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 Justin Madden justifies Scientology visit 

Justin Madden justifies Scientology visit

08 Feb, 2011 01:00 AM

ESSENDON MP Justin Madden has defended his decision to attend the opening of a new Scientology centre in Ascot Vale.

Mr Madden said he was invited as the local member and asked to speak at the opening.

A practising Catholic, Mr Madden said he was happy to attend the functions and events of other "faith communities".

"It's beyond my role to pass judgment on various faith communities - a feature of Victoria is its cultural and religious diversity."

Council officers and councillors from Moonee Valley were invited, however, only Buckley ward councillor Paul Giuliano attended.

Cr Giuliano said it was a great event. "I went to the official opening to a building that has been magnificently restored, regardless of what their beliefs are. The building looks fantastic."

Scientology is a religious system created by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard.

Melbourne Scientology spokesman Nigel Mannock said the new centre was required to accommodate the growing number of believers in Victoria.

He said the new headquarters was run by 200 volunteers who gave up their time to help others in the community. "The facilities include a large chapel which doubles as a public auditorium available to the community.

"We have a number of course rooms dedicated to our life improvement courses including literacy, relationships and communication, as well as facilities for our community outreach programs including drug education, human rights education, morals education as well as a base for our disaster response program which is among the largest volunteer groups in the world.

"Unique in this new church facility is also a multimedia information centre where people can find out for

themselves who we are and what we do."

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I think it is good to see a politician refusing to give in to pressure from critics who want everyone to think they represent public opinion. In the long run, Mr Madden will be remembered for his integrity.
Posted by Carla, 8/02/2011 10:38:42 AM, on Moonee Valley Weekly
Interesting. I never really liked Haggis’ work and was surprised to hear he was a Scientologist. He never particularly promoted being a Scientologist until he left.
Posted by JeffSmado, 8/02/2011 11:03:38 AM, on Moonee Valley Weekly
Justin Madden is an example of a good bloke. He's obviously a fair guy and that is very Australian.
Posted by Aussie, 8/02/2011 11:34:47 AM, on Moonee Valley Weekly
I agree. Just because the Scientology business is abusive and manipulative shouldn't stop a politician promoting it for his own purposes.

The cult is big on propaganda, and buttering up celebrities, but the more you learn about it, the worse you find it.

Posted by rex, 8/02/2011 4:13:16 PM, on Moonee Valley Weekly
Madden and Doyle were fools to go and the repercussions speaks for itself. Madden should take a few minutes to read what Hubbard thought of Jesus Christ. Had he done so before going, he would have never stepped foot on the place.
Posted by Mary McConnell, 8/02/2011 4:22:40 PM, on Moonee Valley Weekly
Why was Cr Guliano there? Other Moonee Valley councillors did not attend but why was he there and what is his connection with the Scientologists? What is he hiding?
Posted by Brian Manning, 9/02/2011 9:11:28 AM, on Moonee Valley Weekly
Australia is a free country isn't it? So why shouldn't public figures exercise the same freedoms bestowed upon the population?

Critics of Scientology may find it hard to understand that people have the God-given right to choose their expression of faith or choose to have no faith. Fortunately the message of tolerance of another's beliefs is stronger than that of intolerance.

Scientology is part of a broader faith community and it will be interesting to watch it grow, not only in size, but in popularity as well.

Posted by Andrew, 9/02/2011 9:48:05 AM, on Moonee Valley Weekly
I am disgusted and horrified my MP Justin Madden attended this event. I have no issue with people believing in dianetics or L Ron Hubbards books.

I am however very concerned about the Scientology organisation being supported. Just look at their behaviour so far, the first day they are open they brag about violating the capacity limit of the venue by over one thousand people?

I can't help but feel Moonee Valley residents have been betrayed by our elected officials. Our council must take urgent measures to protect the local community rather than trying to woo B grade celebrities.

Posted by Varanus, 9/02/2011 2:59:26 PM, on Moonee Valley Weekly

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