Australian Critics of Scientology
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Picket report, Minneapolis, 7/17/98

Steve A, Sat 18 Jul 1998

From: (Steve A)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: Picket report, Minneapolis, 7/17/98
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 18:27:25 GMT
Message-ID: <>

On Sat, 18 Jul 1998 08:23:34 GMT, (Bat Child (Sue
M.)) wrote:

> People seemed to be pretty approving, as they were on my last picket.
> I got a thumbs up sign from one Metro Transit bus driver.  I'm still
> trying to work on my flyer tech--usually I'll wait till I know someone
> has read my sign before I'll offer them a flyer but people usually
> would cheerfully take one; several other people also came up to me to
> ask me for one of my flyers.  I'm guessing I handed out between 30-40
> Xemu flyers.

[This isn't addressed specifically at you, BatChild, but at everyone
who's had trouble with the leaflet tech] 

The problem, in my experience, is that most people are somewhat
reluctant to accept things handed to them by strangers. If the first
intimation they have of you as a person is a hand thrust at them
holding a leaflet, the general reaction is to attempt to avoid the
leaflet first.

What I found worked much better was to watch people as they approached
from 5-10 metres away, or so, and make eye contact while they are
still at a "safe" distance from you. Hopefully, that way, they're a)
less likely to write you off as a kook, and b) will find it harder to
refuse your offered leaflet.

Make sure that you offer a leaflet to every member of a group of
people - one person might just tuck it in his back pocket and forget
it, but if they go away with handfuls each, they'll be talking about

Start talking to them as they approach, in a normal conversational
tone - so they have to get closer to listen - and use short, punchy
sentences: you have their attention for perhaps 3 or 4 seconds, so
it's got to be snappy.

It's safe to assume that any initial reaction may well be because they
think you're Scientologists. If you're getting negative vibes, make
sure to say "We're protesting against Scientology", or "We're _not_
Scientology". I found the more extreme "This cult kills people" was
good at stopping people in their tracks, but I think it can be
somewhat counterproductive, too.

Usual conversational stuff, only in spades: use that eye contact, and
smile. If your face doesn't hurt as much as your feet and throat by
the end of the day, you aren't smiling enough. Use your voice to
interest people, and target your approach for the type of individual
you see: young people might respond well to "this cult kills people",
but middle-aged middle-class people will, in general, not want to be
hit between the eyes with it in quite the same way. "This cult
destroys families" might work better there.

Oh, and talk to people's kids. I get the impression that most parents
seem to think that no-one would want to even *look* at their
offspring, much less have a conversation with them. Dogs, too, if
you're not one of these people that dogs think should be in a tin.

Make a "gift" of the leaflet as you hand it out - after all, YOU
designed them, YOU printed them and YOU paid for them, and you're damn
proud of them, right? So hand 'em out like they were the originals of
the Constitution, and they've been SELECTED to receive them.

I'm not saying that this is the only way, but it was getting 4-500
leaflets out in an afternoon's picketing [hey, guys, remember when we
got through nearly 2000 leaflets outside the TCR org one time?]

> must really be stupid.  A woman who was sitting in a nearby seat
> replied, "Well, all Travolta knows about Scn is the great treatment he
> gets at the Celebrity Centre; he doesn't see all the crummy stuff that
> the regular members see."  It turns out the woman was an ex-member;
> she left the church quite a long time ago (about 20+ years?); I don't
> know how long she was in or where.  She also said that there were some
> useful things about the tech but it was the management that was so
> rotten, and said she thought L. Ron Hubbard could possibly have been
> murdered by the people in his inner circle--said how suspicious it was
> that his death wasn't announced for several days and then they
> immediately had him cremated after his death and had his ashes
> scattered at sea.  The man then got off at his stop and the woman got
> off a few blocks later.  I told her I was glad she got out of Scn and
> she said something like that she wasn't really either pro- or anti-Scn
> any more.  Then I continued on my bus ride home.  

This is great! That woman had probably all but forgotten about
Scientology. Now, she remembers, and she knows that there are people
out there who feel like her.

If she's on the 'net, you can bet she'll be surfing around, even if
only to get up to date on her old mates. Nice enturbulation, BatChild!

> Well I've taken longer to write this picket report than I did actually
> picketing!  Sorry about that!  So this is it for now.  :-)

Nice report. 
Practicing medicine without a licence? You decide:
  "Step Four - Cures for Illness
  You will now find BTs and clusters being cures for illnesses 
  of the body part. Handle all such BTs and clusters by blowing
  them off. "Cures for Illness" will then cease to read.
           [NOTS 34, Fair Use excerpt]

Steve A, SP4, GGBC, KBM, Unsalvageable PTS/SP #12.
<SARCASM>I am a Scientologist</SARCASM>

[Leaflets from Scientology demonstrations]