Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Report

Media coverage related to the Church of Scientology.

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TMac
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Post by TMac » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:24 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Here is an audio report from ABC Radio with interviews including Nick Xenuphon...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/audio/2010/0 ... ?site=news

Transcript:

http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2010/s3006390.htm
Regards,

TMac

"I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member." - G. Marx

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Sponge
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Post by Sponge » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:30 am

Charities may have to "open books" to prove they benefit community | The Australian | sept 9th 2010

I think this is the first article to have a response from the cult since the release of the senate committee report on Tuesday.....
A spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology yesterday said any suggestion that it was a cult "is absurd".

No it isn't. A great deal of solid relevant information was considered and, like many judges in courts around the world have concluded, the suggestion (from reasonable-minded people with no agenda) that you're a fucking cult is not something that comes right out of left field.


"The church has none of the features of a cult, as defined by the Senate committee, and was declared a religion by the High Court of Australia," the spokeswoman said.

You can be both a "religion" and a cult. In fact it is usually a prerequisite that a cult has some sort of belief system attached to it otherwise it wouldn't have the necessary hooks to be a cult. Congratulations, you once fooled an entire government by using all the protections that real religions apppear to get by default. It's your continued abusive culty behaviour, blatant disregard for human rights and the law, with your inability to reform your organisation that ultimately gets you officially redefined as the cult that you always were. Legislation won't prevent you from calling yourselves religion but new legislation will no longer ignore the harmful and objectionable aspects that it once did in judging the requirments for tax-exempt status.

She said the Church of Scientology did not support the setting up of a new agency to monitor and control minority religious organisations.

Of course you wouldn't support that because, well, you're a cult who, like all cults, lives under some sort of persecution complex.

She said Senator Xenophon was on a "campaign" against the religious organisation.

Glib for glib, what's wrong with a campaign for justice?


[...]

annette Vonthenthoff, a former Scientologist who has alleged she was coerced into having two abortions in her 13 years within the church, yesterday welcomed the committee's recommendations for greater accountability for all not-for-profit organisations.

The Scientology spokeswoman said the church "rejects completely" her claims.

Fine. I'll just put that with the rest of your glib dismissals but please explain why all these women are coming forward, without any real hope of individual justice yet at great risk to their integrity and privacy? Oh, I'll tell you why: It's because there is an even greater justice to be had.....i.e. your cult prevented from doing this shit anyone else ever again, and without the people's tax paying for it.
Baaww
(my comments in red)

Also, here's a ABC breakfast news24 report:
http://vimeo.com/14815485
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfLm5tttriY

Don't forget, more newsmedia links listed in the main post overleaf...
viewtopic.php?p=381366#381366

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Sponge
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Post by Sponge » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:38 pm

Neat little summary in the The Age....
Call for independent charities commission | The Age | 13th Sept 2010

Don't forget, more newsmedia links listed in the main post overleaf...
viewtopic.php?p=381366#381366

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Sponge
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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by Sponge » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:55 pm

Added Nan McLean video address to senator Xenophon in the list of submissions.
See page 1 or jump to the edited post: viewtopic.php?p=379121#p379121

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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by Sponge » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:23 am

Update: 23rd Feb 2011

Australian Government's Response to Xenophon's Inquiry Recommendations
See link to 3-page report....
TinyDancer, posting on WWP wrote:http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/ ... sponse.pdf

The tl;dr:
  1. We've told the Treasury Dept to do a scoping study for putting in place a national Not For Profit regulator. The public benefit test will be considered as part of the scoping study, which will be delivered in "early 2011".
  2. We're not going to even look at the french cult body (MIVILUDES) because:
    1. most of the criminal issues are state issues (bollocks); and
    2. we're afraid the UN might say we're bigoted if we watch the activities of cults.

What is a scoping study?

I don't know. Maybe it's a precursor to a budget item. :D


[...]

The govt has not said "yes" to the national NFP regulator, nor to including the public benefit test in the legislation (which is technically a separate issue). But this is ACTION toward the goal of a not for profit regulator (ie broader mandate than a charities commission) and toward legislation requiring disclosure by the NFP sector and better, more focussed regulation of the sector.

[...]

A separate little snippet of info related to improved disclosure:

Expect to see some audited annual accounts of COSRECI in the not too distant future. Can't say more for now.
Thanks to TinyDancer on WWP <3
ref: http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/ ... ons.77073/


What is a "scoping study"? I hear you ask
AnonLover, posting on WWP wrote:a scoping study usually produces a big long list of citation-like references of research materials, with identification of why those materials relevant to whatever is being scoped out. then findings of the study essentially says "this is the list of stuff we need to look at in next step, then make decisions"

EDIT: most excellent news too! but sad to see french group yet again getting a bum wrap cuz they take the hardest line on cults

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Sponge
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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by Sponge » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:15 pm

**NEW**
From WWP: http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/ ... st-1468144

The newly filed (as of 2011) audited accounts of COSRECI for the year ended 2008
DOWNLOAD HERE: http://www.mediafire.com/?xer0xnbcekkses4
They were filed in South Australia - the first financials to be filed in SA since incorporation in 1976.
You'll notice that they are the 2008 UK version, but with the added auditor's report, which includes much new information.
The audited financials for 2009 and 2010 are yet to be filed.


For comparison purposes here are the previously released UNAUDITED ACCOUNTS
These are the old unaudited 2008 accounts filed at UK Companies House. Download here: http://www.mediafire.com/?zgtjqkwzigv
Or, get the complete set of unaudited UK financials from 2000 to 2008, with some added bonuses, Here: http://www.mediafire.com/?x2bkt2rvz62wr

Don Carlo
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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by Don Carlo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:16 pm

US Better Business Bureau's Standards for Charity Accountability* - Religious Technology Center (RTC) Flunks in Red; Church of Scientology International (CSI) Flunks in Blue
1. A board of directors that provides... scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, ... FLUNK
board approval of the budget, ...FLUNK
and establishment of accounting procedures.. to safeguard... finances. FLUNK RTC website only names Miscavige and no other board members. The closest to a leadership group are the people posing at http://miscavige.rtc.org/london/london_pg003.html

2. A board of directors with a minimum of five voting members. Top Corporation, Religious Technology Center, See #1. FLUNK,

3. ...three...meetings per year of the (board)...with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. See #1. FLUNK.

4. Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.
[Publicly soliciting churches and other houses of worship: see the Implementation Guide for further information about the application of this standard.] If Dave is the only one on the board, then this technically doesn't flunk, but it's worse because there's no outsider to vote against him.

5. No ...material conflicting interests. No way to prove yes or no. NO PASS.
...
FINANCES ... the charitable organization shall:
...
8. Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities. Lawyers and Private Investigators plus TV commercials plus Real Estate definitely eat up more than 35%. FLUNK.

9. Spend no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. No way to tell. NO PASS.

10. Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. But CoS dumps $$$ into real estate. BIG FLUNK.

11. Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements...When ...annual ...income exceeds $250,000, these statements should be audited... Show us, please. FLUNK.

12. breakdown...expenses (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.):what portion...was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities. Show us, please. FLUNK.

13. Accurately report...expenses... FLUNK.

14. Have a board-approved annual budget... No record of such approval or the budget itself. FLUNK.

FUND RAISING AND INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS

15. Have solicitations...that are accurate... Tell CoS members the $$$ are going to lawyers, TV commercials and real estate. Not Applicable; RTC doesn't fund-raise. CSI does fund-raise, and it FLUNKS.

16. Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes mission statement,...accomplishments,... & roster of officers and directors, total income..., expenses... and ending net assets.
Not Done. FLUNK.

17. Include on...websites that solicit contributions, the information recommended for annual reports... Not Done. FLUNK.

18. Address privacy concerns of donors by...a check off box... to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, and... providing a clear,...privacy policy on any of its websites. Not applicable; RTC doesn't fund-raise.

19. Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services. Not applicable: RTC doesn't fund-raise CSI does fund-raise, and it flunks.
...
20. Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance... . Has anyone complained?

Copyright 2003, BBB Wise Giving Alliance

*http://www.bbb.org/us/Charity-Standards/

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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by mnql1 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:01 pm

Call for agency watch on cults
Call for agency watch on cults

by Catherine Hockley, in Canberra
The Advertiser
April 15, 2011

A "CULT-busting" agency must be set up to investigate groups who exploit "vulnerable individuals".

South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon will today call for a dedicated government agency to be set up to "monitor and control the activities of cults in Australia".

He will also call for law reform to protect "vulnerable individuals from cult activities", and for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to investigate protections.

Mr Xenophon said the "cult watchdog" would be based on French agency MIVILUDES, which was established a decade ago.

"MIVILUDES has received bipartisan support, and has provided assistance and support to those affected by cults," Mr Xenophon said. "There is evidence that cult-like behaviour in France has been significantly curtailed by the existence of such a watchdog."

"These organisations, which invariably receive tax-free status, offer books, courses, seminars and other so-called educational programs, often at enormous cost, with questionable value or benefits," he said.

The Government has expressed doubts over its constitutional powers to introduce a watchdog body.

Image
Nick Xenophon in pensive mood at Parliament House in Canberra.
Picture: Kym Smith Source: The Advertiser

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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by mnql1 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:39 pm

The website of Lyon Webzine reports that a delegation from the French cult-monitoring agency MIVILUDES is travelling from France to Canberra this weekend at the invitation of the Senate of Australia.

As mentioned in the previous post, it was reported earlier this year that Senator Xenophon is recommending that Australia establish an agency similar to France's MIVILUDES.

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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by mnql1 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:46 am

Georges Fenech, the president of MIVILUDES, will be speaking at the one-day conference entitled "Cults in Australia: Facing the Realities" on Nov. 2, 2011 in Canberra. From the flyer for the conference:
Session 1: International Experience with Cult Issues
M. Georges Fenech (France)
President of MIVILUDES - Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Combattng Cultic Deviances
"The French system for monitoring & struggling against sectarian deviations"
Thanks to Paul Schofield for pointing this out on ESMB.

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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by Sponge » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:55 pm

^> related article which mentions the French delegation to Australia, in this thread.....

Economic climate a breeding ground for cults
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=41414

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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by mnql1 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:56 pm

A first report about MIVILUDES president Georges Fenech's visit to Australia has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Economic climate a breeding ground for cults

by Leesha McKenny RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS
November 2, 2011

Global fears of economic or environmental upheaval feed the growth of gurus and damaging cults that prey on the weak, a visiting French government expert has warned.

Georges Fenech, president of France's Interministerial Mission for Monitoring and Combating Cultic Deviances, said it was working for greater international co-operation in dealing with sectarian abuses – with one in five French, or 12million people, affected in some way by a cult.

"We're going through an age where there are numerous crisis, whether it's financial, climatic, pandemic, and these create favourable basis where the gurus can work for their own benefit," he said.

The politician and former judge cited one instance where an Australian cult, the Order of St Charbel founded by the now-jailed "Little Pebble" William Kamm on the NSW South Coast, spread to France where members have since been imprisoned.

"So that proves there are no borders for that kind of group and that's why it's so important to have this kind of exchange and common vision between countries," he said.

The French government has a history of taking a strict line on monitoring what it considers negative “cultlike movements”. It has previously released a list of more than 170 groups deemed cults on the basis they met one or more of 10 characteristics.

"Some of these organisations anyway are huge organisations, like the Church of Scientology and Jehovah's Witnesses, and of course these people are here [in Australia] as well."

Mr Fenech said the French branch of the Church of Scientology, which the French government did not call a religion, will return to court this week to appeal its 2009 conviction on charges related to illegal pharmacology and organised fraud.

But Australia was part of the Anglo Saxon world that had a very different approach – more of "a laissez faire attitude of tolerance towards all religion," he said.

"In France we do respect all religions but at the same time we do not tolerate that under the aegis of some kind of church some types of behaviour take place, and we confront these."

Mr Fenech said all religions had the potential to foster cultic deviances. His organisation had examined sub-cults established within the Catholic church.

"We can't leave this problem to private initiative because the problem is too serious and too difficult. It's just too much for associations to deal with it," he said.

Mr Fenech, who said he will address the federal Senate today, was invited to deliver the keynote presentation at a conference entitled "Cults in Australia: Facing the Realities" co-hosted by Liberal senator Sue Boyce and independent senator Nick Xenophon.

Speakers also include 2010 Australian of the Year, Professor Patrick McGorry, and Tom Sackville, president of the European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Sects or Cults.

Mr Xenophon said it was vital that Australia look at laws similar to those of France that provide protection for victims of mental manipulation.

“Right now some cults and groups here in Australia are getting away with unacceptable conduct and this is partly because our laws have failed to recognise the way people are controlled and coerced," he said.

There were about 3000 cults operating in Australia, Cult Information and Family Support NSW president Ros Hodgins said.

"We are asking that parliamentarians support measures to address the abusive groups we know as cults that have no accountability and cause psychological harm," she said.

"Australia has not yet taken these issues as seriously as other countries, especially Europe."

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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by mnql1 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:40 am

Photos from the Nov. 2011 CIFS conference posted on the website of the Embassy of France in Canberra:
Mr. Georges Fenech, president of MIVILUDES in visit to Australia
Mr. Georges Fenech, president of MIVILUDES in visit to Australia

Mr. Georges Fenech, president of MIVILUDES, the inter-ministerial mission for monitoring and fighting cults abuses is in visit to Australia from October 31 to November 5.

Mr. Fenech, upon invitation from Senator Nick Xenophon, has had the opportunity to present the unique French legal system in term of cult-busting activity during a day long conference titled "Cults in Australia: facing the realities", organised by the Cults Information and Family Support Association (CIFS) and hosted by Senator Nick Xenophon and Senator Sue Boyce.

Image
Mr. Peter Flinn, from CIFS Victoria, introducing the day long conference
(Photo credit: Claire Dupré/Press and Information Department of the Embassy of France).


Image
Mr. Georges Fenech presenting the action of MIVILUDES, the French inter-ministerial
mission for monitoring and fighting cults abuses
(Photo credit: CIFS).


Image
Senator Nick Xenophon and Mr. Georges Fenech at the Parliament house
(Photo credit: Claire Dupré/Press and Information Department of the Embassy of France).


Image
Mr. Georges Fenech, Senator Sue Boyce and Mr. Tom Sackville, president of the European
Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Sects and Cults (FECRIS)
(Photo credit: Claire Dupré/Press and Information Department of the Embassy of France).


Image
From left to right : Mr. Hervé Machi, deputy president of MIVILUDES, Mr. Georges Fenech,
the Hon. Robert McClelland MP, Attorney-General, and Senator Nick Xenophon
(Photo credit: Claire Dupré/Press and Information Department of the Embassy of France).


Image
Mr. Georges Fenech with Senator the Hon. George Brandis SC, Shadow Attorney General
(Photo credit: Claire Dupré/Press and Information Department of the Embassy of France).


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Sponge
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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by Sponge » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:27 am

^Nice one!

Zhent on wwp will hopefully be posting up his videos of the CIFS conference soon, at which point we'll start a new thread with linkbacks to the previous related topics.

In the meantime, I youtubed the SBS audio podcast from 2-Nov-11 "Assessing the effects of cults" , using those photos for the background.
Youtube version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_ZVIAZM9Sc

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Re: Senate Inquiry Tax Laws Public Benefit Test. Hearings/Re

Post by mnql1 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:23 pm

An English translation of Georges Fenech's November 2, 2011 speech at the CIFS conference on cults on Australia can be found on the CIFS website:
http://www.cifs.org.au/freedoms.php

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