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Protest!

Picket Report 'What is Scientology' Exhibition - London UK
18 Aug 2001
John Ritson <john@jritson.demon.co.uk>

Scientology is wasting more of its "parishioner's" money.

Whereas the previous London 'What is Scientology' Exhibition was in a high-traffic shopping area (Oxford Street) in a between-leases shop, presumably fairly cheap, the Birmingham exhibition a fortnight ago was in the International Convention Centre. and now they have returned to London, in the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster (opposite Westminster Abbey).

This venue is normally used for high-profile corporate announcements and government conferences. High security, very expensive, and rather off the beaten track. There is no direct passing traffic in front of the door, just some tourists on the way to Westminster Abbey or Parliament Square going by on the far side of a raised grass triangle in front of the entrance.

A group of UK Suppressives (or is it PTS Type IIIs?) turned up at about 12:30, parked themselves on the nearest non-private roadway with boom- box, helium balloons and Duke the dog, and watched the non-spectacle. The Jive Aces were playing on the grass triangle. They attracted a gaggle of passing tourists, but hardly anybody was enticed into the Conference Centre, and those few that were, were the result of body-routing rather than spontaneous enthusiasm.

The Scientologists were handing out vague leaflets (quite useful for the tourists as they contained a map of the area) and we were counter- leafletting on both sides of the road. One Scientology child was sent out to beg for two balloons so she could burst them (it would have been more impressive if she had used OT powers). They photographed us, took videos, and spent a lot of time shouting into mobile phones. After about three hours the Jive Aces packed up, but they were obviously frustrated after Scientology's lack of success at this high-profile event, and one of the Jive Aces, stalked over to the picketers and, purple-faced with rage, started shouting obscenities. Eventually he started staring at Jens from a distance of about two centimetres.

Other of the Jive Aces crew realised that with the concentration of CCTV cameras in the area, assault would be difficult to deny, and ushered him away. We pointed him out as a prime example of the failure of the "Communications Courses" and suggested that he needed to pay for more courses. Perhaps the thought of having to shell out even more money upset him so much he rushed over again and started screaming "Paedophiles". We suggested that he obviously had some issues about the subject (had he perhaps encountered paedophile and Scientologist Donald Strawn?), but he was by now too incoherent to communicate at all, and he was fetched back by his handlers again.

The Jive Aces drove off, and we left the deserted scene, though no doubt disconsolate Scientologists were still hoping to attract new visitors to their exhibition.

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John Ritson *** "And if you get - just in spaces deserted, valuable spaces deserted, you got degradation. And you just do a series of mock-ups of the fellow running away from various spaces, various valuable - first, just various spaces, then from various valuable spaces and just keep running away from these various spaces, and on and on and on, and all of a sudden, boy, the feelings of degradation would turn up to a point where, as a preclear, you'd almost throw up. And that would probably run out and get him loosened up on the track. All right?" - L Ron Hubbard 'The Logics - Their Relation to Aberration and Space' 3 Nov 1953 ***

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