[Note: typos preserved.]

The Age, 19 Jul 1969, p1

Scientology back again


Scientology is back in Victoria and has set up headquarters in Manchester St., Hawthorn.

And the president of the Church of Scientology of California in Victoria (Mr. I. J. Tampion) claims they are operating within the law.

He said at the headquarters last night that services were being held every Sunday night there and regular meetings of scientologists were held at Noble Park, Cheltenham, North Balwyn, Bendigo and Geelong.

Mr. Tampion, dressed in a black suit and shirt with a clerical collar, said the organisation had bought the house in Hawthorn six month ago as its headquarters.

The State Government outlawed scientology in 1965 after a Royal Commission into its activities. South and Western Australia have also banned the sect.

"The authorities are well aware that we are here. Once the police were looking around outside, but did not come in," Mr. Tampion said.

There are no signs outside the white weatherboard house indicating a scientology church, or even a noticable street number.

The house is sparsely furnished with linoleum on the floors and numerous pictures of the sect's founder, Ron Hubbard, on the walls.

It has a chapel, two offices, an interview and reception rooms.

A small box in the entrance hall has a sign asking for donations for the expansion of scientology.

The chapel is bare apart from a few chairs, a stand with two Ron Hubbard books on it and a portrait of Ron Hubbard.

The interview room has a display of scientology books and various charts on the wall.

Mr. Tampion, an accountant, and three other part-time assistants work at the house every night.

"What we are doing is operating within the law, although we don't intend for that law to remain," Mr. Tampion said.

"We are conducting full church services every Sunday and this is well within the framework of the law.

"We are not, however, carrying out confessionals, in the way they have been recognised, and are not using the E meter," he said.

The E meter was specifically mentioned in the Psychological Practices Act which the Government passed to ban scientology. Anybody but a registered pyschologist using it can be fined $500.

Mr. Tampion said he was not anxious to test the law in court. He was trying to work within the law.

"There are a lot of loop holes in the law and I am sure the Government would not make such a fool of themselves as to try to prosecute us for holding a service.

"But at the same time it would not worry us if somebody wanted to test the laws in court," he said.

Mr. Tampion said the movement was beginning to grow again and become organised after a complete collapse when it was first banned.

"At one meeting here we had nearly 60 people. A lot of people are still interested in scientology and are coming to us.

"We are working in two broad fields to have the legislation repealed - legally and public relations.

[photo] The house in Manchester Street, Hawthorn, which is being used by scientologists for church services.