Karen Bass (D-California), a top candidate for vice president on Democratic contender Joe Biden's ticket, praised the Church of Scientology in 2010 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new Los Angeles facility run by the controversial religious group, as reported by the conservative news site the Daily Caller on Friday.
Bass, who is considered to be among one of four top picks as Joe Biden's running mate in the 2020 US presidential election, spoke at the event while she was serving in the California General Assembly.
“This day and this new Church of Scientology is an exciting moment because I know your goal and your commitment is truly to make a difference,” Bass said at the event of 6,000 attendees.
“The Church of Scientology I know has made a difference, because your creed is a universal creed and one that speaks to all people everywhere,” noted Bass, who also praised Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
“The words are exciting of your founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in The Creed of the Church of Scientology: that all people of whatever race, color or creed, are created with equal rights,” she said.
“It’s a remarkable credit to your church that this is part of your creed,” Bass said.
The Daily Caller noted that Bass also praised the controversial group while sitting as a congresswoman in November 2011, when she submitted a letter praising the opening of a Scientology center in South Los Angeles.
Scientology has long been considered by many to be a highly controversial new religious movement with much support from Hollywood star power, including most prominently Tom Cruise. The group has also been alleged to aggressively fight its critics through the frequent use of lawsuits, and in some cases, severe harassment and threats of violence made against its opponents, leading to criminal convictions.
Similarly, opponents of Scientology have claimed that the group operates as a cult, and has engaged in abusive and coercive behavior against its members, including reports of alleged 'brainwashing.'