Sunday, March 27, 2011

David Gaiman

Copypasta from Wikipedia:

David Bernard Gaiman (1933 – 7 March 2009[1]) was a prominent British member of the Church of Scientology. He and his wife Sheila joined Scientology in the early 1960s and Gaiman served as public relations director and was commonly in the media during the British controversies over Scientology in the 1960s and 1970s.

Gaiman's family is of Polish Jewish origins; after emigrating from the Netherlands in 1916, his father eventually settled in the Hampshire city of Portsmouth on the south coast of England and established a chain of grocery stores. Born in 1933, Gaiman was educated at The Portsmouth Grammar School, though he did not excel academically. He subsequently joined the British Army where he rose to the rank of sergeant. He returned to Portsmouth on leaving the army to work for his father in the grocery stores, though he detested this job.[2]

He married Sheila on March 1, 1959.[3] He eventually decided to go into business for himself, much to his father's displeasure,[2] and the family moved away from their home in Portchester in 1962.[4]

When the Gaimans discovered Scientology they moved to East Grinstead, West Sussex in 1965.[2] David Gaiman joined the staff of the Church of Scientology at nearby Saint Hill Manor, eventually becoming the Church's chief UK media spokesman.
[edit] Guardian's Office

He joined the Guardian's Office (GO), the Church's public relations bureau / intelligence agency. In 1969, Gaiman was involved in an attempt by the Church to take over the British mental health charity, the National Association for Mental Health (now Mind). Some 300 Scientologists joined the group and nominated Gaiman, among others, for high office. Gaiman was nominated for the Chairmanship. Eventually, the Scientologists were asked to resign but contested that request in court. Scientologists also held demonstrations for, according to Gaiman, "humane treatment and a bill of rights for mental patients and the protection of their bodies and their well-being. We want an independent enquiry into conditions in mental hospitals. We want no more whitewashing from certain mental health organisations like the one across the road. Our stand is not on being asked to resign but for humane psychiatry."[5]

In the 1970s he became Deputy Guardian for Public Relations[6] World Wide and Minister of Public Affairs for the Churches of Scientology Worldwide, as well as serving as public spokesman.[7][8]

According to documents in the US vs Kember and Budlong case, Gaiman issued an order in 1975 for an operation to put false information in U.S. security agency computers using planted agents. It was known as 'Operation Cat'. Kember also credited Gaiman with the strategy to claim that CoS plants inside the American Medical Association were reporters for Freedom Magazine.[9]

He rose to become the head of GO Public Relations and was a member of the powerful Watchdog Committee. In 1981 he was promoted to the position of Guardian (i.e. head of the Guardian's Office), replacing Jane Kember following her criminal conviction for conspiracy against the US Government (she had been part of Scientology's Operation Snow White).[10]
[edit] Vitamin Shop and later life

In 1965, David and Sheila Gaiman co-founded a vitamin shop, G&G Foods. By 2005 the company had become a major local employer, with 80 employees and an annual turnover of over £4 million. The Gaimans were prominent figures in the local community and well known for their sponsorship of the local arts scene.[2] David was also a trustee of Greenfields School since its formation in the 1980s.[11] Gaiman had three children, a son and two daughters:[2] Neil Gaiman, the well-known fantasy author[12][13], Claire Edwards, head of Scientology Missions International,[14] and Lizzy Calcioli.[11]

Gaiman took part in the inaugural London Marathon, in 1981, and came joint last.[15]

Gaiman, aged 75[16], died on Saturday 7 March 2009, of a heart attack during a business meeting.[17] A memorial service, attended by hundreds, was held for him at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead,[11] and, on March 12, 2009, his Jewish funeral service was held in Brighton.[3][11]

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