Remembering another Scientology 'warrior' - with the help of Mark Bunker - 2017-06-01
On May 9, a Scientologist named Dennis Clarke died in Hawaii, where he'd been in failing health for some time. There was some discussion on the usual forums about Clarke's extensive history in the church. He had been a Freedom Medal winner for his work as president of CCHR, the Scientology front group that agitates against psychiatry. Later he had become disillusioned when the church he had served for so long provided no help after he had had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed.
Hearing about Clarke again evoked for us another time and place — the rough pickets outside the Fort Harrison Hotel in the early 2000s, which were caught on tape by Mark Bunker. It was a time when Lisa McPherson's death was producing terrible press for the church, and when the Lisa McPherson Trust, funded by businessman Robert Minton, was regularly picketing Scientology's most holy site.
Those were very different times. You can see in Bunker's videos that the few picketers were swarmed by aggressive Scientologists, who shouted at them and shoved them. And none was more imposing or intimidating than Clarke, who was huge. We couldn't help being curious about what Bunker thought of the news that his old nemesis had gone to his reward. So we asked him.