End recognition of Scientology as a religion in Australia
This petition had 1,331 supporters
It is well known that in Australia, churches are exempt from taxation, due to religious freedom. Less well known is that the Church of Scientology (CoS) is regarded as a religion, rather than a cult, and is therefore also tax-exempt. This petition is intended to call for the removal of Scientology's tax-exempt status. But 'why?', you might ask. Well, the CoS has been found on numerous occasions to have horrifically abused many in the Church, as well as using immoral methods to get their way, such as blackmail. The CoS is no better than an unethical business scheme.
One of the CoS's more notorious methods is their 'Attack the Attacker' policy. Below is L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church, describing the policy.
- Spot who is attacking us.
- Start investigating them promptly for felonies or worse using own professionals, not outside agencies.
- Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them.
- Start feeding lurid, blood, sex, crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press.
Don't ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way. You can get "reasonable about it" and lose. Sure we break no laws. Sure we have nothing to hide. BUT attackers are simply an anti-Scientology propaganda agency so far as we are concerned. They have proven they want no facts and will only lie no matter what they discover. So BANISH all ideas that any fair hearing is intended and start our attack with their first breath. Never wait. Never talk about us—only them. Use their blood, sex, crime to get headlines. Don't use us. I speak from 15 years of experience in this. There has never yet been an attacker who was not reeking with crime. All we had to do was look for it and murder would come out.
— Attacks on Scientology, "Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter", 25 February 1966
Another tactic used by the CoS is the Fair Game policy. Individuals or groups who are "Fair Game", known as 'suppressive persons' are judged to be a threat to the Church and, according to the policy, can be punished and harassed using any and all means possible. These people "May be deprived of property or injured by any means...May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed" (taken from HCOPL Oct. 18, 1967 Issue IV, Penalties for Lower Conditions). If a relative of a CoS member is judged to be a suppressive person, the Scientologist is barred from coming in contact with them. In some cases, parents haven't seen their children for over 13 years.
Possibly the most disturbing part of CoS doctrine is R2-45. This has been described by Hubbard as "an enormously effective process for exteriorization but its use is frowned upon by this society at this time". In CoS doctrine, exteriorization refers to the separation of the thetan (soul) from the body. R2-45 is said to be a process by which exteriorization could be produced by shooting a person in the head with a .45 pistol.
While the rumor that Hubbard made a bar bet with Robert A. Heinlein that he could start a cult is unproven, many witnesses have reported Hubbard making statements in their presence that starting a religion would be a good way to make money. These statements have led many to believe that Hubbard hid his true intentions and was motivated solely by potential financial rewards.
Editor Sam Merwin, for example, recalled a meeting: "I always knew he was exceedingly anxious to hit big money—he used to say he thought the best way to do it would be to start a cult." Writer and publisher Lloyd Arthur Eshbach reported Hubbard saying "I'd like to start a religion. That's where the money is." Writer Theodore Sturgeon reported that Hubbard made a similar statement at the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. Likewise, writer Sam Moskowitz reported in an affidavit that during an Eastern Science Fiction Association meeting on November 11, 1948, Hubbard had said "You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion." It can be noted that this isn't anti-Scientology slander, as it was stated before the foundation of the CoS.
In fact, to rise up the ranks of the CoS and gain more 'knowledge', you must pay money. Some ex-Scientologist celebrities have lost millions to this cult.
These are just some of the CoS's unsavoury actions and policies. Other atrocities even include murder. More of this cult's crimes can be found here. Yet despite all this, the CoS continues to be classified as a religion. Removal of this false label will sound the beginning of the end of this cult in Australia, and mark the beginning of the mental, economic and social liberation of hundreds of vulnerable people.
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