From: firstname.lastname@example.org (gerry armstrong)
Subject: Re: Armstrong's collection
Date: 6 November 1997
Organization: Rapidnet Technologies Internet
On Tue, 28 Oct 1997 07:20:53 +0100, email@example.com (Jens
>In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
>(Tilman Hausherr) wrote:
> >> (This info from before the conference)
>> >> Gerry Armstrong is collecting packages of all the food he is
>> has done this for many years. He takes them home, cleans them, and
>> collects them. His plan is that some day he will put it all on the
>> arranged in a symbol, then get up in a balloon and fotograph it, then
>> sell posters of the foto, with one "object" attached.
>He used to live in San Fran, didn't he? Say no More...
I like the
>idea, I just hope he doesn't take it as seriously as the buyers ;-) ;-)
Well, now that I have been publicly exposed, I suppose a
is warranted, so here goes.
I didn't live in SF, but in Sleepy Hollow and then San
both in Marin County, north of and across the Golden Gate Bridge from the
Having admitted to living in Marin, however, as you say, "Say no more,
could also be said, or probably even go without saying.
I do take it very seriously, in part because it has been so
much effort and trouble; and in part because it's so painfully hilarious.
Whitlatch, who, unhappily for me at least, has disappeared from ars, and who
I would vote, be enticed back, perhaps with promises of our better behavior,
seen my Marin trash mountain, and can attest to its majesty.
> > In his bankruptcy case he had to list his assets,
also listed this
>> collection. Scientology wanted to get it (although it has no actual
>> value currently)! To explain his point of view, he then took all
>> "objects" in huge bags inside the court to show the judge.
>> >> Scientology lost and got nothing.
> ROTFLMAO!!!! > > Jens
I started this project in early 1987 shortly after the
1986 so- called settlement with my former cult, thinking then that I had the
space, locational stability and peace to undertake such a project.
I call it my Consumed Consumables Container Collection (R),
and the final product a "Consumer's Mandala."(R) Americans are known
everywhere as notorious consumers, and this project contains an underlying
of consummate consumerism.
So, within reason and reasonable logistics, every bottle,
wrapper, tube, bag, dispenser, can and carton of whatever I have consumed, and
some of the cups, utensils and other stuff related to my almost all-consuming
consumption, I have saved and stored. I clean each object, as Tilman notes;
I sign it, which takes a little time because my signature takes a little time,
and I usually date it and indicate where and the commensals with whom its
I have something over 400 boxes of this stuff, all clean
carefully packed, and I have acquired a commensurate appreciation for the art
and technology of the packaging industry. I believe that the various companies
represented in the collection, which probably favors breweries and bread
more than confectioners and caviar canners, may want to participate in the
to promote their products.
Scientology sued me in the bankruptcy court, as Tilman
seeking to prevent me from discharging my $630,000+ "debt" to the
resulting from the illegal judgment against me in the California State Court
the illegal "settlement agreement." Basing its case in the US
Court on bogus charges, the organization sought to seize my art, comprising my
container collection, as well as my other assets, including some intellectual
properties, particularly my formula for the Unified Field.
The cult made a lot of noise in the bankruptcy court about
my statements in other legal contexts that my art, including the containers,
considerable commercial value. I argued that although it has such value to me,
it couldn't have any commercial value to the cult. Was Scientology, after all,
going to have its people lay out my trash on a big lawn in Napa County, rent a
hot air balloon, go up in the air and photograph the stuff, create a poster,
market and sell the poster and the trash? Would they really do that for Gerry
Armstrong, whom they vilify as a psychotic criminal? Imagine the ads in "
and "Impact:" "Get your Gerry Armstrong (TM) Special OT Junk
(C) NOW. Prices go up 10% next month."
So I took four big boxes (not bags as Tilman says) of these
things to my trial in the bankruptcy case in February, 1996. Initially I
off the bankruptcy court judge because I was late, and he started the trial
me. My lateness was caused by a long delay getting these boxes of bottles,
and other junk through the courtroom metal detector. I had to open the boxes
let the courthouse security people, in somewhat wild-eyed disbelief, paw
But after a one day trial the judge issued a decision in my
favor, my " debt" to the cult was discharged, and I got to keep my
For the ARSCC Historical Research Department Investigators, the file is:
v. Armstrong, US Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California (Santa
Case No. 95-10911 aj. 99 South E Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Alan
Judge. Check it out.
My container collecting has gone on longer than many times
along the way I had thought it would or wanted it to. I have thought on many
that it was time, always perhaps next spring, to complete the project. But
has shown that it will attack and attempt to destroy almost everything I am
in, so I have delayed the commercial culmination and presentation of the
until the cult's attacks end forever. In the meantime I eat, drink and
and some day I will stop.
I just brought back some very cool containers from Germany:
beer bottles and coasters, wine bottles, mineral water bottles, etc., and all
the miniature salad dressing and cream containers, plastic wine cups,
stir sticks and other valuable stuff from the Lufthansa flights. I also have
extraordinary eisbein bones, which I was able, only by unwitting
to get through Canadian Customs. Although they are not technically containers
they are so closely related to a wonderful meal I consumed in Berlin and so
pleasing I will give them a special place in the mandala.
All this is really related to the environmental side of my
life, and offtopic on ars had Scientology's attempt to seize the collection
made it ontopic. I am also the founder of the Runners Against Trash (RAT) (R),
for which Rodale Press gave me its Golden Shoe Award (see Runners World
of February, 1995), and the Organization of United Renunciants (OUR) (R),
I see Tilman also mentioned in another post. I will explain this activity
But the container collection is also fiscally serious
everything I consume, the containers being art, is tax deductible. The more
better I eat, the larger my deductions. Since I don't have much actual
as opposed, for example, to Big Bad Ron (R), I pad my deductables by running a
lot so I can consume more. In America, at least, road races are also an
source of snack food bags and wrappers and other containers. On the other
being, as much as is practical at this time, a renunciant, and having little
for monetary wealth, I do not obtain tremendous tax advantages from this
If a very wealthy person, Bill Gates for example, were to save as art all the
containers of everything he consumed, he really could significantly reduce his
tax load. Bill would also probably have way more caviar tins in his
Copyright © Gerry Armstrong - All Rights Reserved.