Swedish Royals Deny Scientology Link after Video
STOCKHOLM, April 6 (Reuters) - Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia on Monday firmly denied any links to the Church of Scientology after footage of the royal couple was used in a promotional video.
Palace spokeswoman Cecilia Wilmhardt said old television footage, dating back 10 years, was used with a voice-over saying the king expressed his approval of the work of anti-drug agency Narconon, which is linked to the Scientology Church.
"The royal couple had no idea they had been linked to the Church of Scientology until a Swedish television channel saw the video," Wilmhardt told Reuters.
She said the only contact the royals have had with the church was, indirectly, in 1997 when the King sent a telegram of congratulations to Narconon which was celebrating 25 years in Sweden.
Wilmhardt said this was the usual procedure when organisations in Sweden celebrated a special anniversary.
"Narconon has now apologised and they have assured us that they will withdraw the section of the video with the royal couple," she said.
Since the New Year the video has been shown in an unknown number of Scientology churches around the world.
Narconon is a international drug rehabilitation and education charity whose rehabilitation programme was developed by L. Ron Hubbard, the American founder of Scientology.