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Inside religion: Profitable cult in Scientology

Title: Inside religion: Profitable cult in Scientology
Date: Saturday, 29 June 1974
Publisher: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Author: Lester Kinsolving
Main source:

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The "Church of Scientology," a highly profitable form of pseudo-psychoanalysis, has been investigated and exposed by numerous governmental agencies from Australia to England and the U. S.

In California, however, this cult, founded by former science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, began last year to acquire a measure of respectabiilty.

Somehow, famed San Francisco Forty-niner Quarterback John Brodie was converted. Then the Rev. Vaughn Young, the San Francisco Scientology franchise holder, managed quietly to obtain membership in the Communications Commission of the Northern California Ecumenical Council (formerly the Council of Churches)—which commission includes the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco as well as the Northern Californa Board of Rabbis.

YET NEWS OF this new degree of ecumenicity had no sooner leaked out that the Council of the Episcopal Diocese of California was asked by San Carlos Rector David Gordon:

"Why doesn't this commission invite the Satanists as well?"

This leading question, when conveyed to Scientologist Young, evoked a threat that if San Francisco's First Satanist Church is welcomed into the Council's Communications Commission, "I will be gone. I can't tolerate any group that reverences death."

When asked about this rejoinded, Lana Green, executive secretary of the National Network of the Churches of Satan, Inc., laughed devilishly and retorted:

"Well, aren't the Scientologists getting snobbish! We aren't really interested in joining that Council. And maybe it is wise that L. Ron Hubbard stays off shore!'

This was a pointed reference to the fact that for the past six years, founder Hubbard has generally remained aboard his yacht ("The Sea Org") and refused to talk to the press.

BUT SCIENTOLOGY'S most notable defector, the Sea Org's First Mate John McLean of Toronto, recently met with reporters and revealed that Hubbard is enjoying founder's royalties on an estimated 60 million per annum.

It was in Toronto also that Scientology recently suffered an even more devastating setback, when the Province of Ontario's Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations refused to recognize Scientology as a church.

Under Section 22 of Ontario's Marriage Act, this government agency can and has denied licenses to cults or purported clergy seking the necessary governmental authority to solemnize marriages.

T. D. Thompson, legal advisor to Ontario's Registrar General, explained:

"The denomination in which the applying clergyman is ordained must have existed for 25 years—and have such aspects of a legitimate and bona fide denomination as a theological seminary, a liturgy and a body of doctrine. Unless these conditions are the case, we simply turn down the application."