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Scientology opening massive administrative building in Budapest, Hungary 5/21 or 28

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by CommunicatorIC, May 13, 2016.

  1. Scientology opening massive administrative building in Budapest, Hungary 5/21 or 28.

    Hungary Today: HUNGARIAN SCIENTOLOGISTS ACQUIRE MASSIVE HUF 1BN OFFICES IN BUDAPEST

    http://hungarytoday.hu/news/hungarian-scientologists-acquire-massive-huf-1bn-offices-budapest-48714

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    MNO_szb20160512_-25-749x415.jpg

    HUNGARIAN SCIENTOLOGISTS ACQUIRE MASSIVE HUF 1BN OFFICES IN BUDAPEST

    2016-05-13 | religion scientology

    The Hungarian branch of the Church of Scientology is expecting thousands of guests from both inland and abroad to turn up at the inauguration of its new, massive administrative offices in Budapest’s District XIII.

    The controversial religious organisation, currently headquartered in more modest settings in Paulay Ede utca, District VI, purchased the property on Váci út in 2013 and spent fifteen years raising the close to HUF 1 billion (USD 3.6m) required for the purchase, according to press reports.

    Contacted by Magyar Nemzet, a Hungarian daily, the church claimed that they purchased the new office building because they “outgrew” their previous premises but declined to disclose the price of purchase, which as apparently covered by members’ donations. The building, which is set to be ceremonially inaugurated on 21 or 28 May, will be open to NGO groups and other denominations as well, they wrote.

    Scientology first gained a presence in Hungary at the time of the transition to democracy in 1989. In 1991, the Hungarian branch of the Church of Scientology, eligible for state funding, was formed. However, in 1993, the National Assembly declared the organisation a “destructive sect” and withdrew its state support. Under Hungary’s new church law, which took effect on 1 January 2012, scientology lost its status as an officially recognised church in the country, with Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén declaring that “as long as I and KDNP (the co-ruling Christian Democratic People’s Party) are in the Parliament, Scientology won’t be recognised as a religion”.


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  2. anonysamvines Member

    Well good to see the Hungarian Gov't see through them.

    " will be open to NGO groups and other denomination as well"

    Hmmm hope there are some Hungarian Anons around
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  3. AnonLover Member

    Bump4RelatedDox...

    Here's a gnarly backstory wrinkle to this situation. Scientology had their scilon lobbyist Greg Mitchell bawling to Congress for several years about Hungary and we missed it.

    For just the time period ranging from 1st quarter 2012 through 1st quarter 2016, I found the following mentions of Hungary. in House Lobbying Disclosures document search for The Mitchell Firm, Inc. on behalf of CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL.

    2012 1st Quarter Mitchell received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do six things for the quarter. The fifth one is relevant to topic in this thread:
    http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/pdfform.aspx?id=300466586
    2012 3rd Quarter Mitchell received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do five things for the quarter. The second one is relevant to the topic in this thread:
    http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/pdfform.aspx?id=300514668
    Don't know what this Venice Commission in Europe thing was but methinks we oughta find out.

    2012 4th Quarter Mitchell received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do five things for the quarter. The first one is relevant to the topic in this thread:
    http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/ldxmlrelease/2012/Q4/300540672.xml
    (Continued next post...)
  4. AnonLover Member

    2013 1st Quarter Mitchell received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do five things for the quarter. The second one is relevant to topic in this thread:
    http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/ldxmlrelease/2013/Q1/300561616.xml
    2013 2nd Quarter Mitchell received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do seven things for the quarter. The fourth one is relevant to topic in this thread:
    http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/ldxmlrelease/2013/Q2/300586053.xml
    (/done with recent years, will check older time frame tmo)
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  5. Quentinanon Member

    Besides being a real estate investment, perhaps Davey views the building as headquarters for scientology in eastern Europe, as his ass is getting kicked into the ground in Russia.
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  6. AnonLover Member

    Some older lobbying disclosures (continued from upstream):

    2011 2nd Quarter Mitchell received in the range of $30k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do six things for the quarter. The 5th one is relevant to the topic in this thread:
    http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/pdfform.aspx?id=300404893
    2011 3rd Quarter Mitchell received in the range of $30k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do six things for the quarter. The 3rd one is the same-old same-old schtick:
    http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/pdfform.aspx?id=300428765
    2011 4th Quarter Mitchell received in the range of $20k (rounded to nearest 10k) to do six things for the quarter. The 4th one is the same-old same-old schtick:
    http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/pdfform.aspx?id=300448032
  7. The following post does not concern the administrative building referred to in the OP, but instead a new Class V Ideal Org. I figured the mods would prefer I put this here rather than create a new thread.

    Church of Scientology Budapest Ideal Org – Opens in a Week

    As Tony Ortega noted, the blog post is by Peter Bonyai.

    BUDAPEST IDEAL ORG – OPENS IN A WEEK?

    http://clarusanimus.eu/en/2016/07/16/budapest-ideal-org-opens-in-a-week/

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    This a short recap of the current state of the Budapest Ideal Org Project.

    The End of Endless Fundraising

    Seemingly, Hungarian Scientologists have finally completed a 15-year old “cycle of action” (as they say it in Scientologese) and the grand opening of their freshly renovated palace is imminent.

    The official date and time of the opening ceremony is 23 July, 13:00 CET (also confirmed by the official Church website called
    Code:
    orgevents.org
    ).


    Remarkably, this is the 4th or 5th date they announced, but according to our sources, this is now for real and there will be no more delays.

    The building itself is a 6000 m2 modern office building, and according to the promotional materials published by the Church, it will have 32 auditing rooms, a 300-seat chapel and 12 course rooms.

    Why they need such a huge facility is a bit of a mystery. The number of somewhat active Scientologists in Hungary is around 1000-1200, with a dedicated core of 300-400 members. They will definitely struggle to fill this “Ideal Org” with enough customers, and even paying for the utilities will be a considerable challenge.

    Recruitment Drive to Create The Biggest Class V Org On The Planet

    The new building will house two “Class V” Orgs (which can deliver every service up to the so-called State of Clear), Budapest Day and Budapest Foundation, and there is a huge push to recruit a combined total of 330 staff members to fill every important position in both orgs. The last available report (which is a month old) mentions that they passed the 280 mark.

    Should they succeed, Budapest Org would definitely be the biggest non-Sea Org organization on the entire planet.

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    BudapestIdeal3.jpg
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  8. BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

    A SAGA OF FREEDOM CULMINATES IN IDEAL CHURCH COMING TO LIFE IN BUDAPEST
    JULY 23, 2016

    Budapest’s Ideal Scientology Church opens July 23, 2016, to mark a milestone for spiritual freedom in Hungary.
    Already there are epic tales about Scientology in Hungary—a country that for centuries has cherished its myths and histories. In the last days of the 1980s and the dawning of the 1990s, totalitarian, atheistic Communism receded from Eastern Europe, much of Asia and Russia. Long starved for spirituality, Hungarians—like all people who had suffered under the Soviet commissars—quickly sought truth and religion. In 1988, a single copy of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health pierced the iron curtain and a movement was born.
    Now, some 25 years after first planting the Scientology banner in Budapest, the religion opened an Ideal Church of Scientology Organization, in the historic city. The Budapest Ideal Org is the 52nd Ideal Org that has opened since 2003, and with an accelerating pace of inaugurations, another 50 are already in the making.
    [IMG]“It is said the whole world knows your city as a capital of freedom,” said Scientology’s ecclesiastical leader, David Miscavige, in his dedication address. “Your fight to be free translates into every known language on Earth. It is also said that whenever people yearn for liberty, they become ‘citizens of Hungary.’”
    “It is said the whole world knows your city as a capital of freedom,” said Scientology’s ecclesiastical leader, David Miscavige, in an address to some 3,500 Scientologists and friends at the July 23 opening of the Budapest Ideal Church. “Your fight to be free translates into every known language on Earth. It is also said that whenever people yearn for liberty, they become ‘citizens of Hungary.’”
    As a country more or less situated in the middle of everywhere, Hungary has had its share of visitors. Nomads from the east a thousand years ago founded a kingdom and crowned King Stephen I. Then came Mongols and Ottomans, the Hapsburg Austrians, Germans and Russians. There have been wars and great upheavals, tremendous cultural surges and marvelous music, and don’t forget the cuisine. Even spicing history up in the 15th Century, a gent named Vlad (AKA Dracula) was sharpening his canines in the Transylvanian corner of Hungary.
    So, as eddies and floods of civilization washed across Hungary, a great city was built on the hilly west side of the Danube, Buda. A slightly younger civic sibling, Pest, arose on plains on the east side of the great river. Budapest today is the cultural, political, and commercial hub of Hungary, and one of the great metropolises of Central and East Europe. Full of great, historic landmarks—Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Chain Bridge, and so many more—a new emblem of liberty has been added to the city, the culmination of work by thousands of Scientologists.
    Scientology’s Ideal Org stands amidst Budapest’s bustling heart. Located on one of the city’s main thoroughfares, Vaci Street, in the thriving District XIII, the 64,000-square-foot Church is impossible to miss. Its 85-foot Scientology sign extends across its western elevation and announces its presence to the more than 100,000 commuters each day.
    “A longing for spiritual independence” is how Mr. Miscavige described Hungary and the crowd at the opening. “Here stands what you built to proclaim it can be done—your new Ideal Church of Scientology of Budapest!”
    The Church’s grand opening is the culmination of the religion’s rapid rise since its founding in Hungary a quarter century ago. In fact more than 33 missions now dot the Hungarian landscape and beyond into neighboring countries of Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. And representatives from each were among the 3,500 Scientologists and guests present at the grand opening ceremony.
    Chief among the attendees were leading lights of Hungarian society welcoming the Church to its new home: Dr. István Komáromi, Brigadier General, Police Chief of Pest County Ret.; Dr. Ildikó Hekáné Szondi, Vice-Chair for Culture, Education, Tourism and Youth, City of Szeged; Ms. Agnes Debreceni, Board Member, Gardony Education Foundation of Hungary; and nationally renowned novelist Mr. István Nemere.
    “It was 15 years ago when you first reached out to me. You wanted to run a marathon across Hungary and wake up our country to drugs,” Dr. Komáromi told the crowd. “And so together we launched the first Drug-Free Hungary Marathon in March 2002. And since that time you have swept this nation with our message. Reaching more than 400 towns and cities. Distributing over two million anti-drug booklets. And inspiring the youth of an entire nation to live drug-free lives.”
    Ms. Debreceni described how Applied Scholastics, utilizing L. Ron Hubbard’s Study Technology, was transforming the education landscape. “Shortly after beginning my career I encountered problems in educating my students. Many kids were labeled ‘problematic’ or diagnosed with ‘learning difficulties.’ It’s heartbreaking for an educator to see these problems and not have the tools to help. Yet, in this accumulating darkness there are still people working, people bringing hope; unwilling to give up. And I met those people at Applied Scholastics Hungary.”
    Hungary’s national character is defined in part by culture and a love of the humanities. Dr. Szondi recalled that she had first met Scientologists at her “civil coffee houses,” where citizens come to learn how they can be more civically engaged. “I always want to show everything good that is going on in town,” she said. “And that most definitely includes you and specifically The Way to Happiness. After all, who doesn’t want to be happy? But even more importantly, I believed others needed to know about it. I believe the Hungarian way should be Flourish and Prosper.”
    Also speaking about cultural heritage, the author Mr. Nemere, referred to Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, also a preeminent writer of many genres. “Mr. Hubbard said he was just a man and yet he built a path to freedom and one that is not too steep to walk,” Mr. Nemere said. “Because of him, no matter how clever or lucky, how rich or poor—anyone can get into a higher place, beyond what they ever imagined. All of which is to say, L. Ron Hubbard is the greatest humanitarian of the 20th and 21st century.”
    The new Budapest Ideal Org provides visitors with an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology, beginning with the Public Information Center. Its displays, containing more than 500 films, present the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion and the life and legacy of Founder L. Ron Hubbard.
    The Information Center also offers a detailed overview of the many Scientology-supported humanitarian programs. These include a worldwide human rights education initiative; a far-reaching drug education, prevention and rehabilitation program; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program, now representing the world’s largest independent relief force.
    Budapest’s Chapel provides for Scientology congregational gatherings, including Sunday Services, weddings and naming ceremonies, as well as a host of communitywide events open to members of all denominations. The Ideal Org further includes multiple seminar rooms and classrooms, in addition to an entire floor dedicated to Scientology auditing (spiritual counseling).
    The Budapest opening continues an unrelenting growth period for the Church in the past 12 months. In fact, it caps a decade of Church expansion that out-powers the previous 50 years combined. Recent Ideal Church openings have occurred in Atlanta, Georgia; Milan, Italy; Tokyo, Japan; Bogotá, Colombia; and Basel, Switzerland. Also, the Church recently opened Scientology Media Productions, a five-acre, technologically cutting-edge studio in Hollywood, California, in which the religion’s message will be proclaimed via television and radio broadcasting, Internet and social media and every other media platform.
    And more is on the way, with openings of more Ideal Orgs in the coming year planned for cultural epicenters in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America.
    http://f.edgesuite.net/imagecache/c...pening-wide-ribbon-pull_08C1108.jpg?_=b42b10d
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hungary agency raids Scientology

    By Tony Ortega, December 11, 2016

    Quote:

    We just got this word from our man in Budapest, Péter Bónyai:

    The Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information has launched an investigation into the data processing practices of the Scientology Religious Association of Hungary.

    The investigation procedure of the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information was prompted by complaints filed by various individuals. According to these reports, data subject’s rights were violated by the data processing practices used by the Association. The purpose of the official procedure is to ascertain whether the data processing practices of the religious association are in compliance with Hungarian data protection regulations or not.

    More at Péter’s blog. http://clarusanimus.eu/en/2016/12/11/dataprotectionagencyraid/

    Source: http://tonyortega.org/2016/12/11/sc...washington-politics-but-it-tries-tries-again/
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology gets political — in Hungary

    By Tony Ortega, January 27, 2017

    Quote:

    One of our correspondents in Hungary gave us this interesting update on what’s happening in that country:

    The local press is reporting that the former head of Scientology in Hungary is founding a political party.

    The person in question is Katalin Weith. The party is called Magunkért Mozgalom, or Movement for Us. She is setting this up with nine other people, several of whom have strong ties to Scientology or Scientology-associated groups here. She mentions the religious law that came into effect in 2010 as being a point where religion and politics crossed paths and that it wasn’t a good thing because many religious groups lost their official status.

    The 2010 law said that only those groups that had operated in Hungary for 100 years could receive all the benefits that being a religion confers. It also introduced a social benefit aspect. Either way it shut down any hope Scientology had in Hungary to reap the tax rewards of being a religion. The church was furious. By comparison, the Salvation Army also lost its status – they don’t have a 100 year history here yet – however their reaction was awesome. They said that while it was disappointing it wouldn’t change anything they do here, and true to their word they keep doing charity work.

    There are 10 founders of the new party. Weith is one, and in the interview she claims not to have been in an Org since 2010. She also says she has developed her own set of views, but doesn’t elaborate. Other founders include Shelley Duncan, Attila Vegh and his brother Peter Vegh. Peter is the head of the Scientology front group Citizens Commission on Human Rights, or Állampolgári Bizottság az Emberi Jogokért.

    Weith says that the party will contest the general elections in 2018, and will be opening offices for the political party in every megye (Hungary’s equivent to US states) by the end of March.

    Markthehungarian

    Source: http://tonyortega.org/2017/01/27/sc...cancer-patient-from-seeing-his-only-daughter/
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  11. Hungary: Police search Scientology center in Budapest.

    ABC News: Hungary: Police search Scientology center in Budapest

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/hungary-police-search-scientology-center-budapest-50557252

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

    Hungarian police carried out a search at a Church of Scientology center in Budapest on Wednesday.

    Police said the search by members of the National Investigation Bureau was related to an investigation into the suspected misuse of personal information and other crimes.

    Police listed the investigation's target as "unknown persons," a common designation when a specific suspect or suspects have not been identified.

    Church of Scientology International spokeswoman Karin Pouw called the search "religious suppression under the guise of data protection."

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  12. Police search Scientology HQ in Budapest over ‘numerous crimes’

    RT: Police search Scientology HQ in Budapest over ‘numerous crimes’

    https://www.rt.com/news/407122-scientology-hungary-crime-investigation/

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

    Over 50 police officers surrounded the main office of the Church of Scientology in the Hungarian capital Budapest before conducting searches inside as part of an ongoing investigation into the movement.

    Hungarian media reported citing authorities that the search was over “suspected misuse of personal information and other crimes,” but authorities refused to comment further as the operation was still live.


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  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Raid in Hungary: Scientology’s Cold War tactics are colliding with 21st Century data privacy

    By Tony Ortega, October 19, 2017

    Quote:

    Yesterday, when we saw news stories pop up briefly announcing that the Budapest Scientology “Ideal Org” was raided by police, we knew just who to turn to. Those stories said that some 50 police officers carried out the raid, but there were virtually no other details. So we asked our man in Hungary, Péter Bonyai, for the inside scoop. Here’s what he told us late last night:

    The police, understandably, aren’t saying much, but the the crackdown seems to be a direct consequence of an ongoing investigation conducted by the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information. This review was started more than 10 months ago, in December, and presumably they went through the policies and practices of the Church with a fine-tooth comb. According to insiders, that review was completed the day before yesterday.

    I am sure you know that due to the unalterable nature of L. Ron Hubbard’s policies, the Church is stuck in a Cold War espionage mindset which is completely at odds with modern-day privacy and data protection regulations. (And here, those are essentially EU regulations which were introduced in Hungary as part of the “harmonization of law” process.)

    The whole text of the law is available here, but three select quotes might illustrate this point:

    1) Personal data may be processed only for specified and explicit purposes, where it is necessary for the exercising of certain rights and fulfillment of obligations.

    2) The personal data processed must be essential for the purpose for which it was recorded, and it must be suitable to achieve that purpose. Personal data may be processed to the extent and for the duration necessary to achieve its purpose.

    3) It also gives the right to have all your personal information deleted. “The data subject’s objection” shall mean a declaration made by the data subject objecting to the processing of his/her personal data and requesting the termination of data processing, as well as the deletion of the data processed.

    If you know something about Scientology, you know that the church, in its most basic processes, is completely in violation of these concepts.

    Three examples of violations:

    1) The Church uses various forms to gather extensive amount of personal and sensitive information on its staff members (and their non-Scientologist relatives and friends, which is even more problematic and very illegal, as they obviously did not give their consent for that), which go way beyond the scope allowed by this law. Just look at the Life History Form and the Sea Org Application Form, which the Underground Bunker covered.

    2) The concept of “HCO” Confessionals/Sec Checks (investigatory auditing not covered by priest-penitent privilege), which I am sure you are familiar with.

    3) The smear pages and attack websites they put up – at least in the EU, they are sure as hell not supposed to retain any information on ex-members without their consent and should delete any information and destroy all folders if requested.

    My best guess is that that the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information gathered enough evidence about specific violations of data protection regulations that warranted a massive raid.

    Péter Bonyai

    Source: https://tonyortega.org/2017/10/19/r...are-colliding-with-21st-century-data-privacy/
  14. Intelligence Member

    http://abcnews.go.com/International...e-search-scientology-center-budapest-50557252

    OCTOBER 18 - 2017:

    Hungarian police carried out a search at a Church of Scientology center in Budapest on Wednesday.

    Police said the search by members of the National Investigation Bureau was related to an investigation into the suspected misuse of personal information and other crimes.

    Police listed the investigation's target as "unknown persons," a common designation when a specific suspect or suspects have not been identified.

    Church of Scientology International spokeswoman Karin Pouw called the search "religious suppression under the guise of data protection."

    The raid was "an outrageous and wholesale violation of the human rights of all Scientologists in the country," Pouw said in a statement to The Associated Press.

    "These actions are guided by the discriminatory and hostile purposes of data protection officials who are using the law not as a shield to safeguard others, but as a sword to violate the rights of Scientology parishioners," she said.

    Online publication ripost.hu said over 50 police officers surrounded the church's Budapest headquarters on one of the Hungarian capital's busiest roads early Wednesday.

    Hungarian police confirmed the search took place, but said additional information would not be released because the investigation.

    The Church of Scientology is not among the 32 churches officially recognized by Hungarysince a widely disputed law on churches and religious matters went into force in 2012.




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  15. Intelligence Member

    https://tonyortega.org/2017/10/19/r...are-colliding-with-21st-century-data-privacy/

    Yesterday, when we saw news stories pop up briefly announcing that the Budapest Scientology “Ideal Org” was raided by police, we knew just who to turn to. Those stories said that some 50 police officers carried out the raid, but there were virtually no other details. So we asked our man in Hungary, Péter Bonyai, for the inside scoop. Here’s what he told us late last night…


    The police, understandably, aren’t saying much, but the the crackdown seems to be a direct consequence of an ongoing investigation conducted by the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information. This review was started more than 10 months ago, in December, and presumably they went through the policies and practices of the Church with a fine-tooth comb. According to insiders, that review was completed the day before yesterday.
    ...
    • Like Like x 1
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 1
  17. Intelligence Member

    • Like Like x 1
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    [IMG]

    From https://tonyortega.org/2017/10/20/s...ury-in-clearwater-its-deja-vu-all-over-again/

    Hungarian Scientologists Fined For "Unlawful Data Management" After Police Raid | Hungary Today

    Quote:

    Hungary’s data protection authority has fined the Church of Scientology in Hungary and its headquarters 20 million forints (EUR 65,000) each for abuse of personal and other data, the authority’s head said on Friday.

    The National Data Protection Authority (NAIH) had been conducting an investigation into the organisation and its headquarters since last December, Attila Péterfalvi, head of Hungary’s data protection authority told a press conference on Friday.

    The investigation found that the organisation had failed to comply with its duty to disclose its privacy policy or uphold the principle of purposeful and honest management of data, including the requirement of data security, Péterfalvi said.

    Further, the church and its headquarters were found to have abused the personal details of their members and third parties, he added. Peterfalvi said the case was the most severe violation of data protection rules ever encountered by the authority.

    Police raided the Church of Scientology’s Budapest headquarters in Váci Road on Wednesday morning. The organisation is not on Hungary’s official register of churches.

    From http://hungarytoday.hu/news/hungarian-scientologists-fined-unlawful-data-management-42441
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Official Says Raid on Budapest Scientology Center an Attempt to Suppress Beliefs | Sputnik International

    Members of Hungary's National Investigation Bureau raided a Church of Scientology center in Budapest Wednesday.

    Quote:

    According to local media reports, the search was related to an ongoing investigation into the "suspected misuse of personal information and other crimes," AP reported.

    More than 50 police officers were involved in the raid, which targeted "unknown persons" — a general label given to a suspect that has not been identified.

    Responding to the incident, Karin Pouw, the spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International, called the search "religious suppression under the guise of data protection."

    "[The raid was] an outrageous and wholesale violation of the human rights of all Scientologists in the country," the church official told AP. "These actions are guided by the discriminatory and hostile purposes of data protection officials who are using the law not as a shield to safeguard others, but as a sword to violate the rights of Scientology parishioners."

    Though law enforcement officials did confirm the search to AP, they did not offer any additional information since the investigation has not concluded.

    Scientology, previously recognized as an official religion in Hungary, lost that status in 2012 when the government passed a law mandating that "business churches" could no longer operate under "church status" or be eligible for state support or tax benefits.

    The five-year-old legislation reduced the number of acknowledged religions in the country from over 300 to just a dozen. Groups interested in being recognized as a church must meet the list of new criteria posed by officials and gain a two-thirds vote from Parliament to be approved for "church status." Those not approved are allowed to continue meeting, but are defined as associations.

    Source: https://sputniknews.com/europe/2017...gy-attempt-to-suppress-beliefs-says-official/

    Here's the original Associated Press report:

    Hungary: Police search Scientology center in Budapest

    https://apnews.com/c16531fd88044e06...-Police-search-Scientology-center-in-Budapest
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Quentinanon Member

    Why do so many industrialised countries get it right about the scientology criminal enterprise church, but the U.S. government remains complicit?
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here's how the cult is spinning this:

    Scientologists protest violation of their right to religious freedom in Hungary | World Religion News

    By World Religion News Editorial Staff

    Quote:

    Wednesday in Budapest, several hundreds of Scientologists gathered peacefully with candles before their Church in Budapest to protest what they called an outrageous and wholesale violation of the human rights of all Scientologists in the country. Indeed, Wednesday, 50 police officers of the National Investigation Office raided the Church of Scientology of Budapest and 17 Scientology missions in Hungary, saying that it was related to “a suspected misuse of personal information”.

    Since 2012, when a widely-disputed law on churches and religious matters went into force, Hungary has been increasingly criticized by human rights institutions for its crackdown on religious minorities throughout the country. Even the European Courts of Human Rights determined in 2014 that the Hungarian Church Act (of 2012) violated the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and freedom of association protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. This decision became final by decision of the Grand Chamber of the European Court in September 2014.

    Since that date, Hungary refused to abide by the decision, and increased its crackdown on religious minorities as Scientologists, as well as other non-Catholic Christian, Jewish and Muslim denominations and eastern religions, in disrespect of the human rights standards of the Council of Europe, the European Union and the OSCE.

    Source: http://www.worldreligionnews.com/?p=44387
  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Chris Owen: How one country, at least, is savaging Scientology’s privacy nightmare

    By Tony Ortega, October 25, 2017

    Quote:

    We’re glad to have back Chris Owen, author of the important work Ron, The “War Hero.” After last week’s police raid of Scientology’s “Ideal Org” in Budapest, Chris is helping us make sense of what the government there is doing.

    The Hungarian Data Protection Commissioner, Dr. Péterfalvi Attila, has issued a scathing 129-page report faulting Scientology on many aspects of the way it handles personal data. Like his counterparts in other European Union states, he is charged with enforcing the data protection regulations that have been enacted by the EU and transposed into the national laws of each of its 28 member states.

    Hungary’s National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (NAIH) has investigated Scientology after receiving complaints about its management of members’ data. The results are potentially very damaging for Scientology. Not only has it been fined €130,000 ($152,000), but it has been ordered to change some of its basic practices, established by L. Ron Hubbard himself. And the report also has the potential to cause EU-wide damage to Scientology, as its conclusions are relevant to every member state in which Scientology operates.

    The EU’s data protection system is based on eight principles (there’s a good summary here) which can be summarized briefly as: Proportionality, necessity, legality, and subject consent. Personal data has to be processed, stored, and transmitted legally, gathered only for lawful and proportionate purposes, and only with the consent of the subject. There are some exceptions, such as for law enforcement or litigation purposes.

    Scientology’s approach to personal data was set out in policies issued by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s and 1960s. Compared to other faith groups, Scientology requires its members to hand over a huge amount of personal and often very sensitive data, including details of personal finances, relationships, health, and sexual histories. Disclosing personal data is at the very heart of Scientology. You don’t have to go to confession to be a practising Catholic, but you can’t be a Scientologist and not do auditing. Another big difference is that priests don’t keep detailed records indefinitely of their parishioners’ confessions. Scientology’s auditors do.

    Scientology claims that auditing records (preclear or PC files) are the equivalent of Catholic confessions and are strictly confidential, and protected by priest-penitent privileges. (In fact, the use of such supposedly confidential information to attack ex-members has been a well-documented practice.) However, Scientology also refuses to allow its current or ex-members to access their own PC files; this was at the center of the years-long legal battle between Laura DeCrescenzo and the Church of Scientology International for access to her old files.

    Personal information is also acquired by Scientology in the course of its marketing outreach (particularly by offering its “personality test,” the OCA, to members of the public), its internal disciplinary proceedings (“Ethics”), its Purification Rundown procedures and through the Knowledge Reports which members submit on each other’s activities, in what this blog’s proprietor has aptly called a “snitching culture.”

    The Hungarian report tears all of this apart, judging it to be non-compliant with fundamental data protection principles. The NAIH carried out a no-notice inspection of the Budapest Scientology org on 7 December 2016 and carried out a follow-up raid on 22 December 2016. It seized and reviewed records covering the period from 1 January 2012 to the present. Perhaps not surprisingly, the NAIH found a host of violations. Some highlights of what the report says:

    — The OCA and the Purification Rundown are falsely presented by Scientology as having scientific validity. This deceit means that it is impermissible to gather personal data for the purpose of administering them, as informed consent cannot be given – basically, acquiring data to scam people is not a legitimate purpose;

    — The questionnaires that staff and Sea Org members have to complete do not meet data protection requirements. Many individual questions (such as on mental health and sexual histories) are impermissible as they violate the principle of necessity relating to an employer’s requirements for employee data;

    — Third parties’ personal data is being collected without their knowledge or consent, which is illegal. This is particularly the case in sec checking and “Knowledge Reports,” as illustrated by one example quoted in the report: “He organized a party in his home where he drank 1-2 glasses and then went up to bed, arguing. Then he did not let her sleep until she was having sex with him. […] he drank alcohol in a restaurant where he gave beer to his then […] year-old son and brandy, his […] year-old son too. Then she looks down at the restaurant’s terrace in front of her children’s eyes. He then wanted to have sex in the apartment with […] who did not want this…” – obviously very personal information and recorded without knowledge or consent of the third parties;

    — The data protection rights of minors (who are subject to heightened protections) are also being violated;

    — Data is being held on ex-employees for at least 25 years, whereas the law requires it to be destroyed five years after the legal relationship ends;

    — Scientology does not provide adequate information to data subjects on how their data is being processed or held, or what their rights are in relation to accessing it, and is unlawfully denying members access to their own data;

    — Personal data is being transferred illegally and without adequate security to Scientology servers in the US;

    — Many aspects of the way personal data is being gathered and processed are unlawful, as they cannot be linked to the provision of religious services.

    — PC files and Purification Rundown records of around 2,200 people were identified, about the same number of ethics files were found, and details of another 76,300 people were contained in the Budapest org’s mailing lists.

    The NAIH says that this is the worst violation of data protection that it has ever seen in Hungary and has levied a maximum fine of €65,000 against each of the two Scientology entities incorporated in Hungary (both based in the same building in Budapest).

    In addition, it has given Scientology 30 days to change its data handling policies, inform its employees and followers about the changes and obtain their consent for handling personal data, provide evidence that non-compliant data has been deleted (in particular that relating to third parties), end data collection relating to third parties, stop transferring data abroad and meet security requirements for the transmission of personal data.

    This outcome is, to say the least, a huge problem for Scientology.

    The fines are the least of its problems; the report states Scientology’s income in Hungary as over €3.3 million in 2015 alone, so it can easily afford a €130,000 fine. More significantly, the NAIH report effectively blows up many aspects of Scientology’s operations in Hungary.

    The OCA and Purification Rundown are deemed to be based on falsehoods, so personal data cannot be gathered in relation to them. This makes the OCA useless as a marketing tool. The Purification Rundown may also become too risky legally for Scientology to promote. If health questionnaires can no longer be used, people with health conditions can no longer be weeded out to reduce the likelihood of people dropping dead on the Purif.

    The NAIH has effectively banned Knowledge Reports, as they are by definition written without the knowledge or consent of the party being reported on. This blows up a central element of Scientology “Ethics.” The decision also cripples the practice of auditing. Auditors couldn’t record any matters concerning third parties, as those individuals’ data would have been gathered without their knowledge or consent. As everything is supposed to be recorded by the auditor, this would make auditing unworkable.

    Sec checking is cut back drastically to cover what only a legitimate employer would have reason to ask. The report lists dozens of questions which the NAIH says have no legitimate purpose.

    The report also requires Scientology to allow preclears, staff members and ex-members alike to access their own personal data. The data held on ex-members has to be destroyed in accordance with the law.

    Putting minors through Scientology will be much harder if the heightened data protection rules relating to their information is enforced. Their personal data will be even more tightly restricted than those of adults. Treating them as “adults in small bodies” is not legally tenable, at least regarding their personal data.

    Scientology in Hungary can no longer transfer personal data about its members abroad. This effectively cuts Hungary out of the central files held in the US.

    Many of the policies governing how Scientology gathers and uses personal data were established by L. Ron Hubbard, but the NAIH has in effect found these policies to be illegal as they do not comply with EU data protection requirements. This is not surprising, given that Hubbard’s policies were written at a time and in a place where data protection rules were weak or non-existent. It gives Scientology a critical dilemma: does it abandon tenets of its “scriptures” and comply, or defy the requirements of “wog law” and face the legal consequences?

    Scientology will no doubt appeal to the courts but it may not find much comfort there. The Hungarian government has been openly hostile to Scientology, which was one of over 300 faith groups controversially derecognised under a 2011 law. Further raids since the report was issued show that the government is carrying out a wide-ranging investigation of Scientology, not just regarding data protection but also issues such as tax compliance.

    The biggest danger from the report, however, is its implications for Scientology in the rest of the EU. The NAIH has gone to considerable pains to document which specific data protection principles are violated by which specific Scientology policies. Because the same principles and policies are in force across the EU, the report effectively provides a road map to tackling data protection violations by Scientology in every EU state.

    That doesn’t mean every national data protection authority will come to the same conclusions as the NAIH, but it does suggest Scientology could be in serious trouble if complaints were to be made in other EU countries about the practices that the NAIH found to be violations. The unalterable and standardised nature of Scientology policies has always been a major long-term weakness for the organisation. What happens if changes to the law make elements of those policies legally untenable? That’s what has now happened.

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2017/10/25/c...t-is-savaging-scientologys-privacy-nightmare/
  23. These developments in Hungary are worthy of their own thread, IMO. The last two paragraphs sent a chill down my spine. Eurofags, take notice and act.

    QUOTE:
    The biggest danger from the report, however, is its implications for Scientology in the rest of the EU. The NAIH has gone to considerable pains to document which specific data protection principles are violated by which specific Scientology policies. Because the same principles and policies are in force across the EU, the report effectively provides a road map to tackling data protection violations by Scientology in every EU state.

    That doesn’t mean every national data protection authority will come to the same conclusions as the NAIH, but it does suggest Scientology could be in serious trouble if complaints were to be made in other EU countries about the practices that the NAIH found to be violations. The unalterable and standardised nature of Scientology policies has always been a major long-term weakness for the organisation. What happens if changes to the law make elements of those policies legally untenable? That’s what has now happened.
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Chris Owen: The raid on Scientology you probably haven’t heard about — and how the church beat the rap

    By Tony Ortega, December 5, 2017

    Quote:

    Historian Chris Owen is back with a stunning and detailed look at how Scientology beat the rap in a government crackdown you probably haven’t heard of. Today, he dives into the spying and sabotage that Scientology is so well known for, and tomorrow, the lessons learned in this experience which help explain why governments have a hard time tackling the Scientology problem.

    October’s news that the Hungarian police are investigating Scientology for ‘espionage’ is a strong indication that – as I had predicted earlier – the Hungarian authorities’ ongoing investigation into Scientology’s data protection practices would collide with the work of Scientology’s secret police, the Office of Special Affairs (OSA).

    Greece’s experiences with Scientology 20 years ago illustrate what the Hungarian police might have found during their raids on the Budapest Scientology org. During a series of raids in 1995 against the Athens org, Greek police found and seized numerous internal documents which provided an unprecedented insight into OSA’s activities.

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2017/12/05/t...-heard-about-and-how-the-church-beat-the-rap/
  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Why is it so hard for governments to crack down on the Church of Scientology?

    By Tony Ortega, December 6, 2017

    Quote:

    Yesterday, historian Chris Owen reminded us of a government raid on Scientology that has largely been forgotten. Today, he discusses the lessons to be learned when, after that raid, Scientology once again beat the rap. (Also, make sure you didn’t miss our second story yesterday, about the latest Danny Masterson news.)

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2017/12/06/w...s-to-crack-down-on-the-church-of-scientology/
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hungary comes down hard on Scientology’s handling of private data

    By Tony Ortega, February 28, 2018

    Quote:

    Just in this morning from our man in Budapest, Peter Bonyai: The Hungarian government has released a 129-page ruling on its investigation of the Church of Scientology’s handling of private data, and it is harsh.

    “They breached their obligation to provide prior information, the principles of purpose limitation and fairness in data processing, they failed to meet the data security requirement, and also pursue data processing without appropriate legal basis,” the ruling reads. “The Authority hereby prohibits the Data Controllers from unlawful data processing, and requires them both to comply with this within 30 days of the delivery of this Decision in the following way…”

    We’re just getting a good look at this document, and we’ll have more about it from our experts later. Read through it and let us know your reaction.

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/02/28/s...tory-against-discrimination-lawsuit-in-tampa/
  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hungary’s harsh assessment of Scientology’s privacy breaches

    By Tony Ortega, March 1, 2018

    Quote:

    Yesterday we brought you a 129-page ruling from the Hungarian government after an investigation of Scientology’s violation of data privacy laws there.

    Chris Owen pointed out that this was simply an English translation of the ruling which he wrote about at length last October.

    But even though it’s the same document, Chris said a good English translation has helped bring out some interesting details:

    Continued at https://tonyortega.org/2018/03/01/s...its-super-bowl-ad-did-is-the-best-thing-ever/
  28. Incredulicide Member

  29. Incredulicide Member

    Got it!

    Attached Files:

  30. BigBeard Member

    It will be interesting to see how long it takes for this new "Admin Center" to run afoul of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation which starts being enforced on May 25th.

    BigBeard
  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    This is what the end of Scientology looks like

    By Tony Ortega, August 10, 2018

    Quote:

    Peter Bonyai once again brings our attention to a Scientology video, and wow, this one is really something. Says Peter: “This is the Scientology Volunteer Ministers European Tour in Hungary — Grand Opening on July 17. Sounds grandiose, right? Just watch the video and see for yourself at 1:42 how many people turned up to watch this watershed event in the history of the planet.”



    Years from now, when you want to explain to someone about the sad decline and fall of Scientology, this may be the go-to evidence. Straight up and vertical!

    Source: https://tonyortega.org/2018/08/10/c...o-investigate-scientology-over-medal-scandal/
  32. LOL, I'll be generous and say I counted 8 non-scientologists showed up.

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