Readers Horrified “The Age” Embraces Intolerance

I am incensed that this sort of religious persecution is allowed in your newspaper and I am writing to you in the hope that common sense and decency will prevail. 

Intolerant group

Image by Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Shutterstock.com


April 6, 2021 

Ms. Gay Alcorn
Editor, The Age


Dear Editor,

I am writing to you directly to express my horror at the words recently written in your newspaper by a supposed journalist, Ben Schneiders.

I simply cannot believe, in this year of 2021, after all the world has been through, that such vindictive religious intolerance would find its way into what I consider a respected Australian newspaper.

Ben has, in three articles in a row printed in your newspaper, attempted to implicate the Church of Scientology in some concocted, unfounded theory he has that because the Church is expanding and has acquired some assets, that now it should be penalised.

I am incensed that this sort of religious persecution is allowed in your newspaper and I am writing to you in the hope that common sense and decency will prevail and you, as editor, will print a retraction detailing the obvious errors.

I have been an active Scientologist since 1972 and I have been helping to push forward the humanitarian programs in Australia that have also been embraced worldwide. Being intimately familiar with the strict financial polices of the Church, I know without doubt that not one cent of Scientology donations in Australia or worldwide goes towards any one individual or group of individuals.

I simply cannot believe, in this year of 2021, after all the world has been through, that such vindictive religious intolerance would find its way into what I consider a respected Australian newspaper.

The charitable funds collected and Church buildings purchased were also raised by generous donations from many well-respected Australian businessmen and private individuals, and all for the express purpose of purchasing our own Church buildings in each state, for religious purposes, and our extremely successful global outreach programs, human rights campaigns, education campaigns, the Truth About Drugs campaigns, and the recent Stay Well campaign, just to name a few.

These charitable activities of the Church in Australia are only possible because of the donations of Scientologists and like-minded individuals and I defy anyone to be more rigorous than the Church in being cost-efficient and accountable in running these programs. 

So if, as Schneiders accuses, the owning of property and money in the bank disqualifies a church as being a charitable organisation, that is tantamount to saying that the Catholic and Anglican churches of Australia should be investigated and their charitable status revoked because they own property.

Would you prefer that they run them on government handouts instead?

If you ever want to publish the actual truth on the charitable work of the Church then let me know—but you would have to allow several pages just for the summary.

Yours faithfully,


Phil White

Queensland, Australia 

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