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Monday, May 5, 2008

Fremont Market: The Bat Shit Crazy Category Is Open

posted by on May 5 at 15:36 PM

It was a nice day yesterday so we headed down to the Fremont Market. We got some cool vintage postcards, a set of Heath salt-and-pepper shakers (a steal at $9!), a pair end tables that had been crudely spray-painted black (they’re for a dark room), and into an argument about some lamps. We’re gay like that.

Anyway, we were strolling along with the kid and eventually came to this vendor…


That, of course, is one of those ubiquitous, yellow Scientology tents.

Now according to the to their website, the Fremont Market is…

…a thriving and diverse diverse European-style, world flea market that goes all year ‘round every Sunday. The market hosts anywhere up to 150 vendors who continue to delight the crowds and treasure hunters week after week with everything you can imagine and some things you can’t—antiques, collectibles, bygones, retro, vintage and original clothing, estate sale treasures….

Hm. Here’s something I can’t imagine….

And, to be fair, I also have a hard time imagining this.

Anyway, back to the Fremont Market’s website: According to the posted vendor info, the Fremont Market welcomes “artisan crafts, flea market antiques, bygones, collectibles, world imports, garage sale goodies as well as entrepreneurial products.” There’s no mention of proselytizing religious nuts or personality tests. The vendor info also includes this notice:

The Asian import category is full and will require case by case membership eligibility. All services, (including healing arts and massage) are limited as well.

Hm. If vendors fall into categories—categories that can be closed (Asian imports) or limited (healing services)—can we infer from the presence of the Scientologists that the Fremont Market has a religious organization/crazy-ass cult vendor category? And if Scientologists are allowed to peddle their peculiar brand of religious inanity at the Fremont Market, then one presumes that the Southern Baptists and Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses and Jews for Jesus are allowed to as well.

And if there is a religious organization/crazy-ass cult vendor category, does that category, like Asian imports, have a limited number of slots available? Exactly how many religious organizations would have to show up at the Fremont Market to proselytize shoppers and other vendors before before the market’s organizers close this category? And if more religious groups do start showing up to proselytize, will they be grouped—for ease of skipping—down with the bong merchants at the west end of the market?

I’ve sent emails off to the organizers of the Fremont Market. I’ll let you know what I hear back from ‘em.

UPDATE: An official response from the Fremont Market…

We’ve had a few comments besides yours—we had even someone come up and ask if okay to mount a demonstration! The Scientologists snuck in… under the pretense of being ordinary “booksellers”… (casual vendors, not members).

We deferred to heading them off at the desk quietly [in the future] rather than creating a scene on the street after they were set up. But you’re right: Ministries, religious organizations and professional outreach “services” are not what we usually do. Their volunteer “ministry” won’t be here again. We don’t have a religious catagory persay, its been an unspoken policy that we’re usually successful with dealing with at the inquiry stage over the phone, email or the registration desk.

Jon Hegeman

RSS icon Comments


I was there on Sunday, too, and those fuckers tried to de-gay me...

they kept promising everlasting life and guest shots on "My Name is Earl" as an enticement.

But, I escaped and fled to that Mexican place next to the rocket for an excellent brunch.

Posted by michael strangeways | May 5, 2008 4:04 PM

Maybe they were selling used E-meters?

Hey, that would qualify as "trash" ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 5, 2008 4:12 PM

The only thing missing from that South Park episode is the "dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb" music.

Posted by Mike of Renton | May 5, 2008 4:19 PM

I'd think a used E-meter might be fun for a 10-year old kid.

You could use it to electrocute stuff.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 5, 2008 4:23 PM

I've seen the Sciencies there on-and-off all winter - I love how they try to entice the unwary in by promising a "free stress test", as if their lil' ole' e-meters were intended to measure something as innocuous as muscle tension for example.

Although I think it might be fun, had I the spare time, to go through all their spiel, and then right when they think they've "got" you, innocently ask, "so, tell me more about this Xenu I hear you-all worship?", just to watch the expression on their faces.

Posted by COMTE | May 5, 2008 4:29 PM

Hmm, might be time to page the Seattle anons...

Posted by AMB | May 5, 2008 4:37 PM
Posted by Tiffany | May 5, 2008 4:38 PM

Obviously there is a Great Need for an FSM booth. Or an Anonymous booth.

Posted by K | May 5, 2008 4:53 PM

Wow, how tolerant of you!

Posted by Burgin99 | May 5, 2008 5:08 PM

Now can we get them out of Steinbrueck Park? That stupid yellow tent takes up the whole area.

Posted by Watcher | May 5, 2008 7:00 PM

Are you shitting me? Did he write "persay"?

It's per se. Fuck.

Posted by elenchos | May 5, 2008 9:29 PM

Thank you elenchos, the pedant in me was similarly perturbed by that. At the very least Dan could have added a [sic].

Posted by AMB | May 5, 2008 10:13 PM

I actually believe that "entrepreneurial products" accurately sums up what they have to offer.

Posted by dirge | May 5, 2008 10:55 PM

The response from Fremont Market is - interesting, considering I've personally seen the Big Yellow Tent up at least twice at Sunday Markets this winter alone, and I didn't go this past weekend, so that would be three times by my unofficial count.

Posted by COMTE | May 5, 2008 11:54 PM

Please, I beg of you, if ANYONE sees the Scientologists set up ANYWHERE in the future, let us know ASAP on the NW Anonymous forum (you can post as a guest if you like). The address is: Any information that helps us locate these miscreants would be incredibly appreciated, and we will do our best to act on it. The Co$ love to hide and pull dirty tricks like that, so let's work together to stop it!

Posted by Anon He Mussed | May 6, 2008 1:34 AM

Seattle lets them set up tents and shit? In San Francisco we've got them on the run. They are sneaking around, no tents or anything, but we always ambush them. Come join the fun. We are clearing the planet of Scientology!

Posted by Janey | May 6, 2008 7:06 AM

These are the same f*ckers who snuck into the WTC disaster site after 9-11, pretending to help. All they did was get in the way and piss off the real rescuers. (they even managed to con some money out of the city who didn't realize who they really were)

Their real purpose was to try to keep people with PTSD from obtaining mental health counseling and treatment (according to them, it wasn't the nazis who was behind the holocaust, it was the psychiatrists. no joke -- google cchr and nazi) and to try to recruit "new blood" into their new york city cult headquarters.

While they are definitely bat-shit crazy, they are also much worse than most of us can possible imagine.

Posted by nycananon | May 6, 2008 7:55 AM

Scientologists will call their organization whatever label best suits their needs at that time.

Talking about taxes? They're a religion!
Setting up a booth at a flea market? They're booksellers!
Did poorly on one of their pesonality test? They're a self-improvement group!

Basically, they'll tell you whatever they think you'll want to hear to allow them to get away with whatever underhanded shenanigans they're up to at the time.

Posted by David | May 6, 2008 9:41 AM

The Scientologists pull the same crap in Ohio, too -- they've set up camp at "Traders World" flea market, the most craptacular market of junk this side of the Mississippi. Anons scoped it out, and found the trash cans at the end of the aisle chock full of Scientology flyers, so it seems not to be going at all well for them. (The flea market is within a stone's throw of the Solid Rock Church with the Big Butter Jeebus -- smack in born-again territory).
Probably not worth bothering with protesting, in the long run, since it's not a big-money market and no one's biting. Still, it's fun throwing some obvious eyerolls and droll comments to the dispirited Sea Org or staff people manning the booth. They probably have to buy their tube socks in bags of 12 pairs, since they earn next to nothing.

Posted by Liberty | May 6, 2008 12:02 PM

Why are they dead, Scientology?

Posted by Uhndar Toade | May 6, 2008 12:10 PM

I'm not surprised to see these scam artists sneaking into every nook and cranny society has open .They were posing as an anti drug musical support group here on Sunday during a festival.The sooner we knock this brainwashing pyramid scheme out of all its hidey holes into the spolight for the world to see them for what they really are , the better.

Posted by eireanon | May 6, 2008 2:19 PM

As an avid an of Savage Love, I know you stand up or what is right and I'm gad you're heiping with this cause. Another mportant fact is that the main stream press isn't covering the story about the Freewinds, (their cruise ship) has been full of blue asbestos (the most dangerous kind), and they've been aware of this for at least 21 years and failed to report it, I find that very negligale and they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of th law. (Google about what they have to say about gays by the way). Thank you dan and keep up the good work.

Posted by David | May 6, 2008 3:45 PM

Dan, you are my third favorite gay man.

Next time you see a yellow tent, ask the poor bastard manning it how well Scientology pays for manning yellow tents all day.

Posted by minneanon | May 7, 2008 4:37 PM


I am getting sick of the scilons. I really am.
with their big yellow obNOXIOUS tents and there poorly written space opera.. gosh. I will be glad for the day that stupid pryamid scheme is done foar.

also, cocks

Posted by David Mudkips | May 7, 2008 6:20 PM

We have it even worse in Clearwater where Scientology openly impersonates the police by dressing up in uniforms with little stars on the sleeves made to look almost like police emblems. They even carry police style radios on their bikes. So not only do we have to put up with their big ugly block sized building that they never seem to finish building, we get harassed by their security people who pretend to be cops. And the clearwater PD looks the other way and some even work for the Scientologists! I want this clown show of a cult out of my town :(

Posted by Jennifer Aspen | May 8, 2008 5:20 AM

Hey Jennifer,

You know, if y'all voted to rename Clearwater something like "Xenu City," or possibly 'Enthetaton,' all your problems would be solved. They'd move out of CW so fast, they'd leave a vacuum behind, to suck up all the stray bills and chump change on the sidewalks.

Posted by imominous | May 8, 2008 7:31 AM

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