"Dinner with Tom Cruise" bribes in the UK

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by RolandRB, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. RolandRB Member

    When I think of the 270K GBP per year that the City of London Corporation excuse the "Church" of Scientology in property rates each year and that the Secretary of State Eric Pickles has urged local councils not to give rates relief to this "Church" then I wonder why the CoL in particular choose to extend their generosity. I know there were many officials in the UK invited to a dinner evening at St Hill, East Grinstead, with Tom Cruise present so their wives could be photographed alongside Tom Cruise and I am wondering who, if any, of the CoL council staff were invited to that dinner.
  2. Anonymous Member

    Potentially relevant.

    Dox plox?
  3. Anonymous Member

    "Gala dinners, jive bands and Tom Cruise: how the Scientologists woo City police"

    It began with tea and biscuits for constables at the police cordon after the July 7 terrorist attacks, progressed to lunches with senior officers and continues with regular invitations to gala nights and jive concerts.
    The Church of Scientology appears to be involved in an effort to woo officers from the City of London police - an unlikely partnership perhaps, but one that seems to be blossoming. Details of how more than 20 officers, from constables to chief superintendents, have been invited to a series of engagements by the scientologists over the last 15 months have been revealed by a freedom of information inquiry by the Guardian.
    The hospitality included guest invitations in May for two constables and a sergeant to attend the premiere of Mission Impossible 3 in Leicester Square, where they were able to rub shoulders with the best known Scientologist of all and the star of the film, Tom Cruise.
    The Guardian requested details of meetings between police and scientologists after a senior officer from the City appeared as a guest speaker at the opening of the £23m Scientology centre near St Paul's Cathedral last month.

    At the lavish ceremony, Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley, the fourth most senior officer in the force, praised the scientologists for the support they had provided after the July 7 attacks, when followers of L Ron Hubbard's movement appeared at the police cordons of the Aldgate bomb site offering help to those involved in the emergency operation. The relationship flourished in the following months, according to the City police's register of hospitality, which all officers are required to fill out.

    Since July 7 the Church of Scientology has invited four police constables, an inspector and a chief superintendent to a charity dinner at their British headquarters, Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, West Sussex, where the officers received a donation of £5,000 for a City of London children's charity.
    The hospitality continued with a member of the Hubbard Foundation buying lunch for about £20 for a chief superintendent at Boisdale restaurant in Bishopsgate, central London, where the £28 set menu currently includes mini-Macsween haggis, fish or meat of the day and raspberry cranachan.
    Most of the engagements detailed in the register of hospitality were approved by a senior officer: either Frank Armstrong, the assistant commissioner of City police, Mr Hurley or his colleague Chief Superintendent Ken Stewart.
    But the register of hospitality contains gaps on at least two occasions, where it is not known which officer attended an event or who authorised it.

    The invitations to the Mission Impossible 3 premiere in May for three officers were followed in August by another event at the East Grinstead centre for an unknown number of officers.In September the register does not specify how many officers attended a concert at Bishopsgate police station by the Jive Aces; a band made up of Scientologists whose advertising states that they play "hot jive" and "big band swing".
    The night before last month's grand opening of the Church of Scientology's centre in the City, one of the force's two chief superintendents joined a detective superintendent, a uniformed constable and a detective constable at a star-studded charity dinner at Saint Hill Manor, where prizes are awarded to followers who donate the biggest sums to the movement.

    The dinner was attended by Cruise, who sat at a special table nearest the past year's biggest donors.
    The next day, Sunday October 22, a sergeant recorded being offered refreshments worth between £3 and £5 by scientologists as he was policing the opening of the London centre. Another officer, a constable, was a guest at a charity gala in East Grinstead the following night, where he recorded receiving £50 worth of hospitality. Most recently, on October 24, two sergeants and two constables attended a Jive Aces concert at Saint Hill.

    The relationship between the police and the scientologists comes despite controversy that the tactics adopted by the church are akin to that of a cult and the Charity Commission's refusal to recognise it as a religion in the UK.
    The scientologists have also been criticised in the US over their role in counselling firefighters and police officers after the September 11 attacks when they set up a a medical clinic two blocks from Ground Zero in New York for professionals involved in the emergency operation.
    Inside the centre some firefighters abandoned the medical care and emotional counselling provided to them by the fire department's doctors, and instead took up a treatment devised by Hubbard. This included saunas, physical workouts and taking pills; a treatment which constitutes the scientologists controversial detoxification programme.

    Mark Salter, a London-based psychiatrist said the scientologists were trying to replicate their ideology by disseminating it as widely as possible.
    "You may well find that one or two police officers become followers. Look at the masons, I am sure they are well represented inside the police force," he said.
    "They are a cult who are trying to maximise their influence by putting feelers out and using spin to make contacts and network in quite dangerous ways."

    Janet Kenyon-Laveau, spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology in the UK, said the relationship between the police and followers was mutually beneficial, with followers engaged in clean-up campaigns in drug ridden inner city areas, which were praised by the police.
    The City of London police declined to comment. "
  4. Anonymous Member

    But we already know what the reasoning was from FoI requests and the CoL's thinking is summarised in this report (September 2010):

    I think it's fair to say they continued to grant it largely due to fear of potential litigation if they refused, in which they thought they'd receive no help from central government. Note the timing - this meeting was before Pickles' public statement in October.

    WT has submitted a request to the CoL to find out if anything's changed, and a response is pending:

    He also submitted a round of hospitality queries in 2009 and so if you do really think photos with Tom Cruise had any bearing on the above then looking at those on WDTK would be a good start.
  5. timthephoto Member

    would "photo oppertunity with <insert celeb name here>" have to be declared? or just "hospitality - dinner" ?
  6. Anonymous Member

    The latter.
  7. timthephoto Member

    i thought so. crooked cult & crooked cops. nice combo (not)

    hows about a phone hacking scandal as a combo-breaker???
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Herro Member

  9. Dan Aykroyd Member

  10. Anonymous Member

    Are you talking about a new event or the one in post #3?
  11. RolandRB Member

    The original event but also any follow-ups. I am wondering what is keeping that 270K GBP a year gift from the generous but financially struggling UK public in place after the Eric Pickles "urging" of local authorities not to give rates relief. Is it just fear of legislation made worse by the government's refusal to give support if required or is there a continuing effort to maintain this rates relief through concerts, donations to (real) charities and such like? Let's face it, if they had to pay 270K GBP a year then they would have to close that place and all the other Ideal Orgs in the UK would fall, so it is very important for the survival of Scientology in the UK to do what is needed to keep that rates relief.

    270K GBP a year. Think of the number of OAPs fuel payments could be topped up with that amount to stop them dying of hypothermia over winter or feeling the pain of the cold. Maybe 2700. Instead, the Dwarf gets it to donate a better mobile bus for when Tom Cruise is on location acting. Who deserves it more - 2700 OAPs or Tom Cruise? And who is responsible for this choice? ANS: the City of London Corporation.

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