January 13, 2007
Blair gets in touch with his inner Thetan
The Labour Party received thousands of pounds from an offshoot of Scientology, it has been revealed.
The decision to accept money from a charity linked to the controversial cult was taken at the highest level by members of the National Executive Committee.
They allowed the charity, the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE), to take a stall at the party’s annual conference in Manchester.
Exhibitors at the conference have to pay up to £13,500. The stand was part of an extensive lobbying operation by Scientology members to promote its drug treatment programme, Narconon, and the criminal rehabilitation scheme Criminon.
Correspondence obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Evening Standard reveals how Graeme Wilson of the Church of Scientology met Baroness Scotland - then a Home Office minister - in Manchester in September.
… Critics of Narconon claim it is a front for Scientology, a “religion” founded by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard which counts John Travolta and Tom Cruise among its devotees.
Labour allowed ABLE to exhibit despite concerns about Scientology and its offshoots.
The director of the Prison Service has said that Narconon is not a “validated programme” and has advised against its use as a treatment.
Drugs charity Addaction also opposes the programme saying it is “not scientifically sound”.
Labour confirmed that the decision to accept money from the Scientologists to exhibit was taken by a committee of the NEC. NEC members include Tony Blair, GordonBrown and party chairman Hazel Blears.
A Labour Party conference spokesman said the money received was a business transaction and did not constitute a donation.
Which kinda misses the point.
As I’ve written before, go beg, borrow or steal Russell Miller’s brilliant, out-of-print (but still available) “Bare-Faced Messiah—The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard.”
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