Australian Critics of Scientology
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Picket report: Sydney, 7th Dec

Zed, Fri 06 Dec 1996

From: (Zed)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Picket report: Sydney, 7th Dec
Date: Fri, 06 Dec 1996 23:14:52 GMT
Message-ID: <58bg62$>


Five people this time: me, Tony, David Bromage and two others who 
didn't want to be identified. Roughly 13 Scientologists - 9 adults and

4 children -  staged a counter-picket.

I briefly saw the same distractions that were at the September picket 
- - "Don't Raise the Titanic" and "the World Ends at 9:45" - but they 
didn't last very long this time. The anti-Cultaware theme was very 
aggressively put forward, with three different leaflets being handed 
out(which I'll be posting).

The credit for ensuring that Tony's leaflets were handed out to people

despite the attempt at "overwhelm" by the Church goes largely to a 
woman who was picketing with us. Upon seeing someone who already had a

$cientology leaflet, she would - all in the space of about two seconds

- - say "you've got for, this is against, best to get both sides", and

hand them her leaflet. It was so incredibly simple, but so incredibly 
effective - people who'd taken a $cientology leaflet or three almost 
invariably took one of hers. Superb.

Pleasingly, the Scientologists didn't seem particularly happy to have 
to be out there, and packed up immediately when 1pm came around. It 
was quite a circus for a while, but we managed to hand out plenty of 
leaflets regardless. Attempts at bull-baiting were made as usual, 
along with attempts to lure picketers into conversation, keeping them 
from handing out leaflets. Fortunately, Sydney appears to have 
developed a good "take no bullshit" ad-hoc picketing team, and there 
was always at least one person with a leaflet ready. I didn't get 
tagged with "Bruce the Pomeranian" even once - he appeared 
uncharacteristically subdued.

Tony had also prepared some leaflets with Internet addresses on them. 
Unfortunately none of them were handed out because one Scientologist 
girl snatched the whole lot and ran away with them.

I will now claim the dubious honour of being the picketer harassed the

most by the Co$ picketers. Tony might have got more, but it certainly 
felt like I was getting the brunt of the attention. I had the crack 
troops on my case: three pre-adolescent girls. I had prepared about 60

floppy disks for the occasion with various files on them which I was 
offering to various people. I only got a few out, but I've asked 
people to duplicate the contents of the disk and pass it on to others 
if they think it's worth it. Of course, the $cientologists didn't like

me handing them out. For what seemed like hours I was face-to-face 
with a group of schoolkids asking for a disk, pleading for a disk, 
cajoling me for a disk, and demanding me for a disk. I gave them one, 
but of course they demanded another one. There's no doubt in my mind 
that the only reason they were asking was to try and prevent them 
being handed out to other people. Suggestions that I had stolen the 
disks, that the disks had a virus and that the disks contained 
copyrighted material were all spouted at anyone I offered a disk to.

A woman was holding a tape recorder as close to me as she could 
without me immediately noticing it while this was going on. Later she 
claimed that it wasn't turned on(although how a tape can come to the 
end of a side when it isn't running is beyond me). I'll be interested 
in what they intend to do with the tape.

But the real kicker came when a Scientologist who I later learned was 
named Sandra(the surname could be "Hutchence", but I'm not sure) 
attacked my disks directly. I was carrying the disks in a plastic bag.

While I was talking to someone else, Sandra was apparently tearing a 
whole in the plastic in order to get at them. I first noticed it when 
the disks fell in pile on the ground. Before I could pick them up, 
Sarah kicked them all over the place(I later learned that she kicked 
them twice - I was too busy scrambling to pick them up to notice).

I recovered most of them, but Sandra managed to purloin one pack of 
ten disks. My next reaction resulted more from anger than anything 
else, and was possibly more extreme than was necessary. I tried to 
pull the disks out of Sandra's hands. She wouldn't let go, and tried 
to stop me from getting my hands on them. Tony also tried to take them

back, while David Bromage kindly suggested that it was a bad idea to 
steal someone else's property. She eventually returned them when told 
to by Henry Bartnik himself. Thankyou, Henry - take appropriate 
measures for Sandra's unethical behaviour and we can both forget about

the matter. I called the police to file a complaint. They said they 
would send a patrol car around to look at the situation. It never 
turned up. One comment as I was trying to take the disks back: 
"that'll look good in a photo!" Next time I bring a camera - a photo 
of a Scientologist kicking someone else's disks all over the place is 
NOT good PR. 

Sandra then shadowed me for most of the rest of the picket, noting 
that there was no sign of the police, and perhaps they agreed with 
Scientology rather than me. No matter. 

Standard operating procedure now requires a Scientologist to claim 
that I have lied disgracefully about the above events, and in reality 
it was me picking on the poor Scientologist victim. Who will oblige?

I would rate the overall effectiveness of the picket as "good, but 
could be much better". Next picket: March, 1997.

   Zed                                       PGP key on Request
 ****PGP is obviously a good idea - look at who objects to it****
 Resources for Ex-Scientologists:
 "This program will handle everything you said you wanted handled. All
 it will cost you is $2,500." I asked, "Is that ALL everything here 
 will cost me?" She replied in a very definitive voice, "YES, that's 
 all." -- conversation between Wayne Whitney and a Scn recruiter.

Version: 2.6.3ia
Charset: cp850


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