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My Ways Are Not Your Ways?

The Church of Scientology’s international headquarters used to be at the Office of Guardians in East Grinstead, Sussex, England. No more. Finding the British office to be in »a complete mess,« newly appointed Director of External Affairs Edith Buchele recommended that 12 headquarters staff be excommunicated and several others moved to other positions. Charges against the 12 included one member’s falsely identifying himself as a barrister and the misuse of church funds to launch numerous libel actions against British newspapers, Scotland Yard, and the Department of Health and Social Security. That is not founder L. Ron Hubbard’s way (see Scientology’s Creed below), according to Mrs. Buchele. Church policy mentions use of legal means only as a last resort. Members are encouraged to »live at peace with one’s environment.« In that spirit Mrs. Buchele has initiated an open policy for the British church, allowing the media and public free access to the East Grinstead complex.

Across the Atlantic, documents confiscated during the March 1983 police raid on Scientology’s Toronto, Canada offices indicate that »payments of money to RRF by (church outlets) throughout the world...constitute a distribution of profit to, or for the benefit of, L. Ronald Hubbard or other persons...« RRF stands for Religious Research Foundation, an organization incorporated in Liberia in the early ‘70s, according to former member and Hubbard aide Gerry Armstrong. Checks payable to RRF from foreign Scientologists were sent to the church’s Clearwater, Florida headquarters ostensibly for »services, tangible goods and management fees.« The money was then forwarded to a Luxembourg back account for RRF. Armstrong’s affidavits are corroborated by Mary Sue Hubbard’s testimony that RRF was a »Scientology front organization« and that »Scientology was concerned about the Internal Revenue Service gaining knowledge of that organization.«

Current Church of Scientology President Heber Jentzsch dismissed the payments to Hubbard as not »that important.« As to the Canadian documents, he considers them merely a »regurgitation of old garbage« that US government officials »fed into Canada.« In light of the church’s recent decomposition, however, the source of that »garbage« is all too plain and pungent.

Given those and other recent events within the Church of Scientology, it is fair to ask, does the Creed function simply as useful p.r., or is it a self-reproaching standard of belief and practice that has fallen to neglect? Consider the Creed itself.

We of the Church believe:

That all men of whatever race, colour or creed were created with equal rights. That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance.

That all men have inalienable rights to their own lives. That all men have inalienable rights to their sanity. That all men have inalienable rights to their own defence.

That all men have inalienable rights to conceive, choose, assist and support their own organizations, churches and governments.

That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.

That all men have inalienable rights to the creation of their own kind. That the souls of men have the rights of men.

That the study of the mind and the healing of mentally caused ills should not be alienated from religion or condoned in non-religious fields.

And that no agency less than God has the power to suspend or set aside these rights, overtly or covertly.

And we of the Church believe:

That man is basically good. That he is seeking to survive.

That his survival depends upon himself and upon his fellows, and his attainment of brotherhood with the Universe.

And we of the Church believe that the laws of God forbid Man:

To destroy his own kind. To destroy the sanity of another.

To destroy or enslave another’s soul.

To destroy or reduce the survival of one’s companions or one’s group.

And we of the Church believe:

That the spirit can be saved and

That the spirit alone may save or heal the body.