Tuesday, 30 July 2013

On this day in 1968

Mind cult's Scots trip is grounded
Date: Tuesday, 30 July 1968
Publisher: Scottish Daily Express (UK)
Authors: Lorna Blackie, Bob Smith
Main source: link (265 KiB)

A SPECIAL "flight-to-freedom" charter jet bringing 186 Americans to Edinburgh to study scientology, the international cult condemned by the Government, was cancelled yesterday by Caledonian Airways.

The airline was told by the Home Office that the passengers would be banned from landing at Prestwick.

Even if the airline had rejected the Government's advice, under international regulations they would have had to fly the passengers back to New York.

An airline spokesman said yesterday: "Because of what has been said in the House of Commons about the scientology cult we approached the Home Office for their advice on this flight.

"They told us if the passengers were foreign students of scientology coming to study in this country they would not be allowed to land."

At the former hotel on South Bridge, Edinburgh, opened a few weeks ago as the most advanced course centre in the world for scientology, Mr. Carl Widdey (30) explained that they had named the charter "Flight to Freedom."

HE SAID: "We don't blame the airline for cancelling the flight, but this was a dictatorial act by the British Government.

"Under the 1962 Immigration Act a student may disemback in this country without prejudice. Even if there is prejudice they are allowed one month here in which to appeal.

The Government has stated they could not find anything detramental but despite this they banned our students even before they left America.

"Our lawyers at our East Grinstead headquarters have been informed of the position and are getting in touch with the Immigration Department over this."

He added that within the last few days seven students had been turned back at Heathrow and another seven at Dover.

But Mr. Bill Robertson, American head of the advanced course headquarters was unperturbed at the loss of scores of students.

"We will not be short of students," he claimed. "I don't think it will affect our traffic at all."

PINNED to the wall was a "tone scale," which normally illustrates students' progress on the course.

It was made the subject of Mr. Robertson's Sunday night sermon after the addition of tags showing the lowly rating of the British Government, Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, Health Minister Kenneth Robinson and the "Communists in the Government."

Mr. Robertson, who worked as a civil engineer on missile stations before becoming a scientologist six years ago, He said: "If a person is smart enough to make money to come half way around the world and has the ability to succeed in his profession he is not going to be duped."

SEVERAL of his students happily told of bettering their business fortunes—after taking the course.

Mr. Raymond Tippets (52), a former electronics engineer from Arizona, was a scientology teacher for two and a half years in Los Angeles.

He claimed to have brought retarded up to normal standards.

"Scientology is run like a very efficient business organisation.

"It works on both commercial and spiritual levels because it increases the ability of the whole man with the greatest good for the greatest number.

"We have had Communists in the group, but by the time they have been through processing — and without any pressurising — they agree that this is the true philosophy."

Others had found that it helped their musical abilities.

JAZZ LEADER Dave Brubeck's son Darius (21), who joined the Edinburgh course six weeks and plays the piano, guitar, trumpet and Indian instruments, has not had much time for music since then.

He said: "But I feel much more able to communicate in general when I talk to people."

"I have found what I was looking for. My family do not knew because they are camping in the Rockies but they will be very happy when I tell them."

An inscription on a wooden box beside the reception desk says: "You can always communicate to Ron (Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology). Any message placed here is answered by him directly."

Darius Brubeck wrote to him suggesting that scientology should be better practised in the universities and got a message back saying that this would be looked into.

"Quite truthfully I have no idea where Ron is in his ship at the moment," said Bill Robertson, who like the other staff , wears all-white clothing.

"We send the messages down to East Grinstead and they are picked up when one of our ships comes to land."

He added: "I have not had any contact at all with him since the Minister of Health made his statement.

"But there is no need for a constant stream of messages because all his policy instructions are written down and he expects us to carry them out."

SCOTLAND was chosen for the advanced course headquarters and publications [c]entre because Ron Hubbard believes that the Scottish national character is in line with the ideals of scientology. "Basically the Scots are freedom-loving people who like to stand up for what they believe—and they have a philosophical and religious background," said Bill Robertson.

Part of the cult's creed says: "That all men of whatever race, colour or creed were created with equal rights.

"That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance.

"That all men have inalienable rights to their own lives.

"That all men have inalienable rights to their sanity."

[Picture / Caption: Lisa [?]erner from Boston]

Students of the Edinburgh Scientology Centre

[Picture / Caption: EVELYN CLARK]
[Picture / Caption: RAYMOND TIPPETS]
[Picture / Caption: PETER HILTON]
[Picture / Caption: Mrs GRACE WELLS]
[Picture / Caption: MADELINE LITCHFIELD]

Cult to expand [?] Scotland [Article incomplete]
Date: Tuesday, 30 July 1968
Publisher: Evening News (Edinburgh)
Main source: link (63 KiB)

[First part missing] Canada, Australia, and England.

"Since we have only just started setting up in Scotland, we have no Scots yet," said "Communicator" Madeleine Litchfield, from Canada. "But there are a number who are on their way."

On a local basis, the organisation have started the Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence in an old workshop in Queen Street.

The workshop was bought from house furnishers W. K. Storie & Son, at a cost of £28,000 but several thousand pounds more are being spent on equipping and decorating.

The deal included a warehouse in North-east Thistle Street Lane, which is now the scientologists' publication distribution centre, Pubs Org.

Thousands of the books — many of them by L. Ron Hubbard — are sent out all over the world from here every week.

The money for the purchase of the property in Edinburgh came from the organisation's central fund, said Miss Litchfield. The fund holds money raised by their enterprises throughout the world.

Why did the scientologists choose Scotland as their base?

"The Scottish character is very much in line with the beliefs of scientology," said Miss Litchfield.

The cult are upset and annoyed at the Government's intervention. "They have no legal right to touch us," said Miss Litchfield, "and this must show that we are doing nothing wrong."

What of their future in Scotland. So far more than £50,000 of the organisation's money has been invested in Edinburgh and more could be spent.

"I have no idea what plans are in store for us here," commented Miss Litchfield. Expansion plans will come from Hubbard when he is ready.

Hubbard himself is on board one of his three ships "somewhere" at sea doing advanced research which is "very important" to the organisation.

Mr Kenneth Robinson, Minister of Health, speaking about scientology in the Commons last week, said: "It is a pseudo-philosophical cult introduced into this country from the United States. The Government have become increasingly concerned at its spread in the United Kingdom.

"The Government is satisfied that scientology is socially harmful. "It alienates members of families from each other. Its authoritarian principles and practices are a potential menace to the personality and well being of those so deluded as to become its followers."

[Note: the puzzling sign: Henry Bolte was the Premier of Victoria, not the Prime Minister of Australia.]
The Australian, 30 Jul 1969, p7



About 80 demonstrators picketed the Australian consulate office in New York today carrying signs reading: "Hitler lives in Australia," and "Australia has crimes against God."

The demonstration, against the banning of Scientology in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, was peaceful.

New Yorkers paid scant attention to the placard-bearers, who marched in a circle outside the building for two hours.

The banner signs were puzzling: "Repeal Australia's anti-religion laws," "God? No," and "Australia, The British Alcatraz." But perhaps the most puzzling was: "Prime Minister Bolte, Australia's Fuhrer."

When the demonstration ended at 1 pm, the acting consul-general Mr Frank Murray, received a deputation of two - a man who introduced himself as the Reverend Whitman, and his wife.


They handed over a petition, signed with about 80 names, demanding that the Federal Government care for the rights of the people and stop the repression of religion in Australia.

Mr Murray said the protest was belated as Victoria had banned the sect nearly four years ago after a royal commission inquiry.

About a dozen policemen eyed the silent demonstrators as they thrusted pamphlets into the hands of passers-by.

United Press reports that a similar demonstration was scheduled for later yesterday at the office of the Australian Trade Commission in Los Angeles, California.

 On the 31st of July 1968...

Yard probes mind cult
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 1968
Publisher: Daily Mail (UK)
Main source: link (35 KiB)

SCOTLAND YARD detectives are investigating Scientology, the American-devised mind cult.

Their report will go to the Home Office.

Last week, Health Minister Kenneth Robinson told the Commons that the cult was socially harmful and that foreigners would not be allowed into Britain for Scientology courses.

But 20 American Scientologists were let in yesterday — because they said they were on holiday.

A family of seven Scientologists on the same plane at Heathrow were sent back because they wanted to stay for a year and did not have enough money.

A Scientology spokesman said yesterday that they planned to issue writs for alleged libel.

He said: 'They will be served on parties who have reported our activities unfairly and grossly inaccurately.'


A Transatlantic jet, which stopped over at Glasgow before continuing to London, was found littered with dozens of pamphlets and leaflets on Scientology yesterday.

Mr Raymond Berry, of Main Street, Ochiltree, Dumfriesshire, flew from Glasgow to London.

He said: 'When I got on the aircraft I noticed piles of Scientology literature on the seats and on the floor. 
Certainly some Scientologists must have got off at Prestwick.'

A big influx of Scientologists is expected at this yen's Edinburgh Festival.

Miss Madeline Litchfield, 21, a 'communicator' at the new Scottish Scientology headquarters in Edinburgh, said yesterday: 'We put he Festival on our pamphlets which were sent to memmbers.

'All Scientologists love aesthetic things — and the Festival is wonderful.'

Scientology suspects barred
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 1968
Publisher: The Times (UK)
Main source: link (45 KiB)

Seven Americans, a husband, his wife and their five children, were sent back to the United States from Heathrow yesterday five hours after arriving from New York.

They had told immigration officials that they had come to London to attend a music festival, but their tickets were said to have been made out in the same way as those of scientology students and to have been paid for from the same source.

The man, who described himself as a musician and a student, said at the airport that it was an "unfortunate misunderstanding". The family were put on board a B.O.A.C. jet for New York.

By claiming that they are on holiday, and not here to study, members of the cult may be able to obtain entry in the ordinary way. Immigration officers admit that there is nothing to stop scientologists from studying once they get into Britain. The ban apepars to be only on those who admit that they are going to study. The Home Office does not regard the cult as a bona-fide student body, and students would not qualify for entry.
Scientologists said yesterday that they planned to issue writs alleging libel and would appeal to the European Council on Human Rights.

Mr. David Gaiman, speaking at the scientology world headquarters at East Grinstead, Sussex, said: "We cannot say against whom the writs will be issued. They will be served on parties who have reported our activities unfairly and grossly inaccurately.

"We cannot say more as there are no modern precedents for cases of religious persecution. We consider certain reports in daily and Sunday newspapers to be very unfair."

A scientology promotion campaign is to be started in the West Country. An office in Bristol has been set up and the focal point of the campaign will be a lecture held in an hotel next week.

Scientology riddle as jet leaves Prestwick
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 1968
Publisher: Scottish Daily Express (UK)
Main source: link (22 KiB)

LARGE party of scientology students is believed to have flown into Scotland from Toronto yesterday.

After 146 passengers left the B.O.A.C. flight at Prestwick, dozens of scientology pamphlets and leaflets were found during the last stage of the flight to London.

A Home Office official said last night: "No scientology students were refused at Prestwick today, but it is possible they were admitted as visitors."

The Home Office does not recognise the cult as a bona fide student group, and any would-be students arriving in Britain are being sent back.

* Scotland Yard has been instructed to make a survey of the American-born cult. A Home Office official will help direct two chief inspectors of the Yard in their investigation.

Scientologists to issue writs // Reports 'unfair'
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 1968
Publisher: The Scotsman (UK)
Main source: link (54 KiB)

A Scientologists' spokesman said yesterday that they planned to issue writs for alleged libel and appeal to the European Council on Human Rights.

Mr David Griman, speaking from the Scientology World Headquarters at East Grinstead, Sussex, said the writs would be served to parties who, he claimed, had reported their activities unfairly and with gross inaccuracy.

Seven Americans, including five children, who landed at Heathrow Airport, London, yesterday were sent back to New York. They said they were to attend a music festival, but their tickets were said to be made out in the same way as those of Scientology students and had been paid for from the same source.

The Home Office said later that entry was refused because the Americans had insufficient funds to support themselves.

Scientologists stopped at airport
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 1968
Publisher: East Grinstead Observer
Main source: link (63 KiB)

IMMIGRATION officers at Heathrow Airport stopped six Americans who said they had come to study scientology, and ordered them to be sent home again.

The Americans, a woman with two children, two other men and a young woman, were stopped as they were passing through the controls.

They told Immigration Officials that they had come to attend a School of Scientology at East Grinstead.

Later a Home Office spokesman said the party was refused entry because the six were coming to Britain for employment and did not have work permits.

'It is as simple as that. Scientology did not come into it,' he said.

A spokesman for the Hubbard College of Scientology, at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, said that the six Americans were not intended to go to the college.

He said: 'These people should not have been stopped. They were not coming to our college in the first place. 
They were going to another organisation and were in transit. As far as we know they are now on their way to their original destination — Spain.'

He said the Americans would have been welcome as visitors to the East Grinstead College, but could not have stayed for a course because they had not booked.


'They were scientologists, but they do not belong to this organisation and are not associated with it,' he added.

The spokesman said scientology was the study of mind and a means to increase man's potentiality and knowledge.

One of the women, 27-year-old Catherine Cariotaki, of San Diego, was at first given a two months' visa. But later her permission to stay in Britain was revoked.

As she sat with her travelling companions waiting for a plane to Spain, Miss Cariotaki, a scientologist for five years said: 'We got the impression that we were being stopped because we are scientologists.'

She added: 'I told them I was going to the Hubbard College, East Grinstead, and they let me through. I also stated that I will be going on later to visit my mother in Greece.

'They gave me a two months' visa and I went out to change some money at the bank.'

Back at Immigration Control she saw Michael Andrews, 17, also from San Diego 'haying some trouble.'

She said: 'I went back to help and I was nabbed and my visa revoked. Then the others were told that they were not being allowed in.'

Ann Bowers, 28, a widow from Los Angeles, had her two daughters Laurie 6, and Mellie 5, with her. They were going to be introduced to scientology.

'They were going to send us back to New York but the college fixed up for us to go to Spain where there is another college. When I get there I'm going to complain to the American Embassy,' declared Mrs. Bowers.
Sandy Harman, 25, wearing a 'Ban the Bomb' pendant, sold everything he had to come to Britain.
I have only got the clothes that I stand up in — and money of course. We have to come here to take the upper level courses at the college, he explained.

Is scientology sick?
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 1968
Publisher: The Scotsman (UK)
Main source: link (71 KiB)

The cult of scientology won unwelcome publicity for itself last week when the Government banned foreigners coming to this country specifically to study it or to work at its centres. For a belief or pursuit which offers alleged improvements to adherents' personalities and which holds to the maxim, "if it's not written, it's not true," the organisers are remarkably chary of publicity and free with threats of writs for libel. It has recently opened three offices in Edinburgh, one of which tries to interest outsiders by offering a free I.Q. and personality test. Published facts about the movement in this country suggest that its claims to be scientific are nonsense, that it would appeal to people who feel inadequate or are emotionally unstable and that its elaborate organisation is proof of considerable financial backing.

The American founder, Mr L. Ron Hubbard, used Piltdown Man to support his theories, was a prolific fiction writer before turning to "dianetics " and is said to claim he has visited Venus and Heaven. That plus the mumbo-jumbo of the cult suggests that scientology is silly, but not necessarily evil. Yet Mr Robinson, the Minister of Health, was sure that its dangers, actual and potential, demanded Government action. Scientology, he said, is socially harmful; it alienates members of families from each other, it attributes squalid motives to its opponents, and it may damage the personality and health of adherents. The Commons briefly debated the cult in March 1967 when Mr Peter Hordern instanced the derangement suffered by a constituent of his. He demanded a Government inquiry into the organisation, but Mr Robinson in reply simply warned people about the dangers of involvement. He refused an inquiry, drawing attention to a commission in the State of Victoria which had put on record enough evidence of evilness to persuade Parliament to prohibit practice of the cult.

Mr Hubbard brazenly says that anyone quoting the Australian report in this country will be sued. But with Mr Robinson acting against the movement and hinting that except for lack of powers the measures might have been stronger, there is need for the Government to instance evidence in this country. Otherwise, because the public lack facts, legitimate concern and action by the Government could be fairly termed intolerance by the scientologists. If a published inquiry showed that—as many people suspect—Mr Hordern, Mr Robinson and the State of Victoria are right, then the question of further sanctions could arise. But to ban the organisation might be to drive it underground; and notoriety is a powerful magnet. Perhaps the most sensible weapon is widespread ridicule.

Group 'not worried' by charter plane ban
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 1968
Publisher: Evening News (Edinburgh)
Main source: link (62 KiB)

Scientology students can still enter Britain to attend courses, despite turnarounds of charter aircraft bringing members of the cult into the country as ordered by the Government.

This was stated in Edinburgh today at the Hubbard College of Advanced Studies in South Bridge by public relations officer Laurel Watson.

She said they were not worried about the situation, and explained: "Many of the people who come here are on holiday or business trips by service aircraft. They are ordinary people and there is nothing to show any affiliation with us.

"Your immigration people could not possibly stop students from attending the centres. In an organisation whose object is to make people more able, we should be more able to get round the problem of the charter flights if we really wanted too."

Miss Watson added that at the moment there would be no further chartering of planes to bring students to Edinburgh. Arrangements would be made to give courses in America to those turned back.


More than 40 scientology students who arrived at London's Heathrow Airport last night were ordered to fly home again. The group were questioned by immigration officials, then booked into hotels near the airport. 

Security guards were on duty at the hotels throughout the night.

Early today ten more students were flown to New York aboard a Pan Am jet. They had arrived at Heathrow on a B.O.A.C. flight.

Miss Watson defended the scientologists visiting Edinburgh.

"These people are fitting in their holiday with their courses," she said. We give brochures out about Edinburgh and encourage the students to go sightseeing.

"We are just ordinary people, and to try and stop members from coming into the country is stopping money from being spent here.

"If we really wanted to we could be real smart and get round all the regulations being used to try to stop us. 

We don't break any laws, and we abide by local conditions wherever we are in the world."

 Family sent back to U.S.
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 1968
Publisher: Glasgow Herald (UK)
Main source: link (54 KiB)

An American family of seven were sent back to the United States yesterday from Heathrow Airport, London, five hours after flying in from New York.

They told immigration officials they had come to London to attend a music festival, but their tickets were said to be made out in the same way as those of Scientology students, and had been paid for from the same source.

The father, who described himself as a musician and a student, said at the airport that it was an "unfortunate misunderstanding."

His wife and children, four boys and one girl aged between three and 16 had waited with him at the Airport since 7 a.m. before being put aboard a B.O.A.C. Boeing jet flying to New York.

No funds

Later the Home Office said the family were refused entry because they had insufficient funds to support themselves.

An official added that 20 Scientologists had been admitted to Britain yesterday. He said immigration officers at Heathrow were satisfied they were here as visitors and not as students.
Other members of the cult were meanwhile believed to have landed in Scotland from Toronto.

After a B.O.A.C. flight touched down at Prestwick 146 passengers disembarked.

During the last stage of the air liner's flight to London dozens of Scientology pamphlets and leaflets were discovered by passengers.

"No one said"

A Home Office official said last night that no one claiming to be a student of Scientology had arrived at Prestwick during the day.

"It is possible some did come into the country as ordinary visitors," he said, "but no one said they were Scientology students."

The Home Office does not recognise the cult as a bona fide student group and, therefore, any would-be students arriving in this country on a study course are being sent home.

I am going to end with this...

School Use of Hubbard Texts

July 30, 1997
Robert A. Jones' column, "Saved by a Rumor" (July 27) was filled with generalities, slurs (including one that equates the religion of Scientology with colonics) and inferences that the Church of Scientology somehow attempted to sneakily get some "gambit" past the Board of Education in an attempt to "catechize its students." It was also inaccurate in the extreme.

The fact of the matter is that L. Ron Hubbard wrote prodigiously in numerous fields. His books on the subject of study are not a part of the religion of Scientology any more than his prolific output of fiction would be considered part of the church's doctrine. Hubbard's study methods are used today in many countries by farsighted educators. Working on the front lines, they know that the train wreck has already happened in education and that this is a tool of immense value that will help turn the tide. They care, you see, and what is important is that these methods work, not who developed them.
Which is, of course, the only valid point. Not to Jones, though. Because it comes from Hubbard, it is, "not OK, of course." Really? Perhaps if Jones' sole intention was to create controversy then, of course, he would make this kind of assertion, hoping his readers were not intelligent enough to call him on it. Because the teacher who seeks to open Northwest Charter School is a Scientologist, Jones says the school "may never open its doors," and rejoices, adding, "We were saved . . ."

To once again use his own words, the "truly, horribly embarrassing" thing about his column is that he ignored the facts and instead engaged on a mission to malign well-meaning individuals who, no matter what their religious beliefs, do care about our society.

Estate of L. Ron Hubbard

Letters to the Times
School use of Hubbard texts

All newspaper articles are credited to this site:

Note - Norman Starkey, along with his wife Maria were on board The Royal Scotman/Apollo in 1968


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