Scientology is lurching from controversy to the court room.
The cult has been in global panic mode ever since Today Tonight aired the stunning allegations tabled by Senator Nick Xenophon. Now, one of the men behind those allegations has found himself in court in a case described by one newspaper as "bizarre".
Lawyer Julie Veloskey told the court that the reason her Scientology client feared for her safety was because of the aggressive and threatening way that Aaron Saxton bashed on her car window.
Aaron Saxton told the court he did not even know who the woman was until a summons was served on him.
He was introduced to viewers two months ago. He joined a group of former Scientologists in revealing stunning, shocking claims of abuse, tabled by federal independent Senator Nick Xenophon.
Support is reportedly spreading in Canberra for a senate inquiry into Scientology, focusing not on its religious beliefs, rather its practices.
Scientologists who've escaped the cult have long cited as the reason for their change of heart a policy called 'Fair Game', which calls on followers to destroy critics any way they can.
Today Tonight's had first hand experience of this kind of childish intimidation. Around the same time in December, in Melbourne, Today Tonight's Bryan Seymour and a camera crew spotted a woman hiding behind a bush taking snaps of them.
The woman was Flora Sullivan. She is a Scientologist; an 'Operating Thetan Level 8 (OTVIII)', that's higher up than Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Jamie Packer.
Scientology is rumoured to be launching an Australian PR offensive to combat all the bad press it's getting. It'll get more, with major newspapers, even our ABC, launching major investigations into its true intentions.
The ad blitz may include celebrity scientologists like Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson.
Senator Nick Xenophon today condemned the court action by Scientology.
"Since Aaron has spoken out he says he's been harassed at work, his mother's been visited by private investigators, he's been getting a number of unexplained phone calls to his private number and you've got to ask the question has this got anything to do with the Scientology doctrine of Fair Game?" Senator Xenophon asked.
"Let me just quote you what L Ron Hubbard said about it. He said Scientology critics can be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed," Xenophon said. "They are the words of the founder of Scientology."
Aaron has admitted to using 'Fair Game' tactics as a former Scientology member.
"If a person attacks Scientology you may use the law, you may use litigation in any way, shape or form to harass or silence that critic and I practised that myself when I was there," he said.
Today Tonight sought comment from Ms. Hunt's lawyer and the Church of Scientology. The response failed to address Today Tonight's questions.Response from Church of Scientology:
From: Public Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Thursday, 4 February 2010 12:57 PM
To: Seymour, Bryan
Subject: Re: Today Tonight - Channel Seven
The matter is before the court and any discussion of legal proceedings before being heard by the magistrate would be clear contempt of Court.
It is reprehensible of Today Tonight (Channel Seven) to try to pass judgment in a case yet to be heard before the New South Wales Court.
Vicki DunstanChurch of Scientology Australia
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