I am reminded tonight of 1984 by George Orwell where the people are ordered to scream in hate at Goldstein for 2 minutes every morning. I'm also reminded of the civil rights movement in the 60's where black people who picketed for their rights were surrounded, taunted, and told "Go Home Nigger!"
Tonight Bob Minton, Mark Bunker, Duncan Pierce, Grady Ward, Gerry Armstrong and I picketed in front of the Ft. Harrison Hotel from about 9 to 10pm. We planned a peaceful picket for about an hour. Little did we know that some Committee meeting was going on at the Bank Building with dozens of Scientologists in attendance.
As we settled in to our little picket, suddenly the guy who spent his time chatting me up in the March '97 Clearwater picket came and started talking incessantly at all of us. Another woman came and said to each of us "you picked a bad night, there are hundreds of us coming! You should leave now!" We didn't leave. At this time there were no cops although we called ahead of time to say we would be having a peaceful picket. I told the guy who I talked to that we would just have a peaceful picket, then said "at least our side will be peaceful." Little did I know.
So the lady was right, probably 60-100 Scientologists converged on us, waving small US flags for some reason. They immediately began shouting and screaming at us and getting in our faces. They continued this the whole hour. Both Mark and I kept our cameras recording nonstop.
A few things of interest: Dennis Clark came up to me and said something like "you want some too?" and put gum on my camera lense as he had done to Mark previously. I immediately told a police officer what happened and pointed Dennis out, but the cop essentially shrugged his shoulders.
A small boy, maybe 9, kept his flag in front of my camera for 10 minutes straight, so I finally asked an officer if something could be done about that. She said no, but at least the kid got scared and quit.
There were times I was deliberately bumped into and pushed, but nothing too bad. The cops seemed completely bewildered as to what to do, and actually parked a paddy wagon in front of Flag and opened the back door.
The cops took Dennis Clark aside finally and told him to go home (they should have arrested him, I believe). They also pulled another woman out who had been literally screaming in Gerry's ear. She was given a warning.
The videos to me show what Scientology is really all about. There is NO love there. There is only hate. And the Scientologists relish the hate. People were slapping Dennis Clark on the back as he left, a job well done. The little kids that they bring are learning this hate and will no doubt continue it to the next generation.
The more we can give Scientology a chance to show its true colors the better. We didn't leave tonight when we were assaulted and we're not leaving tomorrow either.
When a Scientology staffer used a syringe to force a mixture of aspirin, Benadryl and orange juice into McPherson's throat while others held her down, it was "spiritual sustenance," the church argues.