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Scientology Official Dismantles Displays To Avoid Court Tussle

Title: Scientology Official Dismantles Displays To Avoid Court Tussle
Date: Saturday, 19 July 2008
Publisher: Pacific Magazine
Author: Ulamila Wragg
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A rival church’s petition against the Church of Scientology was dismissed by the Cook Islands High Court this afternoon after Scientology officials removed a display tent that was the focus of the court action.

Local church leader Reverend Alfred Morris applied to the court this week for the removal of a display tent erected by the Church of Scientology in the capital Avarua.
Morris said that apart from having no approval under the Religious Organisations Restrictions Act 1975, the Scientologists were rejected by the Religious Advisory Council and not endorsed by a Resolution of Cabinet.

Church of Scientologist spokesperson Mathew Andrews, in a letter to the court today, said the display tent was dismantled in response to the writ. He said this was done because he wanted to keep the peace and not get into a legal battle.

Judge Justice Patrick Savage then dismissed the application by Morris.

The Church of Scientology was given an approval by local government minister Ngamau Munokoa to set up in the town area.

"We have come here to provide a community service, not to argue the laws in the Cook Islands," Andrews said outside court.

Andrews said Reverend Morris could have seen them first before going straight to court. The Church of Scientology has been in the Cook Islands for two months, having previously been to Samoa, American Samoa and Fiji over the last two years.