Yisrael Ben Lulu, a chareidi businessman, turned to Yad L'Achim recently with a strange request. Ben Lulu, who runs workshops for chareidim on how to succeed in business, suspected that two lecturers he'd booked for an upcoming seminar had a missionary agenda.
Yad L'Achim, which has led the battle against missionaries in Israel for more than 60 years, investigated and discovered that the two lecturers indeed belonged to the Scientology cult, something they had taken pains to hide from Ben Lulu.
Moreover, Yad L'Achim uncovered evidence that these two had in the past used their lecturers at business seminars to encourage people to read up on Scientology and join the cult.
Time magazine ran a cover story a number of years ago revealing that the cult, which was started by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard to "clear" people of unhappiness, portrays itself as a religion. In reality, the magazine states, "the church is a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner.”
Hundreds of former Scientology faithfuls have sued the cult for causing them physical and spiritual harm; not a few have won in court. In those decisions, the judges described Scientology as “schizophrenic and paranoid and corrupt, evil and dangerous.”
An investigative committee set up by the Australian government found that "Scientology is evil, its techniques evil, its practice a serious threat to the community, medically, morally and socially, and its adherents sadly deluded and often mentally ill.
"... The evidence has shown its theories to be fantastic and impossible, its principles perverted and ill-founded, and its techniques debased and harmful. [...] it employs techniques which further its real purpose of securing domination over and mental enslavement of its adherents. It involves the administration by persons without any training in medicine or psychology of quasi-psychological treatment, which is harmful medically, morally and socially."
In Israel, a special report on cults issued by then Deputy Education Minister M. Glazer-Taasa concluded that it is one of the most dangerous cults, adding that “many who are caught up in Scientology don’t have the guts to leave out of fear that they will turn into objects of extortion because of the vast amount of information the cult has assembled on them.”
Yad L'Achim immediately got back to Yisrael Ben Lulu and informed him that his designated lecturers were connected to Scientology and explained how serious this was.
To his credit, and despite scheduling difficulties – the event was set for this week, Weds. Feb. 12 - Ben Lulu removed the two from the program. He told the lecturers that did not want to offer them a stage on which to present destructive, dangerous heretic teachings to observant Jews. Ben Lulu and his company, Hamigzar, found substitutes who turned out to be better qualified in their fields.
Yad L'Achim officials praised Hamigzar for checking with them and for taking quick action. They also cautioned other workshop-organizers to beware the honey trap set by Scientology which offers packages of interesting-sounding lecturers that hide their missionary intent.