Protest report: Birmingham, UK, Aug 4th 2001 [XEMU]
5 Aug 2001
Jens Tingleff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Three intrepid antis yesterday anoyed a surprisingly large number of clams at the opening day of some $scientology expo in Birmingham, UK.
Dave Bird and myself started the festivities off at 12:30 as planned, with boom-box and "XEMU LOVES YOU" balloons at the ready. Nothing much happened for a while, then someone was whisked off in a limo that had been parked in front when we arrived - presumably the mayor who was rumoured to have opened the expo. No sign of a clam celeb.
We soon were photographed and various OSA clams/clamettes came by to try to keep our focus off getting our message across and getting rid of some balloons (we hadn't brought enough, a mere 50, and ran out before we wanted to).
A crowd of really small clams ran about in "drug-free kids" t-shirts and handed out leaflets (presumably with free tickets for the film - that's a relief ;-) ). Since most kids like balloons, I asked if they'd like some and they would. I had managed to hand out three when a grown-up clam scampered over, collected the balloons, and handed them back to me. Picture BR200108045.jpg (6 of 16) shows how pleased the kids were to be part of "the most ethical group on earth," i.e. not very.
Martin Poulter showed up and had long talks with interested clams who were trying to distract us (some of them might have ended up a bit distracted themselves).
When we started playing the "The man on the cross - there was no christ" / "all I ever did with a Body Thetan was say 'incident one'" ramblings from the class V auditor tape (vintage Hubbard lunacy), Graeme had a quick word with another OSA clam and the other OSA clam showed up with a tape-recorder and said words to the effect that we were in breach of copyright and he was officially placing us under notice and we would receive a letter from the laywers and he was going to tape our breach of copyright. He declined to state his name and didn't know who owned the copyrights ("The Church of $cientology", me: "but which company or legal entity?", him: "Ahh, OSA" - at which point I had a good laugh and went back to handing out leaflets). Good thing they're not serious about the letter from laywer, I'm so scared by the very idea!
In spite of the ominous weather forecasts through the week (the sun had been shining earlier, and this is usually followed by someting like two out of: floods, hose bans, thunderstorms), the sun was shining most of the time, with only half an hour of light drizzle during a three hour demo (XEMU smiles on his own).
So, all in all this was an excellent demo, just like the old days (with the clams being royally cheesed of that we were there, and clams of all colours coming out to discuss) wityh an effect completely out of prop[ortion to the effort we put into it (only three protesters).
 Or whatever - we've been playing this tape at most of the demo s we've done for the last few years
 or not ;-) I do hope that Hodkins is paid an awful lot of money for writing rubbish letters...
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