Wayne Whitney's Postings: Number 024 In The Collection

From wwhit71151@aol.com Tue Sep 03 07:31:37 1996
Subject: Wayne Whitney - Picket Report Sept 1, 96
Date: 3 Sep 1996 01:31:37 -0400
Message-ID: <50gfrp$h0f@newsbf02.news.aol.com>

Picket Report - San Francisco Org 83 Mcallister Street, Sept 1, 96

Hi Everyone,

I arrived at my usual time of 12:00 noon and began pacing. As the afternoon progressed I noticed that it's starting to look like staff and public have sort of "settled in" to their reaction toward me. At this point it kind of looks like their immediate reactions to me have flattened out. I figure the die-hard Scientologists have already put up their steel cages around themselves and convinced themselves how evil and suppressive I am and the ones "on the fence" will just continue to quietly percolate and hopefully eventually just drift away. There's no instant gratification concerning staff and public like there is people on the street. Oh well. I'll be content just watching that place just slowly shrivel up like I watched the mission do. By the way, the S.F. mission is on the verge of bankruptcy. Surprisingly enough, even Jeff Quiros has indicated that fact to me. So much for 40 years of constant, rapid expansion.

As I was pacing one guy passed me and then circled back around. He asked me why I was out there picketing. I started to tell him my story when he suddenly cut me off and started shouting at me, "You're a fucking idiot, YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT." Then he started making fun of the way I was dressed. Then he started poking his finger at me saying, "You have ONLY yourself to blame for being such an IDIOT."

This was one of the few times that I actually became concerned about my physical safety because I had NO idea what this guy was going to do next.

As soon as I realized that he had no intention of hearing what I had to say I immediately backed off. I figured the best way to deal with this situation was to just stay friendly with him and not contradict anything he said. I certainly didn't want to add any fuel to his fire.

I have to admit that it hurt my feelings when he started to make fun of the way I was dressed and I became angry and frustrated when he stated that it was ALL my fault that I got duped by Scientology. However, in the heat of the moment, out on the sidewalk, I realized that my first priority was to deal with HIM so I had to immediately put all my feelings aside. Any wounds he created I would have to go off and "lick" later.

Fortunately this approach worked. After about 10 minutes of ranting and raving at me he suddenly walked off. Even then he turned around and yelled at me one last time, "You know you're a FUCKING idiot don't you?"

Out of all the hundreds of people that have stopped to talk to me and all the thousands of people who have read my sign and COULD have talked to me he was the first one to go a little bit "nutty" and become openly hostile like that. I've always suspected that when I'm out there on a busy sidewalk, trying to attract attention to myself, that sooner or later something like this might happen. I'm certainly glad that this situation didn't escalate and become violent.

I was a bit rattled by this encounter but as soon as he was gone I continued my picket. Referring to my past experiences I reassured myself that he was just an isolated case. As far as this guy's comments about my clothes, I'm still trying to deal with that one. Geez, I sure wish I could grow up sometime soon.

As I was trying to calm myself down I realized how in a way I'm very lucky. When I'm picketing I get to interact with so many different types of people. Before Scientology when I used to just bum around San Francisco I was just another nameless face in the crowd, just like everyone else was to me. Now that I'm picketing not only am I able to inform so many others about the dangers of Scientology but I am also able to interact with so many different types of people who I ordinarily wouldn't have been able to. This activity is certainly breaking down my stereotypical "first impressions" of them. It has certainly re-affirmed my belief that you can't really know a person until you actually INTERACT with them. Just going by their appearance is so unfair to them.

When it was almost time for me to leave I decided to spend a few minutes around the corner in front of the subway where I knew one of them was trying to recruit new members. I got there just in time to watch him ensnare another person. This woman was very reluctant to go with him at first. From her reactions it looked like she had someplace else to go. Unfortunately she eventually gave in and went with him. I got frustrated when I saw this happen but I sedated myself by remembering that the whole time I was outside the mission out of everyone that the recruiter managed to lure inside I only saw ONE person actually go back a second time. Besides that, last week when this same guy almost lured someone else inside I watched them both come around the corner. The "target" looked at my sign and then saw that he was being lead into a Scientology building. At that point he kind of freaked out and I heard him say, "No way. You're not getting me in there." He immediately turned around and ran off. I don't know how much of an effect my sign had on him. Maybe the guy had already heard of Scientology. I DO know that it was so satisfying for me to watch him run back around the corner the way he did. I'm keeping my fingers crossed hoping that the woman had the same reaction.

Wayne Whitney