In our post-illness haze, we’re just getting around to a big Scientology story that came out of Australia earlier this week.
Jan Eastgate is president of one of Scientology’s more annoying front groups, the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights. The CCHR occasionally fools local politicians into thinking it really cares about something besides proliferating Scientology. It does so by telling people that its primary interest is the human rights of everyone.
Well, the CCHR may have a harder time with that line now that its leader has been arrested for trampling all over the civil rights of a little girl who was the victim of sexual abuse.
Eastgate was charged with “perverting the course of justice” after it came out that back in 1985, she had coached a little girl, Carmen Rainer, and Rainer’s mother, to lie about sexual abuse of the girl by her stepfather, Robert Kerr. Both parents were Scientologists.
Last year, Rainer, now grown up, made public her claims about the abuse and cover-up on the national Australian television program, LateLine. “The Church got involved and they sent Jan Eastgate over to drill me and tell me what to say to the police, and what to say to docs,” Rainer told the program. “Just say no. Don’t say yes, because otherwise you will be taken away from your parents and you’ll never see your family again,” Rainer said about Eastgate’s coaching.
What may be even more embarrassing for Scientology is that just three years after this incident, in 1988, Eastgate was awarded with the church’s highest honor, its Freedom Medal. (Travolta got the award in 1991, Cruise in 1995.)
Eastgate is also known to Scientology watchers for telling a stunned John Sweeney of the BBC that evil psychiatry was actually behind the Holocaust.
Well, naturally, the most surprising element of this story is that the Australian government is actually doing something about Scientology’s uninterrupted record of unethical underhandedness and perversion of justice.
What a breath of fresh air.
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he’s been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard’s organization:
The Larry Wollersheim Saga — Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story — How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection — A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum — The ‘Crash’ Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape — ‘Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle’
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation — Scientology’s former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross — Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked — Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back — Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack — The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated — The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation — Investigating a reporter’s divorce to shut him up