Guardian: The Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has said he would consider an inquiry into the Church of Scientology after a senator tabled allegations against the organisation including forced abortions, assault, torture, imprisonment, covering up sexual abuse, embezzlement of church funds and blackmail.
Senator Nick Xenophon tabled letters from former officials and staff of the Church of Scientology alleging criminal activity, and demanded a review of the organisation's tax exempt status.
"Scientology is not a religious organisation, it is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs," he told the senate.
Among the letters tabled was one written by Aaron Saxton, from Perth, who said he engaged in torture and blackmail while working for the church in Australia and at its American headquarters between 1989 and 1996.
Rudd said the allegations were "grave" and that he would consider an inquiry, but said the evidence needed to be looked at carefully. "Many people in Australia have real concerns about Scientology. I share some of those concerns. But let us proceed carefully, and look carefully at the material which he has provided, before we make a decision on further parliamentary action," Rudd said.
Today Tonight: Scientology Under Fire / Senator Nick Xenophon Pt 1
Today Tonight: Scientology Under Fire / Senator Nick Xenophon Pt 2
Tip of the 'ol 7 to WWP for the video links.