November 11, 2020
United Nations Environment Programme
900 17th Street NW
Washington DC, 20006
To Whom it May Concern:
On your website you have Scientology’s Stay Well program listed on your Faith in the Frontline With COVID-19 page. UNEP states, “This page highlights some of the actions that have been taken and guidelines that have been issued by faith institutions”.
Support and encouragement of Scientology is to support and add legitimacy to a group who practices deception and guile. By listing this cult on the UNEP’s website you are granting Scientology credibility and an unearned gravity that ultimately misleads those who look to your organization.
We would like to “highlight some of the actions that have been taken” by this so-called “faith institution” in the sincere hope that the UNEP will reconsider their public endorsement of Scientology.
Scientology’s Stay Well campaign has been fraught with controversy from its inception. Leader David Miscavige released a bulletin in the early days of the pandemic stating that COVID-19 was “hysteria”. Yet in spite of his dismissal of the deadly illness, the Volunteer Ministers began an overt public campaign, Stay Well, that has carried with it numerous false and misleading actions designed not to altruistically offer humanitarian support, but rather to create a veneer of goodness for selfish public relations.
July 2, 2020 the Volunteer Ministers issued a Press Release that included a photograph of the Caribou Coffee Company accepting Stay Well booklets for distribution to their customers. Subsequently Caribou Coffee denied any affiliation with Scientology. Also in this Release was a photo of Speedway Convenience Store with a caption reading that Speedway was handing out Stay Well to it’s customers. Speedway Corporate issued an immediate request for the photo to be removed from the Volunteer Ministers’ website and stated “we do not have an arrangement with them to distribute literature.”
Details can be found here:
Another Press Release was issued containing a photograph of Supplement Superstore accepting the booklets for distribution. This too was refuted by Supplement Superstore’s Corporate office who asked Scientology to remove the photo.
Yet another issued by Scientology included a photo of Cadeaux Bakery in Canada. Again the business, when told about the press release, immediately requested the photo be removed.
Sydney, Australia customers and business owners were outraged over the appearance of the booklet displays.
In New Zealand, Volunteer Ministers actually misrepresented themselves as government officials and told the various business owners they encountered that they had to display the Stay Well booklets as part of the government’s initiative.
In Florida copies of Stay Well were placed, without permission, into the lunches of public school children. An action that was met with outrage that forced Scientology to issue an apology for their unethical maneuver.
It is to be hoped that a globally recognized organization that is looked to for honesty, integrity and the defense of human rights would be appalled by such intentional deceit and misdirection. We sincerely pray that you rethink allowing such behaviors to be seen as permissible by their inclusion on your list of religious groups trying to help during this deadly pandemic.
Stefani A. Hutchison