|THE "Church" of Scientology is in the
throes of a major relaunch in an attempt to fill its
When they can't bend the media — as they managed to do with last year's Radio 4 programme on L. Ron Hubbard — they buy it. Hence the full-page ad in the Observer, refused by other papers, with a selection of people whose lives were transformed by Hubbard. Among them were Derek Field, an accountant who omits to mention that he prepares the books for most of the cult's front organisations. Another signatory is Gill McEnery, who also forgets to mention that she is secretary of one of those front organisations, the Candida Albicans Advice Group, dedicated to persuading the world that it is suffering from a latter-day variant of the Pharoah's Curse.
As well as this kind of marketing, the Scientologists are also using a South African mailing service called — believe it or not — Conmail, to send out invitations to their East Grinstead HQ. The enclosed bumf also invites you to "complete your L. Ron Hubbard Library" at a cost of around £700. But then, working on the principle that anyone who buys the things must be pretty gullible, they ask purchasers to add 15 per cent VAT.
Since books are zero-rated, this means that they are defrauding either the customers or the VATman. In the case of the Mark VI E-meters they offer, the rip-off is definitely against the customers since they are asking £3,675 plus VAT for a heap of worthless junk containing a few pounds' worth of components. But even that sounds like good value compared to their £2,700 charge for a 12½ hour session of "Student Booster Rundown".
But that is nothing compared to what awaits respondents to an advert in the Brighton Evening Argus saying: "Crew wanted. Unique craft. Unusual world venture." By a stunning coincidence, over in Florida Old Mother Hubbard's children are launching their newly refurbished ship "Freewinds".
The ship is probably a ploy to get the leadership away from taxmen and defrauded students, but it is officially designed to "deliver Ron's new OT VIII". Suckers will pay large sums of money to become an operating Thetan, Grade VIII, and learn all about how Xenu destroyed the Earth, leaving the Body Thetans as spiritual hijackers to spook you. (Knowing about Xenu without the training is supposed to kill you, so will all Eye readers who die as a result of reading this please let us know.)
Intending seafarers would be well advised to note that the last time Scientologists put to sea, members were thrown overboard as a punishment and "Commodore Hubbard" demonstrated the level of seamanship you would expect from someone who searched the seas for treasures he had hidden in his previous lives.