Anti-Scientologists protest at jazz show

Derry Journal, Ireland/April 30, 2010

A worldwide anti Church of Scientology group is due to stage protest at a performance by a Jazz band 'The Jive Aces' in Derry this afternoon.

The group plans to picket outside Foyleside shopping centre as the popular band, which is made up of Scientologists, performs inside the building.

Famed for their distinctive canary yellow suits, The Jive Aces are regarded by many as the darlings of the highly-acclaimed City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival.

However, they came under fire in Derry two years ago when local people claimed that its members promoted their faith and distributed 'Church' literature to audiences.

Now Anonymous, a leaderless Internet-based group set up to oppose Scientology, is to lobby against the band's appearance at Foyleside at 12.30 today.

A local spokesperson for the group - members of which wear V For Vendetta Guy Fawkes masks to remain anonymous - spoke to the 'Journal' this week.

"The Jive Aces are members of Scientology's elite Sea organisation and are used to support the promotion of the church. Their website contains links to sites that promote Scientology - a cult which we know to be dangerous," the spokespeson claimed.

She further claimed that Scientology "destroys lives" and that members of the Anonymous group who had been affiliated to the church could testify to that.

Following complaints from Derry Jazz fans in 2008, lead singer Ian Clarkson insisted that the band only spoke about Scientology when asked by audience members.

"Everyone knows we're Scientologists but we don't push that in people's faces. People come to ask us questions and we answer their questions."

He acknowledged that the band had free booklets - entitled 'The Way to Happiness' - available at their gigs but insisted the publication was "non religious".

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