How the cult of Scientology tried to infiltrate the Balkans

by 1389 on October 28, 2013

in 1389 (blog admin), Balkans, evil, Florida

Balkanist has the story:

When it comes to the Church of Scientology, no fiction could ever trump reality in terms of sheer bizarreness. Perhaps nowhere is this fact more evident than in the revelation that the church had a completely delusional plan to unite the countries of Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, and the entire former Yugoslavia into a single, Scientology-controlled megastate.

Like the voice booming from Ezekiel 37:22-24 (“I will unite them into one land on the mountains of Israel. They will have one King to rule over them, and they will no longer be divided into nations or split into Kingdoms”), the followers of Dianetics and Scientology leader David Miscavige sought a Holy Land of their own. No Hollywood screenplay writer could ever imagine the totalitarian nightmare of a Hollywood Holy Land, even if that screenplay writer was a Scientologist (and we all know there are plenty of those). Let’s take a look back at the terrifying, Xenu-fearing dystopia that never was, and breathe a collective sigh of relief that the only terrain Scientology controls today is Hollywood.

Actually, that isn’t quite true. The Scientology cult also controls Clearwater, Florida, where it is headquartered.

The Bulgravia project was introduced in the early 1990s, when the Church of Scientology and other opportunists of all kinds recognized that the economic and political situation in the Balkan region was extremely fragile, and thus ripe for infiltration and control. But the Bulgravia idea was first mentioned several decades earlier, by charismatic con man and pathological liar, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. In his policy letter “The Responsibilities of Leaders” dated 1967, Hubbard writes about power: How to wield it, and how to transfer it to a successor. On the latter point, Hubbard believed it was desirable if a departing leader had somewhere to run, preferably somewhere where the authorities are easily bought. As Hubbard instructed:

When you move off a point of power, pay all your obligations on the nail, empower all your friends completely and move off with your pockets full of artillery, potential blackmail on every erstwhile rival, unlimited funds in your private account and the addresses of experienced assassins and go live in Bulgravia and bribe the police.

Nepotism, weapons, blackmail, political rivalries, assassins, and bundles of cash funnelled into personal bank accounts in the Mediterranean: to his credit, LRH was actually pretty accurate in his foretelling of the real life 1990s in “Bulgravia”. Perhaps his successors recognized this, and decided it was time to make the ramblings of their sci-fi messiah an earthly reality.

The top secret Bulgravia plot was uncovered in Greece in 1995. For more than a decade, the church had been operating out of the Athens offices of KEPHE (the Center of Applied Philosophy of Greece), a Church of Scientology front registered as a non-profit organization which emphatically denied any links to the church. But the center eventually began drawing some suspicions. Several parents noticed that their children were coming home with “glazed stares” and brainwashed minds.

One day, several angry parents stormed the organization’s offices, TV film crew in tow. The television station aired the footage, prompting an investigation by Greek authorities. In the three raids on KEPHE’s offices in 1995, Greek officials collected thousands of pages worth of classified information, as well as computers and 55 floppy disks. Among these documents were several pages, along with a very explicit map, describing Project Bulgravia. The raids basically spelled the end for Scientology in Greece. In 1997, following a lengthy inquiry, the government ordered that FEHSE be “liquidated and dissolved”. The verdict stated that the church was “an organization with totalitarian structures and trends, which essentially despises man”.

The Bulgravia documents revealed that the actual infiltration plan was already partially underway. The name Bulgravia or BUL_GR_A_VIA, was a portmanteau of Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia. It had apparently been decided that because Albania was probably the least developed state in the region, and the one emerging from the most oppressive dictatorship, it would be Scientology’s best target for the initial infiltration phase. Hence, Project A.

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