Discussion in 'Other Countries' started by Incompleted., May 1, 2013.
Question- did they have permission from the parents?
Australia, New Zealand, close enough.
In Scientology, dancing in a conga line might end up costing you thousands
By Tony Ortega, December 3, 2016
After the week we’ve had — with the heart-wrenching scenes with Bonny Elliott and Amy Scobee in Leah Remini’s A&E series, for example — we thought it would be good to start things off today with a little levity.
It’s been a while since we got a look at Scientology’s fundraising foibles, which used to be more of a staple around here. But even though it’s been some time, we think you’ll see that things haven’t changed a bit.
Local Scientologists are still under enormous pressure from the international landlord office to raise huge sums of money for “Ideal Orgs,” expensive new facilities that replace older churches around the world. Scientology leader David Miscavige calls this “expansion,” but these new orgs aren’t appearing in previously unplowed territory. They merely replace existing orgs, and there’s no evidence that they boost local membership. To the contrary, plenty of evidence suggests that they tend to be lifeless, empty places after the crowds of a grand opening slip away.
So how do you get Scientologists, who are already hounded regularly for huge payments for expensive courses and other frequent donations, motivated to spend even more money on buildings that they don’t need? Scientology’s solution is to try and make the monthly fleecings seem fun by turning them into costume parties, with plenty of fake enthusiasm. How many times have we seen Scientologists dressing up as Star Wars characters or pirates or 30s gangsters so they can pretend they’re having fun being pressured to write large checks?
One place where this is going on is New Zealand, where fundraising for an Ideal Org has been going on for a couple of years. There are only a tiny number of Scientologists in New Zealand — even the church’s international office had to admit that the locals couldn’t raise enough money to cover the millions of dollars an Ideal Org typically costs, and announced that a “grant” from the International Association of Scientologists would bear much of the cost. But the locals are being pushed to donate, and one of our tipsters found some precious videos the Kiwi Scientologists have put together for recent fundraising events.
We hope you enjoy these as much as we did.
A Christmas Eve treat: Our man Down Under on Scientology’s antipodean troubles in 2016
By Tony Ortega, December 24, 2016
How’s this for a Christmas Eve miracle? We asked Bryan Seymour to give us a look back at 2016 for Scientology in Australia, and he was good enough to send us this dispatch.
In what has been one of Scientology’s worst years since LRH dropped his body to continue his research on another planet somewhere, the church has fared poorly in Australia in 2016.
This is despite rushing the September opening of its new Australasian Advanced Ideal Org in Chatswood, just north of Sydney. Horrified neighbors report buses coming and going at all hours as “staff,” mostly flown in from Taiwan, are put through the Scientology indoctrination process so they can give up everything they own. (See my report on the opening here.)
Earlier in the year, I flew to New York in May to interview Ron Miscavige, father of Scientology leader David Miscavige, which resulted in numerous reports across Australia about how David began life as a happy little boy before evolving, thanks to Scientology, into a physically violent brute. While I was in New York, I also interviewed a certain journalist who runs a certain website.
One issue coming up: Scientology’s plans to open a Narconon facility in semi-rural New South Wales are back despite being scuppered late last year.
It now seems Scientology is going to have another crack at opening one its profit-making, unscientific and potentially dangerous centres. We’ll let you know what happens.
I never expected to play such a role in exposing this greedy, vicious group. The reason I have? Because they are still using people and destroying families. I’m determined to keep going until they stop hurting people.
— Bryan Seymour
More at http://tonyortega.org/2016/12/24/ou...-on-scientologys-antipodean-troubles-in-2016/
Might have something for y'all soon, doing some research in person.
It's times like this when I truly question humanity as a whole. A group of bullies persecuted someone to the point where they organised for her to be gangraped. If the schools and police can't deliver justice for an innocent child who was bullied and gang raped then we, the people, should deliver it for her.
#1 - you are not a meme
#2 - the bullying happened almost 3 years ago. Some kids from her middle school? What possible justice could Anon "deliver" at this point, assuming Anon was in the justice business in the first place?
#3 - WWP is dedicated to legal, peaceful protest. If you're looking for revenge, you won't find it here.
#4 - milhouse is still not a meme (sorry)
There's a related post here:
Australian senator goes after Narconon
Church of Scientology takes aim at $9.3 million Perth home | The West Australian
The Church of Scientology says it hopes to open a $9.3 million centre with a capacity to hold almost 200 people next year, as it looks to expand in Perth.
The secretive organisation was given final approvals this week to construct a place of worship in Rivervale, with plans showing the two story building will contain a café, classrooms a library and a “purification room”.
The church was given permission to build its giant new centre in 2015, but for reasons never explained did not go ahead.
The Department of Planning granted a two year time extension for construction and signed off on altered plans on Wednesday. Previously the centre was scheduled to cost $6 million, but the new facility with improvements is now slated to cost more than $9 million.
A spokesperson for the Church in said building would start “imminently” and the centre would open to worshippers sometime next year.
“The property will be primarily used for the teaching of Scientology theological studies, which will have (up to) 196 persons accommodated at one time,” the spokesperson said.
Recruits are inducted into the organisation through a series of personality tests. The church also offers a purification regime, in which involves a detoxification program, normally for a sizeable fee.
The new Rivervale building will convert a vacant warehouse on Belmont avenue. Plans show the inclusion of four class rooms, offices and “education rooms”.
Church of Scientology will open up $9.3 million place of worship in Perth to hold nearly 200 people by next year
The Church of Scientology to open a $9.3 million facility in Perth next year
The organisation has been approved to construct the centre in Riverdale
With capacity to hold just under 200 people the church will be on Belmont Ave
The church has been operating in Perth since the 1950's with growing members
Steve Cannane @SteveCannane 6 hours ago
More bad news for #Scientology - so called "fastest growing religion in the world" has gone backwards again in Australia.
Steve Cannane @SteveCannane 6 hours ago
Latest Australian census data from 2016 shows there are now 1681 people who declare themselves to be scientologists in Australia.
Steve Cannane @SteveCannane 6 hours ago
This is down from 2163 in 2011, which was down from 2507 in 2006. CoS says there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of scns in Aust.
Steve Cannane @SteveCannane 6 hours ago
There were reports recently scientologists are spending $6 million on Perth HQ. Census says they have just 195 members in WA.
'Don't bring kids into it': Scientologists target Victorian schools with drug claims
By Henrietta Cook, Brisbane Times
A Church of Scientology group has been targeting Victorian schools with propaganda about the dangers of psychiatrists, antidepressants and ADHD medication.
It has prompted Education Minister James Merlino to urge principals to toss out the DVDs, letters and glossy pamphlets from the Scientology group.
"We trust that they are able to choose correctly what information is useful for their school and I am confident this would be thrown in the bin," he said.
Earlier this week, the Australian office of the Citizens Committee on Human Rights – which was established by the Church of Scientology – sent material about the "psychiatric drugging of Australian children" to every principal in the state.
Schools were asked to screen the slick 50 minute documentary, which accuses the psychiatric industry of lying and says its practices are "killing our children, our families and our communities".
It includes footage of children popping pills and claims that there is "no evidence that depression is caused by chemical imbalance".
The letter, which was signed by the group's executive director Shelley Wilkins, claimed that undiagnosed medical conditions were manifesting as "psychiatric symptoms" and raised concerns about the high numbers of Australian children taking ADHD drugs and antidepressants.
She said children needed a thorough medical check to find "the cause of the problem".
The group also took aim at Beyondblue and its KidsMatter program in schools, which it described as a "mental disorder screening program" based on "subjective and arbitrary questions that any child could test positive for".
Glen Park Primary School principal Tony Shaw, who received the package on Monday, said he was concerned that the group was targeting schools.
He said that in his 24 years as a principal he had never been contacted by the Church of Scientology.
"Schools should not be the battleground for their fight with psychiatry," he said.
"If they want to do it they should do it somewhere else and not bring schools and children into it."
He said he showed the material to his school council president, who was "a bit surprised".
Scientologists have waged a long-running war against psychiatry, with its founder L. Ron Hubbard labelling the psychiatric industry a terrorist group.
The Citizens Committee on Human Rights has been described as a front group for Scientologists and claims that "no mental "diseases" have ever been proven to medically exist".
Ms Wilkins said the material had been sent to every Victorian school and the feedback had been positive.
"For years teachers and parents have contacted CCHR concerned by the high rate of psychotropic drug use in children," she said.
She said the group was founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr Thomas Szasz a professor of psychiatry.
Ms Wilkins said the group was a non-religious public watchdog that fought for patient rights and protections.
Australian Principals Federation president Julie Podbury said principals were being targeted because they were in a position of influence.
"I would expect my members to make a reasonable judgment about it and determine that it is not appropriate," she said.
"Every day as a principal we would receive stuff that was undesirable. Books arrive about controversial views, for the library, it is not unusual for any group to contact a school and offer services and support."
A Beyondblue spokeswoman said that its KidsMatter program was respected and designed to help teachers and families support children's mental health by offering evidence-based information and advice.
"It does not offer diagnostic screening," she said.
Source, with video:
Scientologists send M-rated anti-psychiatry DVD to primary schools
The Victorian Government has advised principals to ignore materials sent from the Church of Scientology, after primary schools received a DVD and pamphlets warning of the dangers of psychiatrists and antidepressants.
By Loretta Florance, ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The church sent the "glossy material" and an M-rated DVD titled Psychiatry: Friend or Foe? to schools in Victoria and New South Wales.
Principal of Glen Park Primary School Tony Shaw told ABC Radio Melbourne it was not immediately clear the material came from the church.
"You've got to look at the fine print. [The letterhead] says Citizens Committee on Human Rights Inc," he said. "Just under there it says 'established 1969 by the Church of Scientology to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights'."
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said he was confident the material would be thrown out. "Our teachers and principals receive information sent to them from a wide variety of groups and organisations," he said.
"Principals are education professionals. We trust that they are able to choose correctly what information is useful for their school and I am confident this would be thrown in the bin."
Mr Shaw said the letter suggested the DVD be shown to staff and parents. "I think it's bizarre that they choose to pursue their feud with psychiatry in the state education system," he said. "I've seen documentaries about Scientology ... so I'm aware of their issues with psychiatry, they seem to believe that they have competing interests, although psychiatry is based on centuries of medical and clinical facts and Scientology isn't.
He said his school had not received unsolicited political material in a decade. "The last unsolicited DVD that I can remember receiving was the Inconvenient Truth from Al Gore, that was about 10 years ago, I guess," he said.
It is not the first time the church has sent materials to school in Australia.
"The Educator Magazine is Australia’s only magazine and news website for the most senior educational professionals & decision makers."
Scientology campaign targets schools
By Brett Henebery, The Educator
Victorian principals have spoken out after their schools were targeted by an information campaign run by a group linked to the Church of Scientology.
Last week, the Australian office of the Citizens Committee on Human Rights – which was established by the Church of Scientology – sent material about the “psychiatric drugging of Australian children” to every principal in the state.
Principals were asked to show students a documentary which accuses the psychiatric industry of lying and says its practices are “killing our children, our families and our communities”.
The video also took aim at Beyondblue and its KidsMatter program in schools, which it described as a “mental disorder screening program" based on "subjective and arbitrary questions that any child could test positive for”.
Berwick Lodge Primary School principal, Henry Grossek, said he immediately threw the materials in the bin upon receiving them.
“The material was nothing more than thinly-disguised propaganda warning people about the dangers of psychiatrists, antidepressants and ADHD medication,” he told The Educator.
“I was extremely disappointed with their less than upfront approach to this rather bizarre marketing exercise”.
He said that rather than being bold enough to take responsibility for the material, the Church of Scientology chose to “hide” behind what they call the Australian office of the Citizens Committee on Human Rights, on their brochure and pamphlets.
“You really had to search the small print to fish the Church of Scientology out as the promoters. That alone makes you wonder,” he said.
“School principals don't need this sort of devious approach and, might I add, dubious material land on their desks, by anyone, let alone a registered church.”
Meadowglen Public School principal, Loretta Piazza, received a copy of the DVD and an accompanying letter early in the week.
“When I read the title ‘Psychiatry: friend or foe?’ and further comments that make startling medical claims, it immediately raised alarm bells,” she told The Educator.
“Schools are captive audiences and often regarded as ‘easy targets’ therefore principals need to exercise their duty of care and be very vigilant regarding messages that are disseminated to students.”
Victorian Education Minister, James Merlino, encouraged principals to discard the materials sent by the Scientology group.
“Teachers and principals receive information sent to them from a wide variety of groups and organisations,” Merlino said.
“Principals are education professionals. We trust that they are able to choose correctly what information is useful for their school and I am confident this would be thrown in the bin.”
Scientology still shrinking rapidly in Australia
By Tony Ortega, October 18, 2017
The new census reports are out in Australia, and Scientology has another great showing. In 2011, the last time numbers were gathered, 2,160 Australians identified themselves as Scientologists. The totals for the 2016 census were just released, and this time 1,685 Australians in a country of just over 24 million said they were Scientologists — a 21-percent drop.
That’s right in line with the numbers we’ve been telling you about for years here at the Underground Bunker. A new defector, Peter Nyiri, who had access to enrollment documents at the Flag Land Base, said he agreed with Paul Burkhart, a 2013 defector who worked at the Hollywood Guaranty Building, a nerve center of Scientology’s upper echelons, who estimated that worldwide active membership is now down to “less than 20,000” around the world.
“Expansion” indeed. Thanks for that new data, friends Down Under!
Church of Scientology clears final hurdle in establishing Rivervale centre | Southern Gazette
The Church of Scientology has cleared its last hurdle to get a centre up and running in Rivervale.
The $9.3 million project on the corner of Belmont Avenue and Cleaver Avenue was approved in June but today had one of the conditions removed by the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).
Plans for the centre show multiple classrooms and offices as well as a “purification room”.
Town planners the Rowe Group went to the State Administrative Tribunal on behalf of the church for a mediation hearing in July to delete three conditions.
Only one of the conditions relating to the electrical substation was removed as the applicants accepted conditions about providing public art on the site to a minimum value of 1 per cent of the estimated cost of the development.
Metro Central JDAP presiding member Charles Johnson said the development had the green light before the revised application came to the panel.
“They decided to appeal some conditions and it was discussed at the confidential mediation session,” he said.
“In the end there was a modifications to the substation and they accepted the issue about public art.
“We have treated the development as any other place of worship.”
The centre had previously been given the green light in 2015 but had a two year extension approved in June.
Scientology is a religion that was created by American author L. Ron Hubbard and has high profile followers such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
Most remote large city in the world won’t be overlooked by Scientology’s zeal to be ‘ideal’
By Rod Keller, , The Underground Bunker, November 19, 2017
Perth Org is going Ideal. That’s the message the staff of the Scientology org there want everybody to know. They will join Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Kaohsiung and Tokyo as an Ideal Org in the ANZO “continent.”
The city of Perth is isolated on the Western coast of Australia, more than 2,600 Km away from the nearest population center in Adelaide, South Australia. For years Scientology maintained a small office on Murray Street in the Central Business District. The Scientology sign on that building was removed in 2016 and the org has been operating out of the new facility in a warehouse district in the Rivervale neighborhood. It continues a trend we have seen for some orgs to relocate from neighborhoods with high foot traffic to more peripheral areas where they can afford the required 50,000 sq.ft. building, such as in Boston, Seattle, Dallas, Orlando, Birmingham and Dublin.
The building is currently under renovation, as News 7 reported with video of the construction work. They have relocated to a rented temporary space in what is advertised as “Belmont’s Cheapest Office.” The Southern Gazette reported that the org has agreed to a public art installation at the Ideal Org in exchange for relocating some electrical equipment. At a cost of at least 1 percent of the renovation we expect Scientology will erect a truly exceptional statue at their warehouse before the grand opening.
Part of the Ideal Org process is the reorganization of Central Files or “CF,” the folders that contain the contact information of every person who has done a course, taken a personality test, or made contact with Scientology in any way. Most orgs never complete the work before the grand opening, and Perth is no exception. Leaked video shows that as of last month they are up to the letter “C.” Central Files are used to generate mailings and are almost always in disarray. But more than CF the org is trying to work on all files.
The Perth Org’s Files Project is Full Steam Ahead and All Hands On Board!The Perth Org Files Project is a enormous undertaking to codify and upgrade 55,000 files. These files include:Central FilesStudent FilesTreasury FilesPre-Clear FilesGAME! To help accomplish this monumental, fun and vital task, we have the Perth Org’s Files Project Game. The havingness, in addition to having upgraded fully usable files, is COMMENDATIONS, chocolates, and fun times! The doingness is TIME contributed to the file’s project. And the beingnesses are numerous!STATUS COMMENDATIONS! Your valuable contributions are awarded with Status Commendations! Our very own artist extraordinaire Peter Kendall has graciously provided the art work for our PERTH IDEAL ORG FILES PROJECT, STATUS COMMENDATIONS! PERTH’S IDEAL ORG NEEDS YOUR HELP.TARGET: 100 HOURS A DAY!Call JF or Nobu on xxxx xxx xxx or the Org: 9221 7686STAY TUNED FOR MORE UP-DATES AS WE FILE THIS PROJECT TO A DONE!!!
The targets are wildly impossible. In previous Ideal Org openings a total of 100 hours per week was commendable. The idea that one person could spend 1,000 hours on filing is absurd, but that’s what would be required to maintain 55,000 physical file folders. More than CF, Perth intends to reorganize Pre-Clear, or “PC” folders. Not everybody can do that. Policy requires an auditor who has a higher grade chart level than the PC to maintain that particular folder. Whether it’s high level staff or an untrained public, the person who maintains PC folders will have access to the notes made during auditing sessions, and all the personal thoughts and feelings a Scientologist discloses. It’s frightening that volunteers are being recruited to maintain these files.
Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2017/11/19/m...-overlooked-by-scientologys-zeal-to-be-ideal/
Catholic school is forced to cover up a brand new statue after 'unfortunate' design showing a kneeling boy and a saint
Adelaide Catholic school has covered up a statue after its image went viral
It depicts a saint handing a loaf of bread from his cloak to a kneeling young boy
Instagram went wild, with many mocking Blackfriars Priory School's statue
A Catholic boys school has been forced to cover up a brand new statue after a rather unfortunate design created a storm on social media.
Blackfriars Priory School in Adelaide last week unveiled a statue of St Dominic handing a young boy a loaf of bread.
However the design featuring a boy kneeling at the foot of the 12th century Spanish-born saint has caused embarrassment to the inner-city school, which teaches boys from kindergarten to year 12.
Scroll down for video
Blackfriars Priory School's new statue of a saint handing a loaf of bread to a young boy was perhaps a half-baked idea
The Adelaide Catholic school has put a black cloth around the statue after images were shared on social media
Catholic school forced to cover up 'unfortunate' new statue
A black cloth now covers the statue of the saint, who was recognised for performing the miracle of multiplying bread.
The school was forced to cover the statue with a black cloth after students took inappropriate photos on Friday, the Adelaide Advertiser reports.
This week, it was completed cordoned off.
Images of the statue were shared on Instagram page S***Adelaide, attracting 1315 likes and more than 359 comments by Wednesday morning.
'Like who the hell designed, approved and erected it and no one thought about it?',' one critic said.
The embarrassing statue of Saint Dominic with a loaf was completely cordoned off this week (pictured)
Another wondering about the vetting process.
'Was there seriously no one that looked at this before it was installed?,' she asked.
One woman suggested it was an innocent statue.
'He’s just giving the boy some bread,' she said.
But one man pointed out the unfortunate sex abuse connotations involving Catholic priests and young boys.
'Hahahaha pedo priest,' he said.
A grim anniversary that should remind us Scientology has no business ‘testing’ anyone
By Tony Ortega, December 8, 2017
On December 8, 1987 — 30 years ago today — a 22-year-old man named Frank Vitkovic went looking for a former friend he wanted to kill.
On Queen Street in Melbourne, Vitkovic entered a high-rise office building and took an elevator to the fifth floor, where he knew his target worked at a credit co-op. After confronting the man, Vitkovic pulled from a bag a military rifle — a sawed-off M1 carbine — and began firing, but the man ducked in time and then ran away. Instead, Vitkovic shot and killed another employee, a young woman named Judith Morris.
Vitkovic then took the elevator to the 12th floor, where there was an office for Australia Post, the nation’s mail service, and he opened fire again, killing three people before running down a stairwell to the 11th floor, where he killed four more.
His killing spree ended when three brave office workers, two of whom had already been shot, jumped on the gunman and wrestled his rifle away. A woman then stashed the firearm in a refrigerator.
After being disarmed, Vitkovic crawled towards a window on the 11th floor that had been shattered by his rifle fire. One of the men who had tackled him tried to hold on to his ankles, but Vitkovic kicked him away and then fell to his death.
In Australia, what is known as the Queen St. Massacre is still marked yearly by the press, and still resonates with the public as a horrific incident in a country that doesn’t have the frequency of mass killings that happen in this country.
What isn’t always remarked on, even by the Australian press, is that two months before he began his murderous rampage, Vitkovic had taken part in something that had reportedly deepened his depression, and left him brooding. It was something he was apparently still thinking about up to the day he went on his killing spree.
Vitkovic had taken a Scientology personality test.
In an official enquiry held about a year after the killings, testimony was heard about Vitkovic and his history. Vitkovic had left behind a suicide note and a detailed diary, which contained his descriptions of living for years with deepening depression and fits of rage.
And among the things found at his apartment were the results of the Scientology personality test he had taken two months before his shooting spree, which he had kept.
The enquiry heard testimony from Scientology member Eleanor Simpson, who had administered the test to Vitkovic at the Melbourne org. According to press reports, she testified that his results were the worst she had ever seen, and that it was obvious he was suffering badly from depression. But rather than direct him to a mental health professional — Scientology reviles the psychiatric profession — she offered him instead an introductory Scientology course, “Overcoming Ups and Downs in Life.”
The court heard testimony that Simpson’s blunder had a significant impact.
After studying the 22-year-old law student’s diaries, Dr. [Alan] Bartholomew [a forensic psychologist] said Vitkovic was a paranoid schizophrenic, and that there was no doubt the personality test had worsened his depression, and might have contributed to the decline in his mental state. In his closing submission, counsel assisting the coroner, Mr. Joe Dickson, said the personality test could have contributed to the murders.
Scientology’s “Oxford Capacity Analysis,” its 200-question personality test that actually has nothing to do with Oxford University, is how many people first encounter Scientology. The OCA is outdated and unreliable, copied by L. Ron Hubbard from a test written by a eugenics professor in 1941. As our own Rod Keller explained earlier this year, “Scientology’s personality test cannot be considered scientific. Like Scientology itself, there is no testing for accuracy, no debate, or experimentation… The Oxford Capacity Analysis is used as a recruiting tool.”
In the case of Frank Vitkovic, the results of his test, interpreted by the Melbourne Org, apparently only reinforced what he’d been saying in his diary, that he was in a tailspin of depression, and that his life wasn’t worth living.
We’ve written about other cases where Scientology not only doesn’t deliver what it promises, but it can actually make matters worse. This is an organization pushing pseudoscience, and it shouldn’t be anywhere near people with real mental health issues.
Meanwhile, we’re told that Eleanor Simpson, who testified in that 1988 enquiry, is still actively involved with the Melbourne org, which went “Ideal” in 2011.
We sent her a message, asking her if she might want to discuss Frank Vitkovic and his personality test. If she gets back to us, we’ll let you know.
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