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This morning, I was called by WFLA 970 radio and asked if I would talk on the air about the picket in Clearwater. Here's a transcript of the segment.
I'm not sure which DJ was which, so I'll just identify them both as "DJ".
DJ: Big protest over the weekend, and then a protest of the protest, and with us this morning is Jeff -- [delayed broadcast cut out here and I was put on live] DJ: -- took part in protest number one. That was in the -- against the Scientologists in front of the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. Jeff, I understand there were about thirty of you all, and then about three hundred Scientologists showed up to protest what you all were doing, right? JL: I guess that's about right, yeah. DJ: I hear it was pretty abusive out there, verbally, huh? JL: It got that way, especially at the evening candlelight vigil. DJ: You had a candlelight vigil for Lisa McPherson, the woman who died and some are blaming the Scientologists for negligence in her death. You mean they -- they interrupted this candlelight vigil? JL: They swarmed around us, they were blowing out our candles; they got even nastier. I was escorting a blind woman; one guy would consistently stand in front of her so that she would bump into him, and when she did, he would move over so he got between her and her guide dog so she would have to back up against the crowd behind her. DJ: Are you a former Scientologist, Jeff? JL: I am not, no. DJ: Okay. But you had some former Scientologists with you. JL: Yes, we did. DJ: And basically, what they were saying was that what happened to Lisa is nothing unusual; that they had also been kept in isolation in their rooms. JL: That's right; in fact, they -- the Church of Scientology does have policies which require them to isolate people, and not let them out until they tell their captors what they want to hear. DJ: Why are you individually anti-Scientologist? JL: I am anti-human-rights abuses; I am anti-neglect-and-abuse. I got into this because of the Internet; they were attempting to shut down a newsgroup where people were talking critically about them. DJ: The Scientologists were. JL: Yes. DJ: Now, what was -- ostensibly, what was the reason they gave for being out there to protest -- the Scientologists? JL: Ah, let's see. They had an "Anti Drug Awareness Day" -- I guess they're -- they don't like drug awareness or something... DJ: Anti Drug Awareness Day? JL: That's what the sign said. DJ: [both laugh] JL: But we put out a press release for this picket -- oh, over a month ago, and according to the police, they notified them of their Anti Drug Awareness Day two days before it happened. So it was -- DJ: So basically, that was an anti-protest protest. JL: Really, yeah. DJ: We just got word from -- I think it was the St. Pete Times had other pathologists who examined the findings of pathologist Joan Wood, who's the one who was in conflict with the -- she's the Medical Examiner of Pasco and Pinellas counties. JL: Right. DJ: And they confirmed that indeed Lisa McPherson had been dehydrated; severely dehydrated, perhaps no fluids for the last five to ten days before her death. JL: That's right. DJ: And I'm sure -- of course, the Scientologists are saying that these people are just anti-Scientologist. Do you all plan to do another protest, or anything similar to this in the future? JL: Yes; in fact, next weekend there will be protests pretty much all over; all over the US, and possibly in other countries as well. DJ: Jeff, have you felt the wrath of the Scientologists yet? JL: As a matter of fact, about a week before the picket, they -- I got a visit at my apartment, at home from -- DJ: Could you bang your phone? Because we just lost contact with you. JL: Hello? DJ: They got ahold of your phone there. DJ: Hello there. JL: Hello? DJ: Yes, Jeff. Can you bang your phone, 'cause we can barely hear you. JL: Okay. [bangs phone, checks modular jack] How's this? DJ: No. JL: No? DJ: No, this is the weirdest thing I've ever -- DJ: I don't understand. DJ: -- I mean, we can barely hear you. JL: Huh. DJ: -- we ask if there's -- DJ: Hello? DJ: -- been any retaliation, and we lose him. JL: Hello? DJ: Hello, we can barely hear you, Jeff. JL: Hmm, is this a sudden thing, or -- DJ: Ahhh, it's just cutting in and out. DJ: It's just cutting in and out, and you're way back there in the background. JL: That -- that's weird. DJ: We appreciate your joining us this morning on AM Tampa Bay, and we'll keep an eye on the coming protests. JL: Okay. DJ: Thank you, Jeff. JL: Thank you. DJ: Jeff Lee with -- [radio station hangs up]