I attended the 2011 American Psychiatric Association convention in Honolulu where I encountered a Scientology camera crew interviewing psychiatrists on the street for a video that would then be edited to show the field of psychiatry in a bad light.
IT was a rare and at times dramatic public appearance by one of the most senior members of a global religious organisation that shrouds itself in secrecy.Surrounded by supporters, senior Scientologist Janice Meyer arrived at the Downing Centre Local Court yesterday, accused of pressuring an 11-year-old girl to lie about sex abuse within the church.Ms Meyer, who also goes by the name Jan Eastgate, left with relaxed bail restrictions that will allow her to travel to and from her home in California.The 57-year-old head of the church's ''Citizens Commission on Human Rights'' was charged last month with perverting the course of justice over the 1985 incident. She allegedly told the 11-year-old she should deny any charges of sexual abuse, allegedly committed by her stepfather, to police and officers from the Department of Social Services.According to ABC TV's Lateline program, the young girl's mother was also allegedly pressured to lie to the authorities. The program reported that the child was told by other senior members of the church that the abuse was punishment for being bad in a previous life.Ms Meyer has previously called the allegations ''egregiously false'' but has not commented since being charged.The police prosecutor opposed the application for unrestricted bail yesterday, telling the court that the alleged conduct involved ''a gross breach of trust'' in relation to a child.But Ms Meyer's lawyer, Stuart Bouveng, told the court that she had been a resident of California since 1993 where she has ''a significant business and employs a number of employees''.''There is no evidence at all that your honour would have any fears she would not show up at court,'' he said.Magistrate Graeme Henson lifted the travel restriction but imposed an order that Ms Meyer must pay $10,000 if she fails to turn up at the next hearing on August 18.