From news.interserv.net!news.sprintlink.net!in2.uu.net!hearst.acc.Virginia.EDU!murdoch!darwin.clas.Virginia.EDU!dc7v Thu Sep 14 09:44:56 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org.Virginia.EDU (Damon Chetson)
Subject: D.C. Protest Update!!
Organization: University of Virginia
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL1]
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 1995 23:37:21 GMT
[I'm posting this for a fellow protester in D.C.]
BigWins[tm] in DC! - 9/9/95
Well, it was an interesting day. Most people got there around 12 or so -
a bit of a disappointing turnout, alas. The clams were quite prepared
with signs, copies of "freedom" (ha) and badly xeroxed dot-matrix printed
statements on the internet.
There was one scieno who was taking snapshots of everybody. I can't
imagine why - I mean, seriously now folks, do they _really_ think they're
going to track people down based on a picture? In DC? Bah.
There was an unfortunate (but understandable) reluctance for protesters
(most of whom had never met before) to give their names, etc to other
protesters. It is a sad thing that the paranoia of the cult has to affect
our side as well.
After a while, the fun moved to a different scieno building, on
Connecticut avenue as there would be a lot more foot traffic (the
original protest place was on a side street and 90+% of the people we
were trying to give flyers to were $cn people, who would either crumple
them up or ignore us).
Connecticut Ave was interesting. Minutes after I got there, the police
did too. Apparantly someone in the cult building had called them with a
complaint of "disturbing the peace". The cops came by, explained that it
was a free speech issue, and we were entitled to protest, and left.
What surprised me was that a LOT of people already knew about the cult.
One woman was very reluctant to take a flyer, saying "I know all about
these people - they were harassing me in Hollywood." She was very
pleased when I explained that I was on the "good guys" side. :)
Another woman, who barely spoke english, still spoke enough to spit out
"they're nuts in the head! I don't want any of that stuff!" (BigWin!)
One girl came over to me delighted, said she knew all about the
cult, actually gave me a *hug* and said "keep it up!"
After a while, the CO$ decided that since we were marching along, they
wanted to have some fun as well. So, an older guy started to march with
a sign reading "Scientology - the bridge to total freedom". It stuck out
like a sore thumb.
The Co$ folks rarely identified themselves as such, just handing out
flyers and "freedom", so unfortuntately, a lot of people assumed that the
Co$ material was the *protest* material. I had to explain very often who
One thing that amused me was that if *we* gave someone a flyer they would
fall all over themselves to do as well. I got into the habit of giving
out flyers as far away as possible from the clams so I could watch them
go scurrying down the street to catch up and deliver their stuff.
We also got a bunch of people who passed by our protest after visiting the
protest against the religious right.
One of those people was buttonholed by one of the CO$ 'pseudo-protesters'
and she was telling him all about how wonderful, etc. dianetics(tm) has
been for her. He gives her this look and asks what the policy on
homosexuality is in the church. She goes on to give a stock answer about
freedom, and personal beliefs, and so on. The guy looked amused. As he
was leaving, I gave him a flyer and mentioned where homosexuality falls on
ronny boy's "tone scale". He laughed and said he knew.. he had read
dianetics a long time ago, and "threw it across the room". He just wanted
to see if the clam would lie to him! Big Win II!
I feel particularly glad about one young girl who seemed interested in
Scn. (!) She had had friends who took the so-called personality test,
and were (of course) told that they needed serious help fast, etc. I
spoke to her along with another protestor (and two scienies, which was
interesting as they kept piping up with such gems as "that's a total load
of hogwash!") I explained that there were no "good" results on that
personality test - that it was a shill to get raw meat in. The Scienies
also tried to claim that the cult is accepted as a religion by the US
gov't. I explained to the girl that the US still has a separation of
church and state, and the only determination with regard to whether scn
was a religion was for tax purposes. The clams didn't like it, but
eventually did have to admit it was true.
The argument went on for a while, the gist of the clam argument being that
she shouldn't listen to me, as I was "full of hate" and not a
scientologist. They insisted that you can only get information on
Scientology(R) from other Scientologists(tm). I asked the girl to get
information from all sides and draw her own conclusions. She seemed a lot
less likely to get involved with the cult after our talk. (the Biggest
Win of all - and sigh of relief)
Well, it was quite a day! I feel that if I stopped one person from
getting involved with the cult I had my own personal BigWin(tm) for the