Church of Scientology response to Nick Xenophon
November 18, 2009 12:00am
THE following is the full statement issued by the Church of Scientology in response to Nick Xenophon's speech in the Senate on November 17, 2009.
is an outrageous abuse of Parliamentary privilege
from a Senator who would not even meet with Church representatives
several months ago to discuss his concerns.
disaffected and the apostate are in particular
informants whose evidence has to be used with circumspection. The
apostate is generally in need of selfjustification. He seeks to
reconstruct his own past, to excuse his former affiliations, and to
blame those who were formerly his closest associates... Apostates,
sensationalized by the press, have sometimes sought to make a profit
from accounts of their experiences in stories sold to newspapers..."
This is a propaganda campaign that would suit a totalitarian regime not Australia, a country that recognizes freedom of religion.
Scientology has fought for and upheld religious freedom around the world and is accepted as a religion throughout the world. In a few countries, the Church has been forced to litigate the issue of its religiosity, either affirmatively or in response to outrageous unfounded charges. Inevitably, the Church has prevailed in these cases and its religious bona fides have been unequivocally recognised. Some of these decisions, including decisions by the Cassation Court in Italy and the 1983 decision by the High Court in Australia, are now considered by leading scholars and judicial authorities to have established the standards regarding religious recognition that all religions must meet.
The High Court of 1983 that decided the case that declared Scientology was a bona fide religion in Australia was one of the most venerated benches in the history of the High Court. Moreover the decision was a unanimous decision of the full bench.
The decision has stood the test of time and has proven an authority on issues related to religions and tax status in Australia and throughout the Commonwealth.
The Church of Scientology internationally has grown from one Church in 1954 to more than 8000 Churches, Missions and groups in 165 countries today. The Church sponsors an international human rights education initiative as well as the world's largest nongovernmental drug education program. Four new Churches have opened in 2009, most recently the Church of Scientology of Rome on October 24, with a new Church opening in Washington, DC, on October 31. In April, three new Churches were dedicated: in Malmo, Sweden; Dallas, Texas; and Nashville, Tennessee. The Scientology religion has expanded more in the past year than in the past five years combined and more in the past five years than in the past five decades combined.