The almost simultaneous rise to power of Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the acting prime minister of Ukraine and Andrej Kiska as president of Slovakia has prompted fears that the secretive U.S.-based Church of Scientology is making a power grab in Central and Eastern Europe.
Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, a writer of science fiction yarns, began his religious sect in 1954. Many disgruntled members of the so-called «church» later claimed that Hubbard’s interest was hardly ethereal. They claimed he sought to enrich himself by misusing the tax-exemptions granted to religious organizations by the U.S. tax code. Other critics of the church charged that Hubbard was working with the Central Intelligence Agency’s MK-ULTRA program and used his church as a cover for the agency’s mind control operations
One thing cannot be debated about Scientology and that is the sect’s propensity for secrecy surrounding its operations and ultimate goals. Whenever the sect, or «cult» as some allege, is in the news, there is an effort by Scientology’s leadership to silence critics through intimidation, manipulation of social media like Wikipedia, and ensuring its members adhere to total secrecy.
After the Western-financed coup against President Viktor Yanukovych’s government in Ukraine, information began to emerge that Yatsenyuk, the clear favorite of Washington neo-conservatives like Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, either dabbled in Scientology or was a full-fledge senior member of the cult, a position known as «Operating Thetan Level 6» or «OT-6».
Yatsenyuk and his sister, a resident of California, strongly denied any connection to Scientology. However, Yatsenyuk’s dealings with the cult go far beyond his admiration for movie actor Tom Cruise, a major benefactor for Scientology.
Some reports suggest that Yatsenyuk graduated from the Scientology «Dianetics» school in Kiev in 1998. Scientology maintains its main presence in Ukraine at 14 Ivana Mazepy Street in downtown Kiev next to St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Yatsenyuk allegedly joined the religion while he was working as a consultant for Aval Bank. The bank, Ukraine’s fourth largest, was acquired by Raiffelsen Bank of Austria in 2005. Raiffelsen Bank has been linked to financial shakedowns of Scientology members in Germany. Yatsenyuk is also said to have joined the Sea Organization of Scientology, an elite unit within the sect, at the same time he began working for Aval Bank.
Yatsenyuk’s wife and children, as well as his sister, have resided in Santa Barbara, California. Yatsenyuk’s sister has strongly denied that she is an Operating Thetan-4 (OT-4) member of Scientology. However, there are reports that Yatsenyuk met in 2009 with Scientology leader David Miscavige in California.
Andrek Kiska, the newly-elected president of Slovakia, fended off charges from his opponent, Prime Minister Robert Fico, that the billionaire tycoon has ties to Scientology. The charges appear to have stemmed from the fact that Kiska’s autobiography was published by a company owned by Slovak Scientologists.
Kiska, responding to Fico’s allegations, filed a criminal libel complaint on March 18 against Fico. However, the litigious misuse of courts to fend off any charges brought against it is a hallmark of Scientology’s often ruthless attempts to stifle criticism of its actions.
Fico charged that Kiska and Scientology were trying to take over power in Slovakia. Fico’s charges correspond to those made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the 1970s and 80s against the sect. Several Scientologists were caught infiltrating a number of U.S. federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Labor, Department of State, Food and Drug Administration, Atomic Energy Commission, the Selective Service System, Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Post Office, the U.S. U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, and the Department of Justice. Several Scientologists were found to have stolen sensitive and classified government documents. In addition to the United States, Scientologists were discovered to have penetrated the upper echelons of the government of the province of Ontario in Canada, several Canadian police departments, the British Home Office, and the office of President Francois Mitterand of France. Scientology also attempted to gain influence in the governments of Australia, South Africa, and Rhodesia.
During the Slovak presidential campaign, Fico told the TASR Slovak wire service that in countries abroad Scientology «is often considered a security risk». Fico added, «even in Slovakia several firms have already lost their security clearances because of contacts with this sect». Fico was suspicious about Kiska’s total denial that he had any relationship with Scientology, «When I said that Mr. Kiska is close to the sect of Scientologists, I expected some statement; but he refuted everything». Fico stressed that Scientology is not a registered religion in Slovakia but that Kiska spent two years of his life engaged in Scientology activities. Fico stated, «Mr. Kiska knows the people of this sect, communicating with them, meet with them and cooperate with them. It really is a serious problem for this country, if a person who is connected to the sect of Scientologists, runs for president».
Fico never stopped hammering Kiska on the Scientology charges. Fico said Kiska’s entrepreneurial background was inseparable from his Scientology ties in that Kiska’s business success prompted the Scientologists to have Kiska lecture its members on his entrepreneurial skills at church events sponsored by the Hubbard School of Administration and the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE).
Kiska’s book was published by businessman and publisher, Ladislav Pavlik, who also owns a management school named after L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology’s founder. Pavlik also penned the prologue to Kiska’s autobiography, titled «Take Life Into Your Own Hands». Kiska, who admits he has «dabbled» with Judaism and Buddhism but is now a strong Catholic, later said he had no idea that «Paulie,» his name for Pavlik, was involved with Scientology.
It is noteworthy that Kiska’s lack of experience in politics sent shockwaves through Europe. Not only did Fico have the support of three previous Slovak presidents , Ivan Gašparovic, Rudolf Schuster and Michal Kovac , but he was also backed by Czech president, Milos Zeman and French President Francois Hollande. The negative reaction to Kiska may have stemmed from intelligence reports Fico’s Slovak and foreign supporters received about Kiska’s ties to Scientology, a cult that is eschewed throughout Europe as a fascist-like cult.
With major inroads in Ukraine and Slovakia, Scientology is now poised to achieve further political control, especially in countries that recognize the sect as a religion. These nations include Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary. Scientology chief Miscavige has as his grand plan the establishment of a Holy Land for Scientology in the Balkans. Called «Bulgravia»(for BULgaria-GReece-Albania-YugoslaVIA), the super-state would comprise Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, and the former Yugoslavia.
The plans for Bulgravia were discovered in a police raid in Athens on a Scientology front called the Center of Applied Philosophy of Greece or KEPHE. Police gathered thousands of pages of documents and scores of floppy disks containing plans to establish Bulgravia with Albania as the first target because of its weak government structures and lack of development. «Project A» – for Albania – was developed by WISE, the same organization for which Kiska provided business lectures in Slovakia. The first Scientology target in Albania was public television. Other Scientology recruitment targets were Bosnian Muslim muftis and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, along with the Croatian Democratic Party, a right-wing political party. The plan collapsed after the Greek police raid and the collapse of Scientology in Greece.
With two reputed Scientologists now at the helm in Kiev and Bratislava, the charge of the Scientology brigade to establish a «Greater Bulgravia» may well be underway.