Fair Work Ombusdman Report - Australia: CoS in breach

Purple Rain

Crusader
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

Nick Xenophon called the report disappointing. Tony Ortega said they dodged a bullet. The story can be spun either way. I'm all for optimism and perseverence, but I'm so over drinking the Kool Aid and calling a disappointing outcome a huge win. For years I believed there was a big man in the sky who was strong enough and cared enough to heal my disabled daughter. I believed that OTs could do the same shit. I just want to call a spade a spade, and if it has shit on it I'll say so.

So spin it however you want, the result does not make me want to jump for joy and party and that is the truth. I believe there is more the Ombudsman could have done and that is the truth. I feel how I feel and that is the truth. Is that clear enough for you? Or perhaps I'm just an SP. I no longer know or care.
 

Happy Days

Silver Meritorious Patron
Nick Xenophon called the report disappointing. Tony Ortega said they dodged a bullet. The story can be spun either way. I'm all for optimism and perseverence, but I'm so over drinking the Kool Aid and calling a disappointing outcome a huge win. For years I believed there was a big man in the sky who was strong enough and cared enough to heal my disabled daughter. I believed that OTs could do the same shit. I just want to call a spade a spade, and if it has shit on it I'll say so.

So spin it however you want, the result does not make me want to jump for joy and party and that is the truth. I believe there is more the Ombudsman could have done and that is the truth. I feel how I feel and that is the truth. Is that clear enough for you? Or perhaps I'm just an SP. I no longer know or care.

This is work in progress ... working with any government department has it process. This is just one report that in itself highlighted serious issues within the CoS recruitment practices and treatment of its human resources.

It may not have been the huge win we were looking for but it is, I believe, a step in the right direction. Maybe I'm just a 'glass half full' kinda gal. :)
 

Kutta

Silver Meritorious Patron
The legal approach that the Ozzies are taking could see the collapse of scientology, not only in Australia, but also, if it were able to be applied elsewhere, wherever they operate.

To me it seems the most effective road to take.

The wonderful work done by Tory and many like her, Anonymous, the internet, the media etc is so important and must continue. And yet while many are leaving as a result, scientology can and does carry on abusing those still within its orbit.

So the Ozzy critics are taking them on in the legal arena in 2 areas that enable scientology to stay afloat and continue their abusive practices: the religious cloak/tax-free status (through the Public Benefit test) and the $millions the scientology organization amasses for the benefit of the few (through the current FWO investigation and the lawyers' class action).

As usual with corruption, it comes down to the money. That's how you get them every time.

The Australian legal context is particularly enabling of the Ozzie gladiators' current activities. Australia has always had a strong union movement that has fought for workers' rights and fights to protect those rights.

I'm not Australian, but I would expect their labour laws to be similar to those here in NZ.

Such rights include, as I understand it:

1. A minimum hourly wage that must legally be paid.

2. Annual holidays. I think it is 4 weeks.

3. Extra pay for overtime and working on public holidays. Should an employee be required to work on a public holiday, they must be paid the legal extra. It could be time and a half for example, or double [or is it triple?] on Christmas Day etc and also given time off 'in lieu'.

4. Paid maternity leave - not sure how long, maybe 4 weeks, possibly longer.

5. An independant arbitration court to resolve employment issues.

These come to mind. Others may think of more.

I don't know if such legal protections exist in other countries, but if they were, and surely there are labour laws with at least some teeth, I believe it would be worth while for any who are willing to gird their loins and go for it. There could be a major negative effect on the entire scientology organization — a crippling effect that would force it to operate in such a way that staff are treated humanely and remunerated fairly.

True believers could continue to practise, but how long it would survive is anyone's guess.

All this depends on sorting out the volunteer vs employee designation. That must be where the efforts are concentrated now I believe.


The barrage of bad PR makes it seem as though you would have to be brain dead to remain a scientologist. Yet we know that people are somehow persuaded that it all stems from SPs or the evil psychs — and SO members never get to see or read it anyway.

Imo, scientology will only be brought to heel by applying the laws of the land.
 
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oneonewasaracecar

Gold Meritorious Patron
The thing that is difficult for people to understand - in the normal world - is why people stayed. Until the full extend of the brainwashing and the policies of disconnection and so on are understood, it's a hard one.

I take this as a great leap forward. The walls crumble a brick at a time.... and it's going to be fun to watch them try and say who is a volunteer with FW looking over their shoulder :)
In a Canberra protest, I had this problem in getting this point across to one of the people. They don't understand that there is coersion and brainwashing and that it isn't the simple matter of making a free choice. Unfortunately, there isn't any recognition in society that brainwashing isn't entirely the victim's fault.
 

oneonewasaracecar

Gold Meritorious Patron
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.
This is a very important point. If there is a class action lawsuit, it will be revealed that Scientology lied about money in an investigation about a fiancial issue.

In any case, it is great that you point out that a pathway is being laid out for a massive group action. Both the FWO report and the probable lies told by Scientology will make it very difficult for Scientology's position in court to be believed. This is like sculpture. One chip at a time. They have, as Zhent has pointed out, given us the next line of slogans for our next protest. They have many millions of dollars, so where is the org?

It isn't a beheading, but it is a poison dart. Scientology will limp away from this in a very, very vulnerable position.

You mocked up your banks accounts. Please audit yourself. Any withheld money?
 

Purple Rain

Crusader
This is a very important point. If there is a class action lawsuit, it will be revealed that Scientology lied about money in an investigation about a fiancial issue.

In any case, it is great that you point out that a pathway is being laid out for a massive group action. Both the FWO report and the probable lies told by Scientology will make it very difficult for Scientology's position in court to be believed. This is like sculpture. One chip at a time. They have, as Zhent has pointed out, given us the next line of slogans for our next protest. They have many millions of dollars, so where is the org?

It isn't a beheading, but it is a poison dart. Scientology will limp away from this in a very, very vulnerable position.

You mocked up your banks accounts. Please audit yourself. Any withheld money?

Thanks for that post, Racecar. Well, I do look up to you guys, and also if Cherished tells me to put champagne in the fridge I'm buying some damned champagne and stick it in the fridge! Although I no longer drink as a general rule, I will make an exception for when that day comes! Hope things are going well in Sydney.

Cheers,
Purple
 

FoTi

Crusader
I am tending to agree with Cherished and TG1.

If the report was too strongly worded and too aggressive, would have given more ground to overturn and fight. It states there is a problem from a government body. It opens the door to a class action. The cos can't fight it because they have already publicly announced they are delighted with it. It changes the way they have to deal with the staff they have, and with new hires. See how many people will join with out the promise of being paid for what they produce, that they are volunteers and may get nothing. This may or may not have a significant impact.

It also brings to light a point that many people, especially young people or poorly educated people don't understand what is legal and illegal. They don't realize that Australia is a fairly socialist country with heavy worker rights. This is almost a profound problem. I didn't know many of the things that happened to me or were "normal" were in fact illegal. A decade out and I am still learning and realizing that I don't know so much of the law, and things I thought were acceptable or insignificant while I was in were in fact illegal.

I was 15 when I joined the SO. A 15 year old doesn't know or understand a whole lot of the law, civil rights and liberties. My understanding of what I was getting into was wrong, yet I stayed in for more than a decade. I did not know how society worked, what rights I had, or that any civil or regulatory agencies were in support of my personal rights. Really, while in, I considered society was conspiring against us.

Children should be educated about this when they are in school and growing up so that when they become old enough to work or hold a job, they will know their rights and what is legal and illegal, so that they cannot be taken advantage of.
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
. . .
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.

Thanks Jan,

I'm always disgusted to read these stories about manipulative people preying on families, and getting involved where they simply don't belong... but thank you for sharing your story.

Even if it's outside the FWO's remit, it's still important that you should be heard. There may be another parent lurking on ESMB right now, who's coming under pressure to give up a teenage child to the Sea Org. This has to end. Maybe we can't win you any compensation. Maybe we can't restore the part of their childhood that Scientology has stolen from all those victims... but I think we can make sure that it doesn't happen again.

Public opinion matters. Journalists don't operate under a statute of limitations. Heck, families don't suffer such a limitation either. (To any lurker reading this - reconnect with your loved ones!)

It's very easy to distinguish right from wrong, when it comes to what Scientology does to families. It's clear that Hubbard hated family life. He even sought to eradicate the word 'love', replacing it with 'affinity'.

Scientology has to end.
 

RogerB

Crusader
Nick Xenophon called the report disappointing. Tony Ortega said they dodged a bullet. The story can be spun either way. I'm all for optimism and perseverence, but I'm so over drinking the Kool Aid and calling a disappointing outcome a huge win. For years I believed there was a big man in the sky who was strong enough and cared enough to heal my disabled daughter. I believed that OTs could do the same shit. I just want to call a spade a spade, and if it has shit on it I'll say so.

So spin it however you want, the result does not make me want to jump for joy and party and that is the truth. I believe there is more the Ombudsman could have done and that is the truth. I feel how I feel and that is the truth. Is that clear enough for you? Or perhaps I'm just an SP. I no longer know or care.

Well, Purple, you have expressed how you feel . . . that's fair enough. That's how you feel . . .

How you feel is one thing, we all feel something on this, and feel different things about different parts of it.

The issue as to facts are that the cult has been slammed by this action . . . not as much as we hoped nor as much as the cult feared . . . but those are the facts I speak on.

That's the simple proposition . . . and I asked you why you were singing the C0f$ song that they "won" when it was clearly a lose for them . . . . and you have given an answer :yes: it's your feelings . . .

R
 
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Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Thanks for that post, Racecar. Well, I do look up to you guys, and also if Cherished tells me to put champagne in the fridge I'm buying some damned champagne and stick it in the fridge! Although I no longer drink as a general rule, I will make an exception for when that day comes! Hope things are going well in Sydney.

Cheers,
Purple
Let non-drinkers substitute their own form of ultimate celebration instead of champagne!

Chocolate cake?
Cafe grande ice cream?

Whatever floats your boat...
 

Purple Rain

Crusader
Well, Purple, you have expressed how you feel . . . that's fair enough. That's how you feel . . .

How you feel is one thing, we all feel something on this, and feel different things about different parts of it.

The issue as to facts are that the cult has been slammed by this action . . . not as much as we hoped nor as much as the cult feared . . . but those are the facts I speak on.

That's the simple proposition . . . and I asked you why you were singing the C0f$ song that they "won" when it was clearly a lose for them . . . . and you have given an answer :yes: it's your feelings . . .

R

What exactly did they lose?
 

RogerB

Crusader
Hi Roger,
I suspect you have overlooked the Nothing Box Theory.
David.

???? means naught to me . . . umm, ???
:biggrin::biggrin:

And I do remember the TED vid where "the Nothing Box" that we men have and resort to was explained . . . but I'm trying to apply the theory here and all I get is ????

Though in case you mean I'm only looking at one thing . . . not so. I've simply explained only one thing, this to point out some incomplete notions expressed here.

R
 

Rene Descartes

Gold Meritorious Patron
I'd really love to hear someone from the Church explain to the Australian government, well actually to any government, how "workers" who are volunteers can end up with a freeloaders debt if they leave before the contract is up.

The potential tongue rolling on an answer to that question could make the US investigation into steroids in baseball look like an amateur yodeling contest.

Rd00
 

mate

Patron Meritorious
Roger,
It sounds like you are in your nothing box now.

No, I wasn't referring to the "men's brains", on the contrary, I was referring to where "everytning is connected to everything", and yet you were attempting to separate two aspects to a "everytning is connected to everything".

For those in mystery, see http://biggeekdad.com/2011/07/the-nothing-box/

David.

???? means naught to me . . . umm, ???
:biggrin::biggrin:

And I do remember the TED vid where "the Nothing Box" that we men have and resort to was explained . . . but I'm trying to apply the theory here and all I get is ????

Though in case you mean I'm only looking at one thing . . . not so. I've simply explained only one thing, this to point out some incomplete notions expressed here.

R
 

sallydannce

Gold Meritorious Patron
Can someone please help me understand how a 'volunteer' could possibly be assessed and charged a 'freeloader's debt' if they decide to stop volunteering?

Yeah I'd really like to hear an explanation on the freeloaders thing too.

Also it has been on my mind about the staff contract and the volunteer agreements (forget what the latter is called off-hand).

There is policy for volunteers. It’s in green vol one (and NO I won’t look it up! I've given that shit up for good!)

There are staff members with "full privileges". They sign the “staff contract”. In my experience staff members were aware they were staff and would be monetarily compensated, etc. Then there are volunteers (which is covered in policy) and they sign a volunteers agreement thingie and don’t expect anything except a warm fluffy internal self-satisfying and often smug, glow. Also in my experience, the volunteer agreement thingies were used as a type of runway for people who could not commit to a full staff contract. "Can't join staff? Become a volunteer until you can!"

So if the staff (who sign the staff contract) are considered volunteers and not therefore subject to any employment laws what are the real volunteers (who sign a volunteers agreement thingie)? Chopped onions?

A volunteer per policy doesn’t get any monetary compensation nor any “free” (throat clearing) services. Contracted staff members get a few coins thrown their way from time to time and some “free” (bugger this throat of mine!) services – which they get relentlessly harassed to pay back should they have an original thought and leave before the draconian staff contract is completed.

A staff member is a staff member. A volunteer is a volunteer. Per policy. The former is informed they will get “privileges” (monetary compensation and some services). A volunteer knows they are a volunteer and will not get monetary compensation or services. Per policy.

Has anyone else thought about this? The friggin cult itself separates out staff from volunteers. Per policy.
 
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