California Rep. Karen Bass, thought to be on the shortlist of potential running mates for Joe Biden, has appeared in a resurfaced clip giving a glowing speech to a new Scientology church – a group widely deemed a predatory “cult.”
Dated from the 2010 ribbon-cutting ceremony at a newly renovated Scientology church in Los Angeles, Bass is seen lavishing praise on the group’s founder L. Ron Hubbard, who parlayed a faltering career as a science fiction writer into a successful new religious movement, starting with his 1950 work ‘Dianetics.’
“As both a leader in our state legislature, and a representative of Los Angeles, my goal has been a simple one: To actually make a difference,” Bass tells a teeming crowd in the video, set to a cheesy soundtrack befitting a 1990s informercial.
That is why the words are exciting, of your founder L. Ron Hubbard, in the creed of Scientology, that all people of whatever race, color or creed are created with equal rights.
This video was obviously leaked by somebody suffering from Xenuphobia. https://t.co/yRHAoniuXs
Bass said the opening of the L.A. church was an “exciting moment.” She went on to praise the “exciting” words of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Side note, in 1966 Hubbard proposed attacking Scientology critics by leaking lurid stories about them to the media.
Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, is now one of the top candidates for Biden’s VP pick, CNN reported, citing dozens of interviews with Biden allies, lawmakers and Democratic Party insiders. California Senator Kamala Harris and former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice are also thought to be high on the list.
The church of Scientology has come under intense criticism in the decades since its founding in 1953, not long after the publication of ‘Dianetics.’ While the group offers a range of community services, including counseling and drug rehab, former members have described a cult-like atmosphere in the movement, including organized harassment of those deemed “suppressive” or critics of the church, which retains a veritable army of aggressive lawyers. The church is also known for a heavily money-driven approach to ‘worship,’ in which adherents are asked to shell out thousands of dollars on therapy-like “auditing” sessions, which are required to advance to higher stages in the organization.
Among a long series of controversies spanning decades, the church has been implicated in criminal activities including a plot to infiltrate the US government to destroy unflattering records on Hubbard, who spent years of his life evading the Internal Revenue Service. Dubbed “Operation Snow White,” it has been described as one of the largest domestic spying operations in US history, involving thousands of church members.
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