Australian Critics of Scientology
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Picket Report : Brisbane, Fri 6 Dec

Neil Muspratt, Fri 06 Dec 1996

From: (Neil Muspratt)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Picket Report : Brisbane, Sat 7 Dec
Date: 7 Dec 1996 14:29:44 GMT
Message-ID: <58bv0o$>

This is Brisbane, Australia calling. Day two of the picket.

Got up this morning and looked out the window. Darn it, it's raining.
Bummer. Oh well, maybe it'll stop later. Got dressed, fed myself and
headed off into town with rain splattering the car windshield. Good
job we did the picket yesterday. We might not be able to do one now.

Approaching town, the rain eased off, then stopped, though it remained
overcast and threatening. Drove right past the org. All nice and quiet
with no sign of anyone. Heh heh. Calm before the storm.

Parked the car at work and headed off inside to get the new signs I
made. They're pretty simple ones, very cheap and easy to make. I print
the signs out on A4 using a very large font, then photocopy enlarge
onto A3 pages and stick to sheets of cardboard that used to be the
bottoms of old boxes. They're fine for protests on the footpath. Then
off to the org. Not raining. Good.

Approaching the org, I see Stuart Riley already set up and only two of
them outside. Only two? I was expecting at least ten of them to be out
there this morning after yesterday's effort. All that anxiety build up
for nothing!

It turned out to be a much more sedate affair compared to yesterday,
typical of the org's location away from the main centre of the CBD,
coupled with the day being a Saturday. Plus, this is Brisbane. [1]

There were three picketers on duty today. Stuart Riley started the
ball rolling at 10:00. I arrived soon after, followed by Damian Pope.
We decided to call it quits around 12:00. We weren't troubled by rain
at all during our time there, thank Xenu. Except for one small shower,
we were dry for the whole picket.

Only one new Co$ face this morning. Same crowd as yesterday otherwise,
minus one.

There was much heated discussion today. It ranged from religious
intolerance to copyright issues to just plain old insults. Well, there
was lots of time for it, with so few pedestrians around. I've grown
much more relaxed picketing the place now. Well, heck. They're only
people, and I deal with people all the time. Why should I be scared of
them? I don't hate them. It's the organisation's behaviour I take
issue with.

Some picketing moments:

A shouting contest as people across the street read the placards of
both sides and call out, "Are you for or against?"


Two young women approached, out promoting Gateway 2000 (a PC supplier
in Australia now after it took over the defunct Australian PC company
Osborne Computers when they went bust this year). "Ah, wonderful!"
thought I. "Fellow computer geeks."

ME  : Hi, we're protesting against Scientology. Would you like a
HER : (clutching a bunch of Gateway 2000 promotional flyers) "No
      thanks ... Oh, you're against?"
ME  : (trying not to sound exasperated) "Yes, we're against. This is
      what they've been up to on the Internet." (hand over leaflet)
HER : "Oh, we don't access the Internet."
ME  : "But you're wearing Gateway 2000 shirts . . ."
HER : "Oh, we just work for them."

What is it about blondes? At least she took the leaflet.

We were serenaded this time. A portable tape deck was brought into the
attack and placed inside the ground floor entrance to the building. An
uplifting song boomed out. What a nice tune. And again, a bit more
subdued. And again ... and again ... Er, do you have any more? What?
That's it? Only one song? Oh well, play it again clam.

They excelled themselves with their flyers today. See the posts which
follow this one. I scanned them all in this evening and had a good
read of them while fixing all the typos added by the OCR software (any
that remain are verbatim from the leaflets themselves). Struth, I can
just imagine the thoughts of some of the poor public who had to read

"What a bunch of weirdos."
"Who the hell is Tony McClelland?" [2]
"What the #&$%@*%$ are they going on about?"

Unsolicited comments made by some of the passing public:

"Scientology eh? Tell me about it." :-)
"Good on ya."
"I agree with you."
"We support what you're doing."
"Yeah mate, stick it to 'em."


Unsolicited comments from the passing public in favour of Scientology:


Who says Scientologists don't have a sense of humour? As we packed up
and were leaving the scene, one of them actually asked us to notify
them in advance of the next picket so that they could be ready for us!
Brilliant! We'd never suspect something like that!

Just imagine. The Japanese fleet phones Pearl Harbour on 6 December
1941 just to say they plan to drop in on Sunday. Or Ike calls Rommel
on 5 June 1944 just to tell him he's a Nazi and he's going to get
what's coming to him *real* soon.

Stuart obliged and said he would. Well, I suppose it's the civil thing
to do. I thought they should get an ISP account and learn how to use
it. After all, they've got the money for it. Haven't they?

And who's doing the great job making excuses for OSA anyway? They're
here on the Net. They're reading this right now. Pull your fingers out
guys! These poor people in Brisbane aren't getting their intelligence

Seriouly people, it's not like the Net is absolutely chock full of
SPs. There's only a few of us. And only a couple of things you're not
supposed to read. You can avoid them. Honest.

Our signs:

   IS A



More coloured cardboard signs:

     OF HER


Yeah, right on.

After so much suppressiveness, there's nothing like a visit to one of
the local coffee shops, so off we trundled, pausing to dump the signs
and associated stuff in Stuart's car. Whew, another day, another
picket. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.


[1] Brisbane has always retained the feel of a big country town,
    despite being a city of about a million people, something you
    don't feel in Sydney and Melbourne which are much larger in
    population (2 - 3 million each). It's a pretty laid back sort of
    place, something our neighbours down south seem to poke fun at,
    amongst other things. :-)

[2] Tony lives in Sydney. Most non-Scientologists in Brisbane have
    never heard of him or CultAware. A lot of people seem to know
    about Scientology though.

 _.-_|\     Neil Muspratt (SP2)              Tel : + 61 7 3864 2146
/      QUT Technical Services Section        Fax : + 61 7 3864 1959
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Greatness in life consists not so much in doing so-called great
things, but in doing small things greatly.

- Dwight D Eisenhower

[Demonstrations against Scientology]