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Church attacks Scientology 'cult'

Evening Mail (Birmingham) 17 August 2001

BIRMINGHAM'S church leaders today launched an amazing attack on rival religion Scientology, branding it an 'untruthful, dishonest and misleading cult.'

The attack was sparked by billboard adverts in the city publicising an exhibition by the controversial religion at the International Convention Centre.

Archdeacon of Birmingham, the Venerable Hayward Osborne, branded the claim that 250,000 people had been saved from drugs by Scientology as 'irresponsible'.

The Birmingham Diocese has written to the Advertising Standards Authority asking them to investigate the figures.

Archdeacon Osborne said: 'We are concerned about the claims being made by the Scientology movement, with little or no evidence to support them.

'The irresponsible claims made by Scientologists in their posters reflects the disingenuous approach of their philosophy which is neither a science nor a religion.'

Graeme Wilson, UK Scientology spokesman hit back, saying the drug programme had been extremely successful.

'We would be delighted to co-operate with the Church of England against the drug problem.'

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