Outrage as Scientology front-group uses deceptive tactics

June 12, 2008 – The Church of Scientology has attracted criticism after using a front-group to advertise its controversial founder. Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) held a presentation at a Catholic High School in Vancouver, Canada without disclosing that it was a Scientology organization. The move has backfired, instead drawing attention to the human rights abuses occurring within Scientology.

John Bevacqua, the principal of St. Patrick Regional Secondary School, said that he was not informed of the group’s links to Scientology. “It was very unfortunate that they were not as forthcoming as they needed to be,” he said in comments to the Vancouver Sun. The incident came to light when year 11 student John Ray Catingub reported the visit in an internet posting, titled “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”. He was disturbed by the literature distributed by YHRI, particularly because it listed Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard as a “famous human rights leader” alongside such historical figures as Kofi Annan, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Voltaire.