Reverend Billy Exorcises "Clear-Cutting Demons" From Victoria's Secret Cash Register

You won’t find us chained to a tree anytime soon but this video of the “Reverend Billy” and his “Church of Stop Shopping” protesting inside a SoHo Victoria’s Secret is definitely some kind of awesome.

Like some other activists, Billy and his gang are mad that Victoria’s Secret mails over a 1 million catalogs a day, 25% of the paper for which comes from the Great Boreal Forest in Canada, one of the world’s largest endangered forests, as reported by TIME in 2005.

Unlike some other activists, the irreverence of Reverend Billy’s is actually funny. A recent post on their site about how tight they were with Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (RIP) says, “…he would tell us to “Go down to Ground Zero and preach the 1st Amendment!” And we’d say, “You come with us Kurt, we’ll send a car!” And he’d say, “I’ll be with you in spirit. I’m tired.”

The video really starts kicking around 2:00 when Reverend Billy starts exorcising the “clear cutting demons” from the cash register. — BEN POPKEN

SoHo Victoria’s Secret Intervention 2006 (Thanks to Triteon!)

PREVIOUSLY: Victoria’s Secret Sucks: 1 Million Catalogs Mailed Per Day


Edit Your Comment

  1. MeOhMy says:

    We get 2. Sometimes 3.

  2. Coder4Life says:

    I wonder if he recycles all the hair gel bottles he must go through daily on that freaking hair of his…

    I hate people like that, there are better ways to protest and get your opinion out…

  3. hurmpees says:

    Looks like something straight out of Jackass….what a tool.

  4. JustThisGuy says:

    @Jaideepg: Actually, for any organization with a limited pool of funds, this is the best way to get your opinion out: make an amusing, potentially viral video, chat it up a bit here and there, and let teh internets do the rest of the leg work for you.

    Personally, I think antics like this are great; they’re a welcome break from the routine, and don’t really have the potential to harm anyone.

  5. rugger_can says:

    He’s non violently protesting something horrible. His method might be odd, but its a lot more then most would and ever will do. Crazy guy, good message.

  6. fickendichdu says:

    The best thing the store should have done is caled the police for loitering and public disturbance inside a private facility. That could have happened a short video. That guy was a little nuts I wonder if he realized the plastic megaphone he was using is made from plastic which is a bi product of oil.

  7. erock0 says:

    Lawl, the store is filled with women and what looks like cross-dressing men. Nobody had the power to just kick him out haha. Goes to show, if you want to protest, go to a store with just women.

  8. xVAGUE says:

    That was great. A non violent protest with wit and humor for a good cause. I didn’t even know about it until the video, and guess what? I’m no longer buying victoria secret for my girlfriend, and will be asking her not to buy anything from there (until they change their practices to a more sustainable method) either.

  9. Korsyn says:

    Excellent video. Excellent cause.

  10. s00p3rm4n says:

    @fickendichdu: But he’s not making 9 million megaphones and mailing them across the country daily. People who hate environmental activists have no sense of scope or vision… perhaps this explains why they can’t see the impact they themselves make?

  11. FreakyStyley says:

    Let’s be honest here. The VS catalog is a better use of paper than most printed things.

  12. chupamiubre says:

    all i want to know xvauge is when did trees become a unsustainable recourse? we can replant trees and 99% of the time tree company’s do

  13. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    I saw him in Harvard Square. He REALLY hates Starbucks and Disney.

  14. notlazyjustdontcare says:

    Seriously, VS needs to cut back on the catalogs. I probably get three a week, then you get one or two more every time you buy something.

  15. SNLT203 says:

    I really love old growth forests but what always amazes me is that of all the resources we bemoan being used, trees are completely renewable

  16. geel says:


    there was secirty the guy dressd in black with the ear piece but he seemed not to know what to do or what was happing.

    I wounder

  17. geel says:

    what VS will have to say about this >?

  18. shdwsclan says:

    25% !!!! They should be ashamed !!!!!
    They should increase their consumption to at least 75% of that forest !!!

    Especially with a catalog with such hot chicks….they should at least be using more or rare trees..

  19. MonkeySwitch says:

    I saw this guy and a crowd of other people repeating the first amendment. He gave me the creeps.. I don’t necessarily disagree with the things that he says, but he gives off the cult leader vibe…

    And who wears white after labor day??? ;p

  20. @chupamiubre: So why cut down an endangered forest? Why not use a tree farm or at least a forest not in danger of being wiped out?

    I’m not through the video yet and I’ve counted at least four kinds of awesome in it.

  21. orielbean says:

    The problem with people who defend forestry by saying “but they replant stuff” – they are not quite understanding that the replant trees are poor quality; just enough to get by for more paper stock. They often damage the environment from an eroision standpoint, not to mention the impact from changing the type or species of tree used by the local biome. If you removed my nice victorian house and replaced it with a trailer park, I might have some objections. “Sustainable” would mean that they replaced an oak tree with another oak tree. 3-card monte with a forest.

  22. JustThisGuy says:

    @MonkeySwitch: I think he’s supposed to give off the cult leader vibe. You know, intentionally. Polyphonic Spree-style. Being a forehead-smacking, fire-and-brimstone, Baptist-style southern reverend parody and all…

  23. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    @MonkeySwitch: He’s half Billy Graham and half psycho, doomsday cult-leader.

    Rev. Billy is a former Broadway actor, and Manhattan native. I saw him at a reading for his book, “What to do if the Reverend Billy Comes into my Store.” The title is the subject line from a memo that Starbucks sent each of its shops.

    Thanks, Ben, for having the cojones to post his video. Awesome.

  24. annon says:

    Just an FYI before you all get too upset and go and boycott Victoria’s Secret over this, the CBC reported in December of last year that Victoria’s Secret is no longer (or, to be more concise, was soon to be no longer, at the time of writing) using Canadian Boreal Forest wood in their catalogs.