Touchy bunch, the Scientologists
A WELSH councillor is facing a disciplinary hearing after calling the Church of Scientology “stupid” in a post on the Twitter website.
Wales’ public standards watchdog said John Dixon is likely to have breached the code of conduct for local authority members with his short message last year.
The Church of Scientology, according to this report, made an official complaint after spotting the posting last year.
The church, created by American science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard in the 1950s, has a reputation for being fiercely litigious and has been accused in the US courts of trying to use the legal system to destroy critics.
Dixon, Cardiff council’s executive member for health and social services, as well as being a web developer and microbiologist, is contesting the complaint saying he was writing in a personal capacity.
He posted the message on his Twitter account, then called CllrJohnDixon, when he was in London last year buying his wife-to-be a wedding ring.
I didn’t know the Scientologists had a church on Tottenham Court Road. Just hurried past in case the stupid rubs off.
In a follow-up comment after the Scientologists registered to receive all his Twitter posts, he posted:
Just realised the Scientologists are following me. Quick everyone, pretend you’re out.
Dixon did not want to comment and said he would make a statement after the disciplinary process is completed.
He has since changed his name on the Twitter website to JohnLDixon to emphasise he is posting in a private capacity.
The complaint was made to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in December last year, nearly six months after the messages were posted on Twitter.
The church alleged the messages impinged on the right to religious freedom and were being made in an official capacity, given the name CllrJohnDixon.
Ombudsman Peter Tyndall has issued a summary judgement in which he found there is likely to have been a breach of the code of conduct and referred the complaint to Cardiff council’s Standards and Ethics Committee.
A while back American Indie film director John Roecker, pictured right,Â almost got himself thumped in LA’s trendy Los Feliz neighborhood for wearing a T-shirt that a pair of Scientologists found insulting. Â The shirt had a picture of Tom Cruise on the front and a caption “Scientology is Gay!” On the back was “Stayin’-Alive”-era John Travolta with the words “Very Gay!”
On seeing the shirt, actor Bodhi Elfman said:
Hey, man, you’re making fun of my religion.
The encounter got more heated when Roecker made some disparaging remarks about a key character in Scientology, Xenu, an intergalactic space dictator, who who, 75 million years ago, brought billions of his people to Earth in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology dogma holds that the essences of these many people remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm.
Scientology stupid? Where on earth did Dixon get that idea!
Hat tip: BarrieJohn