Church of Scientology linked to family breakups, child labour, exploitation

Scientology’s latest public relations stunt has drawn criticism, as former members speak out about the organization’s destructive policies. Multiple reports indicate that children are being exploited, denied a proper education, and separated from their families by Scientology organizations.
Members of the Sydney Church of Scientology swooped upon Hunter’s Hill’s Moocooboola Festival last Sunday in an attempt to associate the controversial organisation with a legitimate police initiative focusing on missing persons. The Australia Federal Police (AFP) held Missing Person’s Week to raise awareness of an issue that causes immense heartache to families. The AFP motto reportedly read: “When communication goes missing, so does our youth. Don’t close the door to communication.”

“This motto really tells it like it is,” said Cyrus Brooks, the Vice President of the Church of Scientology Australia. However, these public comments are in stark contrast to the official policies of Scientology. In the United States, the Church of Scientology has come under intense criticism for its practice of enforced “disconnection”. Critics claim this cult-like policy tears families apart, as Scientologists are required to cut off all contact with anyone who is considered by the Church to be a “suppressive person”.

In a recent report aired by ABC Nightline[1], the niece of Scientology’s current leader spoke out against Scientology’s destructive and coercive policies. Jenna Miscavige Hill recounted how she rarely saw her parents, who were members of Scientology’s core group known as the Sea Organization (Sea Org). “What we’re told is that they have to work so hard because they’re helping other people. Your family isn’t the most important thing.” At the age of 12 she was pressured into joining the Sea Org, where she was made to work extremely long hours for little pay. “I saw my mom probably a half an hour, one time, from when I was twelve ’til I was sixteen. I saw my dad maybe three times, for half an hour each time.” After her parents left the church, Ms Hill was ordered to stop communicating with them, and she was prohibited from answering the phone in case they attempted to call her. Astra Woodcraft similarly was barred from speaking with her father after he left Scientology. She has since left Scientology and has joined Jenna Miscavige Hill and Kendra Wiseman in setting up the website to support those who have been harmed by the abusive policies of the Scientology organization.