The “Church” of $cientology is a money making scam, which has repeatedly tried, but failed to obtain tax benefits as a church in this country. It uses the law aggressively, but unsuccessfully, to protect the worthless secrets which it markets to the brainwashed and gullible. It also uses extra-legal measures to harass those who criticise its pernicious methods. If you google my name, you will see that it is included in some sort of screening device which prevents $cientologists from reading criticism of their organisation. I believe that this blacklisting results from a post I made, years ago, which listed various cases in which the “Church” had lost, and included quotations from prominent British judges condemning this wicked cult.
The Register, and various newspapers today report that a 15 year old who was demonstrating against the “Church” has received a summons from the City of London Police in relation to an alleged breach of section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 – causing harassment alarm or distress – because he carried a sign which described the “Church” as a cult.
The Register also reminds us that the $cientologists have been working hard to cultivate the City of London Police:
“The City of London Scientology building opened in 2006. The financial district’s police force was heavily criticised at the time for their apparent endorsement of the sect. Kevin Hurley, the force’s Chief Superintendent praised its work for bringing “positive good” at the opening of the multimillion-pound site, and it later emerged that officers had accepted hospitality from Scientology, including tickets to film premieres, lunches and concerts at police premises. The organisation also made donations of thousands of pounds to the City of London Children’s Charity”
I blogged this scandal at the time. Now seems like a good time to repeat the conclusions of various well known British judges on this wicked and crooked “Church”.
“Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious… It is corrupt sinister and dangerous. It is corrupt because it is based on lies and deceit and has its real objective money and power for Mr. Hubbard… It is sinister because it indulges in infamous practices both to its adherents who do not toe the line unquestionably and to those who criticize it or oppose it. It is dangerous because it is out to capture people and to indoctrinate and brainwash them so they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living, and relationships with others”
“Pernicious nonsense… at best utterly absurd”
Mr Justice Goff (later Lord Goff)
…capable of such danger that the public interest demands that people should know what is going on …
It is a good thing to live in a society which allows this sort of criticism of Scientology. The possible prosecution of this child is deeply worrying.
It also worries me that the City of London Police may have been infiltrated by Scientologists, who are subverting the law to their own ends. I do not think that is necessarily the case. The police may simply be acting foolishly. However, it is a possibility, and it should be investigated.
Just to make it clear: I don’t regard religious beliefs as deserving of any special protection.
I do accept that there are some religious beliefs which so profoundly define an individual’s sense of self, as a member of a community which holds such beliefs, that to deny them or to speak of them offensively is experienced as a deep sense of existential hurt.
Nevertheless, I don’t think that only religious beliefs are definitive in that sense. In any event, I do not think that any strongly held personal beliefs should be defended by the coercive power of the state.
Indeed, I don’t know how you define a religious belief, as opposed to any other sort of strongly held conviction. That makes it impossible, in my view, to single out religious beliefs for special protection.
As a footnote: not all religious people want legal protection for their beliefs. Those who do, very often want a special status accorded to their beliefs, but want to remain free to attack those who hold opposing or merely divergent views. They’re not necessarily asking for evenhandedness.