by Patrick Howler
“The Church of Scientology lobbied the White House on key issues, pushing for criminal justice reform and for help to combat Russia’s religious ‘Extremism Law,’ which targets Scientology.
“Scientology’s Washington lobbyist also met with Obama White House officials to participate in multiple working groups and met with the Obama administration Transition Team before Obama took office, records reveal.
“Obama administration departments lobbied by Scientology include the State Department, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security.
“Greg Mitchell, founder of the small firm The Mitchell Company, is the Church of Scientology’s official lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and also a Church of Scientology member. Insiders say that his role is to help the Church gain mainstream credibility with influential decision-makers.
“On behalf of his client Church of Scientology International, Mitchell lobbied the White House Office four times: twice in 2009 and twice in 2012, according to lobbying disclosure forms. Church of Scientology International was Mitchell’s only client that he lobbied the White House for on these occasions, according to the disclosures…
“Mitchell’s lobbying work highlighted his clients’ concern about Russia’s ‘increasing misuse of the 2002 Extremism Law to censor religious scriptures and disrupt religious organizations,’ according to an April 2012 disclosure.
“The 2002 Extremism Law has long been a thorn in the side of the Church of Scientology…