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Scientologists stopped at airport

Title: Scientologists stopped at airport
Date: Wednesday, 31 July 1968
Publisher: East Grinstead Observer
Main source: link (63 KiB)

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IMMIGRATION officers at Heathrow Airport stopped six Americans who said they had come to study scientology, and ordered them to be sent home again.

The Americans, a woman with two children, two other men and a young woman, were stopped as they were passing through the controls.

They told Immigration Officials that they had come to attend a School of Scientology at East Grinstead.

Later a Home Office spokesman said the party was refused entry because the six were coming to Britain for employment and did not have work permits.

'It is as simple as that. Scientology did not come into it,' he said.

A spokesman for the Hubbard College of Scientology, at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, said that the six Americans were not intended to go to the college.

He said: 'These people should not have been stopped. They were not coming to our college in the first place. They were going to another organisation and were in transit. As far as we know they are now on their way to their original destination — Spain.'

He said the Americans would have been welcome as visitors to the East Grinstead College, but could not have stayed for a course because they had not booked.

'STUDY OF MIND'

'They were scientologists, but they do not belong to this organisation and are not associated with it,' he added.

The spokesman said scientology was the study of mind and a means to increase man's potentiality and knowledge.

One of the women, 27-year-old Catherine Cariotaki, of San Diego, was at first given a two months' visa. But later her permission to stay in Britain was revoked.

As she sat with her travelling companions waiting for a plane to Spain, Miss Cariotaki, a scientologist for five years said: 'We got the impression that we were being stopped because we are scientologists.'

She added: 'I told them I was going to the Hubbard College, East Grinstead, and they let me through. I also stated that I will be going on later to visit my mother in Greece.

'They gave me a two months' visa and I went out to change some money at the bank.'

Back at Immigration Control she saw Michael Andrews, 17, also from San Diego 'haying some trouble.'

She said: 'I went back to help and I was nabbed and my visa revoked. Then the others were told that they were not being allowed in.'

Ann Bowers, 28, a widow from Los Angeles, had her two daughters Laurie 6, and Mellie 5, with her. They were going to be introduced to scientology.

'They were going to send us back to New York but the college fixed up for us to go to Spain where there is another college. When I get there I'm going to complain to the American Embassy,' declared Mrs. Bowers.

Sandy Harman, 25, wearing a 'Ban the Bomb' pendant, sold everything he had to come to Britain.

'I have only got the clothes that I stand up in — and money of course. We have to come here to take the upper level courses at the college, he explained.