Today about ten suppressives arrived at Saint Hill, the UK headquarters of Scientology, and the "superior beings" of Scientology showed how little their expensive "Communications Tech" was worth by going into hiding.
Just before 1:00 the "Saint Hill Manor Information Centre and Bookshop" in the centre of neighbouring East Grinstead was open for business, with its "Staff Wanted" sign in the window.
We went to Saint Hill, picketed from 1:00 to 2:00 with none of the usual opposition. Every so often a Scientologist would emerge to photograph us, and at one stage a woman went to the house next door in an unsuccessful attempt to get a neighbour to complain to the police, half- a-dozen of whom stood outside the gates and were treated to the Xenu Rap, and extracts from L. Ron Hubbard's rantings in honour of Dead Ron's birthday, as were the Scientologists including a minibus of youngsters, who went in and out of Saint Hill.
On returning to East Grinstead, we found the bookshop had pulled down the shutters and stuck up a notice saying "CLOSED ALL DAY FOR L. RON HUBBARD'S BIRTHDAY". Presumably Scientology having mastery over MEST (Mass, Energy, Space and Time) is able to redefine "ALL DAY" to mean "After we realised we were going to be picketed". So we posed for photographs outside the shop, handed out leaflets, and then called it a day.
After the violence and hostility at our first East Grinstead picket, and the downpour and pushing and shoving at the second, this shows that suppressives are now "at cause" over Scientology, even at their UK headquarters.
A very effective picket, which was enthusiastically supported by people in East Grinstead.
I set off with Roland early and we were joined at Victoria station by Martin Poulter with the big fellah and the little fellah. Hartley arrived with XenuBat -- on holiday from the states -- as the train left, plus John and Jens came on the next train and DaveG by car. Ten of us in all, plus "Duke" the dog with waterwings. We feared rain, but in fact the sky was clear tom 30% white cloud with bright morning sunlight enough for good photography without flash. Four of us went in the car, the rest in two taxis. For whatever reason (probably because there is a new Inspector just appointed) there was a van-load of police. Our plan had been that, having been pushed into the roadway before, we would operate around a parked car. The police said no, pavement was fine, the car must go and park. About 20 minutes in after much whinging by the clams they then said we should go by the hedge on the far said: however, with minimal mud and with the brambles brown and thornless now, there are several places where you can stand comfortably 3 or 4 feet back from the road edge.
We opened up with a chorus of "Happy Birthday Dead Fat Ron" and a few other songs. There is no big members' event on Phatso's Birthday as (international organisers please note) annual stats generally close that day then the birthday celebration is 1 or sometimes 2 weeks afterwards. 1 to 2pm seemed right for lunchtime, and several cars entering the gate were astonished to see our 6ft SCIENTOLOGY SAYS YOUR FULL OF DEAD SPACE ALIENS banner. With a heavy police presence the clams could not engage in pushing and shoving or umbrellas across the banner; between 5 and 7 of them skulked by twenty yards down the drive. I couldn't see them most of the time, as I was with the boombox at our left flank. When we got back to the main street, London Road, we found the clam shop which had been open at 1pm was now "closed all day for LRon Hubbard's birthday." Clearly some clams have M/Us on one or more of "closed", "all", or "day". We left a few Xemu leaflets around the poster and, after 30 minutes token protest, we went back down the pub.
__ .' '. "OUR GRAND DAY OUT" : : | _ _ | cracking clams, grommit! .-.|(o)(o)|.-. _._ _._ -- -------( ( | .--. | ) )-----.',_ '.------.' _,'.----------- '-/ ( ) \-' / /' `\ \ __ / /' `\ \ / '--' \ /.' \.' './ '.\ \ `"===="` / ` : _ _ : ` `\ /' |(o)(o)| `\ /' | | http://www. /`-.-`\_ / \ xemu.demon.co.uk _..:;\._/V\_./:;.._ / .--. \ .'/;:;:;\ /^\ /:;:;:\'. | ( ) | / /;:;:;:;\| |/:;:;:;:\ \ _\ '--' /__ _____/ /;:;:;:;:;\_/:;:;:;:;:\ \_.' '-.__.-' `-.__art_by_jgs.
Complete with guest American picketer ARSCC(UK) visited St Hill on a mostly sunny day. Having checked that the Scientology bookshop in town was open we travelled to the home of L Ron Hubbard.
Our CoS friends were expecting us (well several policemen at their front gate *was* a bit of a giveaway) but resorted apart from the inevitable cameraman to Hiding down the drive. A lady kindly brought the police coffee.
Returning to town we were surprised to find the bookshop closed with a large notice over the shutters 'Shut all day for L Ron Hubbard's Birthday'. Evidently an MU on 'all' or possibly 'day' here...
So it was Hiding again - the second time our ASHO has done this. We handed out some leaflets to the good people of East Grinstead and departed.
After some adventures with public transport, I made it to East Grinstead in time to picket in front of the Continental (UK) headquarters of the organisation known as the "church" <spit> of $cientology.
I was very pleased indeed to find a very serious-looking group of police-persons at the gate. Given our previous experiences in East Grinstead, it was very reassuring to have more police-persons than picketers.
What with the nice banner reading "$cientology says you're full of dead aliens" set up right across from the gate and the boom-box blaring away contendedly off on the right, I'm sure we got a lot of attention from the clams. There was certainly a lot of cars who had errands inside St Hill who slowed DOWN to read our sign as they turned into the gate.
Of course, the clams demonstrated their superb communication abilities (something about chosing not to communicate) and stayed well inside the gate. We were quite certain that one of the clams persistently talking to the police was Graeme Wilson, head of OSA UK. Pitty he didn't come over to chat, we would have loved to hear how things were going with the various lawsuits and why there had been no UK edition of Freedumb since the issue commemorating the "Run for Religious Nonsense" (or whatever) last year. Tw guys were out photographing. The second one had the biggest camera and thought that the tape playing LRH going "VRRROOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!" and "The man on the cross, there was no Christ" was hilarious. I sure hope he always feels that way...
Talking about Freedumb (which I don't read on a regular basis), I'm afraid I was being loud and obnoxious in the train back, reading a passage printed on the back cover. Some sillyness titled "What is Justice" written by some goofy guy whose thesaurus was much bigger than his writing talent... Apparently, one can get a complementary copy of "The Way to Happiness," from OSA, but if all of the book is like that excerpt, I don't want any, thank you!
All in all, a superb day out
 Not all $cientology-related, it must be said...
 True Fact: I had typed "intention" in the first draft. How wrong can a guy be!!
 think ROFLMAO!!!
(Seeing that I still have my reactive mind and thus have a less than perfect memory, the events I describe may not be in exact chronological order, and any conversations described below are paraphrased.)
It turned out that I picked a great time to leave for my trip to London last week. Minneapolis happened to get hit by a big snowstorm last Monday and Tuesday, getting 16 inches of snow and causing the cancellation of about 100 flights from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; I was already long gone by then so I couldn't have cared less, though! ;-)
I won't bore you with all the touristy stuff I did last week; however, I did happen to take a walk by the London org on Tottenham Court Road on the spur of the moment; there were about 3 or 4 people in there. I didn't have any flyers with me, though, or I might have popped in there with a Xemu flyer and given it to them, asking, "Hey, is this really true that you guys believe this?" I also happened to run across a restaurant called The Space Cafe, on Buckingham Palace Road between Victoria Station and Buckingham Palace, that had a couple of big pictures of space aliens painted on the windows (maybe they should rename themselves Xemu's Cafe); I took a picture of it which hopefully will turn out.
Anyway, on Saturday I met Hartley at Victoria Station; we got on the train to East Grinstead a few minutes before it was supposed to leave, and Dave Bird, Roland, Martin P., the big fellah and the little fellah were already there, along with Duke the Dog (Jens, John and Dave G. showed up later at East Grinstead). I had a new T-shirt made up at a printing place; it was white, and on the front it said "WHO IS XEMU?" and the picture from the Xemu flyer, and on the back it had the text of the first page of OT-3 (it was identical to the back of the "Scientology Kills" shirt). I also brought along my space alien doll that I bought from the Weekly World News (a picture of it is at http://wwnonline.com/basket/wwnstore-doll-s.jpg) and a gray inflatable space alien doll that I picked up at a London novelty shop.
We stopped at the pub for a short while, then headed over to St. Hill. When we pulled up, there at the entrance was a Scieno woman wearing a red blazer/skirt outfit, along with about four cops. The cops basically just instructed us to be peaceful and not be disorderly. Along with Duke and my two alien dolls, we had the sound system and a banner saying "SCIENTOLOGY SAYS YOU'RE FULL OF DEAD SPACE ALIENS", plus a few other signs; Roland was taking pictures of the picket. It was a nice sunny (a good part of the time) day so I was able to take off my jacket so people could see my T-shirt. Originally we were standing on the same side of the road as the entrance, but apparently the Scienos must have complained, as after about 20 minutes the cops asked us to stand on the opposite side of the road.
There was a slim Scieno guy with dark hair who kept going in and out of the St. Hill entrance, taking some pictures of us a few times, who looked totally miserable the whole time. There was another guy who was wearing sunglasses who came out later to take pictures of us who seemed to be in a better mood than the first guy, as I heard him laughing. The woman in red also came in and out a few times. I saw some other Scienos a short ways inside the entrance standing in small groups talking. The Scienos said very little if anything to us. A number of carloads of people went in and out of the org entrance; most of them had to have gotten a good look at the banner and the inflatable space alien (I don't know how many saw what my shirt said). I'm curious if they would start to ask some of the Scn higher-ups what Scientology has to do with space aliens and what kind of response they'd get from the higher-ups!
Dave Bird got on the sound system and did his thing, singing "Da L. Ron Ron Wrong" (?) and some other songs, and of course "Happy Birthday" to LRH, and saying things like "Scientology will teach you how to get rid of imaginary body thetans, and they'll charge you real money to learn how!"; I spent much of the time standing there laughing. A couple of times Dave borrowed my inflatable space alien doll to hold up for the Scienos to see, having the alien wave to the Scienos. There were also some Real Audio clips of Hubbard's more nutty quotes played over the sound system, so the Scienos got to hear LRH say stuff like "The man on the cross, there was no Christ" and "'VROOM, VROOM! Hrm, hey, that's mine!" he'd say. 'I'm leaving!'"; it's pretty hard to deny it when you hear it in Hubbard's own voice!
There isn't very much pedestrian traffic in that area, mainly automobile traffic. One carload of people drove by and they all rolled down the windows and gave us the thumbs-up sign and yelled "All right!"; we also got a few other thumbs-up signs from other people driving by.
About 2 pm we left to go picket outside the Scn bookstore. First we went back to the pub, with one group of us getting a ride back and the rest coming in two cabs. One cab arrived shortly after the ones who got a ride. Roland and I waited at the pub for the other cab to come while the others went on the bookstore to hand out flyers, etc. There were cops also stationed outside the bookstore. The cab company had been called earlier and were asked to send two cabs to St. Hill at 2 o'clock; apparently the dispatcher got confused and thought they had been told to send "a cab" at 2 o'clock, so only one cab had been sent. The others had to call again and ask the cab company to send another cab to St. Hill, so they didn't get back to the pub till about 2:30 or so. Apparently the bookstore had been open when we first arrived at East Grinstead but now they had closed up with a sign on the door saying "Closed all day for L. Ron Hubbard's Birthday"; obviously they need to word-clear "all day"! :-) Afterwards, everyone came back to the pub and hung out for a while. A couple of guys who were also at the pub were on their way out and as they walked by us, one of them said, "You're all doing a good thing!" Sometime between 3:30-4:00 we went back to the train station and eventually we all went on our merry way.
P.S.--It was nice to get to meet the UK SPs, and I think they're really doing a good job with their pickets! :-)
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