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Church Targets Rapists

Church of Scientology targets murderers and rapists

Daily Mirror (Irish edition), 20 February 1998

From chriso@lutefisk.demon.co.uk Mon Feb  1 17:48:09 GMT 1999

A CONTROVERSIAL cult is backing an Irish religious sect's bid to sign up dangerous criminals.

The infamous Church of Scientology is helping to target murderers and rapists in top security jails, including Arbour Hill and the Currugh, which hold dangerous sex offenders. Criminon Ireland - run by self- confessed German-born Scientologist Katrin Ruckert - is offering inmates courses based on the teachings of the late L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientologists.

The group claims to be a charity but is not registered as one. It sifts through newspaper reports of rapes and murders to find names of prisoners to contact.

The letters to prisoners invite them to join courses based on the L. Ron Hubbard book The Way To Happiness.

A copy of the booklet is enclosed and freepost envelopes are provided for prisoners to send their lessons back.

A jail insider in one of the tightest security prisons in the country said prisoners are receiving the letters only a week after they are put behind bars.

He said: 'This is a very trying time for anyone in prison even if they have served time before.

'They are grasping at anything and the Scientologists are aware of this. They know it is a good time to approach a person who would be very vulnerable to what they are offering.'

Gerard Ryan, the spokesman for the Church of Scientology in Dublin, admitted last night that Criminon Ireland is sponsored by the Church.

He said: 'It is not a way of recruiting. You cannot ever become a member of the church if you have committed such a crime.'

But he admitted that a rehabilitated criminal who made 'reparations' to society could make a petition to the church to join up.

Top cult expert Mike Garde said last night that the Church of Scientology - which includes actor Tom Cruise as a member - has been experiencing failing numbers in Ireland.

He said: 'That is one of the reasons why they are targetting the prisons. They are shrewd operators and know that people in prison are vulnerable to join up.'

Criminon Ireland leader Katrin Ruckert said: 'This has nothing to do with Scientology. It just so happens that I am a Scientologist. L. Ron Hubbard did many things in his life and wrote many things.'

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