Scientologists booked a suite at Man United’s Old Trafford stadium for a recruitment event targeting footie fans.
The controversial group, founded by sci-fi writer L Ron Hubbard, mocked up a pic of a player and created a footie-style crest to plug “Manchester: A Movement United”.
Critics of last Sunday’s gathering fear the group is using the name of the club, whose past managers include “Big” Ron Atkinson, to entice potential followers.
The Church of Scientology says humans are immortal spiritual beings who have forgotten their true nature.
Ex-members claim it is a brainwashing cult which preys on the mentally ill — a claim Scientologists strongly deny.
Promotion material for the event in the Trafford Suite, which holds 300 and hires for £10,000 an evening, hailed it “the ultimate turning point for Manchester that will go down in history”.
A team of special guests were due to attend.
The group would only say that a senior “Org” executive and another local official would be present.
Hubbard opened his first church in LA in 1954. He died aged 74 in 1986.
The group, backed by stars including Tom Cruise and John Travolta, has a reputation for hostile attacks on any critics.
In 2006, it bought a former distillery, half a mile from the football ground, for a reported £3million.
It has remained empty but the group plans to turn it into an “Ideal Org”.
They act as outreach centres to “curb drug abuse, instil tolerance, raise awareness of human rights and uplift morality across whole populations”.
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