Scientology's rising new anti-vaxx star, coming to a 're-open' protest near you! - 2020-05-26
Last year, the quarantining of Scientology's private cruise ship the Freewinds for a case of measles had reporters scrambling to find out how the organization felt about vaccinations. Was the outbreak on the ship a sign that Scientology was part of the dumb anti-vaxx hysteria becoming so depressingly epidemic in this country?
We wrote a story about that, pointing out that although Scientology itself had no prohibitions against vaccines, L. Ron Hubbard's withering criticisms of western medicine had produced a legacy of paranoia in the church and a membership that tended to embrace conspiracy theories about medicine and medical providers.
In other words, Scientologists tend to be Alex Jones-style conspiracy advocates and anti-vaxx promoters. And last year, we pointed out that the church itself was increasingly getting involved in anti-vaxx advocacy, and with strange results: Scientology's DC lobbyist, Greg Mitchell, was quoted in a New York Times story offering his help and support to Ultra-Orthodox Jews in upstate New York fighting vaccinations; OT 8 Lucy Cole brought anti-vaxx propaganda to the Nation of Islam, which former Scientology executive Amy Scobee told us would not be happening without Scientology leader David Miscavige's approval; and there was the slightly comical forming of the "Conscience Coalition," a political advocacy group made up largely of Scientologists, including Mitchell.