Sunday 23 October 2016

Scientology protester claims she was 'grabbed and dragged out of the crowd' at event

Daire Courtney

Published 18/10/2016 | 15:18

A protester at the Scientology National Affairs Office opening on Saturday says she was “grabbed and dragged out of the crowd” at the event.

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A video taken by Andrea Garner, an outspoken critic of Scientology, shows a man holding his flag in front of her camera. She can be heard in the video telling him to get his hands off her.

“I was asked to move out of their camera frame, which was fine, but while I was moving he grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the crowd,” Garner told

“I believe he was a member of staff told to hold his flag in front of my camera to block me from filming, and he eventually became frustrated and grabbed me,” she continued.

Garner was not holding a sign or making any noise, but she said that she is known as a critic of scientology.

“I’m an outspoken critic and I’ve protested these events several times, mostly in the UK. They do tend to know who we are and I think they recognised me,” she told

Passers-by and members of the press were not allowed to enter the building after the ribbon-cutting, though pictures of the interior can be easily found on the Irish Scientology website.

When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology said: “I have reviewed the video and it is clear that someone is trying to make something out of nothing. Some people were in the way of the official video of the opening, they were asked to move and did so.”

Ms Garner, who is from the UK, said she has not reported the incident to gardaí.

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