Well known far rights extremists the "Cooks Convicts" have driven interstate from Melbourne to Gosford and filmed themselves storming in to a prayer service at the Gosford Anglican Church in New South Wales. The church has become well known for Father Rod Bower's political church signs out the front, about not condemning gays, having compassions for Muslims, etc.
The Cooks Convicts however, claiming themselves to be Christians, believe that Bower's leftie take on the world is not Christian, and in fact is against their view of what Christianity is. To make this point they pulled this stunt.
Last weekend, a small group of Melburnian ultra-nationalists made the drive north to Gosford. Calling themselves Cook’s Convicts, the group of five were led by Neil Erikson, a man who last year, along with two others, became the first to be convicted under Victoria’s recently revised racial vilification laws. Erikson is a former neo-Nazi, has a conviction for menacing a rabbi, and was one of the men who filmed themselves ambushing then senator Sam Dastyari in a pub last year. In ensuing litigation, Erikson was found in contempt of court.
Last Saturday night, the group filmed themselves storming a prayer meeting in the Gosford church. Erikson was dressed as Jesus, and carried a whip and megaphone. One of his cohort was dressed as a Roman soldier, and carried a plastic sword. When the men entered the church, a woman could be heard screaming. “That first moment when they came through the door, all I saw was the whip and sword,” Father Bower says. “And I thought, ‘We’re in trouble here.’ It took a few seconds for me to guess what they were doing, because we’ve been through this before. It was incredibly violent in nature. Not physically violent, but it was traumatic for the congregation. It was deeply triggering for one person, who had survived the hijacking of an aircraft. It took them back into that.”
Assuming the role of Jesus, Erikson bellows into his megaphone: “You’ve desecrated my Father’s house.” Members of the small congregation pleaded with the men not to be filmed, while Bower counselled against any physical remonstration and led his group in prayer. Erikson’s group was gone after a few minutes. Police are investigating.
“Not one politician has come out and condemned that act on Saturday night,” Bower says. “Not one so far. If those five men had been Muslims, then it would’ve been characterised as an act of terror.” The Saturday Paper
Thank God for the @SatPaper. We need quality journalism more the ever before. #Auspol https://t.co/CMnwU5pFT6— Fr Rod Bower (@FrBower) May 25, 2018