“[Australia’s] independent senator Nick Xenophon has accused the Church of Scientology of being a criminal organisation, calling for it to be investigated by police and the Parliament,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald. “Senator Xenophon yesterday used parliamentary privilege to attack the church, after being contacted by a number of former Scientologists who accused the organisation of ‘shocking’ crimes. ‘Scientology is not a religious organisation; it is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs,’ he told the Senate. ‘The letters received by me which were written by former followers in Australia contain extensive allegations of crimes and abuses that are truly shocking – crimes against them and crimes they say they were coerced into committing. ‘These victims of Scientology claim it is an abusive, manipulative, violent and criminal organisation, and that criminality is condoned at the highest levels.’”
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