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The Morning Show - Scientology -

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(generated from captions) behalf that works out better for us. that just won't go away. Now to the controversy in the spotlight Scientology is once again after the Senate defeated a bid

within the Church to have alleged abuses referred to a parliamentary inquiry. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon The motion was brought by after reports from former members of abuse and harassment about incidents

were made public. Despite the setback, to continue his fight Senator Xenophon has vowed most controversial religion. against what's become the world's For some, it's a cult. For others, it's a saviour.

controversial. But it is most certainly as assets, God looking at human beings how you can do that. uh, it's hard to comprehend have gone public A stream of ex-members of abuse and harassment with allegations within the Church of Scientology. It's incredibly hard to live with. I've lost both daughters to protect the Church and both times I've done my utmost of those deaths. from any consequences prepared me for essentially saying, They sat down with me and to the planned parenthood, "Good, we're going to take you "Do you want an abortion?" "they're gonna ask you "You are to say yes". by a staff member And I was going to be driven there outside in the waiting room. who would be waiting for me

to express the damage I cannot find the words

by the organisation that has been done to me members are forced to endure. and the hardships has been campaigning for some time Independent Senator Nick Xenophon to account, to bring the organisation to launch a parliamentary enquiry, policies against our the law. to cross-check Scientologist about alleged criminal conduct If a Senate inquiry heard evidence under our current criminal laws or conduct that may not be criminal

firstly, but begs the question whether, laws are being adequately enforced, some fundamental law reform, whether there ought to be of the public interest. then surely they are matters

a political witch-hunt - Critics call his mission a claim the senator rejects. the beliefs of Scientology, The enquiry is not to examine only the behaviour of its members. the motion failed in Parliament - But despite his efforts, 33 votes to 6 with the Government concluding that are sufficient. current police investigations set ourselves up as a judge and jury Should we, as a Senate, 'he said, she said'? to decide between I don't think so. As for the Church itself, told media representative Cyrus Brooks old and new, "Senator Xenophon's allegations, "are utterly without foundation". into Scientology I don't think an inquiry would end with Scientology have to look at the fact and I think that all religions for all religions that this actually has the potential of persecution from Europe and coming like the middle ages being brought over in to Australia. Defeated but certainly not deterred.

continue to push for an inquiry, Senator Xenaphon says he will should have no objection insisting the Church if they have nothing to hide. we don't do these sorts of things, If the Church of Scientology says we think it's wrong and outrageous, problem with our laws being changed then surely they will not have a allegations being complained of. to protect people about the

until Parliament resumes in May He'll have to wait before the issue can be readdressed, that's far from over. making this one debate we're joined in Adelaide For more on this story Nick Xenophon. by Independent Senator Reverend Dr David Millikan, In the studio is religious movements and cults. who is an expert on new And joining us from Canberra Bryan Seymour. is 'Today Tonight' reporter the Church of Scientology We did invite to be a part of the segment issued us with a statement. but they declined and have instead

Senator, we'll start with you.

Why won't you give up this fight? Your motion was defeated.

I think the language has changed

last week. Both the leader of the

Government, Chris Evans in the

Senate and Deputy Leader of the

Opposition, Eric Abetz Opposition, Eric Abetz expressed

concern about the allegations. They

suggested at the there could be

other ways forward in dealing with

this. I'm encouraged by this

language. I can't turn my back on

these victims. It's not about

belief, it

belief, it's about behaviour.

Prime Minister was asked about this. belief, it's about behaviour. The

Amount he has concerns about

Scientology, he wasn't convinced

Parliament was the best way to with it. Parliament was the best way to deal

with it. I have to be careful about

how you shine a light on the

problem, deal with it,

same time don't interfere with problem, deal with it, but at the

criminal justice matters. That's not

where politicians should go.

Prime Minister's thinking on that where politicians should go. The

this morning. What are your thoughts

on that? I'm encouraged by the Prime

Minister's language. Of course it's

not the job of the Senate to be

undertaking a police investigation

but it's interesting that the

police, the private view of some but it's interesting that the

police is the more people that come

forward, the more helpful that is

ultimately to the police. There are

fundamental issues of law reform

here. Should we change our criminal

code or our anti-stalking laws

because they don't seem to be

adequate right now. Do we need to

change our consumer protection laws

and laws for occupational health and

safety. They are civil matters, things a Senate

things a Senate enquiry could look

at without interfering with any

criminal investigation. All very

good questions. Bryan, what is being

done with complaints authorities

have already received from these ex

members? Sorry, I couldn't hear you.

What is being done to deal with the

complaints that authorities have

received? That's a great question.

The situation is police have been

members. handed complaints by a number of ex

members. But how do you investigate

a woman who says she was forced to

have an abortion. What evidence

can you gather to form a brief or have an abortion. What evidence you

prosecution in a court of law. This

is the problem facing police. As

more and more people are coming

forward, do the police have the man

power and the money, the resources

to throw at investigating what is

alleged to be endemic corruption and

abuse? These are

abuse? These are questions that Nick

Xenophon has asked in the Senate and

reasons he has given for the

reasons he has given for the Senate to be the better place to examine

these allegations. David, let's

bring you in here. Were you

surprised with the outcome in

Parliament? I wasn't surprised. I

agree with the Prime Minister here.

I think if there are abuses within

any religious organisation,

any religious organisation, then they ought to be they ought to be examined and they

ought to be handed over to the

police. I mean, the Catholic church

has been responsible for the most

extraordinary level of abuse. People

have committed suicide, there is

hundreds of people. Now, that wasn't

referred to the Senate but it was

referred to the police and that's

the place where it should be. So I

think it's good that Nick has raised the issue but the

the issue but the Senate is not the

place to do it. What do the alleged

victims therefore do. They don't

feel the police are listening to

their inquiries, they haven't got

resources, this has been blocked in

the Senate. What do the alleged

victims do? I understand a number of

them are suing the church so they

have recourse to the courts in that

way. They could well find lawyers who

who would do that either pro bono or

an adjusted fees basis. The

an adjusted fees basis. The fact they have raised these issues means

the clear light of public scrutiny

is now on the church. That in itself

has the effect. The fact is the

church has started to speak out.

They spoke out last Sunday night and

allowed people inside for the first

time. That's

time. That's good. When churches

become secret and hide away from

public scrutiny, that's when the

trouble starts. Alright. Senator,

let's finish with you. You you say

you are even kuj couraged by the

language out of Parliament. The

church of Scientology is calling

this a witch hunt. Where is it

going? The Government has invited me to keep talking about

to keep talking about this. I want a

way forward. I want these people to

have a voice and platform and have

sensible law reform in terms of

consumer protection, occupational

health and safety laws and our

criminal system doesn't deal with

this, particularly when you are

looking at stalking by different

individuals, but where the

allegations are that it's done by an organisation. Our current laws don't

cover that. We need to look at that.

We will see where that goes. We will see where that goes. Thank you all. Moving on now