Wayne Whitney's Postings: Number 063 In The Collection

From wwhit71151@aol.com Mon Mar 17 08:37:20 1997
Subject: Wayne Whitney - Picket Report Mar 15, 97
Date: 17 Mar 1997 06:37:20 GMT
Message-ID: <19970317063700.BAA04126@ladder01.news.aol.com>

Picket Report - San Francisco Org 83 McAllister Street Mar 15, 97

Hi Everyone,

Today I arrived at the Org about 11:15A.M. Steve Whitlatch was already there with a whole crowd around him. I was impressed.

This time I arrived carrying a sign which read, "STOP HURTING YOUR OWN MEMBERS." I held this sign in memory of Lisa. Since I couldnít partake in the vigil in Clearwater this was my way of paying my last respects to her. This sign I kept facing the org at all times as opposed to facing it towards those on the street as I normally do. I wanted all Scientology members inside to know, without a doubt, that *I* was directing my message towards THEM this time.

When I first got there I was pretty much ignored as I usually am during my weekly pickets. I assumed that they had gone into apathy about me and were going to leave me alone this time as well.

After awhile of peaceful picketing this one member suddenly walks up and starts firing all these questions at me. "What is this sign all about? Why do you keep it facing it at the org?" Etc.. etc. When I told him that it was in memory of Lisa he said, "OH YEA, you didnít even know Lisa." When I responded with, "I donít need to know someone personally to care about them. He responded with, "How many Lisas do you know out there." As he went on and on he kept getting more and more antagonistic. Finally he moved in and got right in my face continuing with his rant.

At this point Steve Whitlatch muscles in between us to hand me a flier. The guy mumbles something like, "I didnít appreciate you stepping in front of me like that." The guy then wanders off. That ended that little Ďconversationí right there.

I turn around to continue my picket. I see this woman walk out the front door heading straight for me holding a small sign which read, "WAYNE STOP HURTING YOUR OWN MEMBER". When I saw that sign my first thought was, "Geez, I always thought I took great care of my own member". She walks up to me and sticks the sign right in my face to make sure that I saw it. She then gets behind me and starts to follow me wherever I go.

For quite some time she followed me around about five feet behind me like a little puppy . Half the time when I turned around to change directions she would shove the sign in my face to make sure that I saw it again. If someone asked her what her sign meant she would say, "Ask Wayne here, HE knows EXACTLY what it means." When I mentioned to someone that probably no one even knew who ĎWayneí was she started to occasionally point to me and blurt out, "This is Wayne right here, this is Wayne right here." I liked the way she kept using my name, it made me feel kind of important out there. WOW, personal attention for a change, they usually just ignore me. I must have hit a raw nerve with my new sign.

Itís interesting to note that this woman didnít even know me so she MUST have been instructed to do all this by someone inside. I suspect Jeff Quiros put her up to it since he was out in front a lot of the time directing all the counter-picket activities. I also suspect Jeff because he and I have this constant, somewhat antagonistic, situation going on between us right now. This might be why I received the Ďpersonalizedí attention that I did.

After awhile this other female member comes up and starts talking to me. Unlike the others this woman is really friendly towards me. When she takes over my Ďlittle puppyí wanders off to go do other things. We talked for quite awhile, her telling me about her positive experiences in the organization and me telling about all my negative experiences. My impression is that she was sincere about her experiences. At the same time I also suspected that she was sent to get information out of me because she asked me some very blunt questions about who was behind all my activities. This woman eventually went off to perform other anti-picket activities such as putting up a pro-Scientology banner on the large truck they had parked out in front.

Apparently these guys just donít get it. They appear to be so paranoid about a worldwide conspiracy against them. They just canít get it through there heads that maybe there are so many individuals out here who simply refuse to put up with their unethical activities and are acting under their own self-determinism to do something about it.

After awhile that one guy (who had gotten antagonistic earlier) came back. This time he was quite a bit calmer and seemed interested in what I had to say -- at first. I related some my negative experiences and tried to explain WHY I was out there picketing. Once again he got right in my face and said in a loud voice, "Youíve got to be the most stupid person alive. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. I just canít believe how stupid you are. I canít believe how stupid you are to have kept giving them money when you werenít getting anything out of it."

I tried in vain to explain why I did it. Iíve found that unless a personís been in that situation that most people have trouble understanding what itís like and how the cult can get a normally rational person to act in bizarre ways. I really wish someone would make a TV movie dramatizing the whole experience. Maybe then more people would understand what itís REALLY like to be lured into this cult and be subjected to the lies, deceptions, threats, harassment and constant Ďback room reg cyclesí. I find it very difficult to fully communicate this experience to people out on the street. Iíve settled with just relaying the objective facts of what happens to you once you walk in that front door. I leave out the emotions that a person goes through. Iíve become very successful at getting enough of the facts across. Fortunately this is ALL that is necessary to keep people out of this cult. The frustration and anger I have to suppress and keep to myself.

Anyway, me and this guy went round and round a number of times. It was worse than talking to a brick wall. Each round ended with me saying, "YOU WERENíT THERE, you canít possibly understand what it was like for me," Heíd respond with, "I just canít believe how stupid you are to have kept giving them money when you werenít getting anything out of it." At some point I realized how pointless the whole conversation was so I think I just walked away. I had better things to do than waste my time with him. His comments, no matter how hurtful I may find them, just make me more determined than ever to continue trying to keep the same thing from happening to others.

By this time the clouds were moving in and it started to get cold. Things were winding to a close. Staff members appeared to be packing up getting ready to leave for some Ďevent.í They even took Hubbardís bust with them. Around 4:00P.M. this former member (apparently a very satisfied customer of the cult) came up and asked if could ask me a few questions. We ended up talking for about 30 minutes. He spent quite a bit of time just listening to me talk about my reasons for being out there. I thought we had a very meaningful discussion. Not everyone out there to handle the picketers became nasty or antagonistic to me, some were very understanding about my reasons for being out there. I tried to deal with each person on an individual basis. This picket re-affirmed my opinion that my method of picketing is the correct one for me.

While we were talking this other guy came over and started talking to both of us. At first he seemed rather friendly and harmless. As time went on, however, his behavior slowly changed. He became more aggressive, brazen and physical with me. I started to sense that something was beginning to go wrong, that this guy wasnít who he had at first appeared to be. None of my usual methods of dealing with someone like this were working on him. I began to feel very uncomfortable and decided at that point it was best to just leave. The guy started going nuts on me. He started getting very aggressive, grabbing at both me and my sign. This one woman who was riding by on a bike saw what was going on and stopped. I looked at her and asked if she knew the guy. I was hoping that she did and that she would be able to get him off me. She looked at me with this really concerned look on her face and said, "This guy is nuts, you REALLY DONíT want to be messing with him." With that she rode off.

It was then that I realized that I was probably in over my head on his one. I kept trying to get away hoping to make my way back to the subway or at least to the hamburger place around the corner where I knew I could get some assistance. He kept grabbing me, pulling me back, harassing me about my sign and a number of other things. I kept inching my way along trying not to do anything to encourage him to escalate his aggressiveness. Fortunately he got distracted for a few seconds by someone nearby and I took the opportunity get away from him. He yelled at me to get back but I just kept walking not even looking back to see if he was following. Fortunately for me he didnít.

Earlier I had seen this guy go after several others out in front of the org but since I was talking to someone at the time I didnít realize the seriousness of the threat that this guy was posing. Since most everyone had left and I was the only one left out there I guess he decided to go after me.

It was unfortunate that the day had to end on such a sour note. This was the first time that anyone has gotten physical (almost to the point of violence) with me. This was a VERY rare occurrence I must point out. Iíve always been aware that this type of situation could happen out there but I canít let this threat stop me now.


* One thing Iíve noticed is that I tend to get a bit flustered when someone starts badgering me for facts that I donít have. An example of this was when that guy asked me how many ĎLisasí I knew. Since I didnít keep stats on the number of people I watched get hurt at the mission and org he was asking me a question that I couldnít really answer. Remaining aware of this will help me in future pickets. If someone tries this again Iíll remember to just keep my comments general instead of introverting and trying to come up with facts to satisfy their interrogat