Scientology "Goons" Rough Up Aussie TV Journos (Video)

Categories: Scientology

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.


tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO

Click here to see all recent Scientology coverage at the Voice

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 Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
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 Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
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

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19 comments
Mred
Mred

lol! They are trying to provoke you!Your the one with a camera in someones face! What do you think is going to happen!

dagobarbz
dagobarbz

Eastgate's full name is Janice Wendy Eastgate Meyer. We're already starting to see references to "Wendy Meyer" from the Sci. So see, Jan Eastgate, International President of the Citizens' Commission on Human Rights" isn't in trouble. It's that darn Wendy Meyer!

Guest
Guest

I was going to say it is ironic how that goon squad had the opposite of the intended effect, i.e., keeping scientology out of the media by shielding one of their esteemed leaders. But really, they are so good at shooting themselves in the foot, it's to be expected.  I've never seen an organization handle things, in general, so badly.  I suspect it goes back to their general distrust/disrespect of education (and lack of it).

Marcabian
Marcabian

Scientology basically sent in its "shock troops;" members of the Sea Org and OSA.  These goons don't operate on their own.  You can bet DM "fired off" this mission to control coverage of Ms. Eastgate's court appearance. 

Scilonschools
Scilonschools

"Australian television seems to take Scientology and its controversies more seriously than the media here in the States"

And the Media in the States takes Scientology and it's controversies far more serioudly than the media in the United Kingdom!!

turntoleave
turntoleave

That's because Scientology is more or less nothing in the UK - it is just irrelevant to the news and is not recognised as a religion by the Charities Commission. This is not to say they have any respect whatsoever - the British public know Scientology is a scam and their stats are sinking like stones. The Guardian do cover stories sometimes. There are 8 stories so far this year, including the charge against Jan Eastgate and Paul Haggis' exit - check their archive.

Scilonschools
Scilonschools

I know from direct contact with major UK media their reluctance to cover anything on Scientology.John Sweeney's last Panorama BBC , program got massively edited down following over 11000 pages of correspondance from the CoS London Solicitors!!Scientology's influence in the UK is far higher than some are aware, St Hill East Gribstead was the Spiritual HQ forr many years, and development location for CoS dissemination methods.

Concerned Mom (dora)
Concerned Mom (dora)

Good article.  I only disagree about the last paragraph where you say it doesn't look much rougher than when celebrities go on trial in the USA.    Take a second look at the Scientology goons, at how hostile and malicious they look. T he guy with dark circles under his eyes is glaring provocatively like he's about to go psychotic  --- he isn't merely performing a security job -- they are *pushing* and jostling camera guys but most telling is their eyes.  Pathological hatred and animosity.   :-(((   

And yet Scientology are not the victims. The little girl and other children who have been taught to hide abuse are the victims. Really skewed.

They are very different from celebrity trials here.  This is so wrong, Scientology is ugly.

Chuckbeatty77
Chuckbeatty77

I'm so glad so many ex Scientologists in Australia have helped Australian media get so much firsthand history into the public.   Bryan Seymour also did unprecedented first ever playing Hubbard's voice on TV, telling the Xenu story.  Priorly it was only written about.   Australian TV put Hubbard's leaked "Class 8" lecture 10 on the air, and the world heard Hubbard tell the Xenu story for the first time broadly.  Why Scientology is currently stuck in this cycle of generating these weird public encounters, the general public should read the Office of Special Affairs Church of Scientology International, "official policy" here:

http://unchain.gr/scientology-...

Scroll down into the above document, to the "Office of Special Affairs Network Orders" and read the Hubbard combative "OSA" staff scriptures that ARE the root of the problem..   Hubbard's combative extremist paranoia is on full display, and the OSA staff and volunteers dramatize Hubbard's mindset, unfortunately.  These docs tell the tale why Scientology continues to generate it's own controversies. 

Chuck Beattyex staff training supervisorSea Org (1975-2003)

 

deanfox
deanfox

Scientologycan always be relied on to provide drama and the LULZ

MarkStark
MarkStark

Australia's Bryan Seymour is one of this Scientology watcher's heroes. He's smart, glib, and he's capable of towering over Tommy Davis (or any other Scilon) intellectually and rationally. He has a wry sense of humor too.

He's very good at on-the-scene reporting, being natural, down to earth, grasping the bigger picture as well as what is going on at the moment, and presenting it to an audience. This piece was kind of confusing though. I think they just expected to go in, get a few good shots of Eastgate looking like an axe murderer in drag, and get out of there.

Instead, they got more than they expected from the Scientology "goon squad." Usually, the goons just stand around like zombies. This was a rehearsed coordinated effort, to prevent the media from getting shots, or even asking Eastgate a question.

Bryan, the Australian ex-members who spoke out bravely, and Senator Nick Xenophon, are all things that came together there to make for their review and scrutiny of the public benefit of cults like Scientology.

One of my favorite episodes of TODAY/TONIGHT, aside from the ones about Xenu or Cruise, which were all done well, was the one were a hapless Scilon volunteer spy was creeping around in the bushes, following Bryan around.

Guest
Guest

"get a few good shots of Eastgate looking like an axe murderer in drag, and get out of there"      OMG I'm sorry to laugh but Jan Eastgate does look like a murderer in drag!!

DMSTCC
DMSTCC

IMO, the dark skin color under the "American" guy's eyes is just not normal and may possibly amplify the accusation of sleep deprivation of Co$ members. ~How long was this guy drilled to accomplish the orders handed down? This guy needs to be named and time-lined. Hired goon or internal zombie?

LocalSP1
LocalSP1

Typical scientology response. Scientology in it's bid to seek legitimacy just keeps shooting it's self in the foot. lol.

Gary Lee-Nova
Gary Lee-Nova

It appears to me that the recent cascades of public relations catastrophes have put many cult-members very off-balance. They appear to be acting as if quite disoriented, if not completely stupefied. 

No longer just desperate to sign up new cult-members, the blizzards of bad publicity that are raining down on them this year are causing cult members to act in desperation with everything they do.

Outstanding work staying on top of the mad circus for us, Tony. Much appreciated! 

janbrent
janbrent

Thank you for the coverage. Many are intimidated by Scientology ore than the mafia.  Isn't it astonishing how self-righteous Spyintology gets? To the point of aggression that justifies throwing children under the bus (teaching them to lie and cover up their own abuse), drugging critics (as they did to journalist Paulette Cooper, google "Paulette Cooper & Tom Cruise" for her say on that this year), framing perceived enemies

The Spyintology list list goes one: decades of suicides (including voice of Bart Simposn Nacny Cartwright's boyfriend, a top Scientologists) , embezzelments, fraud, public bald-faced lying, destroying families,manipulation, deaths ---- and yet, they have the audacity to treat others and anyone who dares protest with that aggressive, hostile arrogance?   Curious.

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