Council removes all mention of Scientology from meeting minutes

East Grinstead Town Council have published the draft minutes from their Council meeting held earlier this week, removing all mention of Scientology in an attempt to cover up their ties to the Church, despite several residents raising concerns on the topic. The Council has recently come under fire for its censorship of abuse victims and attempts to muzzle residents who are concerned about Scientology’s growing influence over the town and local government.

Mentioning “personal experiences”, the minutes indicate the questions raised did not fall under the council’s remit and were not relevant to items on the agenda. This is a false representation of the questions asked, which related specifically to the Council’s activities in supporting disabled and vulnerable adults – and their position on modern slavery and safeguarding.

The meeting’s agenda listed 8 items, one of which was the minutes of the Council’s previous meeting on 8th January, during which Scientology was debated at length – and which many of the questions raised related to. However, the draft minutes published today indicate the questions “did not relate to the agenda”.

The questions asked at the meeting on 29th January were as follows:

Danielle: “It’s taken me years to pluck up the courage to speak out and face my trauma. When I was 12, I was sent from East Grinstead to work on a Scientology ship and was locked up in the chain locker for three days and three nights. When I was back at Stonelands in West Hoathly in the UK, I was raped at age 14 and prevented from reporting the abuse to law enforcement. How do you think I feel when the Mayor says he kindly requests that we refrain from discussing the issue on social media or public platforms? I will not be silenced. This is not an allegation. It is the truth.

Abby: “As a disabled woman, I would not be welcome to participate in the Church of Scientology at Saint Hill. It is against board policy to offer services to anyone with a chronic illness and I am classed as a ‘degraded being’ and not worth saving. Does the Mayor share this view?

Fiona: “As a public figure, with a responsibility as a role model, as well as being a designated safeguarding officer and trained mental health first aider, I am deeply troubled by the seeming lack of responsibility being taken by the council regarding the disturbing evidence of abuse and neglect occurring at Scientology’s Saint Hill base. I am sure you are also concerned about this and want to assure the public. What action are you taking?”

Austen: “According to the Local Government Association, “Councils have an important role to play in tackling modern slavery” and must “ensure staff have received training in modern slavery and its indicators.” Given the concerns of psychological coercion, interrogations and control tactics raised with the Frazer recently, what is the Council doing to ensure it is not endorsing or benefitting from modern slaves when accepting help from Scientology volunteers at official events?”

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Alexander Barnes-Ross

Scientology Business provides analysis and commentary on the Church of Scientology's corporate structure, business operations and functions in the United Kingdom and Europe. The website looks at Scientology's shell companies, financial records and maps the web of international corporate entities responsible for their UK and European activities.

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