Picket Report, Catarina Pamnell

Scientology Lies > Pickets > Malmoe >Picket Report, Catarina Pamnell

From: [email protected] (Catarina Pamnell)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Protest report WIS exhibition Malmoe, 1 April 2000
Date: Sun, 02 Apr 2000 04:32:58 GMT
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What better way to celebrate All Fool's Day than a visit to the What
Is Scientology exhibition? On its tour of Scandinavia, it had landed
in Malmoe in southern Sweden this weekend. 

The struggling Malmoe org is rarely worth a visit, but with the
International Association of Scientologists sponsored event in town,
the local scientologists were livelier than usual. They had rented
space in a theatre complex right in the city center, on the 5th floor
though. When me and Ake arrived in the afternoon, a scientology band
was playing in the central sqare. Not the (in)famous Jive Aces, alas,
only some local talents. 

We had picked up Miss M, who had already been inside to view the
exhibition, and since we were all hungry we began our protest by
having a nice meal at a vegetarian restaurant on the central sqare. As
usual our motto was "entertainment over efficiency". 

There is a convenient arcade leading from the central sqare to the
exhibition place, so apart from body routers right outside of the
entrance, there were several in the square also. We joined them with
our fliers ("Watch out for pitfalls! Does the CoS tell you
*everything*? in handy A5 format, listing some of our points of
criticism and web addresses on one side, and examples of Hubbard words
of wisdom on the other. It was probably not a bad flier, I saw several
people reading the whole thing. Total flier count maybe 100). We
walked on up to the exhibition entrance, and since they had been
forewarned of our presence already before we went to eat, it didn't
take long to get handlers. 

Ake soon struck up a conversation with two scientologists across the
street. Me and Miss M went to the exhibition side, and offered fliers
to people coming out of the building. A young guy came out, and read
the flier while waiting for his friends who soon joined him, and got
fliers too. We chatted a little. A very fat (for a Swede) and sour
scientologist, wearing at least two IAS pins, one looked like a
sponsor pin ($10,000 donation to the IAS) came up to our little crowd.
He said to me "You look like Donald Duck!" :-)  I could not resist
such a golden opportunity, and told the others that this was a
scientologist trying to intimidate me, and if they really worked hard,
they too could become scientologists just like him! Big grins all

The kids were reading aloud from the flier some of the examples of
kookie Hubbard (like "sex was invented by evil alien psychiatrists",
"not smoking enough causes cancer", "don't ever call an alien from the
Fifth Invader Force a Venusian, it's a horrible insult", "everyone who
criticises Scientology is a criminal" etc, just summed up for easy
reading, most of them not full quotes, but with the reference stated
for each). Sour Sponsor said "Who wrote this flier? She did? Then I
don't believe a word."  So I immediately pulled up an authentic copy
of HCOPL 27 August 1987, "People who oppose Scientology" in Swedish,
showed the kids that Hubbard did say that all critics are criminals,
and offered to show proof of some other points too, if needed. I had
packed a little kit of useful materials and books. Sour Sponsor
disappeared, and the kids cheered us on.

[Clarification: I actually don't care all that much if Hubbard had
some weird ideas. I do find it dishonest of those scientologists who
won't either a) declare that they do believe this stuff is true, or b)
declare that they think Hubbard was wrong.]

Then a short, non-Swedish scientologist came up. He probably belonged
to the exhibition entourage. He was rather rude, so me and Miss M
mostly ignored him. He and some other non-local staff tried to shake
us by saying things like "You're not allowed to be here. You don't
have a permit. We have a permit. Now we will call the police!" etc.
It was really cool - I had told Miss M before that the scientologists
usually call the police, and predicted many of the other things they
would do as well. I admit I like it when the scios prove me right!
They didn't know who Miss M was, so it's possible they also hoped that
they would get the cops to come around and ask for our ID's. Anyway,
the cops obviously had more important things to deal with, as they
never showed up.

Now they finally got the camera man out. I actually thought that he
seemed much more camera proficient than they usually do, as if he was
taking real pictures. And when we talked to him later, it turned out
that he really was a photographer, who toured with the exhibition. A
very enthusiastic, young 2nd generation Scientologist from Canada. He
was clearly proud of his work, and happy to get to travel. Later he
joined us for coffee, and was fun to talk with. He had heard about our
encounter with the Jive Aces in Copenhagen when the exhibition was
over there recently, except he had been told that Ake had spit a band
member in the face! Gee, how these guys stand up for the truth! It's
pretty interesting though when you get to hear the rumours that are
being spread.

Later Short Guy asked me if I could confront going into the
exhibition. I said sure, I'd like to, but unfortunately I didn't think
I would be allowed inside. So he started to take me towards the
entrance, and predictably the guy at the door refused to let me in.
Now Short Guy had to find another argument and repeated that I could
not go in because I was "too low". I stated the obvious to him a few
times, that I could confront going in, but they could not confront
letting me in. But there was no point in arguing with him, he seemed
very dense.

As I got bored with the rude guys on the exhibition side of the
street, and as there were not many people coming out, I gravitated
over to Ake. He had found some much nicer scientologists to talk to.
Especially one guy, a long time public member, showed a level of
sincerity and integrity that we unfortunately rarely encounter in
these situations, very far from the all-too-common rondroids. A really
pleasant conversation.

Meanwhile, Miss M was doing a great job giving out fliers and holding
her position. She's a gutsy lady.

It was a bitterly cold day, and we just had to go inside for a while.
Photo guy joined us for coffee, and so did a Swedish guy who claimed
to be someone who had just become a little interested in scientology,
had read a few books, but didn't know if he should do courses, and
what did we think about it? Unfortunately for him, he was rather
transparent as a "spy". I could list several points from his
conversation that gave him away, but really, he wouldn't have needed
to open his mouth. You see a guy in a non-smart white shirt, wrinkled
navy blue pants, hollow and pale face and a generally outmoded look,
in the vicinity of a scientology event, and it will take *a lot* to
convince you that he's not CoS staff... But I decided to play along,
it being April 1st and all. Kept him entertained for an hour at least.
After a while, Ake and Miss M went back outside, but I was still cold
so I stayed with Mr Spy for a little while more. 

Later I magically located Ake and Miss M on the pedestrian street
nearby. They were talking to two young boys, barely in their teens,
who had been invited in by the body routers. Smart kids though - they
said "well, they were nice and gave us lemonade, but they didn't
actually explain what they were doing!" And while getting an e-meter
demonstration they had noticed that they demonstrator kept moving a
knob on the meter with his thumb "so we knew he was just cheating!".
Remarkable though that they invite children without accompanying

There was also a guy who said he'd been trying to get off the CoS
mailing list for 30 years! He had never even been involved himself,
one of his friends had entered his name as a joke. He looked very
cheerful after getting a few hints on how to deal with this.

Then another public scientologist passed by, who recognized Ake. She
also turned out to be a really reasonable and sincere person. Three
nice scientologists on the same day, that's a new record! It makes me
very sad to think of the less ethical elements of the organization
riding on the backs of these well-meaning people.

There were other people (non-scios) coming up to talk as well, and it
was an interesting day all in all. 

(P.S.  The male representative of our little group says to tell OSA
that next time they send a spy, make it a good-looking redhead in a
pretty dress. 
P.P.S. No, he didn't actually say that, but I know that's what he was
thinking ;-) )



"Love the truth, forgive mistakes"

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