Advancing Religion

“DO, yourself, much MORE CHARGING, and you will WIN.”—LRH

Among all the astonishing incidents I’ve been in at Scientology protests or pickets, this is astonishing.

It was August 21 at the Vancouver org in the early afternoon, a perfect summer day and there were 8 or 10 of us, excellent wogs all, protesting our masks off.

Except perhaps to quibbling orienteers, the org is on the northwest corner of Hastings Street and Homer Street. Most of the protesting, flyering, dancing, cake, etc. happens  at the front entrance on Hastings, which runs more or less east and west.

There’s a side entrance into the org on Homer, which runs more or less north and south. Go south and downhill a block and a bit and you reach Burrard Inlet. That day, the Coral Princess was in town.

There’s also an entrance from the alley at the rear of the building. Some of the Scientologists use the side or rear entrances during protests to avoid having to confront the evil SP protestors, and I suppose to avoid too having to shatter us. The protestors, of course, know about the Scientologists’ covert entrances and often catch them coming and going despite the Scientologists’ best avoidance tech.

I sometimes walk around during protests and check out the org’s building, the condition of the paint or bricks, accumulations of dirt, weeds and other crap, or anything new or interesting, and I sometimes take photos.

On that occasion, I started wandering downhill on Homer and spotted 3 Vancouver Scientologists, who, I’m pretty sure, were staff members, at the side entrance, waiting for someone to let them in.

It was a clear organization failure that these 3 Vantologists were stranded on the sidewalk out in the open where the SPs could see them, but I didn’t rub it in at all. There were 3 ladies and they turned their backs to me, as Scientologists often or standardly do when SPs like me are somewhere near. I took a pic without much of an attempt to engage them in conversation as I passed by.

To me, it was pretty goofy that these people were waiting enturbulatedly at a locked door when they could walk in through the unlocked front entrance. This sort of thing happens in Scientology when some in-charge, or org program director, or the cult head himself, issues an order, which was probably dumb to begin with, but doesn’t get changed even when it becomes clear it was dumb.

So here, for example, org personnel had at one time been ordered to use the side entrance during protests, since, someone observed, protestors are always at the front. Except, the protestors, who include, I’m sure, rocket scientists, had actually figured this stratagem out. And sometimes, as on this occasion, because the doorman who has to unlock the door when someone knocks has left his post, the knockers are left knocking.

After passing the ladies, I turned into the alley at the back of the org, which runs more or less east and west between Homer and Richards Street. The buildings on both sides of the alley have some well worth viewing graffiti, although the constant and oppressive urine smell doesn’t make it a destination for many tourists. That block of alley was recently paved, but the paving hadn’t reduced, and probably increased, the pissoir problem. Well, there hadn’t been a good rain really in some weeks. The org’s rear entrance is arrowed in this pic, which looks from the Homer corner down the alley to Richards.

As I entered the alley, I noticed a guy standing if the rear entrance, which was open, and he noticed me. The rear entrance was doubtlessly a truck loading dock or platform in the building’s pre-Scientology history.  There’s a drop of about 2 feet straight down to the asphalt. I think the building, which is brick, and actually a few bricks loose of an ideal org , used to be Peoples Credit Jewellers.

It isn’t very often that org personnel appear at the rear entrance, and I thought it was a good image and began to frame it, when the guy yelled at me something like, “Don’t you dare photograph her. She’s doing a religious practice.” Then immediately he jumped down into the alley and charged at me.  He had a black shirt and tan pants and a ring of keys on his belt, so I thought he was probably security.

He ran right at me and threw a palm-first punch at me, stopping just an inch or two from my face. I remember he had what seemed then immense hands, and he was a big guy, much bigger then I am. I think my camera was somewhere near my eyes, because I got the idea of him smashing it into my face.

As he charged me and punched at me, he yelled again something like, “She’s doing a religious practice. Don’t you dare photograph her. She’s on a religious practice.” He repeated this theme I believe four times during our confrontation, which lasted a maximum of half a minute.

I held my ground reasonably well as he charged, punched, and then held his hand in my face for a couple of seconds. His body seemed to shake as if he was restraining himself with great will power from totally shattering me.  I was actually dumbfounded, and rendered virtually speechless, even though I thought of saying something about not laying a finger on me  not to touch me because legal repercussions. Mainly I was trying to divine what he was so charged up about.

My first thought was that he was talking about one of the 3 ladies I’d just walked by and photographed at the side entrance. I supposed in a flash that he could have been instructed that waiting outside a church is religious practice, or religious exercise, and that photographing a person waiting at a church was a crime, and he could punish that crime. But I also reasoned in another flash that even if waiting was a sacrament, photographing waiters on public sidewalks, or even from public sidewalks, couldn’t conceivably be a crime, or violate any of the waiters’ rights, most definitely their right to wait.

In a couple more flashes, however, I realized that the guy was referring to a runner, a young lady, who was just then turning around at the other end of the alley at Richards and running back to the org. The guy realized I had just cognited that it was the runner he’d been talking about, and he positioned his body in the alley between me and the young lady.

Because of this Scientology bad religious cop’s severe aggression, and the incredibleness of this data, I wanted to get a pic of his face, but he knew this so kept his back turned to me. I waited him out, however, and my camera was ready when he glanced back once to check on me.  A Scientology PI had similarly charged me with his head down in 1982, and tried to keep his back to me to prevent a photo of his face.

Then I got a pic of the alley Scientologist holding me back as the running lady approaches in the alley.  By this time, I’m thinking that she’s probably on the Purif, Scientology’s “Purification Rundown,” and this is her running step. She could have been running laps in the alley as punishment, as laps are run in the RPF, but it seemed most likely that she was running as part of the Purif Program she’d bought.

Scientology inventor L. Ron Hubbard stated in scripture that the purpose of running on the Purif is “to get the blood circulating and the system functioning so that impurities held in the system can be released and are pumped out.” Running, of course, necessarily increases respiration, over, for example, walking. And running in the alley, which increased the inhalation of the pissy, reeking alley air, just to avoid SPs, felt sad and cruel to me.

The young lady quickly arrived at the rear entrance, the guy directed her inside, and she leapt up the loading platform and disappeared into the org.The guy strode right behind her, also leapt up and closed the rear doors behind him.

I’m a runner, and I do much of my running in the mountains on trails, but sometimes I run around cities, including Vancouver.  I’ve related my running experience to Scientology’s Purif, and written down some of my thoughts. In the late 1970’s at the int base at Gilman Hotsprings I actually did the program. Then in the late 1980’s I picked up running, without the rest of the Purif. Running honestly works! Scientology honestly doesn’t.

There are runners I’ve encountered who viewed running as a spiritual experience, or even as their own personal spiritual experience, particularly I think trail runners. My position is that spirituality in running is as spiritual as spirituality can be in any other human activity. But no matter how spiritual we runners thought running was, or even if some runners thought it was religious practice, nobody ever thought runners were not to be photographed.

This poor guy had been given this whacky computation that he aligned with his SP doctrine implant, resulting in his bizarre and dangerous behavior. The doctrine had left the 3 ladies in waitingness. The young lady’s need to do her running step when aligned with the SP doctrine made her run back and forth in the stinking alley, and leap inside to avoid friendly fellow Canucks. There are all sorts of friendlier places and safer spaces to run to from the org if people need to get their blood circulating and their system functioning.