When is a cult, not a cult?

Posted by on May 21, 2008 in general thoughts | 1 comment

I predicted it was only a matter of time till the Anonymous vs Scientology thing started hitting the “msm” (mainstream media), well it has, or at least one aspect of the story, but I think this is the beginning of wider coverage.

A protester known as “Epic Nose Guy”, reported the following events:

“I brought a sign to the May 10th protest that said: “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult”.

Within 5 minutes of arriving at QVS ($cientology centre in London), I was told by a member of the police that I was not allowed to use ‘that word’, and that the final decision would be made by the Inspector.

At around 11:15, while on the high ground of QVS, I was approached by these happy fellows:

YouTube – Anonymous Protests Scientology – London…(:40)

I was read the Section 5 Public Order Act of 1986, and was told I was strongly advised to remove the sign. You can see my response in the video, as I read out Justice Latey’s statement about the Cult of Scientology. I was given until 11:30 to remove the sign.

At around 12:05 the police caught up with me, I was given a Court Summons and my details were taken down. Videos will surface. My sign was removed”

And as the BBC reports it:

Justice Latey, ruling in the High Court of London was quite clear in his use of the word Cult:

“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capture people and to indoctrinate and brainwash them so they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living, and relationships with others.”

..as is the dictionary…

cult (Oxford English dict.)
1 a system of religious worship directed towards a particular figure or object.
2 a small religious group regarded as strange or as imposing excessive control over members.
3 something popular or fashionable among a particular section of society.

Its interesting to see that Liberty say the only way this would be a crime is if the word cult could be shown to be offensive or insulting to Scientology.

Hmmm… its not recognised as a religion in this country, it gets certain tax/VAT concessions as a not for profit organisation. Is calling an organisation which is not a church really a religious hate crime?

Perhaps it comes down to intention… did Anonymous (and ENG) use the word as a means of harassing them? With 4 monthly protests in over 100 countries and not one incident so far, hardly… there are however plenty of documented assaults in reverse, stalking or protesters in numerous cities (ontario most recently), or just google the fair game policy of Scientology!

See also articles in The Guardian and The BBC and even The Echo!

1 Comment

  1. CHARGES DROPPED – common sense prevails, hooray!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *