Devotees of the Church of Scientology have gained access to thousands of British children through a charity that visits schools to lecture on the dangers of drugs. A Sunday Times investigation has found that Marlborough College is one of more than 500 schools across Britain where the charity has taught. Critics of the charity, Narconon, say it is a front to promote the teaching of Scientology - the controversial "religion" founded by L Ron Hubbard, the science fiction writer. Schools contacted last week said they knew nothing about the charity's links with Scientology.
Scientology continued its fight to keep its worldwide leader out of the legal fight over the 1995 death of ScientologistLisa McPherson. The church went to court to ask a Hillsborough judge to remove David Miscavige as a defendant in the wrongful death lawsuit. In a separate action, the church filed a lawsuit in Pinellas circuit court alleging McPherson's estate broke a 1997 agreement by including Miscavige in the wrongful death suit in the first place.
When David Miscavige recounts his rise to power in the Church of Scientology - a journey that began when he quit high school at age 16 - it is mostly a story of war. War against renegade Scientologists. War against Scientology's critics. War against its one-time archenemy, the IRS. Miscavige's friends say he is "intense" and "insistent" and "doesn't suffer fools lightly." Scientology's critics say he is a bully.
David Miscavige, chairman of the board for Scientology's "Religious Technology Center," said recently that the IRS decision to grant his corporate empire a tax exemption was "a major victory for us." He added: "We were under siege. ... Now we've been vindicated." His smugness aside, the business of Scientology, which is to sell vulnerable people counseling services at rates up to $800 an hour, was not vindicated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. It was merely exempted from taxation.
The Church of Scientology, started by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard to "clear" people of unhappiness, portrays itself as a religion. In reality, the church is a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner. At times during the past decade, revelations in the media and prosecutions against Scientology seemed to be curbing its menace. But now the group, which is trying to go mainstream, threatens to become insidious and pervasive than ever.
New York Times: article includes interviews with Gerald Armstrong, Laurel Sullivan, Kima Douglas, Howard Schomer and Edward Walters. They accuse Hubbard of diverting millions of dollars of church money into his own overseas accounts and state that Hubbard still controls operations of the church but has turned over daily operations to David Miscavige and Pat and Annie Broeker.