An early-90s Scientology protest (sort of) - inside St Hill

hollybush

Patron
I've been writing down some of my memories to try and recall stuff abut my own past and, slowly but surely, a few things are coming back to me.

One memory popped up today - not an ancient memory, but one I had totally forgotten about. It made me chuckle and I wanted to post it.

In the early 90s I got into a band and it turned out that one of our members was a scientologist (I remember being surprised he was so open and happy about it - as a Scn kid I hid the fact from everyone I knew who wasn't 'in'). I hadn't been involved for a good 6 or 7 years by this time, and I don't think I ever brought up the subject with him as I knew it would cause problems and I really liked him. (He's out of Scn now and has a wonderful new life in another country).

Anyway, because of his connections he booked us for several gigs in the Great Hall at Saint Hill! This was the first time I'd been back there since the early 80s and a lot had changed - the whole place was a lot swankier and new buildings had been built. The first time we went we were given a little tour and, though we didn't get the hard-sell, we were definitely invited to learn more if we wanted to. All the time I was worried someone might recognise me, but nothing ever came up.

The three of us in the band who weren't Scns (none of the others knew of my ex-status) were very bemused and knew exactly what we thought: WEIRDNESS! We played the gig and it went well (I have it recorded, I think I even have photos of us on stage with giant LRH portraits looking down upon us - I can't believe I'd forgotten all this).

The next time we played we hatched a plan. During our set we held up signs and repeated bizarre phrases into the mics to the audience. The signs and phrases were all about mind control, but they were really obscure because we didn't want to upset our Scn bandmate, and we didn't want to get thrown out - but it was our own little protest so we felt better about doing a gig on behalf of the Scn organisation.

The only sign I can clearly recall was 'SIT ON YOUR PLANKS!'. This wasn't about mind control, but was in reference to the the Saint Hill security guard who seemed to walk around with a plank of wood which he sometimes sat on at the main entrance. One of us batted a shuttlecock into the audience after each song (I think the only meaning of this was "we can be weird too" - a bit childish perhaps, but it was therapeutic). Our Scn band member didn't have a clue what was going on - he was in heaven that were playing for 'his people'. And 'his people' probably just thought we were some kind of avant-garde musical act.

I've just dug out my old gig diary - we played four times at St. Hill and once at Greenfields School. On all of them I see I hated our sound - it was "dead" - this despite the scientology 'sound experts' that were on hand to mic us up and control the mixing board.

Well, not much - but a bit of fun :)
 
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La La Lou Lou

Crusader
I've been writing down some of my memories to try and recall stuff abut my own past and, slowly but surely, a few things are coming back to me.

One memory popped up today - not an ancient memory, but one I had totally forgotten about. It made me chuckle and I wanted to post it.

In the early 90s I got into a band and it turned out that one of our members was a scientologist (I remember being surprised he was so open and happy about it - as a Scn kid I hid the fact from everyone I knew who wasn't 'in'). I hadn't been involved for a good 6 or 7 years by this time, and I don't think I ever brought up the subject with him as I knew it would cause problems and I really liked him. (He's out of Scn now and has a wonderful new life in another country).

Anyway, because of his connections he booked us for several gigs in the Great Hall at Saint Hill! This was the first time I'd been back there since the early 80s and a lot had changed - the whole place was a lot swankier and new buildings had been built. The first time we went we were given a little tour and, though we didn't get the hard-sell, we were definitely invited to learn more if we wanted to. All the time I was worried someone might recognise me, but nothing ever came up.

The three of us in the band who weren't Scns (none of the others knew of my ex-status) were very bemused and knew exactly what we thought: WEIRDNESS! We played the gig and it went well (I have it recorded, I think I even have photos of us on stage with giant LRH portraits looking down upon us - I can't believe I'd forgotten all this).

The next time we played we hatched a plan. During our set we held up signs and repeated bizarre phrases into the mics to the audience. The signs and phrases were all about mind control, but they were really obscure because we didn't want to upset our drummer, and we didn't want to get thrown out - but it was our own little protest so we felt better about doing a gig on behalf of the Scn organisation.

The only sign I can clearly recall was 'SIT ON YOUR PLANKS!'. This wasn't about mind control, but was in reference to the the Saint Hill security guard who seemed to walk around with a plank of wood which he sometimes sat on at the main entrance. One of us batted a shuttlecock into the audience after each song (I think the only meaning of this was "we can be weird too" - a bit childish perhaps, but it was therapeutic). Our Scn band member didn't have a clue what was going on - he was in heaven that were playing for 'his people'. And 'his people' probably just thought we were some kind of avant-garde musical act.

I've just dug out my old gig diary - we played four times at St. Hill and once at Greenfields School. On all of them I see I hated our sound - it was "dead" - this despite the scientology 'sound experts' that were on hand to mic us up and control the mixing board.

Well, not much - but a bit of fun :)
I can't believe they would pay for music to be played, what kind of event was it?
I can believe records or CDs but a band?
scientology always is full of surprises.
 

hollybush

Patron
I can't believe they would pay for music to be played, what kind of event was it?
I can believe records or CDs but a band?
scientology always is full of surprises.

I'm not sure if we got paid - I certainly don't remember anything.

I've been looking at my gig diary - at the four gigs at St Hill we had at best 150 in the audience, and the least was 80 - so not very good, especially in that massive hall.

For one of the gigs we were supported by a young Scn band. Another was some kind of arts event, we jammed with Woody Woodmansey (a blues in F!) and also acted as the backing band for a few singing turns (I remember having to quickly learn 'Walk Like An Egyptian' for one of the acts).
 
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Techless

Patron Meritorious
This brings back many silly memories of gigs I did with Scn stuff too.

At one point I was getting serious pressure to come 'join the band' on the freewinds, getting regged and all on how great the whole 'cruise ship' gig is. Luckily, I'd had many pro music friends by then who did do cruise ship gigs - not Scn ones - and had gotten the very vivid picture, that they suck bigtime after about the first week. (even on a sane cruise ship!)

Never did go...

Great story -keep remembering and sharing! Rather funny you guys did the 'evil bits' and no one figured it out! Very perception bunch, eh?

laughs -
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
I've just dug out my old gig diary - we played four times at St. Hill and once at Greenfields School. On all of them I see I hated our sound - it was "dead" - this despite the scientology 'sound experts' that were on hand to mic us up and control the mixing board.

Similar experience when I happened to hear the Jive Arses play last month. They sounded awful... like they were outfitted with the cheapest speakers money can buy... and they left them in the cardboard boxes they came in.

Bizarre. Oh, wait... it's Scientology. It's supposed to be a bit weird and retarded.
 
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