As Scientology Expands, So Do Its Naysayers

Motorists stuck on Mercer Street this summer have been treated to an odd overhead sight as they crawl under Aurora Avenue toward I-5. Wielding banners and signs, a small band of protesters has appeared on certain evenings, waving at drivers below and encouraging them to honk if they hate Xenu. On other nights, farther west in the Uptown neighborhood, the same merry pranksters have shown up outside an empty old office building declaring their opposition to thetans and federal tax exemptions. Other times they march to Westlake or Seattle Center to hand out flyers. Always they conceal their faces with bandannas and masks—often the smiling white plastic visage of Guy Fawkes from the Wachowski brothers’ movie V for Vendetta (which concerns a heroic rebel band fighting against a totalitarian state).