8 Oct 2007

Questions raised over disaster management techniques being taught by Scientologists in Samoa

6:44 am on 8 October 2007

"A visit of scientology volunteers to Samoa has caused some upset."

The Scientology group are in Apia to train officers in disaster management.

The government supports the goodwill visit, but Christians from various congregations have warned about the possible negative impact.

A senior lecturer of religious studies at Otago University in New Zealand, Dr Gregory Dawes, says apart from being competition to Christian denominations, there are also other grounds for concern.

There is a very genuine concern about the value or even perhaps the harmful consequences of the techniques which they are employing or in which they are training people. The psychotherapeutic techniques employed by scientologists are not highly regarded outside scientology.

Dr Gregory Dawes says some groups are known to use charitable work to secure converts.