Protest at Scientology Anti-Psychiatry Exhibit,
Vancouver, B.C., August 14, 2004
was in Vancouver on Friday the 13th to see a writer about a story, and the way
things worked out I had a bunch of time to do something else. I scoped out buying
a ticket for Manchurian Candidate and then watching Collateral, at a Granville
Street cineplex, but thought better of it, and walked instead to the Vancouver
Public Library, where the action is nonstop and free, and disappointment virtually
I approached the library
from the Homer and Robson Streets corner of Library Square, where a street level
granite brick plaza leads to a wide set of formed granite steps that rise up to
the library building entrance. Low and behold, there occupying pretty well the
whole plaza, was a Scientology anti-psychiatry display. The cult had a set of
display modules with panels about seven feet high and ten feet wide of gruesome,
sensational black PR against the mental health field. As far as I can tell, they’re
the same modules and panels that the cult has been using on its “Traveling
Exhibit: “Psychiatry Exposed.””
I spotted a Scientologist I’d seen at the Vancouver org during pickets
over the last few years, and I knew from other contacts that he was active in
the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, an entity the cult created and uses in
its hate and eradication campaign against mental health professionals. I knew
he’d almost certainly recognize me if I hung around, so I just accepted
the CCHR propaganda the cultists were handing out at a table in the display, and
ambled on through toward the library. On the way, I asked one of the Scientologists
working on the display how long they’d be there, and he said that they’d
be back the next day, Saturday the 14th, between noon and 6:00 P.M.
It was a great photo op, but drat, I didn’t have my camera, and it was
a perfect protest opportunity, but I had no handouts or other picket paraphernalia.
So I continued into the library and began the process of officially complaining
about the rental of the plaza to the anti-intellectual, anti-human rights Scientology
cult for this inflammatory, black PR hate exhibition. I will include the steps
I’ve taken in the process, along with the results, in a separate report.
After taking my complaint as far as was reasonable at the time, I did the bit
of research I’d come to the library to do, then moved on to my next appointment,
and then back to the Wack.
Over the next several hours and overnight I gave serious thought to returning
to Vancouver avec camera to record the display, and to in some way, if possible,
be a supportive voice for the mental health field professionals. These mental
health practitioners are, after all, a very specific and vital subset of the persecuted
and terrorized “Suppressive
Person” class. But my sweetheart and fellow concert actor Caroline simply
could not go because of other commitments, and it would be a violation of the
number one rule for protesters, demonstrators and picketers against Scientology:
Don’t go alone! Plus, the $35 it was going to cost just in bus fare even
for me to go by myself we couldn’t afford.
All rules, it seems, however, as I keep finding myself saying, are qualified
by safety, courtesy and wisdom, so, in willful breach of the protestors’
primary principle plus a couple of the standard qualifiers too, I suited up Saturday
morning, backpacked some picketing essentials, and took a bus back into Vancouver.
Serendipity-doodaing into Scientology’s CCHR traveling hate show at the
Central Library on the one day I was in the city since our June
3 picket of the cult to celebrate the launch Caroline’s
web site, and the one time in way over two years since I’d even been
near the library, Lord love a duck, it had to be a sign.
My plan was to first photograph the display and pick up whatever additional
materials the Scientologists were giving away, if possible without alarming or
alerting them, and then to move to the sidewalk adjacent to the library plaza
where I’d distribute my own handouts. I reasoned that although I could be
prohibited from handing out flyers or otherwise protesting on library property,
since the Scientology cult had rented the plaza – for $500 per day, the
library complainee had said -- I could not be prohibited from a little peaceful
activism on the sidewalk, which the cult had not rented, and over which the library
had no authority or control.
With no time to prepare something specific to Scientology’s anti-psychiatry
insanity, I brought a hundred or so old Xenu
flyers, which seemed kind of fitting given the Xenuphobic Scientologists’
outer-space mental health claims. My flyers were so old they referred people with
questions or concerns about Scientology to the Lisa McPherson Trust, so on the
bus ride to Vancouver I blacked out the LMT contact information on all the copies
and wrote my own info in.
I hid my Wog hat® in my backpack and wore my Audi cap disguise for the
first couple of operating targets on the project. I brought Erika with me, because
I’m gunning for as many xenu.net
T-shirts as I can garner,
and because she would never have let me hear the end of it if I’d left her
home. It was hot, so she stripped down to her white picketing T-shirt and her
khaki pants, same as me. We looked awesome together, but I couldn’t take
a chance that some Scientologist would read the message on her shirt, or spot
her Xenu pendant, at least until the photo shoot was over, so I put her in the
bottom of the backpack to pad it against my spine and told her to keep quiet.
I packed up a couple of sets of batteries, some writing stuff, a liter of Chilliwack
water, my ID, and a few lawyers’ numbers in case I got framed with a
I arrived at Library Square around 2:30 P.M., and thankfully the Scientologists
were there and their anti-psych display set up on the library plaza as it had
been on Friday. I immediately got to work photographing the panels, and my Audi
hat disguise worked about as well as expected because the Scientologists immediately
got to work photographing me. We’ve webbed a gallery
of images from Saturday afternoon including a number of the display panels
and some of the Scientologists videotaping or photographing me photographing them
photographing me. Here’s
a panorama we stitched together from pics I took from the library steps showing
much of the plaza, the three modules, the Scientologists’ desk area under
the patio umbrella, and an OSA babe videotaping me.
The OSA/CCHRers all seemed hatted on video tech, as they passed off the video
cameras between themselves, and they were obviously prepared for photographic
subjects just like me because they had at least two video cameras and a still
camera trained on me at various times. As I moved among the modules photographing
the panels, and getting close-ups of text that might be useful for future activities,
the Scientologists followed me, and after a few minutes began heckling me. I mentioned
to someone that the Scientology cult is behind the exhibit, and one Scientologist
asked me who was behind me. I said, “God Himself,” which of course
is the simple gospel truth, and this brought on a wave of Scientological anti-religious
I took what I thought was a reasonable set of pics, maintained friendly relations
with the Scientologists, and moved to the desk they were manning to get whatever
materials they were giving away that I didn’t already have. The Scientologists,
after all, are largely deceived and deluded in their participation in their cult’s
hatred of mental health professionals, and just as deluded in their acceptance
and participation in Scientology’s “Suppressive Person” doctrine.
And I’m basically friendly, and always happy to have expressions of opposition
to the cultists’ pernicious policies and practices proceed peacefully for
everyone. As the Scientologists watched and videotaped, I picked up a copy of
seven of the cult’s standard anti-psychiatry hate booklets, all copyright
© CCHR, and three of their anti-psychiatry pamphlets, and then began my move
to the sidewalk to start my project’s protest phase.
During this time, the
Scientologist that I had recognized Friday as a CCHR
functionary, who had participated in videotaping me as I photographed the
display panels, and who was the most violent of the Scientologists throughout
the afternoon, came up very close to me and snarled, “Why don’t you
get your stinking piece of shit body out of here!” I was so struck by this
statement that I immediately stopped, took out of my pocket a pen and paper that
I carried for the purpose of recording something quickly, like just this sort
of astonishing sound bite, knelt down, and wrote down what he said, which was
still replaying in my consciousness, exactly as this fellow said it. The Scientologists
crowded around me to see what I was writing, and a Scientology videographer or
two took some footage of what I wrote, and I repeated it out loud for the audio
track and added what an amazing statement it was.
I had to take off my backpack to tuck away the CCHR booklets and pamphlets,
and since it was off, pulled out the little bunch of “Who
is Xenu?” flyers. With no warning, the guy who’d called my body
a stinking piece of shit leapt at me, grabbed at the flyers and tried to rip them
away from me. When I held on tight, and protested vociferously against their theft
and what he was doing, he grabbed my arm, and yanked it to free up the flyers.
I pulled myself free, and kept walking away from him, then he jumped at me again,
and another bigger guy joined him, and they both grabbed at the flyers and my
arms, and I again had to wrestle my flyers and myself free.
By this time I was well onto the sidewalk outside the library plaza, and a
group of the male Scientologists formed a semi-circle close around me. They all
were belligerent and menacing, and initially the stinking piece guy who’d
grabbed me twice and tried to rip away my flyers did most of the talking and shouting.
Other Scientologists videoed me as I interacted with the group. A couple of the
flyers on the top of my little stack had been torn and crumpled, but I still held
onto all of them.
I had been perfectly courteous and only taken one copy of Scientology’s
booklets and pamphlets, and these guys had been anything but courteous, trying
to steal all of mine. It’s just that sort of criminal level exchange, and
the “thinking” that underlies it, that makes reasonable people oppose
the totalitarian system of criminal exchange and unreason that Scientology seeks
to impose on the world, and oppose the Scientologists doing the imposing.
I was more than happy to give each of the Scientologists a flyer, and throughout
the afternoon I offered one to every Scientologist who got within voice range.
I was simply not happy to give one Scientologist all of the flyers. It struck
me as very weird then, when, after assaulting me twice to steal my flyers, the
assaulters refused the flyers I offered them. If they couldn’t steal flyers
they weren’t taking any, even if the flyers were as free as stealing.
One of the Vancouver OSA babes, with whom I’ve had some interaction at
the org, who knows me by name certainly, and has never tried to grab or jump me,
did come up and take a flyer. She seemed to immediately recognize that it was
the standard, globally disseminated and available “Who is Xenu?” flyer,
which made the assaults to steal them, I’m sure she knew, even more embarrassing
for Scientology. This same OSA
babe lady came up to me later in the afternoon and stuck her tongue out at
me, and I indulged her clear desire and took her photo. A couple of the Scientologists
asked if they could expect to see the photos I was taking on my web site, and
I assured them that I would try my best, which I have done.
The stinking piece guy kept ordering me to get out of there, to leave, and
there was an effort by the whole group by words and by threatening motion to move
me right off the sidewalk surrounding the library. I wouldn’t move, and
protested that I had every right to be there on the sidewalk, and that neither
the Scientologists nor the library controlled the sidewalk. I said that I was
peaceful, unlike the Scientologists who assaulted me, and that I had a right to
peacefully be there, to peacefully talk to people, and to peacefully hand out
my flyers. I said that the Scientologists had no right to assault me, that I was
not causing any disturbance of any kind, and that they had no right to try to
steal my flyers.
The guy went on a rant about “copyright materials,” which I’ve
heard from other Scientologists, is just nuts, and is reflective of the nutty,
hateful way the cult’s leaders indoctrinate them about copyrights. The guy
said that my flyers were “copyright materials,” that I wasn’t
allowed to have “copyright materials,” that I knew I wasn’t
allowed to have these “copyright materials, and that the Scientologists
were justified in grabbing the flyers because they were “copyright materials.”
I explained that this was total hogwash, that I have the right to possess and
own copyrighted materials, and that so does everyone else. The guy flared up like
one of Xenu’s volcanoes about to blow its top.
I pointed to the library building and said that it is full of copyrighted materials,
which anyone can possess and even copy. I said that Vancouver is full of bookstores
that are full of copyrighted materials that anyone can buy and own. The copyright
to the flyer is owned, as far as I know, by Roland Rashleigh-Berry, and he cares
about enforcing his copyright so much that he’s made a printable version
available on the Internet and urges people to copy and distribute it copiously.
It’s kind of funny to think of the Scientologists protecting Roland’s
copyright by assaulting people and stealing his Xenu flyers.
One of the Scientologists, this big younger guy, maybe six five, kept loudly
insisting that everything in my flyer is lies, even before I’d given any
copy to anyone. He’s
in the photo of the OSA babe doing tongue tech ®, and in this
photo with the still camera. I asked him how he could possibly know what was
in my flyer if he hadn’t read it, and offered him a copy. But he declined,
and said he didn’t have to read it, because he already knew what was in
it, which, of course was only lies.
He was right in a sense because the Xenu flyer is stuffed with Scientology
inventor L. Ron Hubbard’s lies, or his delusions. But not reading the flyer
for that reason would be like a Scientologist not reading the OT
III materials because he knew everything in them is lies. It was pretty clear
this Scientologist meant that no matter what I was handing out everything in it
was lies. I think the Xenu flyer is terribly truthful, accurate and literarily
worthy, and has stood the test of time. Everything else is lies.
During this time, when the Scientologists were trying to 8-C me from my chosen
spot on the sidewalk, I was asserting my right to be there and not being moved,
and this somewhat volcanic conversation was occurring, someone was dispatched
to go get security. It was pretty tense because the Scientologists outnumbered
me by about ten to one and outweighed me about fifteen to one, and I couldn’t
know whether they had the library security personnel in their pocket, like they
do the odd police force. Pretty soon a guy in a security uniform showed up, I
was pointed out to him, and he motioned me to walk with him away from the Scientologists.
He looked Filipino, and I don’t think I ever learned if he could speak at
all. Being with him for a minute or two I took the opportunity to present my case,
but I was left with the idea that what was happening was beyond his job description.
Fortunately a guy obviously further up the library security chain of command,
and who definitely could speak, arrived and my communication cycle shifted over
to him. He said the Scientologists had told him that I was causing a disturbance.
I denied this and asked him what disturbance. He said, they say you are and there’s
one of you and a whole bunch of them. I said that the only disturbance was the
Scientologists assaulting me and trying to steal my property. He said he wasn’t
interested in whether they had assaulted me, that it was a police matter. I said
that it sure didn’t sound right to me that library security wasn’t
interested in assaults on or beside library property. He asked if I wanted to
press charges, and said that he’d call the police right then if I wanted.
We got on to discussing my right to be on the sidewalk and to give out my flyers
and talk to people on the sidewalk, so I didn’t answer him definitively
about pressing charges against the assaulters. He ended up agreeing with me completely
that the Scientologists had only rented the library plaza, that the sidewalk was
not part of the plaza, and that I had the right that every citizen had to be there
and peacefully protest. When we got back to his offer to call the police to file
assault charges I declined. The drain of court appearances, with the attendant
reality that there really were ten or twelve Scientologists who would testify
like Scientologists, against one victim, with no one other than Scientologists
as witnesses, was prohibitive.
Plus, I had already won. I could peacefully and lawfully walk up and down that
sidewalk, hand out flyers, and talk to anyone who wanted to listen or not. The
Scientologists’ effort to stop me, all their cursing, shouting, assaulting,
grabbing, postulating, ordering and threatening, all were for nothing. Scientologists
had assaulted me at other peaceful protests, and the assaults were even observed
by the police – Daniel Bryenton in Toronto, Ontario in 1999, and Mary DeMoss
and Dennis Clark in Clearwater, Florida in 2001 – and in those instances
too it made strategic and economic sense to not press charges. And that afternoon
in Vancouver I still had some hours of serious demonstrating ahead of me. So I
put on my Wog hat®, put away my Audi hat, took a swig of Canada’s finest
water, and got back to work.
What I found produced good results at the CCHR display at the Vancouver Library
was to make contact with people -- the wogs® -- who walked by or between the
modules, and simply tell them that the Scientology cult was behind the operation.
This alone was enough for a number of people to register understanding, be warned,
and turn skeptical. After my initial warning that the display was a Scientology
operation, and part of the cult’s campaign to eradicate the mental health
field, install their own system, and grab government mental health appropriations,
just like the Scientologists tried to grab my flyers, some people engaged me in
further discussions toward a deeper understanding of the cult, its system and
its opportunistic hatred for mental health professionals.
I also continued to interact with the Scientologists throughout the afternoon
as was sensible. After a while, the man
that the cult had counting bodies and marking stats on a notepad on both days
I was at the display became probably the most civil toward me, which won’t
get him any brownie shirt points with his cult bosses, but was at least nicer
for me. He said his name was Hancock, but he could have been nominally pulling
my leg. He said he was from Vancouver and had been in Los Angeles in Scientology
in 1969, which was the same year I got into the cult in Vancouver. He smoked a
lot and I asked him about it, and he admitted that nicotine is a drug and addictive.
Towards the end of my protest, “Hancock” came up to me and, rather
sotto voce, asked me if I’d audited what was in my flyer, which by then,
in order to ask this question, he must have read. I said I had indeed audited
OT III, that my conclusion was that it didn’t work and was complete quackery,
and, most importantly, that the auditing not working made me a “Suppressive
Person.” Declaring OT III to not work didn’t win any brownie shirt
points with him, of course, and he muttered something about my being an SP explaining
everything, then he wandered away for good.
At one point another
Scientologist, who acted like he was OSA
Vancouver’s solution to the Gerry Armstrong problem, showed up and began
to engage me. One of his targets, it seemed obvious, was to pull me into talking
with him and “handling” him instead of engaging and warning the wog
visitors to the library and the display. I didn’t fall for his efforts at
engaging conversation, however, but maintained a comm line with him as feasible,
as I also continued my successful action engaging the wogs that the cultists were
luring in to their anti-mental health display. I didn’t get a really good
photo of the guy, and he avoided having a really good photo taken, but these pics
may be helpful for identification purposes.
He complained to me at one point that he found my calling Scientologists “clams”
was insulting. I said that it’s in response to Scientology calling us wogs
“wogs,” and that I use “clams” as a simple step in a campaign
to get Scientologists to stop their crusade of hatred, bigotry and attacks against
wogs. I said that when Scientology strips from its “scriptures” all
mentions of wogs and all hatred of wogs, then it would be appropriate for wogs
to cease calling clams clams. He asked if I knew where the term “wogs”
came from, and I said I did. He said that “wog” is an insult, and
that he never uses the term because it is insulting. Having a number of times
before heard this risible claim, which is itself insulting, that a Scientologist
never used the term “wog” because it’s insulting, I laughed
and carried on protesting.
The guy said at one point that I appeared to be very knowledgeable about Scientology,
and that my use of Scientology terms showed that I still used Scientology. I explained
that his evaluation was wrong, and the same black PR of Scientology’s opponents
that the cult’s ops and dupes run on the Internet. I explained that Scientologese
is simply another language, and that it’s very helpful to know multiple
languages, and to use the language of the subject, such as Scientology, that a
person is criticizing or opposing. I am fluent in both English and Scientologese,
which is a tremendous asset in opposing the war of attrition that Scientology
wages upon good people. The fact that a person knows German or the terms of Nazism
and uses this language and argot in his opposition to German Nazism does not mean
that the person is in a Nazi “mindset.” It takes a stupendous pile
of pretended stupidity, for the purpose of generating a “basis” to
attack the person, to insist he is in such a “mindset.”
I razzed the guy a bit about his patent pretended stupidity on a number of
topics in which he tried to engage me, and he protested that he wasn’t pretending.
I also objected to his attempts to patronize me, and to some ridiculous questions
he asked to try to get some “win” against me. He wanted to know if
since I objected to Scientology’s anti-psychiatry display, was I therefore
in favor of forced drugging, electro-shocking and brain surgery on people. I said
that there is no doubt that there are problems and abuses in the wog mental health
field, but I objected to his cult’s blowing these problems and abuses out
of proportion, and even inventing them, to divert attention from and prevent the
addressing and correction of the problems, abuses and crimes in Scientology.
What this guy was attempting to do with me, and what Scientology and Scientologists
are doing with CCHR and their mad vilification and eradication campaign against
legitimate mental health field practitioners, is in compliance with Hubbard’s
directives that Scientologists fight their war on their victims’ territory.
It is bad warfare to fight battles on your own terrain, in your own subject
area. It is not good to fight in the territory of allies. Fight battles wherever
possible only on enemy terrain, in and about his subject and his people, not ours.
You can gauge your relative success by this. When all your battles are fought
on his terrain, you are winning.
Legitimate opposition to Scientology fraud, abuses and criminality fights the
war on the cult’s terrain, and actions that attack the legitimate opposition
serve Scientology’s purposes by shifting the battlefield to the terrain
of the cult’s enemies, its victims.
During our conversation, and in response to my criticisms of Scientology abuses
and criminality, the guy asked which I considered most dangerous, psychiatry or
the cult. I appreciated the opening, and replied that in the past twenty-two years,
Scientology personnel or agents have assaulted me multiple times, terrorized me
on the highway, sued me several times to destroy my civil rights, tried to have
me prosecuted and jailed on manufactured evidence and charges, run covert ops
on me, run into me with a car, spied on me, harassed my friends and family, threatened
my life, and published black propaganda on me around the world. On the other hand,
not one psychiatrist in all that time has assaulted me, or black PRed me, or threatened
me, or sued me, or done anything to me. There is no doubt, as my irrefutable experience
shows, that Scientology and Scientologists are more dishonest, violent and destructive
of human rights than the psychiatrists they vilify and attack. The guy had no
He asked if I thought there was any value in drugs or electro-shock treatment
for people, and I said that there very well might be. I asked him if he thought
there was any value in drugs or other mental health treatments, and he said that
there was none. I asked him, then what about Lisa McPherson, who went psychotic,
and the Scientologists locked up, restrained, force drugged, denied medical help,
and killed. The guy avoided answering, pretending ignorance of her story. Lisa
McPherson is the one publicly documented instance of the application of Scientology’s
“technology” for “treating” psychosis, and the Scientologists
killed her -- a one hundred percent failure rate for the cult’s “tech.”
Throughout the afternoon, when anyone asked what my grievances were with Scientology’s
campaign to eradicate the mental health field, in addition to the cult’s
transparent effort to fight its war of total attrition on the “enemy’s”
turf so as to evade doing anything about its own abuses and criminality, I also
pointed out Scientology’s policy of blaming psychiatry and medicine for
the cult’s own failures. Hubbard writes in a confidential policy letter
of June 29, 1971:
Policy is that we assign any case or upset in Scientology to past damage and
interference with the person by medicine or psychiatry.
Use it often. Make it known to the enemy that this is our policy as a restraint
on their fetid imaginations: "Every time you attack us we will disclose more
records of your failures".
I also expressed some indignation at Scientology’s cruel hypocrisy in
refusing to accept into its “churches” for “treatment”
the very people whose mental health care the cult was trying to prevent and destroy.
Many of the people that psychiatrists are given to treat and care for are the
most vulnerable in society, and some of them are the most dangerous. While attacking
wog mental health as “junk science,” Scientology proclaims and advertises
that its “mental technology” is completely scientific and can cure
all these mentally ill people and all mental illness. The Scientology cultists
refuse, however, to submit their “mental science” to scientific testing
and verification, and also refuse to “treat” the mentally ill people
that the Scientologists claim their “tech” alone can heal. Worse,
the Scientologists canvass among mentally ill patients for vulnerable people they
can use, manipulate, fund and bring to “a frenzy of hate” against
their caregivers, the cult’s mental health practitioner “enemies.”
My last operating target for the protest was to take a photo of Erika
in front of Scientology’s anti-mental health display for the www.xenu.net
T-shirt contest. So I fished her out of my backpack, where she had been holding
her breath for a good three hours, and held her at arms length and snapped a pic.
What a trouper she was, bearing with all these indignities, grinning broadly and
looking positively pulchritudinous. And finally, I asked a young man who was passing
by on my sidewalk to take a photo of Erika
and me together.
I considered the afternoon a smashing success. I talked to dozens of people,
immunized several, gave out maybe half my Xenu flyers, survived two assaults and
lots of insults, made a photographic record, and earned a T-shirt. I’d say
that the Scientologists’ chronic tone was covert hostility, although my
cheerful presence brought a number of them up to overt hostility for a good several
minutes. On the bus ride back from Vancouver, the excitement and adrenalin began
to wear off, and I noticed that my left arm where the most aggressive Scientologist
had grabbed me had a nasty abrasion, probably from his finger nails, and my left
wrist was quite painful, most likely from preventing myself from falling to the
ground when they jumped at me. The abrasion got even nastier looking for a few
days, however is healing well now, without a contact assist, but just with Chilliwack’s
miracle water, and I don’t think the wound will impact my picketing schedule
through the rest of the summer.