Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Kenneth Robinson

Former British Minister of Health, target of a smear campaign by the Church of Scientology.

Wikipedia (as of Apr. 2007): "Kenneth Robinson"

The Rt. Hon. Kenneth Robinson (19 March 1911-16 February 1996) was a British Labour politician who served as Minister of Health in Harold Wilson's first government, from 1964 to 1968, when the position was merged into the new title of Secretary of State for Social Services.

The son of a doctor, Robinson was educated at Oundle School and worked as a writer, insurance broker and company secretary. He joined the Royal Navy during World War II as an ordinary seaman, commissioned in 1942 and promoted to lieutenant-commander in 1944. He served on the HMS King George V. [...]

Robinson was probably one of the UK's most respected Health Ministers. He was always willing to listen, and indeed took informal advice from his local GPs during difficult negotiations over the GP Charter in 1965.

Robinson had served as the first chairman of the National Association of Mental Health (now known as Mind). His interest in mental health issues brought him into conflict with the Church of Scientology, considered to hold controversial views on mental health: as Minister, he told the House of Commons that he was satisfied that "scientology is socially harmful." In 1968, the Church of Scientology started publishing articles that were of defamatory nature toward Robinson. Eventually Robinson sued the Church of Scientology of California and L. Ron Hubbard for libel. This resulted in a settlement between the parties on June 1973, where the Church of Scientology acknowledged that there was no truth to the published allegations, and offered its apologies to Robinson along with a "substantial sum to mark the gravity of the libels."[1] [...]

The Times (Jun. 1973): "Church of Scientology to pay libel damages to former Minister"

The Church of Scientology of California published and circulated in this country what might be called broadsheets styled variously as Freedom Scientology, Freedom and Scientology, Freedom. Some of the broadsheets had international editions. Mr Ginever was the editor of the broadsheets. Mr Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology claimed the copyright in what was published in the broadsheets.

About the autumn of 1968 the defendants commenced a campaign against Mr Robinson through their broadsheets. The reason for the campaign was that the defendants very strongly objected to political decisions in which Mr Robinson as a Minister of the Crown had been involved and which led to a ban being placed on the admission to this country of people coming from abroad to study Scientology.

In the campaign extravagant allegations were made against Mr Robinson which were of a gravely defamatory nature. Put shortly, it was alleged that Mr Robinson had instigated or approved of the creation of what were called "death camps", likened to Belsen and Auschwitz, to which persons (including mental patients) could be forcibly abducted and there killed or maimed with impunity. It was further alleged that Mr Robinson had abused his position as a minister in relation to government grants made to the National Association of Mental Health. [...]

Winnipeg Free Press (Feb. 1969): "The Secret of Scientology - An Examination Of The Controversial Religious-Psychological-Pseudoscientific cult" by Mike Cowley

AN UNINSPIRING, four-storey converted house on Avenue Road in Toronto is the headquarters of the Church Of Scientology in Canada, a branch of the world-wide religious cult which has been banned by two Australian states and condemned by British Health Minister Kenneth Robinson as "socially harmful ... a potential menace to the personality" and "a serious danger to health". [...]

Iowa City Press-Citizen (Sep. 1968): "'Largest Mental Health Institution' Becomes Storm Center in Britain" by David Lancashire

Health Minister Kenneth Robinson last month denounced Scientology as "socially harmful ... a potential menace," and moved to keep foreigners from coming to Britain as students enrolled at the College of Scientology here. [...]

The health minister has refused to disclose what he called government evidence against Scientology. The Scientologists say no government representative, has ever come to East Grinstead to hold an investigation.

In Parliament Robinson said Scientology "alienates members of families from each other and attributes squalid and disgraceful motives to all who oppose it. Its authoritarian principles and practices are a potential menace to the personality and well-being of those so deluded as to become its followers." [...]

Daily Mail (Aug. 1966): "Minister is asked to investigate... The case of the processed woman"

The demand for an inquiry was made by the mother, Mrs. Hilary Henslow, 63, of Horsham, Sussex, in a letter to the Minister, Mr. Kenneth Robinson. It is backed by the psychiatrist now caring or her daughter.

The Medical Research Council and the Royal Medico-Psychological Association are also to be asked to press for an investigation.

Last February Mr. Robinson refused a Commons request for an inquiry, but added: "I am prepared to consider any demand." [...]

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