Scientology is being talked about again because of certain prominent supporters.
Germany is reluctant to have Scientology’s most famous adherent, Tom Cruise, play one of its country’s greatest heroes.
Valkyrie, the planned film, centres on Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg’s heroic role in attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
The problem for Cruise is that Germany is not fond of his “religion”.
Closer to home, it’s reported that the late Kerry Packer was concerned with his son James’s flirtation with Scientology.
The newly released book Who Killed Channel Nine? details Kerry Packer’s fear that James would destroy Channel 9.
Kerry Packer was right to be concerned about the threat to his beloved television network, but how valid were his concerns with Scientology?
It certainly doesn’t seem to have held back Kate Ceberano, who presents as a delightfully happy and healthy woman.
The truth is that Scientology sends some positive messages, such as warning against drug abuse. But the truth doesn’t end there.
Founded by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is built on nonsense from whoa to go.
Hubbard lied about his university qualifications. Thrice married, he posed as an expert on marital success.
In 1964, an inquiry in Victoria found that Scientology presented a grave threat to family and home life.
“As well as causing financial hardship, it engenders dissension, suspicion and mistrust among members of the family,” said the inquiry. “Scientology has caused many family estrangements.”
As for Hubbard, the inquiry said he built a crazy and dangerous edifice based on a smattering of knowledge in various sciences.
Essentially, Scientology is big business masquerading as religion and we all have reason to question it.
– Tom Cruise’s Church of hate tried to destroy me
Today marks the beginning of another financial year. Yet again, when the Church of Scientology submits its tax returns, it will gain from a range of tax benefits denied to most Australians.
As a recognised religion, its income is exempt from income tax. Nor does it fork out on payroll tax.
The reasons for this are farcical. In 1983, the High Court of Australia overturned a ruling by the Supreme Court of Victoria that Scientology was a philosophy, not a religion.
In finding Scientology to be a religion, the High Court defined religion as a belief in some supernatural being, thing or principle as well as the acceptance of canons of conduct in order to give effect to that belief.
In other words, any organised group that believes in something supernatural is a religion.
In contrast, if you believe in creatures thought to live on another planet, as do the Raelians, you’re in strife.
In 1998, the Raelians lost their bid for tax-free status because they believed in creatures assumed to be real rather than from another dimension.
The ramifications of all this nonsense are profound.
In 2001, an inquiry into what constitutes a charity relied upon the High Court’s definition of religion.
While this makes legal sense, it doesn’t follow that the Australian Tax Office need assume all religious institutions are necessarily charities, which it does.
The UK, for example, has revoked Scientology’s tax-exempt charitable/religious status. But, according to a report in The Times, changes by the UK Charity Commission may restore Scientology’s charity status, which will increase its annual income of $25 million by 22 per cent.
Pagans, witches and Rastas are also reported to be set to benefit. Madness.
For those of us who object to financially supporting the likes of Scientology, insult is added to injury.
Consider the Athenian school in Sydney that receives federal as well as state funding. Run by the Church of Scientology, it relies on the various crazed scribblings of L. Ron Hubbard to educate children.
(The L, incidentally, is for Lafayette.)
In 1999, the NSW Parliament heard that while NSW financed the Athena school, an FoI request for the school’s curriculum was refused because the school claimed the materials sought “concerned the business affairs of the school and would have an unreasonable adverse effect on those affairs”.
– Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, quoted atWhat judges have to say about Scientology
Today, you can log on to the school’s website and witness its commitment to quality teaching.
Subjects taught include spelling and something called “mathmatics”.
The various products it flogs include “educational books” such as How to Use a Dictionay.
Yours for $81.50.
The Scientology handbook tells us there is a test for sanity and comparative sanity, which is so simple anyone can apply it.
If you ask someone a question and they answer very quickly it proves they have a fast and sane mind.
And so I ask myself, are taxpayers being ripped off by the Church of Scientology. Fast as the speed of light, I answer: YES!