The Church of Scientology has rejected allegations raised in federal parliament in Australia about the death of a 14-month-old girl nine years ago.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon last week said correspondence from former members had implicated the church in a range of crimes, including forced imprisonment, coerced abortions, intimidation and blackmail.
Eight letters from former members of the church were tabled in parliament, including one from Paul David Schofield, who said his toddler daughter Lauren fell down some stairs to her death after being allowed to wander around one of the church’s Sydney buildings.
“My wife and I were actively discouraged from seeking compensation from the church,” he wrote.
“I was also encouraged by church executives to request no coronial enquiry into her death, something I stupidly agreed with at that time.”
But the church on Monday said the allegations were false.
“Based on detailed evidence, deputy state coroner Jacqueline Milledge ruled that Lauren’s death was an accident and that an inquest was unnecessary,” the church’s spokeswoman, Virginia Stewart, said in a statement.