Cult capers under scrutiny

Last week in Canberra the volunteer group called Cult Information Family Service held a unique conference.

A number of cult victims, mostly ex “members” have joined together and finding strength in numbers, have taken their concerns to Parliament, meeting on November 2nd. Almost exclusively the fate of cult victims who seek a resolution to trauma, abuse, financial and family loss is reprisal, harassment, threats and legal intimidation. CIFS recognises these standard features of cults and seeks to provide assistance, run workshops for those in need whilst pursuing a much needed federal government resolution.

Simply put, under present legislation by posing as a religion and operating under strict psychological tenure such groups to conduct their abusive money making crimes with impunity. Unaccountable to any over-arching body and pleading religious vilification they have the backing, money and time to challenge and defeat the victims they create.

CIFS has previously hosted national conferences in Brisbane. In March 2010 Nick Xenophon addressed the group. Prior to their 2011 national conference the “church” of Scientology threatened to sue over a brochure that contained material from Nick Xenophon’s 2009 Australian Senate speech on Scientology’s abuse of members. Xenophon pointed out the standards we’ve come to associate with this cult, particularly, ”blackmail, torture and violence, labour camps and forced imprisonment and coerced abortions”. 

Citing a written threat from Scientology lawyers, Michael Bachelard writing in the SMH reported last July:

The Church considers the brochure conveys defamatory imputations that it … ‘is a cult’ is an ‘abusive and destructive group’, that it ‘psychologically manipulates persons under coercive controlling circumstances and runs a ‘labour camp’,” the legal letter said.

The church also accused CIFS Queensland of breaching the state’s religious vilification law by inciting hatred, severe ridicule or serious contempt of it.

Life Matters on Radio National have an insightful interview with an ex member of a not too hard to identify cult, who became involved after visiting a Mind Body Wallet festival.

Or download audio here.

Reading between the lines it seems Scientology may well feature prominently in the minds of CIFS volunteers, yet The Exclusive Brethren and Victor Hall’s Christian Fellowship are also known for churning out in need victims. ACA ran a segment on the Canberra conference.

Also Today Tonight cover the story of an Aussie cook forced into Scientology’s infamous “labour camp” because Tom Cruise suffered food poisoning when he went to play with his friend David Miscavige.

Well done to CIFS. May they get the help they need.

For that matter may the rest of Australia gradually see better protection from groups that exploit our silly laws to prey upon the human condition.

Cult victim group seeks government help – ACA


Tom Cruise comes the raw prawn with Scientology cook

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Australian Vaccination Network: Selling what’s available for free

If you’ve ever wandered about the Australian Vaccination Network‘s online shop you’ll notice quite a lot of themes.

Anti-vaccination, natural health, the evils of medicine, the bounty of mother earth, cancer cures, vitamin miracle stories, courageous people, tortured children, the horror of government malignancy and a general cornucopia of articles, DVD’s and books usually with one central theme. Conspiracies.

Yet before you go “shopping” and grab a few of those oh-so-cheap “downloadable articles”, or “25% discounted Special Offers!!” DVD’s and books, please be aware you’re buying what is almost certainly available for free, or at most substantially less. As Reasonable Hank pointed out some days back with delightful screen-shotted pwnage on his blog, Dorey scams even those who ask a question, or seek advice. You see, the error filled yet freely available article at whale.to, Tetanus Toxoid Vaccination by Chris Gaublomme is being sold by Meryl Dorey. It gets worse in that she consciously directed a Facebook commenter to her shop rather than to the free site which contains exactly the same information.

I was shocked! Could it be that family friendly and child loving Meryl Dorey might seek to profit from parents’ curiosity? The motherly Dorey who only wants the best for children and their parents? Apparently. With a little digging I found exactly the same information on the International Medical Council on Vaccination‘s certifiably loony site. You may remember them from hosting Meryl’s “Death threats, health fascism and suppression of vaccine truth in Australia” webinar. The question had to be asked then. How much else was she ripping off? Random selection of a few items proved most telling.

The article The MMR vaccine is not holy water – copyrighted to Sherri Tenpenny – is available free on many other sites. HPV Vaccine Mysteries selling on the AVN site, is available in PDF format – one may even say as a “downloadable article” – for free right here. For double the price of HPV Vaccine Mysteries you can download “reprints” from an already published AVN magazine of Debating Vaccination; the mind boggling pseudoscience from failed physicist and PhD enabler of Judy Wilyman, Dr. Brian Martin. Or for free you can download the entire article with identical cover, colours and cockypop right here.

In fact, where might Meryl Dorey be sourcing her “downloadable articles” from? Do you really need to clutter your computer with articles that are available online – sometimes on several websites? More so, do you want to be giving banking details to an organisation with a documented history of financial deception as confirmed by NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing? Who acted to revoke their fundraising licence?

This deceptive conduct has already manifested in 23 (known) breaches of The Charitable Fundraising Act 1991. Breaches carried out boldly and that do not include the hanky panky of selling freely available material. To be sure some articles are $2:50 or even $1:50. All the better to splurge. Yet other items are “discounted” to $25:00 when they exist elsewhere for far less, or in the case of most books almost half AVN’s price.

But of course this is nothing new. In September last year Kate Bensen wrote in the SMH Copyright breaches land antivaccination group in trouble:

An anti-vaccination group is under fire for allegedly breaching copyright laws by selling newspaper and medical journal articles online without permission from the authors.

The Australian Vaccination Network, which was the subject of a public warning issued by the Health Care Complaints Commission last month, withdrew 11 information packs from its website yesterday after complaints from authors. The packs, which were selling for up to $128, included home-made books filled with articles photocopied from journals around the world, information on drugs taken from MIMS, the medical guide used by doctors and nurses, and copies of brochures inserted in medication boxes by pharmaceutical companies. [….]

The president of the network, Meryl Dorey, said she was unaware she had breached copyright but accepted there had been problems with her licence.

”We’ve made mistakes but they’ve been honest mistakes. They’ve been out of ignorance rather than fraudulence,” she said.

One author stressed that apart from never hearing of the AVN, her material was out of date. Also, under copyright law penalties can reflect if material is used in a way that makes readers think less of the author. In regard to the former, selling outdated material is just scamming members again. As for the latter there’s ample scope for that.

Keeping the deception theme alive, in a recent article (November 2nd) in The West Australian Meryl Dorey:

… denied claims the group was involved with religious organisations that have an anti-drugs stance.

Which is rather fortuitous given our present little jaunt about her online shop dear reader. One of the “25% discounted” DVD’s is Scientology’s Citizen Commission on Human Rights, Making a killing: the untold story of psychotropic drugging. You can pad Meryl’s pocket with $25:00 to have and to hold your very own copy… if it arrives. Or watch it free here as a Google Video. Dorey is also selling in her “downloadable articles” scam, the CCHR’s Labelling and drugging kids for profit, which is identical to material on the Scientology/CCHR’s USA sites that’s also available with videos. Dorey has a long history of promoting the CCHR and other material and books she sells are religiously themed and anti-conventional medicine.

So a.) Meryl Dorey is indeed involved with “religious organisations that have an anti-drugs stance”, b.) is profiting from selling their otherwise freely available material and c.) continues to promote these views. Wow. Caught with lies and fraudulence again. Why am I not surprised?

Speaking of books, The Virus and the Vaccine is $35:00 AU at the AVN shop or under $13:00 US on Amazon. Choosing Not to Immunise Our Children is $40:00 AU at the AVN or $25:00 US at Inkview.com. Fear Of The Invisible by Janine Roberts is a whopping $42:00 AU at the AVN. On the promotional site it’s $20:00 US. At Amazon it’s $18:61 US. Drug Muggers: Which medications are robbing your body of essential nutrients… is $35:00 AU at the AVN or $14:20 US at Amazon. Child Health Guide$33:00 AU vs $16:86 AU at the Aussie online store, Fishpond. The Age of Autism… by Olmsted and Blaxill. $35:00 AU vs $18:65 US at Amazon. The Vaccine Guide – 10 years old – is $44:00 AU vs $13.01 US at Amazon.

On and on it goes. With absolutely no guarantee your product is in stock (there is no notice) nor if it will arrive as per the great Living Wisdom swindle. Which, amazingly also contained free articles within that subscribers had already paid for. Even Peter Dingle’s, David Icke admiration winning The Great Cholesterol Deception is $5 dearer than at Aussie online retailer Fishpond who guarantee rapid delivery. Of course the rubbish on offer ranges from nature-obsessive to offensive (Hep B vaccine – good for new born prostitutes and drug addicts but who else?) to completely fictitious such as homeoprophylaxis or “vaccine guides” written by homeopaths, to New World Order themes.

The best way to uncover the pay-for “downloadable articles” scam is to bring up the offending item page. Highlight only the title and search for that. So why pay for Judy Wilyman’s A new strain of swine influenza… when the same is available here for nicks? Or Dr. Eisenstein’s vitamin D recommendations for the same disease, when it also available at the Center for healthy living?

Who else would publish that gross Greg Damato title Hep B vaccine – good for new born prostitutes and drug addicts… that Meryl is selling her members? Only our old friend Mike Adams – who happens to have it for free. Speaking of Mike I wonder if our Health Danger knows that his MacGyver inspired article How to build a pharmaceutical factory in your back yard and grow your medicine for free is being sold by Meryl word for word. Ecstatic Birth – by Sarah J Buckley is for sale as an article at AVN, or available as exactly the same PDF for free from her own site or even on Mothering.com.

Cancer – How scientific are Orthodox cancer Treatments? – by Walter Last, for sale at AVN or free at whale.to. Perhaps the most face palm-worthy is No Limits by Dianne Trussell. Not only is it for sale but it’s also on the AVN site for free. Many other pieces are seen to be recycled articles from Living Wisdom or Informed Voice written both by Meryl Dorey and other authors. T-Shirts are 40% dearer than similar items from elsewhere.

Back copies of cobwebbed Informed Voice are for sale for goodness sake! Piles of antivaccination brochures, “information packs” and CD’s of old seminars that lie scattered about a moldy old shipping container near a certain ramshackle house. A bit like Steptoe and Son meets The Twilight Zone. My you’d need to be up on your tetanus shots if you’re buying from that shambles.

All up that’s only about 20 items out of many, many more. Material that is freely available or markedly cheaper elsewhere. One is left wondering about the legality of copyright or such price markups with articles and books respectively. Certainly a great deal of material is quite old and even more certainly the bulk is simply pseudoscience dressed up as advice.

The price of some other items, such as Baby Gift packs is simply astonishing. Selling Homeopathic Home Prescriber manuals without warning is exactly why the HCCC sought to protect the public. I for one would be concerned about proper delivery.

It goes without saying. The AVN Shop is a dishonest rip off. A shonkster. A scam. A fugazi. A sting.

Hold onto your money.

[PS: Ample use of “nofollow” was used in linking to such sites of ill repute]

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

Scientology may face class action

Following revelations on ABC’s Lateline on September 13th about severe breaches of employment guidelines, it’s emerged Slater and Gordon have also been looking into the Church of Scientology practice of scamming workers.

Scientology have likened these workers, who signed employment contracts, received payslips and group certificates, to rural firefighter volunteers. Their statement is below. [C/O ABC Lateline]

Law firm Slater and Gordon is planning to take a class action against the Church of Scientology over claims the church has underpaid its workers.

STATEMENT FROM CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

Scientology “slavery” under Fair Work scrutiny

Last night ABC’s Lateline programme reported on a draft report on the Church of Scientology from the Fair Work Ombudsman, detailing wages as low as $10 per week, forced labour and false imprisonment.

The draft report clearly states that breaches may pertain to the Criminal Code Act 1995 dealing with slavery. With respect to this criminal cult it would seem today’s word is Schadenfreude. This wouldn’t have happened back in Xenu’s day.

The Church of Scientology is facing the prospect of back pay claims that, on some estimates, could run into millions of dollars.

Fair Work Ombudsman Media Release

Statement from Church of Scientology