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Scientology Crime Syndicate

10 Nov 2000

rkeller@netaxs.com (Rod Keller)

Mr. Scary (MrScary@tampamail.com) wrote: : Jamie Kennedy arrived in Tampa Bay last Wednesday, and as many of those
: on a.r.s. know, he was turned away from the Ft. Harrison after asking to
: see his great-grandfather's office...for more details about the latest
: happenings regarding the benefit concert, go to this page:
: http://lmtbenefit.tripod.com/LMT.html
:
: Tampa's Weekly Planet also contains a great preview of this event by
: columnist Stefanie Kalem. Check it out at:
: http://www.weeklyplanet.com/Action.lasso?-Token.ID=10743&-Token.Date=11/9/2000&-Token.Category=Music&-Response=detail_Music.lasso&-nothing

Dog Eat Dogma
Weekly Planet
By Stefanie Kalem

On Saturday, Nov. 11, the Tampa Bay area will play host to two separate events that, on one hand, couldn't be more different, but on another level, actually have a whole lot in common. Both events boast local bands and eloquent speakers. Both coalitions involved flout their distrust of organized religions, and both of the religions concerned ask their adherents for money and mention extraterrestrials in their genesis tales. But whereas The Lisa McPherson Trust Benefit at Club More is interested in overt criticism, The Church of the Subgenius Tampa Bay 2000 Devival at The Orpheum delivers its message through parody.

If you're a resident of this area, and haven't been brain frozen for the last five years, then you know that Lisa McPherson died in Clearwater in 1995. McPherson's death allegedly occurred after she suffered a psychotic breakdown, which critics say led to her being held against her will by her fellow Scientologists for 17 days in a Scientology-owned hotel. Though criminal charges against the organization were dropped earlier this year, a civil suit, filed by McPherson's family, is still pending.

"We're doing this because we believe that what was done to Lisa McPherson was wrong," says local electronic artist Tranceboy. Despite the Tampa-based DJ and producer's affiliation with nightclub culture – the music on his ACK Records album Daytrips is high-energy, mind-altering techno – the artist considers himself a Christian, and even attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for his first two years of college.

The Moody Institute, he says, classifies Scientology as a cult. "You should have the choice to get in or get out of any religion that you choose to," Tranceboy continues. "And Scientology pretty much declares that once you're in, you're in. And a few people that have tried to get out either end up ruining their lives or they're dead, and that was the biggest concern of mine, going into the concert. I didn't realize it was going to be so highly publicized."

The Lisa McPherson Trust is a for-profit group that, while vehemently declaring itself "not anti-Scientology," does state its aim as educating people about the perils of the religion. A local organization called the Foundation for Religious Tolerance has circulated a letter protesting the LMT event. The letter, written by Scientologist Mary DeMoss, cites an organization called the Hate Crimes Prevention Project, whose Web site, www.no-hate.org, calls the LMT an "Anti-Religious Hate Group." The letter calls into question the morality of performers with names like Gotohells, Wicker God and Fornikulture.

"Here are these bands trying to eke out a living," DeMoss told me, "who should be paid for their work, and instead are being lured into doing something for free so that the benefits can go to a for-profit corporation. They're a hate group, and that's how hate groups operate."

What may pose the biggest threat to Scientologists in general isn't the existence of the trust, however – it seems to be the LMT's choice of emcee for the event: California slam poet Jamie Kennedy.

Kennedy's material doesn't stray too far from the slam poetry tradition that took popular root in the early '90s – he's vitriolic, rebellious, passionate, hates organized religion, likes to say "fuck," and probably spits on his audiences a whole lot while performing. And though DeMoss does cite the violent and anti-Christian nature of much of Kennedy's work, that may not be what concerns Scientologists the most. Jamie Kennedy is the great-grandson of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard himself, and he's also wont to talk about stuff like the mental instability and manipulative machinations that have transpired up and down his family line.

"He's pretty hardcore," says Tranceboy of Kennedy." ... Some of his language is a little bit harsher than I would approve of, but I didn't pick him."

Tranceboy signed on with the benefit after being asked by his brother, Soma, the lead singer for local heavy alternative band Fornikulture. The group's keyboardist, Mike Krotz, heads up Mr. Scary Productions, the organizers of the concert for the LMT. Krotz is a little apprehensive about reprisals from Scientology in the wake of the event.

Taz, the lead singer of participating band Trocar, says he has already received an anonymous, threatening phone call that he believes came from the Scientology camp. According to Jamie Kennedy's Web site, his mother (yep, L. Ron's granddaughter) has been visited by Scientologists at her California home; initially posing as fellow poets, they eventually questioned her about her son's involvement with the Club More event. And Krotz himself has filed an assault claim against WTAN-1340 AM talk show host (and Scientologist) Dennis Clark, albeit due to an incident unrelated to the concert.

"I'm a little apprehensive," says Krotz." ... but I'm less anxious about the next couple of weeks than I am about the future, what they might do to my credit report in the next three years."

For her part, the Foundation for Religious Tolerance's DeMoss says that "any kind of scare tactics are probably being done by Mr. Krotz himself. This is how people like that operate. They do something themselves and then try and lay blame upon another. It's an old FBI tactic. It's a counterintelligence program."

If you are what they call "different" _

If you think we're entering a new Dark Ages _

If you see the universe as one vast morbid sense of humor –

If you are looking for an inherently bogus religion that will condone superior degeneracy and tell you that you are "above" everyone else –

If you can help us with a donation...

Nope, the above passage isn't from the uncensored version of Dianetics. It's from the Web site for The Church of the Subgenius, (www.subgenius.com). Across the bridge this Saturday night in Ybor City, The Church's local "clench" (chapter) will make a merry, debaucherous mockery of Scientology, Christianity and any other dogma it can get its iconoclastic little paws on.

"It's one of the few semi-serious things (about the Church of the Subgenius)," says the Rev. Pee Kitty. "'Cause there are so many similarities (between us and Scientology), actually. We're both evil, mind-control cults; we both worship UFOs; we both love money. The difference is, they take themselves completely seriously about it, and that actually makes them pretty damn scary."

The Rev. Kitty is, of course, a Subgenius (all members who kindly send in their $30 to Subgenius honcho J.R. "Bob" Dobbs are immediately given the title of Reverend). Kitty is also the keyboardist for experimental punk-jazz quintet Orange Stoole Chariot, one of the bands performing at the local clench's second annual Devival.

The relationship between the Church of the Subgenius and kooky, cool music goes back as far the church itself – that is to say, about 13 years. David Byrne, Danny Elfman and Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh are all affiliated with Dobbs and crew. Devo was the church's official house band for a number of years, and Mothersbaugh is even credited in the writing of the 1994 Subgenius tome Revelation X.

The Church spawns what they call "doctor bands," says Kitty, "that really push forward the concept of ‘anti-music,' which is noises and eclectic sounds, coming together in ways that are entirely nonmusical but still somehow incredibly pleasing to the ear."

St. Pete-based Orange Stoole Chariot, with its skronky artfunk, definitely falls under that description. The band is greatly influenced by Frank Zappa, despite the late maestro's conspicuous absence of Subgenius credentials. "I consider him to be very Subgenius," says Kitty, "even if he didn't know it. ... he was such a cynic, he probably would have looked at (the Church) and said, ‘no no no, I couldn't possibly join that.' But I can respect him like that. I would have respected him more if he had given Bob his $30 and then ripped up his membership card, but you know, sometimes you have to compromise."

Also appearing at the Devival will be Tampa's Reckless Deerhunters, Miami's Carnival Waste, and a number of Subgenius cognoscenti, both national and local. The main attraction is the Rev. Ivan Stang, Bob Dobbs' "right-hand man" and the host of the nationally syndicated "Hour of Slack" weekly radio show.

Since the Devival begins in the evening, and the Lisa McPherson Trust Benefit starts at noon, it might behoove Rev. Kitty to take Rev. Stang and the other visiting Subgenius dignitaries over to Club More to catch some of those festivities.

"It's kind of a shame," says Rev. Kitty about the two events taking place on the same night, "because I would have liked to attend that. But I think it's a good idea in a way, because I think that the two together, the Devival and the (LMT) benefit, will work together to send (the Scientologists) seismic waves that will perhaps do a little bit of damage all over the luck plane they seem to be on."

The First Annual Lisa McPherson Trust Benefit, with The Hazies, The Gotohells, The Outpatients, Crizzy & The Punx, Boney Fiend, Fornikulture, Undecided, Wicker God, Trocar, Shiver, Tranceboy, Jah-Be, MC Jamie Kennedy, and various other guest speakers, happens Saturday, Nov. 11, at Club More. The event begins at noon and lasts till 2 a.m., and ticket prices at the door are as follows: $10 for those 21 and up, $15 for ages 15 to 20, and free entry (or donation) for anyone under 15. No one under 18 will be allowed in after 8 p.m. See www.lisatrust.net for more information.

The Church of the Subgenius Tampa Bay 2000 Devival, with Rev. Ivan Stang, Susie the Floozie, Orange Stoole Chariot, Reckless Deerhunters, Carnival Waste, Dr. K. "Cortez" Legume, Papa Joe Mama, Hellpope Huey, Rev. Pee Kitty and Popess Lilith, also takes place on Saturday, at the Orpheum. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the performances begin at 9. Advance tickets are $8, and $10 at the door; see www.tampabaydevival.org for ticket outlets and further info.

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