Aussie scilons baaaw to Gov't about TV news bias, then get debunked


Patron Meritorious
Someone requested crossposting this thread from WWP:


This Australian Government report was finally issued on 6 May 2010. The
Aussie government document takes up each point where scilons baaaaw
about "inciting religious bias towards Scientology and Scientologists in
general." The government systematically dismantles each scilon complaint.
It's well worth the read.

The document is long, but easy to read and put together in a bulletproof
manner. And they define lots of simple legal words to scilons (irony).


The complaint

On 22 October 2009, the Australian Communications and Media Authority
(the ACMA) received a complaint about a segment of the program Today
Tonight broadcast on 21 August 2009 by Channel Seven Sydney Pty Ltd,
the licensee of ATN.

The complainant considers that the segment presented ‘misleading and
misguided information’ regarding the practices and beliefs of the Church of
Scientology (COS), and ‘incite[d] religious bias towards Scientology and
Scientologists in general’.

The complainant referred the matter to the ACMA for investigation.

If anyone is interested, I can dig up and post earlier similar Aussie gov't
rebuttals, where scilons made similar complaints of media bias, and were also
politely and thoroughly slapped down.


3 earlier similar Aussie slapdowns:

Adjudication No. 1436 (adjudicated September 2009) [2009] APC 23

The Australian Press Council has dismissed a complaint from Rob Perkovic
against The Sunday Telegraph, Sydney, relation to an article titled
Scientology's $12m renovation rescue for Sydney HQ published on May 31,

The article reports on the upgrade of the Church of Scientology's Sydney
headquarters. It reports on the cost of the upgrade, conditions of the
development application, the number of supporters and objectors to the
application, the number of members within Australia and notes some
high-profile media personalities who are members.

Comment was provided on the upgrade by a member of the Church.

Mr Perkovic has complained that the headline and article are misleading and
unbalanced. He objected to the use of the word 'rescue' in the headline and
to 'trawling' used to describe the Church's recruitment activities.

The Telegraph stated that the use of 'renovation rescue' was the language
of pop-culture vernacular and that the use of 'trawling' was descriptive, and
was not meant to be offensive.

The Council finds that the article and headline are neither misleading
nor unbalanced.


Adjudication No. 1384 (adjudicated March 2008) [2008] APC 5

The Press Council has dismissed a complaint brought by the Church of
Scientology against The Daily Telegraph regarding the headline of the article
published in the 10 July 2007 edition.

The original complaint concerned allegations of unfairness in a series of
articles published in the 10, 11 and 14 July editions. Subsequently, the
complainant confined the complaint to the headline over an article that
reported the court appearance of a woman who had been charged with
murdering her sister and her father. The headline was SCIENTOLOGY
SLAYING, accompanied by a sub-heading: Court told of church link to killing.

The article reported that the woman who had been charged with the murders
was allegedly forced to stop taking psychiatric drugs by her family "because
of their Church of Scientology beliefs". It also reported testimony in the
court that her parents had insisted that their daughter "take medication
imported from the US, which was 'not psychiatric in nature' and complied
with the Church of Scientology 's rules".

The nub of the complaint regarding the headline was that "people reading the
headline understood it to mean that Scientology was responsible for the
slaying/killing". The newspaper response was that the headline when read in
isolation "has virtually no meaning" or "so many possible meanings as to be
meaningless". When read with the sub-heading, its meaning becomes
apparent, namely, "a court had been told that there were possible links
between a church and a 'slaying'," the newspaper said. It further said that
the headline was an attempt to "catch reader attention" and "convey an
accurate sense of what the story is about".

Without the sub-heading, the headline SCIENTOLOGY SLAYING does have a
degree of ambiguity. The Council agrees that the newspaper is correct in
saying that the headline should be read in connection with the sub-heading
and the complaint is dismissed.


Adjudication No. 321 (February 1987) [1987] APC 8

The Sydney congregation of the Church of Scientology Inc. complains
against The Australian concerning an article by James S Murray entitled
"Lessons for the Hubbard faithful" published on 6 February 1986, and another
entitled "End of the world here for two - thank God" by Phillip Adams
published on 22/23 February 1986. Both articles were under by-lines rather
than news items, and both were critical of scientology and of L Ron Hubbard
who was closely associated with the church from its inception.

Whether or not he was the founder of the church is one of the many matters
in dispute, the church stating that he did not found the church but "... the
Scientology technology and scriptures." A number of other matters are also
in dispute in particular those in the article written by James Murray. The
complainant alleges a violation of a number of principles of the Press Council.
In reply, The Australian, and in particular its writer Mr Murray, insist upon the
veracity of most of the matters of substance contained in the article.

It is not for the Australian Press Council to rule on the veracity of the claims
of either party. This is a particularly controversial matter which in a
democratic society must be the subject of open debate.

The present complaint by the Church of Scientology Inc. is that The
Australian would not publish a rebuttal of the quite severe criticisms made.
The complainant states that documents and evidence proving the
inaccuracies of Mr Murray's article were sent to the editor together with a
letter of retraction which they requested to be published. It was not

The Press Council believes that while there should be an unfettered right
in newspapers to make fair and honest comment in the public interest on
matters such as that of the Church of Scientology Inc., it equally believes
that those criticised should have reasonable access to present their views to
the community. This does not mean that every critical item published
automatically gives rise to a right of reply. The Council does not uphold the

And just for fun, you can search for all Aussie scientology legal cases in this
Aussie government online database:;meta=/au;mask_path=;view=relevance;offset=0