Thanks to Steve King…
On 27 July 2007 the Deputy President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), Ms Anne Coghlan, handed down her long awaited decision addressing complaints made by the Australian OTO on behalf of two of its members (David Bottrill and Brent Gray) against Vivienne Legg and Dyson Devine (under provisions of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act). This concerned materials posted on the Devine and Legg website which vilified the OTO by claiming the Order was a protected, satanic paedophile cult operating within Australia and engaging in all manner of horrific crimes including child sexual abuse, child pornography and murder.
Legg and Devine refused to attend the proceedings, however the Tribunal was satisfied that what they published did indeed constitute religious vilification in terms of the Act, and specifically, that they incited hatred towards OTO members in their internet postings.
The decision contains clauses that give OTO injunctive relief, costs, and access to damages. We are happy with the VCAT orders and judgment.
It has been a slow and tedious road to get to this decision, with more timely work ahead. It is now two years since we first discovered the farrago of lies and vile allegations made by Devine and Legg on their website – people who subscribe to bizarre UFO and freemason/illuminati conspiracy theories – and since then we have had to put up with ongoing Internet stalking and harassment. Nevertheless, we remain committed to seeking redress to attacks on the Order and Thelema through open and fair legal process, with patience and diligence.
OTO Australia would like to thank our solicitor Cathryn Prowse of Phillips Fox DLA, who has handled this and related cases since the outset. We again extend our thanks to the international Thelemic communities and OTO members world-wide who donated to our legal fund and otherwise supported and encouraged us, as well as the webmasters of lashtal.com who have allowed us to present news of our cases to Thelemites via their website. Grand Lodge also thanks Brothers Bottrill and Gray, who were prepared to put their names, careers and privacy on the line to defend the good name of the Order, our members and their families, and Thelema.
The full text of the Tribunal decision is here attached and includes an overview and background to the OTO’s VCAT cases. An archive of press releases and other materials relating to these and associated cases can be found at www.otoaustralia.org.au.