From braintree!news.sprintlink.net!news00.sunet.se!sunic!sunic!news99.sunet.se!news.funet.fi!news.helsinki.fi!not-for-mail Tue Oct 17 09:25:15 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Taneli Huuskonen)
Subject: Demonstration in Helsinki (BEWARE, SCIENTOLOGY! You're being exposed in Finland as well.)
Date: 16 Oct 1995 22:11:16 +0200
Organization: University of Helsinki
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Summary: BEWARE, SCIENTOLOGY!
Keywords: Rogue Agent Scamizdat OT VII Thetan henry Baker Erlich Ward
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It was exactly 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon when I arrived in front
of the Dianetics Centre with my cardboard signs. I was re-using my
earlier ones, and as there were none others in sight, I decided to do
something useful and made a couple of new signs -- I had brought some
extra cardboard and a thick felt tip pen.
A couple of minutes later a police van drove there, and a young, polite
policeman asked me if the demonstration was taking place. I told him it
was and that I was expecting others to arrive any minute. He asked me a
couple of routine questions, then drove away.
When he was gone, I noticed a young man approaching. He made sure I was
the right person (we had only exchanged e-mail previously) and that the
demonstration was indeed taking place, and disappeared for a moment to
fetch his signs from his car. While he was away, a somewhat older man
came and introduced himself. He was an ex-Scientologist, who'd only
been involved for a short while quite a few years ago. I'd spoken with
him on the phone, so his name was familiar. Some others arrived, too,
and pretty soon I realized we were a crowd of seven. I hadn't really
expected more than maybe four or five, so I was pleasantly surprised.
Some of us were just concerned netizens, like myself; some were
ex-Scientologists. The exes told us they were quite pleased that their
plight had been noticed by some outsiders as well. They also told that
some others would've joined us as well, but couldn't force themselves to
come so near the Org... There's something in Scientology that defies
understanding. Lots of things, in fact.
We had a pleasant time chatting among ourselves, but the few passersby
didn't seem to be very interested in our message. However, one young
man stopped and looked at our signs carefully. He asked if there were
any Scientologists around; we told him there weren't. He then revealed
his name, which I recognized as one I'd seen on the Net. He explained
he wanted to have a personality test without telling he was a critic.
He lingered for a while, then left a little before six; the Org was
supposed to close at six. (I'd been told the Finnish Scientologists had
already had an IAS celebration on the previous weekend.)
It was around six that I noticed a familiar person approach us, then
stop maybe twenty metres short. I wondered why he didn't come and join
us, but I thought of a couple of plausible explanations, shrugged to
myself, and didn't ask. I chatted with him for a few minutes, then gave
him a flyer (with a price list, selected dirty tricks, and some notes
about Scientology doctrine) and said goodbye, as he had to leave.
At six-thirty our little crowd of demonstrators dwindled to three
persons; others left. One of us suggested that our signs might look
better if we put them against the wall of the building, next to the main
entrance, and so we did. Now it was Clear[tm] where the Bridge to Debt
Slavery started. I took one sign, promoting alt.religion.scientology,
and held it high in front of the door while the others took pictures
(at least one of them has access to a scanner, so there's a good chance
of getting a picture for my Web page). I was just trying to make a
Tone-40[tm] face for better effect, when I was informed of an
approaching figure. I turned and noticed a man coming out of the door.
He didn't want to become a film star, apparently. My companions obliged
and put away their cameras, and the man told us he was the janitor, and
that we weren't allowed to have the signs lean against the wall. I got
a distinct impression that we were being watched. So, we took our signs
away and tried to get the attention of the passengers of the trams that
stopped next to the Org. It was uncertain if we had any success.
I'd told the police the demo would end by seven. By that time, the Org
hadn't closed -- its windows were all lit, and we hadn't seen anyone
come out, except for one person shortly after we started. Talk about
All in all, it was a pleasant experience. I learned to know some new
antis, and met some net acquaintances in real life. The number of
demonstrators had increased by a whopping 600% -- that's six hundred
percent! Think of it. If this trend continues, we'll outnumber the
Finnish Scientologists pretty soon. In a couple of years, we'll
outnumber the Finnish population... :-) Ok, maybe the trend won't
continue quite that long. But anyway:
BEWARE, SCIENTOLOGY! You're being exposed in Finland as well.
Thanks to all who made this happen!
Taneli aka spud-tane
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