xenuIt seems that at least one member of the Australian parliament has had enough of the Church of Scientology.

Independent Australian senator Nick Xenophon tabled letters with the Australian parliament this week from former members of the Church of Scientology that accuse the organization of torture, coerced abortions, embezzlement and more crimes.  According to the Times of London, Mr. Xenophon made some very sweeping claims against Scientology:

Scientology is not a religious organisation, it is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs …

The letters received by me which were written by former followers in Australia contains extensive allegations of crimes and abuses that are truly shocking – crimes against them and crimes they say they were coerced into committing.

These victims of Scientology claim it is an abusive, manipulative, violent and criminal organisation, and that criminality is condoned at the highest levels.

While nothing is definite yet, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is calling for investigations into the accusations which the Church of Scientology mearly says they are the angry ramblings of disgruntled former members.  “Many people in Australia have real concerns about Scientology,” Prime Minister Rudd said. He also commented, “I share some of those concerns. Let us proceed carefully and look carefully at the material he has provided before we make a decision on further parliamentary action.”

The list of allegations include (again from the Time of London):

  • Paul Schofield admitted to being part of a campaign to cover up the facts surrounding the death of his two daughters, including two and a half-year-old Kirsty, who died during a purification program.
  • Aaron Saxton confined and tortured a follower and coerced females to have abortions, one who used a coat hanger for fear of punishment. He also has details of murder confessions from members in the US, information that was never passed on to police.
  • Carmel Underwood was put under “extreme pressure” to have an abortion, and witnessed a young sexually abused girl being coached on how to keep it secret.
  • Anna and Dean Detheridge, who were forced to reject a gay relative, provided evidence that personal information was used to blackmail and control them.
  • Kevin Mackey revealed how he handed over nearly a million dollars in exchange for services and products after he was conditioned by the sect.
  • Peta O’Brien was discouraged from seeking treatment for cancer, was cut off from her son and provided evidence of being assaulted.

While the Church of Scientology can claim these are the ramblings of disgruntled former members, but these fit in with numerous stories from anti-Scientology sites such as Xenu.net that have been collected over the years.

While this is the first time I have heard claims of coerced abortions, it is far from the first time I have had stories of Scientologists being forced to reject (known as “disconnection” in the Church) family members.  Paul Haggis, the Oscar winning screenwriter who recently left the Church, told a story of how he was forced to disconnect from relatives who had left the Church.  The Church denies that this policy still exists, but the evidence continues to mount that it indeed does.

All of these claims are of course nothing more than claims at this time, and as with any time I write about Scientology, I highly recommend you do your own research into the organization.  I would, however, say, that if the government of an entire country is becoming interested in investigating them, doesn’t that say something isn’t completely right here?  Again, do your own reading, but for those of us who already speak out against Scientology, this is a major step in the right direction.

[hat tip to Jo for pointing out this story to me on Twitter]

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2009As we start another year, it’s time for me to take a look back at what struck a chord with my readers.

2008 was very good to this blog, and I have to take a moment to thank you, my readers, for an amazing year of growth!  Unique visitors grew by almost 600%, and total page views was darn close to 700%!  I hoped for a year of growth, but I could have never dreamed readership would be up that much!  Don’t get me wrong, this blog is still a long ways away from the major leagues… a long, long, LONG way… but it is still a nice amount of growth.

So, without further ado, the 10 entries that helped me see this growth.

Who Is The Best James Bond? – Who knew people were this interested in who made the best James Bond? Published in September, this post brought in more page views in three days than this blog got total in the year of 2007.  It is still getting viewed every day, some days only 1 or 2 views, but it is still looked at on a constant basis.  Quite surprising, I must say.

Anonymous Takes On Scientology -This post came in second with a very healthy showing (the Bond post has about 4 times the page views), and it was also one that took me by surprise in how it took off.  It didn’t hurt that members of Anonymous put links to it all over the Web, and with that in mind, I am sure I am now on the Scientology watch list.  -waves-  Hail, Xenu!

The Music Industry Vs Net Neutrality -This post was from January of last year, and was my biggest success to date at the time.  Net Neutrality is always a touchy subject, and the music industry seemingly want to wage war on it is not sitting well with anyone, and understandably so.

How To Watch Internet Videos On Your TV -This is a very popular post, and one on plan on revisiting soon as a lot has changed since I published this last February.  This was also part of the inspiration for the launching of StarterTech.com.

Olympic Beach Volleyball Uniforms -This was my second article about my anger over how women’s beach volleyball athletes were treated by the medie at this past Summer Olympics.  The first article, Olympic Beach Volleyball, was only a few hundred views behind this one, but I am counting them as one entry on this list.

I will admit, from analyzing the search traffic on these two posts, they are found for all the wrong reasons, and that being mainly people looking for pictures of the athletes asses.  Somehow I doubt they read the accompanying articles that say that is what I’m talking against…

Who Is The Best Doctor Who – Okay, I am not too proud to admit this was an obvious attempt to copy the success of the James Bond post, but apparently I went a little too obscure with the subject matter.  It obviously still did well as a post as it made this list.

JJ Abrams Unveils The New Enterprise From Star Trek – This is another one that surprised me with how well it did.  I guess people really, really wanted to see how the new Enterprise looked!

Dancing With The Stars Band – My dislike for the Dancing With The Stars band, and it’s conductor, Harold Wheeler, has turned this in to my most controversial post ever. I have received numerous nasty comments and emails about me and my opinion of these… “musicians”… and all I can say is… Keep it up! I always need more laughs in my life!

New The Dark Knight Trailer Hints At Joker Greatness – The massive upswing I saw in traffic to this post in October prompted me to write a post entitled “Just Put Down The Clown Makeup!” as I could see it was mainly being found by people looking for pictures of the Joker.  Sure enough, it was all about people trying to dress as him for Halloween.

Weighty Issues For Cheryl Burke of Dancing With The Stars -Poor Cheryl Burke took a real pounding for her non-existent weight issues on the fall season of Dancing With The Stars.  It was a whole lot of hype over a woman gaining a meager 5 lbs, and I personally found that the fact anyone was even calling her “fat” just silly.

Honroable Mentions – Somehow my review of a Combichrist/K.M.F.D.M. concert from 2006 was technically in my top 10 viewed posts… I have no clue why.  Also, my post on Armando Montelongo also made it into the top ten, but I like to keep this list about posts published in 2008.

So, there you have it, the top 10 posts of the year for this blog.  Just like last year, this list tells me entertainment related posts do well, but I will probably continue to talk about just whatever is randomly on my mind at any given time.  I will say that the increased readership has made me a lot more self conscience about my posts, and what I tend to pick as the subjects, but at the end of the day, this is still just a personal blog… filled with a lot of ranting.

Thank you all so very much for making 2008 such a great year here at SeanPAune.com, and I only hope I can keep you all as interested in 2009!


Regular readers of my blog will know that I am no great fan of the Church of Scientology.  I have nothing against your every day followers of the organization, but I have large problems with the actual Church itself and their practices.

All that being said, this leads me to the business card pictured to the right that my parents recently found hidden in some of our merchandise at a convention.  Someone had stuck it in one of the coffee cups on display, and a customer showed it to my dad.  Knowing my love for the church, he brought it home for me to check out.  As soon as I saw the Guy Fawkes mask image from V For Vendetta on the far right, I knew it was from Anonymous.

If you head over to YouFoundTheCard.com you’ll see it is a site run by the latest anti-Scientology group that is simply referring to themselves as “Anonymous”.  They started off with a few YouTube videos describing what they were about, which led to some old school service attacks on Scientology websites, but now they are calming their tactics down and going with street protests that they launch globally at multiple church sites.  You can ready more about the timeline of how this developed on the Project Chanology Wikipedia page.

The Guy Fawkes masks started popping up with the first street protests because Scientology is well known to take videos of protestors and then harass them with legal papers, send threatening mail to their homes and more.  So protesters have chosen to conceal their faces and more (Anon has a whole list of suggestions of how to protect your identity), why they chose the mask from V For Vendetta hasn’t really been made clear, but Alan Moore, creator of the series, approves of it.  He said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, “That pleased me. That gave me a warm little glow.”  If you’ve seen the movie, you can draw your own conclusions to the parallels between the end of the film and why they use the mask, but I will leave that for everyone else to figure out.

It seems they will be having another worldwide protest on September 13th, hence why they are passing out these cards, and trying to drum up interest again.  It is encouraging to see not only a whole new group of people enter in to the fight with the church, but a group that seems motivated and full of ideas.  I can’t say I have ever been a very active player in the whole thing due to my location, but I do care deeply about the wrong doings of this group being exposed.

That brings me to something I’m not sure I have ever really discussed is why I dislike the Church of Scientology so much.  To be clear, it has nothing to do with the religious aspects of the group, I feel all people should be free to worship in any way they see fit, but I do disagree with the tactics of the Church of Scientology.  They have been linked to deaths, threats, suing their critics, making false police reports and much much more.  It is the tactics of the organization of the church hierarchy I have problems with, and not the beliefs of the followers.  I want to be 100% clear in that I am not attacking anyone’s religious beliefs here.

If you want to learn more about the tactics of the church, and credible evidence of all their actions, I suggest the following sites to start you off.

Enturbulation.org – An unofficial organizational site for the world wide protests. (suggested by a commenter)

WhyWeProtest.net – Also suggested by an “anonymous” commenter, is a smaller, easier to breeze through rundown of what it is about the Church of Scientology that drives people to protest.

Xenu.net – Also known as Operation:Clambake (it’s a loooong story, and a Scientology reference), this was the site that really started to wake me up to just how far their vileness ran.  I had always heard mumblings about it until I found this site.

XenuTV.com – Run by journalist Mark Bunker, it was his videos that calmed the original tactics of Anonymous down, and they now refer to him as “Wise Beard Man”.  He is a long time critic of the church and has produced numerous videos with documentation.

YouFoundTheCard.com – Linked above, but here it is again.  They have a good breakdown of some of the more egregious actions of the church.  An excellent primer.

I always encourage people to do their own research into a subject such as this, but do read up on it, you will be amazed what this so-called church gets up to.

As for September 13th… no worries, I’ll be at home.  I’m not even sure where the closest Scientology office is to me, actually… and I kinda like it that way.