"What are you saying?" - "squeak" - "You were blown up in a volcano 75 million years ago?" - "squeak, squeak"....and contributed to the almost unanimous support among passers-by. There were people coming out after doing the 'personality test' and then having a laugh with us.
The Scientologists responded by mostly non-confronting, but then sending out Jacques Vollet to do some photography. We out-camera'd them (pictures will appear on the Web shortly), and then Jacques retreated to a public phone plastered with prostitutes' cards rather than using the phone in the "org". Did he have something to say to his bosses that he did not want the menials in the "org" to hear?
Eventually they responded by playing some kind of music from a cassette machine on an extension lead. One passer-by suggested we should try and get it stopped as they were not displaying the necessary authorisation from the Performing Rights Society, but as it was so bad as to probably be from L. Ron Hubbard himself, we let it pass. They handed out a 'Think for yourself' leaflet which included such gems as:
YES I want to discover for myself what Scientology really is. Please send me ___copy/copies of Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought so I can read it and make my own decision.(Note spelling of rumor in a British leaflet) This is followed by an order form
I'd rather listen to media claptrap from the yapping jaws of prepaid rumor mongers whose job it is to keep people ignorant and confused
The leaflet ends with a classic acknowledgement
Copyright 1998 CSEU. All Rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgement is made to the L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce a selection of the copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard. SCIENTOLOGY and Dianetics are trademarks and service marks owned by Religious Technology Center and are used with its permission. Services relating to Scientology are delivered throughout the world exclusively by licensees of the Church of Scientology with the permission of Religious Technology Center, holder of the SCIENTOLOGY and DIANETICS trademarks. Printed in SpainSPAIN? Does this mean that there are no British printers left who Scientology have not yet stiffed with an unpaid bill?
John *** "THE HOUSE GPM So called because a House (internal room) may appear when it is contacted. This GPM may be in the bank two or more times around Trillions 40,029 and Trillions 37,016 These dates may vary and some may have received it once or several times." L. Ron Hubbard - New Era Dianetics for Operating Thetans ***
TC Road is a busy street in London's main shopping area best known for its Hi-fi bargain shops. Unfortunately as well as pedestrians it also a one-way throughfare, but only a passing fire engine was able to drown out Roland's 'Tone 40'.
Xemu was unable to attend, he did however sent a number of the inflatable toys he will be merchanting in conjunction with his forthcoming book 'Battlefield Teegeack'.
Also on display was a new T-shirt with Ron demonstrating tomato auditing on the front and an appropriate OT plant quote on the rear.
Following my usual handler avoidance Tech I crossed the road to distribute my leaflets (about 100 each of 'Xemu', 'Lisa' and 'Cult of Greed and Power'). OSA tech had sussed me out however - they cunningly sent a young lady across to counter leaflet! Not that I minded, since as you will have seen from John Ritson's post CoS(UK) leaflets are remarkably silly and a sign of how defensive the CoS has become. Ron would not have approved.
Since this was our first picket for while (even SPs need a break now and then) and the internet is still expanding exponentially, if there are any newcomers to ARS who would like to join us please get in touch.
It was one of the best recent UK pickets in terms of public response. The street was very busy and we spread ourselves along the street, covering both sides. We're so used to doing this now that our teamwork is very good indeed. Dave was better than he's ever been on the amplified vocals, getting straight to the point with "Scientology is a money-grubbing UFO cult. They charge you real money to exorcise imaginary space aliens". He explained the price structure, the deaths of Richard Collins, Patrice Vic and the others, Hubbard's drug abuse and of course OT3 in considerable detail. There was laughter from passers-by all along the street when they heard us calling Scientology a scam. Several people came up to us and thanked us vigourously for what we were doing.
The big inflatable aliens that most of us were wearing worked well in attracting the public- everybody likes an alien! At one point a smiling female passer-by came up and squeezed my alien. I can honestly say I've never had *that* happen before.
We were very proud to have a guest picketer; Andreas from Norway, the man Scientology cannot touch. He did his own moving picket back and forth in front of the org, looking totally cool and unfazeable.
Once again, we had new t-shirts to impress the scienos with. On the front, a picture in three colours of Ron auditing tomatoes and on the back the old OT-7 quote about communicating to plants and animals. It felt particularly good to be wearing that quote on a t-shirt, considering the huge frenzy that Helena Kobrin went into during July 1995 to try and keep that quote from being posted.
As usual, the response from the org took ages to materialise. One aspect of this was to put a large sign outside the org with "Think for Yourself: Scientology". This sign was in three parts and for a while they only had one part: "rself tology". (Wasn't selftology the crazy murderous cult in Millenium, before Co$ lawyers pressured them to change the name?) A few counter-picketers appeared, but we greatly outnumbered them at every stage. Dave gave them some gentle taunting about how postulating us away wouldn't work. The whole experience must have been massively humiliating for the body routers.
>The leaflet ends with a classic acknowledgement >"Copyright 1998 CSEU. All Rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgement is
This is very interesting. All the leaflets I have seen from them so far are Copyright COSRECI (Church of Scientology Religious Education College, Inc.). COSRECI is the main defendant in the Bonnie Woods case. Perhaps COSRECI is being disconnected from the rest of Scientology in case of an adverse judgement? Just my amateur speculation.
Anyway, thanks to all those without whom etc. etc.
This is actually the fourth time I've visited the clam shop in Tottenham Court Road. The first time I got my mandatory OCA test done, with a following loud debate outside after worth. That was the first time I met Roland btw. The third time I only passed them a couple of times while walking the streets of London shopping (I travel to UK 4-6 times each year) The third time was a stunt demo with Roland and John (don't think this was reported to ARS). This fourth time was definitely the best! A dozen wogs, all fit for fight, and a lot of props made the Fitzroy Tavern in Charlotte Street their base camp (first time I've directed a taxi using an ASCII map, good work Dave). I'd just returned for a hectic visit to Cairo in Egypt so I was a rather worn out when I arrived. Some good advise from Roland to get rid of the heartburn and a pint of local brew made me feel much better. :-)
Leaflets were to be folded, the great new t-shirts inspected and we had some fun while the BTs were blown up. The t-shirts has the picture of Hubbard auditing a tomato on the front with the text "SCIENTOLOGY IS FOR VEGETABLES". One of the first ones to approach me during the demo was a guy claiming it was an insult to the vegetables (he was a vegetarian!), but promptly added with a smile that he supported us 100 per cent. I liked the logic that eating them was less bad than calling them Scientologists!
When installed for the main demo outside the clam shop I found myself in a mood for marching (any exercise would do me good since I've in the last week either been in a taxi, airport terminal stool or airplane seat). There was several great leaflets to pick from, most with color images on the front (Lisa, Xenu, etc). People wanted much more than we had anticipated and we had to fold the rest during the picket.
Many who passed by gave their support and called the Scientologists crazy. Some was clearly very impressed we had a demo against them. The clams first reaction was to close the front door, cowards. Not many inside, only a handful visible. Then they started giving out leaflets but it didn't seem like they could agree on how to organize it. Two guys I saw was directed back and forth several times. The guy that did my OCA test last year left the shop twice, but I never saw him enter or join the counter demo. The woman (girl) clams did not like me, when I tried to tell them about Lisa they ran away. No wonder I'm single! Jacques Vollet (Head of Investigations, OSA Europe) asked me once if I knew anybody who had disconnected from CoS (the sign I carried asked Scientologists not to disconnect from their families and that they truly loved them). When I answered yes, several, he wanted names. Told him I wouldn't give him names of people who felt his cult was a threat. Tried to talk to several of the clams, but they refused to answer or told me not to talk to them. I wonder what scared them so much. When I was alone the first time there I had 6 clams in my face accusing me of being a criminal. Their next response to our demo was a sign under the big display window with "Think for yourself" and "SCIENTOLOGY". Not long after two police came and stood right in front of it. When cuts from Hubbard lectures were played on the sound system they placed a tiny cassette player on the ground outside the door playing some music. Did't help much against the powerful wog equipment, but I felt sorry for the two police who had to stand there listening to both. Jacques Vollet did a brave job recording the Hubbard voice roaming Tottenham Court Road. "There was no Christ" he said and the clam girls went inside. ;)
Now I'm back in Norway with my newly acquired t-shirt, just waiting for the next demo to join. I really enjoyed the event, definitely a big win for ARSCC in Europe! And it was especially nice for me to finally meet other wogs face to face. Since I live so far away from other public critics and any clam shop I seldom se neither. Very good inspiration with this demo! Good breed of wogs in UK, with lots of fun props and leaflets. :-) Thanks to all of you and hope to see you next time I'm in London.
In July Jens, PeterL and myself put paid to the clams motion at NCCL AGM. In August we put a lot of effort into countering Clams On The Run, some of which was a complete failure and some of which may pay off later....in particular, we were after a major media outlet which was always ALMOST doing a story and never quite did; though they probably will cover an upcoming courtcase in November. So the final date of CoTR sort of hung on as to whether we would or wouldn't get some follow-up stories. Roland did, however, independently get the Punch article; and is regularly approached in the street by Dentists asking for his signature and dental moulding.
So, already well into September, we hastily fixed a London demo to coincide with Andreas' visit. Roland and myself were first at the "secret" rendezvous....OK, it's the Fitzroy Tavern in Fitzrovia; basically turn right after the bOrg into GoodgeSt and a little way round the corner into a paralell street.
| | ==0==tube(metro) bOrg| | ___________| |_______| | ____GoodgeSt _______ | | | | | | |F.T. |TottenhamCourtRoad | | | |
We had the new tee-shirt to pass round. I has some six-inch space stuffed toy space aliens; but these were quite outshaddowed by half a dozen yard/metrelong inflatable space aliens Roland had seen and bought at a street stall on Friday. Present were Dave, Roland, Jens, PeterL--later PeterH--Andreas, MartinP, Damian, JohnR, Hartley, and a new guy who would only identify himself to OSA as "David". When I arrived they had a "now hiring" sign, so I stuck my head round the door to ask what the hourly rate was and whether they still had vacancies....only between their ears, apparently, for they seemed quite incapable of answering such basic questions.
We turned out at noon but there was very little activity. It seemed almost a shame to go back to the warm pub, but we did :->. One O'Clock we all trooped round and began in earnest, with the big space aliens this time. We had our mighty sound system which gives a good clear projection of midrange/baritone speech for about 40ft in heavy traffic noise. Incidentally anyone can build this for themselves, you would need a car radiocassette(plus CDplayer?) with about 60W external booster all powered from a motorbike "gell"battery, then four of the large size outdoor PA horns rated about 30Watts--smaller ones distort. It's all in a component catalogue such as Maplin. Such a system makes no attempt to go much lower than a mid-bass man's voice i.e.it loses most of the range where a piano lefthand or bass guitar would be. Unfortunately it loses the sound of the squeaker in the inflatable space aliens -- yes they have sqeakers! -- when we did a bit of ventriloquism ("then what did that naughty Xemu do" squeakity squeak squawk "he blew you up...what, with compressed air?" squikkitty squikkitty squikkity headshake headshake "oh, he blew you up with h-bombs. Then what? He took you to the movies?? Gee, usually you take people to movies first and blow them afterwards"). Eventually I resorted to banging my alien's head against the mike to get a sound when it "spoke".
Lots of singing and chanting. Once there was a soundrel and his name was Ron, da ElRonRonRon da ElRonRon. Little Ghosties up your Nostrils, Little Ghosties up your Ass. Xemu loves me this I Know/High above the Volcayno. Etcetera etcetera. Roland had a blast at PseudoParaScientific-DiaNetIcs-ProCess, and a spot of ventiloquism. He has a miniature VCR and video'ed most of the demo. We were aware the clams had been ordered to "get snappy" with demonstrators in the US; we had told the police frankly we wouldn't take any nonsense, and they should just take the videotapes straight into a tagged evidence bag if there was monkeybusiness. One cop arrived, tall and thin in his early twenties, couldn't help grinning at our antics...later joined by another female cop. They stayed on the frontage talking to the clams, but I think the point had been made that they were on the look out for provocation or pushing and it wouldn't be allowed to happen. Well, it was pretty hilarious, people shouting about spacealien cults and waving 3ft inflatable space aliens in the air. I carried on in good voice the whole way through; after three hours I was ready to go on singing and chanting for a couple more, though when I stopped I noticed I was getting a little stiff and chilly.
About an hour into the main demo, the clams came out with a long wooden sign which I read out as
"(u)rself, (u)ntology."Yes, think for yourself, Scientology. Think for yourself, ask for the pricelist! They couldn't think what to do so they asked Saint Hill and were told "paint a sign saying think for yourself", two hours into the demo they phoned up Saint Hill for how to react and were told "put the sign out". I guess the ED's sealed orders said "now feed the monkey"[old joke]. Oh, and they had a crappy five watt ghetto blaster to try drowning our sound out....you could barely hear it at 6ft over the traffic even we ours was silent :->.
They had apparently been told to be there addressing the public but ignore our presence. You could see them turn their heads slowly, suddenly click 5 degrees across where we were, then keep on tracking slowly. Hmm. Confronting by not confronting; communicating by not communicating; controlling reality by ignoring reality. But there is only one objective reality----if a pigeon flew over and crapped on their heads, it would definitely be at cause over them. Pathetic. Only Jacques would occasionally meet my gaze, rather sorrowfully as if one day I would see how misguided I had been not paying all my money to shout at ashtrays....or one day he would catch my dog without his waterwings and this would be all my fault for opposing Scn. He kept taping our loudspeakers saying "the man on the cross there was no christ" (hey, gonna sue us for that OSA? that would make wonderful press headlines wouldn't it). Also he kept framing shots of me with his camera but never actually took one: no budget for film, I guess. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. I could just explain to people, see a complete schitzophrenic frozen in catatonia, see here the earlier stages of madness learned from a madman called Hubbard this guy has cut off normal behaviour and uses it only in a conscious manipulative way as ordered. That's $cientology for ya, madness in a can. Two cans, in fact, formerly full of Campbell's soup.
I guess they thought they had done something to us --- Xemu knows what, because they hadn't actually DONE anything to us lately --- to shut us down. Nope. We were tied up for a couple of months on the (partially) failed experiment against Clams On The Run. But here we are back again, every month or two in one place or another, for ever and ever until the orgs close down and are sold for burger joints. Amen!
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