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Church of Scientology claims 1,200 attended new Irish centre launch – Sunday Business Post

Councillor claims concerns raised over Church of Scientology events

An “afternoon of family fun and Alice in Wonderland children’s activities” and other events hosted by the Church of Scientology at its new Dublin centre have been the subject of local concern, a councillor in the area has said.

On Halloween night, the church hosted its Trick or Treat in Firhouse’ event, which South Dublin Fine Gael Councillor Brian Lawlor said had caused some of his t constituents to get in contact with him.

This, along With this Sunday’s ‘Autumn Family Fun Day’ and next Sunday’s ‘Alice in Wonderland Family Day’ are among a series of children and family events at its seven-acre compound 3 in Firhouse in Tallaght, with free admission to “bouncy castle, arts and crafts, and much more” according to its booking ad.

The Halloween event, promoted as an afternoon of “spooky treats, wicked arts and crafts and monster face-painting” attracted several complaints to his office from parents, Lawlor said.

“One mother of two transition-year girls was particularly unhappy as she said they were asked to fill in a ‘personal development’ questionnaire about their well-being, ” Lawlor said.

“A number of other parents were uncomfortable that their children were given this questionnaire.

“There were a few children there with their parents, but it was well attended by teenagers from local schools aged between 14 and 17,” he said “Whatever social media the were using were very effective. “I’m very concerned about this pushing of a ‘community’ agenda locally. ” “To me, it’s propaganda at its worst” Lawlor visited the new centre recently with ten community leaders. He said they were told that around 200 staff working on a voluntary basis worked at the centre.

“Staff wore smart black suits with a gold pinstripe – it was like the Shelbourne [Hotel],” he said.

“We asked where the money was coming from, but they didn’t answer any questions.”

The community leaders met with an operations manager of the centre and a member of the church’s global operation.

A sports pitch at the centre has been offered for use by local sports teams and other facilities, such as the use of its large 1,000-seater auditorium and meeting rooms, have been offered for free for community and charity events and concerts.

The Scientology Centre for Interaction and Partnership, as it was described in a launch announcement, opened last month and emphasised that it would open its doors “to the communities of Dublin”. Protesters gathered outside to object.

The Firhouse centre is reported to have been acquired for around €6 million, while the national affairs office at Merrion Square was bought for around €2 million.

Church founder L Ron Hubbard lived in a house on Merrion Square in Dublin in 1956, and devised some of the early ideas around Scientology during that time.

https://www.businesspost.ie/news/church-scientology-claims-1200-attended-new-irish-centre-launch-400447

Mixed feelings about new Scientology centre – The Echo

Another issue raised by local residents in recent weeks is the promotion of the Church of Scientology and its programmes within communities – and if members would be ‘knocking on doors’.

When asked about this, The Echo was told that members do promote initiatives such as their youth-targeted Drug Free World programme – but members said that knocking on doors is “not what we do”.

However, on Tuesday leaflets were dropped into a number of homes across the area, a situation which the Church of Scientology said was “an error”, with a spokesperson adding that members “unreservedly apologise for any upset that may have occurred.

http://www.echo.ie/tallaght/article/mixed-feelings-about-new-scientology-centre

Scientology centre opening in Dublin – RTÉ News

More than 1,000 Scientologists attended the opening of a new Church of Scientology Centre in Dublin this afternoon.

Members travelled from Germany, the UK, Switzerland and the United States for the event.

The footpath, cycle lane and bus stop in front of the building on the Firhouse Road were closed for security reasons.

There was a small protest held outside the centre. One man who got past the front gate was arrested for trespass.

The leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, cut the ribbon at the Centre at 3pm.

87 Irish residents identified themselves as Scientologists in the Census last year.

https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/1014/912354-scientology/

Micheál Martin labels Scientology a ‘cult’ ahead of opening of new centre in Dublin – Irish Examiner

Dozens of protesters are gathering outside a massive new Scientology centre in Dublin.

The leader of the secretive religion David Miscavige is expected to attend the grand opening of the facility in Firhouse.

Hundreds of Scientologists from across Europe and around the world have been flown in to attend the event.

However, locals and protesters have expressed “serious concerns” amid allegations of “cultish” activities.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin described Scientology as a cult at his party Ard Fheis in the RDS.

He said he does not want to see Scientology’s European base established here but does not think banning them is the best strategy.

“These types of cults can be very damaging to people, particularly to young people. The best way forward needs to be examined, it may not be legislated. I think ultimately in situations like this it is about education,” he said.

Scientology’s website denies it is a cult.

“[Scientology] is a religion in the fullest sense of the word.“Cult” is usually meant in a disparaging sense to imply a secret or closed group with limited membership and mysterious beliefs,” the website reads.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/micheal-martin-labels-scientology-a-cult-ahead-of-opening-of-new-centre-in-dublin-809893.html