Wealth seminar a front for Scientology recruitment, say ex-members

Brisbane Times, Australia/November 29, 2009

Scientologists are using a get-rich-quick seminar at the Gold Coast this weekend to groom potential new members for the controversial church, say former members.

Carly Crutchfield, the key speaker at a 'Massive Results Bootcamp seminar' at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Sanctuary Cove confirmed that she and two other main speakers are Church of Scientology members.

She said the others speakers were Gareth Jekel, a business consultant and managing director of Performia Australia based in Melbourne and Tony Melvin who is billed as a finance expert and author who works at the Knowledge Centre in Sydney.

Mr Jekel was Young Australian (business achiever) of the Year in 1996 and says on his website: "I am receiving Scientology counselling so I can be free and not have the usual traps that normally stop us achieving all that we want to do".

Ms Crutchfield, 28, says she is a "multimillionaire property developer educator" of Sydney. She denies she and the other speakers are using the free seminars to tout for new members.

"The seminars are not a way of promoting Scientology," she said. "My business is my business and my religion is my religion."

She said she moved from the Gold Coast when she was about seven-years-old to live with her parents in Sydney.

She was raised as a Scientologist as both her parents belonged to the church, she said. She said she left school at 12 because she was frustrated with the teachers and was largely a "self-taught millionaire".

The church was started by American science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, in 1953. Celebrity members include actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Former church members contacted Independent South Australian senator Nick Xenophon who this month used parliamentary privilege to accuse it of being an organisation that hid behind "so-called religious beliefs".

A spokeswoman for the church said the allegations were untrue.

Another bootcamp seminar was held in Sydney in September.

Former members and other non-members who do not want to be identified for fear of retribution said they had copies of emails that indicated church organisers were hoping to recruit members at that seminar.

"Any former member would know the church organisers try to get new members at seminars like this even though Scientology is never mentioned at first," one said.

Allegedly, two separate emails - seen by Fairfax Media - were written about the Sydney seminar, one for the general public and another for Scientology members.

Members were instructed to cut and paste the information and send to non-Scientologists to publicise the seminar.

It lauded Ms Crutchfield's achievements and listed topics to be covered including 'unleashing the potential that's hidden within', 'how to confront and handle any condition you are faced with in life' and 'how to create something out of nothing'.

The other email for members allegedly said of the Sydney seminar: "It's the 2 day Massive Results Bootcamp, created & delivered by Carly Crutchfield - a ... Scientologist who has recently done the 3 L Rundowns (a high level scientology course) as well as become a Patron Meritorious of the IAS (International Association of Scientologists).

"Carly is teaming up with fellow successful Scientologists Gareth Jekel and Tony Melvin who will also speak at this 2 day event. Currently about 1000 people are expected to attend and massive outflow is occurring which will increase attendance further.

"There is an amazing opportunity to get LRH tech (the doctrines of L. Ron Hubbard) into society through the right strata - upstat and business minded people.

"The driving purpose behind this activity is to introduce people to LRH Admin Tech and eventually position LRH tech as THE answer in business."

Ms Crutchfield said she had not seen the second email but suspected it had been invented by the anonymous group that is anti-Scientology.

A lawyer who has researched the church for two years said many former Scientologists told her the "tech" or information at first seemed helpful and interesting.

"But in a very short period of time they found themselves unable to resist the pressure being exerted upon them to comply with the demands of the organisation," she said.

Website Information says Ms Crutchfield is the CEO of CCORP Pty Ltd, "an umbrella company to several national and international multimillion dollar companies" including CResults.

"CResults was founded by entrepreneur and self-made millionaire Carly Crutchfield to educate and facilitate you in achieving similar success and wealth that she herself has created from nothing but a dream," the website says.

"Carly Crutchfield is a self-made millionaire. She runs several national and international companies and has built them from the ground up. Carly has never before opened the door to her personal success strategies for life and business. Now, for the first time ever you will be able to learn the exact actions to take, the exact steps to follow to be able to see similar results for yourself."

Ms Crutchfield said on Thursday 600 people had booked places at this weekend's free seminar and she hoped a further 300 would attend over the two days. The seminars usually cost $5990 per person to attend, she said.

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