Australian Critics of Scientology
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Melbourne "Demo" also a flop.

Darren Hutchinson, Sat 09 Sep 1995

From: (Darren Hutchinson)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: Melbourne "Demo" also a flop.
Date: 22 Mar 1996 07:14:17 GMT
Message-ID: <4itk09$>

Andrew Milne ( wrote:
: David Gerard's "demo" outside the Church of Scientology in Melbourne, was,
: like those last week in the US, a flop with minimal turnout -- at most
: about half the "high point" of last year when they scrambled up to about
: 15 through extraordinary efforts.  
Minimal turnout is one. There seemed to be more people there than that.

: * They handed out a leaflet which nobody was really interested in and 
: most people dumped in the trash soon after. People were much more 
: interested in the Freedoms that were handed out.
Well, that ain't true. A large number of leaflets were handed out to people
who were interested in them. I would say that for people walking along the
street there were a more people interested in the leaflets than the
copies of Freedom, but there wasn't a great disparity.

On the other hand many drivers & passengers, after seeing the signs, actually
asked for copies of the leaflet. Nobody asked for a copy of Freedom.

It is *VERY* unlike Melbourne people to ask for leaflets at all. BigWin time!

The only rubbish bin is easy reach was right in front of the folks from
the org (standard format: one photographer for intimidation, one handing
out copies of Freedom). I didn't see *ANYONE* dump a leaflet in it (not
suprising as both the CoS folks and the protesters only offered leaflets).

Also, most people took a copy of both the leaflet and Freedom (few took just
one or the other). Actually I don't remember anyone taking a copy of Freedom
without taking a copy of the leaflet.

: * For most of the time there were only about 3 people there. A few 
: stragglers came and went. 
So you weren't there eh? Two signs (windy day - it was a two handed job),
one person video taping. Who was handing out the leaflets? Maybe you should
try some number clearing?

: * Contrary to what Gerard expected (he seems to have had the impression he
: would be the high point of the day for the Scientologists), the
: Scientologists in the Church didn't think it worth their while to talk to
: him. 
This at least contains some truth. Strangely enough I wasn't suprised that
nobody from the Church came out to speak with David. If I was being cynical i'd
say that anybody who did, without authorization, would be looking for a new
religion to waste their money on.

: * The "demo" had absolutely no impact whatever and was more of a 
: curiosity for passersby.
See below.

: All in all, a sorry affair. In fact, it is revelatory that after weeks of 
: touting these demos as a big international "protest", the total 
: turnaround around the world was utterly insignificant. 
Eh? What does 'turnaround' mean here? If it means 'conversions' I think you're
right again. It's irrelevent though. The target of the protest wasn't the
people in the Org, it was anyone who might have been silly enough to get
involved with the Cult. Who can tell whether it worked or not?

BTW: How many people are there in the CoS these days? I noticed your web site
says that it is the fastest growing religion in the world - this seems very
unlikely based on your published data.

: I guess that's what comes of following Steven Fishman. 
Didn't meet Steve. Did meet Cyril Vosper though, but he didn't seem to want
to lead. That was OK as no one there really wanted to follow.

: If Gerard wants to "demonstrate" again next year, he may.
Gee, thanks. Not necessary though - we think for ourselves and therefore
don't need you permission.

: But with the
: Church's new sites up, people are now going to be finding out what
: Scientology really is on the Internet.
Why would the new CoS sites have to do with finding out what the CoS is about,
except perhaps to note the conflict between it and the availible facts?

: I recommend to Gerard that he give
: up a hopeless cause (whatever his cause may be, I'm not sure) and take a
: look at the sites and find out the truth about Scientology.  Otherwise he
: runs the risk of becoming like the flat-earth society -- irrelevant and
: unnoticed. 
Strange. The flat eathers became irrelevent because they couldn't accept
change and new information. Only one of the parties involved in the protest
had immutable perfect HubbardTech. Why do you keep shooting yourself in the
foot with bogus comparisons?

Favourite moments from the protest:

1. Man takes protest leaflet then takes Freedom. Reads a little then talks to
   the CoS folks, initially very frendly. The conversation progresses, getting
   more heated until he finally screws up his copy of Freedom and stuffs it
   into the rubbish bin and walks off. Another BigWin, eh?

2. Line of folks inside the org, reading the signs. They were there for quite
   a while, but then they all left at once. Guess they were on courses.

3. Children inside the org. They smile, point and look out at us. I wave (after
   all we're not RonBots). The wave back. Mother calls out that we are
   'suppressive people'. Kids stay and wave until mother pulls them away.

   BTW. I'll be expecting my SP declare in the post.

4. Cyril Vosper. It was interesting talking to someone who knew Hubbard and
   had seen both sides of the Scientology issue.

Despite Andy's comments it seemed to go really well. It got significant
interest from the public, none of who had a nice word for the CoS.

I don't think many people joined that day.


Darren Hutchinson.    

[Demonstrations against Scientology]