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March 23, 2007

Scientologists recruit the Met

Ron Hubbard’s motley band of money-grabbers have long been known for their subtle recruiting techniques: scouring obituary columns for the recently bereaved, hanging around hospital emergency rooms to “comfort” distressed relatives, infiltrating college campuses in search of the most suicidal. Not for nothing were Hubbard’s hordes among the first on the scene when terrorists brought down the World Trade Center: for Scientologists, grieving means greenbacks.

But only in London—where Scientologists also exploited the July 2005 bombings—do Hubbard’s ambulance-chasers have the full collaboration of the city police force:

The Metropolitan Police have agreed to give the Church of Scientology privileged information on security, the Evening Standard can reveal.
Under the agreement, the Met has placed the church on the database of groups provided with “current, fast-time” details about safety matters.
The revelation will raise further questions about police links with the sect of which John Travolta and Tom Cruise are devotees and which has entertained City of London officers on several occasions.
Daily Mail sister paper The Standard has also learned that the sect may be given a prime role in a major emergency, among groups called upon in the event of a critical incident.
According to documents, the church has offered to be included on the list drawn up by the London Resilience Team, responsible for coordinating the response to an emergency.

Gee, I wonder why?

A request for information by Heather Brooke of Your Right To Know discloses the Scotland Yard met sect members in November after which Chief Superintendent Ed Bateman wrote to the church’s Lord McNair to thank him for “constructive offers of support”
The letter continued: “The church, and your personal details, have been placed on our faith stakeholder database...we would seek...to pass on information or seek your support.”
It added that the church would be sent “current, fast-time information” on safety via the Police Message Broadcasting System.
Last April, City of London officers received invitations to the premiere of Mission: Impossible III starring Cruise and a £500-a-head charity dinner. The force also had free use of a £5,000-a-night jazz band for a police function.
Ian Haworth, general secretary of the Cult Information Centre, said: “I would be very interested to know if the police do the same for the Moonies, Hare Krishna and other groups about which concern has been expressed.”
Mr. Haworth was also concerned about it working with London Resilience. He said: “Scientology has never managed to achieve charitable status as a religion in this country. It could use the administration of ministry at a time of emergency to gain respectability.”
… A Met spokeswoman said: “The church asked to be placed on a database of groups and individuals that are provided with regular bulletins.”
“They do not receive confidential or sensitive material... contact details are retained to be given to victims of crime who request their support.”

How odd: that doesn’t gibe with what Bateman wrote to McNair. Must be one of those cunning PR strategies that assumes nobody with a brain can spot a flat-out lie.

The Met’s support for one of the world’s most insidious cults is completely at odds with the approach of Britain’s other police forces, most of which ban their staff from having any contact with the “church.”

Which is one of many reasons why Bateman should now be fired. After all, he can always seek solace in Scientology.

Posted by Stephen at 12:18 AM in Religion + cults | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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