Scientology protestors focus on Dallas woman's death

WFAA-TV News, Dallas/February 11, 2008

Dallas - While controversy related to Scientology was recently put into the national spotlight by some of its more famous members, a Dallas woman's death was one of the focuses of a group of North Texas critics that picketed on an East Dallas corner Sunday.

More than 100 people concerned of the religion picketed in front of the Church of Scientology in the 1800 block of North Buckner Boulevard to point the public's eye towards the death of Lisa McPherson.

"Today is Lisa McPherson's birthday," said one masked protester who wish not to be identified. "Today she would be 40. Lisa McPherson died in Clearwater, Florida."

McPherson, a Dallas native, died in the care of Scientologist church staffers in 1995. The Church of Scientology in Clearwater was charged with criminal neglect and practicing medicine without a license.

"Just go to '' and that will help you learn about a lot of the people and the causes of their death and their suspicions around it," said the masked protestor.

While protestors held signs such as "Honk if you hate Scientology," police were on the scene as well to ensure a peaceful demonstration.

"We want people to know we are raising awareness, and that is one of our main tools to fight Scientology," said another protestor.

No one at the Dallas Church of Scientology would talk on camera, but they did issue a statement regarding the group called "Anonymous," arranged the protest.

"Using Scientology's prominence, Anonymous hopes to garner more attention," the statement read." Religious bigotry of any nature is deplorable and profoundly affects the entire community."

The Dallas protest was just one of many happening from all across the globe, including London.

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