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Tuesday, 19 February 1980
Page: 3

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The Petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth.

That the anti-social activities of certain organisations, in the main purporting to be religious and under foreign control, are causing increasing mental, physical, financial and/or social distress to citizens throughout the Commonwealth of Australia.

Such adverse effects include drastic personality changes, alienation and severance from persons' families and normal society, dispossession under undue influence of persons worldly assets, abandonment of socially useful occupations, or career education, mental disorientation, and a common requirement to surrender their labor with little or no pay working unduly long hours fund raising for the exclusive benefit of the organisations' leaderships.

Furthermore, a disturbing number of our country's youth have died prematurely in unsatisfactorily explained circumstances, or have become so mentally or physically debilitated following their involvement with the subject organisations, commonly but erroneously described as 'religious' cults.

All evidence points to the fact that the subject organisations are commercial enterprises which, for the purpose of evading tax and other normal business obligations, have falsely assumed the status of 'religions' in order to take advantage of the blanket protections provided by Section 1 16 of the Australian Constitution.

It is your Petitioners' sincere belief that proliferation of such organisations without check with their personalitydisorientating and family divisive practices and effects, represents a serious threat to health, welfare, and peace of the whole community.

Notwithstanding the decision of the combined Australian Attorneys-General at their meeting of the 14th October, 1979, that no special action should be taken by Government/s to curb undesirable activities of religious cults and that such should be dealt with under existing laws, such laws as would provide protection against the aforementioned malpractices do not appear to exist.

For this reason the Government should proceed with all haste to investigate the widely alleged malpractices of the subject organisations which include the Hare Krishnas, The Unification Church, (Moonies), and such other groups as are the subject of complaints, preparatory to introducing appropriate legislation to curtail the said malpractices to ensure citizens ' continuing enjoyment of peace and harmony.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr Aldred and Mr Roger Johnston.

Petitions received.

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