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Irish Independent: Revenues slump at the​ Church of Scientology

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, May 4, 2015.

  1. TorontosRoot Member

    It'll shrink down! There will be nobody in there for a majority of the time anyways!
  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Want to join Scientology's Irish 'Adventurers Club'? That'll be €1,000 please

    You could go silver for €2,500 or gold for €5,000 – and get a membership card, commendation, cert and ‘shamrock pin’.

    Quote:

    Members of the Scientology movement in Ireland were asked to donate at least €1,000 to join an ‘Adventurers Club’ which was to help set up the newly-opened centre in Firhouse.

    In screengrabs seen by this publication, members of the church are being asked to donate €1,000 to join the Irish Adventurers Club. Silver membership of the group costs €2,500 while gold will set you back €5,000.

    It was not entirely clear what this money gets you and calls to Scientology’s National Affairs Office in Dublin went unanswered on Friday. However, a post on a members’ Facebook forum states that those who donate will receive a “membership card, special commendations and acknowledgements and a shamrock pin”.

    In that group, a member of the church acknowledged that the Irish base is intended to act as a gateway to Europe. In a note seen by TheJournal.ie, he wrote:

    "The Org is very strategic due to Ireland’s position as a gateway to Europe. Ireland is a safe haven and a centre of excellence in technology and business for high-tech multinational companies as well as artists etc. It is also pro-American."

    TheJournal.ie understand that a large number of auditors (counsellors) are being trained at Scientology’s base in Florida to staff the new Firhouse centre.

    Aiming to ‘clear Ireland’

    Senior members of the group have said that the new centre in Firhouse will be staffed by the elite-trained counsellors in a bid to “clear Ireland” as quickly as possible.

    Clearing is a term used by Scientologists. According to them, it means that: “Scientologists want to rid the planet of insanity, war and crime, and in its place create a civilisation in which sanity and peace exist. In order to do this, they must help individuals become free of their own individual aberrations and insanities and, hence, regain their inherent goodness.”

    One Irish member has said that apart from the auditors, over 100 staff from across the world will work in the centre which officially opened yesterday.

    The centre is to be opened as an Ideal Organisation which the Church of Scientology (CoS) say is “configured to provide the full services of the Scientology religion to its parishioners, while also serving the community with social betterment and outreach programmes”.

    According to its official website, the organisers are in a “mad fury to get everyone signed up, trained, and posted”. It added that new members are being sent every week for training “and people from all over the world are helping us to get this massive project done”.

    The site at Firhouse will become a ‘Class V church’ meaning that those at the facility will have the authority to train and ordain ministers.

    Class V churches are much larger than the religion’s missions. According to the official Scientology website “they are hubs for their community of Scientologists”.

    Earlier this week, TheJournal.ie reported that the Firhouse centre was given the seal of approval by a senior member of the Nation of Islam.

    The Nation of Islam (NOI) has been in operation for over 80 years. It is a group which promotes black nationalism in the name of Islam. It is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group due to the “deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders.

    More at http://www.thejournal.ie/adventure-club-firhouse-scientology-3644895-Oct2017/
    • Like Like x 1
  3. TorontosRoot Member

    Gahhhhhhhhbahhhhh. What fraud.
  4. they were about 40 altogether yesterday for the grand opening ;................. WOW EXPANDING
    thank you lil davey scotch addicted.....
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Faithful friends, cult followers and the stars who didn't show | Independent.ie

    There was no trace of Hollywood glitz as Dublin's new Scientology Centre opened its doors, writes Donal Lynch

    Quote:

    The rumour, spreading like wildfire up and down the Firhouse Road, was that the actual Tom Cruise had shown up at the opening of the new Scientology Centre in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

    Or, if not the Cruiser, then maybe they'd beamed down John Travolta, the public speculated.

    And surely if either had waved over the barriers, the mass of gathered reporters would have politely stopped referring to Scientology as a cult, accepted they can't handle the truth, and meekly submitted their brains and wallets for evaluation.

    Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/c...rs-and-the-stars-who-didnt-show-36227949.html
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Quentinanon Member

    Another scientology dog and pony show.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Newstalk on Dublin's new Scientology Ideal Org | pedrofcuk



    Newstalk's High Noon, October 13th and Newstalk Breakfast, October 16th
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Church of Scientology claims 1,200 attended new Irish centre launch | The Business Post

    Leader David Miscavige flies in for opening celebrations at centre, which was subject of some local protests

    The Church of Scientology has said that 1,200 Scientologists and guests attended the opening of its seven-acre campus in South Dublin by church leader David Miscavige on Saturday.

    Please Subscribe or Log in to continue reading

    https://www.businesspost.ie/news/ch...-1200-attended-new-irish-centre-launch-400447
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Former Irish Scientology member claims church is infringing on his 'basic human rights'

    By Paul Healy, Buzz.ie

    Quote:

    A former Irish member of Scientology claims the church is infringing on his basic human rights by preventing him from protesting against it.

    Peter Griffiths left the religion, which is often labelled a ‘cult’, in 1994 but says the Church has targeted him ever since — with a recent High Court injunction preventing him from filming and photographing some of its members.

    The Mayo native, who regularly speaks out on the dangers of joining Scientology, says the cruel injunction also prevented him from being able to protest at the grand opening of the Church’s ‘Ideal Org’ centre in Firhouse, Dublin on Saturday. And he told the Irish Daily Star he is thinking about launching an appeal on the injunction as it infringes on his basic human rights.

    “They have absolutely totally infringed on my basic rights,” he said. “This is why I’ve got a lawyer and two barristers looking at this right now.

    “I can’t look at them, watch them, photograph them, film them and neither can any of my agents or so-called servants so it’s very, very restrictive.

    “I’m not a wealthy man and to get rid of the injunction it’s a visit to the High Court which is going to cost a lot of money.”

    In January 2015, Scientologists Zabrina Collins and Michael O’Donnell won High Court orders restraining former members, Mr Griffiths and John McGhee, from harassing, assaulting or intimidating them.

    It came after Ms Collins alleged she was intimidated by Mr McGhee and Mr Griffiths who were protesting against her and O’Donnell as they issued leaflets to members of the public.

    The injunction prevents Mr Griffiths from interfering with both parties — including doorstepping, approaching, communicating, videoing and picketing them.

    He claims that this essentially prevents him from protesting against Scientology in Ireland.

    “The injunction applies to outside churches of Scientology and in any public place, so it’s very restrictive,” he said.

    “If I wasn’t breaking an injunction, absolutely I would happily have stood there (Firhouse protest) with a sign. I couldn’t even stand there holding a sign because the wording of that injunction is very oppressive,” he added.

    “They’ve done this all over the world whenever there have been vocal critics.”

    In 2016, Peter won a defamation case against Scientologist Zabrina Collins after a photograph of him almost nude was issued to a school principal. Ms Collins was ordered by a judge to pay €5,000 damages for a “vitriolic and personalised” attack on the character of the Mayo man.

    Circuit Civil Court Judge James O’Donohoe said allegations by Ms Collins against Peter Griffiths of criminal activity, hate mongering and links to gay pornographic movies of teenage boys “were largely untrue and grossly defamatory”.

    He also said references in an email from Ms Collins to a Dublin headmaster, describing Mr Griffiths as not being a fit person to engage with impressionable students, was “particularly distasteful”.

    And speaking about the ordeal Peter told The Star: “It was pretty awful what they tried to do to me.”

    Source: https://www.buzz.ie/news/former-irish-scientology-member-slams-church-258173
    • Like Like x 3
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 1
  11. Quentinanon Member

    The scientology crime syndicate loves to abuse court injunctions.
    "Never fear to hurt another in a just cause." L. Ron Hubbard
  12. TorontosRoot Member

    It will remain empty for the foreseeable future.
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 2
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Concerns raised as Dublin Scientology centre to host Halloween event

    The event has been described as 'kid friendly'

    By Claire Scott, Dublin Live

    Quote:

    Concerns have been raised over a 'kid friendly' event organised by the Dublin based Scientology centre this Halloween.

    A former Scientologist has described the event as a way of "luring people onto the ground" in order to convince them to take courses they offer at the centre.

    Flyers for the event are currently being handed out to households in the Firhouse area and a Facebook page has also been created for the event which takes place on October 29.

    The event description reads: "Join us for a day of Halloween Activities including: Face Painting, Pumpkin Carving, Bobbing for Apples and Much More!"

    Former Scientologist, John McGhee said the group hold similar style events at their Florida base in order to gain more followers.

    He said: "They host these events in Clearwater, Florida, to lure people into the grounds and hopefully, by way of love-bombing and charm, convince them to undertake some Scientology courses."

    Figures show that The Church of Scientology has 87 registered members in Ireland, but the new centre is rumoured to have a staff of 250 people, sparking fears of a mass recruitment drive here.

    The Dublin based centre opened on October 14 with 1000 Scientologists from around the world arriving to celebrate the opening of the group's largest HQ in Europe.

    Around 80 people also gathered outside to protest the event with a garda presence also on site during the event.

    One of the organisers of the protest, Fiona O’Leary, said at the event: "My fear is they will target vulnerable children who can’t make choices for themselves."

    Source: http://www.dublinlive.ie/news/dublin-news/concerns-raised-dublin-scientology-centre-13812166
    • Like Like x 2
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    'It was outrageous and inappropriate' - Church of Scientology 'offering free massages' at Dublin Marathon Expo

    By Mary McDonnell, Independent.ie

    Quote:

    Dublin Marathon runners have criticised the “outrageous” placement of a Church of Scientology stand at the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon Expo in the RDS.

    The three-day expo hosts registration for competitors gearing up for Sunday’s race and gives businesses the opportunity to exhibit their products and services.

    A Louth man (38), who didn't wish to be named, said he was collecting his race pack for Sunday when he spotted Scientology volunteers offering massages and handing out Church literature to attendees.

    He told Independent.ie: “I was surprised when I saw a stand all in yellow and a guy was giving a massage wearing a Scientology Volunteer Minister t-shirt.

    “I thought it was very inappropriate for an outdoor event like a marathon. I’ve been around the world running in marathons and I’ve never seen this. It was kind of bizarre.”

    The participant said questions need to be asked about why the Church was given clearance to exhibit alongside brands such as Skechers, Asics and Naked Juice.

    He said: “Why are they doing this? What’s the motive? Who are they targeting? Are they getting conversions?

    “I don’t think the penny was even dropping (with attendees). They were just getting massages. This is outrageous. If it was another religion it would still be inappropriate but it’s not even a religion, it’s a cult.

    "I was wondering why they were targeting this profile of people: people who are training. There might be that yuppie element as well.”

    He said volunteers were handing out booklets titled: ‘From the Scientology Handbook: Tools for the Workplace from L. Ron Hubbard;’ The Cause of Suppression’ and ‘Scientology makes the world a better place’.

    A social media user also posted images of the stand on Twitter captioning it as "#Creepy".

    Independent.ie made numerous attempts to contact the Church of Scientology for comment but received no reply.

    In a statement the Dublin Marathon said:

    "The Dublin Marathon Expo is organised by a third party MPM. MPM have a open and inclusive policy for accepting bookings.

    "They would only refuse a booking if they felt it would case grave offence. They also stated that people have a choice as to whether they visit the stand."

    Source: https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/it-was-outrageous-and-inappropriate-church-of-scientology-offering-free-massages-at-dublin-marathon-expo-36269921.html

    The Church of Scientology gave free massages at Dublin Marathon Expo | Buzz.ie

    In a bizarre move, the Church of Scientology were giving out free massages at the Dublin Marathon Expo this weekend and we are weirded out.

    https://www.buzz.ie/latest/church-scientology-massages-marathon-expo-259829
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  16. Quentinanon Member

    Massages are not part of "standard scientology". Someone should ask their local spokeshole why they were doing that.
    Massage therapists are not regulated in Eire as they are in the U.K. so the scienazis can get away with it.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. BigBeard Member

    "Masssages", or relabeled "Touch Assists"??

    BigBeard
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Some Scientologists have been "massaged" to death, quite literally. We all know who they are and remember them.
    And it's those very people we should remind the Irish contingent of Sci's that this is what they are promoting.
  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    'These places are pumped with money' - Church of Scientology hosts free 'kid-friendly' Hallowe'en event

    By Mary McDonnell, Independent.ie

    Quote:

    The Church of Scientology opened their doors to the public yesterday to host a 'kid-friendly' Hallowe'en event.

    Volunteers at the centre in Firhouse, Tallaght said the event was not held to sign up new members.

    They said the church wants locals to avail of their building like any other community centre in the area.

    Most families were focused on Hallowe'en fun yesterday but some parents walked around the entrance hall, observing Scientology materials with curiosity.

    At the event, children were able to get their faces painted and photos taken in a photo booth, while a large, brown, inflatable cross topped a bouncy castle outside the church’s centre.

    Two young mothers from the area said they would happily attend events at the centre if they could do so without joining the church.

    A 29-year-old mother-of-two, who did not wish to be named, told Independent.ie; "I'm not religious. We came because it was free, we knew these places are pumped with money. It's great for Hallowe'en.

    "If you go to a different area, like Tallaght or something, you won't get the same. It doesn't bother me, once [the kids] are happy.

    "I don’t know what [Scientologists] believe in. We’re not signing up."

    Her friend, a 27-year-old mother-of-one, added; "There’s nothing wrong with anyone having beliefs as long as they're not jamming it down your necks."

    Both women said it was a "fun day" and church volunteers did not approach families about joining unless they were approached first.

    The volunteers wore their standard uniform of black suit pants, white shirt and gold-backed waistcoat.

    Fine Gael councillor Brian Lawlor said he is still concerned about the organisation's presence in the area.

    "They just want to get numbers in," he said.

    "They make their money on getting people on these training programmes and they charge a substantial amount.

    "They’re the sort of organisation that will adapt. That’s a concern for me and for the greater Tallaght, Knocklyone, Templeogue areas.

    "I am concerned about it to be honest. It’s a wait and see for me." He added, however, that "adults have to be adults".

    "It’s their own thing [if they join]," he said.

    Source: https://www.independent.ie/irish-ne...ree-kidfriendly-halloween-event-36274094.html
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Quentinanon Member

    The scientology crime syndicate Dublin operation is in "safe pointing" mode.
    They just want those "abberated Irish WOGS" to tolerate them, then they move into the next phase of the racket.
    I like to see some Eirefags go to the Halloween party wearing Reed Slatkin and Charles Manson masks. They applied Hubbard 100% standardly as
    "Never fear to hurt another in a just cause."
    • Like Like x 1
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Court lifts injunction against former Church of Scientology member | Irish Examiner

    Quote:

    A perpetual injunction against a former Church of Scientology (CoS) member which prevented him from harassing or besetting two current members has been lifted by the High Court, writes Ann O’Loughlin.

    Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said Peter Griffiths (63) had apologised and accepted it was wrong and unlawful to follow Zabrina Collins and Michael O’Donnell around when they delivered CoS-funded "Truth about Drugs" leaflets on December 20, 2014.

    The judge was satisfied Mr Griffiths was a truthful witness and, by and large, a law abiding citizen. He also had regard to the fact that his fellow defendant, John McGhee, an embalmer from Clara, Co Offaly, was the main protagonist in the harassment on the day the CoSmembers were followed around the streets of north city Dublin.

    Mr Griffiths, of Teeling Street, Ballina, Co Mayo, had brought an appeal against an injunction first granted a few days after the December 20 incident, preventing him, and Mr McGhee from door stepping, intimidating, approaching, harassing or videoing Ms Collins, who is a CoS director originally from Donegal and now living in Tyrellstown, Dublin, or Mr O’Donnell, of Cherrywood Lawn, Clondalkin, Dublin.

    The injunction applied to interference at the plaintiffs’ homes, place of work or CoS premises. It was later made perpetual when the case was remitted from the High to the Circuit Court.

    Ms Collins and Mr O’Donnell opposed Mr Griffiths appeal over the permanent nature of the injunction. They said it should stay in place because Mr Griffiths’ behaviour towards them had got progressively worse over a number of years until the injunction was granted.

    Mr Griffiths believed the injunction was too wide because it prevented him from engaging in peaceful protest. Mr McGhee did not appeal.

    Lifting the injunction on Wednesday, Mr Justice Noonan said the test for a perpetual injunction was whether a substantial risk of danger existed.

    In this case, there was only one incident complained of, the following around of Ms Collins and Mr O’Donnell as they delivered leaflets in 2014 for half an hour.

    Ms Collins and Mr O’Donnell had been awarded damages for harassment and assault, €3,500 against Mr McGhee and €2,000 against Mr Griffiths over that incident.

    Since the injunction was granted nearly three years ago, there has been no suggestion Mr Griffiths was in breach of it, the judge said.

    Taking these factors, and the fact that Mr Griffiths had apologised and was not the main protaganist on the day of the incident, the judge was satisfied the behaviour complained of "is small and certainly does not amount to a substantial risk it will recur".

    He hoped Mr Griffiths had learnt his lesson from this saga and will stay well away from plaintiffs in the future. If not, he may expect the court to take an extremely serious view of any potentially unlawful acts that may occur.

    However, the judge said even if he is wrong in that conclusion there was still another significant factor relating to the question that a plaintiff must have "clean hands" when they seek injunctive relief.

    This was well explained in a 1972 case co-incidentally involving CoS founder L Ron Hubbard, who sought an injunction preventing Cyril Vosper, a former CoS member, from publishing a book critical of its practices and philosophies (entitled "The Mind Benders").

    In that case, Mr Justice Noonan said, an English judge refused to grant Hubbard an injunction on the basis that CoS had been protecting their secrets by "deplorable means" as evidenced by CoS’ own code of ethics. Hubbard therefore did not come to court with clean hands, the English judge said, when asking the court to protect those secrets by means of an injunction preventing publication.

    Ms Collins, who had been ordered by the Circuit Court to pay Mr Griffiths €5,000 over untrue allegations she made about him following a talk on scientology he gave in a Dublin school, had herself engaged in an attempt to demonise and discredit Mr Griffiths, Mr Justice Noonan said.

    This attempt to undermine any criticism he (Griffiths) had, legitimate or otherwise, of the CoS, cannot be viewed "as other than a failure to come to court with clean hands".

    The judge dissolved the perpetual injunction and adjourned the question of costs for two weeks.

    Source: http://www.irishexaminer.com/breaki...rmer-church-of-scientology-member-812280.html

    Injunction restraining harassment of two Scientologists lifted | Irish Times

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/cri...ssment-of-two-scientologists-lifted-1.3276899
    • Like Like x 3
  22. Quentinanon Member

    Comhghairdeas Pete!
    • Like Like x 1
  23. TorontosRoot Member

  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 2
  25. Quentinanon Member

    Scientology is olc.
    • Like Like x 1
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here's another report on Justice Noonan's finding, this time from Irish Legal News.

    High Court: Perpetual injunction against disaffected former Scientologist is lifted

    Quote:

    A “disaffected” former member of the Church of Scientology has successfully had a perpetual injunction against him dissolved in the High Court.

    Considering Szabo*, Justice Noonan held that the man’s behaviour did not amount to a substantial risk – and that in any event, the plaintiff was not entitled to such equitable relief where she had not come to court with “clean hands”.

    Continued at https://www.irishlegal.com/9276/hig...t-disaffected-former-scientologist-is-lifted/

    Judgement of Mr. Justice Noonan delivered on the 1st day of November, 2017
    http://courts.ie/Judgments.nsf/0985...c1cedfca2ca3a537802581d20040a96e?OpenDocument

    * Szabo v Esat Digiphone Limited
    https://www.ucc.ie/law/irlii/articles/Szabo.htm
    • Like Like x 2
  27. Quentinanon Member

    It was L. Ron who ironically blathered that "Clean hands make a happy life."
    Considering his consumption of drugs and alcohol throughout his life, I chance to say it was not so happy.
    And we know he would break the law when it suited him.
    Could we expect his acolytes to "have clean hands"?
    "Never fear to hurt another in a just cause."
  28. TorontosRoot Member

    Never, their hands are all filthy.
    • Like Like x 1
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 1
  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology community activity sparks concern in Firhouse

    Locals express worries as organisation opens ‘Winter Wonderland’ at its centre in the area

    By Conor Gallagher, The Irish Times

    Quote:

    Residents and politicians in Firhouse have expressed concern about community outreach efforts by the Church of Scientology in the south Dublin suburb.

    Last week the controversial organisation, which has been officially labelled a cult in several countries, opened a “Winter Wonderland” event at its new 1,200-seat facility in Firhouse. The event lasts for a month and features fairground rides, Santa Claus and several other children’s activities.

    The event, which is free to enter, is the latest in a series of community events hosted by the facility since its opening in October. Other events include a Halloween festival, a variety concert and an “Alice in Wonderland tea party”.

    “Nothing’s for free. What is it they’re trying to do?” asked Firhouse resident and local area representative for the Social Democrats Carly Bailey.

    She was worried the church was targeting economically deprived communities with a view to recruitment. Ms Bailey, a mother of two, noted that bringing children to see Santa Claus can cost €20 or more in many places but that it was free at the Scientology centre.

    “It’s obviously aimed at people who don’t have a huge amount of money who would be absolutely thrilled to bring their kids to something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.”

    Dublin South-West TD Seán Crowe said he was worried Scientology was attempting to become part of the fabric of the community in Tallaght before starting to actively recruit people.

    “They’ve made it known local groups can avail of its facilities. And there is a shortage of community facilities in the area. There’s always groups looking for a meeting room or something like that. So that’s their way in,” the Sinn Féin TD said.

    Huge concerns

    “But I’ve huge concerns in relation to the group itself. It is a cult. I wouldn’t be encouraging anybody to be using the facilities,” he added.

    “No, we won’t be going. From what I’ve seen on television and online I wouldn’t be bringing my kids near the place,” said Louise Kenny, a mother of two, while she shopped in the Firhouse Shopping Centre.

    When The Irish Times visited the facility on Sunday a security guard followed this reporter before ordering deletion of a photograph. Church management was alerted after The Irish Times refused.

    The church’s director of external affairs, Diana Stahl, said the facility was open to all but that members of the press must make an appointment.

    She said about 800 people had visited the centre since the Winter Wonderland opened last Friday. When The Irish Times visited at 2.30pm on Sunday there were less than 20 visitors present.

    Ms Stahl said members of the community were welcome to come in and discuss their concerns with a member of staff, except for protesters “who only want to cause trouble”.

    Asked how many people have joined the church since the Firhouse facility opened, another Scientology official, who identified herself as Janet, said they do not keep track of those numbers.

    Protests

    In a separate emailed statement, Ms Stahl said Scientology is a “non conversionalist” organisation.

    “You can meet many people who we have known and worked with for years who will confirm to you that we have never tried to ‘recruit’ them.”

    She said “various local councillors and community representatives, local organisations, local media, numerous sports groups, artists and young families” have visited the facility since it opened.

    Many of Scientology’s Firhouse events have been accompanied by protests outside the facility by a small but vocal group of anti-Scientology activists.

    A protest against the “Winter Wonderland” festival took place last Friday. On Sunday a play titled “Squeeze my Cans” was staged in another community centre in Firhouse which mocked the church. It stars US actress and anti-Scientology activist Cathy Schenkelberg, who was a member of the church for 14 years before she left.

    The autobiographical plot features a woman auditioning to be the girlfriend of famous Scientologist and actor Tom Cruise.

    Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/soc...activity-sparks-concern-in-firhouse-1.3322442
  31. Malory Member


    That woman is a mental menace, a complete egofag and leaderfag. She has the wrong sort of temperament to tackle Scientologists and they're running rings around her, it's like watching a lulzcow getting milked every day.
  32. TorontosRoot Member

    ...she's autistic and has been massively deceived. However she is very stubborn, so stubborn she won't look at what's happened.
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    How Scientology is trying to insert itself into Irish schools

    The controversial church is giving out teaching materials that hide its involvement

    By Conor Gallagher, The Irish Times, December 16, 2017

    Quote:

    When the neat white package arrived at Rosmini Community School, in Drumcondra, three months ago, Chris Gueret was impressed. Inside it the religious-studies teacher found a complete curriculum on how to teach human rights to students, alongside posters, leaflets and a well-produced DVD entitled The Story of Human Rights.

    In a job where resources can be hard to come by, teachers usually welcome a gift of good-quality study materials. “The resources were amazing. Really fantastic. It was all very well done,” Gueret says, before adding that he immediately threw it all in the bin.

    The material came from an organisation called Youth for Human Rights, one of about 500 organisations operating internationally that are widely regarded as front groups for the Church of Scientology. The Dublin teacher was familiar with the group, having previously taught his class a module on Scientology. He had even used some of the organisation’s own material to illustrate how it operates.

    “I was pretty savvy, just because I was aware of it in the past. But, as a teacher, the resource packs are really, really good. I would be afraid that a young, naive teacher would be taken in. “You’re grappling for resources, and when you’re teaching the topic of human rights, which falls into so many different subjects, you would think it’s fantastic.”

    Although Youth for Human Rights is staffed and funded almost exclusively by Scientologists, the controversial organisation is mentioned nowhere in the literature Gueret received. The only overt clue to its connection is the mention of the science-fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, Scientology’s founder, who is listed as a “humanitarian” alongside Gandhi and Martin Luther King jnr.

    “They embed the ideology into it in a very discreet way. You’d have to really look to see it. It’s kind of a covert way of getting into schools,” Gueret says.

    An Irish Times investigation has found that over the past two years the Church of Scientology has made a huge effort to insert itself into Irish society. As well as sending thousands of brochures to schools around the country, the church has attempted, sometimes successfully, to convince government-funded charities – including those working with drug addicts, prisoners and sex offenders – to use its material promoting Hubbard’s world view.

    Experts warn that these efforts are an attempt to normalise the church and to help it obtain charitable status in Ireland, meaning it wouldn’t have to pay tax. They say that despite its social programmes in Ireland it is still the same organisation that has been accused of indoctrinating members while forcing them to donate huge sums of money and to disown any family or friends who object; the same organisation that in the 1970s engaged in a criminal conspiracy to infiltrate the US government to destroy incriminating records on its founder.

    Irish Scientology representatives say their organisation is merely trying to help the most vulnerable of Irish society, and deny any ulterior motive. And they claim to be enjoying a huge amount of success.

    Only 87 members

    Scientology is not new to Ireland. In fact Hubbard set up a facility on Merrion Square in 1956, just two years after founding the organisation. Yet it has never made significant inroads here. The last census showed only 87 Irish members, and up to a few years ago the organisation was deeply in debt and relying on funds from its US headquarters to stay afloat.

    But recently Scientology, which has been officially labelled a cult in several countries, appears to have turned its fortunes around in Ireland, as evidenced by the opening of major centres on Merrion Square and in Firhouse, in southwest Dublin, at a cost of millions.

    The opening of the centres generated a huge amount of public attention, but the organisation’s more subtle initiatives have gone largely under the radar. The Irish Times has gathered reports from 47 schools around the country that say they have been sent material from Scientology groups.

    Two sources who have worked with Scientology in recent months say its Irish national affairs office claims to have distributed some 40,000 Youth for Human Rights leaflets to teachers around the country. Scientology itself claims to have distributed 500,000 Drug Free World booklets in Ireland.

    Catherine Barry, a secondary-school English teacher in Fermoy, Co Cork, says she is aware of two teachers at other Irish schools who have used its anti-drug material in class.

    She believes the lack of a concrete anti-drug and mental-health syllabus in schools forms “a fertile ground for the Scientologists to infiltrate with their own brand of misinformation. Unlike traditional subjects, where there is an established body of knowledge that has been built up over centuries, the area of wellbeing has no real content from which to form a syllabus,” she says.

    Marie Griffin, chief executive of Ceist, an organisation that operates more than 100 Catholic secondary schools, says she is aware of a number of schools getting Scientology material. “It doesn’t appear to be linked to the organisation at first, but when you read into it becomes apparent.”

    Most teachers who spoke to this newspaper say they did not use the material when they learned of its connection to Scientology. Others say they found it too US-focused for an Irish class. But there is some evidence of the material finding its way into classrooms; a Scientology spokeswoman says the church is “regularly” invited to speak at schools about its community programmes.

    Two Scientology organisations, Applied Scholastics and the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, paid for stands at the Education and Training Board Ireland conference in Kilkenny in September, when they offered to come to schools to speak to the students.

    That month Scientology groups also hired stands at the Transition Year Expoin Kildare, attended by 7,000 students. One of the groups was the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which teaches that psychiatry is an “industry of death” and blames psychiatrists for the Holocaust and the September 11th attacks. The organisers of both conferences said they were unaware of the groups’ connections at the time.

    Last May a parent wrote to his daughter’s school, in Howth, in north Co Dublin, to complain about the use of Foundation for a Drug-Free World material during a presentation to the school by the Dublin North East Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, a publicly funded body.

    “Their material has been discredited by many healthcare professionals,” the parent wrote in a letter released under the Freedom of Information Act. “I find it quite unsettling that they did not vet the material, which to me, quite apart from the Scientology link, does not seem to be at all age appropriate.”

    Like teachers, the taskforce was using the Scientology material because little else was available. A spokesman for the taskforce says it used it “no written Irish-produced drug-awareness materials” were available. The taskforce stopped its use following the parent’s complaint.

    Educate Together schools appear to be particularly likely to receive Scientology-backed material. Until recently its online resource bank for teachers featured a link to the Youth for Human Rights website.

    An Educate Together spokesman said it was unaware of the group’s connection to Scientology and teachers were under no obligation to use material in the resource bank. The link has since been removed.

    A spokeswoman for the Department of Education says it is up to the boards of directors of individual schools to decide what external resources they use, although she adds there are regulations about visiting speakers.

    The two main teaching unions, the TUI and ASTI, both urge teachers and parents to exercise common sense when dealing with external organisations that are looking for access to schools. “If the source of the material is unclear or in any way difficult to ascertain, schools should err on the side of caution and should not use it,” an ASTI spokesman says.

    Christmas funfair

    Schools are just one part of the church’s push in Ireland. Other initiatives include engaging in drug outreach work, putting on free concerts and lectures, and even setting up a free Christmas funfair at its Firhouse centre.

    On the corporate side the church has hired a big advertising firm to publicise its events, as well as the public-relations company CCIPR. The well-known defamation lawyer Paul Tweed has also been retained to deal with negative Irish coverage of Scientology’s international leader, David Miscavige. Tweed has already helped to prevent publication of one negative story about the organisation that was due to run in a tabloid newspaper.

    Miscavige opened the Firhouse centre in mid-October to much fanfare. Since then it has hosted a string of events, including a Halloween fair, a variety concert and an “Alice in Wonderland family fun day”. All events are free, and local families are welcome to attend.

    During a tour of the facility this week a Scientology official tells The Irish Times that thousands have visited since the centre opened, including local politicians and community groups requesting to use the auditorium.

    The church also crops up in more unexpected locations, such the Ideal Home Show, where it had a stall, and the Dublin Marathon, where it offered tired runners massages and literature about Hubbard.

    Outside the Firhouse facility the attitude of the locals is wary but not entirely negative. One woman says she will never set foot in the place, “no matter if they’re giving away free cars”.

    <snipped>

    The church says it has had thousands through its doors in Firhouse since its centre there opened. When The Irish Times visited last Sunday it was almost empty. A morose-looking Santa Claus sat in a corner while the Winter Wonderland fairground rides lay idle, although staff said it had been much busier earlier in the weekend.

    Part of the church’s problem, according to Ortega, is that it still uses the original strategies Hubbard laid out decades ago. “David Miscavige keeps telling his followers that if they just open these buildings the public will come rushing in. This is a strategy that utterly fails every time, but they just keep doing the same thing over and over again. The one opened in Dublin will become just as empty as everywhere else.”

    More at
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/soc...to-insert-itself-into-irish-schools-1.3327646
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    'You're likely depressed... you should sign up here now': Dublin's Scientology centre tells undercover reporter 'psychiatry doesn't work'
    • Listen: Audio reveals analysis given after Independent.ie reporter took personality test at Church of Scientology in Dublin
    • Undercover reporter told psychiatrists or counselling 'aren't fruitful'
    • Leading psychiatrist urges people with mental health concerns to visit registered GP
    • 'How much money do you have on you... you can pay by card' - scientologist
    By Amy Molloy, Independent.ie, December 17, 2017

    Quote:

    An undercover reporter was urged to hand over cash on the spot to take up a Scientology course and was told psychiatrists or counselling do not work to combat mental health issues such as depression.


    "You're likely depressed, irresponsible and unstable as a person" - This was the analysis given by a staff member in the Church of Scientology in Dublin after an Independent.ie reporter took a 'personality test' this week.

    The reporter, who is not experiencing any mental health issues, took the test at the new Scientology centre in Firhouse.

    She was asked "how much money do you have on you?" and was told to enrol in a course that would help her "overcome ups and downs" for €75.

    With only the 'personality test' as evidence of the reporter's perceived well-being, members of the religion brought the reporter into a private room to urge her to do the course and "do it now", telling her "things will get worse and worse" if she didn't.

    <snipped>

    The personality test consisted of 200 questions and the results were calculated by a scientologist in the centre. The entire process took over an hour.

    <snipped>

    Based on the results, the reporter was advised that she is more than likely depressed, is unstable, irresponsible and quite a nervous person.

    There are a choice of three columns on the answer sheet and the participant is asked to give a plus (+), middle (m) or minus (-) sign. The plus means mostly 'yes or decidedly so', middle means 'uncertain' and minus means 'mostly or decidedly no'.

    Some of the questions in the Oxford Capacity Analysis Test included; "Do you intend two or less children in your family even though your health and income will permit more?"; "Is the idea of death or even reminders of death abhorrent to you?" and "Are you in favor of color bar and class distinction?"

    <snipped>

    The female scientologist advised the reporter to sign up for a 'Personal Values and Integrity Course' for €75 to improve her well-being.

    The course purports to teach people the "secret" of efficiency and how to turn "bad control" to good.

    It takes seven days to complete, with the person attending the centre for two-three hours every day.

    In the audio below, the reporter was told that if she didn’t enrol for the course and "make changes now", her sadness would get "worse and worse".

    After completing the test, the reporter was brought into a room and a female scientologist gave the following advice:

    More at https://www.independent.ie/irish-ne...reporter-psychiatry-doesnt-work-36401913.html
    • Like Like x 1
  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 1
  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    Public meeting in Ballivor as Church of Scientology reported to have bought old school site | Meath Chronicle

    Quote:

    A public meeting took place in Ballivor at the weekend following reports that the Church of Scientology has purchased the former national school site in the village for use as the location for a controversial drug rehabilitation centre.

    The site already has planning permission for a nursing home development. It was sold by the parish some years back following the opening of the new school across the road from the site, and has since been sold again.

    Concerns have been raised in the village that the development, beside the local community centre and gardens, is to house the organisation’s Narconon programme, an expensive substance-abuse rehabilitation programme.

    American science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard founded scientology in 1953, and the Church of Scientology has often been compared to a cult. Its Hollywood supporters have included actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

    In October this year, the organisation, which has no charitable or religious status in Ireland, and is a registered company, opened a massive 1,100 seater conference centre in Firhouse, Dublin, and last year, opened a ‘national affairs office’ at Merrion Square in Dublin.

    In June 2016, the former primary school in Ballivor came on the market with CBRE, with a half-built nursing home development on the site.

    The school building was refurbished and extended to accommodate a modern 15-bedroom nursing home, while on an adjoining 2.26-acre site, some foundations have been laid for a 41-bedroom extension.

    CBRE was asking €1 million for the ‘Raspberry Wood Nursing Home’ site. The agents are understood to have sold it to another agent, acting for a client.

    Around 170 local residents attended the meeting in Ballivor Community Centre on Sunday night, where it was decided a petition would be gathered objecting to any move by the scientologists to the site.

    Cllr Noel French says that he would be objecting to the proposals if a change-of-use planning application is necessary.

    “I could be objecting to that on a number of grounds,” he states. I would not be happy that what many have described as a cult being present in our community and I will do what I can to prevent it coming into our community,” he says.

    “I believe in everyone having their own religious freedom but cults are something else. I understand that what the scientologists want to use the building for is a substance rehabilitation centre. Again no problem with those who fall on hard times and I am actually on the board of such a centre, but Ballivor is not the place for such a centre. It is too isolated and too small for any hope of recovering addicts to re-integrate into society.

    He added: “I also do have a problem when unproven methods are used. Narconon International is an organization that promotes the theories of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard regarding substance abuse treatment and addiction. I had hope that the building would provide a retirement home and create a few jobs in the village as well as they are badly needed.”

    While a number of European countries have recognised scientology as a religion, scientologists in Paris have been convicted of fraud, while Belgium recently tried to outlaw the organisation as a criminal one after a 20-year investigation, but failed.

    Meath County Council has not had any planning application or pre-planning consultations regarding the site.

    The Church of Scientology’s media relations department in Dublin has been contacted by the Meath Chronicle but has not commented on the reported Ballivor purchase.

    Source: http://www.meathchronicle.ie/news/r...logy-reported-to-have-bought-old-school-site/
  37. TorontosRoot Member

    They need to prevent them from landing their claws.
  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Taoiseach

    The Taoiseach is the prime minister, chief executive and head of government of Ireland.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoiseach

    Taoiseach defends TD's meeting with Scientology group | Belfast Telegraph

    Quote:

    Leo Varadkar has defended a government politician for hosting a delegation from the controversial Church of Scientology in Leinster House.

    The Taoiseach said he had "no difficulty" with Fine Gael TD Colm Brophy's invite in September to meet a group from the church, which many view as a cult.

    The Fine Gael leader said he does not know "exactly" what the visit was about, but insisted he did not have a difficulty with it "in principle".

    Mr Varadkar said: "I think it made sense.

    "Even if you're going to oppose somebody or oppose their plans or stand up to them, I think it always makes sense to engage them first and I think it is reasonable for a TD to actually engage with a group who are establishing a premises in their constituency."

    The church, which ranks Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise among its members, opened a massive new Scientology centre in Dublin in October.

    At the time, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin described Scientology as a cult and said cults can be "very damaging to people, particularly to young people".

    Mr Varadkar admitted there is a "genuine concern about the fact or the possibility that it could be a cult".

    He warned however that to balance freedom of religion or freedom of association on the one hand with protecting people from being exploited is always a challenge.

    "I don't know enough about the Church of Scientology to know whether or to what extent the allegations made against them would require government intervention of some sort.

    "I would be loath to go down that route of starting to interfere with religious groups or restrict people's freedom of association in any way," the Taoiseach said.

    Scientology was founded in 1953 by American science-fiction writer L Ron Hubbard.

    The US and Spain are among the countries that recognise it as a religion, while other governments have declared it a cult.

    Scientology has been under increasing scrutiny in the US.

    Defections from high-ranking members, and books and documentaries alleging brainwashing and emotional and physical abuse, are drawing unwelcome attention to the organisation.

    Source: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/...-meeting-with-scientology-group-36435800.html

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says he has no problem with any TD who invites Church of Scientology delegations into Leinster House | The Irish Sun

    It was revealed earlier this month that a Fine Gael Deputy, Colm Brophy, had hosted a Church of Scientology delegation in Leinster House

    https://www.thesun.ie/news/1960258/...-scientology-delegations-into-leinster-house/

    Taoiseach will not block spread of Scientology | The Times

    Leo Varadkar has expressed concern about the Church of Scientology but said that he is not willing to restrict its expanding operations in Ireland. Referring to the organisation as a “possible cult”, the taoiseach said he was unfamiliar with details of its operation in Ireland and that he would be reluctant to crackdown on its work.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/taoiseach-will-not-block-spread-of-scientology-vt5sm5vl2
    • Like Like x 1
  39. The Wrong Guy Member

    The 'fake' reviews on Google for the Irish Scientology centre are absolutely gas | Buzz.ie

    Excerpt:

    There is much speculation online that most of the reviews are fake and have been posted by members of the church from outside of Ireland.

    Anyway, we thought we'd share a few with you and you can make your own mind up about whether or not they're real:

    "An excellent place, with wonderful, friendly people. You're always free to leave and nobody ever tries to stop you. I write this review of my own free will, at no point has any person or persons threatened me or members of my immediate family."

    More at https://www.buzz.ie/weird/reviews-google-irish-scientology-centre-hilarious-266970

    'You're always free to leave': Online reviews of Firhouse Scientology Centre | Dublin Live

    "Not up for thinking for yourself? Feel like you need someone to control nearly every aspect of your life? Well maybe this is the cult for you!"

    http://www.dublinlive.ie/news/dublin-news/youre-always-free-leave-online-14085454

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