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Church of Scientology Proposes Net Censorship In Australia

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the all-they-want-is-a-little-sanity dept.

Censorship 464

An anonymous reader writes "Submitted by the Australian branch of Scientology to the local Human Rights Commission is a proposal to eliminate anonymity on the net and the removal of critical websites (MS Word document). The submission is listed as #1931 at this page at the Australian Human Rights Commission." (Read on below for some of the details of what the Scientologists propose.)"SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS: Recommendation 1: The implementation of Criminal and Civil Restrictions on Religious Vilification. Recommendation 2: Restriction on Anonymity on acts of Religious Vilification: 2.1 Websites created with primary purpose of inciting religious vilification shall be removed or their access to the Australian public restricted. 2.2 Creators of websites whose primary purpose is the incitement of religious vilification shall be prevented from concealing their identity. Recommendation 3: Restriction on Religious Misinformation and Misrepresentation known or reasonably known to be untruthful in the Media Recommendation 4: Include a form of Bill or Charter of Rights into the Australian Constitution, which prevents the Commonwealth from making any law, which 'directly, indirectly or incidentally' prohibits the free exercise of religion to the extent of such prohibition."

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464 comments

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So.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338815)

Are there any Scientologists in the Australian govt? And does this just happen to coincide with Tom's recent visit down-under?

Re:So.... (3, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338851)

An anonymous reader writes

Those guys never give up. :)

Re:So.... (4, Interesting)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338959)

Hrmm, what needs to happen, is Anonymous needs to declare itself a religion, then this horrid battle by the Co$ to suppress and vilify them could be stopped!

Re:So.... (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339109)

I think I have a better idea that would involve fewer new cults:
Slashdot Your Rights Online Story | Denizens of the Internet Propose Church of Scientology Shut Up And Go Away

As an Australian (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338817)

The head of the Galactic Federation (76 planets around larger
      stars visible from here) (founded 95,000,000 years ago, very
      space opera) solved overpopulation (250 billion or so per planet,
      178 billion on average) by mass implanting. He caused people to
      be brought to Teegeeack (Earth) and put an H-Bomb on the
      principal volcanos (Incident II) and then the Pacific area ones
      were taken in boxes to Hawaii and the Atlantic area ones to
      Las Palmas and there "packaged".

      His name was Xenu. He used renegades. Various misleading
      data by means of circuits etc. was placed in the implants.

      When through with his crime loyal officers (to the people)
      captured him after six years of battle and put him in an
      electronic mountain trap where he still is. "They" are gone.
      The place (Confederation) has since been a desert. The length
      and brutality of it all was such that this Confederation never
      recovered. The implant is calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc)
      anyone who attempts to solve it. This liability has been
      dispensed with by my tech development.

      One can freewheel through the implant and die unless it is
      approached as precisely outlined. The "freewheel" (auto-running
      on and on) lasts too long, becomes a nigger then dies. So be
      careful to do only Incidents I and II as given and not plow
      around and fail to complete one thetan at a time.

      In December 1967 I knew someone had to take the plunge. I did
      and emerged very knocked out, but alive. Probably the only one
      ever to do so in 75,000,000 years. I have all the data now, but
      only that given here is needful.

      One's body is a mass of individual thetans stuck to oneself or
      to the body.

      One has to clean them off by running incident II and Incident I.
      It is a long job, requiring care, patience and good auditing.
      You are running beings. They respond like any preclear. Some
      large, some small.

      Thetans believed they were one. This is the primary error.
      Good luck.

Re:As an Australian (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338853)

(As an American.) Wow, that is very space opera-ish. It sounds like the fevered mumblings of a burnt-out science fiction author who has indulged in too much alcohol and too many prescription painkillers. Can you identify the source and describe what it has to do with this post?

Re:As an Australian (4, Insightful)

hasdikarlsam (414514) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338915)

Um, that's the core of the scientology "religion". You should know this.

And yes, it is indeed the fevered mumblings of a burnt-out science fiction author who has indulged in too much alcohol and too many prescription painkillers.

Re:As an Australian (5, Informative)

pisto_grih (1165105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338939)

woosh

Re:As an Australian (3, Insightful)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338941)

with a hidden, apparrently gnaa, sub-troll

Re:As an Australian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339045)

Oh no no! No pain killers, because medication is evil..... Just THINK yourself better and it will happen

Re:As an Australian (4, Informative)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339279)

Um, that's the core of the scientology "religion". You should know this.

And yes, it is indeed the fevered mumblings of a burnt-out science fiction author who has indulged in too much alcohol and too many prescription painkillers.

Somebody's sarcasm meter is broken.

Re:As an Australian (3, Informative)

dosius (230542) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338969)

It's the first page of the documents of Scientrollogy's supar-sekrit Operating Thetan 3 doctrine.

-uso.

and... (1, Redundant)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339005)

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

Uninformative "typo" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339033)

>"The "freewheel" (auto-running on and on) lasts too long, becomes a nigger then dies."

Mods, you've just blown a point on some GNAA flamebait.
For the real version of "Understanding Scientology" by Margery Wakefield, see http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/Shelf/wakefield/us-07.html [cmu.edu]

Uh oh! (1)

GQuon (643387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339153)

This copyright infringement - and also a blatant attempt to short circuit the brains of people who are not ready to read it - might lead to your comment being deleted.

Re:As an Australian (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339339)

The head of the Galactic Federation...

Is this story available online anywhere? (I assume it can't be purchased from a bookstore). I think it would be fun to read, but I'm not interested in the cult stuff.

Scientology is a dangerous cult (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338821)

Scientology is a dangerous cult

Re:Scientology is a dangerous cult (4, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338859)

It's banned in some European countries, too. In the rest, it's not a religion.

Re:Scientology is a dangerous cult (1)

MistrX (1566617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338875)

But scientologists are in every layer of society. Interwoven in all kinds of branches. Including but not limited to hospitals...

Oh my Thetan!

Re:Scientology is a dangerous cult (2, Funny)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339379)

So are computer programmers, liberals, and fascists.

Re: Also important to know: (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339007)

http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/dm-yscohb/

Re:Scientology is a dangerous cult (0, Redundant)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339213)

It brainwashes it's members into handing over some proportion of their wealth to "the cause", and proclaims that they have the one true God (or lizard, or whatever), and that all the others are false. Believers shall get a reward when they die, while non-believers shall go to hell (or the centre of a black hole, or whatever).

Everything must be taken on faith, because no God worth his salt will ever manifest himself, or actually DO anything for his followers until they die, except torture / punish / bring acts of God upon them, in some bizarre kind of test to see if he made them right in the first place.

Sound just like any other religion to me ...

Re:Scientology is a dangerous cult (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339457)

Ha ha! Now we have all your details...

We're going to get you....

And your little dog too!

Figures... (5, Insightful)

durin (72931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338825)

Scientologists have never been too fond of freedom of speech. Hurts their profit margins.

Re:Figures... (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338913)

Do they tax "religious organizations" in Australia? If not, perhaps it's time to start looking into it. Network censorship isn't going to pay for itself you know.

TOP SECRET SCIENTOLOGY DOCUMENTS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338933)

You are educated evil,
and I possess the proof.
USA ripe for holocaust.
Man evolves from teen -
in cube metamorphosis
but ignores teenager to worship a male mother,
guised in woman's garb,
churchman called father.
Adult god is adult crime
upon their own children.
More holocaust deserved.
The 12 hour or 1/2 Day clock is an intended EVIL against humanity -
indicting every human on Earth as Dumb, Educated Stupid and Evil -
for imaginary Cubed Earth has 4
Days within simultaneous rotation.
    One God would equal a God Dunce
as Humans evolve from Children.

Americans are dumb, educated ONE
stupid and they worship ONEism Evil.
It is not immoral to kill believers, for the stupid bastards EVOLVE from son
or daughter who precedes them. NOT one damn human adult has ever been
created - for ONLY babies are CREATED - and every adult has within them the LIFE given by children who DIE to give-up their lives to their parent
image - so their mom or Dad can live. Adults are EVIL to deny they evolved from children - and claim their adult EGO image is a god likeness. Such damn evil AMERICANS should have their tongue cut out for the heinous hoax they are perpetrating upon their own children. I know now why the Jews
deserved their holocaust - worshipping their own adult EGO image as a damn god whil ignoring and betraying they very children who sacrifice their LIFE
so their Moms and Dads could Live. There is nothing godly about stupid
and evil adults who betray their own children who gave them Life. I AM
WISER THAN ANY DAMN MAN OR GOD WHO EVER EXISTED. IF THE

HALF AND HALF CO-CREATED
JESUS RETURNS TO EARTH, I WILL PERSONALLY KILL THE BASTARD MYSELF. ALL CREATION OCCURS
BETWEEN AND AS OPPOSITES. YOU DUMB-ASS, EARTH, THE UNIVERSE
AND EVERY LIVING THING IN IT

How does this affect them? (4, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338831)

I don't see why Scientology is interested in the matter. It's not as if they're a religion. They haven't even suggested the protection of pyramid schemes.

Re:How does this affect them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338887)

I don't see why Scientology is interested in the matter. It's not as if they're a religion.

In the eyes of the law, and therefore the taxman, they are indeed a religion. Your personal views don't change this. Anything you use to show the cult's beliefs are baloney can be applied to classical beliefs too. It's time all of these religious groups lose their tax protections, but that will never happen. They're too rich and can bribe any politician they don't already own.

Re:How does this affect them? (5, Informative)

Tx (96709) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338993)

In the eyes of the law, and therefore the taxman, they are indeed a religion.

Only in some countries, several countries are sensible enough to refuse the scientologists recognition as an official religion. Have a look at this article [wikipedia.org] , and the linked documents. As far as us Brits are concerned, note the findings of the Charity Comission in refusing charitable status to the scientologists; "Scientology is not a religion for the purposes of English charity law."

Re:How does this affect them? (4, Informative)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338999)

That would be the American tax man. In parts of Australia, the 'Church of Scientology' has disappeared. We now have the 'Hubbard Dianetics Foundation' or some such. Same building, same scam, different name. With such a bad rep, I hope some of it rubs off on the current censorship proposals. Thank you, Ronbots.

Re:How does this affect them? (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338923)

Now, now. Scientology isn't a pyramid scheme. Even though they share a few traits like the ones on the top getting rich while the ones at the bottom pay for it.

Their marketing scheme has more in common with what in German speaking countries is known as a "Kaffeefahrt". The business scheme works like this: You get some snail spam where you're told you won some nice prize (a new TV or something) and a bus trip to some godforsaken place. If you're gullible (and usually, old) enough to fall for it, you're loaded on a bus and shipped off to some inn there, where you will endure a sales presentation lasting no less than 4-5 hours, with the unspoken (or often spoken) threat that we're not going home 'til enough people bought the junk offered. Your big prize is usually some piece of junk as well, there are some (more or less serious) lists circulating the internet what those grand prizes really are. Example: A "candlelight dinner"? Right. 2 candles, 2 noodle cups.

Re:How does this affect them? (2, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339055)

I know Germany has some odd laws, but isn't that kidnapping and/or false imprisonment?

Re:How does this affect them? (5, Informative)

he-sk (103163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339261)

In Germany, this could be prosecuted as coercion. However, the organizers figure that if you're gullible enough to go to such a trip in the first place, it's not very likely that you'll press charges.

Wo kein KlÃger, da kein Richter.

Re:How does this affect them? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339475)

Nope. Because you agreed that you'll participate in a sales promo that will take a while. It's actually advertised as a "day trip" to that place. I.e. you already agreed that you'll be stuck there for a day.

Critical? (4, Insightful)

MistrX (1566617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338835)

Do they define 'critical' as every website that speaks negatively about Scientology? By the way: There goes Slashdots anonymous features!

Re:Critical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339129)

Yes, that's generally what the word "critical" means. Is this "english language" thing new to you? Anyway, to cull any doubts, here's what OED has to offer:

critical

      adjective 1 expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgements.

Really? Wonder why... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338841)

Well, I'm not accusing the Co$ of anything, but if I was a group that uses heavy peer pressure and the fact that as a group I have vastly more resources than any individual, monetary and time-wise, I'd certainly want anonymity stripped away so I know which individuals I'd have to silence to send out a message to other individuals.

I just wish they'd do something like this in Europe. It would do a huge service towards net anonymity, considering how many governments react to pretty much anything the Cult spews.

Good luck mate (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338847)

Australia is probably the absolute worst place for them to push this. 30% to 40% of the population is non-religious, and our mindset is one of "suck it up" with respect to shit like this. This reeks of bully boy tactics and that doesn't sit well with Aussies.

Anyway I doubt it'd pass the Senate for other reasons. Between the Greens, Family First, Liberal, and Labour, 3 of those are strong Christian parties, and the other is strongly secular and radically opposed to censorship.

Re:Good luck mate (4, Insightful)

acb (2797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338893)

Though Labor and the religiots are committed to forcing through a national censorship infrastructure. If that's in place, expanding what is restricted is a matter of mere administrative fiat, no troublesome democratic debate required.

Thankfully, the firewall plan seems to have trouble getting the numbers in the Senate, and the fiasco of the recent technical trials (deemed a "success" by the government with no actual objective criteria having been cited and scant detail) is unlikely to help. Hearing that Tom Cruise's crazy friends want to use it to stamp out criticism of them probably won't be any more helpful.

Re:Good luck mate (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339331)

Now the question is should you say form the Church of Anonymous, whose religious principles are directly opposed to those of say CO$ (the Corporation Of Scientology). Would not the CO$ opposition to that religion and attempts to silence it be religious vilification. So the great god Xenu captured and imprisoned a whole bunch LRonned evil zombies and imprisoned them on a planet at it's core in a 13th dimensional state. One day one of the evil LRonned zombie spirits (Hubbardus) escaped the planetary core and infected the spirit of a human living on the surface of that planet and as allowed more evil LRonned zombies spirits, to escape their planetary core 13th dimensional prison. They infest the upper levels of CO$, zombie level OT V and above and these beings seek to enslave the rest of humanity.

Only by opposing the evil LRonned zombie CO$ and by worshipping the great god Xenu can the evil LRonned zombie spirits be driven back into their 13th dimensional planetary core prison, especially the current leader, the asthmatic dwarf zombie. PS. it is blasphemy to call the great god Xenu and evil galactic war lord.

How old does a religion have to be to have protection of laws like these, the time it takes to read this post perhaps? LRonned: definition - to be screwed over by a corporation, masquerading as a cult pretending to be a religion (double plus if you started the whole charade).

Re:Good luck mate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338917)

>Australia is probably the absolute worst place for them to push this. 30% to 40% of the population is non-religious, and our mindset is one of "suck it up" with respect to shit like this.

I believe much more people than 30-40% were against net censorship, but look what happened...

Re:Good luck mate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338931)

>Australia is probably the absolute worst place for them to push this. 30% to 40% of the population is non-religious, and our mindset is one of "suck it up" with respect to shit like this.

I believe much more people than 30-40% were against net censorship, but look what happened...

What happened? Labour is too afraid to even propose the bill in the House because they know it won't pass the Senate you douchebag.

Re:Good luck mate (3, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339029)

If we can link this pack of religious nuts with the other lot that are already pushing for filters, we can probably kill it for good.

Re:Good luck mate (1)

KenMcM (1293074) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338975)

I believe much more people than 30-40% were against net censorship, but look what happened...

The stubborn Senator still hasn't drafted any bill and Parliament haven't voted? Seriously, what happened? As far as I'm aware, nothing aside from the termination of the government-funded home software filter scheme has happened. This is good, it means we have the ability to prevent anything more from happening. That is, unless you've raised the white flag before the battle began.

Midnight Oil (2)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338921)

I'm hoping it would get Midnight Oil back together, go to the Scientology HQ, and sing in front of the building like they did for Exxon. Of course, there would have to be some sort of connection with the environment [wikipedia.org] for them to take notice or maybe not. Anything to get them recording again.

Re:Midnight Oil (1)

acb (2797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338951)

Peter Garrett is too busy defending uranium mining as the Australian government's Environment minister.

Re:Midnight Oil (2, Interesting)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339307)

Peter Garrett is too busy defending uranium mining as the Australian government's Environment minister.

A form of uranium mining that is illegal in the US and Russia. After everything he said - Unbe-fucking-leivable

Re:Good luck mate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339453)

Unfortunately, $cientology was recognised as a bona-fide religion here.

Fortunately, their proposal won't go anywhere.

Unfortunately, Senator Conroy is 100& committed to a "filter"

Fortunately, this is a stupid idea and will eventually be recognised as such, and dropped.

Censorship - A Haiku. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338849)

It is a fools game.

Tighter the fist more leaks out.

There is no free cake.

Re:Censorship - A Haiku. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338965)

The cake is not a lie: I actually received a free sponge-cake with apples and cinnamon yesterday. (Yes, it was mom :-).

Oblig. XKCD (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339103)

Re:Oblig. XKCD (1)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339277)

I know it was a joke, but I can't help it. I'd suggest either standard or slightly modified Eastern Style [wikipedia.org] , perhaps replacing the parenthesis with brackets or curly braces such as "(Yes, it was mom (^_^) || [^_^] || {^_^})," that way the emoticon is its own entity and contains opening and closing characters that won't interfere with the parenthetical style.

This might be a good thing. (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338861)

No really. The internet is getting all clogged up with stupid weirdos talking shit about stuff and nobody can even read about glue or levers any more what with all the hooting and hollering at all hours of the day and night. So the heck with your "free speech" why don't you go swim in a giant cowturd you obscene incestuous monkey chuckers.

Quick call the psychiatrists!!!! (1, Funny)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338867)

It's time they channelled Xenu and got him to finish the job!

Scientology and the Credit Crunch (0, Redundant)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338881)

If only Scientology had been on hand for the Great Recession! Just consider the following questions from the Personality Test, applied to financial executives [today.com] :

2. When others are getting rattled, do you remain fairly composed?
8. Are your actions considered unpredictable by other people?
23. Do you resent the efforts of others to tell you what to do?
24. Is it normally hard for you to "own up and take the blame"?
30. Do you enjoy telling people the latest scandal about your associates?
59. Do you consider the modern prisons without bars system "doomed to failure"?
76. Do you sometimes give away articles which strictly speaking do not belong to you?
124. Do you often make tactless blunders?
125. Are you suspicious of people who ask to borrow money from you?

And everyone knows the current Federal Reserve system was set up as the result of a bet between Alan Greenspan and L. Ron Hubbard.

Dangerous reading. (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338889)

Anyone reading Scientology material becomes pretty much immune against their brainwash. Its more like a very badly written sci-fi novel than anything else. Letting people read it in a safe enviroment makes recruting more cultists so much harder.

The only way to get rid of stupid cults like Scientology, Christianity and the like is to expose them freely and put them against real knowledge and science. Religion has no place in a modern society.

Re:Dangerous reading. (4, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339017)

You were doing fine until you veered into haterland by including Christianity "and the like".

History is replete with examples of people converted to Christianity simply by reading the Bible on their own without outside influence.
(simply Google "Converts to Christianity" You will find many converted simply by gaining access to a Bible written in their language.)

Judaism and Islam have similar examples.

Scientology has none. This is one of the hallmarks of a true cult; They win no converts outside of their brainwashing, and their "scriptures" are nonsense to anyone outside the group.

While some atheists might describe some mainstream religious texts as "nonsense", the vast majority of people, regardless of their belief, would not.

Stop being a hater miffo.swe. You are free to believe or not as you wish. But don't go lumping the major religions in with cults like Scientology

Re:Dangerous reading. (5, Insightful)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339133)

I went the other way... I read the bible and became a non-christian! I've also got the Koran and the Torah in my collection, and I'm not Muslim nor Jew.

Re:Dangerous reading. (4, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339139)

"Stop being a hater miffo.swe. You are free to believe or not as you wish. But don't go lumping the major religions in with cults like Scientology"

I dare to lump all the major religions in with scientology. Christianity beat Scientology any day if you look at it historically. A more brutal conversion than the one from hedonism to christianity is hard to find. Cult is a bit too nice of a wording for how most of our religions have come to be. You carry on closing your eyes and dont whatever you do read any history.

Re:Dangerous reading. (1)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339459)

.... and historically, men beat women, whites beat blacks, everybody beat the Jews, and on and on.

Just because it happened historically doesn't mean that it's still happening, or that it was the main thrust of the functioning of that religion in the past. Everybody looks at events like the Spanish Inquisition* and condemns the church, without mentioning the otherwise good acts it has done, past and present.

* "NOOOOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!"

Re:Dangerous reading. (2, Insightful)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339353)

why the fuck is this post Funny? do slashdotters smoke that much weed?

Re:Dangerous reading. (5, Insightful)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339403)

A religion is only a cult that's had more time to gather in more suckers. Every religion starts as a cult. They all have funny rituals as ways to worship their chosen invisible man. The major world religions all started at a time when mankind knew little science, so the stories and explanations about the world around them as told by preachers sounded believable enough to stick with.

The problem any new cult has today is that science has provided a lot of answers which contradict the religious versions, and of course religion being "the word of God" it can't be revised. Modern cults like Scientology are all fighting against a modern backdrop that people have long seen through the bullshit the major religions spew out in an effort to control their sheep, as well as a million and one documentaries and fictional stories about cults, scams and rackets.

In other words they came late to the party, all the gullible people are taken and all they have left are those who pour scorn or ridicule over their claims.

Religions or their underdeveloped little brothers the Cults all have one aim, control. They seek to be the gatekeeper between their God and the believer. They manipulate people's emotions to get and maintain that control. They claim to offer spiritual and therefor unverifiable rewards to those who allow themselves to be controlled, and punish those who seek to either disrupt that control, or seek to escape it. All religions and cults have illogical "truths" told in fictional stories a 5 year old could write better with less plot holes. All religions entrench the leadership in unchallengeable potions.

What many seem to forget is belief in God, is different from considering oneself part of any religion or cult. Many people have seen the damage religion and it's followers have done to the planet and it's inhabitants and can't bare to be associated with it. That does not stop them believing in God. They can see religion for what it is, a man made manipulative organization using an unverifiable connection to God as the hook which amounts to "do what we say, in return we'll ask God to help you out, we have a direct line to him you know. We can't of course teach you how to do that for yourself as we're his special ones."

A couple of quotes spring to mind:

"God, please protect me from your followers"
"Every day more and more people are giving up religion and returning to God"

Re:Dangerous reading. (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339419)

While some atheists might describe some mainstream religious texts as "nonsense", the vast majority of people, regardless of their belief, would not.

I think theists are somewhat biased when judging whether a religious text is "nonsense".

I don't think the books of the Bible are "nonsense". The stories make sense, they're sometimes interesting. But they're nothing more than stories and to suggest the magic is somehow real is ridiculous.

Re:Dangerous reading. (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339437)

You could argue that Scientology has no converts from just reading their texts because their texts have been locked up away from non-initiates all these years. Christianity, Judaism, Islam and all the other whacko cults that have been around for thousands of years with vast numbers of adherents have had plenty of time with their "public domain" religious texts - it just demonstrates the danger of Open Source and the benefits of DRM :-)

You only get to read the Scientologists text with a valid license key (aka lobotomy)

Re:Dangerous reading. (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339467)

I think if they were upfront about Xenu they'd still get a lot of recruits.

Re:Dangerous reading. (5, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339461)

While some atheists might describe some mainstream religious texts as "nonsense", the vast majority of people, regardless of their belief, would not.

Argumentum ad populum. Would Scientology be true, if lots more people believed it?

And actually, you're wrong anyway - since there are several different religions with inconsistent views, religious people would still view other religions as wrong (often with a greater zeal than any atheist - e.g., Christians who preach that non-Christians will go to hell), and therefore any given religion still has a majority who don't believe in it. So for example, there may be about 2 billion Christians, but the "vast majority" still don't believe in Christianity.

But yes, I do agree with you - the only difference between cults and religions are how many people believe in it.

But don't go lumping the major religions in with cults like Scientology

In the context of laws like this, trying to argue against it by saying Scientology isn't a religion is a dangerous tactic - it means the law is still considered justified for religions. I think it's a bad law all round.

Re:Dangerous reading. (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339023)

Well... no.

The ideas and principles that most religions are based on are sound and sane. When you look at the ideals of a few world religions (christianity, islam, judaism, buddhism, hinduism...), you'll notice that they all somehow focus on an attempt to get society to work well together. They all follow a more or less common moral standard: Don't steal. Don't kill. Don't lie. Try to live a "good" life and do "good" things. They promise rewards in the afterlife for this, which might be a bit too mystical for the secular mind of this time, but in general the intention behind it isn't so bad.

I do agree that they outlived their original function, i.e. working as the means to keep people in check with the "all seeing eye of God" or whatever, where he (she, they, it's all good) see everything and will rip you a new one after death even if you escape judgement here. We replaced that with surveillance cams in this time and age. Still, I think it would be in general better for the whole of society if people got more "moral" and we somehow found a way to instill in them the idea that stealing/killing/etc is just not ok.

They also failed due to their local "users", the people who wield power due to being religious leaders. Invariably, you will find few cult/religion leaders that don't abuse their position to gain wealth and power, even working diametrally against their own religion's teachings. This isn't what religion was created for. But I ramble.

In general, religons should not be needed anymore. We got other means today that work better when it comes to keeping people in check. Still, a general code of moral would be nice. I wouldn't want to watch my back all the time to avoid getting a knife stuck where the sun doesn't shine because I got something someone else wants.

Re:Dangerous reading. (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339343)

Weird you got rated as 'Funny'.. That's more of less a distillation of a goodly many academic texts on theology.

Re:Dangerous reading. (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339383)

again, what's up with the funny mods? insightful? maybe. interesting? i'd say so. but how is it possible to find something funny in this post?

Re:Dangerous reading. (4, Informative)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339493)

The ideas and principles that most religions are based on are sound and sane.

No they aren't. The ideas are pretty much all in fantasy land - dead people coming to back life, all-knowing, all-seeing mega-beings demanding we worship them, miracles being performed, etc., etc. etc. No sound or sane ideas there.

And principles...


When you look at the ideals of a few world religions (christianity, islam, judaism, buddhism, hinduism...), you'll notice that they all somehow focus on an attempt to get society to work well together. They all follow a more or less common moral standard: Don't steal. Don't kill. Don't lie. Try to live a "good" life and do "good" things. They promise rewards in the afterlife for this, which might be a bit too mystical for the secular mind of this time, but in general the intention behind it isn't so bad.

Nope, don't see that at all. For a start you're picking only them more moderate philosophies from the religious books and ignoring all the other, more extreme items - killing witches, killing adulterers, killing homosexuals, killing non-believers, etc. etc. ... and those are just the teachings of the bible. Religions are there to concentrate power in the hands of a few individuals and keep the masses in their place whether they be cults or major religions. They'll sell them to you as way to live your life better but that's not what they were created for...

Coincidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338901)

Church of Satan, an organization for those who lead their life according to the The Satanic Bible

Church of Scientology, an organization devoted to the practise and the promotion of the Scientology belief system

Re:Coincidence (2, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339183)

You can legally obtain the Satanic Bible without going through a brainwashing course first. Sure, its badly regurgitated pop-philosophy - but at least its not supersekrit religious 'technology'

(MS Word document) (5, Insightful)

Santzes (756183) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338905)

If you publish proposals like this as a MS Word document, you should be censored from the internet.

What I don't get is... (5, Funny)

puroresu (1585025) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338911)

Why do they need to be so litigious? Why can't they just zap critical web sites out of existence with their super high level thetan powers?

Re:What I don't get is... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339269)

For the same reason a church has lightning rods on it.

Re:What I don't get is... (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339441)

For the same reason why you need an appointment when you go to a clairvoyant.

Re:What I don't get is... (2, Funny)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339483)

Because the most powerful Thetans like Trovolta and Cruise are too busy making bad movies?

Hmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338961)

I don't like Mother Hubbard and I think almost all religions are cages for minds, but would this have been so bad had it been from a mainstream religion, Christianity, Islam, etc? Asking that anyone having a go at a religion cannot do it anonymously? I dunno the answer, just posing the question.

Re:Hmmmm.... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339057)

I don't like Mother Hubbard and I think almost all religions are cages for minds, but would this have been so bad had it been from a mainstream religion, Christianity, Islam, etc?

In whatever alternate universe in which this COULD have come from a mainstream church, probably.

Re:Hmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339061)

yes.

Dear Scientology, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29338977)

fuck off.

Yours Sincerely,
AC

So sayeth the shepherd... (4, Informative)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 4 years ago | (#29338989)

"If you want to make a little money, write a book. If you want to make a lot of money, create a religion." ~ L. Ron Hubbard

Re:So sayeth the shepherd... (1)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339283)

...make a little money, write a book

You'll make a lot more money writing a decent book. His books were godawful.

Let's filter the Internet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339037)

...starting with pseudo-religions. We need to protect the children from cults, no?

Point 3 will catch them. (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339051)

If this were to go through, it seems to me like recomendation number three could come back to bite them. Either by being prosecuted for knowingly lying about their religion, or by being reguire to proove that some-ones claim is untruthful

censor scientology (1)

arnodf (1310501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339065)

net censoring might be a good thing if that means getting rid of those annoying scientology ads.

I find them offensive

Censorship AND Scientology? (0, Redundant)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339087)

Two things that people hate in one set?

I'm going to file that under "Must've been drunk." and "Doomed to fail!" subcategory "HARD", ok?

NEXT PLEASE! ^^

Restriction on Religious Misinformation (0, Redundant)

mad_robot (960268) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339089)

Scientologists need protection from misinformation and misrepresentation?

Surely they can't be serious?

Church? (1)

merovingi (1632365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339091)

It will be interesting to see what the French courts will come up with against this so called "Church". I am sorry but I can not take anything from them seriously. I am how ever impressed that they can get away with all this all over the world.

All You Scientology Critics..Shut Up! (0, Redundant)

CyberPhart (954001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339209)

If the document mentioned in the article is truthful, Scientology practitioners have been subjected to criminal activities such as harassment and physical attacks. If so, perpetrators of those acts should be prosecuted under existing laws. But this organization is proposing silencing dissent to "protect" itself from violent nuts. The U.S. Government could follow the same logic to stifle free speech. Who do these people think they are?....Dick Cheney?

4 you (1)

mixedlove (1629103) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339273)

Do u wanna meet wealthy people?? WELL...~~~~~~MyWealthyLove.com~~~~~~ gives u the chance.This may be the beginning of a romantic love or a beautiful friendship. U may wanna check it out ï¼ï¼ï¼Sign up for free now !!!

I say pass it... (4, Interesting)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339291)

And then immediately pass a law that says Scientology is not a religion.

church? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339333)

It is not a church, is just a dangerous cult.

Time to finish the job (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339361)

Remember all those people from /b/ who went on massive protest raids early last year? A few of them are still at it. Head over to www.whyweprotest.net and see about joining in if this upsets you. If a bunch of teenage channers can pull off 10K people protesting worldwide, surely we slashdotters can give them a hand a few times a year and swell their numbers again to the point where Scientology will crumble. They have done massive damage to Scientology, but some greater numbers never hurt. Time to show Scientology you don't fuck around with the web. So grab a plastic mask and find your local protests and try to make the next one. Let's show these scum that enough is enough.

My sincere thanks, CoS. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339365)

Thanks, CoS, for being the Jack Thompson of the Australian internet censorship debate.

People who support the censoring of the net in Australia are now aligning themselves with the CoS. In every debate which occurs from this date forward, we can link the pro-censorship camp to the CoS and all their inanity. All the repressive future possibilities of the implementation of internet censorship have graduated from mere conjecture by "paranoids" to an actively pursued agenda by a religious organisation.

It is there in writing. The future we fear under a regime of censorhip, being actively pursued for all to see. We may have been called tin-foil hatters or paranoid delusionists, but we were right. More importantly, we've been proven right while it's still not too late to stop it.

This is a great day for anti-censorship campaigners.

CoS, we can hardly thank you enough.

Well, I see no possible self interest here... (2, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339371)

...Because these all involve "Religious vilification".

Unless we all lost our minds and considered Scientology as some sort of religion, rather than a group of Heinlein fanboys who took it waaaaaay too far, none of these would benefit them.

So, nothing to see here, just another Modest Proposal to keep the Kids(tm) safe.

tax em all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339397)

I think all religions should be taxed. Why not? If they take in more than they spend isn't that profit?

CoS v Anonymous (-1, Flamebait)

rs232 (849320) | more than 4 years ago | (#29339481)

"Since January 2008, the Church of Scientology has been subjected to a continuing campaign of violence and abuse from a hate group calling themselves 'Anonymous'. This entity has been described as a group of "cyber terrorists" as its actions have previously focused on Internet harassment and other crimes. However, in the last 13 months they have also (i.e. as well as their internet based assaults) committed acts of harassment and criminal offences "in real life" against the Church, its members and Church property.

Anonymous members have made numerous bomb threats, arson threats and committed acts of vandalism against Scientology churches. They have made harassing phone calls, sent vulgar and threatening faxes and e-mails, painted graffiti, posted threats on the Internet and publicly threatened to kill Scientologists [hreoc.gov.au] engaged in religious services. They have also targeted the children of Scientologists in a local school where they have taunted children whilst wearing masks.

Summary of Document (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29339487)

Recommendation 1: Make it illegal to make fun of us so that we have legal grounds to sue.

Recommendation 2: Eliminate Anonymity on the internet so that we know who we can sue.

Recommendation 3: Stop letting the media make fun of us or we will sue.

Recommendation 4: Make a law so that you can not tax us when we sue.

Everybody should be posting on this article Anonymously by the way

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