Sect and the City

The City has an unusual new tenant. The Church of Scientology is, I hear, paying £10 million for the old BP building on Queen Victoria Street. This is the cult that counts Tom Cruise and John Travolta as adherents, the one with the building in Tottenham Court Road where they try to drag you in for “personality testing”.

The creation of L. Ron Hubbard, a fraudulent former science fiction writer, the Church was once branded by a High Court judge as “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”.

By an odd coincidence, the Scientologists’ new home is just along the street from the former headquarters of The Salvation Army, acquired by William Booth, the movement’s founder, in 1881. The building, has just re-opened after refurbishment.

What will they have to talk about, the two churches, in the local Starbucks? The Army is engagingly broad-minded about its new neighbour.

“Interesting,” says a spokeswoman. “It takes all sorts.”

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Times Online, UK
Dec. 1, 2004
Martin Waller

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This post was last updated: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 10:05 AM, Central European Time (CET)