“Australian senate votes down call to probe Scientology” – Irish Examiner, March 19th 2010

AUSTRALIA? Senate yesterday overwhelmingly rejected a call for an inquiry into allegations against the Church of Scientology, made by former members who claim to have been abused, harassed or coerced into having abortions.

Senator Nick Xenophon? motion to authorise a senate committee to hold a wide-reaching inquiry into the church that was founded in 1953 by the late US science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard attracted only six votes in the 76-seat chamber. Another 33 voted against it and the remaining senators abstained.

The church welcomed the Senate? rejection of what the church described as a “political witch hunt”.

“Allegations by some women that they were forced to have abortions are nonsense,” the church said in a statement from its Australian headquarters in Sydney. “It is not the role of parliament to investigate any religious organisation or seek to use parliament as a forum for an unfounded attack on any religion.”

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