Tony Ortega published an important piece on his Substack about the big lie that scientology has been telling the world since a mentally disturbed young man from Taiwan murdered a scientology security guard at the Advanced Org in Sydney.
Scientology has been saying for years that this murder was a result of the young man watching The Aftermath show, which “incited” him to commit this heinous crime. They have spread this lie repeatedly on social media and in their hate-publications and wrote to the head of A&E at the time accusing him of being complicit because he had not canceled our show. In the latest filing scientology made in Leah’s lawsuit, Lynn Farny offered up this explanation for their lies in a declaration dated 25 October 2023. Of course, Farny and scientology have ALWAYS known the truth about what happened, but this didn’t stop them from continuing to accuse us of inciting murder. Here are the relevant paragraphs from Farny’s declaration:
38. On January 3, 2019, a 16-year-old-man stabbed to death a security guard at a Scientology church in Australia. The assailant had expressed anti-Scientology sentiments. The Church staff member who was a witness to the crime, asked the assailant’s mother what he was reading on the internet about Scientolo0gy and the mother showed the Church staff member the line to a Chines anti-Scientology website on her phone. This information was reported to CSI after the incident. On January 7, 2019, I accessed the website, saw that it contained links to Remini’s Aftermath television show, as well as to Mike Rinder’s website. I downloaded a copy, enclosed wherewith as Exhibit 34.
39. Attached as Exhibit 35 is a true and correct copy of a January 11, 2019 letter from Karin Pouw of the Church of Scientology International to Paul Buccieri, President, A+E Networks Group “Re: Blood on your hands.”
When you compare this to the facts laid out in detail in the court documents quoted in Ortega’s article, it is clear they are simply doubling down on their lies, unaware that the court records had been obtained that lay out the truth. There is NO MENTION in the court documents of the “assailant” ever mentioning “anti-scientology sentiments” let alone accessing any website containing links to the Aftermath or my “website.” And why after a MURDER are they asking the mother about “what he was reading on the internet” when they all KNEW what had caused the incident as it detailed in these documents. And why is the mother showing HER phone in response to what her son was looking at on the internet?
There are some things from Tony’s report that I want to comment on specifically.
As quoted in the court documents:
[His mother told police] that when he was eight or nine years of age he was diagnosed with “an emotional disorder.” She told them that when he was 14 years of age he was diagnosed with autism. He has been prescribed Ritalin and Concerta but stopped taking his medication in November 2018 because he did not like it.
Seeking a change of environment for her son [the mother] brought him to Australia, arriving here on 18 December 2018.
Ritalin is a drug every good scientologist knows is especially evil. They have been told it is a gateway drug fed to children which leads to further psychiatric drugs. Concerta is another ADHD medication. It is scientology gospel that these drugs do not help or cure anything, and most certainly do not help with “emotional disorder.” Thus, stopping taking these sort of drugs is not dangerous, it is “helpful,” medical science be damned. It’s questionable whether his medication was ended “because he did not like it.” That is likely a “shore story” offered up to protect scientology, as it would be normal practice for the mother to be pressured to take her son off “psychiatric drugs,” as that would disqualify him from participating in any auditing services.
“Seeking a change of environment” is a catchphrase very familiar to scientologists. It comes right out of Hubbard’s early writings, in fact it can be found on page 20 of Hubbard’s second book, Science of Survival where he claims “there are four valid therapies” … “The third is changing his environment into one which is less restimulative…”
The mother brought her 16-year old son all the way from Taiwan to Australia (even though he did not speak english) to accomplish a “change of environment.” There is more to this than is disclosed here, as this makes little sense. If she really wanted a change of environment there are much easier ways that leaving their home and traveling 4500 miles to Australia. But in the big picture, the full story does not really matter. It’s just another indicator that scientology has not been entirely forthcoming with the truth.
What is important is that the documents reveal what REALLY triggered the boy.
36 Around 1 January 2019 an employee of the Church of Scientology in Chatswood approached the accused’s mother and told her that the accused had possession of a novel containing pornographic and violent themes on his MP3 player. The employee suggested that the accused’s mother should delete the novel as it was not good for her son. The accused was not present during this conversation. As a result, the accused’s mother spoke to the accused and told him that what he was reading was not good for him.
37 On Wednesday 2 January 2019, somewhere between 4.00 am and 5.00 am, the accused’s mother took his MP3 player from his bed while the accused was sleeping. She deleted all files that contained written words but did not delete any music or images. Later that day the accused’s mother attended classes at the Church of Scientology as usual and the accused did odd jobs around the grounds.
38 At about 8.15 pm on that day, while his mother was in class, the accused entered the classroom and approached her. There were at the time two teachers and another student present. He said to her (presumably in Mandarin), “Was it you who deleted my data? You deleted my data, didn’t you?” And his mother replied, “I didn’t.” The accused said, “It was you who deleted it. I’ll give you 10 seconds to recover it.”
The document then goes on to describe how he assaulted his mother, repeatedly beating her, though not with enough force to cause any significant harm.
The question is, how did scientology know what was on his MP 3 player? It’s not explained in the court documents, and is something else scientology didn’t want known to shield themselves from any culpability. But it is not hard to guess.
a. Scientology has cameras everywhere, monitored by security.
b. They could have seen him viewing his MP3 player. Someone could have been sitting next to him and noticed what he was watching — and given scientology’s snitch culture, they would have reported this.
c. And finally, it is NOT uncommon for scientology to require that computers/phones/MP3 players be handed over while a student is on course.
Regardless of how this came about, THIS, coupled with taking a mentally unsound youth off his medication is what triggered him — not accessing some website that had a link to another site that contained the Aftermath.
This is what HE said caused him to commit his first assault and matters went downhill from there:
39 The accused reported to others that he had assaulted his mother because she had deleted the contents of his MP3 player. One of the persons to whom he reported this was a staff member by the name of Steve Zargon. Mr Zargon told the accused that they would come and see him the following day to help him recover the deleted files on his MP3 player and that he should not come to the church. Arrangements were made for the accused’s mother to stay at the home of another student rather than go back to the premises in Fullers Road.
So, why is it that his assault of his mother was not reported to the police?
And why would scientology send him back to where he was staying to spend the night ALONE, when he was clearly in a mentally unstable state? His mother was sent to another location. Why didn’t they have someone who spoke Taiwanese accompany him and reassure him things would be taken care of?
They did promise they would come and see him the next day — but did not show up. This is how the story unfolds in the court documents from there:
40 The next day, Thursday 3 January 2019, at about 10.00 am, the accused’s mother attended the Church of Scientology as normal. Somewhere between about 11.00 am and 11.30 am the accused spoke to two other residents at the Fullers Road premises about where he could find the two staff members from the church he had spoken to previously with respect to the deletion of the data on his MP3. At about 12.01 pm the accused walked into the grounds of the Church of Scientology at Chatswood. The events that transpired were captured on closed-circuit television footage. While the footage itself has not been tendered before me, an agreed summary of the contents of that footage has. The following is taken from that agreed summary and other evidence.
The murder took place after he arrived at 12:01pm demanding to see the aforementioned Steve Zargon who had not showed up at his house as promised. Scientology CAUSED him to come to the Advanced Org because they did not keep their promise to come to where he was staying. Security sought to stop him from entering the premises when he arrived demanding to speak with Steve Zargon. He pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the security guards in the neck, killing him.
He was not there because he had been incited against scientology. He was there because scientology had deleted his MP3 files, promised to restore them and then didn’t show up. And he was in a heightened state of mental instability after being take off the drugs he had been prescribed.
And here is a final oddity: The events that transpired were captured on closed-circuit television footage. While the footage itself has not been tendered before me, an agreed summary of the contents of that footage has. The following is taken from that agreed summary and other evidence.
There is only ONE REASON scientology would not turn over the CCTV footage. There is information in that footage detrimental to scientology. Things they do NOT want publicly known. They are all too quick to turn over security footage to law enforcement when they believe it helps them or makes them look good.
Clearly, scientology has known since the day of this tragedy what really happened. They used the fact that the information was not publicly available because it concerned a minor to exploit this horrifying incident to smear Leah Remini and me with this most despicable lie.
And they continue to do so to this day.
This website and video are still maintained by scientology — it was just the first one that came up on a Google search.
What will it take to stop this? Only law enforcement or court orders.