Scientology AVO

Reporter: Bryan Seymour

Scientology is lurching from controversy to the court room. The cult has been in global panic mode ever since we 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.

Scientologist Sue Hunt is trying to get an Apprehended Violence Order, or AVO, against former member Aaron Saxton. Ms Hunt claims that during an anti-Scientology protest in Sydney in December, Mr Saxton bashed on her car window and put her in fear for her safety. In fact, video footage of the incident shows Ms. Hunt flipping the finger, while Mr Saxton remains polite and does not touch her or her car.

Lawyer Julie Veloskey told the court that the entire reason her Scientology client feared for her safety was because of the aggressive and threatening way that Aaron Saxton bashed on her car window. Yet the video shows this simply did not happen. Why on earth would this Scientologist apparently make something up about Aaron and take him to court? We introduced you to Aaron 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.What the lawyer, Ms Veloskey, didn't tell the judge was that the Scientologist, Sue Hunt, completed a course titled PTS/SP (Primary Trouble Source / Strife Programming). This course is designed to teach Scientologists how to attack, intimidate, harass, and even lie about anyone or any group that criticises scientology. 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.

We've got first hand experience of this kind of childish attempt at 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. She is one of the most-enlightened Scientologists you could meet. Brace yourselves for it. 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?" asked Senator Xenophon.

"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." "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," Aaron added. We again today sought comment from Ms. Hunt's lawyer and the Church of Scientology. The email we received from Scientology failed to address our questions.

Response from Church of Scientology:

From: Public Affairs [mailto:public_affairs@scientology.net.au]

Sent: Thursday, 4 February 2010 12:57 PM

To: Seymour, Bryan

Subject: Re: Today Tonight - Channel Seven

Dear Bryan,

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.

Yours sincerely,

Vicki Dunstan

Church of Scientology Australia