Reports from protest against the Co$, Poole, March 14th 1998

Report by Roland R-B.

We picketed the Poole mission on the 14th March. Poole is on the south coast of England and it has the most succesful org or mission in the UK.

We had a police problem. The clams had phoned up to make false complaints as usual. The police insisted we turned off our sound equipment, That I did not shout any slogans and that I keep my leaflets close to my chest and not put them out in front of people. I told them in no uncertain terms that I had rights too and would like what they requested in writing. They backed off a bit after that and I did plenty of slogan shouting and giving out leaflets. I also complained to the local Councillor about the police and Dave Bird will be chasing it up in writing.

The slogan I was shouting was "This is a protest AGAINST Scientology in Poole - Scientology says you are full of dead space aliens". The leaflets were going like hot cakes. About half were taken by children. (Children tend to gravitate towards me. It is odd). All in all about 1000 leaflets were distributed. I was distributing the Scam leaflet. Hopefully this will undermine any support they get in Poole. They are now a Scientology mission. They have the "Think for yourself - Scientology" in their missions windows. They are no longer pretending to be just Dianetics. All well and good because that makes the Xenu, body thetan etc. stick that much better.

It was a succesful picket. The public were very supportive. I judge the effectiveness of a picket on the number of leaflets eagerly taken. 1000 it was which is a good number and this is par for our demos in the UK.

While I was there I popped down the road to the Antelope to sample some of their fine beers. Two pints of Tanglefoot refreshed me and compensated for my aching feet. Then it was back to the George Hotel (another pub) to rejoin the others and swap tales. Then the train back to London and home.

Report by Dave B.

Nine of this time: me, Roland, Jens + a new Xemu, Martin + a couple of friends, and one of our new ARS contacts. Duke the Dog was nattily done out in his new gog-jackets, which has A4 panels saying "Woof woof glug glug, who drowned the judge's dog" each side, and was stood up on top of the big waste-bin where everyone could see him. We had our boombox, we had a new female Xemu in costume, we had "Xemu loves you" helium balloons in a new design (silk screened in blue on white or yellow, big bold lettering and a big bug-eyed alien face).

There were plenty of clams hadn't gone to Fat Dead Ron's Birthday Bash: we posted on ARS on Monday we were coming, and our local contact phoned them up on Thursday to taunt them that we were coming. Zoe the ED was down by the Org at the south end of the High St, and marching around with a very long face. Ditto Stuart the Ethics Officer didn't exactly look pleased.

The cops were called early on. Putting two and two together, someone saw Stuart have a long nag at another person in the High Street for that person to complain because, somehow, the police might not be too convinced if they complained themselves. Again, putting two and two togther, Stuart told this guy some porkies he passed on in the call about us being moved on before, which is untrue. The cops who came, a man and woman constable--no sergeant present--were not too helpful but responded to us being resolute. The idea we should not shout was clearly absurd: you could hear two people with big gobs selling, 20 yards north of us flowers and 20 yards south of us fruit & veg, and the clams were able to shout if they wanted to. No way. But the police also wanted the sound system off. Hum and hah. I'm going to have a long word with the head of operations on Monday, and all this stuff about falsehoods in reports (again) is going to catch up with the clams. We have used a megaphone repeatedly, and lived with others using e.g. amplified electric guitars, in the High Street; amplification is NOT an untoward thing. We'll see what happens on Monday.

But it was a good basic demo, with myself and Roland by turns "on point" shouting "Scientology says you're full of dead space aliens" etc. Public response was VERY good, more positive than it's been before, and those taking part had a lot of fun. We must come back soon and have another seaside holiday :->.

Report by John R.

Spring is (almost) here and one's Bodythetans deserved a trip to the seaside. They really enjoy visiting what was once Britain's most successful scientology org and driving it further into a condition of non-existence.

About ten suppressives converged on Poole, together with 'Duke' the loveable dog in waterwings commemorating Judge Swearinger's drowned dog, the boombox capable of playing L. Ron Hubbard's ravings, placards, leaflets and helium 'Xenu' balloons to give away to the kiddies. Plus - a lady calling herself "Xenu's wife" complete with Xenu cloak, a Ferengi mask, sunglasses, blue lipstick, red teeth and a glowing sword. (Don't worry, plenty of photographs of this apparition were taken)

At about 13:30 we turned up in 'Ambush Alley' where the Scientologists regularly do their body-routing, to find a marked lack of body-routers. So we wandered round to the local 'Dianetics Bookshop' (which has now re-opened, the landlord being forced to accept such notoriously bad payers as nobody else wanted the tenancy) to inform them of our arrival, and the body-routers duly appeared. Once again we were 'at cause' over Scientology.

As usual the scientologists called the police and complained about our picketing, and were informed that we were within our rights, but we had to turn off the boom-box. So instead of listening to L. Ron Hubbard explaining how to get rid of BodyThetans, the bodyrouters had to listen to some very loud picketers explaining what a scam Scientology is.

The local passers-by were even more supportive than before, and one was brilliant at stopping the body-routers in their 'Time for a Survey?' routine.

The head of the 'org' eventually turned up looking really unhappy with Scientology's 'non-confront' and fairly soon the clams were handing out a bizarre publication called 'WINNING!' 'News Journal of the Office of Special Affairs Volume 2 Issue 2' with articles about claimed victories over 'Suppressive Persons', Mike Rinder talking about 'all-out war against suppressive elements' and a back page saying:

Do you know who is restoring religious freedom wherever it is attacked? The Office of Special Affairs - OSA! "It could be that the fate of nations hangs on the actions, brilliance and skill of the director of [Special] Affairs in handling individuals to gain help for Scientology" - L Ron Hubbard If you qualify to work in the OSA Network as a member of the Department of Special Affairs in your org, you too can be part of the team. WE AUDIT THE 4TH DYNAMIC'

This had very little meaning to the good citizens of Poole, and although the clams refused to give us any copies (although they were keen to take our leaflets, if only to tear them up) we soon found plenty of copies in the local litter bin. Also in the litter bin we found the results of the 'survey' that one of the body-routers had discarded, presumably because APPTS (appointments?) was blank. HINT, the person who told the clam that 'BE' was 'Ferrari driver' and 'WANT' was 'Ferrari car/ Claudia Schiffer' was probably extracting the Michael.

We easily outnumbered the Scientologists, who were down to their lowest level yet.

Another cracking day out at the seaside.

Report by Martin P.

This was the best Poole demo yet. Nine picketers, plus Duke (and the biggest collection of props we've ever brought to a demo) met seven or eight counter-protestors and body-routers on a busy high street in very pleasant weather.

What marked this picket out was the scale of the public response. Several people came up to us and thanked us profusely, a couple of them saying that they had tried to oppose the cult but had been silenced by threats against their business or reputation. One little girl asked her mother "What is that Scientology?" Her mother replied, "It's a stupid cult," as she took some of our leaflets. A young father thanked us sincerely for the leaflets and told me how he was keen to warn his children about cults. I handed out all of a large stack of Lisa leaflets (Thanks, as always, to the SP who colour-printed all those leaflets) and the others handed out similar numbers of other flyers. Our placards were arranged so that, approaching the body-routers from either direction along the high street, the first thing you would see was a "You are entering a Cult Recruitment Zone" red warning triangle.

Although I have been a bit dubious about the usefulness of some of our picketing props, they made a real contribution this time, in terms of attracting attention as well as in terms of helping us to have fun. Xenu (I hope she does not mind being referred to as a "prop"!) was a very arresting sight. A comedy moment came when the scieno guy with the camera who was taking all our pictures asked her who she was supposed to be (clue: "XENU" written in huge capital letters on her costume). Duke was placed on top of a bin for high visibility, and wore a new coat with "Woof Woof Glug Glug, Who drowned the judge's dog?" in big colourful letters: a difficult sight to miss. The "Xenu loves you" balloons had a new design, dominated by huge alien eyes, which, one of us remarked, looked strangely (but coincidentally) like a pair of spreading butt cheeks.

The lesson of the day was that being a Scientology recruiter in Poole is the most humiliating, degrading, self-esteem-annihilating job on Earth. Several members of the public took the chance to tell the scientologists how they felt; one man haranguing them so effectively that Dave stepped in to calm him down. The scientologists themselves are aware of just how helpless they are. Just before the picket, one of us went in to the Dianetics bookshop and sat down for a chat about the dynamics. When the scientologist realised he was talking to an SP, his anger almost ruptured a blood vessel.

One thing that held us back was that our placards are all about Scientology, whereas the cult tries hard to hide that word and only presents itself as a Dianetics centre. We could sorely do with a placard which says "Dianetics is a scam" on one side and "The 'Personality Test' is bogus" on the other.

All in all, it was a fun day out and a real demonstration of the power of "mere wogs" over the supposedly most able and sane group on the planet.

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Last modified: Wed Mar 18 09:44:46 CET 1998