It was about midday on the 8th of September and I was just about to go out. I heard a man call out "Hello?" and I went to the door. There's lots of construction going on in my block so there's lots of tradespeople around.
There stood a man who was wearing a leather jacket and he had a couple of papers in his hand. He sort of looked around and said he had a letter for me. He didn't ask who I was or for any ID. He handed me a piece of paper with a Hillsong logo on the top. Its title was Banning Notice.
He showed me the email he had been sent with his instructions. He said he'd just come from Sydney which is about an hour and a half from my house, depending on which part of Sydney you mean.
"All the way just for me?" I asked him. "Yes," he said. The email had said he would be paid $132. It was from Hillsong legal. Tim someone.
He told me that he had nothing to do with either party and that I probably wanted to shred the paper. Hardly. "You've probably had lots of dealings with this guy," he said. "No actually", I told him. He had called himself a court processing server, but he produced no ID either. Still, he didn't seem to really know what was going on.
We shook hands and said our goodbyes, and I came inside and started shaking. I don't know why. Maybe because I hadn't slept enough the night before. Maybe because I was just about to go shopping and this was out of the blue. Maybe because the document just didn't make sense to me at all. And I wound up crying a lot. These things can affect you in different ways.
After my arrest on 1 July, this year, which is something I'll be talking much more about soon, there's no way I have any interest in darkening their doorsteps any time soon. As it was I had not been near any Hillsong branches in over ten years, so there seems no need to remind me.
What is puzzling me most is the similarity to the original 'banning notice' from 2005, which I dug up recently from an eon ago.
Who writes these things? Why have they used the same phrase 'significant disruption' again? What does this even mean? All it does it reinforce a tag line I can use at a later date.
But as I've always wanted to know, How could you cause significant disruption at Hillsong, unless maybe you were Justin Bieber. They still can't name the deeds of which I am accused. But they seem to really like the wording. Ten years later.
Do I honestly have to go and help with their PR machine because it's really, really bad?
The author of this letter, George Aghajanian, has been the General Manager and Brian Houston's right hand man for a long time now. He was also a friend of my dad's. After he signed off on the first letter above in 2005, he called my dad up and said, "So, what do you know about a book?"
These people will send your daughter a banning letter and call you up in the same breath and pretend to be your pal. Maybe that's why I cried. Same shonkiness. Different decade.
Don't trust them with anything, most of all writing official letters. As a dear funny friend of mine wrote on Facebook, "For people with all that money to spend on plastic surgery, you'd think they'd spend money on real lawyers."
Weird. There wasn't even an envelope for the paperwork.
Some people have called it intimidation and harassment. I don't know but it felt creepy. And I've got a feeling this isn't going to make sense any time soon.
Oh and yes, you are all welcome to attend Burwood Local Court on 1 October to see me on trial for trespass. #asweforgivethose :)