Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMPLETE

Media coverage related to the Church of Scientology.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by venusian_traindriver » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:12 am

If co$ members are getting free board, food or whatever, in lieu of wages, then those services are technically part of their wage and have a monetary value.

It used to be called "fringe benefits" ...and I know of several groups who had "pastors" or "leaders" living on "church" property and got a minimum wage..designed to minimize tax.. who found out their "free accomodation" was deemed tp be part of thier salary.

Co$ spokeshole has gone on record saying that staff (or "volunteers" ) get such services provided by the church.... hmmm I bet the Australia Taxation Office will be beavering away in the background to hand co$ a nasty surprise... sepecially as co$ is now finding its finances etc. under public scrutiny.

All those years of "creative accounting" chickens are coming home to roost...

Shows not over yet, folks...

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by brownjedi » Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:39 pm

The taxman is going to get the cult.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Sponge » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:19 am

From Jonny Jacobsen's Infinite Complaceny blog:

Friday, 30 September 2011
Analysing the FWO report
The recent report by the Fair Work Ombudsman on Scientology may be a more cautious version of the draft document, but it still packs a punch – and there’s more to come.
http://infinitecomplacency.blogspot.com ... eport.html

Thanks Jonny!

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Albion » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:40 am

Sponge wrote:From Jonny Jacobsen's Infinite Complaceny blog:

Friday, 30 September 2011
Analysing the FWO report
The recent report by the Fair Work Ombudsman on Scientology may be a more cautious version of the draft document, but it still packs a punch – and there’s more to come.
http://infinitecomplacency.blogspot.com ... eport.html

Thanks Jonny!
Whoah! You're quick off the mark: I was just about to post here.

Thanks for the plug.

Jonny Jacobsen

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Don Carlo » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:09 pm

Great article with thorough footnotes, Johnny Jacobsen. Let's hope the government will catch another wave of ex-Scientology workers, that will have airtight cases. Then, it should be easy, since the contracts are available on-line, and CoS openly admits it does not pay minimum wage. Its Green Books have "stats" as written policy, which is basically paying on commission. Being paid solely on commission in the US makes you an independent contractor, not a "volunteer," but independent contractors, like plumbers, can come and go and control their own work. CoS can't have it both ways. If next year the Aussie government only tightens the charity laws and examines CoS to see if it conforms, CoS may start paying wages and overtime properly out of fear. If exploitation re-occurs, say in 2014, it will be easily and effectively punished. With protection, workers will be able to accumulate savings, get rest, have some outside activities, and think clearly, instead of being run ragged.
However, CoS has deep pockets and will try to neuter any change in charity regulations, so the government in the meantime should keep looking for victims within the statute of limitations, and with airtight cases.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Sponge » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:05 pm

Steven Lewis from the class action lawyers Slater & Gordon did a radio interview on 2UE Newstalk radio interview. Legal Matters with Tim Shaw Sunday September 18th

http://www.2ue.com.au/legalmatters (the Sept 18th link opens up a popup window for windows media player)
or there's the direct link for the mp3 audio ....
http://media.mytalk.com.au/2ue/audio/19 ... atters.mp3 (approx 38Mb)

The scientology segment starts at 9m:09s into the show.
There's also call-ins (including cult PR spokeshole Cyrus Brooks)

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by XENA » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:52 pm

It is time that the UNETHICAL use of Psychotherapy techniques by untrained unprofessional staff at Scientology and other so called "Self Development, Education" like MJB Seminars, Breakthrough Experience, EST, and Landmark Forum, (which are all spin offs of the original methods of Scientology) is exposed and made accountable.
The aggressive recruiting methods and manipulation of people processed through this mind bending technique is potentially damaging to a person's mental health.
Persons so processed, become willing clones and desperate to please the "leaders" who have programmed them.
Families are divided and relationships damaged in the induced passionate drive to assist the group to "promote" their "religion" "enlightenment" to the world.
If MacDonalds, Hungry Jacks or similar franchises could use the same techniques to gain free staff, we could all expect a very cheap hamburger!
Does Scientology or any of these other mentioned "groups" deliver a free product???
NO!
They exploit the brainwashed devotees, and continue to charge exploitive prices for their weird unscientific, pseudo science, philosophies/training/education/treatments, they are peddling.
Good on Senator Xenophon and all those who are brave enough to expose such CULTS.
Australians do not need this kind of rubbish clogging up our country and enslaving it's people with deceitful lies.
I am campaigning as hard as I can to expose this kind of thing and am hoping all other concerned people will push for a Reglatory Body NATION WIDE to make these pseudo therapists accountable for what they are doing.
Anyone who uses typical LGATS-Large Group Training Seminar techniques on un-informed and unaware people should be made legally liable for litigation in the Law Courts for any Psychological damage done to course participants/converts, and also for the destruction of formerly healthy family realtionships, as well as unpaid wages for work done by converts.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Sponge » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:59 pm

Church of Scientology fights over law that makes it pay 'volunteers'
Melbourne Herald Sun 23rd Feb 2012
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-n ... 6278718300
THE Church of Scientology wants an exemption from workplace laws so it doesn't have to pay award wages to "volunteers".

The church has told a federal inquiry that non-profit organisations cannot afford to pay the wages, and says that doing so will force religious groups to close.

ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence yesterday accused the church of using a review of the Fair Work Act to air extremist and farcical views.

"This attitude that an employer should have complete free rein to pay and treat their staff however they want has no place in the modern Australia," he said.

In a submission to the review, the church's public affairs director Rev Mary Anderson said the idea of a fair day's pay for a fair day's work was admirable but was misdirected when applied to religious volunteers whose focus is not on pay but on service to a spiritual cause."
[ACTU = Australian Council of Trade Unions]

More detailed article next....

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Sponge » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:26 pm

...more, with a bigger article...

bigger article...

Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers
  • Members of religious orders have taken vow of poverty
  • Volunteers' focus not on pay but on service to cause
  • Submission more like exploitation than religion - union
[/b]
EXCLUSIVE by Joe Hildebrand
The Daily Telegraph & News.com.au February 23, 2012

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/s ... 6278803894
and at...
http://www.news.com.au/business/church- ... 6278848377
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/chur ... 6278848377
http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/ ... 6278848377
http://www.perthnow.com.au/business/chu ... 6278848377
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-n ... 6279187381


SCIENTOLOGISTS have asked the federal government for an exemption to the Fair Work Act so they do not have to pay workers the minimum wage.


In a submission to the Fair Work review, public affairs director Reverend Mary Anderson said the Church of Scientology, which believes Earth was founded 75 million years ago by an alien tyrant called Xenu, should be exempt from workplace law because it was a legitimate religion.

"There is nothing wrong with the concept 'a fair day's pay for a fair day's work' but it is misdirected when applied to religious volunteers whose focus is not on pay but on service to a spiritual cause," Ms Anderson wrote. "Historically, members of religious orders have taken a vow of poverty.

"At the present time, there are church volunteers who are not vowed to poverty but who do volunteer their time and effort to church work, without focus on financial reward."

Ms Anderson said making non-profit organisations pay award wages was "a violation of human rights".

The submission disappeared from public view after it was exposed on the website Workplace Express but Ms Anderson said she did not remove it.

ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence said the submission read more like exploitation than religion. "The Scientologists' submission reads like they have been putting their heads together with Australia's employer groups, who would like nothing more than to remove workers' basic rights and conditions in their lust for profits," he said.

"The Fair Work Act review process should not be treated as an opportunity to air extremist and farcical viewpoints devoid of facts.

"This attitude that an employer should have complete free rein to pay and treat their staff however they want has no place in the modern Australia."

When contacted by The Daily Telegraph, Ms Anderson said the submission was her personal one, even though it was sent on a Church of Scientology letterhead and signed "Reverend Mary Anderson, Director of Public Affairs, Church of Scientology".

Another Scientology spokeswoman said the church had made an official submission but it was confidential.

"Nevertheless, what Mary says lines up to a small degree with the Church's past public statements," the spokeswoman said.

"The Church's submission to the Fair Work Act Review is confidential to avoid any unnecessary interference from critics seeking to pre-empt the Review's findings."

The Church of Scientology was investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman last year for claims some adherents worked up to 72 hours without a break and for as little as $10 a week. However, it was deemed that some of these workers were volunteers.


Daily Telegraph wrote:The submission disappeared from public view after it was exposed on the website Workplace Express but Ms Anderson said she did not remove it.
Workplace Express.....
http://www.workplaceexpress.com.au/inde ... b_search=9
Review submissions: HSU pushes for easier access to arbitration; & more
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 4:39pm
HSU says case study highlights need for return of arbitration; Inequality the only sure result of deregulated IR, says Buchanan; Change Act to give public sector workers access to arbitration, says SPSF; and Churches should be outside Fair Work Act, Scientologists argue.

[Workplace Express requires subscription to read more, but you can get a free 21 day sub by filling out the web form]

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Don Carlo » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:02 pm

If each church had to send in a financial statement (assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses), then you'd see the large percentage of income sucked out of Australia going to CoS head bullies in Los Angeles. THAT'S what makes the orgs unable to pay minimum wage. Maybe there could be a law: pay religious workers minimum wage first, then rent, utilities, and local suppliers. Whatever is left would be permitted to go to an overseas headquarters.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Sponge » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:23 pm

This is the cult's submission to the Fair Work Act Review

Source: The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
http://www.deewr.gov.au/WorkplaceRelati ... n_Mary.pdf
[or microsoft Word format: http://www.deewr.gov.au/WorkplaceRelati ... n_Mary.doc ]

Plain text copypaste:
Church of Scientology
231-251 Mt. Alexander Rd.
Ascot Vale Vic 3032.

Submission to:
Fair Work Act Review
Fair Work Australia
Level 4, 11 Exhibition Street,
Melbourne, 3000

February 15, 2012


Dear Sirs,

As a stakeholder, I would like to submit the following to the review panel:

The Fair Work Act serves a valid purpose in regard to commercial and industrial organisations; but it was never intended to cover churches and other purely volunteer organisations. Australians are entitled to volunteer their time for causes of their own choice.

There is nothing wrong with the concept: "a fair day's pay for a fair day's work" but it is misdirected when applied to religious volunteers whose focus is not on pay but on service to a spiritual cause. Historically, members of religious orders have taken a vow of poverty, embracing a life of service and eschewing financial reward At the present time, there are church volunteers who are not vowed to poverty; but who do volunteer their time and effort to church work, without focus on financial reward.

To force churches to pay these volunteers wages similar to those of commercial organisations is to treat organisations which are quite different as if they were the same. Non profit organisations are not in a position to pay award wages, and the demand that they do so is nothing less than a demand that will force the religious organisations to close. This is a violation of human rights. A review of the Fair Work Act is needed so that it does not continue to be misapplied in regard to religions.

Yours faithfully

Reverend Mary Anderson

Director of Public Affairs
Church of Scientology
231-251 Mt. Alexander Rd.
Ascot Vale Vic 3032.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Sponge » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:03 pm

Church of Scientology demands right to underpay workers
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Wednesday February 22, 2012
http://www.religionnewsblog.com/26573/c ... ay-workers


Scientologists want right to underpay workers‎
ninemsn 24th Feb 2012
http://finance.ninemsn.com.au/newsbusin ... ay-workers

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Don Carlo » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:46 am

What they'd do is cut way back on the hours, and be much more efficient, with happier employees. It's stupid to have people working 18 hour days sending mailings that almost never bring business in, or driving away members with abusive hard-selling over the phone.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by kitty » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:07 am

Don Carlo wrote:What they'd do is cut way back on the hours, and be much more efficient, with happier employees. It's stupid to have people working 18 hour days sending mailings that almost never bring business in, or driving away members with abusive hard-selling over the phone.
Bad for productivity. Good for mind control.

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Re: Australia: Fair Work Ombudsman probing scientology *COMP

Post by Don Carlo » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:42 am

DO ROOM, BOARD & CLASSES COUNT AS SEA ORG PAY?? NOT ACCORDING TO COS.

CoS claims its Sea Org workers get room, board, and classes, but not "as compensation."
Quote:
5. FURNISHING OF NECESSARIES. Church staff members serve pursuant to their religious commitment and conviction rather than for monetary gain or other traditional commerical or financial motives or incentives. Nevertheless, the Church will, pursuant to this covenant, furnigh certain necessaries, including a weekly nominal "pocket money" allowance, and, for certain staff positions, room and board. The furnishing of these necessary items is not intended to be and is not compensation for services performed by the applicant, but rather it provides an opportunity for the Church to establish an appropriate environment within which religious and spiritual awareness may receive the greatest prospect for enhancement and in which such matters constitute the sole reward for services. The amount of weekly allowance may vary depending upon economic conditions generally prevailing within the Church.

FROM http://www.researchthetruth.com/cosdocs-staff.pdf

This is a highly DIRTY and revealing paragraph. The reason the room, board, and classes are not considered compensation is that CoS would have to declare them as income, and would have to pay its share of Social Security taxes on these items, which are considered "in-kind" in tax lingo. Furthermore, once these items showed up on the worker's paycheck the worker would have to pay income tax and the worker's share of Social Security on the in-kind items. With pitiful pocket money, the worker would not be able to pay the taxes!

Furthermore, if CoS considered the room, board and training as that week's income, that means that the worker EARNED them. Once the worker quit or was fired, there would be NO freeloader debt, since everything was already earned. Presently of course, the freeloader debt is unenforceable and illegal, but the worker doesn't know that. CoS scares the worker with freeloader debt threats, as a tool to keep the worker from quitting, so it is a doubly dirty trick on CoS's part.
More at: Ex-scientologist recieves staff contract in the mail at viewtopic.php?f=9&t=31010

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