I spent the afternoon having a lovely discussion with Janet Reitman, author of Inside Scientology, which we recently reviewed. I’ll have that interview written up just as soon as I can, but in the meantime, I thought I’d treat fellow Scientology-watchers to this entertaining bit of video from Down Under.
We wrote recently about Jan Eastgate, the Los Angeles-based Aussie who is president of the Scientology front group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which presses Scientology’s attack against the psychiatric profession. Eastgate was arrested recently in Sydney on charges of “perverting the course of justice,” for encouraging the daughter of a Scientology couple to lie about her sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather. Last week, Eastgate arrived for a court date, and some Australian journalists got roughed up by what they called “Scientology goons.”
Honestly, after we watched the video above, we couldn’t really see that it was much rougher than the kind of stuff that happens outside American courts when celebrities go on trial. Perhaps in the land of Oz they’re used to things being a bit more civil.
Still, you can catch the gravity of the situation. Australian television seems to take Scientology and its controversies more seriously than the media here in the States. It will be very interesting to see how the Eastgate case unfolds.
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
The Hugh Urban Investigation — An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology’s past
Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh — A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link
Janet Reitman’s Inside Scientology — A masterful telling of Scientology’s history
The Western Spy Network Revealed? — Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 21, 2011