Monday, 26 August 2013

On this day...

Where are they now? // A farewell to Scientology?
Date: Monday, 26 August 1968
Publisher: Newsweek
Main source: link (223 KiB)

It was a far-out book even for a science-fiction writer, but "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" was a runaway best seller within months of its publication in 1950. An obscure author named Lafayette Ron Hubbard took only 60 days to write it; the learned journals of psychology, psychiatry and medicine all ignored it, and after a few months of heavy sales the book itself began to fade from the best-selling charts. But "Dianetics" had planted the seed for the cult of scientology, which, after more than a decade of relative obscurity in the United States, has sprouted up across the Atlantic, complete with its "E-meters" (a device which purports to gauge an individual's mental state) and group confessionals. Now the British Government has announced abruptly that it will no longer grant entry to visiting students or teachers of scientology, declaring "its authoritarian principles . . . a potential menace to the personality and well-being of those so deluded as to become its followers." A number of factors influenced the British Government's decision to clamp down on the cult, which has established its headquarters at Saint Hill Manor, 31 miles from London: included were the cult's "technology of the human spirit" and its rejection of psychiatry and other scientifically endorsed approaches to mental-health problems.

[Picture / Caption: Hubbard in 1950 and today: From fiction to scientology]

Hubbard himself took the British ban in stride. He was relaxing on his 3,300-ton yacht, Royal Scotman, anchored off the coast of Bizerte, Tunisia, just long enough for an interview with a London Daily Mail reporter. Hubbard appeared unconcerned by London's crackdown. He sought to put down reports that he has a six-figure Swiss bank account: "I've only got a very small amount in Switzerland," he said.

Back at the Manor, a small wooden box invites messages to the founder with a sign over it: "You Can Always Communicate With Ron." His followers expect him to return to England before long. But Hubbard, now 57, seems to enjoy life aboard his yacht. Two weeks ago he Telexed the Manor, "I have finished my work. Now it is up to others."

Church of Scientology criticizes RCMP
Date: Sunday, 26 August 1979
Publisher: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Main source: link (35 KiB)

EDMONTON (CP) — The Church of Scientology lodged a formal complaint Friday with the provincial attorney-general against the RCMP, which it accused of spreading false and misleading information about the church to files of Alberta government agencies.

In a letter delivered to the office of Attorney-General Neil Crawford, the church asked for an investigation to stop the RCMP from interfering with the process of government.
The letter, signed by Rev. Raymond Rockl, national director of public affairs, said the church "has been the target of RCMP wrong-doings."

Information disseminated by the force bad affected registration of the church's minister to solemnize rnarriges, the letter said. On two occasions, church applications for such government registration had been rejected, with no reason given.

Despite an estimated 10 years of covert and overt investigations into the church in Alberta, the letter said, no charges have ever been laid nor has the RCMP publicly confronted the church with any allegations of wrong-doing.

This had produced fat files containing allegations based on opinion or rumor "and we feel that our difficulties in Alberta stem from false reports being accepted as valid information upon which decisions are made.

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