There is an interesting article today from the Australian Associated Press (AAP). The most complete version is found in The Age: “Xenophon hits out at Scientology”. (For whatever reason, other versions of the same AAP article were truncated, leaving out key parts: example 1, example 2, etc.)

In short, an independent Australian senator questioned the religious status of the Church of Scientology after receiving many letters from people whose brush with Scientology has been less than positive (euphemism). Here is a key excerpt:

Paul David Schofield said his first daughter Lauren had died after she was allowed to wander one of the Church of Scientology’s Sydney buildings and fell down some stairs.

“My wife and I were actively discouraged from seeking compensation from the church,” he wrote.

“I was also encouraged by church executives to request no coronial enquiry (sic) into her death, something I stupidly agreed with at that time.”

Mr Schofield’s second daughter Kirsty also died, in this case after ingesting potassium chloride at the family home – a substance he said was used widely in the organisation’s “purification” programs.

In another letter, Aaron Saxton said as a member of the organisation he participated in the “forced confinement and torture” of others.

He wrote that Scientologists considered to be “underperforming” were placed on diets of beans and rice for up to two weeks at a time, and they were also not allowed to access medications or undergo procedures such as pap smears.

The Church of Scientology spokesperson true to form response was (my emphasis):

“Senator Xenophon is obviously being pressured by disgruntled former members who use hate speech and distorted accounts of their experiences in the church,” the organisation said in a statement to AAP.

“They are about as reliable as former spouses are when talking about their ex-partner.”

Of course, this is the kind of answer to expect from someone indoctrinated with the writings of L. Ron Hubbard – which teach followers that any exposure of wrongdoings by Scientologists is an “attack” on their religion.

My response to the Church of Scientology spokesperson:

Dear Church of Scientology spokesperson… Would you automatically deem as “unreliable” the accounts of spouses subjected to beatings by their former partner? Because that’s exactly what your answer above entails.

Side note: To further underline how the thick track record of intolerance to criticism with Scientology can be traced to the Scientology “scriptures,” even independent Scientologist Marty Rathbun still shows intolerance to criticism of Scientology, as seen in one of his recent post, in which he still associates criticism of Scientology teachings with “hate.” L. Ron Hubbard would approve:

NEVER agree to an investigation of Scientology. ONLY agree to an investigation of the attackers.

[…]

So BANISH all ideas that any fair hearing is intended and start our attack with their first breath. Never wait. Never talk about us – only them. Use their blood, sex, crime to get headlines. Don’t use us.

I speak from 15 years of experience in this. There has never yet been an attacker who was not reeking with crime. All we had to do was look for it and murder would come out.

[Ref.: L. Ron Hubbard, “Attacks on Scientology,” 15 February 1966]

Addendum: See senator Nick Xenophon on Youtube for all the details – this is a must-see: Youtube Part 1, Youtube Part 2, Transcript PDF (1.13MB).

After listening to senator Xenophon, one sees that Australia’s Anderson Report of 1965 had it right, well, except that Scientology proved to be much worst (my emphasis):

Many scientology techniques, beyond the elementary stages, are essentially those of command or authoritative hypnosis, and are potentially dangerous to mental health.

[…]

The principles and practices of scientology are contrary to accepted principles and practices of medicine and science, and constitute a grave danger to the health, particularly the mental health, of the community. Expert opinion to this effect was fully confirmed by the considerable number of specific cases of damage to mental health of which the Board heard evidence.

[…]

In many cases, mental derangement and a loss of critical faculties have resulted from scientology processing and have continued long after the individuals concerned have ceased active association with scientology. In a number of instances the direct result of scientology processing has been to produce mental derangement which has required hospital treatment.

[…]

Financial hardship to the customer is the usual concomitant of processing.

[…]

Scientology is not, and does not claim to be, a religion. The general attitude of its founder is hostile to and disparaging of religion.

Scientology is a grave threat to family and home life. As well as causing financial hardship, it engenders dissension, suspicion and mistrust amongst members of the family. Scientology has caused many family estrangements.

The Board has been unable to find any worth-while redeeming feature in scientology. It constitutes a serious medical, moral and social threat to individuals and to the community generally.

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