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← Scientology: Game Over? Australia May Be About to Bankrupt Church Operations Down Under

Scientology: Game Over? Australia May Be About to Bankrupt Church Operations Down Under - Comments

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 1 by ZenDruid

ZOMG! Forcing them to pay the workers?!? That's cruel and unusual punishment!

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 16:03:46 UTC | #866654

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 2 by Alan4discussion

OOoh! and TAX ! Mind you the woo-head staff may decide to donate it back to their beloved church! Still - if they've paid tax on it! - I don't suppose they could claim it back as a charitable donation? Any bets on if that goes to court?

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 16:09:14 UTC | #866656

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 3 by MilitantNonStampCollector

Go Australia! Tax this horrible little cult out of existence.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 16:10:32 UTC | #866657

pwuk's Avatar Comment 4 by pwuk

Cool, xtian churches next.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 16:12:17 UTC | #866658

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 5 by drumdaddy

A charlatan's "utter disaster" is seen as healthy progress by people with enlightened minds. Elimination of the tax exemptions for churches, cults, and woo merchants is the battleground. Let's ring that bell as often as we can. Make them pay, like we do.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 16:14:36 UTC | #866659

moniz's Avatar Comment 6 by moniz

Couldn't have happened to a worse religion! Next on to the Catholic church!

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 16:17:40 UTC | #866660

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 7 by Stevehill

Scientology could be forced to pay millions of dollars in back pay, as well as taxes on that pay, and raise every worker to minimum wage into the future. Former chief Scientology spokesman, Mike Rinder, who himself is from Australia, says such a decision will immediately bankrupt the church there.

So what have they done with the millions they made selling $10-worth of Radio Shack bits to gullible fools for £5,000 and calling it an e-meter? Given all the loot to Tom Cruise?

(Apropos of nothing, I hear Tom Cruise has been cast to play Lee Child's hero, Jack Reacher, who is 6' 7" tall in the books. WTF?!).

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 16:19:49 UTC | #866661

weavehole's Avatar Comment 8 by weavehole

Wait. Is this video related?

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 16:30:43 UTC | #866668

Geoff 21's Avatar Comment 9 by Geoff 21

My son's 6' 7", 6' 8" on a good day, and I'm sure would step in if they can't find a box for Tom. Not as ugly either; especially mentally.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 16:54:37 UTC | #866670

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 10 by alaskansee

Can one of you Aussie posters please give the Senator a little push in the direction of the next church? It you be incredible if the momentum of this was used the clear them all out of our pockets, Australia first, then in every nation.

Go Australia!

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 17:28:41 UTC | #866676

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 11 by Steven Mading

There is one way in which $cientology differs from an actual religion. There are plenty of religious accomodationists and relilgious apologists who claim that they differ because they abuse their own members, or becasue they encourage cutting off contact with non-members, or because they make money, or because they're a shadwy organization that lies to preserve power, etc, and that this is something real religions don't do. I call bullshit on that. There are plenty of religions that behave badly like that such that you can't exclude $cientology from being a religion based on that alone.

What does make $cientology different is this: Every other religion is very happy to let you see their scriptures, and in fact members would be estatic if asked, "I don't know much about your religion, can you point me to your holy book to read? I'd love to learn more. Can you reccomend a good translation?" Members of other religions want to disseminate their scriptures.

$cientology, on the other hand, uses intellectual property law to stifle dissemination of their scriptures. They dole out the writings slowly - a little more each time you embed yourself a little deeper into the religion. This is NOT typical religious behavior. When was the last time you heard of a Christian group trying to recall a publication on copyright grounds that it shows too much of the Bible in it?

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 17:31:32 UTC | #866678

wetbread's Avatar Comment 12 by wetbread

"Nick Xenophon"...this strikes me funny. Don't know why. Probably the vague similarity to "Xenu." Although I imagine someone in CoS has already had the clever notion to refer to him is "Senator Xenophobe."

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 17:35:34 UTC | #866681

abeB's Avatar Comment 13 by abeB

UK petition to deny Scientology tax breaks from local councils:

http://tinyurl.com/SciTax

Scientology tax relief from business rates amounts to £1.5m to date. They get this on 'charitable' grounds in spite of being refused charitable status by the Charity Commissioners.

Please help publicise the petition by tweeting and linking to it. Also, obviously, please sign it!

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 17:53:24 UTC | #866684

achromat666's Avatar Comment 14 by achromat666

Comment 11,

All very valid points. Add to that the fact that they use pyramid scheme tactics to do what you describe to reel people in for more money, hence why the info is not immediately available when you join. Also part of why they have so much money from so many susceptible wealthier minds (chiefly entertainers).

This is a religion that behaves like a cult in how it indoctrinates and separates its followers from the rest of the world, and uses psychology to rope people in further. It is despicable and dishonest in ways other religions are not bold enough to be. Also different is that it doesn't dissuade from science (as being created by a sci fi author) but frowns on psychology but uses all the same techniques.

This batshit cult is just all around dangerous. The sooner it's gone, the far, far better.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 17:53:25 UTC | #866685

Aztek's Avatar Comment 15 by Aztek

Comment 11 by Steven Mading :

What does make $cientology different is this: Every other religion is very happy to let you see their scriptures, and in fact members would be estatic if asked, "I don't know much about your religion, can you point me to your holy book to read? I'd love to learn more. Can you reccomend a good translation?" Members of other religions want to disseminate their scriptures.

$cientology, on the other hand, uses intellectual property law to stifle dissemination of their scriptures. They dole out the writings slowly - a little more each time you embed yourself a little deeper into the religion.

I would say the reason for this difference is the dimension of time. There is this claim that if someone invented Christianity today, no one would believe it. I agree with that. If someone produced a Bible today and walked around talking about Adam and Eve, Jesus, a great flood and all that, they would be laughed at. And that is exactly what Scientology is facing. It is a new religion with freshly produced crazy ideas. How could they openly walk around talking about thetans and Xenu and expect to be taken seriously? That's why they keep their "sacred texts" under wraps. I'm sure other religions would prefer to do the same thing. The only reason they are so open about their ideas is because there is no point hiding them any more. Their cats have been out of the bags for such a long time, that everyone has access to these texts. So there is no point denying or hiding their existence.

It's like what interior designers say about ugly furniture. If you have an ugly piece of furniture you cannot hide, emphasize it instead. Hiding it just makes people notice it more, like a stain in an otherwise nice room. So make it stand out for everyone to see as some kind of a fashion statement. That's what religions do with their texts. Their scriptures are like rooms which everyone have had access to for a long time. Since everyone knows what's in them, there is no point hiding the content any more. Instead they pretend like the crazy ideas are something special and worth putting on a pedestal.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 18:02:33 UTC | #866689

victimlesscrime's Avatar Comment 16 by victimlesscrime

I'd always admired Australia for not letting L Ron's ship dock in Australian harbours when he was wandering the oceans looking for a home all those years ago. What went wrong?

Also, if this is the level of abuse a self regulating and unaccountable organisation gets up to after 50 years, imagine the crimes that could be perpetrated by an organisation with 2000 years' experience of getting away with it!

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 18:15:34 UTC | #866690

DaveUK9xx's Avatar Comment 17 by DaveUK9xx

$cientology really is a disgusting and malicious cult, preying on the weak minded and vulnerable to fleece them of all their money and then shun them and cast them out and even split families apart if they show any dissent or lose faith in the teachings. It astonishes me that anyone can be gullible enough to believe that the pure invention of a sci-fi writer just a few decades ago can be either a religion or anything remotely worth paying all your hard earned cash to. However I suppose if people can believe in invisible omnipotent sky pixies, virgin births, talking snakes or that this planet is only 6000 years old then they can believe anything.

If science were better taught at school so that young people had a real appreciation of how scientists determine things like the age of the Earth or the universe, how the fossil record, geological rock strata and radioactive isotope dating work, plate tectonics, mitochondrial DNA drift and the numerous evolutionary "oddities" in animal construction such as the recurrent laryngeal nerve or the route of the vas deferens they would have the mental ammunition to reject nonsense and bullshit that contradict established scientific fact.

Sadly little or none of this sort of thing is even mentioned until you get to university level. I didn't get taught any of it during my school days in the 60s and 70s and had to educate myself later with the help of the internet and wonderful books such as those by Richard Dawkins. Luckily I had the mental fortitude to resist the message of the compulsory one lesson a week of Religious Education, the Sunday school I was briefly sent to and the incessant nagging of gran to go to church with her on Sunday because "it makes you a better person". I think I'm a better person because I could see through this gibberish than if I'd fallen for it all.

You go Australia. Sort out these charlatans and then move on to more established "religions" and get rid of those too.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 18:39:15 UTC | #866691

Metamag's Avatar Comment 18 by Metamag

Now it needs to do the same to catholic church, it is far far worse than scientology.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 19:38:36 UTC | #866701

ShifttoRisk's Avatar Comment 19 by ShifttoRisk

Why doesn't John Travolta just fly the staff to a third world country? Wouldn't that keep their current ethics in tact?

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 19:48:02 UTC | #866703

J.KEARNS's Avatar Comment 20 by J.KEARNS

Suckers!!! No, really!

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 20:17:57 UTC | #866711

SaraDNA's Avatar Comment 21 by SaraDNA

I don't know if you've noticed, by Tony Ortega has been fighting Scientology for years now. Recently, he began writing a series called "25 people crippling Scientology". http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/09/janet_reitman_top_25_crippling_scientology.php His articles have been really well received by the general public. However, Scientology was less than excited and recently the Office of Special Affairs of Scientology (an intelligence wing of the cult) even said that they'll "handle" him. I hope Tony Ortega manages to bring down this silly greedy cult.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 20:41:32 UTC | #866718

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 22 by Stevehill

@Stephen Mading

$cientology, on the other hand, uses intellectual property law to stifle dissemination of their scriptures. They dole out the writings slowly - a little more each time you embed yourself a little deeper into the religion.

$cientology, on the other hand, uses intellectual property law to stifle dissemination of their scriptures. They dole out the writings slowly - a little more each time you contribute more money to the religion.

I think that's what you meant, is it not?

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 20:46:31 UTC | #866721

black wolf's Avatar Comment 23 by black wolf

Comment 4 by pwuk :

Cool, xtian churches next.

In Germany, Christian church-run charity organizations have been brought to court over paying their employees unethically low wages (while receiving state subsidies and being tax exempt). Research into church finances shows that the churches don't even have a clear picture themselves, about how much money they have and how much all their assets are worth. Since they don't have to disclose much to tax authorities, let alone the public, they never cared to keep a rigorous account. Who knows how much they funnel to Rome? Exploitation is a feature, not a bug, when we look at religious groups.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 21:21:47 UTC | #866730

black wolf's Avatar Comment 24 by black wolf

Comment 16 by species8472 :

Also, if this is the level of abuse a self regulating and unaccountable organisation gets up to after 50 years, imagine the crimes that could be perpetrated by an organisation with 2000 years' experience of getting away with it!

See Karlheinz Deschner, Criminal History of Christianity (Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums), Volumes 1 to 9, continues, 5000+ pages so far.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 21:28:36 UTC | #866735

mysticjbyrd's Avatar Comment 25 by mysticjbyrd

Seems like Scientology is being singled out a little...

The "respect" deserved for religons seems to be derived by the # of followers. Ancient Roman Polytheism, which is no longer practiced has be demoted to the status of mere fairy tales. Very small Religions are referred as a cult, a word that has a very negative meaning for most. Large Religions, such as Mormonism and Scientology, but still get some criticism from govt and ppl. Gigantic Religions, such as Christianity and Islam are enormous, and the level of respect for these are so great that it is actually taboo to question anything within.

PS: I am very much anti-religous, I just find this relationship fascinating.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 21:33:00 UTC | #866737

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 26 by Steven Mading

Comment 14 by achromat666 :

Comment 11,

All very valid points. Add to that the fact that they use pyramid scheme tactics to do what you describe to reel people in for more money, hence why the info is not immediately available when you join. Also part of why they have so much money from so many susceptible wealthier minds (chiefly entertainers).

It's important to point out that the way they treat their entertainers is different from how they treat the rank and file. It would never do to subject the celebrities to dehumanizing practices because they have easily available outlets for publicizing what's been done to them, and everyone would listen becasue it's celebrety news. So they two-facedly treat their stars with the red carpet treatment so they'll say nice things about the organization, while treating the rank-and-file like dirt.

This is a religion that behaves like a cult in how it indoctrinates and separates its followers from the rest of the world, and uses psychology to rope people in further. It is despicable and dishonest in ways other religions are not bold enough to be. Also different is that it doesn't dissuade from science (as being created by a sci fi author)

Correction - it likes using the word science. That's not the same thing as actually not dissuading from science. The stuff that $cientology "calls" science, isn't. Not by a longshot. They require adherents to believe this stuff works based on faith alone. That's the opposite of science.

but frowns on psychology but uses all the same techniques.

Most religions frown on the competition. That's not unique to $cientology. They hate psychology because they want to claim only they have the answer to what's troubling your mind and that nobody else does.

This batshit cult is just all around dangerous. The sooner it's gone, the far, far better.

True.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 21:34:05 UTC | #866739

tembuki's Avatar Comment 27 by tembuki

Comment 18 by Metamag :

Now it needs to do the same to catholic church, it is far far worse than scientology.

Only because they're bigger. Can you imagine if scientology was that big?

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 21:36:11 UTC | #866740

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 28 by Saganic Rites

They dole out the writings slowly - a little more each time you embed yourself a little deeper into the religion

Last year I got a copy of L. Ron Hubbard's 'Scientology 8008' It is one the most (unintentionally) funny books I have ever read, and as I recall it he describes his Thetian theory in full, so why they shield it from members is beyond me.

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 21:46:58 UTC | #866743

frax71's Avatar Comment 29 by frax71

For anyone interested in finding out more about this crappy ( and wealthy ) cult. Please pay a visit to the Op Clambake web/site here. These people (scientologists ) really do prey on the vulnerable, and victims really do lose all that they own and love including family members, all is not hilarity in the world of L. Ron Hubbards latter day supporters.

I am also going to post a link to Religious Freedom Watch.org the images you will see are all of ex- members of the cult that have gone public in renouncing their membership of Scientology. Or have been critical of Scientology in a public arena of some kind .The cult owns the site and posts their photos in order to shame and humiliate them for leaving Scientology publicly. Arnie Lerma's image has been on display for at least 10 years to find out why follow links from Op Clambake, or Google is your friend !!!!!!!

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 22:52:23 UTC | #866752

foundationist's Avatar Comment 30 by foundationist

Comment 11 by Steven Mading : . They dole out the writings slowly - a little more each time you embed yourself a little deeper into the religion.

Can someone wittyer than me please make a funny pun out of this and the name Nick Xenophon pointing to Zenos paradox?

OK, maybe lamer than I initially thought....

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 23:05:28 UTC | #866754