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Scientology’s new UK ‘church’ met with a hostile response

Scientology’s new UK ‘church’ met with a hostile response

Protesters, many of them former members of the wealthy international cult, gathered in Birmingham at the weekend to loudly decry the opening of a luxurious new Church of Scientology HQ in the city.

According to this report, the cash-grabbing cult – which insists it is a “true religion” and not a cult – bought the Grade II listed Pitmaston House ten years ago for £4.2million and has finished renovating the property.

The new premises were opened to members only, with a garden sing-along to “We Built This City” and numerous speeches. Coaches blocked the road view of the property, with security and police officers on hand to ensure no one saw the opening ceremony.

Protesters released mini alien balloons as the grand opening went underway.

Some of the anti-Scientology protesters. Photo: Birmingham Mail

Adrian Bailey, 51, who was a Scientologist in his twenties, said:

I never saw the really bad side of it that some people did. They helped me with my confidence. What annoyed me the most was that they always asked for money. And with all the secrecy, it’s not surprising people think it’s a cult.

The teacher from Great Barr added:

I’m a bit skeptical that they’ll hit it off here. It’s more an American thing.

William Drummond, 67, a former Scientologist of 51 years, with relatives who remained in the church and whose mother, Betty Wordie, was a high ranking Scientologist, said:

People don’t understand what’s going on in their local area and that’s very frightening. The main motivation for them is money, property and expansion and that’s evident here.

Protesters came from across the UK and some had been campaigning against Scientology for twenty plus years. Yet the newly renovated church wasn’t met with only criticism.

One local resident said:

We’re a welcoming city so I think it’ll be interesting to have the group on our doorstep. The building was run down but now they’ve really rejuvenated the place. I walk past it everyday and you could see the vast improvement they were making to it.

But another resident said:

It’s insane. I live down the road and I can’t believe they’d want to be here.

Any claims of being a cult have been strenuously denied by the US-founded church, which says it is a legitimate religion – something that was backed by the Supreme Court in December 2013.

Graeme Wilson, the Church of Scientology’s UK-based Public Affairs Director, previously said:

A major function of our churches is to give help in the local community, including with drug education, human rights education, literacy programmes, crime reduction programmes, helping those in need, and more.

Hat tip: AgentCormac

9 responses to “Scientology’s new UK ‘church’ met with a hostile response”

  1. Broga says:

    There is no scam quite as shameless (and successful) as a religious scam. Nor does there ever seem to be a scarcity of suckers loading their money into the coffers of the scammers.

  2. Angela_K says:

    “If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.” L Ron Hubbard. nuff said.

  3. Stephen Mynett says:

    Not happy about this as I travel through Birmingham quite a lot, now I am going to have to watch out for an idiot over-acting dwarf.

  4. Why do people persist in spelling it ‘Scientology’ rather than the more accurate ‘$cientology’?

  5. gert says:

    Scientology is no worse a scam than any other religion. All religions are designed and operated as businesses to exert control over and extract money from those stupid or powerless to resist. There are no exceptions.

  6. L.Long says:

    ALL religions should be treated the same…they are corporation, so tax the crap out of ALL!! Any claiming charity status make them prove so like any other!

  7. gert says:

    In gangland the gang members do not normally tolerate those of other gangs interfering with their manor. Any such incursions usually result in nasty stuff such as knifings and drive by shootings. So I was wondering why for example the RCC does not protect its territory by leaning on its competitors such as Mormons or Scientologists?

    Is it because they have to stay inside the law to get the tax concessions and public money?
    Is it because there more than enough credulous fools to go around?
    Is it because they have reached some kind of agreement between themselves?

  8. AgentCormac says:

    ‘A major function of our churches is to give help in the local community, including with drug education, human rights education, literacy programmes, crime reduction programmes, helping those in need, and more.’

    What a load of bollocks. Scientology doesn’t ‘give’ anything. It’s always all about take.

  9. Maggie says:

    Take away its (all) religious tax exemption status and watch it (them all) disappear.