Science Fiction – Church of Scientology claims it has slashed drug crime in Ireland

Sunday World 19/01/14
By Nicola Tallant

The furore over a promotional video shown at a major Church of Scientology conference in Clearwater in Florida has portrayed the cult as an almost comical but it does highlight the unquestioning way that followers believe all its promotion – a classic sign that the group is indeed a dangerous cult.

David MiscavigeDavid Miscavige

Claims that they have accomplished an 85 per cent drop in drug related crime in Ireland by handing out leaflets, video footage of uniformed followers marching into a rural Garda station and mock up interviews of representatives in supposed radio station interviews have turned the spotlight on the peculiar pseudo religion that courts celebrities and controversies in equal measures.

A number of years ago I wrote a book on the secretive Church of Scientology and delved into the bizarre world of the science fiction cult best known for its connection with Tom Cruise.

Many will be flabbergasted that the Church would make such ludicrous claims of accomplishing an 85 per cent drop in drug related crime without facts or statistics to back it up.

Those who have watched the video of the Scientology gala event online might be stunned by the numbers of unquestioning followers listen intently as leader David Miscavige describes how the Dublin mission has achieved such an enormous victory in the fight against crime that neither Gardai nor Government have come near.

Plenty will wonder why a group struggling to convince the world of its mission would leave itself so open to worldwide mockery.

Having peeked into the wacky world of the Church of Scientology I am neither flabbergasted nor stunned as it is clear that the organisation is living in a bubble very far from reality.

The promotional video, among many things, features an interview with a ‘scientologist’ on Donegal’s Ocean FM. Management at the station were astounded when they heard theey had appeared on the film, as the interview had never happened.

They were forced to issue a statement clarifying that it wasn’t filmed in their studios and that the interviewer was not an employee of the station.

The piece was featuring the work of the Scientology ‘Truth Against Drugs’ campaign and showed uniformed members striding purposely into Carndonagh Garda Station and handing out leaflets around Dublin Streets.

It ends with a bizarre scene of a group of scientologists waving and smiling for the cameras over claims that they had slashed drug related crime by 85 per cent.

The conference is Scientology’s Gala event of the year. It was at the same conference in 2004 that actor Tom Cruise extolled the virtues of Scientology on a video link to thousands of the Church’s followers and received his ‘Medal of Valor’

The interview, during which Cruise insists; ‘At the scene of an accident, only a scientologist can really help’, made a huge impact when it was unleashed on the real world on YouTube four years later..

The litigious Church then tried to to sue an online magazine for posting the video. An internet based anti-Scientology organisation Anonymous, which has staged marches and protests across the world, emerged as a direct result of what it called ‘censorship’ by the Church.

Cruise, it emerged had decided to ‘come out’ as a scientologist on the video after completing OT Level Vll – an intensive series of drills scientologists believe rid themselves of ancient spirits implanted in primitive man by a galactical dictator.

The following year Cruise was flanked at the same event by pregnant girlfriend Katie Holmes when he was honoured for his ‘press relations activities’. These evidently included Cruise upsetting Brooke Shields on national television, and mothers everywhere, by claiming that there was no such thing as post natal depression, his appearance on another show with a wild eyed fanatical rant against the psychiatric profession and Oprah Winfrey and the infamous couch jumping incident.

Former Irish scientologist John Duignan says that those working for the Church do so unquestioningly and give up their families, careers and years of their lives to toil around the clock to recruit more members to the cult.

Appearing on the big screen at the Gala event is what all scientology missions strive for.

No matter what its followers are told Scientology never caught on in Ireland despite repeated attempts to push it on the public from its headquarters, and only centre, on Dublin’s Abbey Street.

In 2008 the Church attempted to cash in on the recession and save the ailing mission by luring new clients with promises of financial success, career improvements and expertise in controlling cash flows.

At the time the struggling Mission, had been given notice that it would be struck off the Companies Registrar unless it filed it’s tax return, re-launched its website in the hope of recruiting new members to keep it afloat and offering courses in finances, anxiety and even child rearing at knock down prices.

The Church of Scientology claims to have the answers to all problems of marriage and children, careers and finances and even drug and alcohol addictions. But critics insist that it merely a cult cashing in on the insecurities of people who fall for its claims.

A ‘free personality test’ is the normal introduction to the Church. It is designed so those who take it fail and find out what is ‘wrong’ with them. They are then told that they can be fixed through some studies and courses at the Church Mission Centre. Courses are followed by hours of auditing – which helps individuals rid themselves of bad spirits and then they begin a series of levels to become Clear.

Scientologists believe that all humans are immortal and are stuck in a hamster wheel of constantly re-incarnating because they haven’t ‘cleared’ themselves on this earth. By completing the hugely expensive courses and auditing levels, which will cost more than euro 300,000, they believe they become ‘Thethans’, stop re-incarnating and join their founder L Ron Hubbard somewhere in space.

I suppose if you believe that it’s not too hard to see why you could accept without question that leaflets can beat drug crime!

One Response

  1. Thank you for your updated commentary on this topic. Great work!


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