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Scientology staff leaves mission

Title: Scientology staff leaves mission
Date: Wednesday, 9 March 1983
Publisher: Flint Journal (Michigan)
Author: Betty Brenner
Main source: link (69 KiB)

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The local Scientology mission has closed temporarily because its three staff members — the only members of its board of directors — have resigned, a member of the church says.

A note on the front door of the mission at 3101 Clio says that the mission is closed temporarily for reorganization and will reopen Monday. Signs on the building and on a high pole have been removed.

The note 'tells those seeking more information to call Glenn C. Currier, who alse owns the Michigan Purification Project and Reliable Metal Stamping.

Currier, who says he is a member of the church but not of its board, said the closure was caused by a change in the board of directors. The Rev. Enid Vien, director of the mission, decided to travel, he said. He added that she is still in town, however.

Nancy Hickey, supervisor of the course room at the mission, is going to get married, and Sally Newland, who handled public contact and ethics, has been rehired for a job in a local automobile shop, he said.

Vien did not say why she has decided to travel, he said.

"IT WAS AN abrupt change of management" that took place about 10 days ago, he said. He would not comment on the surprising sudden timing of the actions of all three.

A clerk in a nearby fastfood outlet said there was a meeting at the mission one night about 10 days ago and that Scientologists went there for soft drinks. The next morning, she said, the mission was closed.

A look through windows confirms its quick closure. Everything appears to have been left the way one would leave a place at night.

Currier said the signs had been taken down so that they could be cleaned up, but that the name will not change. He said it will be opened with volunteer staff because of the lack of trained people here. He said he does not know when the opening would be.

Nationally, the Church of Scientology has been a mystery to outsiders since its organization in 1954. It has become one of the world's wealthiest and most controversial religions.

SOME ACCUSE it of using amateurs to perform skills that should be performed only by highly trained psychologists. Some have accused it of using harsh tactics and skilled techniques to raise money. Some church members have been convicted of burglarizing federal offices in Washington D.C. to obtain documents.

Adherents call it an applied religious philosophy.

In a recent story, The Journal reported on the Michigan Purification Project, pointing out that similar operations elsewhere have been accused of being recruiting fronts for Scientology.

The project, which operates an office at 546 S. Saginaw, claims to be able to remove toxins from the human body through exercise, vitamins and sauna.

Nationally, the church also is shrouded in mystery because nobody has seen its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, Since 1979. His son, Ronald E. DeWolf, has filed suit asking to be appointed trustee of his father's estate on the grounds that he is dead or missing.