The Foster Report

The Right Honourable Sir Keith Joseph, Bart., M.P.,
Her Majesty's Secretary of State
for the Social Services.


1. My terms of reference, as announced in the House of Commons on 17th January 1969 by the then Secretary of State for the Social Services, Richard Crossman, were "to enquire into the practice and effects of Scientology, and to report".

2. I have interpreted these terms of reference as being wide enough to enquire, among other things, an expression of my opinion about the measures against Scientology by Her Majesty's Government in July 1968 (1), as well as my recommendations on any subject-matter germane to my enquiry.

3. For the reasons set out in detail in Chapter 8 of this Report, I have come to the conclusion that most of the Government measures of July 1968 were not justified: the mere fact that someone is a Scientologist is in my opinion no reason for excluding him from the United Kingdom, when there is nothing in our law to prevent those of his fellows who are Citizens of this country from practising Scientology here.

4. My principal recommendations (for which see Chapter 9 of this Report) are:

(a) that psychotherapy (in the general sense of the treatment, for fee or reward, of illnesses, complaints or problems by psychological means) should be organised as a restricted profession open only to those who undergo an appropriate training and are willing to adhere to a proper code of ethics, and that the necessary legislation should be drafted and presented to Parliament as soon as possible

(b) that the fiscal privileges enjoyed by religious bodies should be reviewed with a view to at least restricting their availability to religions which not only satisfy the present criteria but also have a substantial following in the United Kingdom and engage in genuine and overt acts of worship.

5. For a variety of reasons, explained in Chapter 2 of this Report, I have held this enquiry in private and have heard neither witnesses nor advocates. In consequence, I have treated myself as being disabled from passing any adverse or favourable judgement of Scientology, its practitioners or practices. I have had access to a great volume of documents emanating from the Scientology organisations themselves. I have taken the course of letting them speak for themselves, and by reading the many quotations from them which follow in this Report, readers will be able to form their own conclusions.

6. In submitting this Report to you, I have sent with it all those documents which I have quoted, all correspondence which I have had with the Scientology organisations or their solicitors, and all material sent to me by organisations. All documents which were sent to me by others have returned to their owners, and all other communications addressed to me have been destroyed.

(1) These are set out in full in paragraph 14 below.


7. I concluded my Enquiry on 31st December 1970, and have not taken account of any material which has become available since that date.

8. I wish to express my gratitude to Mrs. P. A. Lee for her immense help in the conduct of this enquiry. Mrs. Lee is an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Health and Social Security, and was appointed Secretary to this Enquiry at its inception. She has been subject to the restrictions to which she has of course strictly adhered throughout, of being unable to discuss the enquiry with anyone not directly connected with it, not even her own Minister.

9. Mrs. M. P. Potter. an Executive Officer in the same Department, has also been of the greatest help to me. It has been her unenviable task to keep order in the enormous volume of documents which has come before me, and she has discharged it faultlessly and with the most valuable attention to every necessary detail. She too has of course been under the same restriction as Mrs. Lee. It will I am sure be a great disappointment to both these ladies that much of the documentation so meticulously assembled has now been either dispersed or destroyed, but the necessity for this has been clear from the outset.



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