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50 Scientologists told to leave Britain

Title: 50 Scientologists told to leave Britain
Date: Thursday, 1 August 1968
Publisher: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Main source: link (65 KiB)

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MORE than 50 Scientology students were yesterday ordered to leave Britain by immigration officials after arriving on three flights from America.

Many had arrived at Heathrow Airport late on Tuesday night. They were booked into local hotels and guarded by security men until flight departure times yesterday.

A Home Office spokesman said last night that all 74 Scientology students who had arrived in Britain on Tuesday had been refused entry. Although most were provided with overnight accommodation, 23 had been sent back the same day.

The hotel bill will be paid by BOAC which flew the students to Britain from New York. Total cost will be around £250.

The students, who had arrived to study at Scientology's British headquarters at East Grinstead, Sussex, were ordered to leave following a ban imposed by Mr. Robinson, Minister of Health.

He said the Government was satisfied the American-born cult was "socially harmful" and did not consider the East Grinstead arrivals were bona fide students.

Robinson challenged

As its members were leaving the country yesterday, the cult's spokesman, Mr. David Gaiman, demanded a public inquiry into the conduct of Mr. Robinson and the activities of three Scotland Yard detectives who are conducting an investigation into Scientology on instructions from the Home Office. He said it had been impossible to take legal action against the Health Minister because he denounced the cult in the Commons and was protected by Parliamentary privilege.

He challenged the Minister to repeat his allegations in public "and then we could use the remedy under the law." Scientologists were already in the process of issuing 14 writs alleging libel on parties who had reported their activities "unfairly and grossly inaccurately."

Mr. Gairnan claimed there were "tens of thousands" of Scientologists in the London area alone. It would not be fair to name any of them "when we are in the middle of the biggest witch-hunt since James II."

About 500 Scientologists have hired a hall in the Cafe Royal, London, for a rally this weekend. The management does not object to the meeting. "It is just a business transaction as far as we are concerned," said a spokesman last night.

An international conference of Scientologists will be held at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, from Aug. 16 to Aug. 18, despite local protests.