Fair Work Ombusdman Report - Australia: CoS in breach

Petey C

Silver Meritorious Patron
The cult actually is claiming it as a victory in the media I have read. Yes, both reports have appeared in the media BUT the Ombudsman did not stand by the original draft.

What Free to Shine said. Claiming something doesn't make it true. In fact when you read the report and then see what the CoS is claiming, it makes them look like they need to clear up their "MUs". And the media and the rest of the world, for the most part, aren't fooled by what the cult says. The truth is usually 180 degrees from what the cult says. On that basis, they're saying they lost.
 

Purple Rain

Crusader
Ok, if you guys are all happy with it, great. I can't pretend to feel something I don't, but I'll shut up about it now.

Yes, you have all brought things a long way. When I've felt like it's been a win I've celebrated with the best of them.

Enjoy your win.
 

mate

Patron Meritorious
Some background first. In the late '70s, after I had completed all my class IV tech training, I started on my Organisation Executive Course, OEC, which was based on the Green Volumes. When doing the section on Div 3, Treasury, I discovered that all financial matters were handled by the Guardians Office and as a required exercise I had to witness the weekly handling of receipts/invoices/debits. This consisted of piles of copies of these documents and totals were placed on each pile. There was no physical or digital journal and no ledgers whatsoever, just a calculator print out of totals on top of each pile.

When the GO was “disbanded” and replaced by OSA, this function was taken over by the Flag Banking Officer, FBO, network. In our research, that is the ESMB team, into COSRECI, we discovered that all income is deposited into a special banking account controlled by the FBO of that org. Then directly after 2:00pm on Thursday, the Treasury Secretary submits to their FBO, the org's Gross Income (GI), and the Value of Services Delivered (VSD), and in the case of a Sea Org org, such as AOSH ANZO and CLO ANZO, the FBO transfers 10% of the lesser of the GI and VSD. (For Class V orgs, I believe that they get 40%, but this needs to be confirmed.) The balance of the income is then transferred to Sea Org Reserves in the US which is then sent off-shore in special accounts. Graham Berry has given specific details on this financial manoeuvre.

Orgs are not familiar with financial accounting techniques, with double-entry bookkeeping. To the staff, the term of an Independent Auditor, would be a freezone scientology counsellor.

So the financial figures provided by the CofS to the FWO, are completely bogus. Through their attorney, the CofS would have discovered that they would have to demonstrate that they were financially viable to avoid an administrator. Had an administrator been appointed, they would have been finished.

One might ask, where did these financial figures come from? While I don't have the answers, I have noted that some of the bigger donors to the Ideal Org fund in Sydney, have very successful businesses in the roofing field, and they of course, would have accountants on staff. It wouldn't be difficult to mock up a set of accounts with monthly, designed to satisfy the FWO requirements. Had the FWO got a court order to access the CofS banking accounts, they would have discovered the deception, but unfortunately at this time, they had no reason to expect that a church would falsify such information. Slater and Gordon wont make this mistake.

David.
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
OK, having now gotten through all of this thread, I have this to say.

This actually is a massive win for our Ozzie crusaders.

I can well understand the initial feelings of loss and of being "gutted" . . . but would suggest such initial reaction was due to being very closely emotionally involved; and expecting a little more than was possible on the cases and evidence presented.

Take a more cold-blooded legal view of what has occurred and also been written (in both releases: the draft and the final).

The Fair Work Ombusdman Report is actually saying that the Cof$ is in violation of the law but that based on the evidence as currently available, there is no actionable violation it can proceed on . . . and it is giving clear guidance on the nature of the evidence it needs in order to proceed: and it is asking for it!

Hell, is that a win or is that a win!?!

The ombudsman (and staff) have actually been rather masterful in their handling of this . . . based on the facts presented to it and the evidence available within the context of the law they have to follow . . . the "leaked" report in essence is the limit of their enforcement action at this moment based on the case they have. The final report is clear on the duties of the Cof$ and their need to correct themselves.

And of huge importance, the FWO has ruled the cult is subject to the rules and law the cult has flaunted by the practice of its deceit and lies. That too is a huge win that can be used to take this evil thing apart.

Under cross examination and proper legal definition in court, witness #7 will almost certainly be found to not have been a "volunteer" . . . since as a minor at the time she will surely be found to have been illegally, deceitfully exploited. My memory is that we do have "child labor laws" in Oz . . . this regardless of all the other confines under which the FWO had to conduct his investigation.

In actuality, these proceedings and its report and subsequent publicity are a wonderful win in the direction of attaining the next big and HUGE, very satisfying win :yes:

Rog
^^^ Terrific post ^^^
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Cherished,

This is as good a thread as any to put this on . . .

Your sig at the bottom of your posts:
www.SupportNickXenophon.com.au

I went to the site to do a dono . . . but is tells me "not able to receive yet"

I tried to send an email to Nick and the "whoever receives such" on his site, and it bounced back to me.

?? He and his team may not be aware of this . . . I'm trying to dono from the US.

Otherwise, since you are in the loop with our hero, can you get them or let us know when we can do the right and proper for our man. :p

In many respects I wish I was out there being able to do what I could in terms of physical action . . . but I'll be here for a while.

But must say I am thrilled so see what you guys are doing and accomplishing. Just wonderful.

Rog
Thanks, Rog. I have emailed them to pass on your comments.

If anyone wants to donate immediately, PM me for my email address and you can do it via paypal. Thanks!
 
Some background first. In the late '70s, after I had completed all my class IV tech training, I started on my Organisation Executive Course, OEC, which was based on the Green Volumes. When doing the section on Div 3, Treasury, I discovered that all financial matters were handled by the Guardians Office and as a required exercise I had to witness the weekly handling of receipts/invoices/debits. This consisted of piles of copies of these documents and totals were placed on each pile. There was no physical or digital journal and no ledgers whatsoever, just a calculator print out of totals on top of each pile.

When the GO was “disbanded” and replaced by OSA, this function was taken over by the Flag Banking Officer, FBO, network. In our research, that is the ESMB team, into COSRECI, we discovered that all income is deposited into a special banking account controlled by the FBO of that org. Then directly after 2:00pm on Thursday, the Treasury Secretary submits to their FBO, the org's Gross Income (GI), and the Value of Services Delivered (VSD), and in the case of a Sea Org org, such as AOSH ANZO and CLO ANZO, the FBO transfers 10% of the lesser of the GI and VSD. (For Class V orgs, I believe that they get 40%, but this needs to be confirmed.) The balance of the income is then transferred to Sea Org Reserves in the US which is then sent off-shore in special accounts. Graham Berry has given specific details on this financial manoeuvre.

Orgs are not familiar with financial accounting techniques, with double-entry bookkeeping. To the staff, the term of an Independent Auditor, would be a freezone scientology counsellor.

So the financial figures provided by the CofS to the FWO, are completely bogus. Through their attorney, the CofS would have discovered that they would have to demonstrate that they were financially viable to avoid an administrator. Had an administrator been appointed, they would have been finished.

One might ask, where did these financial figures come from? While I don't have the answers, I have noted that some of the bigger donors to the Ideal Org fund in Sydney, have very successful businesses in the roofing field, and they of course, would have accountants on staff. It wouldn't be difficult to mock up a set of accounts with monthly, designed to satisfy the FWO requirements. Had the FWO got a court order to access the CofS banking accounts, they would have discovered the deception, but unfortunately at this time, they had no reason to expect that a church would falsify such information. Slater and Gordon wont make this mistake.

David.
QUOTE ".. Had the FWO got a court order to access the CofS banking accounts, they would have discovered the deception, but unfortunately at this time, they had no reason to expect that a church would falsify such information. Slater and Gordon wont make this mistake..."

I don't know how much actual data you have about this...so I am just wondering.......
Did they not get a court order?
Why would they have "no reason" to expect a church would falsify such information? I would have thought they would have been provided with every reason to expect falsification, misleading, lying, hiding, etc. People have been talkng to FWO about these things haven't they?
Have you spoken to FWO, mate?
As I said, I don't know nuthin about it myself, so I am not attacking anyone here, just wondering if FWO could be as much in the dark as you suggest.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Cherished, not much has been mentioned about Freeloader debts and how they relate to being 'volunteers'. Are they being taken seriously by FWO?
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Ok, if you guys are all happy with it, great. I can't pretend to feel something I don't, but I'll shut up about it now.

Yes, you have all brought things a long way. When I've felt like it's been a win I've celebrated with the best of them.

Enjoy your win.
Purple, keep your champagne in the fridge, because the minute one of the next few exes lined up is determined to be an ex and within the time frame, all hell will break loose. :)

For those who are thinking how could we lose 8 out of 8?

The fact is that several of those 8 KNEW that they were outside the time limits. They made their complaints so that the FWO would have corroborating evidence to support the claims of those within time. Others have been affected by the fact that the states covered labour law until recently and still do in some circumstances. The FWO is federal. So, some people might be recent, but their case isn't covered by the FWO's jurisdiction. Believe me, the jurisdictional issues are tortuous to work through, even for lawyers.

Also, a number of the people who are lined up have been waiting for up to a year to be dealt with. The FWO obviously decided it needed to get its legal position settled before spending time on adding people to the investigation.

Now, it knows that it could very easily find an employee - it all depends upon what the person intended; ie were they thinking they were joining as an employee or a volunteer?

Expect the first employee to be identified soon. :)
 

Purple Rain

Crusader
Purple, keep your champagne in the fridge, because the minute one of the next few exes lined up is determined to be an ex and within the time frame, all hell will break loose. :)

For those who are thinking how could we lose 8 out of 8?

The fact is that several of those 8 KNEW that they were outside the time limits. They made their complaints so that the FWO would have corroborating evidence to support the claims of those within time. Others have been affected by the fact that the states covered labour law until recently and still do in some circumstances. The FWO is federal. So, some people might be recent, but their case isn't covered by the FWO's jurisdiction. Believe me, the jurisdictional issues are tortuous to work through, even for lawyers.

Also, a number of the people who are lined up have been waiting for up to a year to be dealt with. The FWO obviously decided it needed to get its legal position settled before spending time on adding people to the investigation.

Now, it knows that it could very easily find an employee - it all depends upon what the person intended; ie were they thinking they were joining as an employee or a volunteer?

Expect the first employee to be identified soon. :)

Thankyou, Cherished! Gosh, I like you! The media I have read has been terribly discouraging.

This has upset me quite a lot: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/br...h-of-scientology/story-e6frf7ko-1226139289378

THE Church of Scientology has fired up against the Fair Work Ombudsman saying it is being "misleading in the extreme".

The complaint follows a release to the media on the final findings of an investigation into whether church workers were paid properly.

Church legal counsel, Ms Louise McBride, said the media release was "misleading in the extreme".

"The central finding was positive for the Church: that none of the complainants are employees and were in fact volunteers," she said.

"We have contacted the FWO and asked they amend their media release."

"The finding makes suggestions about what the Church 'might do' but no orders have been made directing the Church to do anything," Ms McBride said.
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
So the financial figures provided by the CofS to the FWO, are completely bogus. Through their attorney, the CofS would have discovered that they would have to demonstrate that they were financially viable to avoid an administrator. Had an administrator been appointed, they would have been finished.

One might ask, where did these financial figures come from? While I don't have the answers, I have noted that some of the bigger donors to the Ideal Org fund in Sydney, have very successful businesses in the roofing field, and they of course, would have accountants on staff. It wouldn't be difficult to mock up a set of accounts with monthly, designed to satisfy the FWO requirements. Had the FWO got a court order to access the CofS banking accounts, they would have discovered the deception, but unfortunately at this time, they had no reason to expect that a church would falsify such information. Slater and Gordon wont make this mistake.

David.
David, thanks for this. I understood (perhaps incorrectly, I shall have to check again) that the FWO obtained the accounts lodged by COSA with the NSW Registry of Co-operatives & Associations.

I understand that the church's accountants are two OTVIII's. Of course, that doesn't mean that the management accounts are kept according to Australian Standards. I fully expect that they keep according to policy, as you say.



 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
QUOTE ".. Had the FWO got a court order to access the CofS banking accounts, they would have discovered the deception, but unfortunately at this time, they had no reason to expect that a church would falsify such information. Slater and Gordon wont make this mistake..."

I don't know how much actual data you have about this...so I am just wondering.......
Did they not get a court order?
Why would they have "no reason" to expect a church would falsify such information? I would have thought they would have been provided with every reason to expect falsification, misleading, lying, hiding, etc. People have been talkng to FWO about these things haven't they?
Have you spoken to FWO, mate?
As I said, I don't know nuthin about it myself, so I am not attacking anyone here, just wondering if FWO could be as much in the dark as you suggest.
The finances of the COSA would not have been a focus of the investigation. All they needed to determine was whether COSA was a "trading corporation" - for jurisdictional reasons. To do that, they had to decide that the sale of books was a substantial or significant part of its activities. The figures tell the story.
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Cherished, not much has been mentioned about Freeloader debts and how they relate to being 'volunteers'. Are they being taken seriously by FWO?
FTS, my hunch is that the FWO decided to adopt a very narrow view of how to determine a person was an employee or volunteer, because they didn't have a person within jurisdiction who articulated clearly enough that they were an employee. That is not a reflection on the claimant, by the way. Asking a young person what they thought when they were 14 can require very sophisticated questioning. For whatever reason, they decided, I think, to wait for a really clear case.

I'm sure they're taking freeloader debts seriously.
 

xseaorguk

Patron Meritorious
I still have a copy of my freeloader bill.
Of course written by somebody, who is no longer at Saint Hill (Ewen Guy)

I was even silly enough to pay it back.

The threat at the time was that you may get declared an SP, and would not be
"in good standing".

When I think how young and gullible I was::angry:
 

nothappyjan

New Member
It is beyond me how the Church can claim a victory on this when it is an ongoing inquiry. The way I see it the more we get the information out there the more the Church is exposed which will make it even harder for the church to operate as normal.

While I have had many negative experiences while in the CoS the most difficult times were to do with my children being employed by the church. I am one of those unfortunate and unsuspecting parents that had children at the ripe age to be recruited by the church. This in itself I could write a book about, the pressure, the promises, the emotional black mail, etc. etc. etc , then the devastation to the individual child and the family when it goes wrong.

Our first son joined staff at Canberra Org at 16 years old. It was dreadful, he was ringing me nearly everyday complaining to me that it wasn't what he was told it would be. I also was sending him money every week so he could support himself. When I approached the ED about the way he was being treated I was told that he was a problem and could even be an SP and I may have to disconnect from him. He received a very hard time about wanting to leave. In the end I went and got him. After he left he told me that they were telling him that I could be an SP and that he may have to disconnect from me.

He received a free loaders bill and they pressured and pressured me to pay it and I refused until they told me that the children in the SO wouldn't get Xmas presents that year unless I paid it. I paid it.

Our second son was just under 15 year when he joined the SO Sydney. He also hated it, he worked out very early that he had been mislead. They gave him a dreadful time when he wanted to leave so much so that he was never the same again, what I mean by that is he lost all his confidence etc etc

Our third child a daughter at the age of 13 was approached by the SO Sydney and Canberra Org without our knowledge. They painted such an exciting picture of life as a staff member that she was really enthusiastic about joining staff and going overseas for training and it would be like a holiday etc etc they would even talk to her school and arrange for her to take two years off and she could go back to school when she came back. Well I put my foot down and said no as I had learnt by then how they mislead the kids. This caused a argument between my daughter and myself. She is now 23 years old and just recently she thanked me very much for stopping her from joining.

So to do with all this, I am very clear as to what I was told would be the conditions of their employment. They were employed as staff, on a wage which was a % of the Church income for the week. I was told they would have enough to live on and on top of that they would be trained and audited up the bridge. Of course this didn't happen.

Now all this took place outside the time period that the FWO has to work with but if at any time in the future if there is a department that I can put in a complaint to I will have no hesitation in doing so.

This was all known to the upper management as I sent several complaints into Sydney when this was happening.

I would like to thank those, ( and you all know who you are ), from the bottom of my heart for the work you have done on this and the continuing work ahead. Every time I see the truth being exposed I feel a little bit of justice.
 

Petey C

Silver Meritorious Patron
The fat lady told me that she's so blown away by the work the ozzies are doing to bust the cult that she had to eat some cake to celebrate, but that whenever she got done she would most certainly sing.


fat_lady_eating_cake.jpg

Where did you get that picture of me??!! Did that come from one of my PC folders then???!!
 

Zhent

Leakus Maximus
The finances of the COSA would not have been a focus of the investigation. All they needed to determine was whether COSA was a "trading corporation" - for jurisdictional reasons. To do that, they had to decide that the sale of books was a substantial or significant part of its activities. The figures tell the story.

I think the CoS's finances should be put under significant scrutiny now, if for reasons completely unrelated to the FWO, namely for PR and exposing the church's obscene hypocrisy.

As anyone who has read my Sydney Ideal Org thread will know, Scientology are having enormous trouble readying the damn development to be started. Its now been over two years since they vacated 201 Castlereagh St for a 'temporary location'. This is a huge issue for them, particularly to the public who have been pouring endless money into what is essentially a black hole.
However it has been revealed in the finances the CoS (COSA) has tens of millions of dollars on tap, and is raking in a huge income all the time. Why is the 'church' not funding the Ideal Org? Have they been completely misleading their own public with regards to their financial situation? Where are the Ideal Org donations going? Their fund-raising campaign seems fraudulent, and even worse... with $0 coming from reserves and 100% coming from a never ending donation drive it is 100% squirrel!!!

I think the public Scientologists would be furious if they found out they had been bled dry of cash for nothing when the church had the money all along.

Yes, there is much win and useful material to be found in the final report, you just need to start looking in less obvious places! :coolwink:

(PS. can someone else please review the finances and confirm my findings?)
 
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RogerB

Crusader
The cult actually is claiming it as a victory in the media I have read. Yes, both reports have appeared in the media BUT the Ombudsman did not stand by the original draft.

Well of course they lie, as usual, it's their "standard PR tech."

The only win they can claim on this is that they did not get hit as hard as they feared and deserved. But this event is no win for them: no way.

There are practical and ethical reasons why the Ozzie Ombudsman watered down his draft report in the presentation of his final report . . . but what a master stroke it was to "leak" the draft report to slam the cult.

He has very clearly and cleverly put everyone on notice of what he is continuing to investigate and very clearly calling for evidence of the violations he cited that he can act on! Anyone with intelligence can read the fact that, under the law he has to operate, most of the evidence he has so far been presented with, though he agrees to its factuality, is beyond the 6 years statute of limitation and cannot be acted on by the Office he represents.

Achieving the outcome achieved so far by our intrepid Ozzies is wonderful . . . face the fact that they have achieved an ONGOING INVESTIGATION INTO THE CULT BY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY. And further, they have achieved a hugely wounding exposure of the cults dangers to more and more media and public. Just ask the honest question: how many people have been further turned off and against the cult by this latest campaign by our gang? That alone is a huge win.

But my question of you PR is, why the hell are you selling the Cof$ story that this is a win for them?

R
 
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RogerB

Crusader
FTS, my hunch is that the FWO decided to adopt a very narrow view of how to determine a person was an employee or volunteer, because they didn't have a person within jurisdiction who articulated clearly enough that they were an employee. That is not a reflection on the claimant, by the way. Asking a young person what they thought when they were 14 can require very sophisticated questioning. For whatever reason, they decided, I think, to wait for a really clear case.

I'm sure they're taking freeloader debts seriously.

Yes, very correct.

To ask a person a loosely worded question such as, "Did you volunteer . . . ?" of a young person in reference to what they thought at age 14-15 years old is going to miss the mark.

If it had been asked of me in those circumstances, my answer would have been based on my understanding that I did voluntarily join staff and submit to its rules . . . it would not have been answered in the context that I had knowingly joined, not as paid staff, but as a volunteer worker not expecting to be paid or to be paid only "expenses."

Questioning of witnesses in this respect requires the witness understand the legal basis of the question being asked so they can answer it correctly. Slater-Gordon will get that one right! And hopefully all new witnesses before the Ombudsman will have a correct understanding of what is in actuality being asked. :biggrin:

:p And I sort of think one of our Oz friends will now make sure they do! :biggrin::biggrin::yes:

R
 
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