Police criticised over Scientology

The Guardian, UK/October 24, 2006
By Sandra Laville

A cult information group has complained to a senior police officer about comments he made at the opening of the £24m Church of Scientology centre in London.

It also emerged yesterday that four City of London police officers attended a lavish reception at the headquarters of the Scientology movement in East Grinstead on Saturday night. The officers, who have not been named, registered their attendance according to police rules on hospitality, according to a police spokeswoman.

Chris Peeler, of the Family Action Information Resource Centre, which works with families who believe relatives have been indoctrinated into cults, said yesterday police officers had to be careful which groups they endorsed. He complained to Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley over comments he made at the opening of the Scientologists' centre in the Square Mile on Sunday. Mr Hurley said the group was a "force for good" and praised it for helping victims of the July 7 attacks last year. Mr Peeler said: "I asked him if ... he was aware that the organisation had a controversial record."

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