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>> Statement: [Page 91]

Wright dredges up old issues long since resolved: “At the same time, an Australian government board of inquiry produced a sweeping report that was passionate in its condemnation.

” Wright goes on to quote from the board findings.

>> True Information: In 1965, in the state of Victoria, after a kangaroo court inquiry, in which Scientologists were not even allowed to appear, a state law was passed that severely restricted the religious freedom of Scientologists in the state of Victoria.

Both the inquiry and the ensuing legislation became major embarrassments to the government; so much that former Australian Senator and Deputy Premier of Western Australia Herbert Graham traveled to the United States in 1976 to use the occasion of the Church's International Prayer Day to apologize to all members of the Church. He stated that the ban on Scientology had been the "blackest day in the political history of Western Australia."

Absent any evidence to support the measures, the Church was able to reverse the negative edicts over the next two decades. First the Church's ministers obtained the right to officiate marriages under the Australian Federal Marriage Act in 1973. One decade later, in 1982, the Victorian government abandoned its untenable law and repealed the 1965 measure, restoring religious freedom and fundamental human rights to Scientologists.

With the 1983 High Court ruling, the Church's rightful place in Australian society was fully legitimized.