Steve Cannane wrote the book about Scientology in Australia - and now he's on trial - 2020-05-30
From our perch here in the United States, it's simply bizarre to see what is happening to journalist Steve Cannane in Australia. What he's going through could never happen here, and we want to try and explain to you what we mean by that.
In 2016, Cannane published his masterful examination of Scientology's history in Australia, titled Fair Game. Deeply researched and well written, it succeeds beautifully at what it sets out to do. And we told Steve that his recitation of L. Ron Hubbard's history creating his movement is simply one of the best ever put on paper.
With its focus on Australia, Steve is able to dive deeply into chapters of Scientology history that hadn't been fleshed out elsewhere. One chapter, for example, was about a controversy that made a lot of news in Australia in the late 1980s but was largely unheard of elsewhere. It involved a controversial "deep sleep" therapy used at Chelmsford Private Hospital near Sydney that erupted in headlines about doctors putting patients at risk with a practice that was declared unethical and dangerous. Patients were put into deep sedation with drugs and then were given electro-convulsive therapy, resulting in 24 deaths between 1963 and 1979.