From the Tampa Tribune, through the Pointcast network, with some of [my

own comments] interspersed...

Scientology critics plan night vigil


Posted to at 3/1/97 -- 2:15 PM Scientology critics plan

night vigil

By CHERYL WALDRIP of The Tampa Tribune



CLEARWATER - In her life, Lisa McPherson was a pretty blond woman who

worked hard and adored dancing.


In death, she has become a symbol for critics of the Church of

Scientology, some of whom will be in Clearwater on Saturday to hold a

candlelight vigil in her honor.


Some 25 to 30 critics from around the country will gather at the

courthouse downtown about 11 a.m. Saturday. They plan to protest

peacefully during the late morning and early afternoon. Protest organizer

Jeff Jacobsen said the night vigil will begin at 7.


They plan to march around the Fort Harrison Hotel, Scientology's world

spiritual headquarters and the place where McPherson spent her final days.

She arrived dead at a Pasco County hospital on Dec. 5, 1995. She was 36.


Jacobsen also organized an anti-Scientology protest last March. He said

this year's theme will be: ``Stop Hurting People, Scientology.'' In a

prepared statement about the protest, Jacobsen said protesters will

``focus on the church's policies that hurt both critics and members of the



``These are the same people who have been in cahoots with the Clearwater

police for a long time,'' Scientology spokesman Brian Anderson said in a

prepared statement.


[Cahoots! With the police! Oh, my goodness!]


``They come here to support the Clearwater Police Department's campaign

of bigotry and hatred against the church. It's the same thing the CWPD did

in the early 1980s, bringing in a dog-and-pony show.''


[Dogs and ponies and clams, OH MY!]


Anderson said the protesters didn't care about McPherson.


``They just want to get their names in the newspaper and foment hatred in

the community,'' he said. ``How low can they sink?''


[Yeah, next thing you know we'll be taking money from suckers for

sci-fi bullshit pseudo-psycho-therapy...]


He said many of the protesters have axes to grind against Scientology.


The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's office determined that a blood clot

brought on by severe dehydration and inactivity formed behind McPherson's

knee. It moved to an artery between her heart and left lung and caused her

death. Medical Examiner Joan Wood said bites on McPherson's bruised body

were probably caused by cockroaches. Wood said McPherson was comatose for

the last 24 to 48 hours of her life.


Scientology officials and attorneys say the medical examiner is lying

about the facts and that police who are investigating McPherson's death

have a long-standing vendetta against Scientology.


[Vendetta! Just like in Sicily!]


They say McPherson's death may have resulted from a fast-acting staph

infection. Wood said McPherson's death was not caused by an infection.

Scientology officials also say McPherson was conscious and talked with

other Scientologists on the day she died, something Wood said is medically



Jacobsen also has created an Internet site called the Lisa McPherson

Memorial page.

(c) Tampa Tribune


Pictures from the last demo

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