EXCLUSIVE: ‘School holidays – the perfect time for the Bridge to Total Freedom’: Church of Scientology under fire for promoting ‘purification’ program to Australian KIDS with free ice blocks
- Scientology program is being promoted to Melbourne kids with free ice blocks
- ‘Holidays, the perfect time to get your kids on the Bridge to Total Freedom’
- Scientology claims the ‘purification rundown’ removes toxins from the body
- But critic fired back, alleging it was ‘particularly dangerous’ for children
A controversial Scientology detox program is being promoted to children with promises of free ice blocks, juice and games.
Critics have lashed the anti-drugs and anti-psychiatry church for promoting the intense ‘purification rundown’ to Melbourne school kids.
‘This school holiday is the perfect time to get your kids on the Bridge to Total Freedom,’ an internal email sent to Scientologists said.
‘If you secure the Purification Rundown for your child with Melbourne foundation, they will receive the Kids Purif Pack.’
A child holds a ‘purification rundown’ certificate at an Australian Church of Scientology office
An email sent to Scientologists encouraging parents to send their children to have the ‘Purification Rundown’
An advertisement for the ‘purification rundown’ featuring ice blocks and Uno cards
A sauna inside the so-called ‘purification centre’ at the Church of Scientology community centre in Los Angeles
The ‘Purification Rundown’ is described by Scientologists as a ‘tightly supervised regimen of exercise, sauna and nutrition’ that involves a heavy doses of vitamins.
Scientology, which was founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, claims the ‘rundown’ removes drugs from the body, boosts IQ and leads to a higher spiritual plane.
Actor Tom Cruise is one of the most famous faces of the Church of Scientology
But doctors have said the program is unproven and critic Rod Keller said ‘the Purif is particularly dangerous for children’.
He said former members of the Church had claimed that they blamed the high vitamin doses for decreased liver function.
Mr Keller said the pamphlet was being promoted to the children of active members of the Victorian arm of the Church.
‘They will probably attend a Scientology school and may be recruited into the Sea Org at age 14 or 15,’ he said.
‘If you joined as an adult you have a basis for comparison with life outside Scientology, but these kids know only one life in the organisation.
‘If they even think of leaving they risk disconnection and their parents might not ever speak to them again.
‘Every part of Scientology is sad for me, but involving children makes that more intense.’
A woman holds an award indicating she has ascended a stage of Scientology’s ‘Bridge to Total Freedom’
Contacted for comment, a spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology said religious faiths routinely raise their children in the practices of their religion.
She said that a landmark 1983 High Court decision protects the Church of Scientology’s beliefs and practices as a bona fide religion.
‘Would you object to Catholic children being baptized? Or Jewish children being given a bar mitzvah? Or Muslim children being taught the Quran?
‘Why is it any different for Scientologists?’
The Victorian promotion comes after a fatal stabbing at the grounds of the Church’s Sydney headquarters.
A 24-year-old Taiwanese Scientology follower was killed after a boy, 16, stormed the grounds of Scientology’s Chatswood headquarters on January 3.
Sources have claimed the boy begged his mother not go through with the Purification Rundown.
Police at the scene of the grisly fatal stabbing at Scientology’s Australian headquarters in Chatswood on January 3