Scientology to launch ‘distribution campaign’ ahead of Paris 2024 Olympics

The Church of Scientology have announced plans to launch an “unprecedented distribution campaign” in Paris ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games. According to a post made by an executive on social media, the initiative will launch on July 14th and “will last until August 12th”

“Come to Paris and participate to our distribution campaign during the Olympic Games”, it reads. “Time slots: from 10am to 8pm. Book your participation right now to be part of the team! We need your help for this unprecedented distribution”

Although the nature of the campaign is unspecified, it is likely to be an effort to promote one of Scientology’s ‘Fourth Dynamic’ front groups such as the ‘Foundation for a Drug Free World’, which claims to educate the public on the dangers of drug abuse but was in fact established as a PR activity in order to claim legitimacy.

Scientologists distributed booklets at the London 2012 Olympics
Scientology band The Jive Aces played atop an open-roofed bus at the London 2012 Olympics

During the London 2012 Olympics, Scientology distributed booklets in front of Tower Bridge and paraded an advertisement-laden double decker bus through the city in order to promote ‘The Truth About Drugs’. Photographs show Scientology’s jazz band The Jive Aces playing from the open-roofed bus, with volunteers handing out promotional materials along its route.

It is likely Scientology are planning a similar move at this year’s Games, considering it’s new Ideal Org’s proximity to the Stade de France, which will be home to the official Closing Ceremony. Despite local opposition, the new building opened in April and is expected to take a leading role in Scientology’s recruitment efforts through the Summer.

Although not advertised as a direct recruitment tactic, the Truth About Drugs campaign allows Scientology to claim legitimacy as a worthy cause with staff and Sea Org members often speaking at schools to warn children about the dangers of drugs. However, the materials are produced and distributed exclusively by Scientologists often with no medical training or expertise and it is unclear whether the guidance offered is in-line with scientific studies and government advice.

Scientology was described as a “dangerous cult” by the French parliament in a 1995 report and has been officially listed as a sect by the government’s cult-watch agency, MIVILUDES. According to The Guardian, Scientology claims to have 45,000 parishioners in France, but the government estimates its total membership to be around 2,000.

In 1972 a public inquiry commenced into the French Association of Scientology and its claims that physical cures and professional success can be achieved through Scientology. The inquiry resulted in founder L. Ron Hubbard and several executives being found guilty of fraud in absentia.

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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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