Reply to Gerard Ryan of the Scientology Business about his views on the company and its effects on Irish society and his views on John Sweeney. Part 2 by Mike Garde Director of Dialogue Ireland


Gerard Ryan:

There are many other Scientology audio lecture series, publications, etc, but they amplify and clarify what is in the core teachings.

Gerard does not tell you that they regard these writings of their founder as the equivalent of Sacred Scripture. These writings are stored in a compound like Fort Knox and are treated as the source of all knowledge, including texts that tell you how to have a go at your enemies. They refuse to study any other texts and would not engage in an academic process where peer review would take place. Nearly twenty years ago a giant of an author Jon Atack wrote a book which at the time was a bombshell in its analysis of Scientology. Remember we were in the period before the advent of the internet. Jon was subject to horrific attacks both personal and psychological. A Scientology solicitor Peter Hodkin was involved in the attempt to ban the book in the UK. Interestingly enough he represented Scientology in an attempt to censor the book in Ireland. DI received a demand to cease and desist from the publication of the book. When Jon was stopped from distributing the book in the UK his brothers set up a company called Centurion Publications here in Dublin. I was an active supporter of this strategy sending out the books to folks requesting it. I received a threat of court action in this jurisdiction from Peter Hodkin, (who is coincidentally involved with a case in Dublin currently where Scientologists are alleging that they were harassed by Ex Scientologists.)

My solicitor Noel O’Hanrahan contacted senior counsel Adrian Hardiman, currently a Supreme Court Judge and we invited them to lodge £50,000 in the High Court to defend this action. We did not hear from them again. Gerard was always at the heart of these actions trying to silence any criticism and to stop the publication of material inimical to Scientology.

Gerard Ryan:
These core teachings are available to everyone, Scientologist or not. Indeed our Church has donated hundreds of thousands of copies of these books and lectures to public libraries.

Yes available at a cost and they not only put books in libraries but try to take out books that question Scientology out of libraries. Gerard through me was invited to participate in a school education project I have run for over 20 years where we give educational input to sixth form students. When Gerard was refused information about the content of those talks by a former Scientologist, he walked off the pitch.
However, he came up with a very interesting strategy to replace his school presence. He produced a leaflet which he sent to schools to warn them that I was,
1. A former racist from South Africa. I had come to Ireland as a 12 year old from South Africa and was very active in the Irish Anti apartheid Movement, but let us not let facts get in the way Gerard.
2. I am a member of the Mennonites one of the historic peace churches, but Gerard found an article where some young Mennonites from a German colony in Mexico were involved with the drugs trade. You see where this is leading…I was not telling people I was part of drug cartel.
3. Finally we had a paedophile priest here in Ireland called Sean Fortune. Ryan like myself appeared on a radio programme in which Fortune participated. This in Ryan’s estimation lead him to the view I was a colleague of this priest. You get my drift?
You can read the full correspondence above.

Gerard Ryan:
Mr Sweeney’s false claims were put to the Supreme Court in the UK in 2013, and the panel of Supreme Court judges found, unanimously, that Scientology is a religion.


Ryan again has gilded the lily and has given a slightly optimistic view of this judgement. Interesting enough this all played out in relation to a wedding between two Scientologists who came from long standing Scientology families. One of them was the daughter of Peter Hodkin. It could be seen as a kind of guinea pig marriage.
Tony Ortega gives the background and it does not come up smelling of roses as Gerard Ryan suggests.



..3. Why did it take a court decision for this wedding to happen?
The court battle that Ale and Louisa went through to get here would never have happened in the United States. Here, we have a thing called the First Amendment to the Constitution, which prevents the government from establishing a state religion or in any other way regulating how religions operate internally.
If you’re a Buddhist or a Baptist or a Wiccan or a Scientologist, you can marry however you like here, in whatever venue you choose, as long as you follow some nominal procedures to register the marriage with the state.
England’s outdated marriage laws allowed “religious” weddings only in a few different kinds of venues that the government had designated as “houses of worship.” (In recent decades, England had loosened up its rules about where “non-religious” weddings could take place.) In 1970, when Scientology tried to challenge the law, it was determined that Scientologists do not, strictly speaking, “worship” a deity at their “orgs,” and so they were denied the right to be on the list of approved religious venues.
And actually, that assessment was correct. Although Scientology puts on a “Sunday service” purely for public relations reasons, the practice of Scientology itself is nothing like the group worship that takes place in a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue. Scientology is about sitting down with one other person to go through a kind of counseling — called “auditing” — that enables a subject to go millions or billions of years into his or her past lives to find “upsets” that are causing problems in the present time.
Sure, it’s weird, and it clearly isn’t “worship” — but so what? England’s law was presumptuous and stupid. And woefully out of date. Even though Scientologists believe that alien armies are running Venus and Mars, where our souls get “implanted” between lives (and they do believe that), who is the state to tell them they can’t have a wedding in a church?
Scientology, using Calcioli and Hodkin, saw an opportunity and took it, filing a challenge to the law with the help of Louisa’s father, Peter Hodkin, a prominent attorney who has fought for other Scientology causes.
England’s highest court made the right decision — Scientologists should have the right to be married in their own “orgs.” And with the victory, the church is trying to make the most of it, and will now press for other benefits, such as tax exemptions. That’s not going to be as easy to obtain, however, since in England an organization has to show a “public benefit” in order to get exemptions, a hurdle they don’t face in the US, where Scientology has enjoyed tax exempt status since 1993.
One thing’s for certain, however — a well-publicized court victory is really not enough on its own to change Scientology’s fortunes. Which brings us to the next point.
In short Ryan is claiming too much and we wish the couple well, but it has little to do with Scientology being recognised as a charity so I believe John’s criticism is absolutely valid.

Gerard Ryan:
Given that Mr Sweeney is aware of that ruling it is curious that he fails to mention it in his diatribe.

He does not as it has no relevance to what he was talking about.

Gerard Ryan:
As to why Mr Sweeney feels he must pursue a vendetta against our Church one might check out the YouTube video of Mr Sweeney with his social veneer peeled back. Based on that evidence one could hazard a guess that Mr Sweeney has anger management issues. However what is most damning of all is that Mr Sweeney claims to be a journalist, and yet any journalist worthy of the name at least makes a pretence of objectivity.

Rather it is clear when one watches the complete documentary that John has been baited, and harassed for such a long time when he encounters the travesty of the front organisation called the CCHR and its irrational hatred of psychiatry he finally snapped.

He did not need anger management, we now know from other defectors like Mike Rinder that Tommy Davis was working to a set plan to reach this result. No John needed treatment for post traumatic stress. Most Scientologists who have left immediately identify with him. Rather it is the fact that John has had to self publish to get his message out to the public. Having been a war correspondent he never expected to have a Securatate following him, harassing him and subject to totally unacceptable breaches of his human rights.


Gerard Ryan:
Mr Sweeney simply ignores the many social betterment activities that Scientologists are involved in from drug rehabilitation, prison inmate rehabilitation, human rights education, disaster relief and much more.

The repetition of what are clearly activities dedicated to bringing people under undue influence. Narconon is just Scientology under another name. Human Rights work is in fact an attempt to remove rights and is an all out attack on Psychiatry.

Gerard Ryan
Church of Scientology Mission of Dublin
Abbey Street Middle
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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