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Mind cult's Scots trip is grounded

Title: Mind cult's Scots trip is grounded
Date: Tuesday, 30 July 1968
Publisher: Scottish Daily Express (UK)
Authors: Lorna Blackie, Bob Smith
Main source: link (265 KiB)

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A SPECIAL "flight-to-freedom" charter jet bringing 186 Americans to Edinburgh to study scientology, the international cult condemned by the Government, was cancelled yesterday by Caledonian Airways.

The airline was told by the Home Office that the passengers would be banned from landing at Prestwick.

Even if the airline had rejected the Government's advice, under international regulations they would have had to fly the passengers back to New York.

An airline spokesman said yesterday: "Because of what has been said in the House of Commons about the scientology cult we approached the Home Office for their advice on this flight.

"They told us if the passengers were foreign students of scientology coming to study in this country they would not be allowed to land."

At the former hotel on South Bridge, Edinburgh, opened a few weeks ago as the most advanced course centre in the world for scientology, Mr. Carl Widdey (30) explained that they had named the charter "Flight to Freedom."

HE SAID: "We don't blame the airline for cancelling the flight, but this was a dictatorial act by the British Government.

"Under the 1962 Immigration Act a student may disemback in this country without prejudice. Even if there is prejudice they are allowed one month here in which to appeal.

The Government has stated they could not find anything detramental but despite this they banned our students even before they left America.

"Our lawyers at our East Grinstead headquarters have been informed of the position and are getting in touch with the Immigration Department over this."

He added that within the last few days seven students had been turned back at Heathrow and another seven at Dover.

But Mr. Bill Robertson, American head of the advanced course headquarters was unperturbed at the loss of scores of students.

"We will not be short of students," he claimed. "I don't think it will affect our traffic at all."

PINNED to the wall was a "tone scale," which normally illustrates students' progress on the course.

It was made the subject of Mr. Robertson's Sunday night sermon after the addition of tags showing the lowly rating of the British Government, Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, Health Minister Kenneth Robinson and the "Communists in the Government."

Mr. Robertson, who worked as a civil engineer on missile stations before becoming a scientologist six years ago, He said: "If a person is smart enough to make money to come half way around the world and has the ability to succeed in his profession he is not going to be duped."

SEVERAL of his students happily told of bettering their business fortunes—after taking the course.

Mr. Raymond Tippets (52), a former electronics engineer from Arizona, was a scientology teacher for two and a half years in Los Angeles.

He claimed to have brought retarded up to normal standards.

"Scientology is run like a very efficient business organisation.

"It works on both commercial and spiritual levels because it increases the ability of the whole man with the greatest good for the greatest number.

"We have had Communists in the group, but by the time they have been through processing — and without any pressurising — they agree that this is the true philosophy."

Others had found that it helped their musical abilities.

JAZZ LEADER Dave Brubeck's son Darius (21), who joined the Edinburgh course six weeks and plays the piano, guitar, trumpet and Indian instruments, has not had much time for music since then.

He said: "But I feel much more able to communicate in general when I talk to people."

"I have found what I was looking for. My family do not knew because they are camping in the Rockies but they will be very happy when I tell them."

An inscription on a wooden box beside the reception desk says: "You can always communicate to Ron (Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology). Any message placed here is answered by him directly."

Darius Brubeck wrote to him suggesting that scientology should be better practised in the universities and got a message back saying that this would be looked into.

"Quite truthfully I have no idea where Ron is in his ship at the moment," said Bill Robertson, who like the other staff , wears all-white clothing.

"We send the messages down to East Grinstead and they are picked up when one of our ships comes to land."

He added: "I have not had any contact at all with him since the Minister of Health made his statement.

"But there is no need for a constant stream of messages because all his policy instructions are written down and he expects us to carry them out."

SCOTLAND was chosen for the advanced course headquarters and publications [c]entre because Ron Hubbard believes that the Scottish national character is in line with the ideals of scientology. "Basically the Scots are freedom-loving people who like to stand up for what they believe—and they have a philosophical and religious background," said Bill Robertson.

Part of the cult's creed says: "That all men of whatever race, colour or creed were created with equal rights.

"That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance.

"That all men have inalienable rights to their own lives.

"That all men have inalienable rights to their sanity."

[Picture / Caption: Lisa [?]erner from Boston]

Students of the Edinburgh Scientology Centre

[Picture / Caption: EVELYN CLARK]
[Picture / Caption: RAYMOND TIPPETS]
[Picture / Caption: PETER HILTON]
[Picture / Caption: Mrs GRACE WELLS]
[Picture / Caption: MADELINE LITCHFIELD]