A FREEDOM of Information request has revealed that Thurrock councillors regularly visit the HQ of Scientology in East Sussex.
The request revealed that every year, the Mayor of Thurrock receives an invitation every year to the Annual Gala Charity Concert at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead.
The Manor House is better known as the HQ of Church of Scientology in the UK.
Since 2003, Cllrs Gerard Rice, Ian Harrison, Diane Revell, Mike Revell attended the concert as well as their guests and employees of the council.
In 2006, Cllr Joy Redsell declined the invitation but subsequently went on a private visit to Saint Hill Manor on 7th February 2007. She received lunch and a small paperweight as a memento of the visit.
The religion (to some, cult to others) has received a great deal of controversy since it was started by the science-fiction writer L Ron Hubbard in the fifties.
The religion counts Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its adherents.
Below is the first part of a BBC investigation into Scientology last year.