In the aftermath of the criminal conviction in France (here), the Church of Scientology is facing a call for a criminal investigation in Australia from Senator Nick Xenophon, who presented the case against the church before the legislature.
Xenophon, used parliamentary privilege to present the case against the Church, presumably insulating himself from civil liability and putting the accounts of alleged victims into the record of the body.
He called the church’s “crimes” as “shocking” and declared that ”Scientology is not a religious organisation; it is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs.”
He put into the record letters from former members, detailing what he says is a criminal enterprise. He specifically highlighted the case of Paul David Schofield who says that his first daughter, Lauren, died after she was allowed to wander around one of the Church of Scientology’s Sydney buildings and fell down some stairs. His second daughter, Kirsty, also died, after swallowing potassium chloride – a substance he said was used widely in the organisation’s ”purification” programs.
Scientology officials denounced the move as ”an outrageous abuse of parliamentary privilege.” The Church insisted that former members are not reliable witnesses since “[t]hey are about as reliable as former spouses are when talking about their ex-partner.”
The Church was previously accused of hampering an investigation in Australia, here.
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