These are the Scientology offices in Russell St, Melbourne. Whenever I walk past, I look in and often see the inhabitants industriously doing things. Some of these things make sense to me, like putting files in cabinets and drinking out of coffee cups. Other things seem odd and miserable, like the big bunch of sad-but-earnest-looking people listening to a guy talk while he points at a chart with diagrams like something out of a 1950s science fiction film. Or the young and impressionable kids barely out of school, filling in the ludicrous Scientology ‘Personality Tests’.*

Not so long back, Violet Towne, as part of her job†, was taking photographs in this general area, and some of the sad-but-earnest-looking people came out of the building and in a very paranoid manner demanded to know what was going on. One woman kind of just ‘stood’ wherever VT and her colleagues went, saying nothing, gazing blankly ahead of herself and exerting some kind of invisible unpleasantness. It was not what any sane person would consider normal behaviour. This building is in a very public place and VT & Co were well withing their legal rights to be doing what they were doing (which had absolutely nothing to do with Scientology, until the Scientologists appeared).

Quite coincidentally, later on the very same day as I took this photograph (Saturday July 12, 2008), the Melbourne Chapter of the anti-Scientology group Anonymous staged a protest outside the building.

I wonder if they got any pictures exactly like mine?


*My use of quotes in this case (and in the image if you picked it up), is to indicate sarcasm. Unlike the perpetrators of last post’s efforts, I actually know how punctuation is supposed to work.

†I’ll leave that with you for speculation… suffice to say it’s not something that you or I would find in the least peculiar, offensive or even slightly unusual.