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Cracking Cults visit

By Mike Garde

Why Gerard Ryan would wish to come three times to our Cracking Cults seminars is not certain, but no doubt he wanted to see if we excluded him so he could get some mileage from our lack of openess. We certainly did not have a boring seminar on March 5, 2007 when we dealt with the founder of Scientology L Ron Hubbard which was like a red rag to a bull as far as Gerard Ryan who was present was concerned. His response after the break made it necessary to give some background to the dispute with him. In the early nineties I met Gerard and we got on ok. It was only after I took part in providing information and support to people like Mary Johnston who were questioning Scientology that Gerard began to put pressure on me and to libel me. Also I supported Jon Atack by stocking his book, A Piece of Blue Sky here in Dublin. I was threatened with legal action by solicitors for Scientology. I had started a module on cults and NRMs at Malahide Community school in 1993 and had representatives from various groups like the JW's, The Moonies and the Hare Krishnas to give presentations. At first the Scientologists were invited but did not want to accept the terms laid down by the school. This involved a representative of the movements speaking and then an ex member or myself speaking about the challenge of the group.

They were extremely upset when I mentioned on the Late, Late Show in Feb 1995 that L Ron Hubbard was involved with Satanic practices connected to the Sex Magick practioner Aleister Crowley. In fact Gerard Ryan took exception to most of the background I presented at the seminar on the early days of LRH, his education, his naval career, his psychological theories and religious beliefs borrowed from esoteric and other sources. Along with his bigamous relationships and other activities. This is remarkable as all the information is openly available on the web. His attempt to found a religion to escape the scientific examination of his views. Scientologists like Ryan used to tell us that they had answers for these biographical details, but now they are claiming that LRH did not make these claims. However, they were issued in many of the Scientologists books and leaflets I myself received from them.

I suggest you look at our web site and look at the correspondence I have had with Ryan for the last ten years or so. Also look up the sites on the internet and form your own judgment. I tried to engage him using his own Scientology language which he ignored, and he just kept repeating his claims. On March 5, 2007 he claimed I had used others to threaten him. You will see these claims were addressed in my correspondence with him in 2000.

In 2001 I proposed mediation between myself and Gerard while at an international conference in London at the LSE. I went to Sainthill, in East Grintead near Gatwick airport and proposed this process. Ryan took part in one session and the Scientologists abused my trust and attempted to use these meetings as an intelligence gathering exercise for their court case against Mary Johnston in 2002/03. I gave them an ultimatum that if Ryan did not address the libel I would have the Gardaí take a case for criminal libel against him. His claims I put the Gardaí onto him is laughable in that it was in the course of taking evidence that they interviewed him. Unfortunately the DPP would not take a case for me and I was left without the support of a major legal firm of the type that worked on behalf of Mary Johnston pro bono to consider taking a civil case.

At the end of the seminar and after not defending myself against Ryan I offered to submit to mediation and arbitration by for example Sheikh Shaheed Satardien who is involved with the Inter-religious roundtable and others agreeable to both of us. At first he seemed to agree to dialogue, but when it was clear he had to submit to the results of the mediation and arbitration he stated categorically he would not submit to anyone.