Protests against the Church of Scientology opening up a new centre in Firhouse, South Dublin took place last Saturday afternoon.
Many ex-members of the church protested outside the new site to warn the public about the dangers of the religion. John McGhee, a protestor and ex-member of the church, left the religion in 2010 after spending €10,000 on Scientology’s version of counselling.
McGhee believes that he was “lucky” to come out with only losing a little over €10,000. He said, “I personally know people who have had to remortgage their homes trying to get to the next level”.
Michael Martin said that he was “concerned” about the church opening up the new centre in Dublin, according to TheJournal.ie . “[These] type of groups can be very damaging to people, particularly to young people” he said.
Speaking to DCU students, many felt that it was worrying that the controversial religion opened up its European base in Dublin.
However, Katie Mahon, a Bachelor of Education student, said that she “doesn’t see why people are making a fuss and protesting against the religion.
“Other religions have done absolutely appalling things and covered up abuse and you don’t’ see people standing outside protesting against them opening up churches”.
The opening of the new church in Dublin has gained approval from the senior minister of the Nation of Islam (NOI) after he was seen photographed at the launch proposal of the centre in London.
The NOI is a hate group which promotes black nationalism in the name of Islam. The Southern Poverty Law Centre described them as a hate group due to the “deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders”.
The Church of Scientology said that they hope that the new centre in Firhouse will help “clear” Ireland. According to Scientologists, clearing means that “Scientologists want to rid the planet of insanity, war and crime and in its place create a civilisation in which sanity and peace exist”.
Image Credit: Emer Handly