“If it wasn’t so serious it would be farcical.”

The Guardian reports that a teenager may face prosecution after police confiscated a placard describing Scientology as “a dangerous cult” – image here – at a recent demonstration in London. The dangerous cult’s charm offensive in London has raised concerns before.. and this year’s Londonderry’s Jazz Festival has also seen recruitment efforts. At which point I was going to repost the World in Action 1967 documentary featuring L Ron Hubbard, founder of the cult.. but that particular video appears to have been removed.. Thankfully it’s still available elsewhere.. here’s an excerpt.

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  • A small point, Pete Baker, but one you seem to have deliberately confused in order to mention the ‘L’ word: the festival is actually called the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival.

    Now feel free to get back to the real subject – knocking silly religions (i.e. all of them).

  • Perhaps there’s a financial dimension as mentioned in the Guardian article:

    The City of London police came under fire two years ago when it emerged that more than 20 officers, ranging from constable to chief superintendent, had accepted gifts worth thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology.

    The City of London Chief Superintendent, Kevin Hurley, praised Scientology for “raising the spiritual wealth of society” during the opening of its headquarters in 2006.

    What does the device in the centre of the Union flag represent? Is it linked to a specific organisation?

  • Barney

    Scientology is strange, for sure. But it is precisely no stranger than any other religion ever devised by man (as all of them were). Christians try to recruit by handing out rubbish and shouting at people every day in this town.

    I have no time for any religion, but it might be slighly unfair to damn one more than the other. They are all, frankly, nonsense. Recruiting at a Jazz Festival (wherever it may be) is fair enough if they want to do it. It merely adds another element to the proceedings.

    But the point – arresting someone for their views, lawfully expressed, is outrageous no matter how wild they are. Surely Scientologists would agree?

  • joeCanuck

    The image source appears to have been shutdown.

  • Rory

    Well done, Pete. Not only is Scientology a dangerous cult but its followers are a bunch of unmitigated cults.

    This City rozzer warrants investigation for his force’s selective and heavy-handed application of the Public Order Act and clearly his reported fulsome support of the cult gives much cause for concern.

    The Scientologists are a nasty, vindictive bunch only too willing to hound their critics with threats of legal action and to use any means to blacken their character. In this regard they remind me of the behaviour of a large British airline towards its critics. The difference is that at least when the airline transports someone from say, Spain to England, they don’t leave their body behind. Luggage – that’s a different matter.

  • Pete Baker

    Joe

    “The image source appears to have been shutdown.”

    Still working here.

  • Re the image, this is all I get when I click on it:

    Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access /i/src/12104398347.jpg on this server.

    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    Nasty stuff!

  • Image is fine here.

  • Here’s a suggestion, then – put the image on slugger for those of us who are forbidden to see it in its natural habitat.

  • Pete Baker
  • TAFKABO

    Always amusing to see followers of one man made cult complain about another.

  • Thanks, Pete, that works fine.

    To get back to Nevin’s original question (the source of all this bother):

    What does the device in the centre of the Union flag represent? Is it linked to a specific organisation?

    The picture doesn’t make it very clear. It looks like the figure of a person, to me.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TAFKABO: “Always amusing to see followers of one man made cult complain about another. ”

    Normally, I’d be inclined to agree… but Scientology takes things to the proverbial “next level”… If nothing else, most religions haven’t sought to use the civil courts as a bludgeon to silence their detractors or taken the position that their religious literature is copywrited material and sought to prevent publication on that basis.

    If nothing else, their secrecy and vindictiveness make them a larger target.

  • TAFKABO

    Dread.

    How does Scientology stack up when we list the number of people killed in its name?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Give them time TAFKABO — their ‘belief system’ is but in it’s infancy.

  • Give them time TAFKABO—their ‘belief system’ is but in it’s infancy.

    Indeed. When Christianity was that young its ‘victim roll’ was deeply in the negative numbers (all them martyrs … ). Most religions take a few hundred years to crank up their killing machines. Hopefully this ridiculous cult won’t last that long though.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TAFKABO: “How does Scientology stack up when we list the number of people killed in its name?”

    What age-adjustment factor you want to work into the comparison and how narrowly do you want to define “in its name?” Need to compare apples to apples.

    Likewise, I would suggest that Scientology is perhaps the only religion I am aware of whose founder explicitly is on the record of religion as a profit generating endeavor. This may simply mean that the science fiction author in questions was less sophisticated than his counterparts, but would also leave open the question of whether or not the author in question wasn’t simply a clumsy flim-flam man.

  • TAFKABO

    I would like to point out that our ability to delve into the rather dubious origins of Scientology is more due to the fact that records are available than it being in any way substantially more scam-like than most other religions.
    That Hubbard is on record as pointing out the profitability of organised religion shouldn’t distract us from the truth of which organised religions have made the most profit.

    “Silver and gold have I none”

    Who said that?

  • Turgon

    Serious technical question:

    If this young man is not prosecuted or indeed if he is found not guilty, is there any comeback against the police officers involved? Could their actions be seen as harassment or a breach of human rights legislation?

  • Some more videos:

    NI accents?

  • Not so funny http://theunfunnytruth.ytmnd.com/

    And to make you downright paranoid, this teenygeeker chat site was a nexus for anti-Scientology protest http://711chan.org/

    Anyone fancy staging a pro-Xenu rally down in Great Victoria Street?

  • The Third Policeman

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_McPherson

    Scientolgy IS a dangerous cult.

  • Jobsian

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenu

    Apparently it numbers Billions.

    The founder got rid of billions of his excess population does that count?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    TAFKABO: “I would like to point out that our ability to delve into the rather dubious origins of Scientology is more due to the fact that records are available than it being in any way substantially more scam-like than most other religions. ”

    Now that you mention it, I do seem to recall the Prophet having had some advice on the division of spoils and slaves taken by the Faithful…

  • There are plenty of good documentaries on this terrorist group. http://www.rickross.com and http://www.cultnews.com are good places to start.
    http://www.rickross.com/groups/scientology.html

    My respect for Germany went down when they legalised this scam.

    If any of you guys come to Westboro, do visit us.

  • http://www.rickross.com/reference/scientology/scien555.html A report on the successful tactics of these cyber warriors

  • Gregory

    “Most religions take a few hundred years to crank up their killing machines.”

    Islam needed to kick it into hi-gear from the get-go. If they didn’t they were going to lose.

    The window of opportunity was closing on them.

    They had to strike before the major empires could get their act together.

    So they were fast out of the gate. Islam needed to work fast if it was to have any chance.

    Best

    G.

  • mzrti2

    I’ve seen the Anonymous group protesting outside the scientology “church” in the city centre a few times, it has been a pre-planned worldwide protest, but this incident is only the second time i’ve heard of the police getting involved. The first time was in America and there were rumours that the chief of police there was getting gifts from the church of scientology also. But while you are talking about crackpot religous freaks then maybe you should start with the worst cult/ religon i’ve ever seen, the westbro baptist church.

  • Comrade Stalin

    mzrti2,

    Things in the USA are actually decidedly worse. Scientology has a deal with the IRS, the details of which are unclear, whereby it has been granted tax-exempt status despite any consistent evidence of any kind of charitable work. This is despite several of it’s leading members being convicted in the late 1970s of breaking into FBI offices, and various other offences.

    I don’t think it’s appropriate to ban Scientology or circumvent it’s freedom of speech, this will only fan the flames. But we do need to ensure that the public are well informed about it’s history; and our governments should absolutely not be handing it any kind of tax exempt or other charitable status. It is a profit-making enterprise and it should be regarded as such.