Scientologists to extend campaign to ITV
Wednesday 18 September 1996
Heber Jentzsch, the President of Church of Scientology International, said that there was no legal obstacle to showing the advertisement on the ITV network, or to the run which starts today on the cable stations UK Gold and UK Living. The cable run was regarded as a "pilot" to test its impact, and it could be shown on mainstream television "in perhaps three months," he said.
It was also confirmed that the organisation, which is not regarded as a religion under English law, has applied for charitable status. A spokesman for the Charity Commission said, "The application is being considered."
Unveiling details of the commercial at a London press conference, Mr Jentzsch said its central theme was "trust" between and among people. "The message is that it is possible to be happy in this world," he said. "And we hope to be successful in spreading that."
The advertisement shows people from different cultures saying the word "trust" in different languages, and it ends: "On the day when we can fully trust each other there will be peace on earth."
Mr Jentzsch denied that the commercial was manipulative, and said those who described the church as a brain-washing cult were "anti-religious". "People can make up their own minds," he said.
In 1993, an attempt to show a similar commercial failed when the Independent Television Commission (ITC) ruled that the church was not a suitable organisation to advertise, a decision it reversed in April after legal and academic advice. Mr Jentzsch said this represented a "major step forward" for religious freedom in Britain, contrasting this country with the obstacles the church faces in Germany, where the film Mission: Impossible was recently boycotted because of its star Tom Cruise's connections with the church.
An ITC spokeswoman said the ITC would monitor the commercial to make sure it did not break any rules, for example by propagating religious dogma.
Scientology was founded in 1954 by the American science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard who claimed to have discovered Dianetics, supposedly the science of mental health.
It claims 100,000 UK members and 8 million world-wide but has been criticised for using "high pressure" tactics to gain new members, and has also been condemned for allegedly dividing families and charging substantial fees for courses.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...