An Australian senator has called for a criminal investigation into Scientology, alleging that the cult is "an abusive, manipulative, violent and criminal organization." The senator's name is Nick Xenophon. This is going to be good.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Senator Xenophon yesterday used parliamentary privilege to attack the church, after being contacted by a number of former Scientologists who accused the organisation of ''shocking'' crimes.

''Scientology is not a religious organisation; it is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs,'' he told the Senate.

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


Senator Xenophon said their correspondence implicated the organisation in a range of crimes, including forced imprisonment, coerced abortions, embezzlement of church funds, physical violence, intimidation and blackmail.

We can't imagine a more appropriately named crusader to take on Scientology in Australia—where, by the way, it has spent an extraordinary amount of resources and developed a strong foothold. We have to think that "The Rise of Xenophon" was prophesied somewhere by L. Ron Hubbard, and that his followers are rummaging through the archives as we speak searching desperately for written instructions on how to defeat him.

The letters from former members that Xenophon introduced included allegations of torture and the horrible tale of one man who lost two children to what he claims are Scientology-related accidents—one died after she fell down the stairs while wandering unattended in a church building, and another died after ingesting potassium chloride, allegedly used in the "purification rundown," at his house.

The church responded that the allegations are from "disgruntled former members who use hate speech."