Irish Independent: Revenues slump at the​ Church of Scientology

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, May 4, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology linked to plans for centre in Co Meath town

    By Conor Gallagher, Sorcha Pollak, Louise Walsh, The Irish Times


    For the last several months rumours have circulated in the small Co Meath town of Ballivor suggesting that its abandoned national school had been taken over by a controversial drug rehabilitation group linked to the Church of Scientology.

    Locals have been so concerned with the rumours that community meetings have been organised with Scientology representatives invited to attend.

    But until now that’s all they were, rumours. Scientology’s spokeswoman in Dublin repeatedly said she had no knowledge of the facility and insisted the drug treatment operation, Narconon, was an entirely separate organisation to the church.

    Scientology’s Dublin operation declined to send a representative to a meeting of Ballivor locals to alleviate their concerns last month, while requests for comment from Narconon in the UK went unanswered.

    On Friday, The Irish Times confirmed the facility is closely linked to Scientology, forming part of the organisation’s efforts to insert itself into many aspects of Irish society including the educational and charity sectors.

    Land Registry documents for Co Meath show the site was purchased in January 2017 by Ryan Alabaster, represented by the law firm Noel Smyth & Partners.

    When asked by phone on Friday whether Mr Alabaster was available to talk, a staff member at the Church of Scientology national affairs office in Merrion Square said Mr Alabaster was not in the office but had visited Ireland a number of times in recent months to work on a “project” in the country.

    The staff member also confirmed that Mr Alabaster “moves around a lot” and that he is based in the US.

    A further request for comment from the Church of Scientology went unanswered.

    Noel Smyth & Partners represented Scientology’s Irish operation in a 2013 High Court case in which a former member sued for the return of money he had given the church. The firm also represented Scientology in a 2003 case where another former member sued the church alleging conspiracy, misrepresentation, breach of constitutional rights and deliberate infliction of emotional harm. The case was settled.

    While the Church of Scientology denied any connection to the treatment programme, the Narconon methods are advertised on the website as “procedures to alleviate the mental and physical anguish connected with drugs” through a rehabilitation process which eliminates all drug residues from the body. The main treatment involves subjects spending hours in a sauna while taking huge doses of vitamins.

    In 2012, Oklahoma authorities investigated several deaths at the state’s Narconon facility before revoking its medical permit.

    Health Service Executive (HSE) representatives have previously stated aspects of the treatment have no standing within the medical community. Asked for comment, a HSE spokeswoman said it has no involvement with the plans.

    The new owner of the Ballivor site is yet to apply for permission to change the purpose of the development. Documents lodged with Meath County Council still state its intended use is as a nursing home.

    Cllr Noel French (Fine Gael) said he first aired his concerns last October, and that these have increased as the months have passed.

    “We have tried to find out what the building is going to be used for but we’ve been stonewalled with secrecy. Why all the secrecy over a nursing home in the middle of a town with 1,700 residents?

    “At the minute contractors can finish the building up to planning permission regulations, which is what they are entitled to do. We can’t legally challenge this venture - whatever it is - but we would like to take a stand and get it out there that the community of Ballivor don’t want it.”

    Mr French added: “Ballivor is vulnerable place as it is. There is only one bus in and out of the village and no GP. We do not need a ‘wellness centre’ or anything else remotely associated with the teaching of the Church of Scientology.

    “We have fear over the lack of information and that fear, at the minute is our power unless we get transparency,” he said.

    Locals have planned a protest at the site for next Wednesday. Local resident Claire O’Mara said one of the most worrying aspects about the development is the secrecy.

    “Is it the Church of Scientology, is it Narconon? Are they the same thing? We are being told nothing and that’s scaring us into operation,” she said. “There is 24 hour security on site, whose car registration plates are all blacked out. This centre would give the wrong impression of our town” Ms O’Mara continued.

    “There’s less of a chance to shut it down once it’s opened so we will do all we can now, unless we receive information to ease our concerns.”

  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology plans Narconon drug rehab for Ireland, but the locals are not having it

    By Rod Keller, The Underground Bunker, January 14, 2018


    Scientology is planning to open a new Narconon drug rehab facility in the small town of Ballivor, Ireland. They have purchased the building that once housed the Raspberry Wood Nursing Home, and the Narconon website has a placeholder for “Ireland” in preparation for the opening. Residents are opposed to the center and Noel French of the Meath County Council is finding that Scientology is secretive about its undertakings and does not welcome community comment or concern. He told the Irish Times, “We have tried to find out what the building is going to be used for but we’ve been stonewalled with secrecy. Why all the secrecy over a nursing home in the middle of a town with 1,700 residents?”

    Neighbors say renovations that were being done day and night have stopped for now, but Claire O’Mara has plans to stop them for good. She tells us, “We have formed a committee solely for the purpose of fighting this cult with everything this town has and then some more. We are planning to protest outside, generate publicity and stand our ground! We have issued all businesses and shops with petitions that are filling up very fast due to the support of our town and the people in it.”

    A protest is planned for Wednesday at the facility, and O’Mara says, “It will be a peaceful protest but it won’t be a silent protest. We aim to make as much noise as possible and let us be heard far and wide!” Residents are encouraged to bring pots, pans and anything that will make a lot of noise.

    Whether Scientology will be able to open the facility is unclear. The Health Service Executive, which is Ireland’s public health provider, has said that Scientology’s “purification” programs have no standing in the medical community. They also have not applied for a change of use from nursing home to a drug rehab center, and officials haven’t said if permission would be approved or denied once they ask. If they are denied it’s the continuation of a pattern for Narconon. Scientology displays a certain arrogance towards local officials, and frequently ignores permit requirements in establishing new facilities. It has been their downfall in the past and perhaps will be now in Ireland.

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  3. Shane Cassells questions Taoiseach on reports of Ballivor scientologist drug rehab centre

    "Ballivor is under threat from a possible Narconon Drug Clinic supported by Church of Scientology. Today in the Dáil I questioned the Taoiseach on whether this proposal was legal and would he support the residents of Ballivor fighting against this proposal."

  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    'Cuts and Bruises'
    Major Garda probe launched after teen, 14, suffers ‘cuts and bruises’ during ‘attack’ at €6m Church of Scientology HQ in Firhouse, Dublin | The Irish Sun

    A young mum claims her son suffered a fractured wrist, cuts and bruising after he was battered at the site around 6pm on Saturday


    A major Garda probe is under way at the new €6million Church of Scientology centre in Dublin, the Irish Sun can reveal.

    The investigation was launched by officers at Rathfarnham Garda station after a young mum claimed her son, 14, was attacked at the facility in Firhouse, south Dublin.

    The woman claims her son suffered a fractured wrist, cuts and bruising after he was battered at the site around 6pm on Saturday.

    She contacted Gardai on Monday and they are expected to quiz people at the site about the alleged incident.

    Detectives are treating the probe as a suspected assault causing harm of a minor.

    A source said: “This is a very serious accusation involving a child and will be thoroughly investigated. The child has suffered a serious injury and has been left in a distressed state.

    “Gardai will also hope to have the full co-operation of the Church of Scientology on this matter.”

    A Garda spokeswoman said: “Gardai are investigating an alleged incident that occurred on Saturday 13th of January on Firhouse Road, Rathfarnham, investigations are ongoing.”

    We contacted the Church of Scientology — whose members include Tom Cruise and John Travolta — but they refused to comment.

    Former Church of Scientology member Pete Griffiths, 63, fears Gardai could face a “wall of silence”.

    Speaking exclusively to the Irish Sun, Mr Griffiths, based in Mayo, described the allegations as a “PR disaster” for the religious outfit.

    He said: “As soon as this centre was opened I knew there would be complaints. There were always going to be problems at the site and they will now go into overdrive to protect the image of their church. They class incidents like this as ‘PR flaps’.”

    Local Sinn Fein TD Sean Crowe said: “I would have huge concerns about the allegation a minor has been assaulted at this facility.

    “A lot of paranoia surrounds this group and there are also a lot of concerns in the local community about what their aims and objectives are.

    “The site is well covered by cameras so I’m sure it should be easy enough for the gardai to ascertain what happened.

    “I’ve huge concerns in relation to the group itself. It is a cult. I wouldn’t be encouraging anybody to be using the facilities.”

    Since the centre’s opening last October, it has faced protests from local residents, including after it offered a free ‘Winter Wonderland’ event to families.


    Garda probe launched after boy 'attacked' in Church of Scientology HQ in Dublin |

    Gardai investigating alleged assault of boy by security at Dublin's new Scientology centre | Dublin Live

    Gardaí investigating alleged assault of young boy by security guard at Scientology centre |

    Teenage boy 'assaulted by Scientology centre guard' in Dublin | International Business Times

    Gardaí investigating report of assault on boy, 14, at Dublin Scientology centre | Irish Examiner

    Gardai probe alleged assault of boy at Scientology Centre in Dublin | Irish Mirror Online

    Gardai Investigate Alleged Assault On Teenager At Scientology Centre In Dublin | Kfm Radio

    Gardai Investigating An Alleged Assault Against A Young Boy At Dublin Scientology Centre | Lovin Dublin

    Dublin Scientology centre disputes alleged assault involving teenager |

    Garda investigate alleged attack on boy, 14, at new Scientology centre | SHEmazing!

    Gardaí investigating alleged assault on teen at Scientology centre | Today FM
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientologists Accused Of 'Targeting Children' In Dublin As They Apply For Playground Planning Permission | Lovin Dublin

    "They do anything you can think of for families with children.”

    Firhouse Scientology centre accused of 'targeting' children | Dublin Live

    The centre has plans set for developing a playground, GAA [Gaelic Athletic Association] and rugby pitch

    Scientologists seek planning permission to build playground at controversial Dublin centre |

    Residents and politicians in Firhouse have voiced concerns about the Church of Scientology's outreach efforts. A petition objecting to the planning application has been circulating online.

    Difficult for Government to act if people attend Scientology centre of ‘own free will’ | The Irish Times

    Taoiseach says Ireland ‘a free country which guarantees free association’

    Scientologists hired firm to lobby politicians on church ‘ideals’ | The Irish Times

    Company set up between six and 10 meetings with politicians for the Church of Scientology
  6. Intelligence Member

    January 26 - 2018: David Love radio interview clips about Scientology's Narconon application to operate a Narconon centre on the site of an old school in the centre of Ballivor, Ireland.

  7. Independent Scientology News Twitter blocked by Scientology Community Centre Dublin - @Scientology_DUB.

    Independent Scientology News Twitter blocked by the Scientology Community Centre Dublin - @Scientology_DUB. Hell, they blocked me before I even knew the account existed.


    • Like Like x 1
  8. Intelligence Member

    Dublin radio show host, Luke Ryan interviews David Love and Pete Griffiths about the proposed Narconon center in Ireland. Published with permission from Luke Ryan: "I have no problem if you want to publish it yourself through your own channels."

    • Like Like x 3
  9. Triumph Member

    April 22nd protest
    Protesters in Ireland send their message to Narconon and Scientology at government buildings and their Irish HQ.

    • Like Like x 2
  10. Triumph Member

    Extra Ie
    Protest held at Dail over Scientology-linked drug rehab centre in Meath

    Barry Arnold
    protest against the Church of Scientology took place at the Dail on Tuesday.
    The Ballivor Says No campaign was protesting against plans for a controversial Narconon — a Scientology organisation — drug rehabilitation centre in the Meath village.
    A planning request in connection to the site was initially made by the Dublin-based ‘Narconon Trust’ 18 months ago, and a local campaign against the facility has been ongoing.

    photos and more at link
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Triumph Member

    'Nobody cares about us': Locals upset as building work starts on Scientology-backed drug rehab centre team was confronted by a security guard who was filming outside Narconon site in Meath.

    FLORENCE HAMILTON HAS lived in her home in Ballivor, Meath for over 30 years. She has reared her children there, her playschool business is based in her back garden. Children come and go as we chat. Fifty metres away, diggers shift huge mounds of earth and a man dressed all in black keeps a watchful eye.
    There is hoarding and ‘Keep Out’ signs. Building work has started and the pounding of steel on stone is deafening. ‘Any queries should be sent to’ is written on a sign posted on the hoarding.
    Narconon bills itself as a drug rehabilitation therapy linked to the Church of Scientology. It was confirmed at the start of this year that the centre was to open in Ballivor. The multi-million euro development will cater for 34 “students” and 18 staff.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    GAA club accused of taking ‘blood money’ after Scientology-linked vote | The Irish Times

    Ballivor GFC in Co Meath votes to share facilities with builders of Narconon centre


    A Meath GAA club has been accused of taking “blood money” after it voted to accept a proposal - worth up to €20,000 - to share its car park with builders on a controversial new Church of Scientology-linked rehabilitation centre.

    Members of Ballivor GFC voted 24 to 10 in favour of accepting the proposals at an extraordinary general meeting on Saturday.

    The deal is from builders on site at the new drug treatment centre, which will be run by Narconon - the group linked with the Church of Scientology.

    The offer consists of construction goods worth up to €20,000 including sewage pipes and a shed which could be used as a club house on Ballivor’s new grounds.

    In return, the club would allow the use of its carpark to builders for 30 cars until the end of November, while work continues on the controversial development.

    The EGM was called to debate these revised proposals after an earlier offer of between €8-10,000 was refused by the club’s executive committee.

    However the proposals are far from being signed and sealed, according to a source within the club. “The club has attached certain conditions which must be accepted by the builder before anything goes ahead,” he said.

    “These would include that the cars are not allowed to park there at weekends or when training is on. They also cannot hinder the pick-up and put-down areas used by parents when school starts again.

    “We will also have to ask the county board to indemnify the insurance for the extra cars, before anything goes ahead.

    “This deal is basically a general wish list of everything we need at our new grounds. It will fast forward the club’s plans by five years.

    “We have a sports grant and permission for a new astro turf pitch but have nowhere for the children to go to the toilet or wash their hands.

    “The deal is being made with the builder and is only for three months - on a development that is going to continue anyway.

    “I think it’s one of those things that we’re going to be damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”

    However, the offer has left members of the Ballivor Says No group - who have been battling to keep Scientology-linked group Narconon out of the village - “very saddened”.

    “The Ballivor Says No group has put blood, sweat and tears into trying to stop the Church of Scientology coming into the village and now the club, which is such a big part of the community, has turned its back on us,” said group member Claire O’Mara.

    “It feels like they are sticking two fingers up to us.

    “I’m very saddened, very disheartened and am sick to the stomach over the this. The GAA has enough money - it doesn’t need blood money.

    “The club are saying that it’s the builder who is making the deal but sure he’s only the middle man - he’s getting the money from the Church of Scientology.

    Ballivor GFC declined to comment on the matter but said they would be issuing a statement later. The building company were closed for comment.

  13. TorontosRoot Member

  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Outrage at GAA club over agreement with scientology centre |


    A local GAA club in Meath has faced a backlash from residents in the area after it voted to allow a scientology-linked organisation to use its car park.

    An emergency meeting was calling for members of Ballivor GFC to vote on whether builders working at the Narconon drug rehab centre could use the car park on its grounds.

    The grounds are located a short distance from the abandoned national school site with St Columbans's National school also nearby .

    Members voted 24 to 10 in favour of allowing them use the facility in a contract worth 20,000 to the club, on Friday.

    However, residents who have been campaigning against the opening of the controversial drug rehabilitation centre said they were outraged over the decision.

    “Every child in Ballivor is part of that GAA club and we don’t want them using it,” said Claire O’Mara who is a resident of the town of close to 1,700 people.

    “It affects the whole of Ballivor and if you weren’t a member on the day that meeting was on then you couldn’t even sit in on it.”

    “A lot of people around Ballivor are disgusted they would take blood money for it” she said claiming “this is their [Scientology’s] way of buying into the community.

    “Residents in Ballivor are outraged at the local GAA club doing this.”

    It is understood the proposed deal is yet to be signed off by the GAA and would involve allowing builders working on the drug rehab centre to use the car park until November.

    Conditions including restricted weekend parking and during school term are also understood to be part of the agreement.

    A spokesperson for the club said he would not be commenting until such time as they could prepare a statement. He said he could not confirm when a statement would be available.

  15. The Wrong Guy Member

  16. TorontosRoot Member

  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology off-shoot organisation expected to be 'welcomed with open arms' in Meath village | Irish Examiner


    An off-shoot organisation of the Church of Scientology said it had expected its work at a planned rehabilitation centre in a Co. Meath village to be "welcomed with open arms".

    In recent weeks, Narconon Trust's plans for the centre at Ballivor suffered a setback when An Bord Pleanala ruled that it needed planning permission to change an approved nursing home on the site to a residential drug rehabilitation facility.

    Planning permission had been previously approved for a 54-bed nursing home on the site of the old national school.

    Narconon began construction works at the centre last year after securing a declaration from Meath County Council that the building was an exempted development.

    It is understood that works on the €5.6m facility are due to be completed later this week.

    The appeals to An Bord Pleanala were taken by the Ballivor Community Group and the Trim Municipal District Council.

    The planning board stated in its ruling: "An Bord Pleanala has decided that the change of use of the permitted nursing home to a residential drug rehabilitation facility is a development and not an exempted development.

    "The proposed use as a residential drug rehabilitation facility would be a factual change of use from use as a nursing home and such change of use would raise material planning considerations including different patterns of traffic, and pedestrian activity/movement, a different service to a different user group, including a population with a broader age profile and who are drug dependent and with limited interaction with the local community, and is, therefor a material change of use, and is development."

    After the ruling, Narconon said it was "considering its position and seeking advice on the matter".

    However, in an extended statement, Linda Alred, Narconon Coordinator for Ireland, said it was "shocking" to see that there were people who would object to drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 2
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    WATCH: An investigation into Scientology in Ireland will air on TV tonight |


    This looks like a really interesting watch. In 2017, a massive Scientology centre opened up in Firhouse in South Dublin. This location acts as the European Headquarters for the infamous Church Of Scientology, and attracts quite a crowd on the regular. Regular events happen at this centre, ranging from fun days for children, to dance lessons and coffee mornings.

    Many people have questions regarding this Scientology centre, but they strictly do not permit cameras inside the building. And by the looks of it, a number of our questions may be answered in this RTÉ Prime Time investigation airing on Tuesday night.

    It looks set to take a closer look at the world of Scientology in Ireland, and the affect that it can have on both individuals and society as a whole. It will also ask why Scientology is putting so much money into this country, and whether or not we should be concerned about it.

    Have a look at the trailer here:

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1
  19. TorontosRoot Member

    Use embedded cameras, they can't tell whether or not anyone would have any.
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Strong Irish news segment on Scientology

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, December 19, 2018


    We were impressed by the care that went into RTE’s segment last night on Scientology in Ireland. (Full disclosure: Your proprietor makes a brief appearance.) And we were also pleased to see Victoria Britton appear, and to see the story of her son Kyle Brennan’s death handled so sensitively. We asked her what she thought of it.

    “I did this interview because I truly believe it’s of vital importance that the public is educated regarding Scientology’s dangerous alternative medical practices. It is my hope that Kyle’s story can serve as a warning to those involved with this dangerous organization and to educate the public,” she said.

    Get a look at it and let us know your thoughts on it.

    • Like Like x 1
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trust linked to Church of Scientology brings action to quash planning decision | Irish Times

    Board decided last year that change of use was not exempt development


    A High Court challenge has been brought over a decision by An Bord Pleanála concerning a proposed €9 million drug rehabilitation centre linked to the Church of Scientology. The board decided last November that a change of use from a permitted nursing home to a residential drug rehabilitation facility is not exempt development.


    In February 2018, Ballivor Community Group and the Council’s Trim Municipal District sought various declarations from the council concerning whether the proposed facility is exempted development.

    The council referred the matter to An Bord Pleanála, which last November held the change of use of the permitted nursing home to the residential drug rehabilitation facility is not exempt development.
    As a result, the trust has brought proceedings against An Bord Pleanála aimed at quashing its decision.

    Jarath Fitzsimons SC, for the trust, said the decision was “flawed” and the referrals to the board amounted to an impermissible collateral challenge on the council’s decision in 2016.

    The board erred in law by concluding it had to determine the referral made by the council, he said. It was open to the board to dismiss the referral as the same question has been answered by the council in 2016 and there had been no change in the factual or planning circumstances that would warrant a new decision by the board, he submitted.

    An Bord Pleanála had, in its impugned decision, also taken into account irrelevant considerations, overlooked and misunderstood relevant considerations, and acted unreasonably, he argued.

    Counsel also sought a stay on the board’s decision because of concerns enforcement proceedings could be brought against the trust.

    Mr Justice Seamus Noonan granted counsel’s ex parte (one side only represented) application on Monday for leave to bring judicial review proceedings against the board, with Meath Co Council, the Ballivor Community Group, and Trim Municipal District as notice parties.

    The judge also put a stay, pending further order, on the board’s decision and returned the matter to March.

    More at
    • Like Like x 2
  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology is suing in Ireland

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, January 14, 2019


    We’re shocked, SHOCKED to hear that after Scientology’s plans for a Narconon in Ireland got squashed flat by a planning board there, the church, through its local Narconon Trust, has brought suit against the planning board.

    The site, a former school campus in Ballivor, County Meath, had zoning for a nursing home when Narconon acquired it and then got permission from the local county council to use it for a drug rehab center. But after persistent opposition from local residents, a national planning board, An Bord Pleanala, ruled that the council’s decision wasn’t correct. Narconon, it ruled, had no right to put a drug rehab there — even though the renovation project was nearing completion.

    So now Narconon Trust has filed suit against An Bord Pleanala, and we have no doubt Scientology will 1. pretend it has nothing to do with this while 2. pursuing its usual scorched-earth legal tactics.

    As Grant Cardone might say, bring it on, Ding Dong.

  23. TorontosRoot Member

    I can see them not getting too far. Narconon IS scientology.
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Criticism over Scientology stand at Dublin Comic Con | The Irish Times

    Anti-cult campaigners says organisation may have unwittingly been given a platform


    An anti-cult activist has criticised the presence of the Scientology organisation at a comic convention in Dublin.

    The Scientology community centre in Firhouse had a stand at the Dublin Comic Con: Summer Edition in the Convention Centre Dublin over the weekend.

    Two volunteers from the centre handed out leaflets about a comic art competition the Scientologists are running.

    Young people were encouraged to enter a competition “for artists to create an Irish drug-free superhero”.

    The volunteers took the names of attendees visiting the stand, their ages and their email address.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1
  25. TorontosRoot Member

    Good grief...
  26. Scientologists give almost €1m to fund loss-making centre

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Maeve Sheehan

    December 15 2019 7:00 AM

    The Church of Scientology poured almost €1m into its controversial community centre near Tallaght last year.

    The state-of-the-art community centre lost €397,423 in 2018 but was propped up by almost €931,416 from Scientology entities in Los Angeles, Florida and its Religious Education College, accounts show.

    The support from the global church means that the loss-making centre in Firhouse can continue as a going concern into the future, auditors noted. The accounts show it had €506,762 cash in the bank in December last year, and a small overdraft of €22,067. It spent €76,500 on cars and was run by an average of 60 "volunteers".

    Separate accounts filed last month for the Scientologists' National Affairs Office on Merrion Square disclosed assets of just €3,117. The Scientologists' Religious Education College in England pays the expenses of the Dublin office, "donating" €193,926 last year.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
  27. TorontosRoot Member

    Run it into the ground, and then let the province take over.

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