From news.interserv.net!news.sprintlink.net!cs.utexas.edu!swrinde!sdd.hp.com!col.hp.com!fc.hp.com!news.lvld.hp.com!news Thu Sep 14 09:43:35 1995
From: Mike_Reuss@HP-Loveland-om10.om.hp.com (Michael Reuss)
Subject: Re: Boulder CO - protest results
Date: 12 Sep 1995 01:14:08 GMT
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Let's keep all the Boulder Picket info in one thread? OK with everyone?
My experience at the Boulder Mission protest:
I got there right at 11:00. I had considered bringing Carmen, my dog (50 lb.
Golden Retriever mix) with a "Don't Drown Me' banner around her chest, and as
fun as that would have been, I decided that I didn't want to wrestle with her on
a leash for 2+ hours.
My sign said "You won't silence me" on one side, and "After your 'Clear' day,
you will pay forever" on the other. I first introduced myself to the various
protesters. It's nice to have some faces associated with some of the names on
ARS. I also noticed there were three or four other people standing on the mall
near the mission door, holding signs critical of "Copyright Terrorists." I posed
for a picture by the roving Co$ photographer and also for a photographer from
the Longmont Times Call (did anyone get a copy?).
I talked with Deb Danos, the DSA (Director of Special Affairs at the Boulder
Mission). I asked her if she would be making any more appearences on Peter
Boyles talk show on KTLK (AM 760, Denver CO). She said no, and that he had not
treated her fairly during the two Wollersheim segments. She said she'd paid less
that $3000 to the mission in her 10 years as a Scientologist (she is pre-Clear)
and that this amount was typical of long standing members in Boulder. We talked
about the raids, and she begin to dead agent Wollersheim. She seemed to get
confused and began talking about Mr. Fishman. I said that Fishman was probably
acting on the orders of the church during his illegalities then when he got
caught, the Co$ cut him loose and made him a scapegoat. She replied something to
the effect that "it's impossible because Fishman had not implicated any Co$
members." I asked her how the infomercials were going and she told me they were
doing "very well" and that 10% of callers were ordering their kit. She didn't
say how many callers there were.
Deb admitted that the church was behind the Cancelpoodle, much to my surprise!
She said that this fact had come out in District Court the day before (CoS vs.
Wollersheim & Penny). She and other Scientologists said that the OT materials
posted on the net were not accurate, and had been altered by critics. She
said she read ARS sometimes. She said the leaders of Co$ did not live lavish
lifestyles and many of them didn't even own cars. She said that Helena Kobrin
was the victim of unfair vilification and name calling by Internet critics. I
said something about how Ms. Kobrin was not completely guiltless on the
Internet, and had in fact tried to RMGROUP ARS and virtually wipe-out all
Internet criticism of the Co$.
I talked briefly with Robert Anderson the Boulder Mission Holder. He was very
polite. He explained to me that the History of Man, Xenu and the volcanoes and
such were almost irrelevant to Scientology. He said he was more interested in
the 'technology.' The "Justified and Ancient One" upon learning that Mr.
Anderson was the "mission holder" said that "Oh, he (Mr. Anderson) makes a 15%
commission on all income from new recruits." This obviously was a hot button, as
Mr. Anderson denied it and began demanding that Janda produce the documentation
to prove his statement, when he could see that all Keith had in his possession
was his picket sign. He gave me a copy of 'Freedom' magazine (more on that
later) and one of the Co$ handouts (I'll try to get it scanned and posted soon).
Perhaps the most interesting discussion I had was with Ms. Jan Fowler, an OT-6
(currently studying OT-7). I explained the 'patterns' of abuse I had seen and
experienced in the last 7 months on ARS (she does not read this newsgroup) and
why I felt compelled to protest. I explained the definition of the logical
fallacy "ad hominem" to her (she was not familiar with the term) and that the
Co$ used ad hominem and obfuscation in its arguments while critics used reason
As we were talking, a print reporter from the Boulder Weekly (a free handout)
began listening (and recording) our conversation. Jan stated that the Co$ was
not fighting the release of the OT materials because it would damage the church
financially, but because it was dangerous material in the wrong hands. The
reporter said that in Friday's court hearing, McShane had claimed massive but
unknown financial damage to the Co$ due to the OT levels being circulated on the
Internet. When I learned she was taking OT-7, I asked her if she talked to
plants and trees. She laughed it off, and pretended that she didn't know what I
was talking about. When I told her that I had been threatened by Kobrin for
posting the Dr. Doolittle text, she replied with the standard "copyright
criminals" party line. I began to tell the reporter what the six lines were and
Jan reacted very suddenly by throwing her open hand up in front of my face, as
if she were going to clamp her hand over my mouth, then just as suddenly pulled
it away. She said to the reporter "See, he's breaking the law right now!" I
think she was briefly "enturbulated." This one tiny incident almost perfectly
represents the entire ARS experience; A Co$ critic says something harmlessly
silly on its face that the Co$ wants to keep secret, and a Co$ representative
tries to forceably prevent it from being said.
Anyway, after I explained what the 6 lines were, and how I had used them in a
critique (protected under fair use) the reporter casually said something to the
effect that "Many Native American religions have similar sounding beliefs." That
surprised me at first, but as I thought about it, it was great, because it
illustrated to Jan that having these beliefs out in the open does NOT
*necessarily* mean they will be held up to ridicule by everyone.
The reporter asked both Jan an I if there was common ground among the critics
and the Co$. I said that my quarrel was not with Co$ members at low levels, but
with the leaders, who were corrupt and manipulative. Jan said that we were both
seeking the "Truth" in our own way. And I guess she's right. Her truth is the
"we'll tell you what to believe" kind, and mine is the "rational, open-minded,
gleaned from the best arguments of the ARS free-for-all" kind. Although Jan was
mostly pleasant and polite, her advanced OT study did not seem to result in any
superior debating skills.
Deb and Jan both claimed that fair use did not apply to the famous six lines,
because they were unpublished trade secrets. I argued that they *were* published
(prior to Internet distribution), because every student that takes OT-7 gets a
copy. Both responded that signing non-disclosure agreements was a required part
of the OT study. When I said that Dennis Erlich and Arnie Lerma both disputed
this, and that in Dennis' case, he claims the Co$ introduced his forged
signature on such a document in court, my argument was ignored.
I also tried to make the point with Deb and Jan that the way to combat lies and
misrepresentations (which they accuse ARS critics of doing) is NOT to silence
people, but rather with additional speech that exposes the lies and
misrepresentations. This is one of the basic concepts behind our right to speak
freely. Sadly, this concept seems lost on them. Or maybe they know that they
cannot succeed, and so choose the stifling of free speech route.
I also approached three other pre-Clear Scientologists, and I could tell that
discussions made them uncomfortable, so I just chatted briefly with them. One
younger lady held a sign the said something about "copyright criminals" and I
informed her that there was no decisions yet in any of the copyright cases, and
that even if the Co$ were to win their cases, the defendents could not rightly
be called criminals, as this was a civil matter.
The protest ended at about 1:15 and about 12 of the protesters had lunch
together at Old Chicago. As I walked away, I told Jan that if she knows the
"Truth" she should post it to the Internet, that way we could all share it.
"Janda" bought lunches and beers for 10-12 people. Thanks a bazillion!