Xenu was the name given to the 1995 Victorian Inter-Campus Edition, a cross-campus student paper put out by five Victorian student papers: NoName at VUT, Catalyst at RMIT, Tabula Rasa at Swinburne, Pandora's Box at Deakin Burwood and The Load at the Victorian College of Arts.
The name was chosen by a vote of the editors working on the paper. I wrote up a page-long list of all the possible names I could think of, we narrowed this down to a shortlist (Xenu, Red Dye No. 1, Besmirched and Student Economic Rationalist Journal) and then chose from those four. I preferred Red Dye No. 1 myself, but once I'd told them all the story of the Galactic Emperor, well, they just couldn't resist.
Needless to say, the Church of Scientology took a sudden interest when the chosen name was mentioned in the preceding edition of NoName. I guess they're just fans of mine.
Having to explain the name, I bashed together an article on the subject one day before deadline. It's titled Revolt In The Stars (No News Is Xenu's) and is somewhat uncomplimentary to Scientology.
There is a more detailed explanation available elsewhere.
Later, Ron decided to turn the Xenu story into a screenplay. Grady Ward got a copy of the screenplay and wrote a summary of it.
The Galactic Emperor himself, expertly Photoshopped by Marc Morel of Catalyst.
Here are some a.r.s postings I made about events surrounding the preparation and publication of the magazine. Hope all this makes sense. Just read in order. (If you have copies of the first few with the Date: header intact, I'd be very grateful for copies.)
Church gets wind of paper being called Xenu - Likelihood of legal action - Publicity that will result
Church phoning everyone in sight at VUT SRC - Outline of publicity that will follow legal action
The outing of Rob "henry" Clark - Church calling SRC office all day - If our words can hurt the Church so much, then they are fucked, utterly - CoS pisses off alt.angst as well
URL for Xenu - How to obtain paper copies (sorry, none left this late on!) - Church now wants to speak to me
Church calling any editor of every magazine involved - Phone conversation between me and Sydney CoS guy
The article itself and its defects
Pat Wilson (local CoS) phones, upset about mentions in 9th Sept demo report
"We are instructed to comment in relation to this article as follows ..."
Point-by-point analysis of above letter
URL of picture - Legal research on Netscape - Tape of The Road To Freedom
Halfway through night of legal research - Two other papers printing Church reply - Church calling and hassling SRC staff
"I love you guys" - Xenu's truly remarkable popularity - Negotiations with Church's lawyer: we're printing their reply - Visit from Mark Hanna (OSA) - Odd late-night phone call - Upgrade to SP 4.04
No, no, it's normal for churches to sue people! Here's examples! Secret teachings? Hey, the early gnostic Christians did that too, y'know! And here's a World Famous Internationally Renowned Rock Bassist you've never heard of to provide a testimonial! And here's a picture of him [which David spent some time processing with Photoshop to make the bags under the eyes bigger and the stare more glazed, heh]! See, Scientology(R)(TM)(C) Really Works! And if you don't agree, we'll sue you! No, really! Eesh ...
Ashraf's mailbox disappears - what the police in Australia think of $cientology and cults in general - I discover the name 'Hanna' for the first time
Two Church agents come stealing copies, thwarted by Security - Descriptions of agents - Catalyst's response to Church
Further on above agents - Why they could be prosecuted for theft if caught
To keep with what may now be an exciting new tradition, the 1997 edition of Victorian Inter-Campus Edition also ran an article on Scientology. Here's to many more!