News

Scientology to get religious law protection in the UK

THE Crown Prosecution Service in the UK has decided that anyone who attacks Scientology can be prosecuted under religious hate laws.

According to this report, the move will – for the first time – provide the barmy Church of Scientology the same protection as other mainstream religions.

Critics of the cult, whose members include Tom Cruise and John Travolta, attacked the decision at the weekend, saying it would encourage Scientologists to push for official recognition in Britain.scientology

Hollywood start Tom Cruise and John Travolta are two of the highest profile followers of scientology.

It is thought that the CPS passed down the guidance after it received legal advice from the Treasury Counsel to regard the group as a religion alongside Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

It means that any alleged offenders who “abuse” or “threaten” the Church can be charged under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.

It is understood the decision was made this month after the Police Diversity Directorate asked the CPS to clarify its position on the organisation.

It follows the arrest last summer of a 15-year-old boy for calling Scientology a “dangerous cult” during a demonstration outside the Church’s £23million headquarters in London. The youth was never charged with any offence.

Scientology, which was founded by the sci-fi author L Ron Hubbard in the fifties and teaches that humans are immortal spiritual beings known as Thetans, has long been accused of using dubious methods to recruit members.

As far back as July 1968, it was described in Parliament by a Government Minister as an organisation that has “authoritarian principles and practices” that are a “potential menace to the personality and well-being of those so deluded as to become its followers”.

That definition, of course, makes it perfectly logical that Scientology should be afforded the same protection as the Roman Catholic Church and Islam in particular.

Ian Harris, founder of the Cult Information Centre, said:

Scientology has always wanted to be recognised as a religion but it doesn’t even have a God. This decision is news to me and it is frankly quite upsetting and shocking. The Church of Scientology will be delighted and will want to use this to give themselves more credibility.

A CPS spokesman said:

It is ultimately for the courts to decide how to interpret legislation.

Graeme Wilson, public affairs director for The Church of Scientology in the UK, said:

Scientology is the chosen religion of millions of people around the world, a point which has been recognised by numerous governmental bodies.

28 responses to “Scientology to get religious law protection in the UK”

  1. Shargraves says:

    The sound of my palm slapping my forehead has just echoed around my office….

  2. Buffy says:

    Does this mean if I pull some poo out of my backside and slap the label “religion” on it I can get all sorts of special protections, rights and benefits for it? That’s all it seems to take these days.

    People on the other hand, are just plain screwed–particularly if they’re on the wrong end of someone’s “religious beliefs”.

  3. brainfuck says:

    It’s quite obvious why it’s now classified as a religion, as its just as crazy as every other religion, some say even more crazy. But why the hell does a neurological disorder need respect instead of treatment?

  4. quedula says:

    “Hollywood starts Tom Cruise and John Travolta are two of the highest profile followers of scientology.”

    “Starts” of the “up” variety no doubt.

  5. remigius says:

    quedula. I think Barry inadvertently put the ‘s’ at the front of the word instead of at the end.

    It should obviously read ‘Hollywood tarts Tom Cruise and John Travolta…’

  6. valdemar says:

    Buffy, once you have really stupid laws, you can bet people will exploit ’em. Pandering to religious groups, especially Muslims, looks good to some MPs. We’ll all live to regret it. Or not, as the case may be.

    That said, Scientology is a proper religion, albeit a new one. Its doctrines are absurd, its founder was a charlatan, its followers are humourless, brainwashed idiots – how much evidence do you need?

  7. Angela K says:

    Given the litigious nature of Hubbard’s acolytes – and their wealth – you can guarantee an increase in vexatious claims.

  8. Barry Duke says:

    “Start” (which should obviously have been “stars”) was a pre-first-coffee-of-the-day typo. But seeing as you guys have been having so much fun with it, I’ll let it ride, otherwise your comments will leave others in a state of confusion.

  9. drcancerman says:

    I still can’t understand why religion deserves SO MUCH respect… I still can’t!

  10. hen says:

    I feel laws should be logically and consistently applied; if nothing else but to highlight how ludicrous they are. Scientology is clearly a religion on par with all the other world’s religions. Mock them all is what I say.

  11. Michael says:

    Can you copyright the core text of a religion?

  12. Shargraves says:

    Interesting point Michael – if religions copyrighted it’s text, hymns and verses – everytime an idiot (sorry follower) quoted scripture – they’d have to pay up a royalty fee ;o)

    Scientology is a multi-level marketing scam anyway! Except they are selling “spirituality” rather than diet drinks etc

  13. Peter Brietbart says:

    It’s about time we give up and play their game. Fine, yes, Atheism IS a religion as morons keep on proclaiming. As such, we demand special legal rights that do not allow criticism of Atheist dogma.
    Discussion and disagreement of Atheist faith should be punishable by legal repercussions and “hate speech” laws.

    All hail no-one.

  14. sure belif says:

    how can you even classify shitology as a religion? it was formed by an 32 degree freemason, who concluded that the more cash you splash , the more you learn. should it not then be classified as eduacation?
    Now , go give Tom Cruise some more cash, he needs it surely.
    What is happening to U.K? Big brother state, and nobody speaks up…as long as there is fish and chips and football, things is allright

  15. Serai says:

    In a way this law could be a good thing, as it means should someone be arrested for calling scientology a dangerous cult for instance, the defendant will then have the opportunity to prove this is actually a true statement of fact rather than hate speech.

    This will not be very difficult to prove at all, and would require some extreme cognitive dissonance or outright dismissal of facts in the defence on the part of the judge. I do hope this one comes back to bite the scamotology network marketing corporation right in the arse!

  16. Stuart W says:

    I don’t agree with everything he writes, but Johann Hari beautifully sums up the mind-numbing gullibility and ruthless greed that defines this particular cult, er, religion in these pieces. To be fair, much of what is said applies to most other religions to.

    http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=1115

  17. Alun says:

    Screw scientology.

    It’s more fun to be a Jedi.

  18. Michael says:

    I was just curious. We in the UK have freedom of religion, the CoS insist that you need to pay them to be a scientologist. This could be turned around quite effectively.

  19. Dr William Harwood says:

    According to Scientology’s UK propaganda minister, Scientology is the “chosen religion of millions of people around the world.” In fact the total number of Scientologists worldwide is 50,000. see http://www.solitarytrees.net/racism/howmany.htm and http://www.factnet.org/scientology/realstats.htm
    As Jon Atack explains in A Piece of Blue Sky, Ron Hubbard informed publisher John Campbell in 1949 that “he would like to start a religion, because that was where the money was.” When he was preparing to do so, he gloated to a co-conspirator, “Let’s sell these people a piece of blue sky.” And to show his utter contempt for the marks gullible enough to take his confidence swindle seriouly, Hubbard named his alien invaders’ home planet ARSLYCUS.
    Despite Hubbard’s successful precedent, Ken Lay, Conrad Black and Bernard Madoff did not protect themselves by passing off their billion-dollar swindles as religions. When will they ever learn?

  20. Stonyground says:

    I think that this could have its upside too. Traditional religions are just as absurd but at least have the advantage, from a believer’s point of view, of being old and venerable, having stood the test of time and contributed, for good or ill, to our culture. Forcing people to “Respect” the inane nonsense that is Scientology surely calls into question the forced respect the we supposedly must give to established religions and at least some fence-sitters must conclude that they are all rubbish.

  21. Buffy says:

    Peter Brietbart,

    It’s about time we give up and play their game. Fine, yes, Atheism IS a religion as morons keep on proclaiming. As such, we demand special legal rights that do not allow criticism of Atheist dogma.
    Discussion and disagreement of Atheist faith should be punishable by legal repercussions and “hate speech” laws.

    All hail no-one.

    I’m beginning to agree with that. If you can’t beat them, join them and profit.

    Then I could also claim “religious persecution” because of the jerks who won’t let me marry. My religion doesn’t prohibit same-sex marriage, so therefore my religious rights are being denied by same-sex marriage bans.

  22. Dr William Harwood says:

    As a historian, and therefore a scientist in the sense of “one who utilizes a scientific methodology,” I am offended, insulted, nauseated and outraged when believers in religion try to drag science down to their level by calling science a religion. Since “religion” is the most pejorative, vicious, vile, evil label that can be attached to a belief system, I would be delighted to brand Scientology as a religion. But Scientology is not a religion, any more than Marxism, psychoanalysis (despite obvious parallels) and the Charles Manson cult are religions. A religion is by definition a belief system whose scriptwriters claim to be spokesmen for a nonhuman higher lifeform, or at the very least (in order for Buddhism to qualify as a religion), a philosophy that claims to obey some kind of metaphysical or supernatural higher power or ultimate reality of more-than-human origin.
    Despite his chutzpah in passing off a science fiction scenario as a religion, Ron Hubbard made no pretence that he or his mindslaves were obeying the commandments of a higher power. He promoted the cult in which HE was the ultimate power and lawgiver as a religion, simply because the word “religion” was an aphrodisiac for the stupid, the ignorant and the intestinally challenged whom he planned to fleece. And he got away with it. As mindless and semi-literate as they clearly are, some of Hollywood’s most successful actors could not have been fleeced of millions of dollars by any other means than pretending that the scam picking their pockets was a religion. And of course that was Hubbard’s whole point.

  23. valdemar says:

    Dr Harwood, while science – with its foundations firmly in objective fact and rational scepticism – is certainly not a religion, atheism is surely a ‘faith position’, which is what our gormless and cynical political masters pretend to revere? i.e. I’m an agnostic atheist. Agnostic because obviously I can’t claim to know there’s no god (a rational, mature position) but also atheist because – in a purely emotional sense – I can’t stand the Abrahamic god or the earthly company he supposedly keeps.

  24. Barry Duke says:

    Valdemar, I’ve just dug out a great quote from American physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics, Steven Weinberg:

    “Science should be taught not in order to support religion and not in order to destroy religion. Science should be taught simply ignoring religion.”

  25. hol says:

    Holy Crap – I have just read through the [Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006] link here. Barry, the rozzers could have you over a barrel and shut down in a second y’know!

    Why the hell the police have not shut down the madrassas’ (who teach muslim boys to hate pig and monkey westerners, jews/christians) is just a massive contradiction.

    Screw this UKGOV and all it stands for and your religion too!

  26. Stuart W says:

    Aside from the fact that what is considered ‘threatening’ seems to be open to much interpretation, it sounds as if sites like this are allowed under section 29B (2), providing that ‘dwelling’ extends to private websites – one more thing kept (purposely?) vague.

  27. Dr William Harwood says:

    I can only assume the the person who calls himself an agnostic and buys into the Big Lie that the nonexistence of “God” has not been proven, did not read the comment I posted to the story about a cardinal who misquoted Richard Dawkins.
    Claiming that the nonexistence of “God” (as opposed to “gods” as a class)cannot be proven, is no different from claiming that the nonexistence of Lemuel Gulliver, Toad of Toad Hall, or Alice in Wonderland cannot be proven. Each is a character from a fantasy novel that is riddled to the core with statements that are incompatible with known reality. As the most obvious example, all bibles (The Book) state in 14 places that the earth is flat–among 19,000 other falsifiable assertions. Since the only claim of a god revealing its existence comes from such a source, there is, as agnostics recognize, no justifiable reason for taking it seriously. But the deity of the Tanakh, Bible and Koran is credited with qualities that are mutually exclusive (see cited comment), and therefore can no more exist than can a giant midget, a healthy leper, or a sane godworshipper.

  28. […] You may have heard that the Crown Prosecution Service has given the Church of Scientology the same legal protection as other mainstream religions like Christianity and Islam. This means that people who attack, abuse and threaten our faith can be prosecuted under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. […]