Tuesday, 23 August 2011

East. Grinstead and Scientology in the news.

British Government Declares Scientology a SINISTER CULT:

The battle for East. Grinstead.

Dithering, stitch-up and dismay within the Government over how to treat the challenge of Scientology emerges from the confidential papers.

L. Ron Hubbard’s choice of East Grinstead as the headquarters of his religion made the West Sussex town a Jerusalem for a certain kind of adherent in the 1960s.

Young, mentally ill people had gone to East Grinstead for treatment and had complete breakdowns. A woman who paid £300 was found living in a forest.

The ban remained in place until 1980, but last night the Church of Scientology described the claims as ridiculous and said that police repeatedly found the allegations in the Government’s papers to be “completely false”.

 The Secrets of Scientology.

Sitting on a red velvet chair in the middle of a majestic, oak-panelled hall in East Grinstead, I have rarely felt more fearful for my sanity. On the wall in front of me, a creepy, larger-than-life-sized portrait of an old man seems to be staring straight at me. In front of the portrait, Laura, a middle-aged woman wearing a high-necked blouse and ostentatious gold cross, stands behind a lectern reading aloud from a huge leather-bound tome.


In Britain, the Charity Commission denied Scientology religious status on the basis that it did not benefit the public in any way.

As I'm led inside another room by Ron, I see at least 100 people - most of them elderly - poring over huge leather-bound books. It reminds me of one of the large reading room in the British Library - but these people are not browsing for free. Although Ron will not give me an exact figure, he says that recruits pay "thousands" to study Scientology.

Elsewhere, there are hundreds of machines stacked up in readiness for a possible sales event that afternoon. Called E-meters (short for electropsychometer) they look like two tin cans attached by thin wires to a navy blue control panel. By gripping the cans in both hands, the specially designed machine will supposedly help senior Scientologists locate areas of spiritual distress in your soul. Although the Scientologists' own prayer book states they can only be used by Scientology ministers, I - a definite non-minister - am offered the chance to purchase one, a snip at £3,000.
I ask Ron whether I'm likely to bump into any famous names. He shakes his head. "Celebrities rarely attend Saint Hill, except on special occasions," he says. "There is a dedicated 'celebrity centre' in London's Bayswater." Apparently, celebrities have "special needs", although he won't expand on this. Somehow, I can't envisage Cruise or Travolta sleeping in a barracks in East Grinstead.

At the end of the four hours, I am keen to leave. Ron tries to get me to make an appointment to see someone for "dianetics counselling" as soon as possible. He phones me that evening - and for the next three days. A female recruit also leaves me messages - none of which I return.

The cult has attempted to intimidate news organisations who expose it. Last year, it threatened court action against Google, which had to remove websites that criticised the group. After a day witnessing what goes on on the inside, I realise it's little wonder the "church" needs to resort to such tactics.

Scientologist's  set for heavenly tax cut.

Scientology could be officially recognised as a religion in the UK following a ruling in the European Court of Human Rights.

The decision, won by a law team led from East Grinstead, could mean the Charity Commission will have to recognise the controversial Church of Scientology as a bona fide religious group.
This would give it access to a series of tax breaks and potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds in taxpayers' money through Gift Aid.
The European Court ruled the Russian government should be forced to recognise the Church as a religious organisation.
But if the decision is rolled out across the EU the group, which is viewed as a business in many countries, could save millions of pounds.

The UK headquarters of the Church of Scientology is in East Grinstead and has been visited by Tom Cruise, the creed's most high-profile follower.

The organisation was turned down for charitable status in 1999 because the Charity Commission ruled scientology was not a religion in English charity law.

Graeme Wilson, the director and spokesman for the Church of Scientology in England and Wales, said it had not decided whether to reapply.


Mr Wilson said: "The vast majority of people are recognising this is mainstream. It is in over 160 countries around the world, with 7,000 churches and different organisations."

The court application was led by East Grinstead lawyer Peter Hodkin and won under Article 11 - the freedom of assembly and association - of the European Convention on Human Rights read in the light of

Article 9 - the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
The court ruled that the Church of Scientology had been "discriminated against as a religious minority" and "was restricted in exercising the full range of its religious activities".

The group was partly refused charitable status in 1999 on the grounds that it was not "established to promote the moral or spiritual welfare or the improvement of the community".

It has since established an anti-drugs campaign with schools and the police in the UK using scientologist swing band Jive Aces to front the message and a "youth for human rights" campaign.

Notice Peter Hodkin again, who has people followed home to identify them and then sends cease and desist letters.How very religious.

Councillor starts Scientology row.
A councillor in East Sussex has asked for Scientologists in his town to be stopped from working for the council.
Councillor Michael Murphy has had his proposal seconded by councillor Paul Scott, but other members of Crowborough Town Council have raised objections.
He suggests the council "refrains from using the voluntary services of the Scientologists until a full investigation has been carried out".


Jo-Ann Wilkins, a Scientologist from Crowborough, said she was "a little surprised" to hear the issue mentioned at Tuesday's council meeting.

"I have been doing voluntary work for the council for three years," she said.

I can't help what else she has been doing for the local council?If you've read all of my other posts I think you'll know what I mean.

Cllr Michael Murphy demanded the council should seek further information into the church of Scientology before it uses its voluntary services.

Cllr Murphy, who reiterated that he does not discriminate against anyone, referred to newspaper allegations of improper conduct by Scientologists particularly at Walsh Manor, Crowborough, where some 350 scientologists live.

He claimed workers at the manor always looked "pained and exhausted" and how one remarked "I would have loved it if the police moved in and let us all go".

Cllr Murphy said: "It's not an organisation full of ordinary people. It's an authoritarian organisation that restricts people and their freedom - particularly the vulnerable. They charge a lot of money for the services they provide."


'After seeing what was going on there, I became so disgusted with it that I had to resign. On June 24, 1966, I was escorted from the premises and nothing was mentioned about a uniform and I have never had any request to return it,' he said.

Mr. Johnson then told the court of the letters he had received from Scientologists stating that he had been 'disconnected' from them.

A bundle of these letters was handed to the chairman who said: 'This is an incredible bunch of letters; much of it is written in violent language and they appear to contain a theme of hate.'

Mr. Johnson said it was quite normal for people leaving the movement to receive letters like this. It was a condition of re-entry into the movement that a member must write a letter disconnecting himself from someone who has left Scientology.

He said this would happen while a student was being processed.

At this point, Mr. Evans remarked that it sounded like a form of brain-washing.


Mr Soames said he and his family "deeply resented" the use of the Churchill name and extracts from his famous speeches "and my grandfather would have loathed it".

The decision by the Scientologists to follow the example of the BNP was "unforgivable", Mr Soames said.
"They didn't even ask permission."

Pictures of Sir Winston and quotes from his speeches are included in staff recruitment material which has been circulating in the UK. They have also been used to promote speaking engagements and fund raising campaigns.


Scientologists pay for libel.
The Church of Scientology religious education college - responsible for the propagation and practice of Scientology in the UK - produced a leaflet in June 1993 describing her as a hate campaigner and a deprogrammer who tried to force people away from their chosen faith. It cast doubt on the sincerity of her claims to be a born-again Christian. Mr Tugendhat said the church now accepted that the allegations were untrue.


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