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Scientology is nuts and we should be able to say so

Everyone has things that they would destroy them if they were publicised. I once orchestrated a coup in a small African country from a base in an extinct volcano with the aid of a lot of fit-birds in 1960’s specs and very short lab coats, holding clipboards for no apparent reason, whilst I stroked my Persian cat. That should never be revealed. Oh, bugger! Like all Bond villians I give it away towards the end.

I love that. Readers will recognise the inimitable prose style of regular Samizdata commenter NickM, who now writes regularly at this place. This is taken from an excellent attack on the idiotic efforts of UK police to prevent people from criticising Scientology. It shows how respect for freedom of speech – which must, by definition, include the right to offend and upset – is now under serious assault in this country.

Any attempt to censor criticism of belief systems is an outrage. So long as the critics do not try to violate the lives and property of the people they are criticisng, the law should stay well out of it.

Read the whole of Nick’s piece.

27 comments to Scientology is nuts and we should be able to say so

  • We are Anonymous.
    We are Legion.
    Scientology will fall, count on it.

  • RAB

    This legion of the Anonymous…

    Any outrageous subscription fees for courses
    or a ten per cent sub on your income perhaps?

    Johnathan ;-)

  • WalterBoswell

    Beck is a Scientologist. Beck rocks. I’m conflicted again.

  • @ WalterBoswell
    Separate the art from the artist, unless the art is Battlefield Earth and the artist is John Travolta. That film was a piece of crap.

    There is another proviso to the above: If the art becomes propaganda for the cause of the artist, by the artists own hand. Then condemn both.

    Wagner wrote some great operas, this does not detract from the fact that he held some pretty loathsome views and was probably a cad of the highest order.

  • RAB

    I Rock
    But I am also a wanker
    Sometimes I get get bits
    Caught in the strings.

    Not so much conflicted
    As castrated…

  • Hawk

    We in The Netherlands have our own thought police:

    http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/3257

  • Gregory

    Wait a second.

    Everybody and his cousin decry Christianity as a load of utter bunkum and hogwash – OK

    One dude says Scientology is a cult – Not OK

    Something is wrong somewhere, and it ain’t me.

  • Gun Trash

    My wife & I spent 4 years in the UK (Suffolk) in the early 70s while I was in the USAF. We made some good British friends, we explored the island every chance we could and all in all consider that 4 years as something special.

    However, as much as I admire and like my British cousins, when reading about this sort of insanity (not to mention the awful gun laws and traffic cameras on every corner) I’m reminded how lucky I was that my gggg-Grandfather Uriah was a cow thief. The Old Bailey found him guilty of such and sentenced him to be transported to the colonies. Thank you, Grandpaw Uriah!

    But, goodness sakes, how did y’all let this happen?

  • D Palmer

    I completely agree that if you think Scientology is nuts or a cult you should be able to say so without fear of proscecution or persecution.

    However, as weird as their beliefs sound, the Judeo/Christian tenants make no more sense. Hell, the idea that man was created by aliens clashes less with the scientific data regarding the age of our planet and species than the Judeo/Christian idea that the universe and man were created by God about 7,000 years ago.

  • D Palmer

    I really need to work on my spelling

    That should have been tenets and prosecute

  • anon

    D Palmer
    The specifics of christianity or any religion is not the point, it is the uneven application of free speech regarding one over the other.

  • kcom

    “The specifics of christianity or any religion is not the point, it is the uneven application of free speech regarding one over the other.”

    Yes, I can’t recall in my lifetime anyone being sued for criticizing Christian beliefs. Hell, in some quarters it’s positively celebrated. So if being the subject of open criticism is good enough for Christianity it ought to be good enough for Scientology, Islam and any other religion.

  • D Palmer

    I get the point. Thus the first part of my comment.

    The rest was simply a musing on the extremely vocal attacks on Scientology for its supposedly odd beliefs when the beliefs of conventional religion are really just as odd when you get right down to it.

  • bobby bb

    Stop thinking “Beck is a Scientologist, Beck rocks, what to do?”

    Imagine how much better Beck could rock were he not a Scientologist.

  • Paul Marks

    There is not hidden secret as to why the modern state is quite happy with people mocking traditional Christianity but is unhappy with people mocking cults like Scientology.

    There are two reasons:

    First Scientologists are a minority group – although, I admit, not a popular one with the politically correct (although the antics of the Scientologists do serve the “useful purpose” of discrediting traditional religion)

    Secondly any attack on traditional society (of which Christianity is a part) is a good thing as far as the power-that-be are concered.

    Not a “conspiracy theory” – just observation.

    For example, in the United States the ACLU would go into a rage if taxpayers money was used to finance a Chrisitan school – but they make no attacks on Muslim Charter Schools being financed by taxpayers money.

    This is not because the ACLU activists believe in Muslim doctrines (any more than they believe in Scientology) – it because they see Islam as an ally in destroying traditional America.

    Before anyone thinks the above is “paranoid” have a look at the people who founded the ACLU.

    They were socialists – they pretended support for a United States Constitution (that it was pretence is clear from their letters) whilst wishing to destroy the principles on which it was based.

    Traditional Christianity is only one target – but an important one.

    So supporting attacks on Christianity, whilst denouncing attacks on Islam (and so on) is not a contradiction – not when understands where the leftists (in both the United States and Britain and the West in general) are about.

  • bob

    Now if we can only find the courage to rail against the real dangerous cults like Islam.

  • Joe

    All religion should be mocked, especially mainstream ones.

    (FWIW, Mormons have taken a page from the Scientologists and sue anyone who publishes their handbook of instructions intended for people in leadership position in the church. The irony being that the handbook is very boring.)

  • Laird

    I second Joe’s motion.

  • Denny, Alaska

    Brits, ya need to grow a spine.

  • Paul Marks: The behavior of the Anti-Christian Litigation Unit is known in my native Dutch as “trying to drive out the devil with Beelzebub” (i.e., enlisting a stronger bad guy in your struggle against a weaker one — Beelzebub being the ‘prince of devils’).

    European paleoconservatives tried this in the 1930s — thinking that chap with the toothbrush moustache would help stop Stalinism (which really was diabolical), and therefore one should not be too hard on him. We have seen how well that worked ;-)

    Nowadays you have looney-left liberals making an “objective alliance” against “christofascists” with the mother of all retrograde theological fanaticisms. Marx was right on one thing: history does repeat itself as farce.

  • Dale Amon

    Just go here and scan for Scientology if you want to find out a lot about this bunch of dangerous lunatics:

    http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Wikileaks:Analysis_requested

  • Paul Marks

    Former Belguim:

    Of course many conservatives in Europe were fierce enemies of the National Socialists (for example supporters of the old Hapsburg monarchy in Austria and Hungary).

    But I take your point about people being more concered with the Soviet Union – after all the Marxists had murdered TENS OF MILLIONS of people by 1939 whereas the National Socialists had “only” murdered tens of thousands of people.

    There may even have been dark thoughts in the minds of some conservatives of making an alliance with the National Socialists against the Marxists – at least till the National Socialists and the Marxists joined up in alliance of their own in 1939 (and it was a very real alliance and not just in eastern Europe – for example the French Communists stabbed France in the back in 1940, something that it is not often talked about).

    As for the modern left and Islam:

    Yes in Europe right from the 1960′s some factions of leftists have been fairly open in seeing Muslims as a way of helping break down the traditional societies of Europe (including Belguim). And it is a demented tactic – for the reason you have pointed to.

    The American left (such as the A.C.L.U.) seems to be headed down the same blind alley.

  • Paul Marks

    Former Belguim:

    Of course many conservatives in Europe were fierce enemies of the National Socialists (for example supporters of the old Hapsburg monarchy in Austria and Hungary).

    But I take your point about people being more concered with the Soviet Union – after all the Marxists had murdered TENS OF MILLIONS of people by 1939 whereas the National Socialists had “only” murdered tens of thousands of people.

    There may even have been dark thoughts in the minds of some conservatives of making an alliance with the National Socialists against the Marxists – at least till the National Socialists and the Marxists joined up in alliance of their own in 1939 (and it was a very real alliance and not just in eastern Europe – for example the French Communists stabbed France in the back in 1940, something that it is not often talked about).

    As for the modern left and Islam:

    Yes in Europe right from the 1960′s some factions of leftists have been fairly open in seeing Muslims as a way of helping break down the traditional societies of Europe (including Belguim). And it is a demented tactic – for the reason you have pointed to.

    The American left (such as the A.C.L.U.) seems to be headed down the same blind alley.

  • nick g.

    The Politically Correct observation would be that Scientology is reality-challenged. If you continue to attack majority-challenged groups like this, there will be consequences somewhere. Please wait until your latest Newspeak dictionaries have been issued and all will be double-plus-good!

  • lewis

    Why the f**k is everyone saying, “how could the brits let this happen?”
    Scientology was invented by a f**king American retards!!! A science fiction writer ho most likely went insane and started believing his stories were real, and decided to make it a religion. Also, Scientology is a lot more prolific in America than in Britain, do a tiny bit of research before criticising people.
    Anyway, Scientology is like Nazism. they spy on their critics and ex-members, and their chief auditor (auditing is checking someone’s spirit or something) is called the ‘inspector general’, WTF, it sounds like a Gestapo rank for god’s sake. The real problem is: What if a Scientologist takes power and does a whole fourth Reich thing. Then we’d be completely f**ked.