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article imageAustralian Senator Alleges Scientology Is 'Two-Faced'

By Tracey Lloyd     Nov 18, 2009 in Politics
Australian federal Senator Nick Xenophon (IND) has alleged that there is a “worldwide pattern of abuse and criminality” in the Church of Scientology.
Speaking in Federal Parliament on November 17, Senator Xenophon raised concerns of former Church of Scientology members who had contacted his office in light of the Senator’s comments regarding the Church of Scientology’s tax exemption status on the television program, Today Tonight.
Senator Xenophon called for a Senate Inquiry into the activities of the Church of Scientology in Australia and tabled correspondence in Parliament detailing physical and mental abuse allegedly suffered by former Church of Scientology members.
One statement tabled by Senator Xenophon was from a former Church of Scientology member, who describes a life of covering up frauds, sexual abuse, blackmail, torture and beatings. The statement read by Senator Xenophon in parliament reads as though it could have been taken from any life of crime novel.
The statements alleging abuse, coercion of pregnant female Scientologists into having abortions, blackmail of members, falsification of bank records and child abuse cover-ups have been passed on to Australian police for investigation.
Worldwide, the Church of Scientology, which counts John Travolta and Tom Cruise among its members, has experienced increasing investigation and analysis. In France the organisation was recently convicted of fraud and is facing similar charges in Belgium. Former senior Church of Scientology executives in the United States have made public allegations of assault, blackmail and obstruction of justice.
In his call for a Senate Inquiry into the tax exempt status of the Church of Scientology in Australia, Senator Xenophon reminded parliament that religious freedom does not mean the churches should not be held accountable for their crimes.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (ALP) speaking to journalists in New South Wales, also has concerns about the Church of Scientology in Australia. Prime Minister Rudd considers Senator Xenophon’s allegations as grave however Prime Minister Rudd would like to see a review of the evidence tabled by Senator Xenophon prior to commencing any political inquiry.
The full text of Senator Xenophon's speech can be read in the Senate Hansard for 17 November 2009.
More about Scientology, Australian parliament, Nick xenophon
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