Australian Critics of Scientology
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Melbourne Picket Report

Frank Copeland, Mon 09 Dec 1996

From: (Frank Copeland)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Melbourne Picket Report
Date: 9 Dec 1996 14:07:18 +1100
Message-ID: <58fvp6$g1d$>


I arrived in front of the Melbourne Org at the appointed time (11am) and 
since no-one else was there I wandered up the street to the next corner 
to watch until someone else arrived. David Gerard and his SO Barbara 
arrived about 20 past and I joined them. Cyril Vosper turned up soon 
after, and that was it for the Good Guys.

Representing the Bad Guys we had Brian Johnston (OSA Australia) acting as 
MC. A guy with gray hair in a ponytail operated the video camera. The 
leafletting squad consisted of a couple of women, an older guy who 
basically glared at us from across the street for most of the time, and a 
well-groomed guy in clerical costume, complete with dog-collar and 
crucifix-on-chain. A second fake priest was apparently stationed about a 
block away with a fistful of Freedom mags and he popped up to check us out 
for a couple of minutes before returning to wherever he was lurking.

We occupied the footpath outside the org, with Brian Johnston in 
attendance. The glarer set up across the street, and other Co$ 
leafletters moved up the street in front of the Hyatt. The guy with the 
video wandered around recording it all for posterity. 

I have to say we were a pretty slack bunch of picketers, and at first 
quite a few people got past us who the Co$ leafletters managed to catch. 
Very downstat, but I blame it on Cyril who is a well-known SP. It's 
much more fun to chat with Cyril than chase people down the street waving 
bits of paper. We lifted our game after a while and I moved across the 
street to tag-team the glarer.

It was all very civilised, with little or no interaction between us and 
them. None of the silliness experienced by picketers in Sydney. They made 
a point of filming Cyril all the way down the street when he left. The 
leaflets the Co$ was handing out were apparently the same as the ones in 
Sydney, which have already been posted.

About 12:45 a photographer from the Herald-Sun came to take our picture 
for a story that is apparently being run in the near future. I don't know
anything about it, David will have to fill in the details. Brian Johnston 
tried to handle the photographer, but all he got out of it was to get 
himself and a Co$ leafletter lurking in the background while the 
photographer concentrated on snapping us with our picket signs and 

We packed up and left as soon as the photographer was finished, about 1pm.

Frank Copeland <>
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