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Scientology Targets Aussie Kindergartners, Swedish Grade Schoolers

GlobalReportOur international tipsters have been busy lately, and this morning we thought we’d take a look at some of the Scientology stories making headlines around the world.

A few days ago, we read about yet another Scientology front group targeting very young children. In this case, the church’s anti-psychiatry front, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), is targeting Australian kindergartens.

Also, we have an update on the situation in Sweden, where a newspaper continues a hard-hitting investigation of Scientology infiltration of an elementary school. And we also have some interesting news from South Africa.

All that, plus this morning’s SMERSH Madness after the jump!

Sydney Morning Herald reporter Vince Chadwick reported on Monday that Scientology’s anti-psychiatry front, CCHR, had sent out notices to all of the nation’s kindergartens, warning principals that an expanded federal health check program for children could put those kids at risk.

This is also the group, however, that tells visitors to its Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles that the Holocaust should be blamed on the psychiatric profession.

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CCHR has proved that it will say anything to frighten people about psychiatry, which is one of Scientology’s great perceived enemies.

Now, in Australia, CCHR is telling kindergarten principals that the federal government’s concern for the health of young children could be used to enslave them with psychiatric drugs.

However, it sounds like this latest tactic didn’t fool school officials in that country, where Scientology has had a particularly tough time in the past few years.

Catherine Waters, who received the letter last week, said she saw it ”as further deceit on behalf of this cult to gain influence in society”.

”I am really concerned that this information has been sent out, particularly to an under-resourced and unsupported industry,” Mrs Waters said.

A spokesman for federal Mental Health Minster Mark Butler said much of the material was wrong.

In fact, the new federal health check was designed not to result in increased pharmaceutical use, a government official said.

Aiming at kindergartners seems a fairly desperate tactic, but the church may have few other options left.

Australian census numbers show that Scientology is declining significantly there, with only 2,163 people identifying themselves as church members in the 2011 census.

 
Meanwhile, our man in Sweden brings us an update on a story we first brought you last week.

He tells us that Expressen newspaper is continuing a hard-hitting series of stories about Scientology’s educational front group, Applied Scholastics, in a Stockholm school. Previously, the series had shown that Applied Scholastics materials were being used even after the school had promised not to use them. (The school receives national funds, which require Swedish school standards, not L. Ron Hubbard materials.) Says our man in Stockholm…

The newspaper “Expressen” showed some films done with a hidden camera to Lotta Edholm, chief commissioner of Schools in Stockholm. The films show school personnel confirm that the principles of L. Ron Hubbard are still followed. Ms. Edholm expressed concern that the school may have presented false material in order to get continued funds from the state. State lawyers will now get involved to investigate the claims from the newspaper.

The school, Albatrossen, has received 85 million Swedish crowns (13. 3 million USD) of taxpayer money over the years (Since 2006). Last year they received 2.5 million USD of taxpayer money from the state.

Expressen also talked to Stephen A. Kent, a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta in Canada, has studied Scientology for many years, and says that it is customary in the movement that a certain percentage of the money earned, shall accrue to the organization. He goes on to say “If a group uses the Applied Scholastics they have to send a percentage — roughly ten percent — back to the organization. It would be interesting to know if there is such a cash flow here,” he says, and continues: “The organization is not generous. It must be that they pay to Applied Scholastics.”

The Church of Scientology has not made an official statement yet.

Once again, we’re seeing news organizations take on Scientology’s front groups, which are having a harder time operating without getting called out for their connections to the church.

 
Meanwhile, a different kind of report from Pretoria, South Africa.

Former top Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder penned a lengthy report for Marty Rathbun’s blog this week, describing the pitiful state of the “Ideal Org” there.

Rinder reports that after local church members in Pretoria raised the huge sums needed for the latest “Ideal” church in David Miscavige’s relentless pursuit of new buildings (if not new members), the Scientology leader then didn’t bother to show up for the dedication on February 23.

Since 2003, Miscavige has hounded church members around the globe to raise millions so new buildings can be purchased and turned into slick “Ideal Orgs” even though the churches they are replacing weren’t full to begin with. In fact, there’s good evidence that Scientology is dwindling, and the new Ideal Orgs are not only draining local members dry to pay for their construction, but they also largely stand empty after they open.

Rinder claims that that’s definitely the case in Pretoria, and he offered a photograph to show how busy its course room was on a recent day at a time when it should be busiest…

PretoriaClass

“If Scientologists actually got the facts about what is really going on in the ‘Ideal Orgs,’ it might help save some of them from financial ruin supporting a false cause,” Rinder writes.

 
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SMERSH Madness: Sowing the Seeds of World Domination!

As we announced on March 1, we’re joining bracket fever with a tournament like no other. It’s up to you to decide who should be named the new SMERSH, the traditional nemesis of Scientology. Cast your vote for who’s doing more to propel the church down its long slide into oblivion!

Continuing in the first round, we have a fascinating matchup this morning…

JennaVsGerry

Jenna Miscavige Hill is the niece of Scientology leader David Miscavige, and Uncle Dave surely couldn’t have enjoyed seeing his portrayal in her recent memoir, Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape. The book not only made him out to be a thug and a coward, it got her major exposure on prime time television. Exuding credibility and a lack of guile, she has dealt the church a serious blow.

Gerry Armstrong has paid a terrible price for a simple act: he wanted the Church of Scientology to be more honest about L. Ron Hubbard’s actual history. The former church worker was hounded by Scientology lawyers with the help of credulous courts to such a degree that he lives in Canada because he can’t set foot in the United States. All of Hubbard’s biographers, from Russell Miller to Lawrence Wright, owe a huge debt to Armstrong for finding and securing crucial original documentation of Hubbard’s life.

 

An update on our tournament so far:

L. Ron Hubbard defeated Steve Cannane
Debbie Cook defeated John Sweeney
Nancy Many defeated Paul Thomas Anderson
Tobin & Childs defeated Rathbun & Rinder
Katie Holmes edged out David Edgar Love
Marc & Claire Headley defeated Luis Garcia
ESMB defeated Jamie DeWolf

 

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Posted by Tony Ortega on March 8, 2013 at 07:00

 

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