Mike Blasts Scientology

New York Post/August 3, 2005
By Stefan C. Friedman

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday slammed the Church of Scientology following reports that it pumped big bucks into a councilwoman's campaign for Manhattan borough president.

"I don't think it's real science," Bloomberg said. "Everything I've read about it — and that's not a lot — it doesn't make a lot of sense to me."

The mayor made it clear that he parted ways on Scientology with Manhattan Councilwoman Margarita Lopez, who The Post reported this week pocketed nearly $100,000 in donations from Scientologists.

On the City Council, Lopez steered tax funding to a controversial church-run "detox" program for 9/11 workers.

"I don't agree with her at all on Scientology," Bloomberg said.

But the mayor offered Lopez a near-endorsement despite the Scientology flap, saying, "I do think she'd probably make a good borough president."

Lopez defended herself yesterday.

"Every penny donated to my campaign has been legal and ethical, and has been sanctioned by the Campaign Finance Board," she said in a statement.

"The religious beliefs of individuals who donate to my campaign are not my concern, and are protected by the Constitution of this country."

The controversial Scientology detoxification program on Fulton Street supported by Lopez rejects traditional remedies in favor of large doses of niacin, exercise, long sauna baths and the ingestion of certain oils.

The Post reported that she directed $630,000 to the detox center to treat 9/11 emergency workers and that church followers then poured hefty contributions into her campaign war chest.

A Post article yesterday revealed an e-mail to Scientologists urged them to contribute to Lopez, saying it would "pay dividends" in the future.

Meanwhile, an additional near-$19,000 that was given to Lopez's campaign kitty from Scientologists around the country came to light yesterday, bringing the total to nearly $115,000.

Among the newly discovered donors was Anne Archer, the raven-haired Scientologist beauty who starred in such blockbusters as "Fatal Attraction" and "Patriot Games." She gave $250.

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