The Australian - May 31, 2011
Scientologist charged for 'intimidating' alleged sex abuse victim
by Leo Shanahan
A SENIOR member of the Church of Scientology has been charged by police for intimidating a young girl who wanted to report sexual abuse allegations within the church.
Jan Eastgate, the head of the church's "International Commission on Human Rights" which attacks psychology, has been charged by NSW Police with perverting the course of justice.
According the ABC TV's Lateline, police have alleged Eastgate intimidated a then 11-year-old Carmen Rainer to provide false statements about sexual abuse by her stepfather.
Ms Rainer has alleged that Ms Eastgate, who was then head of the church's citizens' commission on human rights in Australia, told her she should deny any charges of the sexual abuse or she and her brother would be taken away by social services.
Ms Rainer's mother Phoebe has also admitted Ms Eastgate told both of them what to say and to lie to police and in an interview with the Department of Community Services. Ms Eastgate previously called the allegations "egregiously false".
She she has not commented since being charged.
Ms Eastgate has been asked by NSW police to surrender her passport.
Ms Rainer had previously said that she was told by senior Scientology members that abuse was punishment for being bad in a previous life.
"She said, 'Just say no, keep repeating that'," Ms Rainer told the ABC in an interview last year.
"They told me it was my fault because I'd been bad in a past life. I believed them."
Ms Eastgate was the recipient of the Church of Scientology's Freedom Medal for her work with human rights, primarily aimed at uncovering problems with psychology treatments.
The news comes after the Australian Securities & Investments Commission earlier this month launched an inquiry into the business dealings of a Sydney property developer and senior Scientologist over a series of property deals.
The inquiry by ASIC into Carly Crutchfield was launched after independent senator Nick Xenophon - a vocal opponent of Scientology - sent a dossier to the corporate watchdog last month.
Senator Xenophon is calling for a judicial inquiry into the church.
The South Australian senator is asking that the organisation be stripped of its official religious status as a church, which means among other things its earnings aren't taxed. Scientology is founded on the teachings of American science fiction novelist L. Ron Hubbard, who taught that human psychological problems are a result of an ancient alien leader called Xenu, who attacked the planet Earth and left behind traumatised spirits of the former Earth race.
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