Police investigate Scientology
December 2, 2009
NSW police are investigating allegations of abuse and bullying in the Church of Scientology made in a series of letters from former members tabled in Federal Parliament by independent senator Nick Xenophon.
The most senior executive to defect from the church, US-based Marty Rathbun, has said the allegations, including coercion to have abortions and donate money, were unwritten church policy, dictated from its head office, according to a speech by Greens MP John Kaye in the NSW upper house.
"My office is currently fully co-operating with a NSW police investigation into the organisation," Senator Xenophon said yesterday. He said a senior staff member had met officers from the NSW serious crimes squad two weeks ago, and that his office was gathering a dossier of hundreds more allegations, received since his speech last month, to provide to the police this week.
A NSW police source said the claims were now in the hands of the state crime command's legal unit.
Dr Kaye supported Senator Xenophon's call for a Senate inquiry into the church, though it is yet to receive support from the major parties.
Senator Xenophon said that his office had yet to be contacted by the Prime Minister's office "despite Mr Rudd's comments about wanting to look at the evidence".
The church's Australian president, Vicki Dunstan, denied all the allegations, saying that Senator Xenophon had abused parliamentary privilege and accusing Mr Rathbun of being an embittered liar.
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