Scientologists make fools out of themselves

Cult musicians warn people about drugs from their wagon at the Zurich Fasnacht

[photo]: people don't want the English band here next year: Jive Aces at the parade in Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland
February 24, 2002

Zurich - Scientologists have discovered the Fasnacht and have used it as a recruitment platform. Last Sunday the Jive Aces Scientology band rode their decorated wagon in the procession to the Zurich Fasnacht. While the six musicians from England played medleys of swing music, Scientologists accompanied them distributing candy to children and brochures to adults along the street.

Unter the title "The Facts about the Joint!" the readers were faced with 22 pages of negative information about Cannabis. The message also shimmered in glittering letters from the side of the Fasnacht wagon, "Say No to Drugs." The publisher of the brochure was the Psycho-Cult Church of Scientology International in Los Angeles.

The English musicians, who are now touring Europe, had spontaneously decided to appear in the Fasnacht procession, said Jive Aces manager Nadia Munno. "As other groups do, we also wished to bring our message to the people in the parade." She said the Fasnacht committee had given them its blessing.

The Zurich Fasnacht Association actually knew about the Jive Aces' Scientology background, verified parade director Werner Schnellman. "We were convinced by the very professional music of the band," he said. Besides that he said the rules were clear, "Proselytizing is forbidden." He said the Scientologists had promised to give the brochures only to those who wanted them. The band received only positive feedback - almost nobody cared what the writing said on their wagon," said Schnellman

Along the streets, however, the operation left behind a wave of consternation. Many spectators, who had the Scientology brochures pushed into the hands, felt they were taken unawares. They said they did not realize they were holding onto writings from cult leader Ron Hubbard until the wagon had already gone passed.

The Scientology band was distributing propaganda in Zurich even before Fasnacht. They played at the Spirgarten Hotel, in children's homes, in the Nelson Pub and at the Pestalozziwiese. And on Sunday, before the Fasnacht parade started, the band entertained the head of the association, as arranged by the Zurich Fasnacht Association.

The Fasnacht Association dissociates itself clearly from religious groups, stressed Fasnacht participant Werner Schnellman. "The whole thing was an experiment." He said next year a repeat performance by the Jive Aces was improbable.

Claudia Imfeld

German Scientology News