Sunday Times (Perth), Sun 02 Apr 1967, p7

Ministers to urge ban on Scientology

Sunday Times Reporter

A proposal that scientology should be banned throughout Australia will be made by the Minister for Health, Mr. MacKinnon, at the annual Health Ministers' Conference in Perth on April 12.

The conference will be attended by the Federal Minister for Health, Dr. Forbes, and by health ministers of all States.

Strong support

Mr. MacKinnon's proposal is likely to receive strong support from Mr. V. O. Dickie, the Health Minister in the Victorian Government which banned scientology as a "depraved and fraudulent racket" two years ago.

Mr. MacKinnon's move follows his year-long investigation into scientology in Western Australia, where the cult claims a membership of about 2000.

He has studied reports compiled by the CIB and the Health Department, and evidence supplied by The Sunday Times after interviews with members and former members of the cult.

"I am convinced that scientology is a menace, particularly with regard to mental health," Mr. MacKinnon said yesterday.

"I believe a nationwide ban would be more desirable than action by individual States."

Victoria's ban on scientology caused several hundred members to move from that State to South Australia and WA.


Later, the Scientology headquarters in Adelaide mailed directives to cult members still in Victoria urging them to disobey laws, refrain from voting and refuse to pay taxes.

Mr. Dickie, like Mr. MacKinnon, believes that a nationwide ban is necessary to prevent this type of harassment by mail.

Other proposals to be discussed at the three-day Health Ministers' Conference will include pensions for the mentally ill, Commonwealth payments for hospitalised pensioners and legislation to prevent the use of inflammable material in children's clothing.

The conference will be followed in Perth on April 18 by a meeting of the National Health and Medical Research Council, which includes the public health directors of the Commonwealth and all State governments.

[Press articles on Scientology]