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.

    Continued at
  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.


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  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."

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  9. Triumph Member

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

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  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
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  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.
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