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Robert G. Keenan

Known scilon

After the 7/7 bombings we provided 300 people to help victims with counselling and support. This is just one example of the sort of charity work we do
~ Keenan on protecting victims from mental health professionals

Name: Robert G. Keenan

Handles: N/A

Known for: Head of UK branch of Scientology publicity

Notes: Claims lulzy things about their charity

Anonymous in the UK badly needs good, well sourced information about Keenan to help fight the harm Scientology does there.

Robert G. Keenan sometimes known as Bob Keenan is the head of Scientology publicity in the United Kingdom, reporters and others turn to Keenan for information about Scientology. Telling lies is sometimes acceptable in Scientology, see Shore Story and "Religion" is a "shore story" for Scientology. That does not prove that any specific Scientologist is lying but this article attempts to show how far people can rely on the accuracy of information Robert Keenan gives them. Scientologists can be trained to lie convincingly. [1]

Grossly irresponsible London disaster relief[]

Robert Keenan has claimed that Scientologists helped after the London bombings.

Scientology executive director Bob Keenan said: “After the 7/7 bombings we provided 300 people to help victims with counselling and support. This is just one example of the sort of charity work we do.” [2]

Scientology actions can be counterproductive
There is evidence many disaster victims would be better off without misguided Scientologist help. Below is more information about the type of so-called help that Scientologists gave in London and elsewhere that Robert Keenan apparently thinks is very good.

London disaster
Paul Fletcher,(head of Scientology’s London branch) [3], told an undercover BBC reporter that Scientologists were, “ Fighting the psychiatrists; keeping the psychs away.” That means they were trying to keep trained disaster relief counselors away and giving Scientology counseling instead. [4] and apparently they acted similarly in Haiti. Scientologist so-called relief workers also actively tried to recruit vulnerable disaster victims for Scientology according to one witness.

One mental health worker's opinion
The BBC succeeded in tracing a victim of the July bombings who understood mental health.

We spoke to one survivor of the 7/7 bombings who has some mental health training and was also approached by Scientologists after the disaster. They didn't want to be identified, but they did tell us how they were shocked that they and fellow survivors were targeted by Scientologists trying to recruit them and talking of Dianetics therapy as if it were a - a medically recognized form of therapy. Elodie Harper [5]

Why was the mental health worker unwilling to be identified? Quite possibly this unfortunate person who had just survived one serious trauma did not want to risk further trauma of the type Scientologists deal out to those they call, Suppressive persons.

Dr. Max Pemberton
Dr. Max Pemberton is a psychiatrist and journalist who did undercover investigative journalism on Scientology, Dr Pemberton is uneasy about the Scientology practise of targeting vulnerable people, specifically he feels the Scientology practise of discouraging or preventing trauma victims getting immediate help can cause lasting psychological damage.

Yes, it does. (...) people - after such an awful event are in shock (...) they're incredibly vulnerable. It seems, (...) to me very sinister that Scientology appears to be specifically targeting those individuals in the society who are vulnerable (...) whether this is because they've just survived a traumatic event or because they have longstanding mental health problems. (...) I feel very uneasy at the idea that Scientology appears to be taking advantage of catastrophes by using them as recruitment venues. (...) Immediately after an event such as the July the 7th bombings, people need support, information and follow-up with trained professionals. The first few days after such an event are vital if the person isn't to experience long-term psychological problems. Dr. Max Pemberton [6]

What does Keenan know?
Did Robert Keenan not know what Paul Fletcher, also an important London Scientologist had been doing? Surely someone as high ranking as Robert Keenan should make sure he knows what is happening locally in his area. Alternatively did Robert Keenan know and approve of what Paul Fletcher had done?

Disaster relief worldwide[]

There are concerns that Scientology a large part of Scientology disaster relief work involves doing their best to keep trained disaster relief counselors away from the victims and putting their effort into recruiting vulnerable traumatised victims for Scientology. [7] , it is claimed Scientologists were even ordered away from the disaster area in London after 7/7 [8].

The above type of misguided or cynical disaster work by Scientologists happens worldwide according to many sources, see Volunteer Ministers and Concerns about what Scientologists do at disaster areas.

Keenan and Scientology fair game[]

Scientology Fair Game is a controversial issue as people’s lives can be destroyed simply because they fight the worst aspects of Scientology, Paulette Cooper is a well known case. Fair game is contrary to democratic principles of free speech and in some cases against freedom of the press. Richard Ingrams is a British journalist with a good reputation who has written about Scientology [9] but concentrates on other issues of British politics. Even the limited amount that brave journalist Richard Ingrams wrote on Scientology was enough to make him a victim of Scientology Fair Game policy according to William Shaw who interviewed Bob Keenan. William Shaw says he was accidentally sent material showing that Scientologists were working to track down scandal to do with Richard Ingrams. Scientologists respect L. Ron Hubbard who said according to Shaw,

(...) 'attack the attacker'. He left clear directions about how critics were to be dealt with, including: 'Start feeding lurid blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press.' [10]

While preparing to interview Bob Keenan William Shaw came across a Scientology publication, below is what he wrote:-

I was skimming through High Winds when I came across an article winningly headlined 'Handling Suppression on the Fourth Dynamic' (by then I had learnt that the 'fourth dynamic' meant the whole of mankind). In a tone of unforgiving militancy, it talked of 'eradicating SPs', and crowed about how they had 'shut down' one particular defector who had criticised the movement. 'Unemployed and abandoned by his family, this squirrel had schemed to make money by hawking his lies in a book. But the Office of Special Affairs had a court declare his book libellous. He has now been forced into bankruptcy'. [11]

Bob Keenan says this policy is past but those experienced with Scientology are skeptical. In the past the term fair game was ended in name while the practise continued.

The practice of declaring people FAIR GAME will cease.

FAIR GAME may not appear on any Ethics Order. It causes bad public relations.

This P/L does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP.

L. RON HUBBARD Founder [12]

Is there any reason to trust the Scientologists more now than there was when Hubbard wrote the above?

Keenan less than truthful over major Scientology belief[]

Robert Keenan has tried to deny that Scientologists believe the Xenu story after Barry Didcock of the Herald, Scotland mentioned Trapped in the Closet (South Park) that ridicules the story. A facimile of Hubbard's original writing about Xenu has been published online at OT III Scholarship Page

(...) the innermost secrets of Scientology. These involve an intergalactic federation of planets ruled over by the evil Lord Xenu, frozen alien bodies and giant soul catchers in the sky. (...) "You mean the science fiction stuff?" laughs Keenan. "It's not part of any theology you will study in the church. "This science fiction material that they continually take out of books is a classic example of the marginalising of the group. It's a sectophobic viewpoint trying to create the idea that we're a bit weird." (...) "That is not part of the theology of Scientology," says Keenan. Laveau, who has achieved Operating Thetan level III, chips in here. "South Park is a cartoon," she says dismissively. "On this whole subject of aliens, I did a test: Mr Hubbard has written 3000 lectures on Scientology and I've looked in all the indexes for the word alien. I found it once and that was in reference to a person from a different country." [13]

Possible meaning
Could it mean that Robert Keenan had not reached OT III and does not know the Space Opera, also that Robert Keenan does not know how to select a truthful witness who is at or above OT III. Note: Laveau did not deny the Xenu story outright, she merely said that in some search she made of Hubbard’s lectures space aliens were not mentioned.

Alternatively could it mean that Robert Keenan was party to a deliberate cover up?

Scientologists claimed that Xenu is their trade secret
In a court case in 1995 Scientologists tried to claim that the Xenu story is copyright to them and a trade secret.

"On April 14, 1993, Fishman filed in the open court file what has come to be known as the Fishman Affidavit, to which were attached 69 pages of what the Religious Technology Center ("RTC") describes as various Advanced Technology works, specifically levels OT-I through OT-VII documents. Plaintiff claims that these documents are protected from both unauthorized use and unauthorized disclosure under the copyright laws of the United States and under trade secret laws, respectively. In California, the RTC moved to seal the Fishman affidavit, arguing that the attached AT documents were trade secrets. That motion was denied and the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court's decision not to seal the file. [14]

Judge Leonie Brinkema heard the case and made the statement below.

"The dispute in this case surrounds Lerma's acquisition and publication on the Internet of texts that the Church of Scientology considers sacred and protects heavily from unauthorized disclosure. Founded by L. Ron Hubbard, the Scientology religion attempts to explain the origin of negative spiritual forces in the world and advances techniques for improving one's own spiritual well-being. Scientologists believe that most human problems can be traced to lingering spirits of an extraterrestrial people massacred by their ruler, Xenu, over 75 million years ago. These spirits attach themselves by "clusters" to individuals in the contemporary world, causing spiritual harm and negatively influencing the lives of their hosts."[15]

In this indirectly Scientologists admit that Xenu is something that they developed, they believe it is a trade secret of theirs, a "sectophobic viewpoint" that other people made up cannot be a Scientology trade secret.

What Keenan personally should know
If Robert Keenan personally is below OT III he has an excuse for not knowing the Xenu story but a major figure in British Scientology should know about the important court cases involving Scientology. Assuming Robert Keenan is ignorant about important court cases is he up to his job? If Robert Keenan personally is below OT III does he know enough to deny outright that Xenu is part of Scientology teachings?

Scientologists believe the story of Xenu is literally true
The story of Xenu clearly is "part of the theology" that advanced Scientologists study despite Robert Keenan's strong denial. For one example former Scientologist, Margery Wakefield went through Scientology courses up to and beyond 0T III where the story of Xenu is taught, she recounted how she believed it all and worked hard to audit away entities which she was convinced were actually physically attached to her body due to the actions of Xenu.

I opened communication (telepathically) with the entity. I tried to find out his name. I asked him if he had been implanted at the Las Palmas or the Hawaii volcano. I watched the E-meter for the reads which would give me my answers. In theory, the entity that I had contacted was the one who was actually registering on the E-meter.

Then I guided the entity through a complicated set of questions, taking him or her slowly through the explosion and the resulting implant. I did this over and over with the entity until I felt a lessening and then a release of the pressure, and the needle on the E-meter was floating.

I had just released my first entity! The Wall of Fire

Another account by a Scientologist who believed in Xenu literally is here.

People who have read the above will quite likely agree with "the idea that" Scientologists are "a bit weird."

The webpage linked to the quote above is hosted by Carnegie Mellon University and is worth reading as it shows the thoughts and reactions of a Scientologist who believed what she was taught. The webpage also gives general information about what Scientologists are taught at 0T I, 0T II and notably 0T III. At 0T III Scientologists are taught among other things about "frozen alien bodies" that were allegedly packed round volcanos and killed by massive hydrogen bomb explosions and "giant soul catchers in the sky". [16]

A Second example of a former scientologist who while he was a Scientogist believed the story of Xenu was literally true is Jon Atack, his reactions to Xenu are quoted below.

The story was fragmented, little more than a series of notes. Hubbard asserted that some 70 million years ago, our planet, then called Teegeeack, had been one of the 76 planets of the Galactic Confederation. The Confederation was badly overpopulated, with hundreds of billions on each planet. Xenu (also called "Xemu" by Hubbard), the president of the Confederation, ruled that the excess population should be sent to Teegeeack, put alongside volcanoes and subjected to nuclear explosions. The spirits, or Thetans, of the victims were then "implanted" with religious and technological images for 36 days. They were then sent to either Hawaii or Las Palmas to be stuck together into clusters. Human beings, so Hubbard said, are actually a collection of Thetans, a cluster of "Body Thetans." Xenu was rounded up six years after the event and imprisoned in a mountain. According to Hubbard, anyone remembering this material would die. I was reminded of Colin Wilson's novel The Mind Parasites, where invisible creatures from outer space attach themselves to human beings and feed off their emotions. Not that I disbelieved any of it. In seven years, I had come to trust Hubbard implicitly. The proof would come in the auditing, but I felt a tremendous sense of relief. Here at last was the remedy for my problems! My body was inhabited by a mass of "Body Thetans" which had formed into "Clusters" and were influencing my thoughts, my feelings, my behavior. This at last explained why, although I was Clear, I still felt depressed occasionally, lost my temper sometimes, and did not have a perfect memory. It explained my hack-ache and my near-sightedness. Body Thetans! [17]

Incidentally as with the works of Margery Wakefield the whole page where the quote above stands, A Piece of Blue Sky, on to OT is well worth reading and shows how the author feels he was tricked into spending unacceptable amounts of money on Scientology material which he later decided was worthless. Below is a link to the contents of the book though this is relevant to Scientology generally and not to Robert Keenan specifically.

A further point is that Robert Keenan's deputy, Marianne Rowell has also denied the Xenu story, "We read some things and think, 'Where did they get that from?'," said Mrs Rowell. "Where did they get the alien thing from? They are total inventions." [18][19] There is a credibility problem affecting more than one leading Scientologist.

FACTNet is different from what Keenan suggests[]

Bob Keenan appears even to have difficulty getting his facts right about FACTNet, according to the Guardian Newspaper

From England, Bob Keenan of New Era Publications, which publishes the book, says FACTNet is "just one guy who sits there pumping all this bullshit out". [20]

More than one person is clearly involved in FACTNet, there is a Board of Advisors with good qualifications which Bob Keenan failed to mention. Wikipedia on FACTNet suggests a big well developed organisation with two founders, Robert Penny and Lawrence Wollersheim.

Clearly many people helped put together the wide-ranging information Factnet has about Scientology, and this author is not surprised that Bob Keenan seeks to play down their importance.

Below they claim to have:-

(...) the largest online archive in the world of the dirty secrets of Scientology Dianetics and L Ron Hubbard, (about 50 megabytes). Before you believe ANY claim made by Scientology, Dianetics (...) or L Ron Hubbard carefully review these materials and link resources. Scientology has tried everything to block your access to them. They even tried to shut us down with a raid. These materials have saved the lives, careers or resources of tens of thousands of individuals and/or their families and friends. [21]

Clicking onto the link below will enable readers to access this extensive material.

Scientology and Dianetics, Information and Resources

This author does not know how the well-qualified Board of Advisors reacted to Bob Keenan’s vulgar insulting description of FACTNet. They may not feel much need to reply as any reasonable person knows people with their qualifications merit more respect than Bob Keenan has shown.


"People don't come into Scientology as a replacement,' he announces. The idea is inconceivable." [22] What does Bob Keenan understand about human nature if he doesn't know that people come into a range of different belief systems as a replacement for something else?

Military record[]

There are extravagant claims about Bob Keenan record in the UK armed services and as a firefighter.

Former Scientologists who knew Bob Keenan are skeptical about what he says on being a firefighter and a marine but cannot rule it out altogether, see If you know Bob Keenan...

Keenan’s use of English[]

As one might expect the chief of publicity for the UK, Robert Keenan knows how to manipulate the English language. He uses a word like, “sectophobic” which hardly anyone has heard and which is difficult to track down in a dictionary. Yet readers can understand what he means. Robert Keenan also knows how to use a grossly obscene term in a way which he hopes comes out as socially adroit rather than merely vulgar. Readers are referred to the section FACTNet is different from what Keenan suggests.

Despite the above it is likely those who read or hear what Robert Keenan says are more concerned about factual accuracy than about dexterity with the English language.

See also[]


In researching this I got help from other participants of the Anonymous Discussion Forums, mainly from the two threads below.

External links[]

Links dealing with Robert Keenan directly[]

Links dealing with Scientology in the UK where Keenan is active[]

This section gives background information about Scientology for readers, this should be useful especially for journalists preparing to interview Robert Keenan also for others preparing to meet Robert Keenan and discuss Scientology with him. Ordinary readers may find these links informative as well.

Links of particular interest to Police Officers whom Keenan may approach[]

Ordinary readers may well find these links informative too, a Google search for, "Scientology+Criminal" will reveal yet more links.