Source: The Washington Post
Set on a tree-crowded campus in Sydney’s Chatswood neighborhood, the Church of Scientology’s Australian headquarters is a striking three-story building sprawling over 145,000 square feet. Glass walls look out onto the walls of foliage hugging close to the structure.
When the church cut the $57 million facility’s ribbon in 2016, Scientology leader David Miscavige called the building — officially known as Advanced Organization and Saint Hill Australia, New Zealand and Oceania — an “arboreal palace nestled at the rim of a eucalyptus wonderland.” Reportedly the largest Scientology facility outside the United States, the site is the launchpad for the controversial organization’s operations across Asia and the Pacific.
That bucolic peace was shattered around 12:30 p.m. on Jan 3. On the driveway snaking into the facility, a church member, 24-year-old Chih-Jen Yeh, was fatally stabbed in the neck with a large kitchen knife by a 16-year-old boy Yeh was escorting off the property, according to New South Wales Police. A 30-year-old man was also injured in the attack. Both the victim and alleged attacker were Taiwanese nationals, police said.