How is this for a shocking graphic to start a post? It’s my creation…. well, mostly. I stole it from CCHR. It’s here for shock value, so don’t take it too seriously, okay?
Approximately 9 months ago (or so — I’m bad with time, so take that for what it is worth), I approached Marty about writing an entry for his blog. My angle? Simple — hardcore critic — the guy who did the $cientology-KILLS website and T-shirts with OT-III, supports independant Scientologists. Not the most earth shattering headline, I must confess.
I haven’t been active protesting Scientology in over a decade. They were downright vicious when it came to shutting me down. I received the personal attentions of Dave Lubow. What did they dig up on me? Bounced checks and bad credit, basically. Having gone through a divorce over the years preceeding my activism, and being young, dumb, wildly irresponsible, and willing to waste a large percentage of my income to do things like …make t-shirts to give away or sell (at a loss! despite the Church’s PR that I profited wildly), probably made me an easy target. Lubow even called my mother! The man is truly a turd. Sorry.
At the time, I also confessed to being Scamizdat (blogger note: maybe Mike can explain this, but I vaguely recall Scamizdat posted some upper level material and we tried to crush a harsh DM critic Grady Ward through civil litigation as the poster), as part of the Grady Ward case. Even after going through deposition with Helena Kobrin (who still owes me muffins) and Eric Leiberman, they declined to accept my confession and still pushed forward against Grady. Granted, my confession wasn’t enough for them to pin specific acts on me. But I cost them tremendous amounts of money, and greatly enjoyed the telephone updates to DM throughout the deposition. These updates were done in a room next door to the Deposition room, and hysterically, they didn’t realize that there was basically a window between the two rooms. The “window” allowed myself, Grady and the transcriptionist unfettered audio access to their calls.
It was funny, but at the time I failed to realize the significance. That they would call DM (or perhaps it was even Marty on the other end!) (blogger note: wasn’t me, was it you Mike?) in response to a depo of some little guy who just had the stupidity/courage/something to stand up and say, “I am Spartacus!”
After the major Lisa McPherson protest in Clearwater — the protest where I met Bob Minton — the protest that I recruited Lawrence Wollersheim to join us on — the protest where I first met Dave Lubow (I’m such a name dropper!), I had Co-Organized the Boulder Colorado Protest. The Boulder protests generated enough noise that they flew in Sylvia Stanard and Joe Neal (or O’Neal?) and some gal from Portland to handle me and mine.
Great protest…We got Wollersheim and Bob Penny to protest side-by-side while Denver DSA Deb Danos held a sign saying “Wollersheim Used Penny.”
All in all, things went well.
During the protest there was an interesting exchange that I documented afterwards in an internet post which you can find here:
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.scientology/browse_thread/thread/6c4713c07f4c6dd8/14d28739143eaa78?hl (blogger note: contains reference to OT III data)
The whole thread is worth reading.
It went basically like this… Joe Neal (O’Neal, I guess) confronted me during the protest and pointed to one of our fellow picketers (who had dressed up as the alien “Xenu”) and made the statement, “That is Bigotry”.
I raised it as an issue then, and the moment never left me. Was it bigotry? Maybe.
Whether it was a fair point or not that Joe raised that day is really beside the point. What followed is what makes that exchange particularly interesting.
See, I started to ponder where the line between protest, complaint and bigotry was. I wondered, to myself, if a scientology reformation were to occur, do I so hate the ideas that I couldn’t tolerate it? Or do I mean what I say? Would I tolerate a kinder, gentler scientology?
The years passed… Lubow did his thing and shut me up. Kobrin traded removal of my name from the churches blackPR pages for my scientology-kills.net domain. An action I still feel no small amount of shame for. Although I should point out that the church did not uphold its side of the domain-name bargain. I demanded poppy seed muffins, I was promised poppy-seed muffins… I never received them. Criminals.
So, as I said, redundantly, a decade passed. I did my own thing. I caught glimpses of the “anonymous” uprising here and there in the news, and then Marty… I found Marty’s page. See, Marty was of particular interest to me in the last months of being a critic. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The man had left! He was, from my limited understanding, the man behind the curtain on so many things. I knew he was important, other critics knew he was important, but he was an enigma to me, just the same.
Here he is… blogging.
So I have been reading. I still find much of the “tech” repugnant to reason and science. But in the past year I have been reading Marty’s Blog and there’s this nagging question in the back of my head. It’s really Joe Neal’s question… or maybe not, but at least owes its roots to Joe’s question….
It is, “Is this a brand of Scientology that I can co-exist with?”.
It is, to me, proof that although my actions might have said “bigotry” in the past, that my mind and heart were not working from a place of bigotry at all. In the end, I am not blind.
If Marty is Honest — and I have no reason to think otherwise — This is a Scientology that I can peacefully and happily co-exist with. I am not arrogant enough to believe that you all NEED my validation. But I wanted to give it anyway.
Marty? If you back off of it one inch… I will be here to protest you.
I wish all of you, everyone…. the best of luck in saving your religion. You have my support.