July 25, 1998 - Deep Wog
When I arrive on scene -- about 1.5 hours late -- I see before me a scene of high supression. An enturbulation in progress. Voices! Signs! Flyers! And fear not if this description seems like that of an incipient riot: the peace is not being breached, the rule of law is being scrupulously observed.
Even by the clams, amazingly enough. Perhaps the blatant illegalities -- petty theft -- observed 2 weeks ago were too much even for the "Church" of $cientology? I note the pointed absence of the petty thief herself. Heck, the whole clam crew is different this time. They later prove to be almost mute, and the word "passive" might even be applicable. How very out of character. Perhaps even downstat?
I check in. Wulfen hands me an envelope of 50 flyers and one of the two signs. I introduce myself to the police officer, so kindly paid for by the criminal cult if you can believe it. I take up my normal position on the south end of the building and commence supressive activities.
1. Slow day. I hand out 141 flyers in total, in 3.5 hours of active duty. Only at the end does it really take off: 100 flyers in about an hour.
2. I find myself rather vocal today. Perhaps even loud at times. Surprising. But once started, it is hard to stop. And this might even explain the burst of flyers at the end when I began to get a bit more elaborate (for a picket):
"Learn the deep secrets of the criminal cult of $cientology ..."
"... learn about the SPACE ALIENS!!!" <waving flyer>
"Sir, it is time to read the GOOD NEWS FROM OUTER SPACE!!"
borrowing from the title of a really cool book by John Kessel.
I sometimes take a more personal approach, quietly offering a summary of the Sacred Scripture to a passerby:
"Pssst. Space alien information. Free."
But I think the best ones were reserved for the clams themselves. Surely the handler must have wondered why I would launch into something like:
"The Church of $cientology is the only criminally convicted church in Canada. Why is this?"
when there was no one around?
3. At 5pm we call a halt. Artemis and Wulfen take me to the north end of the building and show me the criminal cult's collection of broken windows.
I am amazed. So many of them! Four(?) on the north face of the building, one spotted on the east side, and one in the alley to the west. And the cult seems to like them so much, they aren't being repaired. Which is weird because they seem so trivial. Nothing a window-guy couldn't fix in 20 minutes. Nothing that a church member could not *learn* how to repair if they are short of money. So why don't they? And just how did they form in the first place?
But I was really upset to discover a case of Book Abuse. One of the holes is being plugged with an "Atlas of the World". An atlas! A source of hard-won geographic knowledge. COVERING UP BROKEN WINDOW. What, I wonder, does the criminal cult use in their bathrooms? Pages from an encyclopedia?