September 1, 1997 - Gregg Hagglund

Toronto Picket #5 Report.

After our last Demo/Picket on Aug. 16th I sent a list of complaints to the Metro Police about the conduct of the Co$ Toronto staff under the direction of Al Buttnor during the absence of Police cover.

And as I promised: This time I brought along a MegaPhone......

Picket Report by Gregg Hagglund.

PROLOGUE:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
September 1, 1997.

The Toronto Contingent of the ARSCC* ( *which does not exist) held another Demonstration at the Toronto Org today.

The Demo ran from 2pm to 4:45pm on a fine sunny day.

Demonstrators included Gregg Hagglund, Artemis, D'Artangnan, V-Tech, Nan Maclean and Cerberus.

Leaflet dissemination stats: 450 copies of RXspecial, Dyin' Ethics, and 'The Court's Opinion' were snatched up by passersby.

No major incidents occurred, but some amusing and personally embarassing ( for yours truly ) did.

We were at Cause over the Org again.

Heavy Police initial police presence.

Buttnor complained about my LOUD Picketing.

******************

Report:

After our last Demo/Picket on Aug. 16th I sent a list of complaints to the Metro Police about the conduct of the Co$ Toronto staff under the direction of Al Buttnor during the absence of Police cover.

The Metro Cops responded by mustering a massive show of manpower and gracing our opening moments with a total of three bicycle cops, three beat cops and two Sergeants. The three bicycles and four Police vehicles made it look very much like a raid. Perhaps this is why the Org appeared deserted. Maybe everyone was upstairs manning the shredders and preparing to repel boarders! However, the Org. staff needn't have worried, the horde of Cops was temporary. The duty sergeant parked three Officers on site and kept two B Cops on frequent drop bys for the day.

As our group approached this 'assembly' in Blue, one Sergeant approached me and introduced himself. Apparently the show of force was to demonstrate to the Co$ not to mess with our Demo. Again. Ever. He also complimented me on my new equipment and as per my (unpublished) request, he was willing to advise me on its lawful and technical use. Since my new piece of hardware was similar to the Police Issue he gave me a quick briefing and then invited me to try it out.

"This is the Toronto Contingent Of the ARSCC, which does not exist, "I said,"....exist..xist..ist..st" echoed off the office building walls.

I lowered the microphone of my new 10 Watt Megaphone and gave the Sergeant a raised eyebrow. He smiled and nodded and said it was ok but he wanted to go up the street a bit and check again. He walked away and headed up Yonge towards Bloor, advising me to give the Megaphone another try when I saw him wave.

As he walked away, I eyed the Toronto Org and the street traffic. The Org was deserted and the street was rather quiet. A lot of people looked kind of sad, sad as I too felt. I had almost decided to pull the plug on this Picket. The sudden tragic death of Lady Di had knocked a lot of people, including me, into a loop.

I glanced up the street and saw the Sergeant wave back at me from about 200 meters. "Our Last Demo was intefered with by disruptive tactics, including sound. ||| The use of this megaphone is the promised result. ||| You drew it in.. it in..t in... in."

Heads appeared in the upper windows of the Org. The sergeant gave me a thumbs up and started walking back. He gave me a 'repeat' sign and so I obliged." Scientology does not tell the truth. ||| Learn all about the dirty little secret of Scientology: the story of Xenu the Galactic Overlord. ||| Yohsa, Yohsa, Learn all about the criminal history of the Church of Scientology in Canada and all over the World.||| Ahgee Doggie, Buffalo Buffalo. Find out what Scientology doesn't want you to know: that Hubbard taught 'the man on the cross, there was no Christ. And that God was an evil implant of the Galactic Overlord Xenu!...enu!....nu!" More people were in the upper windows of the org.peering down at me and every passerby in eyesight was looking our way.

Gregg and MegaPhone.

"Get your free $100,000 dollar Scientology Secrets flier and decoder ring Right here folks! |||Guaranteed not to rip, run ravel or smell bad!" The sergeant was back and said all was ok, provided I didn't speak continuously, but gave short pauses and short sentences, so people could hear the words concisely. He gave me a big grin and wished me luck. And then he left and the swarm of cops broke up and dispersed leaving us with a token force until 4pm shift change.

And we were at Cause over the Org again.

The first body router/pamphleteer didn't appear for more than 30 minutes. This was a Lady Cosite from our first picket. I hadn't seen her since. She was ignored by the passersby who began sweeping our flyers out of our hands. Some people did take her flyer, but then contemptuously dropped it on the sidewalk ( a big sign of rebuke in Toronto) and grabbed one of ours.

Now, at first the traffic was surprisingly sparse. It being Labour Day, I had experienced huge traffic before in the same area in previous years, so I was a little disappointed. But not for long. What was missing was a large number of the local denizens. What we got was a lot of tourists and out of towners. And traffic picked up considerably by 3 pm. I kept up a consistent but static commentary on the M-phone. I quoted some of OT3 and many of Hubbards most outrageous statements like the Fair Game Policy. By 3:30 pm we were getting low on flyers. There were a lot of people who wanted to talk and more who wanted to listen to discussions. Sometimes I was literally being mobbed for RXflyers! Artemis was getting out a steady traffic of the 'The Court's Opinion' flyer and whenever I saw someone with one I would ask if they wanted the comic book companion and usually they would.

We were getting constant Car and Tour Bus Acks and all the usual acks from passersby.

Buttnor didn't show until almost three and then the Org started to get more active. They sent what turned out to be a series of unfortunates to hand out pamphlets right behind me.

I kept on blasting out that Hubbard wrote the Xenu story and said that God and Christ were evil implants by Xenu and who would care except Scientology didn't tell you this stuff up front. And one by one those poor pamphleteers would just *have* to chip in that I was lying. And so I would offer to give him/her an original. And I would ask him why, if this was not true, that RTC and BPI claimed it was copyrighted work of 'Source'. And one by one they would be pulled away by the Lady Flower Cosite. The last guy 'Jeff', didn't go when he was spoken to by her. He wanted to argue with me. Poor guy didn't stand a chance. Buttnor finally personally escorted the guy away and into the org.

A Grim Body Router

Another time a different Lady Cosite marched out the org door carrying their 'Stress test' table and she plunked it down right in front of the natural 'discussion' area beside the org. However, since that is still part of the sidewalk of 700 Yonge street, I picked the table up and walked it 10 feet up the side street and put it down. Then I stood in front of the Org. and using my M-phone I said, "This sidewalk is mine until 5 pm. I signed for it. If you want to demo your $50 voltmeter in the $5000 casing then stay on Org property." Then I went back to alternately haranging the crowds or answering questions.

Nan Maclean would often come and stand beside me when I was talking to people. Invariably these people would ask her a question or politely seek to include her in the conversation. And she would just smile and keep quiet. This always gave people pause and they would look at her oddly. Then I would inform them, apologetically, as to why Nan was in an enforced state of public muteness on the topic of Scientology. All of the Picketers, except Nan, spent a great deal of time answering public questions. Many wanted to know about Lisa M because of the T shirts sported by Artemis, D'Artangnan and myself.

Co$ MeterMaid

It was a suberb and effective day all round for us.

The counterforces were almost all new faces to us. And were just as ineffective and unable. I thought Scientology was supposed to help them with that?

The spoiler on the day, for me though, was one 30 sec section of time, that occurred right after the cops split at 4. Buttnor came up to me and complained that the M-phone was too loud and would I turn it down? I said : No, you drew it in, live with it.

Then he said something I am not going to repeat. It was personal and was a 'hot button' (which I have since filed off. {grin}) And I lost it. Yep. Score one for the Rev. Unfortunately for him was how I lost it. I quipped back, on the M-Phone as he was going away, a little bit of the same medicine. It wasn't nice, even if true, and I was wrong to do it. It won't happen again. My fellow picketers immediately let me know, in no uncertain terms, that I had dipped into the Co$ gutter level, if but for a moment, and it was beneath me. It was also beneath them. So I have apologised to them and now to you folks, my mentors, on ARS. ( You know who you are.)

The last 45 minutes was all ours.

Buttnors forces were overwhelmed by our last push ( invigorated by a little anger). At 4:30 traffic dropped off dramatically and we called it at 4:45.

Today was especially good for enturbulating staff. They even had to take their 'steaming clams' break a good 150 feet up the side street away from us, instead of the usual spot just 20 feet from the org. I treated them, long distance, to portions of OT3.

Not one shop or store owner complained about the M-phone to me, despite my routinely asking them, once and awhile via the M-phone, to come on down, and tell me if I was too loud and get an RXSecial Xenu the Galactic Overlord flyer.

Well, this was Picket#5 and it was 99% fun and 100% effective.

I think next time we'll do a Hawaiian theme {grin}.