Title: The Profit: Scientology and Art
Author:
kngpeter@aol.com (Kng Peter)
Date: 31 Oct 2000 00:46:51 GMT

According to L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology founder and sole guru of it's
GroupThink, the artists of society are it's dream makers, blazing a pathway for
the rest of mankind, and are to be treasured and valued for their contribution.
 In practice, Scientology treats artists in a different fashion than
advertised, as reflected in their actions against Courage Productions film "The
Profit" over the last few months.

"The Profit," directed by myself and produced by Patricia Greenway, was filmed
in the Tampa Bay area this summer.  I can't tell you a lot about the film just
yet except to say that some of the raw footage is amongst the most powerful and
beautiful ever filmed.  If you are interested, take a look at the web site
(currently under construction) at www.theprofit.org.   In any event, the film,
in the universal  opinion of those who have seen the dailies, appears to be a
work of fine art.

I should also point out that it is a work of art produced and directed by two
people, who in their spare time, are board members of the Lisa McPherson Trust,
a watchdog group over the Scientologists.  

Needless to say, the Scientologist hate Patricia and I and so, without ever
actually knowing what the film we were making was about, the Scientologists
attacked us.

They began on August 31, appearing at our filming location, passing out fliers
to cast, crew members which intimated (they don't have the guts to come out and
say anything-they just sneakily imply) that Patricia and I were neo-Nazis and
Klu Klux Klan members.  Our crew immediately brought us these fliers, and we
all had a good laugh since I am half-Jewish.  One of my friends pointed out
that this made me the one and only Hebrew Knight of the Klu Klux Klan!

Within a few days the Scientologists sent no less than seven private
investigators to spy upon us at another location.  Some succeeded in video
taping our cast while we filmed a scene on a dock.  Our crew mooned them in
response.

The Scientologists then began to take down the license numbers of our cast and
crew, and followed several single women (brave souls these Scientologists) to
their homes, attempting to intimidate them.  The Scientologists found, to their
chagrin, that even employees we had terminated for cause remained loyal to us. 
One such young lady testified in court that she considered the Scientologists
visit to be a threat, and that she was frightened by them, but that since she
knew about the evil of this group (not by her connection with us, but because
they had previously destroyed a friend of hers) she was well prepared to deal
with them.

Several days later the Scientologists showed up at our soundstage and gave a
video tape to our crew members.  The tape was labeled "seeing this tape could
cost you your job!"  Of course, our film crew immediately brought us this tape,
which we all watched together, and again we enjoyed a good laugh (it included
scenes of Patricia and I picketing the cult).  The general consensus amongst
the crew was that Patricia and I were much too kind to the Scientologists, and
that we should step up the action!

Finally, one evening the Scientologists showed up at a motel where we were
filming.  A couple of local boys--big old rednecks with beers in their
hands--said they would dearly love to go kick the Scientologists ass.  (We
restrained them.)  At the same time, one of the members of our crew (who
happens to be gay) mooned the Scientologists again, while he wore a t-shirt
which said (on one side) "Xenu is my lover!" and (on the other side) "Save the
body thetans."  I marveled at the ability of this strange cult to bring
together such disparate elements as beer totin' Good Old Boys and Gay
Activists.  Maybe there is some value to this cult after all, as they truly
seem to have a unique power to create a Rainbow Coalition of just about every
type of good natured person arrayed against them?

And then, as suddenly as they appeared, the Scientologists disappeared.

Then, just as suddenly, out of town agitators for the IATSE (stage hands) union
showed up and threw up an illegal "organizing" picket line.  (This is against
the National Labor Relations Board rules.)  Without ever once asking for a
meeting with us, they struck our non-Union film and refused to let their
(twelve) union members cross the picket line.  Nine of the twelve union members
were heartbroken, because they had all checked with their union prior to the
start of filming, and had been given permission to work on our non-Union film. 
 Some came to us in tears, but they all said they had to quit or they would
never be allowed to work again at their chosen profession. 

We wondered if there was a connection between the sudden union attack and the
withdrawal of the Scientologists?  We spoke to one reporter who believed that
there might be such a connection.  He indicated that he had evidence that a top
union leader was connected to the Cleveland Mafia.  He also said that he had
evidence that one of the Scientology law firms had also represented a Mafia
family, and that this might be the connection.  We have no way of knowing
whether this is true, because we try to spend our time creating art, and not
digging up dirt on people, but it's an interesting idea.

In any event, the strike failed to stop the film, and we quickly resumed
shooting after replacing the union crew members. 

Towards the end of the filming, a local news reporter, Kelly Swope did a TV
news piece on the strange doings of the Scientologists and the union.  After
airing the news piece, Kelly reported to us that she was continually followed
by Scientology PI's and that the cult had bombarded her news editor with
propaganda--all to no effect. 

The Scientologists failed to stop the film from being shot, but after filming
was complete they stooped to even lower, slimier tactics.  An "anonymous" party
sent our insurance carrier a letter, indicating that they were part of a
"religion" which would create trouble for the insurance company.  This letter
was anonymous, because-of course-it is both a violation of Florida insurance
regulations and a tort to interfere with or threaten a carrier to drop a
client.  The cult then followed up this anonymous letter with a package of
public record court information-again targeted at the insurance company and
designed to induce our carrier to drop us. Of course, neither the anonymous
letter nor the information packet succeeded in it's goal.

Meanwhile, the "Foundation for Religious Tolerance"--a Scientology front
group-- continued to contact our former crew members, attempting to get someone
to gripe about their treatment during their employment with us.  Naturally,
several members of our crew (all of them interestingly, union people who had
been forced to quit) contacted us after turning away the Scientologists empty
handed.

The Scientologists also visited the owners of several locations at which we had
filmed, trying to develop bad blood between us and the property owners.  Again,
they failed totally, as several property owners reported their actions to us.

While their attempts to stop "The Profit" so far appear to be the flat-footed,
comic opera antics of a bunch of clowns, we believe that the more the
Scientologists fail, the more desperately they will try to destroy us.  As time
goes by the attacks will become more desperate, more vicious, and more evil. 
By the time we are done, the true face of Scientology will be revealed: an evil
cult that hates artists, and indeed, hates all those who practice free,
creative expression.  

I'll keep you posted on all this as we go: it should get very, very
interesting.
 
 
Peter Alexander
More by Peter Alexander Confrontations while picketing
More Peter Alexander - Title: Spreading Lies The Scientology Way 
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