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Scientology protest moves to Southland

Title: Scientology protest moves to Southland
Date: Monday, 17 June 1985
Publisher: Evening Outlook (Santa Monica, CA)
Main source: link (101 KiB)

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More than 300 Church of Scientology members and sympathizers, fresh from a month-long protest in Portland, Ore., staged a march along Sunset Boulevard to draw attention to "religion on trial."

Busloads of Scientologist arrived at the church's Hollywood headquarters Sunday afternoon for the evening rally, carrying a large banner that read "Religious Freedom Crusade" as they marched along Sunset Boulevard 1½ miles to the church's Celebrity Center International.

The demonstrators also carried individual signs and sang "When The Crusade Comes Marching In," an altered version of When The Saints Come Marching In, during the 40-minute march.

Church spokesman Tim Skog said Scientology members were carrying the message of the Portland court's "threat to religious liberty" to the rest of the country.

"The message is that you cannot put religion on trial," Skog said. "You cannot put it in a courtroom and expect any jury to do anything but rule against it.

"If you scrutinize beliefs from a secular viewpoint, you could come to the same conclusion about what a Catholic priest might promise a parishioner."

The $39 million decision was in favor of former Scientology member Julie C. Tichboume, who claimed in a civil suit that the church promised her eyesight and her intelligence would improve by following church tenets.

The May ruling prompted thousands of Scientologists to flock to Portland, launching what they called "A Crusade for Religious Freedom."

They marched around the Portland courthouse, held concerts and demonstrations in a downtown park, and brought in celebrity members John TravoIta and Chick Corea.

The church has asked for a mistrial. A ruling is pending.

The church also planned further demonstration today outside the Internal Revenue Service building in downtown Los Angeles in further protest of the Portland decision. He claimed the IRS planned to place false documents in church files.