The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 May 1972, p4

Scientologist says migration barred

"Herald" Correspondent

LONDON, Wednesday. - A 25-year-old prospective English migrant claims he has been banned from going to Australia because he once worked for the Church of Scientology.

He is Geoffrey Silver, of Mill Hill, an outer London suburb.

At least 20 of his relatives have emigrated to or are already in Australia.

Australian migration officials both in London and Canberra have rejected successive applications by him to come to Australia.

They have also rejected his appeals from those decisions.

They told him they would not allow him to come to Australia as an assisted migrant or a full-fare-paying migrant, or even as a tourist.

He has asked the Immigration Department why his applications were rejected, but the department has refused to divulge its reasons.

But he said that one Immigration official told him "off the record" that it was because of his association with Scientology.

Mr Silver first applied for an assisted passage in April, 1970. He received an application form which asked, among other things, where he had worked.

In the column headed "employer" Mr Silver wrote "Church of Scientology." These three words have apparently made him persona non grata with Australia.

Mr Silver says he cannot think of any reason other than his former employers for his rejection by the Immigration Department.

He says he no longer works for the Church of Scientology, nor is he a member of the organisation.

However, he still maintains an interest in Scientology. He says that if it were banned in Australia he would have nothing to do with it there.

A friend of his, who also worked for the Church of Scientology in London, applied at the same time as he did for an assisted passage to Australia. He did not mention his association with Scientology, and his application was granted.

Mr Silver has repeatedly asked why he has been debarred from going to Australia - if only to see his relatives - and has been refused an official explanation.

Immigration officials at Australia House in London refuse to comment on his case other than to say that reasons for refusing immigration applications are never divulged.

They said Mr Silver's case had been reviewed again this week, and the rejection must stand.