Violence at anti-Scientology protest - 2009-10-03
As usual, many were wearing suits and had donned their Guy Fawkes masks, made famous by the film V for Vendetta. It was running just like dozens of others had around the world. They were holding banners with slogans like "Scientology is a Cult" and "whoisdavidmiscavige.com." Miscavige is Chairman of the Board of Scientology's Religious Technology Center and the acknowledged international leader of the Church. Critics accuse him of physical and emotional abuse against his staff, and a number of lawsuits filed against the church state this behavior is responsible for fostering an overall abusive environment.
Within ten minutes, protesters were approached by a woman who began making claims that they were there to promote hate and should let others believe what they want. Chris, one of the protesters, remained polite, insisting they were promoting awareness. "This isn't about beliefs," he said. "We are protesting the crimes of this individual," referring to Miscavige.
After making additional comments under her breath and taking photos with a cell phone camera, she resumed what Chris describes as Scientology's "bullbaiting tactics," calling him an idiot, a coward, a f -- -er. At one point when she went on to harangue others, Chris moved closer and asked her to keep the conversation on him. At this point she claimed he was intruding into her personal space. She held up three fingers to his eye. Chris mimicked her action. She then mock punched him in the face and groin, followed by a real punch to Chris' mask-covered cheek.