Sydney Morning Herald -inquiry

I have highlighted one bit just for fun. Not to say it's more important than anything else.

Quote;

"'Ruthless' Scientology condemned in tax debate
KIRSTY NEEDHAM
June 29, 2010

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Louise McBride ... defending Scientology. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

Former members of the Church of Scientology have told a Senate committee of the ''ruthlessness'' of the church and its judicial system, and argued it should not be eligible for tax-free status.

''Australian taxpayers should not be funding systematic, organised abuse,'' said Janette Vonthehoff, who said her passport was taken from her and she was forcibly prevented from returning to Australia from the US when eight weeks' pregnant because the organisation ordered she must finish ''training''.

Ms Vonthehoff said she resigned from the organisation in 2007 because of bullying, two coerced abortions and Scientology justice proceedings which included its own court hearings.
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A Sydney tax lawyer and social identity, Louise McBride, defended the group and clashed with the independent senator Nick Xenophon during the hearing.

Senator Xenophon accused Ms McBride of being ''unprofessional'' for suggesting the committee was ''making a mockery of the law'' by considering his private member's bill. The bill seeks a tax-law amendment that would require religious and charitable organisations to meet a public benefit test.

Ms McBride said she was not a Scientologist and had never been to a Scientology church. She said, ''You are singling out a group in a government bill as the purpose of the bill. [It] is discrimination; but for parliamentary privilege, it would amount to libel.''

Another former member, James Anderson, said he and his wife had paid up to $1.2 million in Scientology training fees.

Senator Xenophon said Scientology ''auditing'' sessions were regarded by some as a cross between personal counselling and Maoist self-criticism, and had been a factor in the British Charity Commission deciding against granting it tax-free status there.

The Church of Scientology social reform director, Virginia Stewart, said the sessions made members ''a better person'', and the fee charged formed the basis of donations to the organisation.

When asked about members paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for training, Ms Stewart replied: ''I don't think courses within the Church of Scientology come to those sums.''

Australia had a proud tradition of religious tolerance and the bill would ''[put] at risk the financial future of charities and religions in Australia'', Ms Stewart said.

However, Senator Doug Cameron said there was nothing in the bill about religious freedom, and it was ''a nonsense'' to say it would be the death of Scientology.

The Scientology New Zealand representative, Mike Feriss, said a charities commission in New Zealand - with a similar public benefit test - had not impacted on Scientology's operation.

But Mr Feriss could not explain why the organisation's income fell from $2.6 million to $374,000 the year after the commission required it to publish financial statements. His first reply, that it was due to the currency exchange rate, was laughed at by the committee.

When Senator Xenophon asked the organisation if it would be concerned if organisations involved in systematic harm were given tax-free status, Ms McBride said ''Yes'', but said the same scrutiny should apply to the Catholic Church.

A lawyer for other charities, Andrew Lind, said he supported a charities commission, but warned against creating a law that applied to all charities in order to deal with one organisation. "
 

Alanzo

Bardo Tulpa
But Mr Feriss could not explain why the organisation's income fell from $2.6 million to $374,000 the year after the commission required it to publish financial statements. His first reply, that it was due to the currency exchange rate, was laughed at by the committee.


That was quite a moment.

It was when the world got to see a "shore story" in action.

And the world made the appropriate response to Scientology: laughing at it.

 

Arthur Dent

Silver Meritorious Patron
That is a good laugh. Yes, what parishioners will be so happy to "donate" when it is no longer tax deductible. But don't worry! The cofs will come up with a bizarre 'bright idea' to make up the difference. Maybe they would like to make all Australian scientologists move to the U.S. where they can continue to freely make tax exempt donations! There will be no relenting on the traditional squeeze.
 

GreyWolf

Gold Meritorious Patron
I think the test should go through because all carities need to be looked at. There are a lot of bogus ones out there at this would slim them down some.
 

byte301

Crusader
I was pretty surprised when Stewart lied about the "donation" prices. Is she really that stupid?

Her statement can be so easily proven to be false it's laughable.
 

Alanzo

Bardo Tulpa
The OSA Chick also said that she had never heard of "Fair Game".

An OSA rep sits in front of Parliament and tells them that she is unaware of Fair Game.

That should be prosecuted as lying to Parliament.
 

byte301

Crusader
The OSA Chick also said that she had never heard of "Fair Game".

An OSA rep sits in front of Parliament and tells them that she is unaware of Fair Game.

That should be prosecuted as lying to Parliament.

Yep. I lol'd at that one too. I can just imagine what Xenophon was thinking!

:D
 

Thrak

Gold Meritorious Patron
Now the cult's eligibility for freedom is being put into question. About fucking time.
 

Miss Pert

Silver Meritorious Patron
That is a good laugh. Yes, what parishioners will be so happy to "donate" when it is no longer tax deductible. But don't worry! The cofs will come up with a bizarre 'bright idea' to make up the difference. Maybe they would like to make all Australian scientologists move to the U.S. where they can continue to freely make tax exempt donations! There will be no relenting on the traditional squeeze.

In case ya didn't know Arthur, although the "church" doesn't have to pay taxes the Aussie members don't get to claim any of the money they spend. So except for idle org donations, money spent by members isn't tax deductable.
 

Carmel

Crusader
The OSA Chick also said that she had never heard of "Fair Game".

An OSA rep sits in front of Parliament and tells them that she is unaware of Fair Game.

That should be prosecuted as lying to Parliament.
As the chairman stated, it would be "contempt" to lie to or mislead the committee. There were a few instances where she lied and/or misled. I'll be pointing these out in my additional submission, which on Monday we were given the invitation to submit.

I hope this gets taken further. It's one thing to lie to or mislead to the media, but quite another to do it during a Federal Senate Committee hearing.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
As the chairman stated, it would be "contempt" to lie to or mislead the committee. There were a few instances where she lied and/or misled. I'll be pointing these out in my additional submission, which on Monday we were given the invitation to submit.

I hope this gets taken further. It's one thing to lie to or mislead to the media, but quite another to do it during a Federal Senate Committee hearing.

Excellent.
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
I was pretty surprised when Stewart lied about the "donation" prices. Is she really that stupid?

Her statement can be so easily proven to be false it's laughable.
She actually didn't lie there. She told "a truth" in that the question asked something like "spend 100s of thousands on training courses?" Her answer was correct, you'd have to put together a pretty extensive array of *training courses* to get anywhere close to that amount and probably still wouldn't get anything like "100s of thousands". She (cleverly or inadvertently) answered the question accurately. The language of the question allowed her to do that. If Nick had asked "spend 100s of thousands on training and processing?" her answer *may* have been different.

I'm not defending her, I'm just pointing out that loose language leaves lots of wriggle room.
 

I told you I was trouble

Suspended animation
Re Fair Game ...

As the chairman stated, it would be "contempt" to lie to or mislead the committee. There were a few instances where she lied and/or misled. I'll be pointing these out in my additional submission, which on Monday we were given the invitation to submit.

I hope this gets taken further. It's one thing to lie to or mislead to the media, but quite another to do it during a Federal Senate Committee hearing.

I was stunned when I heard this ... is she not aware that we have access to cult policy and dox and will not hesitate to hand them over to the committee (or already have)?

It seemed so pointless and dangerous to sit there and lie and attempt to mislead intelligent and informed people.

Are they living in a such a different world to the rest of us that they really genuinely do not GET what is going on, and if they are, I (almost) feel sorry for them.
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
I was stunned when I heard this ... is she not aware that we have access to cult policy and dox and will not hesitate to hand them over to the committee (or already have)?

It seemed so pointless and dangerous to sit there and lie and attempt to mislead intelligent and informed people.

Are they living in a such a different world to the rest of us that they really genuinely do not GET what is going on, and if they are, I (almost) feel sorry for them.

I think they really have created their own reality and that they really are that out of touch. When I was "in" I remember Scios constantly criticizing "wogs" for being so unaware and so "at effect". The general population was honestly thought of and talked about as if they were implanted, other-determined meat. I think they grossly underestimate the ability of "wogs" to "obnose" and "make it go right".

-TL

p.s. Miss Pert this "idle org" comment just cracked me up -- that's the perfect name for them!! :thumbsup:

In case ya didn't know Arthur, although the "church" doesn't have to pay taxes the Aussie members don't get to claim any of the money they spend. So except for idle org donations, money spent by members isn't tax deductable.
 

byte301

Crusader
She actually didn't lie there. She told "a truth" in that the question asked something like "spend 100s of thousands on training courses?" Her answer was correct, you'd have to put together a pretty extensive array of *training courses* to get anywhere close to that amount and probably still wouldn't get anything like "100s of thousands". She (cleverly or inadvertently) answered the question accurately. The language of the question allowed her to do that. If Nick had asked "spend 100s of thousands on training and processing?" her answer *may* have been different.

I'm not defending her, I'm just pointing out that loose language leaves lots of wriggle room.

Good point, PT. I would have to agree now that you point out the wording.

I'm just wondering how much a person could spend doing all those re-treads because of GAT?

I always wondered why SO freeloader debts were so huge considering they don't get much auditing. I suppose being sent to Flag for training would rachet up the bill considerably.
 

I told you I was trouble

Suspended animation
I think they really have created their own reality and that they really are that out of touch. When I was "in" I remember Scios constantly criticizing "wogs" for being so unaware and so "at effect". The general population was honestly thought of and talked about as if they were implanted, other-determined meat. I think they grossly underestimate the ability of "wogs" to "obnose" and "make it go right".

I am thinking along these lines too ... they really do not get out enough (I'm being serious) and mix with non scientologists and they wouldn't expose themselves to media and the net anymore than necessary, and so could genuinely be 'that out of touch' that they just don't get it.

It is so easy to forget what being staff is like.

They will get it soon though.

:whistling:
 

Royal Prince Xenu

Trust the Psi Corps.
...
When Senator Xenophon asked the organisation if it would be concerned if organisations involved in systematic harm were given tax-free status, Ms McBride said ''Yes'', but said the same scrutiny should apply to the Catholic Church.

A lawyer for other charities, Andrew Lind, said he supported a charities commission, but warned against creating a law that applied to all charities in order to deal with one organisation. "

My submission, if accepted, addresses this issue as well.

As the chairman stated, it would be "contempt" to lie to or mislead the committee. There were a few instances where she lied and/or misled. I'll be pointing these out in my additional submission, which on Monday we were given the invitation to submit.

I hope this gets taken further. It's one thing to lie to or mislead to the media, but quite another to do it during a Federal Senate Committee hearing.

Carmel, I know you're the frontperson and shouldering a great deal of the load on all this, but I want to put out a big THANK YOU to all the people who have contributed to making this happen.

It brightens my day to log on and discover yet another toppling domino. Even if this tax inquiry goes no where, Pandora's Box is now open. Nothing that OSA does can close it again. The voices of opposition cannot be silenced.

We can all watch on as the "Church" of Scientology changes from an angry red swelling to a shiny white pustule that gives the OT3 volcano a whole new meaning.
 
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