The Herald (Melbourne), 19 May 1977, p3


[photo: smiling reporter on left holding the cans, smiling Elaine Allen on right holding up E-meter]

By Herald reporter Geoff Easdown who was tested today by Mrs Elaine Allen, Victoria's first registered minister of the Church of Scientology.

Scientology is operating in a bigger way than before it was banned in 1965, its first officially recognised minister in Victoria claimed today.

Controversial files are still kept on those who seek counselling from its ministers.

The controversial E-meter is again in use.

At the Church of Scientology, 724 Inkerman Rd., Caulfield, I was given an E-meter test today by Mrs Elaine Allen, the first registered minister of the church.

One of the questions she asked as electrical impulses in my body recorded a reading on the meter was: "Have you a happily married lady, somewhere out there in the suburbs?"

I answered "Yes" and the needle swept right across the dial - indicating that I had answered correctly.

Mrs Allen, 40, a mother of four, said: "The meter is simply an aid, much the same as a Catholic priest uses a confessional.

"The auditor - we call him or her an auditor, or minister if you like - uses it as an aid to help him counsel someone who seeks help.

"It helps him get to the bottom of the matter that's troubling the person who seeks help."

'Green light'

Asked whether E-meters were in general use, Mrs Allen said: "Yes, we still have them ... and we still use them as an aid."

I spoke with Mrs Allen and underwent the test after the State Government agreed to her registration.

She said her registration meant that the Government had recognised Scientology as a religion.

"We've been given the green light ... it's been a long time coming and it is a great victory for us," she said.

Mrs Allen said scientology had about 5000 followers in Melbourne.

Records were still being kept - but not on all 5000 members.

"They are kept only on those who have sought counselling," she said.

She readily produced the E-meter on my request to give me a test.

As she talked, a stream of young men kept entering the building.

Behind her was a library of books - all about scientology - giving the name of the leader of the faith L. Ron Hubbard.

There was a picture of a middle aged man on the wall.

"That's my mate Ron," she said. "We met on his yacht in 1973 ... I am confident he will emerge as the world's greatest philosopher."

Asked about the number of young people about the building, she says: "We have a staff of about 50."

She said the Church in Melbourne was self-supporting.

It had about 40 ministers in training, and another 10 or 12 who had been trained and ordained into the church.

There were also about 20 students on courses.

A course costs from about $15 for a beginner's communications course to $75 for the follow up - the next step in scientology.

"Yes, we are bigger than we were in 1965," she said.

The Victorian Government banned the practice of scientology in 1965 after an inquiry that lasted nearly two years.


The Acting Health Minister, Mr Jona, said the State Government could not stop Mrs Allen practising as a minister of scientology in Victoria.

But he said a close watch was being kept on her activities to ensure she did not breach the Psychological Practices Act of 1965.

He said this act outlawed certain practices being performed by anyone except qualified psychologists.

And it also outlawed the use of equipment including the E-meter by anyone at all in Victoria.

Mr Jona said she was allowed to practise as a minister in Victoria because the Federal Government had recognised scientology as an accredited church during the time that Senator Murphy was Attorney-General.

He said there had been no scientology ministers in Victoria, but a minister from New South Wales had visited the state regularly.

"We can do nothing about it as such," he said.

Mr Jona said there was no evidence to suggest that Mrs Allen was performing any of the practices outlawed under the Psychological Practices Act.

Mr Jona said she was performing no more than her duties given to her under the Federal Act of marrying people.

He said anyone could preach in a church.

Mr Jona said the Federal Government had accepted Scientology as an approved religion.

'Raptures' at church's world HQ

The message from world scientology headquarters at Saint Hill Manor in England today was clear: "Scientology is winning.

"It's beautiful. We're going to clear the planet Earth."

Word that a Melbourne woman had become Victoria's first registered minister of the Church of Scientology sent the church's technical services director, Mr Ulrich Kramer, into raptures.

He said: "This is the result of an international prayer day in California last year.

"We were told then there would be a change in the government's attitude.

"It was foreseen that this would happen. About 10,000 people prayed for this and it's happened.

"Scientology is winning and it's wonderful."

Mr Kramer said the founder of scientology, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard "will be thrilled at the news.

"He has not been here for several years and is probably at Flag Landbase in Clearwater, Florida."