Church of Scientology apologizes for releasing hundreds of balloons at the California event, while officials warn of “incredible damage” to the environment
- The church angered local officials by releasing hundreds of helium balloons during the event
- It is claimed that there was miscommunication about the approval of a permit by the city
- Ventura mayor maintains that the city was “very clear”, it would not approve the balloons
- Environmental groups warn that the balloons cause damage to marine and marine life
The Church of Scientology had to apologize after releasing hundreds of balloons at the opening of a new school.
The release of the helium balloons, which could damage the environment and affect marine life, raged local officials on Saturday.
The Ventura City Council, which is located about 110 kilometers northwest of Los Angeles, says the church has not received a permit.
Church representatives said there had been “misunderstanding on both sides about the written approval of the city for a special event permit.”
The Church of Scientology had to apologize after releasing hundreds of balloons at the opening of a new school
Church representatives said there had been “misunderstanding on both sides about the town’s written approval for a special event permit”
Reportedly, they apologized to city officials, who fear environmental damage caused by the balloons, at a council meeting on Monday.
According to Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, the Church of Scientology has applied for a permit from the city, including requesting permission to release the balloons.
“The city was very clear with them that they would not approve the release of the balloon,” LaVere said CNN.
“The final permit that the church had submitted, however, also contained language that said” release balloon / confetti. “
According to the mayor, a junior member of staff signed the permit with the thought that the church would listen to the instruction not to release the balloons. “The church will say they had a permit, but the truth is they knew the city didn’t want balloons to be released and didn’t approve the release,” he said.
A Scientology church building in Los Angeles (file image). Spokeswoman Karin Pouw from the Church of Scientology said: “There were misunderstandings on both sides about the city’s written approval for a special event permit that allowed the delivery of biodegradable balloons at the grand opening of the church on Saturday.”
He added: “It is utterly hypocritical for the church to claim environmentally friendly bona fide and then turn around and release a balloon that is incredibly harmful to this environment that they claim to protect.”
Spokeswoman Karin Pouw from the Church of Scientology told CNN: “There were misunderstandings on both sides about the city’s written approval for a special event permit that allowed the delivery of biodegradable balloons at the grand opening of the church on Saturday.”
To prevent future confusion, the Ventura City Council is now considering an overarching ban on releasing any type of balloon.
Environmental organizations warn that released helium balloons return to earth as waste and can be swallowed by animals or end up in seas and rivers where they pose a risk to marine life.
Even balloons marked as biodegradable can take several years to decompose.