The Advertiser (Adelaide), Wed 16 Oct 1985, p37

Scientology president fights legal controls as 'gas-chamber therapy'

Applying legislative controls to the Church of Scientology is like selling gas-chamber "therapy" to the Jews, according to the international president of the Church of Scientology, the Rev. Heber Jentzsch.

The Los Angeles-based Mr Jentzsch arrived in Adelaide yesterday to attack recommendations by an SA parliamentary committee into the Church of Scientology.

And he added to the mystery surrounding the alleged disappearance of the church's founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Mr Jentzsch said Mr Hubbard was writing science fiction ... somewhere. He had resigned from all official positions in 1966.

"Mr Hubbard knows where we are; we don't know where he is ...," he said. "Through the years, Mr Hubbard has been a man who has gone into seclusion from time to time to write and to assist the church on spiritual matters."

The SA committee has spent more than 10 months investigating the church's activities, in particular its methods of recruiting and of obtaining payment for services provided.

The committee recommends that the Department of Consumer Affairs maintain surveillance of the church and set up discussions.

If this failed, the committee suggests legislation covering the Church of Scientology and any other organisation or person providing spiritual or psychological services for a fee or a reward.

Any legislation should provide for written contracts to be signed by both parties in any agreement to provide spiritual or psychological services.

Mr Jentszch said his church should not be subject to any psychological or psychiatric control.

"It's like saying to us 'genocide is what we feel is most proper for religions and yours being one of the first, you should accept it,'" he said.

"We don't accept it."

The same issue had been fought in Victoria 20 years ago when the teaching of scientology became an offence under the Psychological Practices Act, but this law was repealed in 1982.

In 1983, a High Court decision recognised the Church of Scientology as a religion.

The Church of Scientology claims to have 6m members internationally and more than 600 organisations. It operates in 35 countries and its publications are translated into 15 languages.

[photo] Mr Jentzsch ... "We don't accept controls."

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