Senator Nick Xenophon in torture claim against Scientologists

Sydney, Australia - CLAIMS of Scientologists forcing members to have abortions and imprisoning and torturing others have been tabled during a speech by a federal MP.

Drawing on the inquest on Queensland soldier Edward Alexander McBride, 31, who had just finished a Church of Scientology course, Independent Nick Xenophon outlined new allegations made by five former Australian "victims".

The victims' statements have been referred to police by Senator Xenophon, who argued it was now time for Federal Parliament to delve into the church and re-evaluate its tax-emption status.

Quoting whistleblower Aaron Saxton, who was born into the "cult" and then carried out its orders before leaving, Senator Xenophon said one member was encouraged to perjure himself about the deaths of his two children.

"In his statement Aaron also says he was forced to participate in the illegal confinement and torture of a follower who was kept under house arrest," he said.

"He says while under control of Scientology he was involved in coercing female followers to have abortions (because) ... this was in line with a policy designed to keep followers loyal to the organisation and to allow them to keep working for the organisation."

Senator Xenophon said one of the "saddest" stories was from Paul Scholfield, whose daughter, aged 2, died after ingesting potassium chloride.

"I ask my fellow senators, do these things sound like religious activities to you? Does this sound like an organisation that should be receiving support from the Australian taxpayer?"

The church is famous for its A-List Hollywood recruits Tom Cruise and John Travolta.