Beliefnet News

The Australian government may force the Church of Scientology there to pay millions in past salaries to former members who say they were forced to work for free.

The move came after Australian labor officials received confidential statements from several former Scientology workers who claim they were underpaid, or not paid, for at least a decade. Some alleged victims told the Fair Work Ombudsman that they were paid only $2 a week and had to rely on welfare, according to the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper.

The Ombudsman’s office will soon release its findings after an 18-month probe. In a statement it said: “The Fair Work Ombudsman recently provided a draft copy of its initial finding to the relevant parties for feedback and is currently considering those responses.”

Insiders said the church had failed to pay staff for such a long time that any order for backpay could bankrupt the organization’s Australian arm.

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