Re: Boston protest 1.10.99
We all met at a nearby café at 12:30 for a quick bite to eat while we put our picket signs together. Then everyone -- Lady Aida, Marty O'Brien, Ron Newman, Jim Byrd, DW Pierce and I -- bundled up and walked over to the org.
They obviously weren't expecting us because no one was outside when we arrived. We began picketing at 1:00. One man who said his name was Sandy came out and appointed himself my "handler." He walked back and forth with me as I picketed and spoke earnestly to me about the benefits of scientology. I spoke just as earnestly to him about the intimidation and harassment of critics, how scientology runs roughshod over the civil rights not only of critics but also of their own staff and Sea Org members. We were having a really good talk and he was beginning to ask me questions that showed he was learning something from what I was telling him.
But after about ten minutes OSA operatives Maureen O'Keefe, Maria Delgado and Kevin Hall arrived at the org. Maureen immediately pulled Sandy away from me and whispered to him for a long time, obviously ordering him not to talk to me any more because after that Sandy wouldn't say a word to me. But Maureen, Maria and Kevin all shouted at me that I was an SP and that my only terminal is the International Justice Chief, that I need to stop committing continuous present time overts, and that I need to do my A to E. For those of you who aren't familiar with this term, A to E refers to the steps one must take after being declared an SP (suppressive person) if one wants to get back in good standing as a scientologist. I told them I've never seen a declare order on me and that if they have a copy, I'd love to get one. One of them also repeated the line Marty Rathbun used last spring when Bob and I met with him and Rinder at Celebrity Centre, that I am unflat on my RPF program and I should go back to the RPF and finish it.
After about ten or fifteen minutes of this business about me being an SP, they shifted their attention, totally lightened up and concentrated on Ron Newman and Jim Byrd for the rest of the picket. Kevin brought out a picket sign with a drawing of Alfred E. Neumann on it, with text that said something to the effect that Ron Newman looked like Alfred E. Neumann. We picketed until 2:30 (a total of an hour and a half) and for some reason they got a big kick out of kidding Ron about looking like Alfred E. Neumann for about an hour and fifteen minutes. Ron didn't mind; he found it mildly amusing.
They also decided for some reason to kid Jim Byrd about his jacket. This literally went on for over an hour. None of us could figure out what in the world the scientologists were trying to do. Jim had on a jacket with a fur-trimmed hood. Maureen, Kevin and Maria all taunted him about this fur-trimmed hood relentlessly. It never made any sense to any of us.
Gerard Renna, who reportedly has recently been posted as the DSA Boston (Maureen O'Keefe told me this), arrived at about 2:00 looking extremely unhappy at having to come to work on his day off. He disappeared soon after he arrived.
Maureen took Lady Aida aside and spoke to her for probably fifteen minutes alone. Even from a distance I could see that Maureen was doing her usual "heartfelt appeal" performance. Lady Aida later said Maureen was pleading with her not to hand out fliers with any OT materials in them. This is the same thing Maureen has done when she has pulled Bob aside and spoken to him privately. This seems to be one of Maureen's particular orders -- to get everyone to stop passing out OT literature. You know, the Xenu story.
We picketed for a total of an hour and a half. By the time we were done my hands were totally frozen. I'm going to try to find some battery-operated hand warmers for the next Boston picket, although no one else seemed to have the same trouble at all. At 2:30 we adjourned, said farewell to our Boston OSA friends and returned to the Other Side Café for something warm to drink. We all decided it was a very successful picket.
Marty O'Brien videoed the entire event and planned to have the video available on Real Video as soon as possible, for anyone who is interested.
DW Pierce drove me back to New Hampshire, since he lives just north. On the trip home we had a lengthy discussion about the value of organizing nationwide pickets to educate the general public about scientology. More to come on that subject...
Bob wasn't able to be with us for the picket yesterday, because he had a date with his daughters.
However, Bob and I were hard at work today, entertaining Steve Hassan for lunch in cold New Hampshire. Steve agreed to make a video for dissemination over the internet which will give all picketers more effective means of communicating with hard-core front-line scientologists during pickets.