[J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs]

Banned in Cambridge!

a summary by the Irrev. Friday Jones

Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 23:52:49 -0500
From: Friday Jones <friday@subgenius.com>

On Friday - well, we get the cancellation from the Church at 5 pm. There's no time to call people, no time to even post on the Internet what's happened, so we decide to go down and at least talk with people and tell them what's going on.

We get there around 6:45 - 7:00 and already people are waiting for us! There's signs taped on the Church doors saying "SubGenius Event Cancelled - Sorry." Modemac goes in to look for Ann but can't find her, and the door mysteriously locks itself while we are outside. As the SubGeniuses show up I tell them what's going on. Remember how I said one reason the OCBC closed the event was because they couldn't get police protection? Well, we had two squad cars, a foot patrolman, and a paddy wagon IDLING ACROSS THE STREET - garsh, now that's not an implied threat, now is it?

People are still gathering on the OCBC lawn, and the foot patrolman goes with me while I circle the OCBC and try to find Ann. I do have the keys to the OCBC but I didn't want to go in without a witness.

(Incidentally, the police were super-nice and didn't really bother us - they obviously had just gotten the word to come keep an eye on things). Ann was in her office and came out to talk to me and the patrolman. She insisted that she wouldn't go back on her decision, but said that we could stay on the lawn so long as we kept it fairly quiet. I said that we would, So, we basically threw the Devival on the OCBC front steps, illuminated by flashlight and the police spotlight! We gave our sermons and sang two a capella Bobhymms, and then peacefully dispersed.

As we were leaving Samuel, who also works at the Church (security) came out and asked when I could reschedule. I explained that I had flown all of the Reverends in from out of state and it would take time for my wallet to recharge, but basically they were cool with having us there in the future - they just want to have more staff on hand.

On Monday I, Reverend Stang and Dr. Foo went to visit Ken Reeves! Dr. Foo had been told he would be in at 12:00 so of course when we got there his secretary said he wouldn't be in until 4:30. We left and came back, and Ken Reeves did meet with us.

Reeves is a real bugaboo for "public safety" - his motto. His story: A friend of his, Joseph Griffin/Griffith, runs a restaurant in Central Square. Joseph's brother in Florida contacted Ken Reeves' office on Monday to say the Church should be investigated, and on Wednesday he sent Reeves printout of a SubGenius Holocaustal fan page. Reeves, in the interests of "public safety", forwarded these printouts to the Mayor, the City Manager, and the Chief of Police! Reeves admitted that he really knew NOTHING about the Internet and just passed along the material - sort of like handing around a bomb after writing your name on it! Anyway, we kind of left without getting much accomplished.

HOWEVER, Monday is the day of the Cambridge City Council meeting. Dr. Foo, Stang and I went in and Dr. Foo got up and introduced the subject of the SubGenius censorship, much to the Mayor's displeasure! Reeves then got up and read excerpts from the Holocaustal web site printout, CUTTING OUT ALL THE JOKES and completely missing all of the satirical elements!

Oh, and the mysterious "press release" that "glorified the Trenchcoat Mafia" is simply a text block at the bottom of one of these pages, saying that we wont' cancel our event because of the Littleton tragedy and will, in fact, offer EXTRA salvation for anyone who comes wearing a black trench coat!

It was ludicrously interesting and hilariously STUPID and it would have all been great if it was happening to someone else besides ME, because I lose money on the whole sordid affair!

Anyway, that's the way it was. I am still recovering - as you can imagine the physical & emotional stress has been VERY extreme.

- Friday


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