This is Photojournalist Fred G. Haseney with his eye on scientology. Today, I’m reporting from the Pacific Area Command Base (“PAC Base” or “Big Blue”), the so-called “church” of scientology’s West Coast headquarters. More specifically, I’m reporting further on preparations done on May 28, 2016, for the Grand Opening of the Scientology Media Productions (“SMP”), located at 4401 W. Sunset Blvd., about ten blocks east of PAC Base. This blog continues where the first part left off (“Scientology Media Productions—Grand Protest—May 28, 2016—Part 2“).
As scientologists were checked in and eventually herded by shuttle bus to SMP, Phil and Willie Jones drove around PAC Base, with “call me” signs on both sides of their vehicle. That message of love (“To my loved one in scientology… call me”) began in April 2016 as a billboard in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles. With the help of Cece Marie Gangle Smith’s daughter, smaller versions of the sign were made with a metallic backing, making them perfect for what I refer to as drive-bys. For the protest, Cece and Lynn Fountain Campbell also helped with drive-bys. Later in the day, when Cece switched to doing walk-bys (in which she carried a “call me” sign with a corrugated backing), her dog, Simi, joined in the festivities, carrying a placard on her left and right sides (that’s Simi in the lead photo). Other protesters did walk-bys as well, first around PAC Base and, later, at SMP (or as close to SMP as the authorities and permit allowed us to).
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Photo Caption: Two scientologists cross L. Ron Hubbard Way (“LRH Way”) from the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (“AOLA”), looking at the “call me” sign I have hanging from my neck (and draped low enough in order to keep my hands and arms free so I can take pictures). Notice the guy in the background as he exits AOLA, because he can’t help but see the sign.
Photo Caption: Protesters walking south along LRH Way gather attention from SMP event attendees, public scientologists and Sea Org (“SO”) members alike. In the center of the picture is an entrance to the Los Angeles Organization (“LA Org”), where two of the three people standing there are looking at the “call me” signs.
Photo Caption: Through a series of photos captured in this composite, a public scientologist thoughtfully observes the “call me” sign that I’m carrying. He’s enjoying a snack at the Pacific Grill & Barbecue (“PGB”) on LRH Way.
Photo Caption: In this composite, a nicely-dressed couple walk along LRH Way. The picture on the left shows their attention on Phil and Willie’s message of love. In the photo on the right, the man still shows interest as they pass by a booth used to promote the SMP event.
Photo Caption: In this composite, we see high interest in Phil and Willie’s “call me” sign. In each photo, we see a guy wearing a hat and dressed in brown attire; nice beard! His attention never falters on the sign as he walks along LRH Way toward the American Saint Hill Organization (“ASHO”), a check-in location for event attendees. In the center picture, we see four people, their eyes fixed on the sign. In the background in the first two pictures, notice a protester peacefully holding up the “call me” sign.
Photo Caption: As traffic waited for the light to change to “green” at the corner of LRH Way and Fountain Ave., I snapped a photo of a scientologist in a car. The logo on his t-shirt reads: “Dianetics.”
Photo Caption: I received mostly positive feedback from scientologists as I took pictures of them while wearing the “call me” sign.” While one older guy gave me the middle finger, the rest of the responses ranged from a warm smile or a positive head nod, to the driver in this car on LRH Way who gave me the “peace” sign. Thank you!
Photo Caption: A protester holds the “call me” sign for traffic at the corner of LRH Way and Fountain Ave. The car on the right reads: “Dianetics”; “Ignite the potential of you”; “www.ocLifeImprovementCenter.com [“oc” stands for Orange County, California, an affluent community about an hour south of Los Angeles]. Call now to improve your life today!”; “949-297-4446.” While this design is original, it is an expensive paint job and a little over the top. They’re trying too hard to generate interest in dianetics, what with call “now” and “today” in the same sentence.
Photo Caption: A protester holds a “call me” sign as a shuttle bus waits for the light to turn “green” at LRH Way and Fountain Ave.
Photo Caption: For this photo, I’ve zoomed in on that photo in order to show you the interest that two female passengers had for Phil and Willie’s message of love.
Photo Caption: In this photo, two policeman are parked on the east side of LRH Way, just north of AOLA. When I smiled and waved, so did they. Other than that, I didn’t have contact with police at PAC Base. That, of course, would change dramatically when I focused my attention on SMP. But not to worry!
Photo Caption: In this picture, I’ve captured five people at the crosswalk in front of The Fountain, apartment homes for out-of-town scientologists who have come to PAC Base for training and/or auditing (scientology’s version of spiritual counselling). Two people in the foreground are involved in conversation as they cross Fountain Ave. The other people in the background, however, are highly intrigued with the “call me” sign I’m carrying. The couple on the left point at the sign, while the guy on the right opens his mouth in an expression of “Oh, my God!” Their expressions are priceless!
Photo Caption: One event attendee’s ticket indicated that she needed to go to “Gate A.” In this photo, we see attendees waiting to board a shuttle bus marked, I’m assuming, for “Gate B.” Many attendees have their attention on my “call me” sign. The guy in the front, the one wearing a black hat and sunglasses, also wears a polo shirt with a logo that reads: “IAS Flag Patron.” In his pants pocket is an “Admit One” ticket to the event.
Photo Caption: Traffic along LRH Way increases as we get closer to the beginning of the event. Here we see shuttle buses along the curb and a line of cars patiently waiting for the “red” light to change.
Photo Caption: At one point, my handler, Balloon Lady, disappeared; in her place: this cute young lady who did her best to keep my camera from event attendees.
Photo Caption: After receiving word that a lot of SO staff were waiting to board buses on Catalina St., I headed there. For this photo, I’m standing on Catalina St., facing east, with quite a number of people interested in the “call me” sign. Behind the crowd is the horseshoe entrance to the Main Bldg.
Photo Caption: “Best Dressed” awards goes to the event goer on the left and to an LA Org Body Router (“BR”) on the right. In this composite, the woman on the left is in front of PGB; the guy in the great suit and tie is on Catalina St., walking south. I’m sorry not to have gotten a photo of the woman that captured her from the front. In the late morning sunshine, both outfits glistened.
Photo Caption (Picture 1 of 7): The next seven pictures were taken consecutively as event attendees awaited their shuttle bus. These photos are important in that they show what scientologists will do if commanded to avoid someone or something, such as protesters and the “call me” signs. Here we see a majority of the attendees facing LRH Way; they’re looking at the activity which includes: two protesters in front of me, carrying “call me” signs; the Balloon Lady with balloons in her left hand and a “welcome” sign in her right. The Balloon Lady has purposely positioned herself between the protesters and the attendees. Roy, a SO Security Guard, is on her right. A protester who is closest to the curb videotapes the proceeding. Some attendees eagerly looked at Phil and Willie’s message of love. How can you not?
Photo Caption (Picture 2 of 7): A few moments later, Balloon Lady repositions herself as the protesters move curbside. Notice that the event attendees still face away from ASHO, looking toward LRH Way.
Photo Caption (Picture 3 of 7): For this photo, I’ve moved in front of ASHO, looking west at the event attendees. A few are milling about, but they’re almost in parade formation, still facing LRH Way as they await their marching orders.
Photo Caption (Picture 4 of 7): While the attendees wait for their bus—all still facing LRH Way—I move in front of them and snap this photo. Notice the brown-haired lady in the back, wearing glasses and a blue jacket as she reads the “call me” sign.
Photo Caption (Picture 5 of 7): In this photo, the attendees still face LRH Way. The tall redhead in a nice suit reads the sign.
Photo Caption (Picture 6 of 7): For this photo of the crowd in front of ASHO (who are still facing LRH Way), I’ve zoomed in on the pins on this man’s lapel. The pin on the bottom reads: “Class IV Auditor. Standard Tech.” The other pin proclaims the 25th anniversary of the International Association of Scientologists (“IAS”). Notice the guy’s nice grey suit, because in the next photo, you’ll be seeing his suit from behind.
Photo Caption (Picture 7 of 7): All of a sudden, a woman commanded those standing in front of ASHO waiting for their buses to “TURN AROUND!” I hate to say this, but like trained seals, the crowd of adult scientologists turned in unison, away from LRH Way and the protesters. The woman who issued that command also announced that security and the police would be forthcoming to deal with the (peaceful) protesters. Aside from Roy, the SO security guard, I don’t recall any other security guards appearing on the scene. The police never arrived and we continued our protest. I command: “COME ON SCIENTOLOGISTS! THINK FOR YOURSELVES!”
Photo Caption: When the festivities at PAC Base wound down, the protesters headed to SMP. In this photo, I’m on Fountain Ave., between Vermont and Virgil Avenues. Here, I finally discover where scientology has secretly arranged for event goers to park, at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.
Photo Caption: After parking at Hollywood Presbyterian, event goers exited onto Fountain Ave., and walked on a narrow sidewalk that parallels the hospital. In this composite picture, three event attendees approach me as I stand on Fountain Ave., holding the “call me” sign. The interest in the guy behind the young lady is pretty intense.
All images (unless noted otherwise) © 2015—2016 Fred G. Haseney. All rights reserved.