Australian Critics of Scientology
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On Picketing Scientology

Garry Scarff, Mon 26 May 1997

[NOTE: Be sure not to blow your top at a CoS counter-picketer the way Garry did here :-) - d.]

From: I Wanna Be Mike Rinder's Boy Toy <>
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Scarff on Picketing Scientology
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 19:49:10 -0400
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.970526165457.19523C-100000@shell>

I've been asked by several posters, specifically Roland in the U.K. and Jens (France?) to comment on picketing Scientology. Although I've only picketed the Scientology organization once last March at Flag in Clearwater, Florida, I have picketed on behalf of Scientology, as an agent of OSA, against the former Cult Awareness Network. My last OSA picket against CAN occurred in November 1991 on the anniversary of the Jonestown tragedy. I'd learned that Priscilla Coates & CAN President Patricia Ryan were to speak at a memorial at the Jewish Federation Building on Wilsher Blvd. in Los Angeles. I was accompanied to the picket by Matt Bratchi (who worked on op with Eugene Ingram in Tampa area which led to arrest warrant issued for impersonating a police officer), Robert Lippman (an outspoken Jewish Scientologist that the church uses to address the "similarities" between German persecution of Scientologists and the Holocaust, and one of the 20+ Scientologists to bring SLAPP litigation vs. CAN and Cynthia Kisser) and Patrick, a cameraman who videotaped our disruption of the CAN event. (Patrick, ironically, also filmed the German team and I in Los Angeles & sat across from me at a dinner table hosted by Mike Rinder, Leisa Goodman & Elliot Abelson. I enjoy the enturbulation).

There really isn't specific rules for successful picketings and if one understands the programming that is involved when you are confronted by a Scientologist whose aim is to stop you from picketing, it is fuel for future picketing. As Jeff J., Steve F., Margaret H., Jeff L., Rod K., Arnie L., Lawrence W. can testify, there were several ways they found to be successful, which didn't always meet with the approval of others, but as Ray Raymond can attest (he monitored the radio transmissions of the Scienos encircling Ft. Harrison & the picket site, the counterpicketers were greatly enturbulated by our presence).

Observed in Clearwater were picketers that maintained a serious demeanor throughout refusing to speak which resulted in a substantial number of Scientologists crowding them, stepping in front of them, using their signs to block their sign from being observed by the general public, and a few Scienos specically assigned to "handle" them by taunting them into verbal responses & altercations.. Some of us took a more softened approach talking to the counter-demonstrators, using the opportunity to to correct them on facts relevent to Lisa McPherson's death, to challenge the church's abuses & repression towards church members and critics. I found it to be a great opportunity to talk with the numerous Scientology children (including a small 5-yr. old boy sent to "handle" me. I believe that the picketers that displayed a very human side of the picket to church members left a more constructive & positive impression then those that chose to keep a serious tone & not speak.

It was also a great opportunity to invalidate some of the Scieno's that they fled particularly when the observed I was acquainted with the powerful Mike Rinder & a church attorney. One woman tailed me so darn close that she kept stepping on my heels & kept disparaging me that I mentioned to her that I would have to report her to Rinder (not that he cared, but it was a wonderful advantage to take). She decided to ask Rinder herself if he knew me. When Rinder replied that I used to be a church member & had worked in OSA, she smiled at me nervously and walked very quickly in the other direction. I never saw her for the rest of the day.

Scientologists take the PTS/SP course which teaches them how to handle & disconnect from Suppressive Persons (SPs) and Squirrels (persons who are seen as corrupting the "tech", i.e. David & Julie Mayo). During the Clearwater picket, they were used interchangeably in accusing me of being a religious bigot, a member of the CAN Hate Group (which I took great enjoyment in revealing was a Scientology operation which too them by surprise. While OSA coordinates the counterdemonstrations & observes them keeping specific records of events BY THE MINUTE, photographs & films the picketers for identification, investigation & followup for possible future operations & discovery, it's the routine church member that is called up to do the dirty work. The counterdemonstrators in Clearwater was a good example. I observed professionals & senior citizens walking in the blazing sun clearly antithetical to a normal life routine. Consequently, I was providing water to Scientologist's dressed in suits & ties and fashion wear that were nearing heat exhaustion. (One Scieno told me they had been cut off from the water fountains when paranoid staff locked the front doors of the Ft. Harrison) But that did not matter as their instruction was to engage the picket in a verbally & obtrusive manner, absent of actual physical assault to persuade the SP/squirrel to end the picket.

I tried my very best to be as humane as possible which was not always that easy. I warned one young lady to back off and stop poking me in the face with her sign. I guess she figured she was getting some big Wins by doing so until my temper blew, grabbed her by the neck and flung her to the ground as someone with a camera filmed it. Luckily, I had several witnesses attest to the events and after a meeting with Clearwater Police & an agreement by Elliot Abelson to prevent it's occurrence, I dropped the matter. Several times throughout the day as church members became heatedly more aggressive with the picketers (no doubt aided by the heat & sun), I observed Abelson & church staff acting more diligent in protecting the picketers.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the picket and believed that my picketing was very effective as evidenced by others. (1) When the Scientologists were able to relate to you on a human level, despite all of the insidious and derogatory slants in their conversations, they did not see us as a threat. In one particular instance as I was talking to an elderly church member from Germany (whom had donated $22.4 million of her cosmetics fortune to Scientology) and I had 5-6 counterdemonstrators behind me, I was called by L. Wollersheim to join him and not to "engage them." I ignored him. As he walked away visibly angry, chastising the Scieno's around him, he attracted a horde of running Scieno's latching onto him like a hive of starving bees that just found a honey pot. All six of those handling me were not in Wollersheim's entourage and I was hounded by no one; (2) In a picture-perfect moment, I observed Steve Fishman running & laughing as he played evasion with his handlers, as he loudly recited the OT3 wearing a T-shirt printed with the OT3 on it (as nervous Scieno's scurried about trying to shadow Steve so the print could not be seen).(3) a young man who wanted to picket decided to run amok with his picket sign as he was aggressively pursued by a Scientologist chasing him and trying to block his sign; (4) a horde of Scientologists who'd obviously had not attained OT3 status yet and were mystifed by Fishman's oration of of it were further enturbulated when the great RogueAgent appeared as Xenu, complete with alien mask & ray gun. Like bees attracted to a 2nd bowl of honey, RogueAgent saw nothing but Scieno's around him.

The Church of Scientology & Religious Technology Center is very paranoid and fearful of an impending collapse of their organizations. Public relations & the public's perception of them is viewed as so vital, they will go to exhaustive means ($$$ being no object) to preserve this, no matter how misrepresented the facts are. To insure that this aim is being carried out, OSA assigns cameramen to film the pickets to not only I.D. the picketers but also to film their own church members and staff to insure they are in compliance with standard directives.

As observed in Clearwater as I made a point of conversing & challenging Flag staff & security agents (pissed off at my distributing copies of secret level church documents to the media), they were spied upon by other staff most noticeably Brian Anderson, Director of Flag OSA, and Mike Rinder. Also observed was Mike Rinder admonishing a security agent not to "start anything" because of the watchful eye of Clearwater police officers intermingled in the crowd. How does OSA handle such entheta without the guidance of LRH? Remember that the current Scientology organization is not representative of LRH than in an honorary sense for a founder. This is becoming increasingly evident as facts point to the possibly murder of LRH by RTC executives concerned over the David Miscavige's hierarchical preservation of the organization.

The key to successful picketing is to have a goal, to stay focused on that goal, to engage in humane & respectful dialogue with church members (they may be picketing WITH you in the near future) with the idea of leaving something with the church member to ponde. Believe me, it skewers the programming they've had to see us as evil & hateful beings. If you leave them with the idea that you can be converted to their side, it SHUTDOWNS their programming & leaves them confused & vulnerable, thus giving you an opportunity to say something that just might lead to the Church having one less member to scam & control.

I hope this helps.


Garry Scarff

[Hints and Tips for demonstrating against Scientology]