been
stepped on with nice dirty boots. I think I capture some
good compositions. The super-wide angle lens helped alot
in this regard.
11.Try as I might, I could not locate a Xenu or Dy'n Ethics
phamplet that was littering the sidewalk. Whatever could
this possibly mean?
12.The north end of the 2nd floor of the Org looks like it is
some kind of classroom. Today, the windows were covered
in transluscent plastic, preventing a clear view outside.
Wonder why? The Rev. Buttnor made an appearance in a
feeble attempt to get Gregg to stop using his megaphone.
Could this be because sound can make it through the new
plastic film just fine? About 10 minutes after the picket, I
note a large exodus from the org. All clear finally sounded?
I'm beginning to wonder what the reaction would have been
had we started picketing at 10:00 with some messages
suggested by The Worm back in November: "The entire
bridge is on the Internet. You don't have to pay anyone for
it" "Scientology. The Rich Person's religion" "Only the idle
rich can afford Scientology". "90% of your contributions are
going toward legal fees. Outpoint?" Hypothesis: the Co$
doesn't care too much about the impact of pickets on the
rest of society COMPARED TO the potentially devastating
impact they may have on their current members. Question:
if true, would it be ethical to embark on such a picketing