Schools free from Scientology

THERE was no evidence of Church of Scientology material distributed at Gladstone state schools, executive director for schools, Central Coast District Dave Manttan said yesterday.

The Church of Scientology has hit the headlines with the revelation that a group sponsored by the church has been targeting children in schools across Australia.

The New South Wales Government has ordered principals not to distribute material funded by the church which likens the views of the founder, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, to those of other 20th century leaders.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon last week used a speech in Parliament to raise allegations of widespread criminal conduct within the Church of Scientology.

Senator Xenophon said he had received letters from former followers of the religion detailing claims of crimes and abuses.

He said he passed on the letters to the police and was calling for a Senate inquiry into the religion and its tax exempt status.

Following the decision by the NSW government to prevent the distribution of DVDs, booklets and other materials in the school in that state, Mr Xenophon said admission showed all Australian governments needed to be vigilant about the activities of the Church of Scientology.

Yesterday Mr Manttan said Education Queensland did not “mandate, endorse or approve individual resources or programs” and neither did it distribute material on behalf of any service provider.

Mr Manttan said there were also no religious instruction classes being presented by the Church of Scientology in local state schools.

Spokesman for the Church of Scientology Cyrus Brooks defended the inclusion of Scientology material sent to the schools.

He rated the works of L Ron Hubbard with the views of Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King.

Scientology has attracted a number of prominent people including American actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta and Australian singer Kate Ceberano.

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