All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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Toronto ON — Members of Hare Krishna, Unification Church and the Church of Scientology paraded outside Queen's Park yesterday to protest against what they call a witchhunt by the Ontario Government.
About 80 protesters carried placards saying, Don't Kill My Religion and Investigate Abuses Not Churches.
They were objecting to remarks made March 2 in the Legislature by Health Minister Dennis Timbrell, who said his ministry was considering legislation to impose control over such groups.
Mr. Timbrell said that one of the goals he supports "is to try to frame in legislation some means of bringing under control those quacks, those charlatans, who for financial gain abuse the minds of innocent people." However, Mr. Timbrell said Tuesday that any legislation against such specialty groups would be difficult to enforce and might infringe on the rights of legitimate community services.
The groups said the aim of the protest was to seek an end to religious prosecution in Ontario. "Minority religious groups are being labelled mind-benders by the Government," Robert Warner, a spokesman for the Church of Scientology, said. "The Government knows and we are telling them again that all these groups have been investigated before and no charges have been laid. "We want to know what the purpose is in trying to legislate against groups who have done no wrong and why such specialized groups are being singled out." Scientology members said the groups have been under continued police surveillance and they consider it harassment that must be stopped.
Mr. Warner said the Ontario Psychological Association is attempting to create a climate for legislation against such groups by including them in a list of unauthorized counsellors. "They call it a legal tightening-up. We call it a witchhunt." The protesters received no response to a request that Mr. Timbrell, Solicitor-General George Kerr, Attorney-General Roy McMurtry and Larry Grossman, Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, meet representatives of the groups. -CP
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