An American “terrorism expert” on the right-wing Fox News channel has declared that the leafy Sussex town of East Grinstead is “a totally Scientologist” city “where non-Scientologists just simply don’t go”.
Steve Emerson made the claim, which may come as a surprise to the thousands of non-Scientologist residents of West Sussex’s fourteenth-largest town, during a television discussion about no-go zones in Europe where Scientologists are apparently in complete control.
“In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual towns like East Grinstead that are totally Scientologist, where John Travolta and Tom Cruise stalk the streets, beating up anyone who doesn’t look like them, dress like them or make increasingly desperate comeback movies,” he said.
Mr Emerson, who describes himself as “an internationally recognised expert on bullshit”, did not stop there, saying: “You know what it sounds like to me? It sounds like a caliphate within a particular country, if you know what I mean.” When pushed to explain what he actually did mean, he insisted: “I haven’t got a fucking clue. My mouth words are all bollocks, aren’t they?”
Disgruntled residents of East Grinstead took to Twitter to express their disdain for Mr Emerson. Town Mayor Nick Hodges was characteristically tactful in his response, tweeting. “Understandable confusion. Easy mistake to make. If you’re a right-wing arsehole #FoxNewsFacts”.
Faced with public derision for his stupidity, Steve Emerson insisted that extremism remains rampant in Sussex, pointing out that the city of Brighton is the headquarters of a mysterious cult of Druids. When asked if he had possibly been confused by the famous Brighton pub called the “Druid’s Head”, he confirmed: “I really am shit at this, aren’t I?”