Not only was Scientology founded by a scifi writer, but its greatest enemy - the Anonymous group - models itself after a comic book character. Now members of the alien-loving religion are on trial in Australia for torture and baby-killing.
In New South Wales, Australia, members of the local Church of Scientology are being investigated by a Senate group for allegedly shunting unpopular members into labor camps:
NSW police are now looking into the shocking allegations, which include the use of labour camps known as the Rehabilitation Project Force, for church members who rated poorly on tests using a device known as the electropsychometer, or E-meter. Ex-Scientologist Peta O'Brien told [senator Nick] Xenophon, in a letter tabled in the Senate, that she was forced to spend five hours a day breakingrocks with crow bars to help build a road and carparking area at the church's Dundas base, in Sydney's west. O'Brien alleged Scientologists in the RPF were not allowed to speak until spoken to, were banned from listening to music or driving, and were not given any medical or dental assistance.
Another ex-Scientologist says that pregnant women in Scientology were pressured to have abortions, sometimes to the pont of being locked up if they refused. Another former member of the church says both his young daughters died under suspicious circumstances:
Paul David Schofield claims in his letter tabled in parliament his toddler daughter Lauren died while being babysat in the Sydney church, when she was "allowed to wander the stairs by herself and fell". Church officials not only discouraged him and his wife from seeking compensation, he alleges, but encouraged him to request that no inquest be held. Schofield wrote that his second daughter, Kirsty, died after ingesting potassium chloride kept at his house. "I covered up that this substance was widely used in both the Sydney church's `purification' programs and a similar program at the church's drug rehab organisation," he wrote. "I perjured myself . . . I did not tell the whole truth either to police or the court (to my shame) but omitted details which would have `embarrassed' the church. I knew if I didn't do this I would be heavily penalised by the church for getting it into trouble." Schofield wrote that most Scientologists did not trust non-believers - referred to as wogs - and thought that "wog justice just made people worse".
The Church has responded that the children's deaths were investigated by police at the time. They say their freedom of religion is being threatened.
Senator Xenophon replied:
Religious freedom did not mean the Catholic or Anglican churches were not held accountable for crimes and abuses committed by their priests, nuns and officials, albeit belatedly. In Australia there are not limits on what you can believe but there are limits on how you can behave. It's called the law, and no one is above it.
via The Australian
Image via Steve Garfield.