Three more candidates join calls for Parliamentary action against Scientology after election

Three more candidates standing in next month’s general election have called for action against Scientology after concerns were raised about the alleged abuse of young and vulnerable people at their properties in the United Kingdom.

Stuart Bourne, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Gillingham & Rainham in Kent told one local resident who had contacted him that he “would work with the appropriate organisations to ensure that any abuses that are reported about the Scientology group are vigorously investigated and prosecutions made if necessary.”

He continued, “In terms of providing support for those who need it, we need to develop the specialist skills required from health professionals, police officers, social services staff and others to identify abuse, to make a full assessment, to respond to help the victims and to seek to ensure that abuse does not re-occur. That’s why we want to increase funding for our mental health services across the country.”

Holly Greenberry-Pullen, who is standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Plymouth where Scientology has an Org, described the concerns raised by Scientology Business Editor and activist Alexander Barnes-Ross (aka ‘Apostate Alex‘) as “complex”, saying “if we were to win, then we’d absolutely welcome you in and listen at that point we’d know how best to act. It wouldn’t be beyond reason to raise concerns higher up. I’d be very pleased to meet you after 4th July should I be in a position of wining in Plymouth.”

Another Lib Dem candidate, Chris Northwood, who is Deputy Leader of the Manchester Liberal Democrats and is standing as the Parliamentary candidate for Manchester Central, said she was “aware of the Church of Scientology’s history and their presence on Deansgate, and I’m very sorry to hear of your experience. You are right to raise this, as it is not high on political agendas but is an important local issue.”

“Abuse hidden behind a veneer of religion is unacceptable and goes against liberal principles (in a similar example, it is why we are leading the campaign for a ban of conversion therapy which does not exempt religious organisations)” she continued. “If elected, it is something I am happy to look into further to see what action we can take against these practices and the organisations which undertake them, and to join Parliamentary debates on the topic.”

Four politicians standing against Scientology in the UK
Last week we reported four candidates standing in the July 2024 election pledged support for a debate on Scientology

The three Liberal Democrat candidates join a small but growing list of politicians willing to take action in light of the growing concerns raised about Scientology’s activities in the UK. Last week, we reported that four other candidates: Neil Duncan-Jordan (Labour, Poole) Gareth Streeter (Conservatives, Plymouth), Diane Abbott (Labour, Hackney) and John Sweeney (Liberal Democrats, Sutton Coldfield) had pledged their support for a parliamentary debate on Scientology should they be successful in the election on July 4th.

This means there are now seven candidates from all three major parties standing in next month’s general election who have shared concerns about Scientology, evidencing the cross-party, a-political nature of the issue of abuse.

You can read more on how to get involved in raising the issue of Scientology abuse here, and find out who is standing in your constituency here.

Scientology was described as a “mafia-like” organisation that inflicts “barbaric punishments” upon its staff in a 1975 government report, which concluded “the Church of Scientology does not merely persuade people to part with their money. It is a harmful movement with an evil reputation.“ In 1999, the Charity Commission rejected their application for tax exemption after it was ruled Scientology “does not benefit the public”, however it has continued to operate in the UK through an Australian-registered non-profit called ‘Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc’.

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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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