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A grisly attack that left one 24-year-old Scientologist dead and another 16-year-old church member behind bars is being blamed by the organization on Leah Remini and her A&E docuseries Scientology and the Aftermath.
The incident occurred on Jan. 4 outside Scientology headquarters in Sydney, Australia. The victim, Chih-Hen Yeh, originally from Taiwan, was a Scientology security worker. Yeh was escorting a female church member to a “purification ceremony” when the woman’s teenaged son stabbed him in the neck with a large kitchen knife, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Yeh died later in a hospital emergency room.
The assailant’s name is being withheld. Charged with murder, he is currently being held without bail and awaits a Feb. 19 children’s court appearance.
In a letter dated Jan. 11 and sent to A+E Networks Group president Paul Buccieri, Scientology spokeswoman Karen Pouw alleged the assailant “spouted vicious religious hatred and propaganda, incited by A&E and the Leah Remini/Mike Rinder series” before stabbing Yeh.
“For years, A&E executives ignored our warnings that the series was inspiring bigotry and violence,” Pouw continued. “You knew what you were doing. Your intent was to stir up hate and turn it into cash. Now somebody has been murdered.”
It is not yet clear what motivated the attack and no evidence has yet come forward connecting the A&E series to the killing. The “Purification Rundown” — also known as “the Purif” and “the Hubbard Method” — is a controversial drug detoxification procedure developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. It involves subjects spending long periods of time, up to five hours per day, in high-temperature saunas, while taking high doses of vitamins and dietary supplements like niacin.
The Church of Scientology did not respond to a request for comment, while a spokesman for A&E said the network had no response to Pouw’s letter.
The letter in full, first reported by The Underground Bunker, is below.
January 11, 2019
Paul Buccieri President, A+E Networks Group
Re: Blood on your hands
A young Scientologist in Australia has been murdered. Prior to committing this heinous act, the murderer spouted vicious religious hatred and propaganda, incited by A&E and the Leah Remini/Mike Rinder series.
On January 3, 2019, a man fatally stabbed a member of our Australasian headquarters in Sydney. Previously the assailant had stated his intent to burn down the Church. The attacker was inspired by an anti-Scientology website that featured your people and included a link to Remini’s show.
Week after week, month after month, and now year after year, this series has poisoned the airwaves in an avowed effort to create hatred against the Scientology religion and Scientologists. Hatred and propaganda always find their mark, especially among those weak and vulnerable to their appeals. And now it has born strange and bitter fruit.
For years, A&E executives ignored our warnings that the series was inspiring bigotry and violence. You knew what you were doing. Your intent was to stir up hate and turn it into cash. Now somebody has been murdered. Your indifference and obsession with stirring hate underwrote this murder.
You are well aware that whistleblowers have described how Leah Remini coaches people on the show to incite hatred against Scientology. We have repeatedly told you that all evidence points to the fact that every person on that program has been compensated, often “under the table” to try to hide it. You could care less what that scandalous bigotry — lie after lie after lie — can cause.
We warned you. Six hundred threats of violence, caused by your programming, meant nothing to you. Assassination threats against the leader of our religion meant nothing to you. You put a convicted felon on your show to praise him for vandalizing our Church and threatening to kill the leader of our religion. It didn’t matter to you, because it was what you were trying to do. For ratings, for sales, for money.
So consider your answer to this letter. Do not give us some lawyered-up response. We urged you to stop the hate and repeatedly told you the harm it was causing, which was escalating with each paid-for hate-filled episode. Now, somebody is dead. You paid for the hate that caused his murder. And you profit.
Stop your program.
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