From news.interserv.net!news.sprintlink.net!dispatch.news.demon.net!demon!mail2news.demon.co.uk!avalon.demon.co.uk Thu Sep 14 09:45:16 1995
From: "Lance S. Buckley"
Subject: Picket report for UK (London)
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 95 12:38:40 GMT
X-Newsreader: Demon Internet Simple News v1.29
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I'd never done anything like this before in my life.
Maybe (definitely!) I was a little paranoid. I knew for sure
when I got outside the Tottenham Court Road (London UK) org, the
shit was going to hit the fan. Hey! This is Scientology(tm)
we're talking about here, "The Enemy" and boy was I nervous. I
knew that my picture was going to be taken, and so I'd grown a
beard for the occassion. I also had fresh tape in my video
camera, and a new roll of film in my little compact camera. If
anything happened, I wanted to make sure we had a record of it,
I was ready for anything those steenkin' scienos could pull.
As I stood opposite the org shortly before 13:00, I found myself
wishing I weighed an extra 50 pounds, had a few extra inches in
height, and a black belt in karate. As the time slowly drew
closer to 13:00, I was beginning to wonder what the hell had
possessed me to come in the first place. "Oh well" I thought,
"at least I can run pretty fast".
My watched beeped twice as the hour of reckoning arrived, and
not a single demonstrator to be seen. I wasn't going to be the
first to stand outside there, no way! Apart from anything else
(a highly developed instinct for self preservation mainly) I had
no leaflets to hand out and no placard to carry. After 10
minutes of wandering up and down on the opposite side of the
road, trying to look like a tourist to anyone watching from the
org, and like and ars poster to everyone else, I started to get
a sinking feeling. Wasn't -anyone- going to turn up? Has the
whole thing been called off and I didn't know? What the hell am
I supposed to do now? When in doubt, eat. I slunk along to the
nearest deli, and purchased a rather yummy chicken and avocado
sandwich (at an exhorbitant ukp-1.95) and made my way back to
the org. As I started to eat, I noticed a person next to the org
who seemed to be acting just a little strangely. He was wearing
a large hat, which appeared to be composed of tinfoil, and had
just stuck something on his chest. I crossed the road, trying to
appear casual, and examined this person in more detail. The
label stuck to his chest said "Xemu Rules the Galaxy OK!",
another on his hat read "Scientology makes my brane 'urt". Glory
be, the cavalry has arrived in the unique shape of CoSG Pope:
I introduced myself, and after a short chat, waited for everyone
else to arrive. As people passed in the street, Dave was passing
out leaflets, but to be honest people weren't taking much
notice. In a stunning move so typical of the Cult, a troop of
pro Scientology "demonstrators" filed out of the org, and
proudly displayed their banners. "Scientology Agaist Criminals
on the Internet" they proclaimed. This was a godsend! Now
people were actually taking notice of me'n'Dave, and the
leaflets started flowing in much greater numbers. Some people
even stopped and chatted. A rather "intensely friendly" OT4 came
over, and engaged us in conversation. He obviously had no
interest in our opinions, but we chatted anyway. I have to say I
was expecting some more "intellectually impressive" arguments
from someone half way across the Bridge. An older man came over
and took our photograph repeatedly. We obligingly said "cheese"
at the right moment. It was later in the afternoon that I
discovered he was a friend of Andy Milne, and had been in the
cult for 30 years.
Well time was passing. We were still the only anitis there.
Things were looking kinda grim. I was considering calling it a
day at 14:00 when all of a sudden a small forest of placards
appeared out of nowhere. Big sigh of relief...the -rest- of the
cavalry had arrived! Apparently there had been a slight change
of plan but due to unavoidable circumstances some of us weren't
informed in time. Such is life.
I introduced myself to all and sundry, then cranked up my video
camera. By now I had realised that this was going to be a pretty
safe activity, and my nervousness had gone, but I was still
unsure about filming outside the org until there were far more
people there. With the influx of the ars team, the scienos went
into a little flurry of activity, asking questions, taking lots
more photos, and scurrying in and out of the org like busy
The afternoon passed peacefully. We gave out leaflets, they gave
out leaflets. We watched them, they watched us. I managed to
talk to some of the placard holders, and I'm pretty sure that
some of them must be -very- recent converts to the cult. Maybe
I'm too new to meeting CoS members in the flesh, but the
majority of them seemed so -normal-, so -ordinary-. However,
there were a few noteable exceptions. Apparently Mr. OT4, who
was so pleasant to me, was showing signs of strain during a
conversation with steve@castlsys. Although I didn't witness the
incident, I believe there was a short burst of temper there.
Careful Steve, he couldda fried your brain with a thought! Also
we were graced by the presence of a SeaOrg member, complete with
navy jacket. This guy was more like what I expected! If looks
could kill... heh heh heh. This guy was giving out the most
unbelieveable squints. I watched him carefully, and I knew he
was foolin' with my brain. I could feel his will over power
mine... I could hold on no longer... it was all too much... I
farted. Apparently Chicken & Avocado can have that effect.
Can't say I've noticed it before, and for a minute there I was
sure he'd got me with his evil eye. I tried to get him on
videotape, but when I started to wield the camera, he beat a
hasty retreat. I Musta restimulated those Home Porno engrams.
At 16:00 we decided to call it a day. We thought it had gone
really well, and a few beers were called for. So we all walked
off to the pub, followed by three clams. On the way there I
walked behind a lady called Bonnie. I had seen her talking to
other members of our merrie band, and had been told that she
rated at least an 8 on our wonderful SP scale (I won't go into
the reasons here). Obviously I wanted to sey hello.
Unfortunately I forgot that holding a video camera in one hand,
grinning inanely, and cheerily saying hello to someone you've
never met before, can sometimes be misinterprated. Believe me,
Mr. Sea Org could take lessons from Bonnie in the "killing look"
dept. Luckily she was told I definitely -wasn't- OSA, and I was
officially introduced. The frown disappeared, and I found myself
chatting to a most delightful person.
After a while at the pub, Mr. "I'm a personal friend of Andrew
Milne" turned up, complete with camera. Prior to coming over to
meet us, he took a call on a mobile phone one of the 3 stooges
was carrying. (Remember them? They followed us from the org, and
were still there, conferring, taking notes and refusing all
attempts to get them over for a beer and a chat.) As I wasn't
seated at the same table I couldn't hear the conversation. He
took a few more pictures, pressed the flesh with a couple of us
(probably after DNA samples) and went,on his way. After that we
decided to call it a day. I still had a Demon meet to go to, and
other people had trains to catch.
The Bottom Line
I was scared at first, but having done this once, I'll
definitely do it again. The ars people were great, even some of
the scienos I spoke to were really nice. It was friendly and
good natured. The next time there's a picket in your area, go!
It's really worth it.
Lance (SP 2.0)
$cientology's $akred $kripchers (OT 7-48)
1)Find some plants, trees, etc., and communicate to them individually
until you know they received your communication.
2)Go to a zoo or a place with many types of life and communicate with
each of them until you know the communication is received and,
if possible, returned.
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