The writer, David Edgar Love, traveled from Montreal to Toronto to compare public opinion on predatory cults that are running lose in Montreal, Quebec. Similar tactics and abuses were apparent in both cities, with Toronto citizens eager to share their knowledge and negative experiences with scientology.
Clearly, the citizens of Canada’s largest city are well aware of the past and present illegal and abusive behaviour of this dangerous, modern day cult of exploitation and extortion. Following four hours of mingling with pedestrians recently at a Toronto Anonymous protest at the Church of Scientology Toronto, the citizens’ voices were heard.
“Why does our government allow these criminals to stay in business; they’re not a church – – more like a scam ripping people off…” chanted one passerby, eager to have his voice heard. Another detailed how he was lured into their clutches to take the infamous “Personality Test” – – a well-known method of setting the hook into the vulnerable victims’ mental flesh. He explained that he already knew about some of his personality issues and the attractive attendant told nothing new. After expressing his financial crisis, with no ability to purchase expensive introductory scientology courses, they released him back into society – – a free man.
The Toronto church of scientology seems to be plagued with controversy and legal battles – – with the onslaught of new legal matters and litigation pending.
Many expressed their disgust at scientology’s behaviour in Canada and other countries. Pamphlets were handed out to pedestrians, pointing to past cult legal troubles:
“On June 25, 1992, seven church members were convicted for operations against the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The Church of Scientology itself was convicted on two counts of breach of the public trust: infiltration of the offices of the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. The Church of Scientology was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine. The Church of Scientology became the only Canadian religious organization to be convicted for breaching the public trust (the term ‘religious organization’ being used loosely; the Church of Scientology is not officially recognised by the Canadian Government as a religion).”
“More than 100 police officers swept through the nine-story headquarters building with a search warrant empowering them to comb through the 75 offices for two days.”
“The police were armed with a battering ram, sledge hammers, axes, tape recorders and cameras, and fire extinguishers to be used if someone tried to burn the documents.”
“Describing the raid, Scientology staff member Scott Carmichael said he was in a room near the reception center on the second floor “when I heard a loud noise – I thought it was a bomb.”
“Then I saw all these officers walking into the room,” he said. “It was wall-to-wall police. It was a bad scene.”
The question remains; did scientology change their policies and behaviour following the aforementioned “bad scene” and criminal convictions? The public and cult’s victims think not.
One young man at the protest, Adam Holland, holding a sign, “Corporate Scientology Destroys Families”, was a sad scene. Adam was a member of the Toronto Church of Scientology for two years. His father is a church member for nearly 25 years. After being disillusioned by scientology policy, Adam began speaking out in secret on various forums. When the church discovered it was Adam Holland using an alias to express his views, he was declared a Suppressive Person and banned and exiled from the church.
With this “declare”, Adam’s father could not speak to son and was forced through church of scientology policy, to “disconnect” from his son – – no longer being able to associate in any form whatsoever.
At the November 19, 2011 protest in Toronto, Adam’s father walked by his son. His son said, “Hi Dad – – Dad, hi”, and his father did not respond nor even look toward his son. Adam does not blame his father, nor is he bitter or angry at his Dad. His love for his father, far overpowers resentment – – he only desires him back in his life.
David Edgar Love