Two Scientology cult members tried to infiltrate a seminar for hareidi businessmen next week as lecturers, only to be exposed and replaced at the last minute. The seminars, led by the company "Hamigzar," aim to give hareidim the tools for success in business - not the gospel of a cult.
Yisrael Ben-Lulu, the hareidi businessmen who has organized the seminars for the past several years, was suspicious and sought clarification over the identify of the two lecturers. He turned to Yad L'achim, the organization fighting missionary activity in Israel, for help before the seminar in Jerusalem next Wednesday.
After thoroughly checking the names of the two lecturers, Yad L'achim discovered they lecture according to the method and ideology of Scientology. The two had hidden their true identities from Ben-Lulu. Further, it was revealed the two were involved in massive preaching sessions urging people to join the cult.
After receiving the information from Yad L'achim, Ben-Lulu immediately cancelled the participation of the 2, and despite the short time frame to the upcoming seminar found suitable replacements.
Yad L'achim praised the alertness of "Hamigzar" in catching the two lecturers, and warned others to be cautious of similar attempts. In 2011 the group similarly fought against the founding of a Scientology school in Yehud, located in the costal region.
Scientology was founded in 1952 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who claimed the movement was a religion. The group has been widely accused of brainwashing and finance defrauding: they preach that humans are immortal beings who in past lives were extraterrestrial aliens. The cult has specifically targeted celebrities, notably Tom Cruise and John Travolta, to spread its influence.
Time magazine investigated the cult, and declared it to be "a global financial extortion machine, highly profitable, which imposes fear on its members and visitors in the style of the mafia."
The cult has seen a backlash recently, as former members have left and successfully sued the group. A governmental investigative committee in Australia defined the cult as "a web of deception, fraud and fantasy. Their practices are a threat in terms of health, ethics and society. It leads to disputes, suspicion and lack of faith among families, and creates financial difficulties."