Key Words: Church of Scientology, pamphlet, recruitment
Abstract: Australia Post may have unknowingly become the target of the Church of Scientology’s latest recruitment drive.
Australia Post may have unknowingly become the target of the Church of Scientology’s latest recruitment drive
Some Australia Post customers have unknowingly become the target of the Church of Scientology’s latest recruitment drive.
The controversial church came under fire last month after boxes of Scientology booklets were left at the self-serve checkout area at a Sydney Woolworths store.
The same pamphlets have now been spotted at the customer self-service desk at an inner-Sydney Australia Post outlet.
Customers claim it appears they were strategically placed out of the staff members’ line of sight.
A Sydney man told 7NEWS.com.au that he was “genuinely surprised” to see the pamphlets - which were placed at “the side (of the desk) furthest from staff” - while filling out a form at Australia Post Darlinghurst last Thursday.
‘It looked official’
“This, I think, was deliberately done so post office staff were unaware of their presence,” he said.
“I know about Scientology, so didn’t open one, also, I thought the design and text on the cover were deceptive.
“It looked official.”
Australia Post customers have unknowingly become the target of the Church of Scientology’s latest recruitment drive
The man said he handed the booklets into post office staff, whom he said “weren’t happy”.
An Australia Post spokesperson has told 7NEWS.com.au it “does not authorise or promote materials such as this in our outlets”.
“We are unaware of any other instances where these pamphlets have been found,” he said.
“Any such materials when found would be removed and destroyed.”
It’s understood the booklets – titled ‘How To Keep Yourself & Others Well’ – provide advice on pandemic health and safety before directing people to learn more about the Church of Scientology through their website.
A Church of Scientology spokesperson said the booklets “offer only clear, easy-to-read information to help all communities stay safe during the pandemic” but do not contain health advice.
The spokesperson also said more than 100,000 booklets had been distributed in Sydney and surrounding areas “with the full cooperation of store staff”.
The Church of Scientology is under fire for plastering a shopping centre with pamphlets claiming to provide advice on pandemic health and safety.
Reading material has long been used by Scientologists to recruit members to their church, which has faced considerable scrutiny and controversy in recent decades.
It is a pattern of behaviour for promotion by Scientology called ‘safe pointing’; aligning itself with legitimate groups and campaigns to try to establish credibility and lure new recruits.