Australian Critics of Scientology
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Demo report: Melbourne 7 Dec 1996

David Gerard, Tue 10 Dec 1996

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: (David Gerard)
Subject: Demo report: Melbourne 7 Dec 1996
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 14:06:01 GMT

Demo Report - Melbourne December 7th 1996

(*zzz* wake me up when something happens)

Another sedate and ridiculously polite demo. But then, Sydney has AOSH 
ANZO on their side and Tony McClelland on ours, and Melbourne is a 
comparative backwater.

Barbara (lurker) and I showed up 11:20am, which is 20 minutes late. Brian 
Johnston (CoS) came down to say hi as we were assembling the signs and 
let us know that Frank Copeland was waiting for us and the signs and 
leaflets (and had been for twenty minutes). Oops. We went on up to the 
org (corner of Russell Street and Flinders Lane) and handed Brian our 
leaflets, and he handed us theirs (the same ones used in Sydney and 

The four of us - me, Barbara, Frank and Cyril Vosper - stood around the 
street corner handing out leaflets and chatting. More foot traffic than 
previous times, maybe. Maybe I'm imagining it. It was an uninteresting 
day. No conversation with the CoS - perhaps it's a new strategy of handling 
through boredom. Ah well, it was cheap entertainment in its own way.

The CoS had two people near us and one on each of the four streets 
leading to the org, handing leaflets to all and sundry. This was actually 
quite an effective method of dealing with our acivities - we were 
outnumbered. Two of their number were in dress-up as Christian priests - 
I'm sure those were Christian crosses around their necks, not 
Scientologist ones. Wonder how people felt when they read these things a 
priest had given them and found out they were from Scientology ...

We didn't have a video camera this time, just my snapshot camera (scans to
come). They had a video camera (which they couldn't work, despite
different operator) and one woman with a disposable camera who came right
up to us to take pictures. 

At 12:30pm, we got a photographer from the Herald-Sun (the more popular 
of the two daily newspapers in Melbourne). He spent half an hour taking 
pictures of all of us and most of them, and forgetting Frank's name every 
few minutes. From the conversation Brian Johnston was having with him, I 
gather that the CoS had no idea this was going to happen. Perhaps this is 
why the story, slated for Monday's paper, did not appear in Monday's or 
Tuesday's. We'll see.

At 1:00pm we went home. "See you in March!"

Our signs this time:


   C o $


They didn't have signs; just leaflets and priest costumes.

*** Rev Dr David Gerard              ***
"The Church of Scientology is like a huge machine where many of its gears
weren't properly produced and as a result are constantly grinding at the
rest of the machine."  (Jonathon)

[Demonstrations against Scientology]