I am sure, you've heard this news (read after this). The Washington Times reported on October 20th that a Scientology exhibit will be held in the Kremlin in Moscow.
"An exposition dedicated to the life of the Church of Scientology's founder, Ron Hubbard, will be held within the Kremlin's walls Tuesday, church officials said in an invitation issued Friday. The one-day exposition, titled 'Ron Hubbard's Life in Photos,' will be open for public display in the Kremlin's former Congress Palace.
"The Church of Scientology claims some 10,000 members in Moscow. Russia's Justice Ministry sought to have it banned earlier this year, arguing that it had failed to re-register as required under a new law on religious organizations and that it was no longer active in Moscow. Two courts dismissed the complaint."
Well, I am pleased to announce that this "event" is a scientology hoax. Our staff member with a great difficulty got an invitation card and went to the Kremlin. Well, nobody there have heard of this "event". The guards said that our staff member was the first (and the last) person this day who tried to pass inside the Kremlin with such card. She went in, the advertised place was empty and none of the workers even heard than anything like that was supposed to take place.
Probably, Russian scientologists wanted to show their American bosses a great measure of success they got in Russia. Well, they lied once more.
October 29, 2002
to an exhibition in the KREMLIN
The "New Era" publishing group invites you to attend the exhibition
"L. Ron Hubbard: photojournal of life"
about the life and works of one of the most popular authors of the 20th century
the Grand Opening
is October 22, 2002 at 11 a.m.
You will look forward to the presentation and festivities table
Moscow, Kremlin, Kremlin State Palace.
There was no doubt as to the authenticity of the respectable looking invitation card, only a feeling of astonishment to hear that the KSP [Kremlin State Palace] administration was now leasing their premises to Scientology! Naturally in bygone times they would not have embarrassed themselves by giving a lease for the auditorium to a cult as actively odious as Aum Shinrikyo or the Moonists. In the early 1990s, Scientology also had a chance to have its own party in the Congress Palace: that is where they held the presentation of the Russian edition of Hubbard's "Dianetics" book. Back then though the phenomenon of cults was still little known in Russia. Today though, when only the stragglers do not know what's going on when Scientology shows up to do business, the behavior of the KSP management looked strange to say the least.
The day before, the Internet had been abuzz with the news of Scientology's exhibition. It was reported upon by France Press, which was surprised, it said that such a thing would be absoluately impossible in France. Associated Press limited itself to a dry report, but even in bewilderment could be sensed.
Naturally, after this wave of articles it was impossible to miss such an event. On the invitation it said you could order a free pass by telephoning the number given. I let the phone ring, and although both cell-phone numbers were disconnected at first, I finally got through at the end of the work day, and I heard a female voice on the other end of the line. To my question about a free pass she suddenly started pumping me insistently with questions: who was I, where did I hear about the exhibition, which number I through on. All this resulted in me being told to wait five minutes and I would be called back. Apparently my information seemed doubtful to them - I was never called back. Well so what, the usual Scientology bill of goods. OK, so all I had was one ticket donated by one of the VIPs who had been invited.
The cold morning of October 22nd found me and my friend hurrying toward the entrance in the great red brick wall surrounding the Kremlin. We decided to try to use one pass for two, hoping on a lucky break. The confusion first started at the entrance to the Kremlin. The guards stared at our invitations in astonishment and we listened to them say, "We don't know anything about this exhibition. You are the first ones to come here today with these invitations." We in our turn stared at the guards in perplexity. I finally got in with the promise that if anything was there (in the Kremlin), then I would return for my companion. That is when things got most interesting. At the main entrance to the KSP, polite little old ladies explained this was the first they had heard of this exhibition, and that the only event on the schedule at the moment was the exhibition dedicated to the support of Russian proprietors (and actually a crowd of people were thronging through the Kremlin with less compelling invitations than ours). I made a quick round of all possible entrances, but everywhere the people on watch only threw up their hands; not even any Scientology advertising signs could be found. Right up to the very end we could not believe that we were bluntly fooled by the cult. We hurried to the Central Exhibition Hall - just outside the Kremlin, to check to see if the exhibition could have been moved somewhere else, but not even a hint of anything like this was turned up in either the large or the small halls. My friend again dialed the telephone number for New Era publishing. A woman answered us, but for the bewildering question my companion put to her, he was again peppered with, "And who is calling? And how do you know about the exhibition?" Finally, in answer to our indignation she hung up.
What was going on? Was this a fluke or a trick where we were the only ones who went? Or a desperate attempt by domestic Scientologists to show their importance to their foreign chief in the hope that nobody would check it out before everything settled down on its own? Unknown. We'll learn the truth someday. In any case we were glad the Scientology table was not set, and that even our own KSP was spared for the time being.
German version follows
Alexander Dvorkin über die angebliche Scieno-Ausstellung
"Ron Hubbard's Life in Photos" im Kreml am 22.Okt.2002
Nun gut, es freut mich bekannt geben zu können, dass diese 'Ereignis' eine Ente von Scientology ist. Unter grössten Schwierigkeiten kam unsere Mitarbeiterin zu einer Einladungskarte und ging zum Kreml. Nur, dort hat niemand etwas von diesem 'Ereignis' gehört. Die Wächter sagten, dass unser Mitarbeiterin an diesem Tag die erste (und letzte) Person sei, welche versuchte mit einer solchen Karte in den Kreml zu gelangen. Sie ging hinein, aber der angegebene Platz war leer und keiner der Arbeiter wusste etwas darüber, was hier hätte stattfinden sollen.
Wahrscheinlich wollten russische Scientologen ihren amerikanischen Bossen den grossen Erfolg vorzeigen, den sie in Russland erreichten. Gut, sie logen einmal mehr.