FROM THE FILES OF THE FBI 221
[newspaper article, undated, unnamed newspaper]
Scientology' Banned in Britain
Americans traveling to Great Britain to practice "Scientology," a group
which claims to be "applied religious philosophy," have been barred by the
British Ministry of Health.
Kenneth Robinson, minister of health, declared that "scientology is
socially harmful." The government's action was taken on the basis of
complaints--some of them raised in Parliament--about teachings of the
Followers of the group previously known as Dianetics and now calling
itself the Church of Scientology, reportedly adhere to the ideas
originated by L. Ron Hubbard, former science fiction writer. Hubbard's
book, _Dianetics_, became a best seller in the 1950's.
Curb on Growth. The British health minister said there was no power under
existing law to prohibit the practice of Scientology, but he said he could
take steps to curb its growth.
"Its authoritarian principles and practices are a potential menace to the
personality and well-being of those so deluded as to become it followers,"
Founded in the U.S.: Scientology was founded in the United States as
Dianetics by Hubbard, who moved his world headquarters to East Grimstead
[sic], Sussex, a London suburb in 1959. Reports say there are some 50
full-time Scientologists in East Grimstead [sic] and some 250 students.
The government reported that there have been complaints by friends and
relatives of those involved in the Scientology program. It was charged
that mentally disturbed or weak persons are taken into the group and
taught to hate their families.
The British health ministry reported receiving some 65 letters of
complaint from former Scientologists or others in late 1967, all urging
Course for Children: the Dept. of Educations and Science began its
investigation after a course was offered for children, designed to teach
them "communications." A spokesman for [?] Hubbard Assn. for
Scientologists International was reported to have replied that the course
was intended to make shy children less afraid to exert their own
personalities and to communicate with other children and grown-ups.
Publications of the group speak of its "message of total freedom for all
mankind," and it calls itself the "most widespread self-betterment
movement on earth today."
"Scientology is the route from human being to total freedom or total
beingness," a publication says. "Dianetics was the route from aberrated
to normal to capable human being."
Device Misbranded: The "Hubbard E. Meter," an electrical device used by
the Founding Church of Scientology, Washington, D.C., was ruled to be a
misbranded medical device by a federal court jury in 1967.
The Food and Drug Administration had ordered more than 100 of the devices
seized in Washington, D.C., in 1962, and a U.S. district judge ordered
destruction of the meters in July, 1967, following the jury ruling.
Government attorneys contended that false and misleading therapeutic
claims were made for the device and their only demonstrated effect was to
measure skin resistance to electrical currents (_the AMA News, July 24,
The FDA charged the devices were misbranded under the Federal Food, Drug,
and Cosmetic Act because of labeling claims that they were effective for
diagnosis, prevention, treatment, detection, and elimination of the causes
of all mental and nervous disorders.
Information on the number of Scientology members in the U.S. is
unavailable, but a spokesman for the organization claimed there were
"millions." The group says it has 20 main organizations throughout the
world, with some 11 "centers" in the U.S. Headquarters for Scientology in
the U.S. is in Los Angeles.