Ahead of the opening of it’s first UK £23mil ‘Ideal Org’ in London in 2006, the Church of Scientology began a campaign to win over the support of local authorities known as ‘safe pointing’. Based on policy written by founder L. Ron Hubbard, Scientologists are encouraged to meet with local officials, authorities and opinion leaders in an attempt to generate a positive public image prior to opening a new building.
Published in 1982, the policy letter titled ‘The Safe Point’, states “Where possible, PR area control makes the point safe for the production activity, before any production occurs.” it goes on to specify: “The most important action to undertake when going about making a safe point is to carefully and painstakingly find out who exactly are the top dogs in the area in financial and political circles, and their associates and connections, and to what each one is hostile.”
When London Org opened its doors at 146 Queen Victoria Street in 2006, safe pointing was clearly underway as Church leader David Miscavige was joined on stage by a London Police Chief Superintendent, the City of London Alderman and a United Nations Representative who spoke positively of Scientology’s PR activities such as their ‘Truth About Drugs’ and ‘Youth for Human Rights’ campaigns.
City Alderman Ian Luder even said at the event “Church Representatives I have worked with stress playing an active role in the community with police and other agencies.”
According to this 2006 Guardian article, the policy of safe pointing “began with tea and biscuits for constables at the police cordon after the July 7 terrorist attacks, progressed to lunches with senior officers and continued with regular invitations to gala nights and jive concerts.”
Scientology went on to invite police officials to charity dinners, gala balls and even offered tickets to attend the Leicester Square premiere of Tom Cruise’s film Mission Impossible 3. A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Guardian at the time revealed the City of London Police received donations of £5,000, expensive luncheons at a local restaurant known for it’s “premium whiskeys and fine cigars” and even a private concert at the Bishopsgate police station from Scientology Sea Org band ‘the Jive Aces’.
Then Head of OSA, now Managing Director of Scientology’s UK operations Janet Laveau said at the time that the relationship between the police and Scientology was mutually beneficial, with followers engaged in clean-up campaigns in drug ridden inner city areas, which were praised by the police, but the police declined to comment and has since scaled-down its acceptance of Scientology gifts.
After coming under fire in the wake of The Guardian’s expose, public records indicate the City of London Police have not accepted any gifts from the Church of Scientology since the opening, but their policy of ‘safe pointing’ continues to be in full force.
During the 2011 London riots, staff members at London Org were dispatched to key areas affected by the unrest to distribute Way to Happiness booklets. Wearing their famous yellow ‘Volunteer Minister’ jackets, Scientology distributed 50,000 booklets throughout the city and offered tea and biscuits to the police officers who had been working overtime to quell the violence.
Their infiltration of the City of London Police and continued efforts to woo them is a flagrant attempt to win over local authorities in a planned campaign to repair it’s PR image and gain sympathy from law enforcement.