Thursday, December 31, 2009

Church of Scientology Announces Biggest Expansion in Scientology History


A sampling of newly acquired Church
buildings from around the world

Church of Scientology expands to more than 8,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups in 165 nations, doubling the number in the last five years

Los Angeles, CA - Led by Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, Scientologists are celebrating a renaissance of their faith. Today, the Church of Scientology has expanded to more than 8,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups in 165 nations—doubling the number in the last five years. This year alone, the Church completed a $40 million restoration of one of its oldest landmark buildings and inaugurated five major new Church buildings in Malmö, Dallas, Nashville, Rome and Washington, DC. Current demand for L. Ron Hubbard’s books and lectures on Dianetics and Scientology has outstripped the last five decades combined, approaching 70 million distributed in the last two years. All the while, the Church’s ever growing humanitarian programmes in the fields of anti-drug, human rights, morals education and disaster relief have positively impacted hundreds of millions of lives.

As the decade came to a close, Scientologists the world over have been celebrating their religion’s most expansive year to date. 2009 marked the 25th Anniversary of the International Association of Scientologists, the official membership organisation of Scientology. In addressing the more than 7,000 Scientologists and guests in attendance at the anniversary event on October 16th in East Grinstead, Mr. David Miscavige praised members for their dedication and contribution to the tremendous accomplishments of the Church to date and expressed his optimism for the future of Scientology:

“Our battles of yesterday were to stay alive. Our battles of tomorrow are to overcome the obstacles to eternity itself. Because we have never taken our eye off the ultimate prize, we stand where we are today. Twenty-five years of magnificent accomplishment and a future more glorious than we could have ever imagined.”

The scriptures of Dianetics and Scientology are comprised of over 500,000 pages and over 3,000 recorded lectures by Founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Since July 2007, over 67 million copies of L. Ron Hubbard’s basic books and lectures on Dianetics and Scientology have been distributed. (During the Church’s first 50 years a total of 39 million copies of L. Ron Hubbard’s works on Dianetics and Scientology were in circulation.) With all of these materials available in 15 languages, and the nine basic books now available in 50 languages, the total number of Dianetics and Scientology translations over the last decade is 10 times the previous five decades combined. In recognition of this fact, the Guinness World Records acknowledged L. Ron Hubbard as the world’s most translated author.

In-house digital publishing facilities can print over 500,000 books and 925,000 recorded lectures on CD per week.

The demand for L. Ron Hubbard’s materials has grown exponentially in the last year with the numbers of new people coming into Churches and Missions to find out about Scientology growing in the same fashion. Indeed, the Scientology religion is now enjoying its greatest era of expansion in history, with public demand for L. Ron Hubbard books and lectures escalating across more than 165 countries.

To keep pace with the demand, the Church operates two state-of-the-art digital printing and CD manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles and Copenhagen.

In 2009, the Church’s publication arm, Bridge Publications, Inc. in Los Angeles, opened a 274,000-square-foot digital in-house printing and manufacturing facility, thereby increasing its publishing capacity to 500,000 books and 925,000 CDs per week, an increase of 660% over 2007.

Facilities include State-of-the-art film and audio studios with the most advanced digital recording and editing equipment in the world.

In June 2009 the Church celebrated the 21st Anniversary of the Maiden Voyage of the Freewinds religious retreat and annual religious convocation for advanced Scientologists. During this week-long series of events and seminars, Mr. Miscavige announced “the single most momentous advance in Dianetics technology” since the original publication of Dianetics on May 9, 1950. The project, four years in the making and personally directed by Mr. Miscavige, resulted in 32 films totaling 4 ½ hours. The films have been translated into 15 languages. They put Dianetics fully into visual form, making the subject universally accessible to everyone.

June also saw the release of educational films to support Church-sponsored social betterment and humanitarian programs. The first of these was the new, full-length Truth About Drugs documentary giving addicts and at-risk youth the chance to find out from those who have lived it, exactly how addiction shatters lives. The second was The Story of Human Rights, an educational film which provides a short, concise and powerful lesson in the history and necessity of human rights and the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

October marked the completion and release of the feature-length film, The Way to Happiness. This 2-hour film presents this nonreligious common sense guide to moral living by L. Ron Hubbard.

Church-sponsored humanitarian programmes touch the lives of hundreds of millions in 2009.

The Church-sponsored humanitarian programmes using the latter three films mentioned above reached hundreds of millions of people in 2009 and billions since their inception.

The Church-sponsored anti-drug education initiative (“Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life”) is said to be the largest non-governmental anti-drug campaign in the world and, through the airing of public service announcements, distribution of free drug education booklets and events promoting a drug-free life, it has reached over 853 million people since its inception.

The Church-sponsored human rights education programme (“United for Human Rights”) is the largest in the world and is based entirely on raising awareness of the 30 articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through the airing of public service announcements, human rights symposiums and events and distribution of human rights educational materials, the campaign has reached over 943 million people since it commenced.

The Church-sponsored morals programme based on the common-sense guide to living, The Way to Happiness, has now reached nearly 800 million people through its public service announcements, educational materials and Set a Good Example contests.

The Church of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers, over 200,000 strong, have helped over 1.4 million people in times of disaster in 2009 alone. The motto of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers is “Something Can Be Done About It.”

Mr. Miscavige is driving a movement now spanning the world with new Ideal Churches of Scientology.

Mr. Miscavige’s vision sets the direction for the acquisition, design and planning of new Churches—quite literally from inception to ribbon cutting. For the past five years, the Church has dedicated itself to a programme to locate, renovate and open new Scientology Churches to service its parishioners and their communities around the world. Since the launch of this programme five years ago, over 70 new buildings have been acquired internationally. Real estate holdings have increased from 5.6 million square feet in 2004 to over 11 million in 2009, with over 600,000 square feet of renovations completed in just 2009.

14 March 2009: At the Church’s spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, the Fort Harrison Hotel opened in March 2009 after a $40 million renovation and restoration. The building was stripped virtually bare and rebuilt from its core, including the installation of new state-of-the-art systems. This landmark still bears its hallmark historical touches, however, including replication of the lobby’s original black wrought iron work and gold leaf moldings. The resurfacing of the entire exterior with added architectural detailing makes this religious retreat even more beautiful than at its legendary beginning in 1926, when she was known as “the Aristocrat of Southern Florida Hotels.”

4 April 2009: Three weeks after the inauguration of the new Fort Harrison, a new Church of Scientology in the Swedish seacoast city of Malmö was formally opened by Mr. Miscavige. European dignitaries and guests from 32 nations gathered to celebrate a historic day: dedication of the 72,000-square-foot landmark Church of Scientology, acquired, designed, renovated and opened in less than six months.

11 April 2009: One week later, in Dallas, Texas, a 41,000-square-foot Church opened its doors. With Mr. Miscavige officiating, the Church of Scientology Dallas was formally welcomed to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex by City of Irving Mayor Herbert Gears.

25 April 2009: The month of April ended with the grand opening of the new 36,000 square-foot Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre Nashville. The opening of the new Church building in Music City USA, an historical landmark, was again led by Mr. Miscavige and joined by scores of local dignitaries, residents and visiting artists totaling over 3,000 guests.

24 October 2009: In October, more than 6,000 people gathered in Rome's Casalotti de Boccea district to celebrate the grand opening of the new Church of Scientology Rome. The 69,000-square-foot Church, situated on 28 acres of parkland, marks the largest expansion to date for Scientology in its 30-year history in Italy. Mr. David Miscavige welcomed parishioners to their new home. The new Church will serve parishioners of Central Italy and other regions of the Mediterranean.

31 October 2009: One week later, the Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, originally established in 1955 by Scientology Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, opened its new premises six blocks from the White House and minutes from the Capitol Mall. Attended by nearly 3,000 Scientologists and guests, the celebration was presided over by Mr. David Miscavige. The newly acquired and fully restored 49,000-square-foot historical building now represents the largest Scientology presence in DC in Church history. Its grand opening now brings the Church of Scientology’s presence in the nation’s capital to three very important properties: The new Embassy Building providing all Church services for parishioners of Washington DC; the original Founding Church premises where L. Ron Hubbard personally worked, now fully restored and open to the public as a heritage property of the Church’s history; and the Church’s well-known Fraser Mansion at DuPont Circle which will now become the Church’s National Affairs Office.

The Church of Scientology looks to 2010 for further unprecedented growth, with greater expansion and success in ministering to its parishioners and their communities than ever in its history.

This year has marked the greatest expansion in Scientology’s history. The Church looks to 2010 for even greater success with scores of new Churches and Advanced Organisations on the horizon. New Churches are scheduled to open in Pasadena, California; Inglewood, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Seattle, Washington; Harlem, New York; Portland, Oregon; Twin Cities, Minnesota; Boston, Massachusetts; Cincinnati, Ohio; Quebec, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; Tel Aviv, Israel; Melbourne and Sydney, Australia and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Additionally and most significantly, the doors will open to the newly constructed 375,000-square-foot Church serving as spiritual headquarters for the religion, located in Clearwater, Florida.

Most importantly, 2010 will bring the completion of a decades-long project to restore and make available the complete library of Mr. Hubbard’s works, including hundreds of his over 3,000 recorded lectures never heard beyond his original audience.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pediatric Zyprexa Brochures Embarrass British Health Service


Extracted from, by Martha Rosenberg

"Your medicine is called Olanzapine. Pronounced 'o-lan-za-peen,'" says the lime green kids' brochure for the antipsychotic Zyprexa, published by Britain's National Health Service (NHS). "Many children, teenagers and young people need to take medicines prescribed by doctors to help them stay well and healthy," says the text amid cartoons of happy children skating, roller blading and playing soccer.

Similar brochures educate children about "ris-perry-done" (Risperdal), another antipsychotic and "ato-mox-e-teen" (Strattera), an ADHD drug. But when mental health advocate Ben Hansen tried to "educate" US children further by posting the brochures on his web site, he got a love letter from the NHS.

"I have been informed that you are using our leaflets on your web-site," wrote Deputy Chief Pharmacist with the Central and North West London NHS Trust Sue Eccles in an email this month. "Our objective is [sic] provide written materials to support the verbal counselling given by healthcare professionals -- they are not meant to stand alone as sources of information," says Eccles requesting that only the "front page and our contact details," be shown.

Unfortunately, the NHS caught Hansen on a day he didn't take his meds. "We posted the NHS leaflets to stimulate public scrutiny of your agency," replied Hansen, who writes under the pseudonym Methodius Isaac Bonkers, MD. "We call upon the NHS to stop promoting harmful psychotropic drugs for children. In a spirit of full disclosure and transparency, we have now posted your letter as well."

No wonder Hansen's four-year-old site, the Bonkers Institute, is considered a leader in sunshine activism. Hansen's zeal for unearthing and posting pharma sleight-of-hand even landed him on the front page of the New York Times two years ago in an article called,

"In Some States, Maker Oversees Use of Its Drug."

Twenty states take advantage of the Pharmacy Quality Improvement Project, a "free" program from Eli Lilly that shows states how to save money on...drugs from Eli Lilly. But Hansen, says the Times "obtained documents through a Freedom of Information request that showed a Lilly account executive had asked to take part in planning sessions and offered to have Lilly representatives brief doctors."

Lilly dropped the program in states daring to require doctors to seek permission to prescribe Zyprexa which at $300 a month is the single biggest drug cost for state Medicaid budgets according to the Times.

Hansen also received FOIA documents from the state of Michigan showing the number of psychiatric drugs prescribed to children under 6 and the number of Medicaid patients on 5 or more psychiatric drugs but they did not name the drugs.

How does pharma vault a drug only indicated for the one percent of the population with schizophrenia and four percent with bipolar disorder to be the biggest line item in the Medicaid budget? As in your tax dollars? Just good off-label marketing--promoting a drug for a non-FDA approved use which is illegal in the US.

And speaking of non-approved uses, how can Britain's National Health Service produce a brochure for kids taking Zyprexa when kids are not supposed to take Zyprexa? "ZYPREXA is not for patients who are under 18 years," says the prescribing information. "Keep out of the reach and sight of children."

Are the healthy, active kids shown in the cartoons "befores" since 30 percent of Zyprexa patients gain 22 pounds or more, 16 percent, 66 pounds or more and some gain over 100 pounds according to Lilly's own published data? Zyprexa "may make you feel like eating more food," says the NHS brochure in what might be considered classic British understatement. "If this happens, try not to eat more than usual and talk to an adult or your doctor about this." Any questions?

And how about Zyprexa's notorious soporific effect or zombie factor? "It is a good [sic] to take olanzapine at bedtime, as it can make some people feel sleepy," says the brochure.

Hansen's war on pharma disease mongering comes from first hand experience. He was misdiagnosed with "bipolar disorder" and denied release in a Michigan hospital after a reaction to the death of his father and a suicide of a friend on the same day. "The psychiatrist refused to treat me without drugs," says Hansen and "I was held in the hospital involuntarily for the next 39 days, totaling a bill of $23,000."

Take one look at the Bonkers Institute's gallery of vintage psychiatric drug advertising, the Nearly Genuine and Truly Marvelous Mental Medicine Show--one of the best on the web--and you see the roots of today's pediatric bipolar/depression/ADD/ADHD "epidemic" decades ago. Thorazine syrup was given for vomiting in kids, antidepressants for bedwetting and Ritalin for "mischief" and "juvenile pranks." Like the NHS brochures, kids are shown happy and playing with soccer balls.

Martha Rosenberg is columnist and cartoonist based in Chicago.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Attack on Scientology Website Sends New Jersey Man to Jail on Felony Charges


Karin Pouw
Church of Scientology International

Attack on Scientology Website Sends New Jersey Man to Jail on Felony Charges

The United States District Court in Newark, N.J., sentenced a New Jersey man today to one year and one day in federal prison on a felony conviction for his part in a cyber attack against Church of Scientology websites in January 2008 [Case No. CR 09-87-01]. i ii

He carried out the attack with others calling themselves “Anonymous,” a hate group targeting Scientology and others individuals and organizations iii, including the website of the Prime Minister of Australia iv.

Dmitriy Guzner, 19, of Verona, New Jersey, who in May pleaded guilty to one count of computer hacking, was sentenced for his role in the distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack against Scientology websites. A DDOS attack occurs when a large amount of malicious Internet traffic is directed at websites, overloading their capacity and making them unavailable to legitimate users.

Church websites were made unavailable to valid users for 24 hours, with the attacks continuing for 12 days, requiring the Church to hire a computer security company to protect against the attacks and to reroute traffic. Due to the severity of the crime, Judge Joseph Greenaway in U.S. District Court in Newark sentenced Guzner to the 366-day prison term, plus two years probation following his prison term, and ordered Guzner to pay $37,500 restitution to the Church. v vi

On October 31, another Anonymous follower, Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, 20, was indicted by a Grand Jury at the US District Court for Central California for the same attack on Scientology websites, for conspiracy and “transmission of a code, information, program, or command to a protected computer.” The indictment states that he obtained a computer program from an Anonymous website and executed a DDOS attack from his dormitory at Iowa State University against the Church computers in Los Angeles. He is awaiting sentencing. vii

Anonymous is an underground hate group that, in addition to the cyber attack, targeted Churches of Scientology and members with death threats, bomb threats and fake anthrax mail. In addition to Scientology Churches and the Prime Minister of Australia viii, Anonymous has also targeted The Epilepsy Foundation, hip-hop music websites and others. ix x

Scientology is a worldwide religious movement with more than 8,000 Churches, Missions and groups in 165 countries. The Church and its members dedicate their time and resources to numerous humanitarian programs that Scientology has become known for around the world, including combating drug abuse, immorality, illiteracy and human rights violations.

For more information about Scientology, visit

i Dmitriy Guzner, Minutes of Sentencing Procedure, 21 October 2009, Case No CR 09-87-01
ii Star Ledger, 18 November 2009
iii Wired Magazine, 19 September 2008 (attacks on Epilespy foundation and others)
iv Wired Magazine, 9 September 2009 (attack on Australian Government, Prime Minister)
v Star Ledger, 18 November 2009
vi Associated Press, 18 November 2009
vii United States of America vs. Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, Indictment of Grand Jury at US District Court for Central California, filed 28 October 2009, Case No. CR 09 01149.
viii Wired Magazine, 9 September 2009 (attack on Australian Government, Prime Minister)
ix Wired Magazine, 19 September 2008 (attacks on Epilespy foundation and others)
x MTV Info, 30 June 2008 (attack on rap music sites and

Saturday, November 07, 2009

We call upon the NHS to stop promoting harmful psychotropic drugs for children


The NHS react to the fact that their leaflets, that promote Atomoxetine (brand name "Strattera"), Olanzapine (brand name "Zyprexa") and Risperidone to children, are being publicly displayed.

About a year ago, I came across a series of NHS-produced leaflets which encourage children to take certain psychiatric drugs, the safety of which has not been studied on children. Disgusted, I blogged about the situation here.

A few months later, the Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research, a group that campaigns against psychiatry and psychiatric drugs, found my blog post and left a comment as follows:

We've added these NHS leaflets to our Marvelous Mental Medicine Show's "Kid Stuff" page:

We're always looking for similar items to include in the Institute's Medicine Show, so please drop us a line if you come across anything else which might be of interest to us.

Best regards,
Ben Hansen
Special Assistant to Dr. M.I. Bonkers, M.D.
Institute for Nearly Genuine Research

Then, a few days ago, the Institute for Nearly Genuine Research received an e-mail from Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, as follows:

Central and North West London NHS Trust email correspondence
regarding NHS children's leaflets posted at

From: Eccles Sue (Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust)
Date: Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 11:53 AM
Subject: Our Patient Information Leaflets

I have been informed that you are using our leaflets on your web-site. Whilst I think your intention is to draw attention to the material which is available for patients and their parents/carers (I have read your end-piece about copyright) you have nevertheless uploaded the whole text of our leaflet. Could I please request that you amend the site so that it is no longer possible to access the whole leaflet -- the front page and our contact details would be appropriate. I'm sure you appreciate that the only way that we will be able to produce more materials for patient benefit is by recouping the cost from other organisations which want to use them -- our objective is provide written materials to support the verbal counselling given by healthcare professionals -- they are not meant to stand alone as sources of information. We charge a reasonable fee for full access to all the children's leaflets and so it not in our interest, or necessarily, patients and parents to have access to them on your website without the professional support intended.

I hope this explanation makes sense to you and that you will amend your site quickly. I would appreciate your response and compliance with this request as soon as possible.

Sue Eccles
Deputy Chief Pharmacist
Central and North West London NHS Trust
Greater London House
Hampstead Road
Tel. 020 3214 5898

Dr. Bonkers responds:

We posted the NHS leaflets to stimulate public scrutiny of your agency. We call upon the NHS to stop promoting harmful psychotropic drugs for children. In a spirit of full disclosure and transparency, we have now posted your letter as well.

Psychiatry is to medicine what astrology is to astronomy. ~ Leonard Roy Frank
Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research

How do you feel about the NHS encouraging children to take medication that has not been tested for use by children?

Friday, October 30, 2009

France: Statement of the Church of Scientology


27 Oct 2009: The Paris Court concluded today that the Church of Scientology can continue its religious activities in France. They could not ignore the large community of Scientologists who are happy to practice their religion.

Despite this, this whole heresy trial has been tantamount to a modern-day inquisition, religion on trial. We will of course contest it until correct justice has been carried out, and will take it all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if needed. As the Prosecutor pointed out in 2006 when requesting that the case be dismissed, there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. That the case nevertheless went to trial was simply the result of pressure, carefully orchestrated to poison the court.

Scientology is not going away and is expanding more than ever. We believe that no-one has the right to tell the people of France what to think and what to believe. We support the French Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. We believe that, in this case, the group MIVILUDES, set up to fight against religious minorities, and its president George Fenech, have been doing everything they can to destroy freedom, destroy peace and take away people’s rights. The international report on religious freedom by the US Department of State, recently issued, once again condemning religious discrimination in France, stated that “the discriminatory treatment against Jehovah Witnesses and Scientologists is still causing worry”.

Background information:

This case arises out of the five-month participation in 1998 by the main civil party in Scientology religious practices. These included the study of Scientology scriptures and the participation in spiritual counselling. A full refund of donations was given to the person concerned in November 1998, within weeks of their withdrawing their allegiance to the Church.

In 2006, the prosecutor recommended the case be dismissed because there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. Instead, the court succumbed to pressure from anti-religious extremists and turned it into a heresy trial in violation of the rights of the defendants under French law and under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The European Court of Human Rights has, on two recent occasions – ironically in Strasbourg, France – found that Churches of Scientology in Russia are entitled to the protection of religious freedom guaranteed by Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The prosecutor and the court yielded to pressure from anti-religious extremists in MIVILUDES. The President of MIVILUDES, Georges Fenech, has been condemned for election fraud. In February 2009, Mr. Fenech called on the government to initiate a so-called official “sect list” in France similar to the infamous list established by a Parliamentary Commission in 1995, the very same thing that the government stopped using four years ago because of the overwhelming prejudice it caused to the religious organizations on the list and its misuse by MIVILUDES officials to justify harassment and persecution of religious minorities. This is a man the government is permitting to shape its discriminatory policies against religious minorities and is the reason France is being condemned by international human rights organizations for religious discrimination and intolerance.

The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954. Today there are more than 8,000 Scientology Churches, missions and groups in 165 countries. The Church sponsors the largest Human Rights education initiative in the world as well as the world’s largest non-governmental anti-drug programme. Scientology has expanded more in the last year than in the last five years combined and more in the last five years than in the last five decades combined.

We will continue to contest this until all defendants are given correct justice and acquitted.

For more information, contact:

Graeme Wilson on 01342 318 229 or

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Anne Archer Hosts Sussex Charity Concert

(click on the images to see them full size)Marianne Rowell, Deputy Director of the L. Ron Hubbard Foundation with Anne Archer and Bob Mainstone
Photo by Thorsten Overgaard

Chick Corea jamming with Mark Isham
Photo by Thorsten Overgaard

Chick Corea, Hossam Ramzy and Mark Isham
Photo by Thorsten Overgaard

Soul and blues singer Mina Tank
Photo by Thorsten Overgaard

Jean-Philippe Ferrieux sparring with John Fordham of The Jive Aces
Photo by Thorsten Overgaard

Grand Finale

Last song: The whole line up singing "Stand by me"

Concert now in its 12th year, headlined by international Jazz icon Chick Corea

EAST GRINSTEAD, Sunday, October 18th: Academy Award nominated actress Anne Archer, presented cheques amounting to £50,000 to several different local charities on behalf of the L. Ron Hubbard Foundation and the Church of Scientology at the annual Gala Charity Concert at Saint Hill, East Grinstead.

Ms. Archer was the Master of Ceremonies, introducing each performer and also presenting the cheques on stage to the representatives of each charity, namely: the Sussex Air Ambulance; the Bluebell Steam Railway; East Grinstead charities the Town Museum, Furnihelp, and the East Grinstead Access Group for the elderly and disabled; Impact; and Crowborough charities the Town Mayor’s Charity Fund and the Community Hospital.

Bob Mainstone, representing the East Grinstead charities, said, "This donation will make a big difference to these charities in accomplishing their respective aims and is warmly appreciated."

More than 1,500 were in attendance to enjoy the concert and give their support, including Mayors, District Council Chairmen, Town Councillors, and community leaders from all over the South of England. Other guests flew in specially from all over Europe and as far away as the United States and Canada.

The event covered a wide spectrum of music including Chick Corea, jazz legend and 15-time Grammy Award Winner; Mark Isham, Grammy, Emmy and Clio Award Winning composer, who has scored over 100 films; Alexander Markov, internationally celebrated virtuoso solo violinist; David Pomeranz, songwriter and recording artist with 18 Gold and 22 Platinum records; Elena Roggero, the “Italian Queen of Jazz”; world-renown percussionist, Hossam Ramzy, and the UK’s top swing jive band – the Jive Aces.

Marianne Rowell, Deputy Director of the L. Ron Hubbard Foundation, said, "We, as the L. Ron Hubbard Foundation and the Church of Scientology, were delighted to give our support to these wonderful local charities tonight. This annual event is the highlight of our charity fundraising events and activities. Our warm thanks are due to all those who contributed."

Over the years the Saint Hill Gala Charity Concert has supported numerous charities, from the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the RSPCA to the National Drug Prevention Alliance and the Bluebell Railway Trust. The concert follows the tradition that was started by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1960’s when he resided at Saint Hill Manor and supported many of the local charities.

The Gala Concert concluded a three-day jam-packed weekend of activities at the Church of Scientology with over 7,000 people from around the world, with conferences and seminars for parishioners and community leaders alike, encompassing the Church of Scientology’s social betterment programmes in the areas of human rights, drug education, common sense morals, and the volunteer ministry.

For more information, please contact:

Graeme Wilson
Public Affairs Director
Church of Scientology
Saint Hill Manor
East Grinstead
West Sussex
RH19 4JY

Phone: +44 (0)1342 318 229

In the media:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saint Hill Gala Charity Concert 2009: Outstanding!

(click on the images to see them full size)All the members of the nearly 2,000-strong audience I spoke to after the concert (that took place in an enormous and lavishly decorated marquee at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, West Sussex) were blown away! It was an incredible evening, MC'ed by Hollywood actress, Anne Archer!

Chick Corea improvising alone

Chick Corea with Hossam Ramzy and Mark Isham

The Jive Aces: Vince Hurley goes headless
Photo by: Hy Money

The Jive Aces: high energy

The Jives Aces with Swing Xtreme

John Fordham and Ian Clarkson of The Jive Aces come up front

Alexander Markov

Mark Isham plays the James Bond theme tune

It's become somewhat of a tradition that the concert starts with a mellow trumpet piece by Academy Award-nominated trumpeter and film composer, Mark Isham. This year was no exception; and what an opening number it was, with Mark's version of the James Bond theme music.

Next up was the American multi-platinum award-winning singer, composer, lyricist, recording artist and Emmy Award nominee, David Pomeranz, whose professionalism and genuine emotion just poured out of him! His opening song, "I learned it all from you" was superb.

Next to take to the stage was award-winning soul and blues singer, Mina Tank who opened with a superb version of "La Bamba". She told me afterwards that it was the version from the film "August Rush". Her version of "I can't stand the rain" was also wonderful. The rain sound created by percussionist Hossam Ramzy was so real! The instrument looked like a tube about 3 feet long - anyone know what it's called?

Another outstanding performer to grace the stage was internationally celebrated violin virtuoso, Alexander Markov who I now know (thanks to Spotify, YouTube, Amazon and Vark) played Paganini's 24 Caprices Opus 1, No. 24 in A minor and No. 1 in E major and Vivaldi - Concerto No.2 In G Minor, Rv 315 'summer' - III Presto. He demonstrated pure mastery of his instrument with a spellbinding performance.

Gospel/blues singer and Christan preacher (Christians and Scientologists working together - nice!), Jesse Stevenson, got us tapping our feet again. He puts SO much feeling into everything he sings - I fear if he put in any more, he might explode! (It was Jesse plus choir - one member of which was my son, Harry - who closed the IAS Event on Friday with "Shoulder to Shoulder"). His "It's a man's world" was out of this world, then he gently slipped into Stevie Wonder's version of "For once in my life".

The Saint Hill Gala Charity Concert continues the tradition of supporting local and national committees and charities that L. Ron Hubbard began when he lived at Saint Hill Manor in the 1960s. So then came the cheque presentations and acceptance speeches of the five chosen charities, who were each awarded £10,000:
It is clear from the speeches that the £50,000 will go a long way and help these charities a great deal, and in the case of the Sussex Air Ambulance, even contribute towards saving many lives.

The Jive Aces then got us back into the swing (excuse the pun) with their very silly yet highly professional and extremely energetic performance. Two of their numbers were accompanied by amazing dancers from Swing Xtreme.

Then came multiple Grammy Award-winning American jazz pianist (read 'legend'), Chick Corea, who bedazzled us with his incredible keyboard skills and improvisation abilities which just flowed out of him - first on his own, then together with Mark Isham, and lastly with both Mark and Hossam Ramzy, the renown Egyptian percussionist, composer and music arranger. The piece they played was so perfect, you would have thought they had been rehearsing it for weeks - but they were actually making it up as they went along!

The last number, "Stand by Me", was performed as a grand finale by all those who took part in the concert which included Elena Roggero (I'm a big fan!).

It was a unforgettable evening of such talent and beauty, blasted at the audience at full pelt. After the concert, pretty much everyone was talking about what an incredible show we all just experienced! To all those I invited who couldn't make it: now do you see what you are missing? Make sure you keep the date of next year's concert free, which I imagine will either be on 17 or 24 Oct 2010.

Thanks are given to the following companies for their generosity:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

IAS Event 2009 (25th Anniversary)

International Association of Scientologists 25th Anniversary, Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, West Sussex - 16th October 2009

IAS Event 2009: On our way in (all 7,000 of us) to probably the most
enormous and most lavishly decorated marquee in the world!

Sorry, but I can't tell you anything about the event last night because those Scientologists who weren't able to travel to Saint Hill will watch it at their own IAS Events in their own Churches of Scientology in every other part of the world, probably next weekend - so I don't want to give the game away. As much as I would love to tell which three amazing individuals won an IAS Freedom Medal this year; and what new amazing releases and announcements were made; and how the event started, and how it ends (!), I won't because I don't want to spoil it for you!

All I can say it that it was huge, with everything bigger, better and more amazing than last year.

The 4 tweets I made following the event sum up how I felt, and the impression I was left with:


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Church of Scientology London Hosts International Peace Day Event

(click to enlarge image)
Delegates at this year's International Peace Day Event at the London Church of Scientology

Peace Through The Arts, 21st September, Church of Scientology London

Over 40 people from different cultures, faiths and walks of life from around London joined together to commemorate International Peace Day on Monday 21st September. All present held in common that they want PEACE ON EARTH.

The theme of the event, which was hosted by the Church of Scientology London, was ‘Peace through the Arts’ and it brought together an array of artists whose performances forwarded the purpose of achieving peace within our communities. This day is not only about creating peace between nations, it’s about non violence in our homes, communities and schools.

International Peace Day was established as 21st September each year through the vision and efforts of Jeremy Gilley, who, through his organisation Peace One Day, has been campaigning to bring about a cease fire in all war zones each 21st September. Peace on one day a year can be a first step to bringing about peace throughout the year. See

The Muslim Sikh Federation was represented at this London event by Man Mohan Singh and Satwant Singh Suman, from the Southall Gurdwara and they were joined by other faith leaders including Dr Paul Baiden-Adams, MCSAS (Making It Safer for our Youth) and Deputy Bishop Halden Bennett from the Mount Zion Church of God.

Art lifts the spirit and is an inspiration to us all in our daily lives. Noura Benamor performed an Arabic Song and dance, followed by Body Popping from a London youth Called Angus Reid. North London was represented by ‘Extreme’ – two amazing young dancers who wowed the audience ‘Michael Jackson style’. Danny Bryan, Director of Communities Against Knives and Guns told of his work with families who have been affected by guns and knives and urged people to come together to help the youth of London.

Guest speaker Clarence Thompson, M.B.E, spoke of his fight for racial equality and read his daughter’s poem ‘A War Orphan Writing to Santa Claus’.

Tracey Coleman, Community Affairs Officer for the Church of Scientology London said, “It is an amazing feeling seeing so many people of different cultures and faiths coming together to celebrate what most people want for this world – to live in harmony and at peace with our fellow man and woman. Events such as this can help to sow the seeds of such peace.”

All the audience were invited to write a message of Peace. One of these was from Kellee Samuels of the Mount Zion Inspiration Choir:

“Peace begins with the individual. To change an area, community or even the world, change must begin with us.”

Peace Day will be celebrated again at the Church of Scientology next year, and all are welcome to participate – please contact Tracey Coleman for further information.

To pledge your own commitment of what you want to do in your community to help to bring about peace, log on to

Contact: Tracey Coleman
Mobile: 079797 50293

Scientology-sponsored Say No To Drugs Say Yes To Life Campaign Cleans Up London Hot Spots




Ilford scrubs up well

Some surprised Ilford residents saw something a bit out of the ordinary recently; volunteers coming to clean up their area. The volunteers were welcomed by friendly and helpful locals who were delighted with the help.

Drug taking and alcohol consumption go hand in hand with dirty littered areas. One purpose of these clean ups is to deter drug takers and alcoholics from going back to such places and causing trouble. This is supported by a study showing Londoners feel that ‘grime leads to a fear of crime’.

By survey, Londoners feel unsafe in areas of the Capital which are blighted by litter and graffiti. ‘London: Its People and their Litter’ found that the condition of the local environment can significantly affect feelings of well-being. Keep Britain Tidy carried out the research for the Capital Standards Programme. More than 2,400 residents were interviewed across London outside tube stations or in local high streets.

Church of Scientology-sponsored Say No To Drugs Say Yes To Life campaigners in London have taken it upon themselves to work the streets of London in search of these hot spot areas and to clean them up. In conjunction with distribution of drug education booklets, the aim is to reduce the drug taking and crime throughout the city.

The Church's London Public Affairs Director, Mark Pinchin, said “With a reported 80% of crime being drug related, it’s easy to see that crime and drugs go hand in hand.”

With 27 per cent of UK adults aged 16 or over having taken illegal drugs - amounting to around 13 million people – the Church is embarking on a series of events and drug education talks to raise awareness on the truth about drugs. This includes how they really affect your mind and body.

Scientologists were inspired in this field by the pioneering work of humanitarian, L Ron Hubbard, in the area of drug rehabilitation and education.

For more information, see:
Please contact: Mark Pinchin, Public Affairs Dir
Tel: 0207 2462717

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Gala Classical Concert Opens 18th Saint Hill International Arts Festival

Mike Perroud accompanied by Sue Harvey - photo by Mark McQuade
(scroll down for more photos)

An evening of world-class piano, violin, song, drama and dance officially opens this year’s week-long Saint Hill International Arts Festival at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead

East Grinstead, West Sussex - For the past 18 years, Saint Hill Manor - former residence of humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard - has been home to the Saint Hill International Arts Festival. Traditionally, the festival opens with a Gala Classical Concert featuring a range of extremely talented professional performers. Just before the concert began last Sunday (2 August 2009), Cllr Christine Mainstone of East Grinstead Town Council officially declared the 18th Saint Hill International Arts Festival open.

This year’s concert featured Mike Perroud on violin performing Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs) by P. Sarasate, accompanied by Sue Harvey on piano; Marion Shuster singing soprano; soloists from the East Grinstead Chamber Orchestra including Martin and Anne-Marie Sonneveld; five pieces by Choirpower conducted by Marion Shuster; Barbara Lanik dancing to Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin; a scene from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest; Hollywood actress and singer Judy Norton (best known for her role as Mary Ellen in the Waltons) singing soprano including The Girl in 14G. The finale of the concert was performed by concert pianist, Gabriel Arnold who played Faschingsschwank Aus Wien, Opus 26 by R. Schumann and Study No. 4 and 5, Opus 10 by F. Chopin.

The evening was closed with a grand firework display, care of Frontier Fireworks - a professionally-staged breathtaking fireworks extravaganza.

The concert marks the start of the week-long festival (3-8 August 2009) and will comprise a wide range of arts such as painting, drama, singing, dancing, film-making, photography, fashion design and sculpture. It includes hands-on workshops in a wide range of different art forms which attendees are taught and are then given a chance to practice. One such workshop will be “DRAMA – How to Audition for Film & Television”, given by the two-time EMMY nominated Hollywood actress, Lee Purcell (star of films such as Big Wednesday, Stir Crazy, and Valley Girl). Performances are then prepared and given every evening to a very appreciative audience. In addition, throughout the week, Saint Hill Castle, within the grounds of Saint Hill Manor, effectively becomes a large art gallery, with art pieces being displayed in every corridor, and even outdoor pieces displayed in the grounds.

“The Saint Hill International Arts Festival provides artists and potential artists with the ideal environment in which to blossom, where art is taught by people with the correct technology, without invalidation, and where one is free to perform and be appreciated,” says Sheila Gaiman, Festival Executive Producer. “The festival is designed to inspire artists into greater productivity, for, as L. Ron Hubbard said:

‘A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists.’”

For more information, please contact:

Liz Ostermann
Saint Hill International Arts Festival
Saint Hill Manor
East Grinstead
West Sussex
RH19 4JY

+44 (0)1342 312824

Judy Norton, Lee Purcell and Cathy Bird - photo by Mark McQuade

Barbara Lanik dancing to Rhapsody in Blue - photo by Hy Money

Barbara Lanik dancing to Rhapsody in Blue - photo by Mark McQuade

Choirpower conducted by Marion Shuster - photo by Mark McQuade

Judy Norton accompanied by Sue Harvey - photo by Mark McQuade

Tea is served - photo by Mark McQuade

Fireworks Extravaganza by Frontier Fireworks - photo by Hy Money

A Message from the Executive Producer

Dear Friends,

Hello and a very warm welcome to this 18th International Arts Festival here at Saint Hill. With attendees from many countries thousands of miles apart, our festival truly has an international flavour and this week's festival will be buzzing with every form of artistic endeavour. We are very proud to have so many artists here for the week.

During the current recession, some of our families and friends are having a harder time than usual and may be downhearted. According to Professor Jane Plant, a UK government scientific advisor, in a recent book which she co-wrote, smiling and dancing could work more effectively than drugs to make people happy. We at the festival know this and do a lot of smiling, dancing and many other creative activities, and often the attendees feel that "their feet didn't touch the ground all week".

L. Ron Hubbard gave similar advice in the reference The Joy of Creating:

"Force yourself to smile
and you'll soon stop frowning.

Force yourself to laugh
and you'll soon find something to laugh about.

Wax enthusiastic and you'll very soon feel so.

A being causes his own feelings.

The greatest joy there is in life is creating.

Splurge on it!"

This is so simple to do try it yourself first and see if it works. Then tell those who could benefit from being cheered up, and you'll have happy friends and family around you again. You will be helping to create a happier and better environment for all of us.

Enjoy the festival.

Shiela Gaiman
Executive Producer

"The artist has an enormous role in the enhancement of today's and the creation of tomorrow's reality. He operates in a rank in advance of science as to the necessities and requirements of man. The elevation of a culture can be measured directly by the numbers of its people working in the field of aesthetics."
L. Ron Hubbard


Summertime Swing Raises Funds for The Bluebell Railway

This year's performers line up: The Jive Aces, Kenny Ball, his son, Keith Ball, the 1958 Grammy Award Winner and former wife of Louis Prima, Keely Smith, and their daughter Toni Elizabeth Prima, Mary Jean Lewis, the niece of Jerry Lee Lewis, The Flirtinis composed of up-coming actresses Charlotte Riley, Fiona Sheehan and Kristina Mitchell and dance displays by the "Hollywood Hoppers".

On Sunday 2nd August,
the UK’s No. 1 Jive and Swing band, The Jive Aces, held their 6th charity event ‘Summertime Swing 2009’ in the beautiful grounds of Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, West Sussex.

More than 1100 jive, jazz and swing lovers attended. This year saw people traveling all the way from Holland, France, Germany, Hungary and Spain as well as the usual fans from all over the South East of England who enjoyed the great weather and an afternoon of excellent music, dancing, good food, classic cars, jeeps and very special guests.

This year’s performers line up was nothing but stunning featuring the legendary Kenny Ball, whose new album is at number 6 in the charts, his son Keith Ball, the 1958 Grammy Award Winner and former wife of Louis Prima, Keely Smith, and their daughter Toni Elizabeth Prima, Mary Jean Lewis, the niece of Jerry Lee Lewis, The Flirtinis composed of up-coming actresses Charlotte Riley, Fiona Sheehan and Kristina Mitchell and dance displays by the “Hollywood Hoppers”.

Kenny Ball with his son, Keith Ball and Ian Clarkson of the Jive Aces

The event opened with Kas, “the new Forces’ Sweetheart” entering on a WWII jeep and singing a Marilyn Monroe song. This was followed by the hosts, the Jive Aces, taking to stage stage for the first of their shows, introducing their special guests as the beautiful day proceeded.

Highlights included Kenny Ball taking to the stage accompanied by The Jive Aces and his son Keith for an inspired version of “Swinging on a Star”.

The feedback from all who attended was fantastic and plans are already underway for next years’ Summertime Swing - don’t miss it!

Proceeds from ticket sales were donated to The Bluebell Railway (Registered Charity No. 292497), this year’s selected charity, and Guest of Honour was Dame Vera Lynn.

"It was fabulous to see such a wonderful star as Keely Smith performing with The Jive Aces at the concert to benefit our progress into East Grinstead. This donation is much appreciated by The Bluebell Railway. All contributions are greatly received if we are to make it through the tip during the Bluebell's 50th anniversary year," says Avril Gaynor, press officer for The Bluebell Railway.

The event had as its Grand Finale an amazingly spectacular 15 min long fireworks display by Frontier Fireworks.

Scroll down for more photos

Contact details:

Grazia Clarkson - Jive Aces Publicist
Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 4JY
+44 (0)781010 6888
+44 (0)1342 300075

Summertime Swing 2009, Saint Hill Manor - photo by Hy Money

Summertime Swing 2009, Saint Hill Manor - photo by Hy Money
Summertime Swing 2009, Saint Hill Manor - photo by Hy Money