The strange thing was, I was louder than the Boom-Box and I didn't run out of juice. It surprised a few people.
The Clams were R O U T E D !!!
Scientology is Expanding!!
Response to Roland (TM) leaflet huckstering:
"Read all about Scientology": blank stare
"Read all about the Space Aliens": smile
"Say No to Scientology": leaflet taken, and several 'well done, keep it up' comments.
Longer reports and photos will appear shortly from the usual suspects.
We had the boombox, which was going great, and a mic stand for handsfree operation. Sadly I didn't have a songbook with me, and didn't really have the bottle to play the small keyboard in the street: the song material I did very softly, and speaking-in-pitch more than singing, it was a lot clearer and more in tune that way. Playing at the same time adds to the strain, it's easier without. Hopefully next time we will have good pre-recorded music on tape or CD.
I had a go at "MarySue gets a phonecall"...too complicated for the street, I think. Jens swapped over to running Hubbard on tape, endless repeats of the sections on "there is no christ", "vroom". and so forth. The clams noticeably did not like this. With the tape running, I grabbed some leaflets and joined the main row of demonstrators. We also had the "$cientology $pace-alien $cam" leaflet, which went down very well. One of the others observed a staffer go back into the Org with our leaflet and his unused copies of Freedumb, which he slapped down then walked out. Draw yer own conclusions whether he will be back.
The police were called and had a word in the Org, then came out and asked "who is the organiser" (I was a bit miffed they went to Roland first). Inspector French has moved on from Holborn, this was a new guy Inspector Webb. Standard talk, you have a right to be here but don't cause violent disturbance will you. They were quite cool and laid back about the whole thing. Some long rants on the freezone, Lisa MacPherson, and so forth. Jacques from OSA was there and had a long talk with Jens there and in the pub later. Pretty mild weather, no rain wind or snow, though it got cold towards the end of the afternoon. A nice winter re-union, although London Org is pretty dim and downstat, there's not a lot there to attack.
My day was made when a female passer-by shouted to us, just as she passed the scientologist counter-protestors:
"You tell them! David Miscavige SUCKS COCK!"
The picket was a surprise for the org both in that it was unannounced and that it started much earlier in the day than our previous pickets (there were essentially two pickets with a lunch break inbetween).
I was disappointed by the absence of the Sea Org people who gave us such amusement on our last visit to London. This time, the only scientologist to talk to us much was Jacques of OSA Invest. Jacques has gained more respect from us than any other scieno, I think, because he just does not look or talk like a cult victim. When I asked him how the stats were, he said that our protests are attracting attention to them and really boosting their stats, but that they had other ways in which they would prefer to boost their stats, so could we please stop.
A totally surreal aspect was given to the demonstration by the looped sound recording of LRH talking about R6. I just can't get over what a comical voice he had. Roland's vocal cords were also firing on all cylinders: between him and the sound system, we attracted a lot of attention. A large proportion of the people on the other side of the street stopped to look at what was going on.
It was great to see such a good turnout, including two ARS'ers who are new to the pickets and took to it very well. Since there were ten of us in total, we comfortably outnumbered the inevitable counter-picket.
My overall impression was that we are really hitting their morale and that this picket, like the previous ones, should be counted as a big success.
A couple of the freedom-dishing clams didn't much like this and went further on down the street to get away. I followed them, so we ended up quite a way down the street just short of the tube station (name?). Isn't it annoying when someone else always gets the last word?
One of them was in excellent talkative spirits and we spoke a great deal. I explained all about OTIII and the dead space aliens to him; he didn't believe it. He asked me what the "dog thing or whatever it is" which wasn't there this time was, so I told him about Duke. He didn't believe that either. He told me he used to be a christian so I asked him what he thought of the tape blaring the "There was no christ" message. He didn't believe it was Ron. I told him about how OTVIIs and above can talk to plants. He didn't believe that either. After all this disbelieving he was still happy to call me closed-minded!!
He had a bit of a cough at one point, so I suggested he pop back into the Org for an assist or something. He explained that he had asthma, so I expressed my surprise that scientology can't cure this, given that it can cure cancer. He seemed surprised, and thought I was talking nonsense. I couldn't remember the exact quote, but someone had brought along a copy of History of Man so I was able to show him, in nice clear print, the phrase
"Cancer has been eradicated by auditing out conception and mitosis."
He asked me what mitosis meant, and I didn't know. "Aha! A mis-understood word!" Should have expected that one, really. I hazarded a guess which convinced him (the guess being based on that I know what the mitochondria in cells do) so after a bit of hesitation, he concluded that I was using the phrase out of context to warp its meaning!
Read it for yourself again and try to imagine a context where the phrase "Cancer has been eradicated" means that cancer has not been eradicated. I can't, he couldn't, so he dropped that one.
He kept asking me who the various critics were. I kept telling him to go and ask them for himself.
He was most interested to hear about my history in the "group" - when I joined it etc etc etc, but had real difficulty in believing that it wasn't an organisation of some kind. "Yes, but when did you join it?"
We spoke about Freemasonry in the USA and things like that. I know very little about this, so he assured me it was rife; especially in the field of money. "Oh, yes, their fingers are right up your arse!" he proclaimed. I asked him if he used a different currency to the rest of us. No answer.
"Why isn't that guy wearing any socks" he laughed out loud. "Because he hasn't got much money - is that how scientologists treat the poor then; as objects of ridicule?" No answer.
There was another guy with him, steadily doling out Freedoms to the (not many) people who would take one. He had a generally glum and I'd-rather-be-indoors look about him. I asked him where the other 7999990 scientologists were that day; he replied that they didn't know we were coming! Uh-huh.
I had to leave just after 3pm for my next appointment, but it was a grand day out. I can recommended it to any other critics who fancy seeing the blankly bemused expressions of unfortunate clams who suddenly find they have to spend all day standing on the pavement handing out Freedom to passers by. It was also nice for me to finally hear the "no christ" quotes since I don't have a soundcard.
Of course, I had my photo taken. I took theirs too. A nice souvenir.
"I'll be back."
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