The PM says he has concerns about Scientology but won't launch a probe without seeing evidence, despite a senator's allegations the church is engaged in criminal activity.
18 Nov 2009 - 11:51 AM  UPDATED 24 Feb 2015 - 2:42 PM

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he has concerns about the Church of Scientology but wants to see what material independent senator Nick Xenophon has before committing to a parliamentary inquiry.

Senator Xenophon told parliament on Tuesday there was criminal activity within the church and has called for a Senate inquiry into Scientology's tax exempt status.

Senator Xenophon has also called for police to investigate the church after being contacted by a number of former Scientologists who accused the organisation of shocking crimes.

Senator Xenophon said their correspondence implicated the organisation in a range of crimes, including forced imprisonment, coerced abortions, physical violence, and blackmail.

Asked about the senator's claims, Mr Rudd described them as "grave allegations".

"Many people in Australia have real concerns about Scientology," Mr Rudd told reporters at Bungendore in NSW on Wednesday.

"I share some of those concerns. Let us proceed carefully and look carefully at the material he has provided before we make a decision on further parliamentary action."