Scientologists given accused’s psychiatric file
The Australian, Australia
Sep. 28, 2007
The Church of Scientology has been granted access to a confidential psychiatric
report tendered as evidence in the trial of a Sydney woman accused of murdering
her family earlier this year.
The 25-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was diagnosed with a
psychotic illness last year but allegedly discouraged by her parents from taking
her prescribed medication because of their Scientology beliefs.
The report, by psychiatrist Mark Cross, who examined the woman after her arrest,
said her parents allowed her to resume the medication shortly before the attack,
in which her father and sister were stabbed to death.
- Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, quoted at What judges
have to say about Scientology
Research resources on Scientology“She had a history of being diagnosed with a
psychotic illness in late 2006 at Bankstown Hospital, but follow-up from the
mental health team was apparently denied by her parents because of their alleged
Scientology beliefs,” the report says.
The Australian Church of Scientology applied for and was granted access to the
report by Burwood Local Court, where the woman is on trial, although reporters
were subsequently told the document would not be publicly released.
Cyrus Brooks, community relations officer for the church, said it had sought
access to the document after media coverage linking Scientology to the alleged
murders, although access was granted on condition that the church not release
the report to the media.
Despite this, Mr Brooks has emailed excerpts from the report to journalists to
“correct” their reporting of the case.
“My purpose here is to clarify that it is not church policy to advise any person
to give up medication and the church certainly does not come between a medical
doctor and their patient, nor tell a person what to do with their personal
health,” Mr Brooks said.
The accused will return to court next month to seek bail to allow her to receive
treatment in a locked psychiatric unit at Sydney’s Cumberland Hospital.
During the attack, at the family’s home at Revesby in Sydney’s southwest on July
5, she is alleged to have killed her 53-year-old father and 15-year-old sister
and to have committed grievous bodily harm on her 52-year-old mother.
“She (the accused) stated that her parents did not want her to take the
prescribed medication she had been on in 2006, and apparently started her on
medication they got from America, which was not psychiatric in nature,” Dr
Cross’s report says.
A spokesman for the NSW Chief Magistrates Office confirmed the church had been
granted “limited access” to the report and allowed to take notes of its
contents, although it had not been given a physical copy to take outside Burwood
Local Court building.
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