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article imageScientology Says Senator's Actions Politically Motivated

By Tracey Lloyd     Nov 19, 2009 in Politics
In a statement to the media, Church of Scientology Australia President, Rev Vicki Dunstan has said that allegations of abuse and criminality made by Senator Nick Xenophon were “to forward his own political aspirations”.
In Federal Parliament on Tuesday 17 November and reported in DigitalJournal, Independent Senator, Nick Xenophon alleged that there is a “worldwide pattern of abuse and criminality” in the Church of Scientology (the full text of Senator Xenophon's speech is available in the Senate Hansard). Senator Xenophon called for a Senate Inquiry into the tax exempt status of the religion and supported his concerns about the Church of Scientology by tabling correspondence from former Scientology members.
Alleged claims of physical and mental abuse, blackmail, falsification of bank records and child abuse cover ups reported in Senator Xenophon’s speech to Parliament have been made by “disgruntled former members with their own agendas” according to Church of Scientology Australia President, Rev Vicki Dunstan.
Ms Dunstan accused Senator Xenophon of abusing parliamentary privilege and failing to ascertain the truth of the allegations. An invitation had been extended to Senator Xenophon by Church of Scientology officials to discuss the Senator’s concerns however this invitation was not taken up.
According to the Church of Scientology’s media release, the incidents referred to in Senator Xenophon’s speech have been “fully investigated by authorities with Church completely exonerated”.
Ms Dunstan stated that Senator Xenophon’s “descriptions of Church of Scientology beliefs and practices were also completely false”.
New South Wales police are currently investigating the allegations raised by Senator Xenophon and there is mixed parliamentary feeling on the issue of a Senate Inquiry into Scientology. The government has offered to consider the request however senior opposition Senators are uncertain whether a Senate Inquiry is appropriate.
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