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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 16:30 GMT
Councillor starts Scientology row
Tom Cruise and John Travolta
Tom Cruise and John Travolta are both followers of Scientology
A councillor in East Sussex has asked for Scientologists in his town to be stopped from working for the council.

Councillor Michael Murphy has had his proposal seconded by councillor Paul Scott, but other members of Crowborough Town Council have raised objections.

He suggests the council "refrains from using the voluntary services of the Scientologists until a full investigation has been carried out".

A Scientology centre in nearby Saint Hill has invited Mr Murphy for a visit.

His motion was supposed to be debated on Tuesday, but it is now due before a meeting of the council's Finance and General Purposes Committee on 3 January.

Councillor Peter Bucklitsch said Mr Murphy had admitted knowing little about the Scientology religion.

I have been doing voluntary work for the council for three years
Scientologist Jo-Ann Wilkins

Mr Bucklitsch said the proposal had been branded by other councillors as "discriminatory, inflammatory and derisory".

Mr Murphy said he wanted the council to find out more about Scientologists, including who they are, what they do and how they live.

Jo-Ann Wilkins, a Scientologist from Crowborough, said she was "a little surprised" to hear the issue mentioned at Tuesday's council meeting.

"I have been doing voluntary work for the council for three years," she said.

"A number of us go and help close the roads for fetes because we belong to the community and help where we can."

Ms Wilkins said Mr Murphy had agreed to a tour of the Scientology centre in Saint Hill, near East Grinstead, but the councillor said he would be turning her invitation down.

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