Monday, May 4, 2009

Scientology Protesters Assaulted in Nashville

Nashville, TN: Protesters were assaulted by security police on a public sidewalk in Nashville while protesting the opening of the new Nashville Scientology center on 8th Avenue in South Nashville. The protesters, who were peacefully gathering on a public sidewalk, were approached by five security police who contested their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and present their message of concern. The group which was assaulted has been gathering on a monthly basis and holding vigils for over a year to remember Lisa McPherson whom they call a "victim of Scientology." In the video, presented here on Tennessee Indymedia, the protesters are say they were confronted and verbally harassed by the police without provocation.





According to protesters present at the event there were no permits granted to close the sidewalk on the 1000 block of 8th avenue south on the day of the protest and organizers said they spoke with members of public works and notifications in the Tennessean to confirm that the street closure for 8th avenue south was on the 24th and not on the 25th which was the schedule day of the protest and vigil. The protesters, who refer to themselves as 'Nashville Anonymous' said that it was not clear where the security officers came from who confronted them on the day of their scheduled public protest and that in a year of previous peaceful protests they had never been the victims of aggressive behavior, threats or unlawful detainment on the part of metro police or Vanderbilt which has a security agreement with Metro for the area of music row where the Scientology Center used to be located.

For more information on previous demonstrations by Nashville Anonymous please visit the following Tennessee Indymedia stories:

http://tnimc.blogspot.com/2009/04/nashville-scientology-protest-may-2nd.html
http://tnimc.blogspot.com/2009/03/nashvilles-scientology-center-draws.html
http://tnimc.blogspot.com/2008/02/protesters-target-scientology-centers.html

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just curious.

How does the Church of Scientology earn the wrath of the enlightened, tolerant folks at Tennessee Indymedia, the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, and Chris Lugo?

Seriously. I don't see you protesting the racism and intolerance of right-wing evangelical churches in Nashville, but you draw a line in the sand with Scientologists?

And no, I am not a Scientologist trying to defend them. I'm a local progressive who's trying to grasp the stupidity involved here.

May 5, 2009 at 6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous - Just curious.

Read this, then see if you feel the same way.

"Laura was 9 years old when she started working at the "Org". At age 10, Laura was a full-time staff member. At 12, her parents signed over guardianship of Laura to a Scientologist and she left her home in New Mexico and moved to California to join Scientology's elite Sea Organisation. She signed a contract to serve for one billion years.

She married at 16 and at 17, Laura was coerced into having an abortion. The "church" told her that to have the child she was pregnant with would be "out-ethics", a Scientology term meaning "unethical", because it would interfere with her work for the Church.

Finally, in 2004, Laura took a swig of bleach to make the Scientologists think she was suicidal. The ploy worked and it allowed Laura to escape without undergoing the lengthy and tortuous procedure of “routing out”.

On April 2, 2009, Laura DeCrescenzo filed a complaint against the Church of Scientology International, claiming:

1. rescission of unlawful and fraudulent contracts;
2. unpaid wages and breaches of labor laws;
3. discrimination and invasion of privacy, including illegal use of lie-detectors on staff;
4. human trafficking;
5. intentional infliction of emotional distress; and
6. obstruction of justice.

The suit follows two others alleging labor law violations, coerced abortion and human trafficking issued in January 2009 by Marc and Claire Headley.

Unfortunately, Laura's story is not unusual for children - and adults, for that matter - in Scientology. There have been plenty of law suits through the decades. But still Scientology continues to abuse its staff. It's happening now. In America.

Sources:

Laura De Crescenzo's Story told by AP Journalist Jonny Jacobsen: http://infinitecomplacency.blogspot.com/2009/04/14-laura-decrescenzos-lawsuit.html
Laura De Crescenzo's Complaint filed April 2, 2009: http://www.scribd.com/full/13912796?access_key=key-elkvgaz37cbbx9pkg8h
Laura's Story as originally told at whyweprotest.net : http://www.mediafire.com/?mnji0lyikf1

Marc Headley's Amended Complaint: http://www.scribd.com/full/12565013?access_key=key-1bdwxztds5mz3ryw8oei
Claire Headley's 2nd Amended Complaint: http://www.scribd.com/full/14464561?access_key=key-1fsp0mqjsb4aiy9a95ss"

May 5, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Protip: anyone who says 'I'm not a Scientologist' is most likely a Scientologist.

Look up such things as Fair Game, Operation Snow White, Operation Freakout and Auditing Process R2-45.

And you want to talk racism? http://www.solitarytrees.net/racism/deny.htm

Not to mention when, around the election, Scientologists in LA were asked who should be President and one replied "I can tell you who shouldn't be President — Barack Obama, Condoleezza Rice and the Reverend Al Sharpton. They should not be allowed to run for office, they should be sweeping the office."

So I wouldn't go on saying that Scientologists are the most ethical people on the planet. They may actually be the most UNethical. Why don't you watch the video we took on the 25th and see if you continue thinking that Scientology shouldn't be brought to task.

May 5, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous:

Evangelical churches, racist or not, do not harass critics and threaten to sue them. If Anonymous would have picketed 2-3 blocks away from any other church in Nashville, I guarantee they wouldn't have had someone beaten down and arrested by overzealous security guards.

People picket the Catholics every time there's another pedo priest scandal. They don't get sued. People picketed the Mormons over Prop 8. No one got beat up.

This isn't an isolated incident with Scientology. Anonymous protesters have been arrested in several places around the country for practicing their first amendment rights.

And this isn't just about racism, although their sacred writings and some practices do contain racism. This is about human trafficking, and forced abortions. It's about our freedom to be informed - Scientology historically sues anyone who disseminates their secret scripture without approval. It's about 12 year olds signing billion year contracts for slave labor (google Laura DeCrescenzo). And it's about us standing up to disseminate this information so that more people don't get sucked into this cult. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

May 5, 2009 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous captainkona said...

"And no, I am not a Scientologist trying to defend them. I'm a local progressive who's trying to grasp the stupidity involved here."

It appears you've been :Pwned

You call yourself a "progressive"? Scientologists overwhelmingly vote Republican.
Perhaps you should acquire a fundamental understanding of your own political views before you question the pros.

May 5, 2009 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

I'm just curious.

How does the Church of Scientology earn the wrath of the enlightened, tolerant folks at Tennessee Indymedia, the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, and Chris Lugo?

"Seriously. I don't see you protesting the racism and intolerance of right-wing evangelical churches in Nashville, but you draw a line in the sand with Scientologists?

And no, I am not a Scientologist trying to defend them. I'm a local progressive who's trying to grasp the stupidity involved here."


I thought the same thing. In fact I went to the protest with my video camera, expecting to see evanglicals and I planned to get into it with them about the fact that their beliefs arent any less silly, just older.

Most of these folks are from out of town. They are doing a good thing. Google "Chanology" and most of your questions will be answered.

A short answer is that these are folks "from the internet" that take issue with scientology subverting free speech on the internet.

I do agree with you that we have plenty of evaglical bigots here. Your thoughts echoed mine before I went down and spoke with those folks.

May 5, 2009 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Jill Smythe Lumsden said...

Scientology's actions on this day are par for the course in terms of Scientology's usual "aggression" for places like Los Angeles or New York, but are out of place in the south and especially in Nashville. The "goons" as you called them were obviously imported. However, they remind me strongly of how some of the Alabama and other southern police treated black protestors at the start of the modern civil protests for black rights in the south many decades ago. That inhumane treatment in public by "authority figures" doesn't belong in modern society today. Didn't the Rodney King incident teach any of these thugs a painful lesson in how to treat people on the streets? (Especially since everyone carries a camera these days!)

May 5, 2009 at 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the original "Anonymous" who posted the first comment on this thread.

First, I want to address the people here who think I am a Scientologist who's pretending not to be. Let me assure you, I am NOT a Scientologist. I was born and raised Catholic, but like most American Catholics, I have a general skepticism of all the organized religions - including my own.

Secondly, I have investigated some of the claims made by people in this thread and see that they are legitimate.

I now understand why some of you have it in for the Scientologists. I was not aware of this information and I have modified my position on them.

See? You won by presenting me with the facts... not by questioning my motives. Hopefully, some of you can take a lesson from that.

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