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11 March, 2010, 4:25 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 For more information, contact:

Vicki Dunstan

(02) 9638-5200

public_affairs@scientology.net.au

STATEMENT FROM THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

The Church of Scientology welcomes the major parties’ decision today not to support Senator Nick Xenophon’s call for a Senate Inquiry into the organisation and its charitable status.

 Church spokesperson, Ms Vicki Dunstan, said the decision taken by Labor and the Coalition was a “victory for religious freedom”.

 Ms Dunstan said none of the allegations levelled at Scientology by Senator Xenophon has been proved.

“Many of the incidents Senator Xenophon has referred to have previously been investigated by police, coroners and other agencies and no adverse finding has been made against the Church or any Church official,” Ms Dunstan said.

“The Church has provided Senators and MPs with a comprehensive rebuttal of the allegations made by a very small number of disaffected former members through Senator Xenophon.

“It is not the role of Parliament to investigate a religious organisation; if people have genuine grievances they should report them the relevant authorities, not seek to have Parliament used as the forum for a political witch hunt.

“The Church again takes this opportunity to reject the baseless and outrageous claims made by Senator Xenophon under the protection of Parliamentary privilege.

“The Senator is yet to provide a scintilla of evidence to back these claims other than allegation, innuendo and rumour.”

The High Court of Australia recognised Scientology as a religion in a landmark decision in October 1983 that became a benchmark for religions in Australia.


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