Scientologists Commemorate That Time They Emptied All the WW Boxes - 2013-05-13
Newcomers and those with short, suppressive memories may not remember that Portland is something akin to a holy city for Scientologists. That's thanks to a two-month protest in 1985 of a Multnomah County circuit court jury finding the church guilty of defrauding a defector named Julie Christofferson Titchbourne. Scientologists from across the country turned the verdict into a referendum on religious freedom, and the court declared a mistrial.
The posters advertising last weekend's party make that connection clear—calling Portland "the first Scientology city" and showing a photo of 1985-vintage protesters attaching theses to the Multnomah County Courthouse, Martin Luther-style.
"Church members who had been in Portland would always feel an ecstatic sense of kinship," writes Lawrence Wright in his new book on the religion, Going Clear. And little wonder. As Wright explains: