Scientology - 'Let's hear message and then decide' - Scotsman4 June 2011, 7:21 am
There are some very good reasons why people are cautious - at the very least - when it comes to the Church of Scientology.
Few of us know very much about it, other than that its teachings seem to be as "alternative" as its followers are devoted and that they include a long list of celebrities that includes Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
That the religion remains largely a mystery is surprising and not just because of that sprinkle of Hollywood stardust. After all, its beliefs and practices are actually well documented.
Its founder, L Ron Hubbard, was a writer who produced thousands of pages to outline and justify his philosophy, and that's to say nothing of the screeds of commentary, both for and against, in print and especially on the internet.
What's more, Scientologists are based here in Edinburgh on North Bridge at the Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence. They have been a presence in the city since at least the mid-1960s.
In fact, in 1968, the then deputy chief constable told the Evening News that "the police are keeping an eye on things" after complaints about the church's local activities.
Since then, attention and concern has focused on the "free" stress and personality tests offered by representatives to passers-by, as part of what some see as a sales pitch for the religion itself.
So there is nothing new in Gordon Munro's protests at Hubbard Foundation Scotland's application for a street traders' licence for the New Kirkgate Centre.
He is merely echoing concerns which have trailed the church across the globe and he is absolutely right to oppose the length of time the application would let Scientologists "trade" in Leith, from 9am to 7pm every day for six months.
more at http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Scientology--Lets-hear-message.6779571.jp