Teen Charged After Fatal Stabbing at Scientology Church in Sydney

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

A 16-year-old boy allegedly stabbed a 24-year-old Taiwanese national to death on the grounds of the Church of Scientology’s Australasian headquarters in Sydney on Jan. 3. He underwent mental health assessment on Jan. 4 following the incident.

Update: The teen was charged on Jan. 5 local time with the murder of the Taiwanese national.

The teen had allegedly stabbed the Taiwanese national and another man, both of whom were injured and taken to Royal North Shore Hospital.

Ambulance Inspector Carolyn Marsh said that the man who died was bleeding profusely from a wound to the neck, according to 9News.

The other man, aged 30, is in a stable condition with a wound to his hand.

“I suspect he’ll be fine,” Marsh said, according to 9News.

The teen was arrested by police at the scene by North Shore Police Area Command, and has been brought to Chatswood Police Station for questioning.

The stabbing took place around midday in the driveway of the religious centre, located in Chatswood on Greville Street. Emergency services were called to the incident after 12:30 p.m.

Both of the men who were stabbed were Scientology employees.

Unrelated Dispute

Police say the teen was being taken outside the premises by the two men after a domestic dispute a day earlier that was unrelated to the church. When the teen, said to be of Asian descent, was being escorted down the driveway, he took out a 25-centimetre long kitchen knife, according to AAP.

Police said that when they arrived, they produced their tasers and told the teen to drop the knife, according to news.com.au.

The teen complied.

Police said they are now trying to understand why the teen was told to leave.

“He had a lawful reason to be here originally and they’ve asked him to leave for various reasons, which we still need to get to the bottom of and speak to staff here on premises,” they said, according to news.com.au. “Our first responding police on scene here—and obviously there were staff from the premises here who saw the incident happening—police had to draw their taser.”

“At this stage, unfortunately, the 24-year-old male has passed away and inquiries are being made to contact family,” said the officer in charge at the scene, news.com.au reported.

“It would appear the altercation, or the reason the young person has been removed from the premises, was only and solely in relation to a domestic incident that occurred yesterday,” he added.

A young Scientologist, who did not want to be identified, told AAP that his mother was inside the facility and he was prevented from entering to see her.

“I came down when the first [media] camera crew showed up but I was told it wasn’t a huge deal,” he told AAP. He was not initially aware two people had been stabbed.

“It’s a huge building, a lot of people come from around Asia to study here,” he said.

“It offers a lot of services other [Scientology properties] don’t.”

The church on its website says the “Ideal Advanced Organisation in Sydney provides advanced religious services to Scientologists from across Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia Pacific region.”

The $57 million dollar Scientology headquarters officially opened in 2016 and is the largest of its kind outside the United States, occupying 13,500 square meters.