LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—There is a good subway system in the City of the Angels. From North Hollywood to its origin in Union Station, the Metro rail system’s Red Line serves citizens going to work as well as tourists getting around the city. The cult of Scientology has taken advantage of the throngs of people who use Metro. For example, at Metro’s Vermont/Sunset Station (at the corner of Vermont Ave. and Sunset Blvd.) the cult’s Body Routers prey on the unsuspecting public with “free” Personality Test and “free” Dianetics movie tickets.
At Metro’s Westlake/MacArthur Park Station, the cult of Dianetics and Scientology, with some clams thinly disguised in red Dianetics t-shirts, target, in particular, the Spanish-speaking people of Los Angeles. The circle in this map, courtesy Google Maps, indicates the location of such street vending from Wilshire Blvd. and Alvarado St. to 7th St. and and Alvarado St. Within that circled area is a square, indicating the two tables set up by the cult, on September 10, 2015.
Because of health reasons, street vending (the sale of food) in Los Angeles is illegal. Without proper sanitation, for example, there isn’t any guarantee that a person won’t get sick after eating food items from street vendors. Likewise, because of mental health reasons, Los Angeles will protect the public from dangerous cults like Dianetics and Scientology from illegally selling their wares. In this picture are two clams (that is, Scientologists) selling Scientology booklets in Spanish. This table blocks the sidewalk, and offers, among other cult books, booklets and CDs, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and The Problems of Work. Los Angeles City Hall has a special telephone number, 3-1-1, for citizens to use in order to get around the city or to file a complaint. I filed such a complaint with Roy against the cult because of their activities outside of this subway station; at the end of my conversation with City Hall, I received a Confirmation Number for my efforts.
Even though he hasn’t seen the Alex Gibney/HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Believe (the winner of three Emmy Awards, including “Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special”), Roy knew about it and asked if I had seen it yet.
This photograph, again, shows the one of the cult’s tables on Alvarado St., between Wilshire Blvd.. and 7th St., outside of the subway’s Westlake/MacArthur Park Station. The City of Los Angeles cleans and maintains the sidewalks for the public’s benefit; for the cult of Scientology to set up a table that blocks pedestrian traffic is unacceptable. City Hall’s representative, Roy, did not say anything about a permit that the cult could have gotten in order to legally set up their tables and hawk their ware. Roy showed genuine concern about the cult’s activities in Westlake/MacArthur Park, and didn’t ask if I had seen evidence or inquired the cult of such a permit.
This is the other table being used by the cult at the location. Notice the freakishly tall white guy without a red (or reddish) t-shirt on; I believe he’s a Sea Org member who has worked at the Hollywood Testing Center on Hollywood Blvd. (as seen, I believe, in one of the YouTube videos presented by Angry Gay Pope). Here, Freakishly Tall represents the English-speaking population of Los Angeles; dressed in a white t-shirt (that reads, I believe, “I Am Me”), he easily attracts the African-American woman (her t-shirt or tank top reads, “I Love Cute Guys”) with a Scientology booklet. In two hours time, Freakishly Tall will be replaced by his female counterpart. In the background of the picture is the subway system entrance to the Westlake/MacArthur Park Station.
Here we see Freakishly Tall with the African-American woman. We also see a clam wearing a red Dianetics t-shirt (notice the Dianetics’ yellow-gold pyramid symbol above her left breast). In this photograph, I’m facing west; in the distance and off to the right, 7th St. can be seen.
In this picture are both tables set up by the cult; Freakishly Tall is in the background. Roy, City Hall’s representative, asked me if the cult’s tables were set up in front of a store front; I said that they weren’t. I suppose this would’ve been different if the cult’s tables had been set up in front of a cult organization, but they weren’t; they’re clearly on public property.
Two hours later, Freakishly Tall had been replaced by a tallish white woman; notice the pretty gal wearing glasses in the center of this photo, sleeves rolled up and her hair done up in a bun.
Not all clams wore red shirts at this location. Here we see a clam (the one with her eyes shut as I snapped this photo; the lady with her glasses hung over her shirt collar) attempting to sell Dianetics and/or Scientology. She apparently isn’t doing a very good job; notice the reaction from others to her attempt to lure the woman into the cult’s trap. The couple holding hands on the left side of the photo look suspiciously at the clam (who wears a maroon shirt with the sleeves rolled up); behind her, the man dressed in an orange shirt eyes her with dubious astonishment.
The tall female clam wearing glasses and black tights is Victoria, who introduced herself after watching me take photographs. Suspicious of my efforts, I explained that I took pictures of almost all the vendors up and down the street. My answer obviously didn’t satisfy the clam’s interest in my activities.
At noon, two hours after my arrival at Westlake/MacArthur Park (where I spent time photographing the art gallery-like display in the lake entitled “Portraits of Hope”), fresh clams arrived to replace tired, worn-out, sweaty clams. The gal smiling slightly for my camera in this photograph is one of those mid-day replacements; she’s even decked out in a crispy-clean Dianetics t-shirt (notice the logo).
Illegal street vending along Alvardo St. included buckets of (pre-wrapped, but not supermarket-quality) fresh fish , fresh orange juice squeezed from machines sitting on top of shopping carts, and… BUCKETS OF CLAMS!