Title: OT Committees, OSA and Home Pickets--"Grassroots" from Uplines
clkates@aol.com (CLKates)
Date: 10 Oct 1998 03:42:31 GMT

As we have seen, CoS has implemented a nationwide (in fact, North American)
strategy of revenge pickets at the homes of those who picket Orgs. In
California, the homes of picketers, including Kristi Wachter, Zinjifar, Keith
Henson, Jim Wissick (and his parents), have been targeted. In Arizona, Bruce
Pettycrew has been flyered at home; Jeff Jacobsen, who resides in a district
where home picketing is illegal, has been picketed at his place of
employment. In Utah, Deana Holmes has been picketed at home. In Washington
state, Stacy Young and Robert Vaughn Young have been picketed at home, as has
Jesse Prince as their guest. Stacy Young's sister has been picketed at home.
Bob Minton has been picketed at home in both Massachussetts and New
Hampshire; his family has been picketed at home in Massachussetts. Also in
Massachussetts, HiLary Osborne's parents home was picketed. In Toronto, Gregg
Hagglund's residence was picketed, as apparently were Alan Barclay's and Nan
MacLean's homes. Airports have been manned coast to coast with picketers to
meet critics of Scientology, from Boston to Seattle to Cincinnatti to Denver.
Flyering, picketing, and drive-by signage have all occurred, nationwide, in
the space of several months. 

Obviously, this indicates a coordinated effort; and in Scientology, all such
efforts are coordinated from the top down, in this case, beginning at the
Office of Special Affairs International. Pickets and picketers, it must have
been decided, needed to be handled, and a strategy was devised, returning to
a "game" Scientology had played many times before. It fit well with always
attacking, and never defending. Quite simply, to picket back, and to flyer
back.The templates were already there, having been used to flyer homes as
critics picketed in Clearwater. The tactic had been used before. This time,
it was decided that these pickets would be "grassroots"; the image would be
that of "angry public Scientologists upset about 'religious bigotry.'" 

It is also clear that it was decided that these pickets were not to be
connected to the local Org, CoS, CSI or OSA International in any official
manner. These bodies' official involvement in the picketing was to remain
hidden; leaflets and flyers unsigned and unattributed. Despite the obvious
collusion evident in the use of the same tactic coast to coast, U.S. to
Canada, CoS denied and continues to deny that these intimidation tactics are
anything but the grassroots actions of upset publics. Scientology's cowardice
was hidden behind the faces of its public members.

Scientology has told that tale before. When Scientology conspired to kill the
Cult Awareness Network, it was ascribed to mere independently-acting publics,
despite simultaneous applications for CAN membership (including one marked
"Model Letter") and simultaneous lawsuits when those applications were
rejected. Placing the work of the destruction of CAN into the hands of
publics assured plausible deniability for CoS and OSA. In fact, in the CAN
project, OSA used the same structures and organization of CoS publics that it
is using today for its home picketing--the OT Committees and OT Ambassadors. 

These Committees and Ambassadors often do the work of public volunteers for the
Org. Consisting of Scientologists Clear and above, OT Committees organize
events, and represent public Scientologists to the community at large. For
example, in Clearwater, the OT Committee does much of the organizing and work
on the "Winter Wonderland." Quite simply, it serves as a PR organization for
CoS, which fits in nicely with its work as OSA's publics. The OT Committees
meet with local officials with whom OSA seeks to improve its relations. All of
its public activities, from Winter Wonderlands to Way to Happiness events, fall
directly under the OSA PR department, and are projects worked on in conjunction
with local DSA PROs (Public Relations Officers.) 

And, as we all know so well and so bitterly, OSA is more than PR. The old
Guardian's Office had its FSMs, and although it's doubtful that the OSA of
today would directly involve organized bodies of publics in covert operations,
OSA is not above using publics in its harassment activities and intimidation
attempts. Most of OSA's public events are staffed by publics: CCHR marches
against psychiatry, "Religious Freedom Crusades," small pickets like those
conducted against the German Enquete Commission, and the like. Even at last
December's home pickets against critics protesting in Clearwater, publics
participated. There are some publics at Orgs always eager to associate
themselves with OSA activities, the OSA publics. 

But for plausible deniability of OSA's involvement in the harassment of critics
at their homes, its involvement must be hidden. And so the orders were passed,
from OSA Int to the local DSAs, and from the DSAs to the leaders of the OT
Committees, the OT Ambassadors. 

At the OT Committee meetings, the plan was discussed, and the pickets planned.
All under the aegis of these "independent" publics. It was essential, and
remains essential, that the higher "chains of command" remain obscured, as CoS
is intent on publicizing its fiction of angry public Scientologists. 

The OT Committees work as OSA publics, strictly under the control of the local
DSA, and therefore, under the control of OSA International and whatever I/C is
posted there to "handle" the problem of picketing. Picketing worries CoS. This
is obvious. The strategy to stop picketing is similar to nothing more than the
plan to destroy CAN. The OT Committees do the public work, officially
dissociated from CoS as an organization, from CSI, from OSA International. The
publics are put in charge of the harassment while the leadership that ordered
it cowers, hiding its name and its face, obscuring its true identity. 

This holds several advantages for CoS and OSA. Firstly, it creates the
impression that Org publics are *individually* "hurt" and "concerned" about
this issue, and that those publics are free to take whatever action they
please, not subject to orders from uplines--an absolute falsity. If these
publics were to defy their orders to picket, they would be taken to the Ethics
Officer for "handling" after undergoing massive pressure. Publics are hard sell
regged for home pickets just as they are for all else. It is a blatant attempt
to create better PR--from "individually-motivated" pickets rather than
organizationally ordered ones. 

Secondly, it removes the legal responsibility of CoS and OSA as organized
bodies for anything that occurs--from violations of local statutes prohibiting
residential picketing, to the possibility of violence by one of these
Scientologist home picketers. CoS and OSA have attempted to insure that they
are exempt from legal responsibility. I doubt it would hold up in any court of
law, however. 

It creates plausible deniability to the media, to upset neighbors and
landlords, to town and city officials, and to courts of law. And it helps to
hide the fact that the so-called "Church" of Scientology is currently engaging
in a massive campaign of harassment and intimidation of anyone who exercises
his or her First Amendment rights by picketing their place of business. (It has
Visa, Mastercard and Discover stickers on the window. Place of business is the
only applicable term.) It helps to hide the fact that Scientology's secret
service is once again engaging in its practice of the supposedly cancelled Fair
Game Policy. It attempts to obscure the fact that these pickets are coming
straight from Mike Rinder, OSA International and David Miscavige himself, that
this organization is so frightened, so utterly enturbulated by a small group of
courageous individuals who speak their minds, that this organization has
engaged, and is presently engaged in, a *coordinated international* campaign of
harassment and intimidation attempts. 

The faces of Rinder and DM are hidden behind those of the local publics sent
out to do the dirty work, told they are "fighting suppression." Those faces
hide the fact that this organization, which calls itself a religion, which
receives *tax exemption* on that basis, is engaged in an incredibly cowardly
form of bullying and harassment. 

The OT Committees are a very useful way of "handling" pickets with local
publics. They are an organized body of long-time Scientologists, assumed less
likely to fall into doubt or ruin their cases by speaking with picketers, and
more likely to believe that this harassment in the cause of "handling
suppression" is the right thing to do.  It isn't the first time OT Committees
have been called upon to handle picketing.  As was written on ARS about Wayne
Whitney's picketing: 

"Not only that, but it is obvious that you have been the topic of
discussion in some of the "OT Steering Committee" meetings as well
as with others in the org and "higher up" :-)  Feel very good about
what you are doing to have THAT effect."

"I admit that I'm not fully connected to current inside management
practices of the CoS, and so can lack some information.  I usually
disregard activities of variously described OT committees, perceiving them
as the tail being wagged by the dog.  (Generally quite true, occasionally
a bit excessive as a description.)  Is there information that could be
shared about the role of these "OT Steering Committee" groups which
reflects a shift towards power in their hands?  This would be useful
information for me.  Ordinarily I would expect activites of any OT
committee to occur after basic decisions about tactics and strategy have
been made in other places.  OT Committees are briefed and then appear to
the general Scientology public as forwarding various points of view
they've been briefed on, from what I can see of  proceedings concerning them." 

The author was indeed correct. They are merely "the tail being wagged by the
dog." The tactics and strategy are decided uplines, and the legal
responsibility, as well as the responsibility to provide a good PR front, and
the responsibility to hide the cowardice and conspiracy of the OSA Network,
falls into the hands of the local OT Committees.

Well, this time, the charade isn't working. I, for one, am not impressed by
OSA's attempt to hide itself behind the OT Committees. I don't think many
people are. It's time OSA took responsibility for its own actions. Come out of
hiding, Mike Rinder. Come out of hiding, Int I/C for handling pickets. The
masquerade has failed. OSA can go out there and get local publics to do its
dirty work. The whole OSA network, from Rinder on down to local DSAs, can
attempt to hide itself, attempt to hide the orders. 

The simple truth is, however, that the OT Committees are acting solely on
orders from uplines. The simple truth is, OSA is afraid of picketing. The
simple truth is, this is an organized campaign of harassment and intimidation.
Mike Rinder is responsible. David Miscavige is responsible. This is Fair Game,
ordered and coordinated from Int, unleashed on a massive scale against anyone
who speaks up. There were a lot of lessons learned from Scientology's
conspiracy against CAN. The same old game doesn't work anymore. OSA can no
longer simply hide behind its OT Committees. 

This is an artificial "grassroots." Ordered from Int,  set in place by local
DSAs, and taken to the streets by OT Committees, who report back uplines,
careful to leave no connection to the official Org in their work. It is the
duty of the OT Committees to hide the identities of those who gave their
orders, to give protection to the cowardice of those at the top. The OT
Committees are dutiful OSA publics. But they are publics always in the service
of OSA. 

Try as they might, they can't obscure the reality. The OT Committees didn't
plan the pickets, didn't give the orders, didn't react from their own anger.
The home pickets are absolutely a campaign of harassment being orchestrated
presently by the OSA Network, directed from OSA International, and, in the end,
the responsibility of Rinder and Miscavige themselves. It's their Fair Game
attempt, and their cowardly attempt to hide that cannot alter the fact that
responsibility for this campaign of intimidation and bigotry lies squarely at
their doorstep. 
Charlotte L Kates http://members.aol.com/clkates "It is time for Scientologists
to hold Miscavige accountable for his failed leadership.To support your
cause,critics can and will help you.We are here to help you regain the dignity
you once had"-Bob Minton