David Gaiman

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David Gaiman
Died7 March 2009
OccupationOwner, G&G Foods, East Grinstead
Public Relations Director, Church of Scientology (ret.)
ChildrenNeil Gaiman, Claire Edwards, Lizzy Calcioli

David Bernard Gaiman (1933 – 7 March 2009[1]) was head of the UK branch of Church of Scientology. He and his wife Sheila joined Scientology in the early 1960s and Gaiman served as public relations director and was commonly in the media during the British controversies over Scientology in the 1960s and 1970s.

Family and public career[edit]

Gaiman's family is of Polish-Jewish origins; after emigrating from the Netherlands in 1916, his father eventually settled in the Hampshire city of Portsmouth on the south coast of England and established a chain of grocery stores. Born in 1933, Gaiman was educated at The Portsmouth Grammar School, though he did not excel academically. He subsequently joined the British Army where he rose to the rank of sergeant. He returned to Portsmouth on leaving the army to work for his father in the grocery stores, though he detested this job.[2]

He married Sheila on 1 March 1959.[3] He eventually decided to go into business for himself, much to his father's displeasure,[2] and the family moved away from their home in Portchester in 1962.[4]

When the Gaimans discovered Scientology they moved to East Grinstead, West Sussex in 1965.[2] David Gaiman joined the staff of the Church of Scientology at nearby Saint Hill Manor, eventually becoming the Church's chief UK media spokesman.

Guardian's Office[edit]

He joined the Guardian's Office (GO), the Church's public relations bureau / intelligence agency. In 1969, Gaiman was involved in an attempt by the Church to take over the National Association for Mental Health (now Mind), a British mental health charity. Some 300 Scientologists joined the group and nominated Gaiman, among others, for high office. Gaiman was nominated for the Chairmanship. Eventually, the Scientologists were asked to resign but contested that request in court. Scientologists also held demonstrations for, according to Gaiman, "humane treatment and a bill of rights for mental patients and the protection of their bodies and their well-being. We want an independent inquiry into conditions in mental hospitals. We want no more whitewashing from certain mental health organisations like the one across the road. Our stand is not on being asked to resign but for humane psychiatry."[5]

In the 1970s he became Deputy Guardian for Public Relations[6] World Wide and Minister of Public Affairs for the Churches of Scientology Worldwide, as well as serving as public spokesman.[7][8]

According to documents in the US vs Kember and Budlong case, Gaiman issued an order in 1975 for an operation to put false information in US security agency computers using planted agents. It was known as 'Operation Cat'. Kember also credited Gaiman with the strategy to claim that CoS plants inside the American Medical Association were reporters for Freedom magazine.[9]

He rose to become the head of GO Public Relations and was a member of the powerful Watchdog Committee. In 1981 he was promoted to the position of Guardian (i.e. head of the Guardian's Office), replacing Jane Kember following her criminal conviction for conspiracy against the US Government (she had been part of Scientology's Operation Snow White).[10]

Vitamin Shop and later life[edit]

In 1965, David and Sheila Gaiman co-founded a vitamin shop, G&G Vitamins.[11] In 1987 G&G moved to larger premises and began to manufacture its own label vitamins for the first time. With David’s leadership the demand for G&G’s own-brand label and manufacturing expertise grew dramatically and in 1997 they moved to a 31,000 square foot factory and built a customised clean-room for optimum high speed production lines. It was from here that G&G expanded its contract manufacturing arm, building up to the current capacity to manufacture 14,000,000 capsules per month for numerous companies across the UK and Europe under their own label. Today G&G is still a family-owned business under the leadership of Mauro Calcioli, David’s son-in-law. Mauro, who was appointed as Chairman in April 2009, is assisted by his wife Lizzy Calcioli and Sheila Gaiman. Sheila stands today as one of the longest serving members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. In April 2009 they appointed Myles McEntyre as Managing Director to run G&G on a day-to-day basis.[12] The Gaimans were prominent figures in the local community and well known for their sponsorship of the local arts scene.[2] Gaiman was also a trustee of Greenfield's School from its formation in the 1980s.[13] Gaiman had three children, a son and two daughters:[2] Neil Gaiman, the well-known fantasy author,[14][15] Claire Edwards, head of Scientology Missions International,[16] and Lizzy Calcioli.[13]

Gaiman took part in the inaugural London Marathon, in 1981, and came joint last.[17]

Gaiman, aged 75,[18] had a heart attack during a business meeting and was dead by the time he reached hospital.[19] A memorial service, attended by hundreds, was held for him at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead,[13] and, on 12 March 2009, his Jewish funeral service was held in Brighton.[3][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Prominent East Grinstead figure mourned". East Grinstead Courier and Observer. www.thisissussex.co.uk. 11 March 2009. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lancaster, James (11 October 2005). "Everyone has the potential to be great". The Argus (Brighton). pp. 10–11.
  3. ^ a b Long Weekend Archived 16 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine (Neil Gaiman, blog, 15 March 2009)
  4. ^ "oddments. And oh, the white chocolate ribcage..." www.neilgaiman.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2004. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  5. ^ C.H. Rolph, Believe What You Like
    Meanwhile, all members of the NAMH (or most of them) received a letter from Mr David Gaiman, the spokesman of Scientology, to whom their names and addresses had been perforce supplied by the NAMH.
  6. ^ Paulette Cooper, The Scandal of Scientology, Appendix, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
    In January 1971, I wrote to David Gaiman, Public Relations Director of Scientology in England, with whom I had had some earlier correspondence, informing him that this book was to be published and offering him a chance to give the Scientologists' side of the story in brief. I also requested information on some of Scientology's rehabilitation programs – their Human Rights Commission and Narconon, their program in India – so that some of this could also be included.
  7. ^ Van Wert Times Bulletin, 7 September 1968.
  8. ^ Bucks County Courier Times, 13 March 1969.
  9. ^ US vs Kember and Budlong was part of the fallout of the 1978 United States v. Hubbard case, which charged many CoS members with conspiracy and other crimes related to Operation Snow White.

    The Sentencing Memorandum for US v Kember and Budlong is available at wikisource, Here, or also the original PDF is available Here (accessed 2010 1 27) Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. The full title is 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : v. : Criminal No. 78-401(2)&(3) JANE KEMBER : MORRIS BUDLONG a/k/a MO BUDLONG : SENTENCING MEMORANDUM OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA', filed in the US District Court, District of Columbia, 1980

    Also see the List of Guardian's Office operations. 'Operation Cat' is Exhibit 5 in the sentencing memorandum for US vs Kember / Budlong. Here is a PDF of the Exhibit: Gaiman, David (16 September 1975). "Operation CAT" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2003. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  10. ^ Atack, Jon (1990). A Piece of Blue Sky. New York, NY: Carol Publishing Group. p. 268. ISBN 0-8184-0499-X.
  11. ^ "Our History - gandgvitamins.com". www.gandgvitamins.com. Archived from the original on 11 December 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Our History - Vitamin & Supplement Manufacture UK". vitaminmanufacture.co.uk. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d "Hundreds attend memorial service for East Grinstead businessman". East Grinstead Courier and Observer. 18 March 2009. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2009. Quote: "David will be most remembered for his incredible sense of humour and the feeling of well being he gave to everyone with whom he came into contact."
  14. ^ Lancaster, James (11 October 2005). "Everyone has the potential to be great". The Argus (Brighton). pp. 10–11. David Gaiman quote: "It's not me you should be interviewing. It's my son. Neil Gaiman. He's in the New York Times Bestsellers list. Fantasy. He's flavour of the month, very famous."
  15. ^ "Head Bars Son Of Cult Man.", The Times, London, England, 13 August 1968, p.2 col. c. Alternate. Archived 7 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
    A headmaster has refused the son of a Scientologist entry to a preparatory school until, he says, the cult "clears its name". The boy, Neil Gaiman, aged 7,Mr. David Gaiman, the father, aged 35, former South Coast businessman, has become in recent weeks a prominent spokesman in Britain for Scientology, which has its headquarters at East Grinstead.
  16. ^ "Making the difference". Freedom Magazine (6): 4. 2002.
  17. ^ "bbc.co.uk, 1981: Triumph at first London Marathon". BBC News. 29 March 1981. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
  18. ^ "Tributes to East Grinstead businessman". The Argus (Brighton). 23 March 2009. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  19. ^ Another day Archived 10 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine (Neil Gaiman, blog post, Sunday 8 March 2009)