Church of Scientology targets Woolworths customers in staggering recruitment drive

7 News, Australia/May 13, 2020

By Amy Sinclair

The Church of Scientology has started targeting Woolworths shoppers in an alarming recruitment drive that has shocked customers.

The controversial church has come under fire after being caught leaving boxes of Scientology booklets in the self-serve checkout area at a popular Sydney Woolworths store.

New photos shared to Facebook reveal a large box of Scientology pamphlets sitting on top of a cash register in the supermarket giant’s busy Chatswood store.

A large sign on the box of Scientology booklets invited shoppers to “Please take one”.

A Woolworths spokesperson has told that they did not authorise the Church of Scientology to place their booklets in store, confirming that the material was discarded as soon as it was discovered.

Shopper Jordan shared images of display to Facebook, stating that he found the Scientologists’ actions “totally inappropriate”.

“No judgment of other people and their beliefs but totally inappropriate to shove any type of religion down people’s throats,” he wrote.

“It’s just not right.”

Jordan added: “My issue with it is that there are so many vulnerable people out there right now … I’d hate for people to think Woolworths are endorsing [the Church of Scientology].”

The booklets – titled “How To Keep Yourself & Others Well” – include information on the back directing people to learn more about the Church of Scientology through their website.

Reading material as such has long been used by Scientologists to recruit members to their church, which has faced considerable scrutiny and controversy in recent decades.

The Church of Scientology has previously come under fire for allegedly sending videos and pamphlets to New South Wales schools in another controversial recruitment drive.

Woolworths has told that the pamphlets were left at the busy checkout area without their knowledge.

“We didn’t authorise the placement of these materials in our check-outs,” the spokesperson said.

“As soon as this was brought to the attention of our team by the customer, the store manager was notified and the pamphlets were removed and discarded.”

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