Nick Xenophon fights back

Chess

Patron with Honors
Xenophon ramps up anti-Scientology crusade
By Tim Leslie

Updated 2 hours 24 minutes ago


Senator Nick Xenophon says the Government and Opposition are hiding behind process in blocking an inquiry into The Church of Scientology. (ABC: Tim Leslie)

Map: Brisbane 4000 Related Story: Scientology insider's nightmare childhood Crusading Senator Nick Xenophon has continued to pressure the Government to crack down on The Church of Scientology, addressing an anti-cult conference in Brisbane today.

Speaking at the the Cult Information and Family Support Group Queensland Conference, Senator Xenophon slammed the Government and the Opposition for their cowardice in not supporting his motion to launch an inquiry into The Church of Scientology and its tax free status.

"As many of you know the two major parties joined forces to block this inquiry, that is despite the fact that so many Australian victims of Scientology have shared so many moving and disturbing stories with me," he said.

"I believe there is a certain cowardice in turning your back on people who ask for help and ask just to be heard - Kevin Rudd said he wants to wait for the Henry tax review, as excuses go that's pathetic.

"How dare they - and I include the Government and the Opposition in this - make this about reviews and processes and procedures.

"The shameful thing is that when you make it just about process, you ignore and damage real people."

The Senator's words were met with rapturous applause from the audience, many of whom have been personally involved in organisations such as Scientology.


Stories of pain

The conference also heard from former cult members, including Helen Pomery who has not seen her family in nine years, since leaving the Brisbane Christian Fellowship.

"I bear witness to the reality and the power of coercive persuasion and mind control, because I live with its impact every day of my life," she said.

Ms Pomery told how the elders in the Church had turned her husband and her family against her.

"It is clear that my children now believe that I deserve to be treated with repulsion because now I have left God's holy order order of headship," she said.

"They are fully committed to the elders, the men in turn praise them for being good humble obedient slaves to righteousness, because they have proved they will sacrifice their mother for the sake of the gospel."

Senator Xenophon applauded the courage of former members in coming forward.

"I know a lot of politicians want to pretend this isn't happening, but good people spoke out, they trusted me with their stories and I will not abandon them, even if it seems Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott want to," he said.

"The hardest thing for a victim to do is to speak out. The apathy of our politicians makes it even harder."

The coverage of the allegation levelled against the Church of Scientology has prompted a number of former members to come forward, including Keryn who detailed a childhood of abuse in Sea Org, an arm of Scientology.


Picketing Parliament

Senator Xenophon said he was not put off by the lack of support for the bill, and planned to reintroduce an amended version next week.

He called on attendees to travel to Canberra and tell their stories the MPs in person, saying a number of his colleagues had approached him after the bill was voted down to express their concerns.

"I think if we can get a group of people out the front of Parliament House and actually eyeball the politicians and knock on their doors on Wednesday and Thursday it would be very powerful," he said.

Accepting the limitations of an investigation into Scientology's tax-free status, the South Australian Senator said there needed to be a wide-scale approach to limiting the damage such organisations can cause in Australia.

Senator Xenophon also said he would raise the idea of incorporating cult education into the new national curriculum, after several people attending the conference spoke of need to give people a better understanding of the methods used by cults to lure people in.

"We've got a debate about the national curriculum now, and I think it's a good debate," he said.

"[If we can] come up with a set of proposals ... the sorts of things that should be taught [so] that people are wary of that sort of behaviour, and what people can be roped into, I think that's a good thing and I will personally take that up to Julia Gillard."
 

Arthur Dent

Silver Meritorious Patron
Educating the children about what cults are and how they lure you in is extremely important! I am so glad he sees this.
I hope there is more instant gratification though!
 

practice

Patron with Honors
Educating the children about what cults are and how they lure you in is extremely important! I am so glad he sees this.
I hope there is more instant gratification though!
Something tells me that if you educate a child about what cults are, he'll end up overconfident: "I joined this group and I would know better if it was a cult so it must not be a cult..."
 

minnie

Patron with Honors
I am sure Nick Xenophon would have some great input into what such a cult education would involve. When I was at school, we were briefly taught about cults in one or two Scripture lessons. Scientology was one of the few cults mentioned, and it was coveyed as quite sinister. Too little time was spent discussing it though to leave an effective impression on me when I was routed in off the street and love-bombed some years later. It would be great if many ex-cult members (I'd do it if asked) were scheduled to visit schools, and also if lots of audio-visual material was utilised over several lessons to really get the message across.


Educating the children about what cults are and how they lure you in is extremely important! I am so glad he sees this.
I hope there is more instant gratification though!
 

byte301

Crusader
I'm just so damn glad Xenophon is on our side. If I was the CoS I'd be very worried right about now.
 

Kutta

Silver Meritorious Patron
Picketing Parliament

Senator Xenophon said he was not put off by the lack of support for the bill, and planned to reintroduce an amended version next week.

He called on attendees to travel to Canberra and tell their stories the MPs in person, saying a number of his colleagues had approached him after the bill was voted down to express their concerns.

"I think if we can get a group of people out the front of Parliament House and actually eyeball the politicians and knock on their doors on Wednesday and Thursday it would be very powerful," he said.

Can any of you guys do this???
 

ScudMuffin

Silver Meritorious Patron
TBH, exs who are known and can get there should. Take (obvious) precautions to protect yourselves too.

[edit]

The other option would be unknown exs who could go in there under the SCN radar. Take precautions too.
 

RogerB

Crusader
Xenophon ramps up anti-Scientology crusade
By Tim Leslie

Updated 2 hours 24 minutes ago

Snipped . . . .

Picketing Parliament

Senator Xenophon said he was not put off by the lack of support for the bill, and planned to reintroduce an amended version next week.

He called on attendees to travel to Canberra and tell their stories the MPs in person, saying a number of his colleagues had approached him after the bill was voted down to express their concerns.

"I think if we can get a group of people out the front of Parliament House and actually eyeball the politicians and knock on their doors on Wednesday and Thursday it would be very powerful," he said.

Snipped . . .

Do I see shades of people power being moved to demand of their elected representatives to represent them on their concerns and areas of interest???

Yow . . . democracy might work if folks got off their arses and did something instead of being passive and thinking the "leadership" they voted for knows best . . . .

We need the press to roast the Party-Politicians for being cowards . . and to demand they vote based on the presented facts.

R
 

scooter

Gold Meritorious Patron
Dunno if I can get time off work but I'd be happy to "doorstop" Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott et al at the entrance to Parliament House on their way in, but I'd be asking if I can tell them about the abuses happening RIGHT NOW in the cult so they get that this isn't something that's gone away.

I'm up for it if my boss will allow me time off - time to really stand up I guess.

The cult will probably try to counter-protest too so it would be good if we can get bulk people there - I'd say anons and anyone else (like exes relatives :yes: ) coming along will help.
 

KnightVision

Gold Meritorious Patron
Something tells me that if you educate a child about what cults are, he'll end up overconfident: "I joined this group and I would know better if it was a cult so it must not be a cult..."

Well then, work that into your education. If having the knowledge to circumvent being taken advantage of by cultic practices is a concept that you believe would lead to wrongly identifying group behavior that does not exhibit destructive cultic behavior or actions....

The word confusion comes to mind. The remaining question is are you confused? Or are you attempting to spread confusion?
 

practice

Patron with Honors
Well then, work that into your education. If having the knowledge to circumvent being taken advantage of by cultic practices is a concept that you believe would lead to wrongly identifying group behavior that does not exhibit destructive cultic behavior or actions....

The word confusion comes to mind. The remaining question is are you confused? Or are you attempting to spread confusion?
Um, what?

All I'm saying is, kids will be vulnerable to cult manipulation no matter what you teach them (unless you teach them REALLY well). And if they are unlucky enough to actually be sucked into a cult, I'm not so sure that having been told that they are now invulnerable to cult tactics would be all that helpful to them getting out...
 

freethinker

Sponsor
When Nick Xenophon is done cleaning up Australia, I have a job for him as the US President.

I'll see that the rule that you have to be born here is changed under obviously special circumstances.
 

KnightVision

Gold Meritorious Patron
Educating the children about what cults are and how they lure you in is extremely important! I am so glad he sees this.
I hope there is more instant gratification though!

Something tells me that if you educate a child about what cults are, he'll end up overconfident: "I joined this group and I would know better if it was a cult so it must not be a cult..."

Well then, work that into your education. If having the knowledge to circumvent being taken advantage of by cultic practices is a concept that you believe would lead to wrongly identifying group behavior that does not exhibit destructive cultic behavior or actions....

The word confusion comes to mind. The remaining question is are you confused? Or are you attempting to spread confusion?

Um, what?

All I'm saying is, kids will be vulnerable to cult manipulation no matter what you teach them (unless you teach them REALLY well). And if they are unlucky enough to actually be sucked into a cult, I'm not so sure that having been told that they are now invulnerable to cult tactics would be all that helpful to them getting out...

You're making several assumptions here and using those assumptions to allege that only a near absolute or perfect instruction strategy could possibly make any difference.

Kids (or anybody for that matter) are not all the same.
Knowledge is not assimilated by everybody to the same degree.
Knowledge is not applied by everybody to the same benefit.

So?

Should we not teach children how to develop good dietary habits because some of them will end up McD addicts anyway?
Should we not teach children about substance abuse since some of them will end up addicts anyway?



Knowledge can and will make a difference. It just takes time. More than just reading it in a book... it must be thought about and talked about openly.

Getting the concept into the thinking process early on would be helpful.
 

practice

Patron with Honors
Amusingly, the subjects you bring up are the clearest examples of how our education system fails us.

Dietary habits taught in schools are a joke, as is the education against substance abuse. In fact, most of the "education" we get about substance abuse is complete disinformation.

And I don't doubt that many teachers will teach the subject of cults completely backwards... Imagine if we had C.A.N. teaching kids about cults :no:

But, maybe you're right. I guess there's no harm in bringing up cults in school, but I really doubt it would be all that effective.
 

FlunkedForLaughing

Patron with Honors
Um, what?

All I'm saying is, kids will be vulnerable to cult manipulation no matter what you teach them (unless you teach them REALLY well). And if they are unlucky enough to actually be sucked into a cult, I'm not so sure that having been told that they are now invulnerable to cult tactics would be all that helpful to them getting out...

Anyone is vulnerable to cult "thought-reform" techniques - kids, young adults, and the old. People don't look to join a cult. They end up in a cult by the indoctrination process and the lies and deception to make it look like a good thing to do. This is true of all cults.

I think if someone would have told me about cultish things to watch out for when joining a new group, I might have quit Scn much sooner. It never dawned on me that I was in a cult until 17 years later when Anon started protesting.

I think it should be mandatory to teach kids how someone would get sucked into a cult, so they can recognize it. Yes some kids won't listen, and some might get it wrong, but some might really be helped by it. I don't believe all kids would be vulnerable to cult manipulation no matter what you taught them. That's not a good enough reason not to try to teach them about cults. I know it would have helped me a lot to know about how cults operate. I could have saved many years of my life that were wrapped up in Scientology.
 
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