The Church of Scientology bought the Chatswood site for $37 million.
The Church of Scientology bought the Chatswood site for $37 million.

Scientology attack teen opposed mum’s ‘purification’

THE teenager who went on a knife-wielding rampage at the Church of Scientology, stabbing one member fatally in the neck and slashing another, was trying to stop his mother undergoing an intense "purification" process that claims to rid the body of drugs and toxins to reach a spiritual high.

The 16-year-old Chinese national, who was not a Church member, had begged his mother not to undergo the introductory Purification Rundown cleanse in an argument the night before, a source revealed.

A 16-year-old was arrested at the scene. Picture: 9 News
A 16-year-old was arrested at the scene. Picture: 9 News

Police believe he took a 25cm knife from the family's Ryde home when he tried to see his mother inside the Church's $57 million headquarters in Chatswood but was blocked by members.

A 24-year-old Taiwanese national was slashed to the throat and later died, and another man, 30, suffered cuts to his hand as they tried to escort the screaming teenager up the driveway and away from the premises on Thursday.

Police called to the scene had to draw their Tasers to get the youngster to drop his knife.

He was eventually arrested and led away by police with his hands cuffed inside evidence bags.

The young man is currently undergoing a mental health assessment program at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital before police will decide whether to charge him.

"His mother was inside the building undergoing a purification process and was told not to go outside. The son was not a member of Scientology and wasn't happy about the cleansing course," a source said.

"They had argued about it the night before."

Police at the scene after the fatal stabbing. Picture: Christopher Harris
Police at the scene after the fatal stabbing. Picture: Christopher Harris

 

One of the stabbed men died in hospital. Picture: TNV
One of the stabbed men died in hospital. Picture: TNV

The five-day cleanse developed by Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard mainly consists of regular exercise, sauna and nutrition, with industrial doses of vitamins and minerals consumed.

Some of the claims made on the Scientology website are specific, with the program purporting to improve IQ levels, boost happiness, reduce cancer-causing agents in the body, and enable weight loss easily and quickly.

The Scientology website states: "It enables an individual to rid himself of the harmful effects of drugs, toxins and other chemicals that lodge in the body and create a biochemical barrier to spiritual wellbeing.

"Virtually everyone is regularly subjected to an intake of food preservatives, pesticides, atmospheric poisons and the like.

"Add to this the panoply of medical and street drugs generally consumed and the gravity of the problem becomes obvious.

"These drugs and toxins can put an individual into a condition which not only prohibits and destroys physical health, but which can prevent any stable advancement in mental or spiritual wellbeing."

The Church of Scientology bought the Chatswood site for $37 million.
The Church of Scientology bought the Chatswood site for $37 million.

These claims for the "Purification Rundown" are closely related to the Narconon detox program also developed by Hubbard to tackle drug and alcohol dependency.

Hubbard, a pulp-fiction writer, portrayed himself as a pioneer, innovator and nuclear physicist.

He taught followers that, at their core, is a "thetan". After creating the universe, thetans accidentally became trapped in physical bodies and, through Scientology, they can restore immortal, godlike powers of the "thetan".

The teen was questioned at Chatswood Police Station.
The teen was questioned at Chatswood Police Station.

After years of promotion, COS detox programs have become widely popular worldwide, particularly in the UK.

The opening of the Church of Scientology's sprawling Australasian headquarters two years ago was hailed by the Church - which is anti-drugs and anti-psychiatry but believes in aliens - as a "golden age" for Sydney.

Two have reportedly been stabbed at the Sydney headquarters of the Church of Scientology Picture: TNV
Two have reportedly been stabbed at the Sydney headquarters of the Church of Scientology Picture: TNV
NSW Police securing the scene at the Church of Scientology headquarters at Chatswood. Picture: AAP
NSW Police securing the scene at the Church of Scientology headquarters at Chatswood. Picture: AAP
He was taken, in custody, to hospital for a mental health assessment.
He was taken, in custody, to hospital for a mental health assessment.