Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
Volume 3, Issue 36
by Rod Keller
Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors, whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some of the most significant postings.
The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles in the newsgroup before expiring them.
Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available, just email me at
ABC News program 20/20 aired a show on Scientology this week. From the ABC
"The Church of Scientology, which claims a membership of 8 million worldwide, inspires a passion in its members as strong as any other faith. Yet a number of critics call the church's practices extreme and, in some cases, dangerous. Two years ago, the controversy turned into a criminal investigation after the sudden death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson at the age of 34. McPherson's family claims Scientologists held her captive - without food and water - and watched her die of dehydration.
"Exclusive video of a Scientologist 'auditing' session - the practice where church members relive painful events, sometimes from previous lives hundreds or even thousands of years ago Rare interviews with celebrity church members John Travolta and Kirstie Alley Interviews with five former church members who claim they were held captive by Scientologists in what they call prison camps An interview with Frank Oliver, a former member of Scientology's internal security force, who says he personally took part in campaigns to harass, intimidate and threaten those regarded as enemies of the church.
"Frank Oliver, former Scientologist internal security official: 'They can send private investigators out to your home or to your place of work, talk to your neighbors - they will illicitly try and obtain copies of your phone bills or credit rating - they will try and create problems for you at your place of employment. They will try and sue you. They'll do everything they can try and do to stop you or to silence you.'
"Stacy Young, former church member: "At 4 in the morning one night - Vaughn and I were asleep, and there was a knock on the door, and two security guards were there, and they took me away into the prison camp. Vaughn Young, former church member: 'You go through interrogations, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month. Breaking you down. Breaking you down, breaking you down.'"
The broadcast of Investigative Reports on the A&E cable network was the
subject of newspaper reviews this week. From the Boston Herald:
"In a rare TV appearance last night the Church of Scientology's top leaders acknowledged that the controversial church has made mistakes - but they reaffirmed a church policy of using aggressive tactics in its 'war' with journalists, critics and the U.S. government.
"'In any war there's casualties on both sides. . . . On our side, we've made our mistakes,' David Miscavige, the church's reclusive leader, said in his first TV interview since jousting with ABC's Ted Koppel in 1992. The Miscavige interview aired on a two-hour 'A&E Investigative Reports' show that has the feel of a glowing infomercial for Scientology, featuring long interviews with church celebrities John Travolta and Isaac Hayes.
"Though the A&E show has a distinctly pro-Scientology approach, it also includes comments from several critics who condemn Scientology as a powerful, global money-making scam. But the show does not deal with whether Scientology has given up its longtime high-pressure sales methods, which often lead to fraud and deceit claims. Instead A&E portrays Scientology as a victim of oppression by the U.S. government, psychiatrists and the media - including Time magazine and the Boston Herald.
"The A&E show often avoids criticizing Scientology. A&E says Lisa McPherson, 36, died while 'convalescing' in a church-owned Florida hotel. But the show fails to note that the mentally disturbed McPherson was allegedly held against her will and deprived of water by Scientologists for up to 17 days until she lost more than 40 pounds and died of dehydration. The church has pleaded innocent to criminal abuse and neglect charges.
"Also, A&E credits Scientology for exposing psychiatric abuses in apartheid South Africa. But A&E fails to note that Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, in a well-known Oct. 16, 1968 memo, energetically offered the church's 'E-Meters' - devices like lie detectors - to aid the racist South African police in interrogating black captives.
>From the Chicago Tribune:
"As 'Inside Scientology,' a two-hour presentation of the Emmy Award-winning 'A&E Investigative Reports with Bill Kurtis,' painstakingly documents nearly everything else about Hubbard and the controversial 48-year-old organization he founded is open to impassioned and heated debate. Is Scientology a religion or a cult? Was Hubbard, who passed away in 1986, a savior or a charlatan?
"Proponents and critics are separated by an abyss of mutual and heartfelt paranoia and distrust. Scientology, says its followers, does not lend itself to a sound bite on the evening news and has been demonized by the media. Reporters who have investigated Scientology tell horror stories about relentless harassment that frustrated their efforts and bedeviled their lives. None of this was lost on Jonathon Stack, who produced this documentary. 'When I talked to A&E about doing an 'Investigative Report' (about Scientology), people freaked out. They thought I was sacrificing life and freedoms. That scared me and intrigued me. How can this be in America that you cannot do a film about something?'
"When it came time for Stack and Ewing to contact Scientology, they were perhaps unsettled, but not surprised to learn that officials were familiar with the project in progress. 'The conversation started with suspicion on their part,' Stack recalled. 'We had our recording devices and they had theirs. They wanted to know why we hadn't contacted them earlier. I told the truth. I said I was afraid. They said they appreciated my honesty, and we kept reminding each other that the best way to approach the project was to be open-minded. That's where the journey began.'
"'Inside Scientology' chronicles this nearly five-decades-old 'war of attrition' the church continues to wage with its critics abroad (the German government has banned it) and at home. In 1991, Time magazine published a devastating cover story, 'The Cult of Greed.' Scientology responded with a $416 [sic] libel suit (which it eventually lost, but at great expense to Time) as well as multi-million dollar ad campaign against the magazine."
Assault and battery charges were dropped this week against Bob Minton. The
charges were filed after an incident outside the Boston org while
"Minton had been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon stemming from picketing he conducted of the Boston Office of Scientology on September 10, 1998. The case was scheduled to begin today with jury selection. The Suffolk County District Attorney elected to dismiss the case, rather than proceed to trial. Minton has agreed that for the next 120 days he will provide 1 hour of advanced notification of his intention to peacefully picket the Boston Office and, in turn, Scientology has agreed to acknowledge his intention to picket peacefully."
"While the district attorney was demanding concessions from Bob and his attorney in order to drop charges, Mr. Minton refused to accept even limited restrictions on time and place of his picketing. Both Mr. Minton and his attorney insisted that Scientology had intentionally planned to provoke an incident on September 10, 1998 in front of the Beacon Street org in order to neutralize Bob's effectiveness as a critic and as a supporter of several initiatives to free captive members of the cult. The video taken by scientologist Kevin Hall of the September incident showed scientologists Hall and Frank Ofman verbally abusing and physically provoking an attack from Minton. Minton finally used his balsa wood picketing stick broken by a blow from the scientologists to defend himself after being slapped by Ofman.
>From the Boston Herald:
"Robert Minton, a self-made millionaire who calls himself Scientology's 'Public Enemy No. 1,' was scheduled to stand trial yesterday on charges he struck a church leader during a scuffle outside the church's Beacon Street headquarters Sept. 10. But Boston Municipal Court Judge Herbert Hershfang agreed to dismiss the assault and battery case if Minton agreed to let church officials know - by fax at least an hour in advance - whenever he plans to picket the church.
"'We're very pleased because we got sanctions,' said Scientology official the Rev. John Carmichael. 'This man has to keep his distance and he has to warn us,' he added.
"But Minton said he struck Scientology public affairs officer Frank Ofman only after Ofman hit him. 'I hit Ofman with a stick to keep him away from me after he slapped me in the face,' said Minton, who was picketing outside the church when the fight broke out."
>From the Boston Globe:
At the urging of Boston Municipal Court Judge Herbert H. Hershfang, the two sides mediated a resolution to the assault and battery charge. Minton agreed to notify the church one hour in advance before he pickets its Beacon Street branch. Ofman dropped the criminal charge in return. Minton is using his wealth to finance litigation against Scientology, which he considers a cult that uses mind-control on its adherents. Ofman said he hopes future picketing by Minton will be 'peaceful' and that Minton will not interfere with church members as they exercise their religious beliefs."
A picket of the Boston org that evening drew protests to the judge from Scientology. From Bob Minton:
"After our victory luncheon in Quincy Market yesterday, Stacy Young, Jesse Prince, Brian Haney and Grady Ward decided a victory picket at the scientology org was appropriate. I drove them to 448 Beacon Street and dropped off Stacy, Jesse and Grady, while Brian and I remained in the car, parked on Hereford Street between Marlborough and Beacon with a clear view of the org. John Carmichael, Maureen O'Keefe and several other unidentified scientologists made the obligatory pilgrimage to my car for the purpose of trying to provoke an incident. They did not succeed, although Brian and I had fun with their ignorance. After fifteen minutes, Stacy, Jesse and Grady returned to the car and we departed, to return another day.
"Unbeknownst to us, at 2:54, two scientologists conducted a picket in front of Therese's house at 39 W. Cedar Street in Boston with picket signs emphasizing the relationship between Stacy and me. It seems that the timing of their picket was designed to coincide with the arrival of my two daughters from school. So much for Maureen O'Keefe's assurance in her letter to Therese of not doing anything to upset the children.
"Today, Frank Ofman sent a letter to the district attorney's office with an ex-parte copy to Judge Hershfang. The letter complained that I had already violated the dismissal agreement by dropping off 'agents' of mine to picket the Church of Scientology Boston org. Since the judge received a copy of Ofman's letter, the judge summoned the district attorney and Steve Jonas, my attorney, to his offices this afternoon, where the matter was discussed in full. It seems the net result of these discussions was that the district attorney would inform scientology that if they wanted this agreement to work they should stop these provocative acts. Soon after this meeting occurred, the scientologists picketed again at Therese's house at 39 W. Cedar Street, in time to greet the girls from school at 3:00. The District Attorney's office will be further informed in the morning about these provocations by scientology"
Cult Awareness Network
Jim Beebe reported this week on the status of the files of the original
Cult Awareness Network.
"Landmark-Forum is suing cynthia Kisser and has been granted access to the CAN Files. Two Landmark attorneys, two representing the CAN (original CAN) Board and two representing the scientologist attorney who is trying to seize the CAN Files, are present. I was one representing the CAN Board. We've been there 3 days now as the Landmark's cull the Files for stuff pertaining to Landmark. Yesterday, scientology had two young girls there. Girl A made a jaunty Maria Callas entrance and headed straight for me spouting some Heber Jentzsch rants about kidnapping, deprogramming etc. These girls were from England and I discovered later that they knew nothing of Lisa McPherson and the recent Clearwater protest-tribute. As it happened, I had the Washington Post article in my pocket. I offered it to the girls and girl A got up and walked away. Girl B seized it and read it with disbelief and amazement."
Stacy Brooks posted an update on the autopsy of a cat suspected of being
poisoned by private investigators.
"She died of pancreatitis, a degenerative disease of the pancreas which eventually destroys the liver and heart. Apparently it is not known how a cat contracts this disease -- whether it is contracted as a result of ingesting something (such as poison) or if it is congenital, bacterial, or viral."
Scientology dropped its demand for statutory damages against Dennis Erlich
this week in a copyright violation lawsuit.
"They're trying to tell the court 'nevermind' so they don't have to allow a jury to decide fair use in the case of my critical postings."
"They want me found guilty of infringing, and simply placed under a permanent injunction (similar to the TRO I am now under) which enjoins me from exceeding fair use. Without statutory damages, I don't get to present my case to a jury. Only Whyte decides the fair use issue. And he's the one who authorized the unconstitutional raid in the first place."
Reuters reported this week that the French National Assembly has voted
unanimously to create a special commission to investigate cults, including
"The commission will have six months to draw up a report on the financing of sects and their influence within the French economy. Justice Minister Elisabeth Guigou said last month the government would step up its observation of sects and appoint an investigating magistrate in every appeals court to deal with the state's struggle against them. It would also allow victims of sects to advise magistrates or become civil parties to cases against sects, she said.
"Guigou's initiative came after a French lawyer pressing fraud charges against the Church of Scientology revealed that important documents in the case had disappeared."
The Herald (Glasgow) published an article on the missing documents this week.
"In October, Le Figaro newspaper revealed papers in a long-running legal action against the self-proclaimed church had gone missing, provoking outrage from lawyers working on the case. Justice Minister Elizabeth Guigou considered the incident serious enough to order an internal inquiry. Even before this, however, there were signs something was amiss. In June 1997 Jean-Michel Pesenti, a lawyer for five of the plaintiffs, went with one of his clients to meet the investigating judge assigned to the affair, Marie-Paul Moracchini. He wanted to complain about her continuing failure, after several years, to take the case to court. To his amazement, Moracchini told him three of the clients he represented in the case, including the one present at the meeting, had written letters to her withdrawing complaints. This was news to him - not to mention his clients, who were quick to put the record straight. Unfortunately, it is now impossible to ascertain if the letters in question are genuine or not: they are among the missing documents.
"Juan Esteban Cordero, a 22-year-old Ecuadorian student, started the ball rolling in March 1989 with a complaint for fraud. He had come across Scientology only four months earlier, drawn by the promise of discovering his unexploited psychic potential. By the time he went to his lawyers, his voyage of discovery had cost him tens of thousands of pounds.
"At the last hearing in November, Scientology's lawyer, Olivier Metzner, called for the case to be struck down because judge Moracchini had taken no action since May 1993. French law stipulates a case of this kind falls if it has remained inactive over a three-year period, says Metzner. 'The problem is that perhaps the papers will return, but, as the documents stand, nothing has happened in the past three years.'"
Liberation published an article about a nuclear engineer whose job is jeopardy because he is a Scientologist.
"After the announcement Sunday that one of their researchers, Pierre D., was a member of the cult, EDF [Electricite de France - the state power company] immediately announced his transfer to a less strategic job. Two days later the engineer claimed to have received 'assurances' from management that he would remain in his current post. Then, yesterday, the company admitted that it had yet to take a position in the matter. The problem is that Pierre D. has been a good engineer, with whom the plant has never found fault professionally.
"EDF was not unaware that Pierre belonged to Ron Hubbard's movement. He made no secret of it to his superiors. Two letters of 'denunciation' were received by plant management this summer without provoking any reaction. But an anonymous letter sent to the police and the press made the matter public. The engineer and his wife, both scientologists, were identified by name. The sender, a mysterious 'antiscientology collective', threatened the management of EDF with a 'media scandal' if a decision to sack the scientologist wasn't quickly taken. EDF thus felt obliged to act, suggesting that the employee might be transferred elsewhere, avoiding the promotion planned since February 1998 that would have given him responsibility for a team of a dozen people and two of the four reactors at the plant.
"The Church of Scientology is supporting its parishioner. At a press conference in Paris on Wednesday, three senior members of the cult were indignant about the anonymous denunciations, 'a nasty business'. To cut off any suspicion of infiltration, they claim 'not to have known that Pierre D. worked at EDF'. The representatives of the Church of Scientology in France complain of 'McCarthyism', but are only able to cite two cases of professional discrimination: the sacking in 1997 of the choir director of the Grand Choeur of the Abbey aux Dames de Saintes and the exclusion of child from a boy scout camp because his father belonged to the cult."
Die Welt reported this week on Scientology's fight against the
surveillance measures in several German states.
"The states' Interior ministers, among them Manfred Puchel (SPD) from Sachsen-Anhalt and Walter Zuber (SPD) from Rheinland-Pfalz, have received letters from the organization which threaten legal steps in the event that surveillance is not withdrawn by this Friday. So far none of the Interior ministers have answered, as of yesterday. The controversial organization bases its demands, first, on the surveillance being impermissible, and second on the idea that the number of members is so small that surveillance is superfluous. This argument was rejected by security circles in that 'one would not have been able to observe the RAF [Red Army Faction], they also had only a few members.' What is conspicuous is that Scientology has only threatened those Interior ministers in whose states - such as in the east - there are only several members."
Articles from early December were posted to a.r.s this week from
Berlingske Tidende, a large Danish newspaper, concerning Karsten
Lorenzen's testimony in the Lisa McPherson civil case.
"A former member of Scientology wants to start a network in Denmark for people who have had problems with leaving the religious movement. Karsten Lorenzen, the ex-member in question, informed TV-2 news Tuesday. Ex-member of Scientology Karsten Lorenzen has recently returned from the US where he has testified against his former organisation in a court case where Scientology stands accused of having held a psychiatrically broken woman isolated from the the world until she died.
"Karsten Lorenzen told the Berlingske Tidende last Sunday that he was himself taking part in the forced feeding of a woman in Birkerod even when the woman was unconscious. Following a suicide attempt in the US, she had been escorted to Denmark by the organisation. In a few months, the Folketing will decide whether Scientology can be considered a community of faith in Denmark."
"A longly anticipated showdown in court between the scientology movement and the family of a deceased scientologist in the US may have consequences for the Danish branch of the organisation. A statement before the trial directs harsh criticism against the methods which were used by scientology in Denmark when a member of the organisation had yielded to a strong mental pressure during a course in the US and needed help. Karsten Lorenzen, who is a former member of Scientology explained how he in 1996, under the guidance of the leadership of the organisation, force-fed a then 25-year old woman who was kept away from her family in a flat in the middle of Birkerod, even when she lost consciousness.
"The Danish woman had participated in one of the organisation's many correction programs which are intended to get scientologists who have gone astray back on the right path. Another criticised program, which involves hard physical labor, is taking place in Copenhagen these days, where a group of foreign scientologists are renovating one of the organisation's three Danish hotels in Cort Adeler's Street.
"The trial in the US comes at worst possible time for for the Danish branch of Scientology which has fought with all available means to get the American authorities to dismiss the case before it comes to court. In a few months, a four person panel will decide whether Scientology in Denmark should be considered a community of faith, a status including considerable taxation benefits."
Keith Henson posted a filing in his copyright infringement case this week,
which is under appeal.
"Having recently obtained pro bono representation, Henson moves for leave to file a formal appeal brief written by counsel, which would support his arguments with citations to cases and the record below and would comply with the technical requirements of Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28.
"Criticizing and petitioning the government, including the judicial branch, is at the core of activity protected by the First Amendment. In granting summary judgment against Henson, however, the district court ignored Henson's First Amendment argument. Indeed, the district court reasoned that the portions of Henson's letter that criticized Judge Whyte issuance of the injunction, rather than commenting on the substance of NOTs 34, weighed against a finding that Henson's copying of NOTs 34 was a fair use of copyrighted material rather than an infringement.
"The issue of whether one who copies copyrighted material to expose evidence of a crime can be liable for copyright infringement is one of first impression in this Court. This appeal is also one that requires balancing the copyright rights against the right to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. The district court's opinion all but ignored these issues, analyzing Henson's protest letter almost as though it were mere literary criticism of NOTs 34. In addition to sidestepping critical First Amendment issues, the district court's opinion granting summary judgment ignored well-settled law as to what factors must be considered in a proper fair use analysis and how much weight to give each factor."
Keith also reported on his bankruptcy proceedings.
"Last Thursday, RTC subjected my wife to a rather abusive 2004 exam. It was done by Helena 'assisted' by Alan Cartwright, her OSA superior. My wife dug into her meager savings and had Ford Greene there representing her. It was mostly a fishing and intimidation effort--which did not work very well. Helena went to considerable effort to disclose that they had (without notice) subpoenaed my wife's *and* my daughter's banking records back in September and had obtained copies of checks which gave them the addresses of relatives (neither of their records showed money on any where close to the scale needed to satisfy RTC's judgment and attorney fees). As the day wore on, Helena slowed down to about one question every 90 seconds which got her some rather sharp (and upsetting) words from Ford Greene. She tried to get my wife to describe what Alcor was about and was refused as it having nothing to do with bankruptcy. Toward the end she was asking questions which were designed to drive a wedge between me and my wife, did she resent the money I took from the family to spend on picketing?"
"My wife joined me for her first ever picket, dedicated to Alan 'smarmy' Cartwright. There were three of us and we put in an hour and 15 minute picket. After the first hour we had talked to two coming out and one going in who will never be scientologists, but had no response otherwise. So as we were leaving we decided to go back and give them an unexpected extra picket. That got several higher level clams and their cameras out."
The Los Angeles Times published an article this week on Scientology's web
site project for members, the Scientologist On-line effort.
"Church members were given a CD-ROM that had a template which included space for a person to include information about the following: 'About Myself,' 'My Success in Scientology,' 'My Favorite L. Ron Hubbard Quote,' 'Groups I Support' and 'Favorite Links' to other Scientology sites. The form includes a link to the church's home page, as well as a section where visitors can send their phone number and address to the site's owner.
"The template also embedded a long string of keywords that would be picked up by the automated search agents used by the popular search engines, which comb through hundreds of thousands of sites looking for key words or phrases. Those software tools could identify the members' pages as highly relevant even when a user calls up such general subjects as 'illiteracy' and 'education.'
"The church's initiative also included a Web filter, for both kids and parents, designed to block access to information critical of the church. Critics insist that Scientology launched the project to flood the Net with pro-church rhetoric and block information that challenges the group's views. But the church insists it is only helping believers express their views and shield their children from online antagonism."
The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that Scientology will
vigorously defend against criminal charges stemming from the death of Lisa
"The Church of Scientology has notified the Pinellas court system that it plans to mount a long and complex legal battle against charges that it contributed to the death of one of its members, Lisa McPherson. The move, on its surface, is at odds with earlier statements by Scientology officials, who have said they want to resolve quickly the McPherson case and move on.
"In a letter, church attorney Lee Fugate asked that the case be assigned to a 'special docket,' where it wouldn't interfere with the courthouse's normal case load. Fugate indicated that the stream of motions by Scientology would be 'complex' and 'voluminous' and would require 'a significant number of hearings and significant hearing time' that might burden the current judge on the case, Timothy Peters."
Picket / Revenge Picket Summary
Dave Touretzky reported he was the subject of a revenge picket at his
employer, Carnegie Mellon University.
"I missed my own picket. There were six of them, reportedly well dressed and well-behaved, basically normal looking. My secretary went down and talked to them for a while, but when she asked them what Scientologists believe in, they wouldn't give her a straight answer. The FRL's signs reportedly said 'Dave Touretzky is a Religious Bigot' and 'Your Neighbor Dave Touretzky Protects Pornography'. Also something about a list of aliases I supposedly use, but nobody bothered to write those down.
"Some of our grad students, bored and looking for amusement, decided to have fun with the picketers. They made up picket signs of their own and joined in. Several candidate slogans were discussed, including 'Unix is not Xenu', but in the end they went with: Mom Send Money, Open Source Tibet, Xenu, Warrior Princess, A=A, Yankee Go Home, Legalize <<maple leaf>> Canada.
"The university had a police officer standing by to make sure that everyone played nicely together. Picketers are allowed on campus, and the Scientologists could even go in the building to use the bathroom, but they weren't allowed anywhere near my office. There were no flyers handed out. Some folks asked the Scientologists to explain why they were doing this, and got answers like 'he keeps going into our churches'; the Scns also claimed that I was misinforming the public about their beliefs -- though they didn't state it quite that coherently."
Stacy Brooks reported on a picket at the Boston org.
"Bob faxed the Boston org prior to 2:00 this afternoon to let them know we'd be there for a picket sometime after 3:00, and then we headed for Kinko's to get the Samurai Bob photo printed out oversize for a picket sign. Above the photo were the words 'Set up fails' and at the bottom it said 'Heads will roll.' We thought that would make it clear enough to the scientologists that the photo was symbolic, not in any way meant to be taken literally.
"Then Bob, Jesse, Grady and I headed for the org at about 3:30. Frank Ofman and Kevin Hall were waiting for us when we arrived. Kevin turned the video camera on and kept it trained on Bob the whole time we were there. It immediately became apparent that Kevin and Frank had orders to get Bob on videotape 'admitting' that he had hit Frank first during the September 10 altercation that resulted in Bob's being arrested. Both Kevin and Frank repeated the same thing endlessly to Bob over and over and over again. Kevin would say, 'Come on, Bob, why won't you just admit that you hit Frank first?' Bob would laugh and say, 'I can't admit to something that never happened.' Then Kevin would say, 'Come on, Bob, you should apologize to Frank for hitting him and then lying about it.'"
Bob Minton reported that Scientology failed to send a return fax as required by the agreement.
"NO reply to my fax. Scientology could not have demonstrated more clearly its contempt for Judge Hershfang and the Boston Municipal Court and its orders by not responding or acknowledging my notice."
>From Bruce Pettycrew on two pickets in Mesa, Arizona:
"Today I wore my UFO CULT signs, about 2 feet square with loops that hang them over my chest and back. The letters are 5 inches high, _very_ visible. There were no cars at the bOrg when I arrived at 7:45. I picketed undisturbed until 8:45, when three cars arrived just as I was leaving. I have folders on the front sign to hold flyers, and I gave away two to bicyclists."
"The last two pickets, handlers have used the phrase 'You are harming people of good will' to dissuade me. We picketed from 11:30 to 12:30 today. OSA maven Leslie Duhrman came out to photograph us and used The Phrase. At exactly noon, two people left in two cars. They looked right at us, but only smiled, as is to say 'look at those poor, deluded, people.'"
>From Kristi Wachter in Mountain View, California:
"kEvin and I put in a 40-minute picket this afternoon, just in time for Thursday stats. I arrived at the Mt. View franchise at 12:31. I had my sign and my slightly ratty sandwich board, 'Scn is a scam / Did Scn kill Rodney Rimando?' I did a lot of Wave Tech, which was very successful, but mostly kEvin and I strolled and chatted.
"A car pulled out of the parking lot with three young people in it, who stopped and asked about our picket. The gentleman in the back seat said they had been recruited and his friends were going to try it, but he was having his doubts. We gave them fliers and explained our concerns. They seemed to be very interested in what we had to say and grateful for the fliers (Lisas, Rodneys, and a Xenu). No sign of a counter-picket in San Francisco."