Australian Critics of Scientology
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Anti-Co$ Melbourne, Fri 05 Dec 1997: Pre-Demo Leaflet Run

David Gerard, Fri 05 Dec 1997

From: (David Gerard)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology,melb.general
Subject: Anti-Co$ Melbourne, Fri 05 Dec 1997: Pre-Demo Leaflet Run
Date: 5 Dec 1997 23:11:18 +1100
Message-ID: <>

* Tomorrow morning, we are holding a civilised and peaceful demonstration
  against the Church of Scientology in Melbourne, cnr Russell Street and
  Flinders Lane, from 11am-1pm. You are welcome to come along. For more
  information (which also happens to be the two sides of the leaflet for
  today and tomorrow), please read:

  For more on past demonstrations against Scientology in Australia:

Last few Melbourne demos, we've given out 100-150 leaflets on the day,
outside the Co$. (The corner of Russell Street and Flinders Lane is
very quiet for foot traffic.) But this time, I got a whole lot more
leaflets done - about 650-700 - and Frank Copeland and I went out in
the afternoon rush hour to hand them to the public. In our very
stylish "75 million years ago, Xenu nuked 15 billion people in
volcanos,and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." shirts.

And did we ever have fun. Got about 400-450 leaflets out, between
4:15pm and 6:15pm. Started at Flinders Street Station (*the* central
train station), stayed there a while. Went up Swanston Walk a bit.
Then up some more. Then went down the pub :-)

The stretch in question (Swanston Walk, from Flinders Street to
Collins Street, west side of street) is probably the busiest piece of
pavement in all of Melbourne. It's the Co$'s favourite body-routing
area (the org is just a block away), though the body-router didn't
appear to be out today.

The public aren't so keen to take leaflets. It's hard work keeping them
flowing. People just aren't keen on advertising material in general.
They did nice double-takes when they read what the leaflet actually
was, though (anyone who's leafleted at an anti-Co$ demo will know the
double-take I mean). But persistence will maintain the outflow of leaflets.
Bag of leaflets hanging on right forearm, sheaf in left hand, two leaflets
in right hand. When one is taken, pass one from left to right hand.
When sheaf is done, grab another. Continue.

The shirts are a bad idea. Even in the phrase '$cientology $cam',
people thought the S-word meant we were Scientologists. Although I
did get one guy who LOVED the shirt and asked where he could get one
(and another down the pub later who congratulated us on our good works).

Of the general public, I spoke to two people who had had run-ins with
Scientology and one who had had a run-in with Assembly Of God. All the
cult stories come out of the woodwork when someone starts publicly
protesting about any of these groups.

Had a couple of obvious Scientologists - asking 'what's your organisation?
who are you?' and the D'oh! giveaway of the day: 'who's paying you?' Hee.
As long as they read the leaflet. One of them handed it back to me saying
'that's religious oppression, man.' Of course it is, dear. Run along now.
Interesting to see that they were patrolling Swanston Walk.

Oh, and Frank also got a guy telling him how Scientology was bad, but
the Internet was much more evil :-)

This sort of leafleting is exhausting, but you can get a lot out to a
lot of people, and attract the right sort of attention. A lot of nice
normal middle-class commuters got a copy and would have read it on the
way home and possibly looked up some of the URLs on the back. (Net
penetration is about 10% of households in Australia now.) I'd call it
a win. We may even see some of them tomorrow.

*** Next Worldwide Demonstration against $cientology: Sat 6 Dec 1997 ***
***  Clearwater, Melbourne, Brisbane, LA, Toronto, Boston, Berlin,   ***
***  Sacramento ...    ***

[Demonstrations against Scientology]