Thursday, 10 May 2012

Greens Challenge Ethics of Church of Scientology

Serious allegations are being made against the Church of Scientology and the anti-drug programmes it runs in New Zealand.

Green MP Kevin Hague has used the protection of Parliamentary privilege to launch a blistering attack on the church, calling its actions repugnant, and accusing it of fleecing the vulnerable and the desperate.

He's worried the church is getting public funding for its work and says it's something that needs to be fully investigated.

"I say to the Minister of Internal Affairs, please follow through with the investigation promised by the department back in February. The New Zealand public is owed that."

Mr Hague is particularly concerned by the church's numerous anti-drug programmes, saying they're a smokescreen for an anti-psychiatry agenda.

"It is evil to try to persuade people with mental illness to avoid proper health professional services, and the treatment that they need."

Meanwhile the Church of Scientology says Drug Free Ambassador groups have had just $6,500 of government funding.

Spokesman Mike Ferriss says that money's let them reach tens of thousands of people with drug information booklets.

Mr Ferriss says, while the drug ambassadors receive a few thousand dollars, the Church itself has had no funding from any government agency.

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