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Scientology a 'cult', Xenophon tells forum
Brisbane Courier Mail
March 13, 2010

INDEPENDENT senator Nick Xenophon says he will keep challenging the Church of Scientology's right to be recognised as a religious organisation.

Senator Xenophon said Scientology was a cult and not a religion, adding he would continue to pursue the organisation because former members had become 'victims' of its practices.

"I want to be quick to acknowledge that Scientology is just one organisation in the community that can be rightly described as a cult," Senator Xenophon told a forum on cults at Brisbane's Parliament House.

"I heard some of these stories from the people who approached my office to share their experiences with Scientology.

"Since my first speech to the Senate on this subject, I have unfortunately heard many more."

He said the Labor and Liberal parties had turned their backs on victims by refusing to endorse an inquiry into the need for a public benefit test for the Church of Scientology to receive tax exemptions.

Claims of forced abortions, imprisonment in boot camps and separation of families were aired this week on the ABC's Four Corners program.

"I cannot accept that Australian lives have been destroyed and more Australian lives may be destroyed, and our parliament wants to say, 'not our problem'," he said.

"I know a lot of politicians want to pretend this isn't happening.

"But good people spoke out. They trusted me with their stories, and I will not abandon them, even if it seems Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott want to."

Scientology was founded by L Ron Hubbard in Los Angeles in 1954, and its followers include Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and John Travolta.


Disclaimer:This news page is about groups, organizations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form. But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful. Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing. Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organization or person on this page, is not necessarily meant pejoratively. Readers are encouraged to read widely on a topic before forming an opinion. Never accept information from a single source at face value. This website only holds a small amount of information and should not be relied on as a complete source. For example, if you find older information, this should be weighed up against newer information as circumstances can change.
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