smh.com.au ~ A Senate inquiry into the Church of Scientology will not go ahead after the Federal Government told the church it believed the Tax Office and police were the most appropriate authorities to investigate any complaints.
A staff member for the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Chris Evans, has emailed Scientologists who wrote to Senator Evans after an independent senator, Nick Xenophon, made a series of explosive allegations in the Senate last month.
But Senator Xenophon was undeterred. Yesterday he said he would call for a vote in February for an inquiry and did not accept the Government's argument. ''That's a cop out. The matters for police will quite rightly go to the police, but there are matters there that relate to civil law and issues of law reform in terms of the tax-free status,'' he said.
''If the major parties think that this is an issue that will go away, then they're kidding themselves.''
Last month Senator Xenophon tabled letters from several former Scientologists alleging that the church was guilty of coercing abortions, forced labour, obstructing justice and covering up child abuse. Life for Scientology staff, former members wrote, featured unbearable hours, constant punishments, lack of access to medical care, and sometimes physical abuse and imprisonment.
9Today: Senator Nick Xenophon Raises Allegations About Scientology