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Jane Lomax-Smith: Scientologists are 'bastards' who should be taxed

Title: Jane Lomax-Smith: Scientologists are 'bastards' who should be taxed
Date: Thursday, 10 July 2008
Publisher: Advertiser (Australia)
Author: Michael Owen
Main source:

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EDUCATION Minister Jane Lomax-Smith has been caught on tape declaring Scientologists “should be taxed, the bastards”.

Footage from a video recorded during a protest on May 10 by internet activist group Anonymous has emerged which shows Dr Lomax-Smith casually chatting to protesters in Adelaide.

Clearly not a fan of the controversial Church of Scientology, Dr Lomax-Smith asks protesters how frequently they gather and exclaims, “oh, it’s great”.

She then asks about the protest group, which is dedicated to “dismantling and destroying” the Church of Scientology.

Watch the video here – the footage featuring Jane Lomax-Smith begins at the 8:05 mark, towards the end of the recording

It wants the church’s tax-exempt status rescinded, alleging it is a cult rather than a religion.

The religious organisation is regularly in the news for its beliefs and high-profile celebrity spokespeople such as Tom Cruise, as well as its fundraising activities.

Dr Lomax-Smith tells protesters: “They should be taxed, the bastards. They shouldn’t be tax-free, we’re subsidising them.”

She then says: “I like your masks.”

In an emailed statement issued today, Dr Lomax-Smith said: “It was a private conversation and I was expressing a personal view. There’s nothing more to add.”

Church of Scientology Australia president Vicki Dunstan said the organisation was entitled to the same rights as other churches “and the full bench of the High Court of Australia unanimously confirmed this in 1983?.

“Dr Lomax-Smith is an elected official and as such represents the voice and rights of the many different races, cultures and creeds in their electorate,” Ms Dunstan said.

“She has a duty to follow the policy of her party and refrain from making derogatory public comments that promote intolerance and violate the very basis of our democratic constitution.”

State Opposition Leader Martin Hamilton-Smith said Dr Lomax-Smith’s assertion that the church should not be exempt from tax “flies in the face of federal and state decisions to exempt the church from taxes”.

“The Treasurer has signed off on exemptions from state payroll taxes and they include organisations such as the Church of Scientology,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.

“If Dr Lomax-Smith thinks that’s wrong, then she should raise her concerns with (Treasurer Kevin Foley) and justify her case.”