“Ease up on us guys”, says Scientology

The Church of Scientology is says it is copping it because it is a new movement.

Spokesperson Mike Ferris says “It’s an easy target. People reject new ideas. They really do.”

Ferris said the Salvation Army had been attacked when it was founded, because it was trying to tell people to quit drinking. He said could understand people’s fears of Scientology, considering the common characterisation of it as a cult.

“Scientology is copping it now – but this has happened to other religions, so, ease up on it, guys.”

Fewer than 400 people in New Zealand declared their religion as Scientology in the most recent Census.

Ferris said about 5000 were taking courses, and 25,000 people had studied Scientology in Auckland since it arrived here.

The Church of Scientology in New Zealand has released  a guide for media, The church of Scientology; A Guide for the Media,which it says is an has attempt to clear up misconceptions about the movement.

Ferris says there is no particular publicity push. However A similar campaign has be undertaken in Australia. Scientology’s spokesperson there denies the guide’s release is related to a new controversial book that examines the inner working of the church. “It just happened to be when we finished it,” he said.

In the USA, the Church of Scientology purchased a million-dollar advert which was run in the half time slot during the Superbowl.

Pulitzer prize-winning writer Lawrence Wright penned a 26-page article on the Church of Scientology, largely based on interviews with ex-Scientologist and Hollywood screenwriter Paul Haggis, for The New Yorker in 2011. The article contained allegations of misconduct within the Church.

This article led to Wright’s book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, which was released last month in a blaze of interviews.


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News category: New Zealand.

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