The bOrg mOtherShip got a picket today. St Hill in East Grinstead, world headquarters of the Church of Scientology. Pictures at: http://www.hotel.wineasy.se/xemu/photos/sthill/
An agent had gone in early to get into St Hill Manor House itself. Mission sucessful. Said he could have run off with L. Ron Hubbard's hat if he had felt like it. Clams totally unprepared.
We arrve at East Grinstead at 11:45 and convene at the pub. We slake our thirsts and order taxis to take us to St Hill getting there at 12:55. We enturbulate the clams like hell who insist we move off what they say is their property. A local newspaper reporter turns up. The clams call the police of course. They send one of their own cars to turn in to the driveway where we are demonstrating so we have to move. One of the clams physically pushing people off their driveway. We are only there for 20 minutes though and the taxis arrive to take us back to the "Broadway" pub, near the clam shop we are going to picket later.
We get there and Hartley P arrives. He had done everything according to the agreed schedule but we had not. Never mind. Our new T-shirt was being distributed as well as a number of flyers. The reporter turns up again.
We slake out thirsts and then move against the clam shop in the high street a few doors down from the pub. There was a drunk there who attacked our party. Jens got the worst of it. He was throwing his beer at us and then after that punches. mainly at Jens. The drink got apprehended and then came back in our direction and attacked again. He is going to be charged.
The clam shop had plenty of people there, outnumbering us, since they had had warning from our St Hill picket. They tried to "handle" us but were not very good. I got the chance to thoroughly enturbulate them with the Xenu flyer. I made a big thing of it and shouting out the story as well. They were thoroughly enterbulated. Think of it as the photon torpedoes whacking into the mOtherShip while I was there transmitting the deadly Xenu virus to their central computer. What I shouted out about Ot III and Xenu and body thetans outside their shop will cause trouble within the UK Sea Org for a very long time to come. It nay destroy them in itself. Those listening knew I was telling the truth and they were visibly concerned about it. I did a marvellous job.
Then back to the pub. Richard and Bonnie Woods turned up. Also Ron Lawley of NOTs "obtaining" fame turned up. A few more drinks were had and then we went back to the train station to get the train back to London.
Having joined up in the centre of town, we proceeded to the Saint Hill Manor Tourist Information Centre which is located in the main shopping street. Looked like a Scientology bookshop to me! I decided to picket on the far side of the road, which had the dual effect of (1) upping my stats - no competition (2) avoiding being handled, er sorry, interrupted.
Forwarned, our friends had a shopful of counter-picketers ready for us, but with no ready supplies of counter-leaflets or free magazines they were reduced to nattering. Public reception was as usual either positive or indifferent.
Having run out of leaflets (several times) I returned to join the throng for a bit of comm. The two young ladies I stood with were much too busy joking, degrading and running through the 'how to handle SPs' list for me to do more than prompt and smile, which was fine with me as my throat had dried up. I expect their knowledge report was a bit short though.
And so back to the pub for a refreshing warm beer and home.
(*) 'Herd of Cats' is a Collective Trade Mark designating members of ARSCC.
We arrived slightly late on the train and made our way to Saint Hill Manor in a leisurely fashion. We offloaded our gear at the side entrance (since there's nowhere to hang out at the main entry gate, even though it's much more spiffy).
This demo saw the first outing of the new T-shirt design, modelled by Roland in image04.jpg. I like it. The words say
with the words
appearing in/next-to the graphic.
We treated a growing contingent of clams to picket signs, Duke, Xemu-costume and the sound system playing Ron soundbytes and giving Dave an opportunity to ad-lib a bit and try some songs (one of which is new). We turned the sound system up a bit more than we do in towns and got a nice echo off the hill in the background (still more sound-level to go, I reckon).
After some time, we were told to move off the driveway, with the lead clam (behind Duke in image17.jpg) resorting to shoving us ever so slightly. The police arrived in two cars at this time, and had us move to a driveway on the opposite side of the road (as there wasn't really enough space in the road itself).
Our pre-booked return taxies arrived and we returned to the pub on London Road for lunch and the gathering of the remaining protesters (including the one which had been on time originally and gone to St Hill at the appointed time).
We marched over to the pavement in front of the Co$ shop (labelled "Saint Hill Manor Bookstore...") and set up camp. Very soon, a man appeared and started behaving in a most obnoxious way. He sprayed beer all over us, pushed people into the (heavy but slow) traffic and generally behaved as if he was looking for a fight. He made off after a while, with no major damage incurred on the part of the protesters (I got knocked on the mouth - feebly - once and sported a bruise a little bit later).
This individual is featured around image26.jpg and image27.jpg.
We called in the police and one of our lot followed the guy and found out where he was hiding. A police car went by with the flashing lights on. Unfortunately, the police didn't arrive at the picketing site.
We settled into picketing, and got two kinds of reactions from the passer-bys. One type was the clam, who would not take our leaflet, the other type was the local who would ignore us like all get-out.
Quite a few clams came out of the bookshop and engaged protesters in conversation. One clam took a leaflet from John and then tore it up and tried to make a snatch at John's leaflets. She gave it up (I was four feet away with a camera) and went inside. We had seen this one at Saint Hil earlier.
Something like half an hour after his first appearance, the disagreeable individual made his second appearance. He shoved us around some more, and then made off with Duke. John R. and I went after him, and the clams thought that it was hilarious. I have to admit that the sight of a bum carrying a toy dog, being followed by two guys (one of which was wearing the Xemu costume) probably did look quite funny ;-)
The individual made it to a foot-bridge (over a major road, probably a dual carriageway as they're called in the UK) followed by John and myself at a distance. He then turned around and came back at us. He started swinging the dog (weight 2-3 lbs, steel frame with long handle => not a nice thing to swing at someone's head standing on a foot-bridge over a busy road). We managed to get the dog back, and I sustained a couple more (feeble) punches to my mouth and a kick to the groin which missed by a mile. We then retreated and he followed us. He lost interest in that when I loudly remarked "Fine, back to the police" (which had been called as all left the protesting site).
A Community Officer took my details, and after I had been informed that the guy had been found (must have been a second police team at work) and since he appeared *not* to be drunk and disorderly (huh??), he would walk away if no complaint was made, I went down to the police station and made a statement.
While I was talking to the Community Officer, next to the protesting site, the other officer had a long talk with several clams (three or four), including the guy who had pushed us away from the gate. Gosh, I wonder what the clams could have had to say about it all ;-)
Damage sustained on my part was a split lip (bled a little) and a split inside of the mouth (on the other side of the lip, against the teeth) which bled a little more. Nothing to ruin my day...
John was OK.
Just in case anyone gets the impression that this was a mighty batle, raging back forth over a bridge, between the forces of Sanity (in the more or less likely guise of John and myself) and moronity (in the guise of the individual), let me just say that I only thought that he merrited anything other than keeping a distance when he was swinging the dog, and that the scuffle would not qualify as a fight by any means.
The man was being held until Monday (not wanting to make a statement or even reveal his identity) and this achieved my major objective: getting the guy off the streets while he was in a state where bad things could have happened. I'll have to appear in court if the matter goes further. (A more expensive trip than down to the corner cafe - but there are so many interesting things in East Grinstead, and the country-side is lovely ;-) )
Opinions as to what the heck was going on were divided. One one hand it was a serious coincidence that the guy walked up within a minute or two after we set up the protest in front of the shop. On the other hand, it would have been completely idiotic for *anyone* to manufacture an incident. I lean towrds the unrelated, coincidental, "stuff happens" theory.
Interesting, perhaps a little too interesting, but certainly not boring
Today was the first large picket of east Grinstead town centre together with Saint Hill itself; it was timed to the international picket on Dire-neticks day. Despite a minor leak by Martin Hunt telepathically auditing someone, the clams were evidently taken by surprise. One or two people came on the 0923 train to take the tour of Saint Hill. The rest were supposed to be on the 1023 but we just missed it and got the 1053, arriving a little before twelve.
The railway runs from London, to Crawley (London Gatwick airport), to Brighton on the south coast. A minor line branches off to East Grinstead, 10 miles east of Crawley. Clam Central Station it literally the end of the line: it continues a little way south for the points where you switch lines. The tunnel southwards, and the other line crossing, have been taken out. It is a really nice town--shame about the cult--out in rural sussex.
We wandered off down Station Approach to the High Street, and the Broadway pub on the corner, which was a bit slow and didn't open until twelve. One of us had arrived at the right time, and the other six managed to be late in the same way i.e. on the following train. We eventually got a couple of taxis a little before one and headed down to the stable gate of Saint Hill. It's back past the station and along Turners Hill Road, then left onto Saint Hill Road to the far end where the new canteen block is. A reporter arrived just as we were about to pull out, and drove up behind us to the location.
We also had our new fashion item, "STOP (/) Scientology ruining lives" tee shirts in black [with red (/)] on white. The crossed out picture is LRon Hub-Borg, Ron with a bOrg implant and lens from StarTrek.
We piled out at the stables-block gate of saint hill, an eight or ten foot farmstyle set back slightly from the road. Pretty soon a patrolclam in a blue shirt on a pushbike turned up. Then others one by one, some busily running up. Obviously they weren't use of our standard procedure or arriving having not linked up all the sound equipment and fiddling round on site. Things kicked off slowly with various of us posing for the camera holding up Duke the Dog etc next to the clams behind the gate.
One clam was doing something very strange (can anyone tell me if this features is standard tech?). He was stood 20 yards way confronting a small sapling, as if about to unzip his flies and pee up it...or perhaps he was doing OT7? He was evidently looking at us but seemed to think that IF HE PRETENDED VERY HARD WE COULDN'T SEE HIM THEN WE COULDN'T. I waved to him sweetly. There were 4 or 5 at the gate now. Another 4 or 5 came out of the stables block and pointed ("look, SPs") so I pointed back ("look, clams").
The sound system came on. I started with a few slogans and songs, but fluffed the words in verse 3 of the one I'd just written the previous night and not properly memorised yet. The patrolclam had been talking into his radio, "get me OSA". The OSA bloke turned up after about 10 minutes, strolling and drinking a cup of coffee.
They eventually forced over the boundary line of their land including the verge, which I don't think is legal (and will be checked before we go back in 1--2 months). The police arrived and were not very happy that we were now, because of this unreasonable behaviour, on the carriageway itself. We had to fall back to the verge on the far side of the road. We had been there since 13:00, and the txis back came at 13:20. The second car took longer because it had come THROUGH saint hill grounds, but the clams wouldn't let it out of the gate to meet us; it had to go back and round.
And so we all tootled off back to the Broadway. The towncentre shop is visible accross the road and about ten yards down, a 20ft shofront the third of four in its building and painted dark green. It was obvious that there was a grand panic on with much cars and people back and forth, police going in at one point, etc. We took not the slightest notice and munched through snack or fish-n-chip lunches with our pints at the tables outside the pub. It was an absolutely beautiful warm spring day, and we could take our time.
The pavement seemed narrow from where we were looking, and we always had the possibility of spilling in front of vacant propert 10 yards nearer to us each side. On getting there, though, we saw it was a 10ft pavement logically divided into a 6ft inner pavement and (where we went) a 4ft outer part differently paved.
Unfortunately, literally the moment we arrived that side we came upon a local drunk whose police was, unusually, to "offer people a drink" by showering beer from his can over them then berate them for being unsociable when they didn't appreciate it. Nobody let him mess them around, or succumbed to temptation and decked the silly bastard. He went a way for a few minutes....only to come back. This time he offered Duke a drink by pouring beer over his nose, then decided he was "taking the dog". Off he went in the out of town direction along London Road towards the bridge over the motoerrway. Hotly pusrsued by John and Jens, the latter still costumed up as Prince Xemu. In retrospect this has its funny moments. They soon re-appeared with Duke, the drunk having swung him at them as a club. I imagine "man hit with dog" would make quite a good newspaper headline. We did phone the cop shop and ask to have the guy arrested, as we felt there would be further attacks on ourselves or others if he didn't spend the afternoon in the drunktank. I suppose the clams could have slipped him a tenner, but it is more likely he was as much a surprise to them as to us.
Well, we just sorted the demo itself then. We had the sound system going, and the clams put a "cobra" trype ghetto blaster in the shop doorway, later boosted by a rather feeble 30watt combo-amp (NB unless you must have music quality thumping bass however low the overall volume, these are a waste of space for street demos). The midrange PA horns on the boombox beat several shades of shit out of it, and we were nowhere near full power. There were persistent disputes about sound level though. Apparently "residents" did not like the loudspeakers---we finally agreed amps would be switched off on both sides---or even later the shouting. The shops do have two stories of flats above them which seem to be let indpenedently i.e. are not merely the shopkeepers home. However, it occurred to me later that this is probably bullshit, and the Church of Scientology probably owns the building with its four shopfronts, letting the upper floors to clams who are in town doing courses, and that these were the "residents" IOTW hardly neutral parties.
CoS had loaded the place up with "hard-shell clams" from St Hill Manor which could supposedly handle us by the man-to-man marking tactic i.e. one clam in animated conversation with each critic so they stop shouting slogans or leafleting passers-by. Of course this is useless if you just say "I'm not playing" and wander off to make sure the demo still has a public-facing side. A highlight was Roland holding up a XEMU leaflet at the shop window and shouting "you know I'm telling the truth -- when you get to OT3 I'll say 'I told you so'." You could see they were worried by it too.
I guess the main message is---Saint Hill can be picketed, the manor itself and the high street. Our spies say the place was damn near empty. We could even announce it in advance, and what would they do? call an all-clams alert and pull people in, I suppose, but then they have the problem that green new people unused to criticism will be influenced by what we say and blow. I guess they could cancel Sea Org leave on a Saturday just in case we come back, or put them on three grain porridge (the replacement for rice and beans) three meals a day. But it's not much worse than soggy old pasta with meatless tomato sauce every day anyway.
When our anonymous friend went into Saint Hill castle for an early look around, he was pleasantly surprised at how cordially he was treated, and by the absence of 'hard sell'. Something his guide said was very distrubing, though. When she explained the Tone Scale, she indicated a level slightly below physical death, and explained that this level was exemplified by someone who had badly failed in life, such as a tramp. She tried to wriggle out of it when it was pointed out to her, but she was implying that killing tramps is a good idea.
The Scn photographer (Image08.jpg, centre) felt the need to take photographs of our faces from a few centimetres away. Perhaps he needs a more expensive lens.
When the scienos saw our placards and our Xemu costume (Image13.jpg), they paused and then gave a hollow laugh- (the sound of cognitive dissonance?)
I didn't take very kindly to being physically pushed off their property into the narrow road (Image16.jpg).
I spent a lot of the time at the high street picket talking to a guy called John who has been a public Scn for 30 years (on the right of Image31.jpg). He was generally cordial, but he thought the attacks on the 'net are entirely justified. His opinion was that free speech does not apply if you are going to slag people off- just the sort of attitude we are protesting against. He also seemed to believe that Scn consistently wins all its legal cases.
The security guard (in a uniform that reminded me of the TV series "C.Hi.P.s" (Image06.jpg, he's being introduced to Duke)) reacted testily when asked about the food situation (We were picketing right next to the block where the Sea Org are fed). The guy I talked to on the High Street also denied that there was anything wrong with the food in that block, but straight away he said that he doesn't think there's anything wrong with rice and beans. When I asked if they were still serving three grain porridge (apparently Bonnie and Richard Woods ate this stuff every meal, every day for six months when they were in the Sea Org and stats were down), he said that he hadn't bothered to count the grains.
At the pub after the picket, we were joined by some high-ranking SP's, including a *baby* SP: Bonnie Woods' adorable baby grand-daughter (just visible in Image35.jpg ) Aaaaaah!!!! Bonnie had good things to report about her court case: at the latest hearing, 60 pages of Dead Agent material on her were struck from the record. Eugene Ingram's work to dig up material on Bonnie's past (he's paid $700,000 a year) had gone to waste.
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