Scientologists hit out at criticis
The Church of Scientology has appealed for religious tolerance after its $12 million bid to redevelop its Sydney headquarters sparked fears from neighbours of an increase in “menacing” and “aggressive” recruitment tactics.
The church has sought approval from the City of Sydney to add two floors to its five-storey building, Scientology House, on Castlereagh Street. The increased floor space would help turn the building into an “Ideal Org”, the name Scientologists give to their most significant churches.Some of many reasons why the Scientology cult is disliked
But almost 150 people in the neighbouring Victoria Towers complex have signed a petition warning of an increase in on-the-street recruitment drives using the “infamous IQ and personality tests“.
“The street activity often results in menacing interaction with members of the public and has been known to be aggressive and persistent at times,” the petition states.
More than 30 individual objections have also been lodged, including one from the owners of a neighbouring building occupied by the Department of Defence, which cites the security risk posed by a recent spate of anti-Scientology protests.
The president of the church, Vicki Dunstan, said the residents’ claims were “extremely vindictive and untrue”.
About 20 church supporters have already sent in submissions, pleading to be treated by the council without prejudice. Ms Dunstan said 600 people had also signed a petition in support of the proposal.
In one of the submissions, the executive director of the church, Caroline Collen, wrote: “We pride ourselves on being responsible neighbours and friends to the local community and want to be given the same rights to expand and use our air space as any other property owner in your precinct.”
“Extremely vindictive and untrue”
When it comes to “extremely vindictive and untrue,” Vicki Dunstan should take a look at Scientology’s history of hate- and harassment activities — unethical behavior based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the charlatan who founded Scientology.
In light of Scientology’s behavior — which among other things includes an ongoing hate campaign against psychiatry and psychiatrists — appealing for religious tolerance is hypocritical at best.