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On The Bridge?
Scientologist charged with perverting course of justice
By Steve Cannane
One of the Church of Scientology's most senior figures, Jan Eastgate, has been arrested and charged in Sydney.
She has been charged with perverting the course of justice, in relation to allegations she coached an 11-year-old girl to lie to police and community services about the sexual abuse she suffered from her stepfather who was a member of the Church of Scientology.
Eastgate is the international president of the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, an organisation founded by the Church of Scientology that campaigns against psychiatry.
She was awarded the church's Freedom Medal for promoting human rights in 1988.
Police allege Eastgate threatened and intimidated Carmen Rainer when she was 11 years old into providing false statements to police about the sexual abuse she suffered from her stepfather.
Carmen Rainer outlined these allegations for the first time on Lateline last year.
"She (Eastgate) kept repeating that: 'Just remember you can't tell them. Don't say yes because otherwise you will be taken away from your parents and you will never see your family again'," Ms Rainer told Lateline.
Carmen Rainer's story was backed up by her mother Phoebe.
"Jan Eastgate coached both of us, actually," said Phoebe Rainer.
"She came to us with DOCS - they weren't called DOCS back then - but she came with us to the interview and she basically told me what to say and Carmen what to say.
"She also told Carmen to lie to the police and I lied to the police as well because of that."
Carmel Underwood, who was at the time a senior figure in Scientology, says she witnessed these events.
"I knew that Carmen was being coached on what to say to the Department of Community Services and to the police," she said.
"So I challenged them on that and we had a bit of an argument and I was told it was none of my business and to get out of there.
"I didn't want to get out of there because I wanted to stop what was going on but I was escorted out of there."
Jan Eastgate declined to be interviewed at the time the allegations first aired on Lateline.
In an email to Lateline last year she described the allegations by Carmen and Phoebe Rainer as "egregiously false".
She did not respond to an email sent by Lateline tonight.
Jan Eastgate has been granted conditional bail and asked to surrender her passport.
She is due to appear in Downing Centre Court on June 16.