Church of Scientology Statement to ABC News

Statement from the Church of Scientology to "Nightline."

April 24, 2008— -- The Church of Scientology made it clear from its first contacts with "Nightline" that it would not publicly discuss the ecclesiastical circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Mrs. Hill from Church staff, regardless of the nature of her allegations.

The Church will not discuss matters surrounding Mrs. Hill, because given the thrust of her claims, she has used her name to make an otherwise ecclesiastical issue into a family matter and a personal attack on a family member. The Church will not relinquish its dignity to engage in such a debate. Moreover, due to Mr. Miscavige's ecclesiastical position he cannot, will not and never has commented on family matters. It would be entirely inappropriate. Indeed, it is always inappropriate to discuss family in a public forum.

Every religion has its detractors; there is no faith that can satisfy everyone's spiritual needs, Scientology included. We wish Mrs. Hill well in her search for spiritual fulfillment.

"Nightline" clearly had its show prepared before it ever contacted the Church. Nonetheless, the Church provided "Nightline" with a wealth of information regarding the allegations raised in this piece so that ABC could undertake journalistic due diligence. "Nightline" well knows the Church cannot respond directly to Mrs. Hill's allegations without impugning her character, something the Church will not do.

The Church of Scientology repeatedly offered ABC unlimited access to its staff and facilities for a piece on the actual story of Scientology. Under the leadership of Mr. David Miscavige, the Church has seen unprecedented expansion across the globe, in its membership, in its facilities to serve its parishioners and the surrounding communities and, most importantly, in its humanitarian programs reaching out to make this a better world. "Nightline" was more interested in pursuing a story more fitting to tabloid journalism.

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