Australian Critics of
This page maintained by David Gerard.
Australian Legal and Government Opinions on Scientology
Scientology declared a religion in Australia: High
- from AustLII (see below). "Charlatanism is a necessary price of
religious freedom, and if a self-proclaimed teacher persuades others to
believe in a religion which he propounds, lack of sincerity or integrity
on his part is not incompatible with the religious character of the
beliefs, practices and observances accepted by his followers."
- Some commentary from Frank Copeland on
the decision. "Personally, I can find nothing wrong with the High Court's
decision. As an atheist I consider all religions to be bogus, but I recognise
everyone's right to believe whatever they wish, no matter how absurd. As an
ex-Catholic in a country with a history of anti-papist discrimination I
recognise that the protection of religious freedom is a vital civil right.
$cientology's commercialism is much more blatant than that of other churches,
but the fault lies with the laws that grant tax breaks to
- the one that got Scientology banned in Victoria from 1965 until 1982
and in Western Australia from 1968 until 1972. The linked copy here is
Chris Owen's HTMLisation, from his Official Papers on
Scientology archive. There's also a copy on Dave
Touretzky's bookshelf site.
I'd put Kangaroo Court (the CoS's reply pamphlet to the
Anderson Report) here too, but somehow I don't think the CoS will give
permission. Ah well.
- 1965 press articles concerning the
- Here's the section of the Anderson Report that Tony McClelland regularly
reposts, comparing Scientology auditing to
inexpert and dangerous hypnosis.
- In The
Scandal of Scientology, Paulette Cooper writes about the CoS's
response to the Anderson Report.
- An extract from Sir Kevin Anderson's autobiography, Fossils In The
Sandstone, chapter 17, wherein a certain Applied Religious Philosophy
is mentioned in passing - though not by name, oddly enough.
- Hubbard threatened to sue the state of
Victoria. The Parliament considered this hilarious.
- The CoS brought a suit against Anderson and his assistant, Gordon Just,
in 1971 - titles in Victorian Reports are: Hubbard Association
of Scientologists -v- Anderson (1971) VR 788; Hubbard Association of
Scientologists v. Anderson (1972) VR 340 [appeal of 1971 VR 740]; Hubbard
Association of Scientologists International v Anderson and Just (No 2)
(1972) VR 577 - though the court reports themselves are not online as yet.
- A witness talks about
the Anderson Report and Hubbard's response to it. "The guts of the thing
is that Hubbard was outsmarted. He was very unhappy about that."
Laws banning and unbanning Scientology
Scientology was (ineffectively) banned in Victoria, Western Australia
and South Australia for various lengths of time.
You can do searches on keywords in this. (Thanks to andii
for putting me onto this one.)
(Searching on 'Scientology' turns up a lot of fluff though ...
I'll go through one day and pull the best ones for your amusement. Or someone
else could if they like.)
Australian Press Council adjudications relating to Scientology
You can read the full set of Press Council adjudications here.
The Australian Tax Office and deductibility
- 1988 Australian Appeals Tribunal decision (Fri 15 Jan 1988) denying an appeal
against the Tax Office decision that course fees are not deductible.
- Press article: Australian taxman
unmoved by blondes - Reuters news wire, Tue 01 Jul 1997.
"WISE Member Named Young Australian Business Person of the Year"
Some propaganda from the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (a way for
the CoS to suck money out of public members' businesses).
- Bev's note alerting us to this excerpt from CoS
magazine Prosperity #42. "... WISE member Gareth Jekel, the
'Young Australian Business Person of the Year' award. This was presented by
the Prime Minister of Australia and was broadcast to millions of viewers by
the Australian national television."
- Frank Copeland's suggested explanation.
"They've avoided outright fabrication this time, but a little bit of
exaggeration goes a long way."
- The official
DEET press release on the subject - and a local
Census figures: how many Scientologists are there in Australia and New
The Census is conducted every five years. The 'Religion' question is the only
voluntary one, but that's OK because that's what I'm after: the number of
people in Australia who will, when filling in a census form anonymously, say
that they do indeed consider themselves Scientologists.
In the 1991 Census, it has become an a.r.s factoid that
1091 people were prepared to admit anonymously to being
(I say 'factoid' because I spent a bit of time in early 1998 trying to track down the origin of this figure and can't trace
it. The 1991 Census figures are completely unhelpful unless I care to give far too much money to the
Australian Bureau of Statistics for a
number my tax dollars have already paid for. Help on confirming or denying
this figure of 1091 would be greatly appreciated.)
The 1996 Census figure is 1488. An anonymous post to a.r.s claimed the 1996 figure was
1500. Murray Chapman gives some statistical
perspective; 'Ex Scio Kid' gives the West Australian total as not more than 150.
The New Zealand figures are: 1986: 189; 1991: 207; 1996: 213.
Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission on freedom of religion in
The HREOC report Free To Believe? The right to freedom of religion
and belief in Australia includes a mention of Scientology, in the
context of the above High Court decision being the closest the Australian
government has gotten to defining what a religion is and isn't.
Non Fatal Offences Against the Person
A report by a committee put together by the Attorney-General's Department,
released in October 1998. Scientology scored a mention.