Scientology: Scam auditors allowed to audit themselves

The final report of Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman [below] into the “church” of Scientology is welcome, yet unsettling in that the full scale of this criminal venture is overlooked.

For those keen to see some real action opening the way to revoke privileges in Australia to one of the globes most corrupt and abusive cults, the report offers mixed messages. On the one hand the pleas of Scientology that “volunteers”, are well looked after is shown up for the lie that it is. On the other hand the impact of the cult’s initiation, effect of abuse, forced labour and false imprisonment in perpetuating financial sleight of hand has not been taken into account.

It is not a secret that the cult uses a plethora of intimidatory tactics including imprisonment, degrading punishment, family separation and psychological abuse of members to ensure loyalty to intra-tribal mechanics. Specialists in casting the outside world as supremely dysfunctional and manifesting their own terminology to describe their sick brand of human nature, Scientology is beyond being a special case.

Thus it is absolutely unacceptable to read that the Fair Work Ombudsman;

…offers advice to persons giving their labour for free to any religious organisation that they should be mindful of their intentions in doing so and to the extent possible, protect their own interests and immediately withdraw their labour if they perceive that their relationship ceases to be truly voluntary.

Yesterday’s Fair Work media release states that the Fair Work Agency has determined;

  • To treat CoS entities which engage in trading activities as constitutional corporations for the purposes of the Fair Work Act and its predecessor legislation,
  • That a number of allegations raised by some witnesses fall outside the statutory time limit for consideration or cannot be sustained and are therefore unable to be pursued,
  • To continue to investigate allegations raised by one witness which relates to an entity known as Get off Drugs Naturally,
  • To refer to other relevant authorities allegations made against the CoS which fall outside its jurisdiction, and
  • To request that the CoS and its related entities conduct a comprehensive self-audit to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act – and if employees are found to have been underpaid, for those underpayments to be rectified.

The impotence and hilarity of that last point “requesting” that the tin can brain auditors set about business auditing themselves in compliance with the law, cannot be overstated. The most significant defeat for Scientology is that;

The Statement of Findings says the Fair Work Ombudsman considered, but was not persuaded, by submissions from the CoS that the Fair Work Act did not apply because the church “is a religious entity … and there isn’t any worker relationship or employer relationship”. The Statement says documents and policies examined by Fair Work inspectors during the course of their investigation “plainly contradicted” this assertion.

The CoS described payments to church workers as being “a small amount to enable them to perform their duties by covering the cost of travel, babysitters, food and other expenses … not a reward for services rendered”. However, the investigation found several features of the arrangements within the CoS entities were not consistent with volunteer or voluntary work.

“In particular, witness evidence indicates that significant hours of work were imposed on workers. Further evidence indicates a significant level of control and direction was applied to workers by more senior church members who held positions of authority,” the Statement of Findings says.

The Statement says documents provided by the CoS indicate it is a “bureaucratised organisation” which appears to have imported practices and procedures into Australia with little thought to workplace relations laws.

They will, after trying every trick in the book, be held to some account and suffer some financial cost. In many ways of course, this also coaches Scientology in what not to get caught doing. They shall not make this mistake again.

Yet bizarrely the findings also offer a virtual free pass to Scientology. Indeed it’s enough bureaucratic bungling by the Ombudsman to have Xenu squirming as he orbits above in his battle cruiser.

We read that this global über-rich criminal powerhouse at whose feet Melbourne Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle fairly recently grovelled, may tidy it’s own room and, “…proactively undertake the self-audit at the earliest opportunity using a consultant that the Fair Work Ombudsman approves and who has no connection to the church”.

Oh, the LULZ dear reader, the utter LULZ of it all. I mean;

It requests the consultant be briefed to:

  • Review the procedures for the engagement of workers and to properly determine the applicable Modern Award and National Employment Standards for each individual,
  • Review the status of existing employees to ensure they are receiving their lawful entitlements,
  • Recommend the introduction of changes to record-keeping and issuing of play slips and the Fair Work Information Statement to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act, and
  • Recommend a framework to the Church which enables the identification of relevant legislation relating to all employee entitlements, such as long service leave.

In regards to the unconscionable and widespread abuse at the hands of Scientology clones and beneficiaries (what the draft report called slavery, forced labour and false imprisonment);

Some claimed the use of unconscionable tactics by the CoS designed to retain their commitment. The Fair Work Ombudsman makes no findings in respect of those allegations, but advises that if workers providing services to religious or any other organisation consider that they are being subjected to intimidation or other illegal pressure to continue to provide their labour, they should contact police.

Which, along with “self auditing”, completely misses the point of ongoing and existing abuse within the criminal cult entire and is a rather pathetic anti-climax indeed.

Little wonder in the ever positive and innocent world of theta management, we hear from Australian president Vicki Dunstan, reportedly under investigation for her own illegal conduct surrounding human rights. Vicki has also disconnected from, and has nothing to do with her own sister for leaving the cult. Vicki’s daughter refers to the Scientology scam as “toxic” in that it tears families apart. Citing a deprived childhood she likens Scientology members to “cattle”.

So Vicki is perfect for an honest response to the report. She gushes;

Todayʼs decision is a terrific outcome for Australiaʼs charitable sector and for religious freedom. Our staff work hard to promote their religious beliefs and in a wide range of charitable programs in the areas of drug education, literacy, numeracy, human rights education and disaster aid. They do that knowing itʼs voluntary and do not expect to be paid for their efforts.

Charity doesn’t start at home for Vicki it would plainly seem. The Statement [below] included;

The Church has a long history in this country of fighting for human rights and religious freedom. Volunteers can help transform our communities for the benefit of all people.

Nearly two years has passed since baseless allegations run in the media prompted the FWO investigation. The Church now expects the authors of these allegations to apologise publicly to the Scientology community.

Far, far more work is needed post haste into this appalling scam. It’s close to grotesque that evidence bankrupt Narcanon and Crimanon – both recruitment front shops, remain active. Little surprise that Narcanon and Get Off Drugs Naturally comprise part of the Fair Work Agency investigation. Remember the Aboriginal drug bomb these fools came up with?

Worse is that the Senate Privileges Committee allowed Dunstan to respond in Hansard to Xenophon’s November 2009 allegations, lending a crucial soap box to the lies and scams of the cult in refuting allegations from brave ex-members.

So for now, the cult rolls on having already having transferred it’s registration from OFT to ASIC to circumvent further action under Fair Work legislation.

Lateline: Xenophon disappointed by Scientology report

Fair Work Ombudsman – Statement of findings

Scientology Statement on Fair Work findings

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