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Cathedral fears over 'quick fix' Scientology visit

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District, 21 June 2007, page 13
Transcribed by Raymond Hill

LEAP OF FAITH: Scientologists hand out information and take readings

by Matt Hoople

SUSPICIONS of a "quick fix" faith have been raised at Canterbury Cathedral after a visit to the city from the Church of Scientology.

A stall set up in the High Street last week saw members of the controversial movement handing out information and taking 'E-meter' readings.

The device is said to measure the mental state of a person and, in this case, was used to read stress levels.

The stall was positioned in front of the listed Royal East Kent Yeomanry war memorial in the High Street.

Cathedral spokesman Chris Robinson told me: "I would be suspicious of any quick fixes when it comes to diagnosing spiritual wellbeing and happiness. I would be interested to know if they come back to Canterbury."

A legal loophole means the promoting of a group or business does not require a street permit from the city council, so stalls such as the one set up by the Church of Scientology do not require a licence.

Council licensing manager Jim Ratchford said: "There is a hole in the current laws that means this kind of activity does not need a licence.


"They are not actually selling anything. It is a problem that can only be solved with legislation at a national level."

Church of Scientology spokesman Mark Pinchin said the stall was not promoting the religion but only Dianetics, a science of the mind used by followers.

"We were not there to promote the religion. People say we are secretive but they do not know how hard we are trying to spread information."

[Sidebar:] Famous Followers

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