Scientology tries a celebrity offer to win over Central Coast residents

Bryan Seymour

Another senior Scientologist has appeared in court in its battle to set up in a small Central Coast town.

The residents of Yarramalong have rejected plans for a drug rehab clinic, fearing it was uncertified and potentially dangerous.

It emerged on Wednesday that Scientology has used one of its celebrity members to try to win them over.

Scientology's Company Director and Senior manager Michael Gordon is a figure of authority in the group. Photo: 7 News

Scientology's Company Director and Senior manager Michael Gordon is a figure of authority in the group.

He was at the Land and Environment Court Wednesday, where Scientology is trying to overturn a decision by the Wyong Shire Council to reject a drug treatment program called Narconon, a Scientology front group that claims to treat addicts at up to $40,000 a stay.

"They need help, that's a good thing but they need to get it in a place that's both professionally run and accessible to emergency services," Yarramalong resident John Graham told 7 News.

"We're half an hour from a policeman or an ambulance."

Another senior Scientologist Harry Crawford was on hand, though it's not clear why.

Another senior Scientologist Harry Crawford was on hand, though it's not clear why. Photo: 7 News


So, why did Scientology buy this property for nearly $4 million when it didn't have the approval to open a drug rehab centre?

The people of Yarramalong on the Central Coast say they're fighting for their way of life.

The people of Yarramalong on the Central Coast say they're fighting for their way of life. Photo: 7 News

In Victoria, Scientology has been ordered to stop making false claims about Narconon, which is not medically or scientifically recognised.

But on the Central Coast, they've been handing out glossy brochures to locals.

Scientology front group Narconon claims to treat addicts at up to $40,000 a stay. Photo: 7 News

They also offered them a free concert from Scientologist Kate Ceberano at the Wyong Creek Hall to win them over.

The concert didn't happen - and the message from locals is clear.

"I certainly don't want Tom Cruise jumping up and down on my couch, or any of his cronies," Graham told 7 News.

The hearing is set to run till Friday.