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Scientologists In Row With BBC

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the here-we-go-again dept.

Censorship 763

CmdrGravy writes "The Church Of Scientology is currently engaged in a row with the BBC, a result of an investigation by reporter John Sweeney. Sweeney is investigating the Church Of Scientology, trying to judge changes in the organization over the last few years; He's trying to discover if they've moved away from the questionable practices and secrecy they have employed in the past. The conflict centers around a YouTube video posted by the scientologists. It shows Mr. Sweeney losing his temper with a scientology spokesman. Mr. Sweeney's outburst came at the end of a tour of a scientology exhibition which attempts to portray psychiatrists as evil nazi type torturers entitled 'Psychiatry: Industry of Death' which is both gruesome and utterly unconvincing. The BBC appears willing to stand behind its reporter, in spite of the pressure brought to bear by the scientologist organization."

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I guess this is the end of the BBC. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110287)

I'm convinced the Scientologists own SCO.

Re:I guess this is the end of the BBC. (2, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110295)

What makes you say that? The BBC have a lot of money and very, very good lawyers.

El woosho, senor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110351)

Better luck next time.

Do not fuck withe Xenu, Man Aces over Kings L RON (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110663)



Do not fuck withe Xenu, Man !! Read 'em and weep !! Aces over Kings !! L. Ron Hubbard showed them !!

(You see, L Ron said he could start a religion to a pack of fellow nuts while playing poker, and that it would be based on aliens (yes, the outerspace kind) !! he won the bet.)

Stupid, stupid people worshipping their god. But those screwballs are not any worse than Nazis (Hitler), Islamic wackos (Alah), paedo-priesthood (Pope), etc.

Re:I guess this is the end of the BBC. (1, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110319)

SCO is in Utah. The Mormons own them.

Scientology Brain Police (5, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110371)

The founder - Hubbard - was a SF writer, who worked in US Govenment mind control programs, performed Enochian and Crowleyan magickal evocations - and bet his editor $1 Million he'd start a successful religion, claiming it would pay much more than hacking out pulp-stories.

If there were ever devil-worshipping human slime, with a penchant for pederasty, it was L. Ron Hubbard.

Oh, yeah. Charles Manson was a Scientologist.

http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2006/02/why- they-fight_15.html [blogspot.com]

'Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. This kind of liberal orientation has great appeal. We must electrically control the brain. Some day armies and generals will be controlled by electric stimulation of the brain.'

- U.S. government mind manipulator, Dr. Jose Delgado, Congressional Record, No. 262E, Vol. 118, 1974.

Re:Scientology Brain Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110607)

'Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. This kind of liberal orientation has great appeal. We must electrically control the brain. Some day armies and generals will be controlled by electric stimulation of the brain.'

- U.S. government mind manipulator, Dr. Jose Delgado, Congressional Record, No. 262E, Vol. 118, 1974.
Ahh, thanks for that, it completely explains why this story was posted on /. in the YRO section. I didn't think they'd get to the /. editors so fast. Despite this loss, we must continue and strengthen our fight against the evil mind control overlords! Gaaaaaah *warcry*... for victory!

Body Thetans? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110849)

Are they something like intergalactic pubic lice?

Re:I guess this is the end of the BBC. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110733)

The end of the BBC...

You are aware that it is effectively part of the British state apparatus, aren't you? It isn't just a British CNN, NBC or whatever, it was established and is maintained by Royal Charter.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/policies/charter/ [bbc.co.uk]

I think it highly likely that any action launched against the BBC in this respect would fall flat at the first hurdle. And if they do actually get sued in the US then in every other place the BBC operates, the plaintiff can expect a huge campaign of negative publicity for the rest of time; they won't back down when they believe that they are right - for any reason.

Well, I need the explanation I guess (1, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110291)

Why is this in YRO? I guess you could make some weird case for my right to have the BBC pick on Scientology...

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110329)

It's pretty simple. The Scientologists want to rule the world with their wacky ideas and the BBC want to rule the world with their dialect of the English language. With both of them in a hissy fit with each other, they can do neither. So you can relax, throw popcorn and laugh at them.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (4, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110349)

The Church of Scientology has made it difficult to criticize them, because they tend to send the lawyers after anyone who does (generally on grounds of copyright infringement). Most people here would consider it a right to criticize, as a subset of the right to freedom of expression.

I guess this is sort of peripheral to that, but still...

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (5, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110465)

I don't critique the Church of Scientology because they are over the top. I use the almighty buck (which I feel too few consumers do these days.) I refuse to watch, buy, or do anything with folks that go over the top with Scientology. For example Tom Cruise. Ever since his over the top outbursts I decided to stop buying, watching or doing anything with his movies.

Of course me as a single consumer will probably not make much of dent, but I wish more consumers would do the same. Though I am thinking more in general about this and not specifically Scientology. People complain, etc, yet few do anything like stop buying products. If people realized that the buck has more power and sway than a single vote maybe there would be some real change.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (5, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110503)

I think it's kind of ironic that if you want to look at the downside of Scientology, you only need to look at their celebrity converts. E.g. Tom Cruise going increasingly off the rails now he's not allowed to see his shrink or take prescription drugs, or John Travolta forced to deny his homosexuality. If they weren't Scientologists, you get the impression they'd be happier. Richer too probably.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (4, Insightful)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110651)

I wouldn't bother to speculate on the sexuality of those unknownst to me, but I can assure you that I see 'scientology' as one sinister (expletive) organisation. By what I see, it takes the basic principle of every 'addictive' in most every religion - namely, the prize of being 'chosen' over others, our reluctance to actually think, and our weakness to calls to authority (most will obey the orders of a cell phone for lord's sake) - and use it as a means to the common goal of most all, save the most primitive, religions - your money.

Remember: If they want to succeed in engendering an 'elite appeal', they depend on you to see them as the elite.

The one and only relevent link for this is: (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110771)

here [hedning.no]

Wishful thinking (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110707)

Ahh, wishful thinking. How quaint.

It really saddens me to rain on your utopian dream, but "it would work if we _all_ did X" _never_ worked. Never worked, doesn't work, never will.

By the same token, yeah, it would stop spam if we _all_ didn't buy that stuff, but there'll always be some idiots who do. Yeah, it would stop stock scams dead if we all didn't rush to buy hyped-through-spam stocks, but there'll always be some "smart" guys who think they can beat the system and do their own buying and selling just before it crashes. (It has been already proved to never work, but, hey, there's one born every minute anyway.) Yeah, it would stop unethical business practices dead if we all stopped buying from and investing in unethical companies, but, let's face it, you're a minority there; the majority just buys from whoever sells the cheapest, invests in whoever promises the most gain, and would even deal with the mafia perfectly happily. Etc.

And so it is with this kind of fucked-up cults too. Wishful "if we all started boycotting them" thinking won't work, because there'll always be a minority, no matter how small, who are fucked-up in the head and need some exotic, non-mainstream religion to give meaning to their fucked-up lives. And a cult doesn't really need billions of members to be profitable. If only as few as those who buy from spam links are also gullible enough to join your cult, you're already a rich guy. It's that simple.

So you'd literally need to get _everyone_ to join in your boycott for it to work. Not just "more", but literally "all".

In other words, the "allmighty buck" isn't that allmighty at all when it comes to righteous causes. And it tends to work against you every time.

What you need isn't self-righteous boycotts, what you need is laws and courts of law. You already have laws saying that (A) small excerpts _do_ fall under fair use, even if scientology doesn't like it, and (B) once they've made themselves a public figure, they can't really stop other people from talking about them, or even ridiculling them, and (C) they aren't supposed to use lawsuits just to silence their critics. See that those laws are applied. That's really the only realistic, working solution.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (3, Funny)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110717)

Say, that's a nice defrag utility on your Windows box there. Is it by any chance Diskkeeper [skeptictank.org] ?

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (1)

tezbobobo (879983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110739)

Whilst you as a consumer wont make a difference by yourself, you have me with you. Therefore we know now that we are not alone.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (2, Funny)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110853)

I'm with you except for one thing, I read that most of the cast of My Name Is Earl are scientologists and that show is soooo sweet. I'd really miss that.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110517)

The Church of Scientology has made it difficult to criticize them, because they tend to send the lawyers after anyone who does (generally on grounds of copyright infringement). Most people here would consider it a right to criticize, as a subset of the right to freedom of expression.

Things may have vaguely changed regarding free speech in the past 100 years, but there was a time when criticizing Christianity resulted in significantly worse penalties than the CoS could dish out. In general, the CoS use secular laws to defend their name, whereas Christians and Muslims, for many centuries now, have directly influenced the legal system in many countries. In the US, it's not the Scientologists you've got to be worried about.. there are far more sinister religions masquerading under the name of decency.. "Thou Shalt Not Kill" my ass.. so what are/were we doing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Vietnam, Germany, Japan again?

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (1)

rootEToTheIPi (937469) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110563)

"Thou Shalt Not Kill" my ass..
That really means: thou shalt not kill within thy group. Don't kill your neighbor, your sister, your employee. It is not (in the original meaning at the time of the writing) a prohibition against homicide. It stressed the importance of the community, and if the community is threatened by an outsider, then by all means, kill him.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110781)

Great how there's no definition for "threat", of course. What if my neighbour threatens my employee? Do I kill them then? No, because murder by citizens is illegal.. murder by religions or governments.. well, that's kinda fine and dandy.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (1)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110857)

That really means: thou shalt not kill within thy group.

That interpretation does not follow from the given text. The text clearly states: "Thou shalt not kill", period.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (2, Insightful)

Merusdraconis (730732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110753)

For me, the creepiest part of Scientology is the 'fair game' policy - that if you're a critic of Scientology, a 'suppressive person', the group gives its members carte blanche to attack you. It sounds like a great basis for a thriller movie (The Wicker Man had a similar premise, so there's precedent there).

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (5, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110357)

Why is this in YRO? I guess you could make some weird case for my right to have the BBC pick on Scientology...
It's not about Scientology suing BBC, it's about them trying to silence someone who dared to say something bad about them. Oh, wait -- he didn't even do that in public, just in a talk with a scientologist. The report wasn't published, it was the Church of Scientology who attacked first.

And being attacked for criticizing Scientology is something that could have happened to you. For, let's say, talking bad about those Sons-of-a-Bitch here on Slashdot.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (2, Interesting)

gowen (141411) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110413)

Oh, wait -- he didn't even do that in public
Well, except for the highly critical documentary he made about them.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110461)

Which hasn't been released yet.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (2, Interesting)

Thwomp (773873) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110763)

Your exactly right. I watched this on the BBC Breakfast news along with other clips of the programme and it's quite easy to see why this guy lost his cool. I also found out that the church is accusing the BBC of terrorist threats and of somekind of protest(?) - I can't remember the exact details.

The church isn't exactly looked upon favourably in the U.K. and I doubt that by going up against the BBC they'll look any better. Anyway, I can't wait to watch the rest of the show.

Sorry for hijacking your point.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (5, Informative)

SamSim (630795) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110777)

And being attacked for criticizing Scientology is something that could have happened to you. For, let's say, talking bad about those Sons-of-a-Bitch here on Slashdot.

This has, in fact, happened. [slashdot.org] As far as I am aware this is the only time in history that a Slashdot comment has been edited.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110409)

Because if we don't fight lord Xenu over there, we will have to stop him from taking away all our rights at home!

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (2, Funny)

dgun (1056422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110419)

I heard an interview on BBC's world service about this incident yesterday with a scientology spokesman. The spokesman denied well known quotes from L Ron Hubbard and also stated that that Sweeny was making up allegations that he was being harassed by the "Church" for his documentary.

Then the spokesman boarded a space craft and flew back to Oz. Not really...I made that last part up.

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (5, Informative)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110571)

It's most likely here because scientology nutjobs have sent Slashdot a cease and desist in the past, and made them pull down posts with copyrighted material (I'm fine with that) and links to copyrighted material (I'm not fine with that).

Re:Well, I need the explanation I guess (2, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110643)

Ok, I'll call you the winner since you have the most plausible explanation. I didn't prepare a prize or anything, so don't get too excited.

The BBC doesn't know the history of psychiatry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110297)

I do!

As Deep Throat said... (2, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110307)

to Woodward and Bernstein:

"You've done worse than let Haldeman slip away: you've got people feeling sorry for him. I didn't think that was possible. In a conspiracy like this, you build from the outer edges and go step by step. If you shoot too high and miss, everybody feels more secure."

Why (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110311)

Why are wasting our time with a bunch of delusional cultists?

Their material calls that there's not a shred of "scientific" evidence that mental illnesses exist, instead it's all about the alien ghosts lord Xenu imprisoned.

I mean, for Christ's sake, people. Is there a limit to how ridiculous you can get?

Re:Why (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110361)

I mean, for Christ's sake, people. Is there a limit to how ridiculous you can get?

Nope. [yahoo.com]

Re:Why (2, Funny)

ScaryMonkey (886119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110403)

There's plenty of solid scientific evidence behind Scientology; just listen to the compelling testimony from this "scientician"

(apologies to Simpsons)

Re:Why (5, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110425)

Why are wasting our time with a bunch of delusional cultists?
Because they take millions of dollars from gullible people, they are a corporation of ignorance posing as a religion, they have killed [scientology-kills.org] , and they censor and lash out at people who investigate them.

I really hope the BBC wins, and shows that nothing has changed. We have to nip this "religion" in the bud, it's disgusting.

Re:Why (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110433)

Probably because they're funny/dangerous. I genuinely wanted to join their crazy cult. That was until they told me all my problems were caused by Space Ghosts - plural. I really wanted that Inviso-Belt.

Re:Why (5, Insightful)

tm2b (42473) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110469)

Why are wasting our time with a bunch of delusional cultists?
I'm guessing, because they're pretty ruthless in trying to destroy the lives of people who think that they can just laugh them off.

Ridiculous, yes... but have you seen the messes those crazies who believe in Transubstantiation [wikipedia.org] have made over the last couple thousand years? Just as they're settling down, we've got some newer upstarts wanting to go all David Koresh and Osama bin Laden on the world. Where's Janet Reno when you need her?

In one big way, these people are worse than previous cults striving to be religions - ironically, our ability to detect mental illness helps the CoS get crazier. This cult specifically recruits and attracts those who modern science has said are mentally ill... and we're surprised when they pull particularly crazy-assed shit?

Re:Why (3, Insightful)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110835)

At least with those wierdos you don't have to hand them your credit card when you go visit them. And if you want to make fun of them, go ahead, you'll piss them off but they won't sue you. Not unlike these people [wikipedia.org] who will blow themselves up to get you and of course these goofballs [wikipedia.org] who will sue and make your life a living hell.

Re:Why (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110539)

Because they are invading our daily life in ways you don't usually link to delusional cultists. They're dangerous. They need to be stopped.

Re:Why (1)

Yoda Jedi Master (1101773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110693)

Why are wasting our time with a bunch of delusional cultists?

Ignore the pain and suffering, we must not. Guide people to truth, it is our life destiny.

And it will be returned to you. It will.

Re:Why (1)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110695)

Because they make SCO look like a bunch of dandy boys.

Re:Why (5, Insightful)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110709)

Even before it began, the 'psychiatry is evil' story is f*cked from all angles. What is 'normal' and 'sane'? 'Sane' in our society has not the same definition in other societies, cultures and social networks. So the goal of a psychiatrist is to guide his patient towards behaviour considered nomal by the society he lives in... yet who in our society can define "optimal normal", especially when we worship the most eccentric amongst us?

The goal of Scientology is the very opposite of psychiatry - it wants to split you from society (to better 'form' you), not help you work better with it. The things most 'evil' to any religion are things a threat to the religion itself.

Re:Why (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110869)

Yeah and if they're happy in their little cult why bother them? It's not like it's the first time religion has been used to swindle the masses -- hell televangelists have been doing that for YEARS. Is anything they do really that much worse than Islamic Fundamentalism or the Evangelical Christians here in the USA? I can't really think of a good argument that the Scientologists are any worse. And they're mostly harmless, which is more than you can say for those other guys.

Of course, I recognize that religion in general is superstitious claptrap that can be detrimental to humanity at large. I also recognize the average human's need to explain the world around him and comfort him when he loses loved ones or confronts death. Therefore my regime would outlaw all organized religion except for a mandatory state-run one which involves Smurfs. Fortunately for the Scientologists, Evangelical Christians and Radical Islamic Fundamentalists, I'm not likely to achieve world domination any time soon. You guys might want to start thinking about which Smurfs you like the most all the same...

Funky (0, Troll)

buswolley (591500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110317)

Why, oh why is this on Slashdot?

That's easy (1)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110385)

Slashdot has run afoul of these pricks before, and a lot of the /. community has very strong feelings about them. If free speech is considered a fair issue for /. then this is certainly within the scope.

Re:Funky (4, Informative)

arcade (16638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110399)

You're obviously new here. Slashdot and the Co$ are old buddies.

http://slashdot.org/yro/01/03/16/1256226.shtml [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/10/13 49237 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/yro/02/03/21/0453200.shtml?tid =99 [slashdot.org]

They've attempted to force comments off slashdot. They've forced xenu.net to be delisted from google. They're going after people who publish the OTIII "documents". They're abusing the DMCA.

That's why this is on slashdot.

Re:Funky (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110531)

They've forced xenu.net to be delisted from google

Are you sure? [google.com.au] .

Re:Funky (4, Informative)

arcade (16638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110669)

Yes, I'm sure. I'm also sure that I was the one that first discovered it, reported it to kuro5hin, to alt.religion.scientology, and attempted to report it to slashdot (but someone got their article accepted instead of mine ).

Here are the links:

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/03/21/04 53200&tid=99 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/03/22/01 41250 [slashdot.org]

So, they did force xenu.net to be delisted by google. Google luckily changed hearts, probably due to the enourmous amounts of attention that was generated here, on kuro5hin, and all over the internet. In addition to hating the idea of letting themselves be censored in such a way. It was also one of the first time google linked that some searches were excluded - linking to chillingeffects.

Re:Funky (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110729)

Righteo - that clears that up.

I'm glad google had a change of heart & congrats to you for your role in breaking the story.

Re:Funky (4, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110553)

Has Slashdot ever had a run in with Islam? Seems like people here are a lot more skeptical of the idea that Islam is a murderous cult than Scientology.

Whereas to me, as soon as the whole Satanic Verses controversy errupted, it was pretty clear that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with a modern liberal democracy, just like Scientology is. Hell, Christianity is incompatible if it's still based on the old testament, it's just that mainstream Christians seem to have deprecated those bits of the Bible since the Enlightenment.

Talk to dead space aliens (2, Funny)

lordperditor (648289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110321)

Join scientology now and you to can talk to dead space aliens.
Special introductory offer - join now for just $360,000USD.

Re:Talk to dead space aliens (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110417)

To be precise, you'd spend about half a million to get to the point where they spring the space opera story on you. Once you've been suckered that far, there's a very strong psychological incentive to keep believing them, rather like the suckers who've fallen for the 419 scams.

-jcr

TFA final paragraph (3, Insightful)

psaunders (1069392) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110333)

Scientologists believe humans are tainted by the remnants of aliens' souls who were dumped on Earth and blown up with nuclear bombs.
Kinda puts the whole thing in perspective, doesn't it? I'd be screaming, too.

sigh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110343)

Mr. Sweeney's outburst came at the end of a tour of a scientology exhibition which attempts to portray psychiatrists as evil nazi type torturers entitled 'Psychiatry: Industry of Death'
it's hard not to get angry with a cult that has no regard for human life. scientology: because other cults dont need lawyers (tm)

Link to YouTube video in TFA (5, Informative)

svunt (916464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110365)

BBC rebuttal + dif. Angle of Incident on Youtube (5, Informative)

realitybath1 (837263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110507)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ab8hpHY9zDQ [youtube.com] It doesn't seem so harsh at this angle and the scientologist is the one who starts with the voice raising. Sweeney just takes it to the next level. Obviously out of hand for a journalist, but quite satisfying to see.

The one characteristic that I've noticed is consistent across scientologist interviews I've seen is that they all have a creepy boneheadedness when it comes to answering any question, no matter how innocuous it may be. It's as if every moment in life has to be a confirmation of their beliefs.

Re:BBC rebuttal + dif. Angle of Incident on Youtub (3, Interesting)

Kelz (611260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110807)

Wow. The "spokesman" is pretty much a master of getting people extremely pissed off. You can tell in the tone, in the VERY precise words used. It puts you off at first by speaking down on you like a child, and then keeps attacking until you feel you have no choice but to raise your voice so you cannot hear them while refuting them.

...actually quite impressive, were it not coming from a religion.

Re:Link to YouTube video in TFA (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110625)

The thetans are definitely strong in this one!

Xenu be blessed! (or whatever)

Re:Link to YouTube video in TFA (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110627)

To be fair, having watched the footage on youtube, including some of the other exchanges between the two guys - I can understand why he was shouting. Personally I would have 'lost it' and dragged the guy to the top of a small cliff long before this guy did - and probably made him give me an impromptu display of his scientologists ability to fly. Weeeee! The scientology guy should have been a politician. He was having a go at the other reporter at one point for calling scientology a cult when actually the guy was just saying "Some people say that L. Ron started a cult" ... instead of responding to the question the guy got mad! Both as bad as each other ...

The reasoning of Scientology (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110387)

Bad driving: Industry of Death

Thousands of people die in car accidents each year. All of them drove facing the steering wheel and front windshield of the car [showing big charts on the presentation screen to show some convincing statistics].
The bottom line: we should drive facing the rear end of our cars.

---

But damn, I'd rather drive my car sitting backwards than believe some alien sci-fi story since they just discovered there are bad psychiatrists, like there are bad professionals in every area of life.

So? Most religions are nutty. (1, Flamebait)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110405)

Yes, Scientology is nutty, but that's about normal for a religion. Could be worse. They don't have a big pedophile problem, suicide bombers, or televangelists, like some of their competitors.

Re:So? Most religions are nutty. (3, Informative)

Stormx2 (1003260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110435)

How about having to pay to be a member? Scientology is a manipulative business, and that is put mildly.

Re:So? Most religions are nutty. (5, Insightful)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110441)

Brainwashing and "disconnecting" people from your family doesn't float your boat, eh? Being swallowed by a cult is devastating for the families involved. So as long as these crazy people aren't hurting you you don't give a fuck, eh?

Re:So? Most religions are nutty. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110443)

They don't have a big pedophile problem

Do a bit more research.

-jcr

Re:So? Most religions are nutty. (5, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110451)

Yes, Scientology is nutty, but that's about normal for a religion. Could be worse. They don't have a big pedophile problem, suicide bombers, or televangelists, like some of their competitors.

Nutty? So, Scientology is in fact a mental illness, which doesn't acknowledge mental illnesses.
What a cosmic irony.

I suppose in this case you're right, we gotta be more PC to Scientologists and their "special condition".

Sam: Dude, we're tainted by the souls of aliens blown with nukes by alien space invador from a galaxy far far away!
Jim: Man, you're a f***ing idiot or something? STFU!
Sam: No, I'm a scientologist...
Jim: OH! Oh... oh buddy, sorry I had no idea. I really had no idea.. but you'll be fine, yea.. you'll be just fine.

Re:So? Most religions are nutty. (2, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110597)

Nutty? So, Scientology is in fact a mental illness, which doesn't acknowledge mental illnesses.
What a cosmic irony.


Makes you wonder what happened to L Ron Hubbard to make him so anti psychiatrist.

And actually, lots of religions seem to have a sense of who their enemies are that require that they know the world view they espouse is wrong. E.g. if you're inside scientology, they hatred of psychiatrists seems quirky. But if you're outside, you can see that psychiatrists can deconstruct brainwashing techniques and deprogram scientologists so it makes sense that the religion considers them a threat. Just like if you're outside a cult, you can see that the cult needs to cut people off from the outside world as much as possible to stop them seeing counter arguments to the cult's bizarre theories, but if you're inside the cult and you believe it to the the truth, why bother.

I suppose in this case you're right, we gotta be more PC to Scientologists and their "special condition".

Why? liberalism isn't a suicide pact - you don't have to hold off cricising people when they're out to destroy it.

Re:So? Most religions are nutty. (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110475)

The big difference is this is just a confidence trick that has been building up during our lifetimes. It's only a religeon for tax purposes as yet another bit of dodgy dealing.

I also find it extremely hypocritical that this gang is going after mental health workers after their tragic record with the menatally ill.

Re:So? Most religions are nutty. (3, Insightful)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110511)

They don't have a big pedophile problem, suicide bombers, or televangelists, like some of their competitors.

But they do have Tom Cruise, and that more than makes up for the rest.

says it all (5, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110415)

"Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." - L Ron Hubbard

the point, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110445)

... is that the interviewer lost his temper.

They teach something about reactions and self-control, but probably in their own spacey terminology.

Bottom line is that if the interviewer allowed the interviewee to provoke him, he "loses." Even if you think you're right, if the other guy pushes your button and you blow up, you've demonstrated a weakness which they will go on to exploit if they can.

Scientologists are MASTERS at pissing you off. (5, Insightful)

JimMarch(equalccw) (710249) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110453)

Here's why:

A key belief and practice of the Church involved "auditing" via the "E-Meter". The "E-Meter" is a bargain-basement lie detector. It works on galvanic skin response; it can measure (crudely) fluctuations in your emotional state. It can't measure much past that. So one person holds these two "tin cans" while somebody else tries to make them respond enough to flinch the needle.

The person being "audited" is practicing how to be emotionally non-responsive to whatever is thrown at them - and that can involve verbal abuse, shouting, whatever.

This isn't controversial or something the "church" denies.

What most people don't think about is the flip side: what is being learned by the person NOT holding the tin cans? The one trying to trigger a response in the other?

Yup. You guessed it. They become masters (eventually) at "pressing people's buttons".

So anybody not used to this sort of thing or who isn't expecting it can be made to "blow up", sometimes spectacularly. And I'd bet good money that's exactly what they did to Sweeney and for exactly the reason they've used this incident: to portray any opponent as an out of control loose cannon, nutcase, etc.

Don't go up against these guys unless your self control is rock solid AND you understand this technique. Be ready to say something like "much as you might prefer otherwise, I'm not being "audited", I'm not standing here with tin cans in my hand looking like an idiot, you're not going to get me to blow up". Turn it back on 'em, they'll start foaming at the mouth. If a Rondroid is trying to get you pissed, ASSUME there's a camera pointing your way.

Re:Scientologists are MASTERS at pissing you off. (0, Offtopic)

Yoda Jedi Master (1101773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110609)

So anybody not used to this sort of thing or who isn't expecting it can be made to "blow up", sometimes spectacularly. And I'd bet good money that's exactly what they did to Sweeney and for exactly the reason they've used this incident: to portray any opponent as an out of control loose cannon, nutcase, etc.

Hmm. Anger is a path to the Dark Side. Ignore them he should have.

I had an experience simular to this (3, Interesting)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110679)

...in NYC Times Sq. Metro. "Free personality test" they called it. Being in a generally good mood at the time (first day in the US no less), I though "why not" - the girl looked pretty hot, and it was an excuse to talk to someone. So I hold the tin cans, and the questions start coming; "how are you doing", and then "no really, how ARE you doing?", and then more like "I think you're insecure" and "This book can help with that" - despite my protests that I was actually OK. This pissed me me somewhat, as my good mood turned quite sour quite quickly and in fact, I left rather pissed off.

Anyway, the next day, I saw them again, and this time I was ready for them. I did the whole "Oh, I wonder what this is" type gaze, and sure enough they invite me over for another free personality test, and sure enough the same questions start. The needle was going no-where this time, and in fact the more the guy tried to convince me i was a mental train-wreck the more my confidence grew and the needle fell. Eventually I actually start laughing at the guy interviewing me, and he can't take it any more so hands me over to another fine looking female who tries a similar technique. At this point I'm chuckling even louder at their constant mental batterings, and people are starting to take interest in the commotion, at which point they try and sell me their book once last time.

I tell them quite clearly and loudly enough for the onlookers to hear that "when I'm as insecure as you lot, I'll buy your stinking book then and burn it". To which my awaiting friends added "Scientology is for losers".

That showed them.

OK, now their method makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110845)

"Is this testing whether I'm a replicant, or a lesbian, Mr Deckard?"

but (1, Funny)

ScottyMcScott (1003155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110457)

but but tom cruise......i mean c'mon top gun people top gun

This is on TV tonight (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110477)

This story is on Panorama on BBC1 tonight at 8.30 for those of you in the UK.. you can see the whole documentary :)

Anyway, I wanted to give some comment on Scientology. I'm not a Scientologist, but I support their right to the same protections as all other religions. From everything I can tell, it's a bona-fide religion (as much as, say, Christianity).

It is very easy to hear about the Church of Scientology and write it off as a cult but I feel it's as valid a religion as any other, and it deserves as much protection (or as little protection) as any other. People who publicly write off Scientology as a "cult" are dangerously misleading the public and using Scientology as a scapegoat for problems that should be pinned on religion in general.

So why isn't Scientology a cult? For a start, its standards are similar to those of other religions. Like other religions, it has a control over its members, dictates norms and standards, and provides its adherents with hope and moral guidance. Some claim that Scientology "brain washes" its adherents, but the practice of turning adherents into evangelicals and servants of the faith is by no means unique to Scientology. Religion in general relies on this process, and almost no theistic religion exists without making adherents believe in fiction and/or believe that various acts are "bad" for almost no logical reason (such as eating pork, masturbating, and so forth). The levels of guilt that, say, Christians have faced when dealing with topics like sex or abortion, even to the point of suicide, make Scientology look quite sane.

John Sweeney writes about his "harassment" (supposedly at the hands of the Church of Scientology), but this pales in comparison to that experienced by dissenters or those who bad-mouth other religions. As we've discovered in the last year, even publishing a drawing of Mohammed can lead to death threats and street protests the world over. Even writing, performing, or publishing a poem about Jesus, a character from "The Bible", can lead to prosecution and snitchery in the UK [guardian.co.uk] , a supposedly developed country. Note that in the linked case, Bakewell was "reported to the DPP by the National Viewers and Listeners Association." Many online renegades complain about the way the Church of Scientology supposedly uses the law to harass critics, but is having a religion use bad, secular laws worse than having a religion dictate the laws as in Iran or, even, the United Kingdom? (The UK is referenced because we STILL can't have stores be open more than 6 hours on a Sunday because of some fictional character in some fictional pile of cod-swallop from 2000 years ago).

Most religions have problems and Scientology is only one of these. We should be looking at the problems with all religions, instead of picking on the CoS in particular. Most religions are corrupt, brainwash their believers into believing that fiction is fact, and limit the freedoms of their adherents. Yet people, often "God fearing" Christians, still point fingers at the CoS in particular.

Note: These problems do not make religions inherently BAD (as that assumes some sort of doctrine upon which to judge them), but it does mean most religions should be lumped in with each other in terms of value judgements.. and separating Scientology out is unfair and discriminatory to Scientologists.

Re:This is on TV tonight (1)

David Horn (772985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110527)

Likewise, if you're in the UK, you can stream it from the BBC's website too.

Re:This is on TV tonight (2, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110641)

John Sweeney writes about his "harassment" (supposedly at the hands of the Church of Scientology), but this pales in comparison to that experienced by dissenters or those who bad-mouth other religions. As we've discovered in the last year, even publishing a drawing of Mohammed can lead to death threats and street protests the world over. Even writing, performing, or publishing a poem about Jesus, a character from "The Bible", can lead to prosecution and snitchery in the UK, a supposedly developed country. Note that in the linked case, Bakewell was "reported to the DPP by the National Viewers and Listeners Association."

Tu Quoque is not a valid argument you know, even when it's true. Actually the case you linked to is the end of a centuries old battle by liberals against Christian limits on free speech. I can't prejudge it, but my guess is that the liberals will eventually win and blasphemy laws will at some point be abolished entirely or neutered to the point where they are no threat.

Mod parent up... (0, Troll)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110647)

To whoever modded the parent as "flamebait" - you sir, are a jackass.

He didn't look like he was "losing it" to me. (1)

Don Sample (57699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110493)

More like he was trying to out shout someone who was misrepresenting something that he had said earlier.

Re:He didn't look like he was "losing it" to me. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110603)

Got the same impression. Poor guy. I mean, you should in that case simply turn of the camera and explain it during editing (after all, when cutting your tape you have full control of what goes on screen and what doesn't)... But I know that religious types (let's define religion broadly) can really pull the blood away from under your nails. Any exchange between a religous person and a sane person is inherently unfair. The religious person believes in things that are made up, in fairytales that are easily shown to be fiction. By nonetheless believing those they show that their mind is like ROM. It's litterally like talking to a brick wall. There is this part of them that parses enough of your sentences to generate an inadequate answer, but no information actually gets past their mental firewall.
John Sweeney, I support you 100% on this one. This whole incident probably says more about Scientology than about you.

Scientologists violate Godwin's Law (3, Insightful)

pingveno (708857) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110513)

As Sweeney pointed out, Scientologists' comparison of psychology to Nazism is disgusting. That's why I wish Godwin's Law could be extended to the beyond the [forum|usenet|chat] world. Abusive display at a conference? You loose!

Especially worrying (5, Informative)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110547)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Scientology _Moscow_versus_Russia [wikipedia.org]

This is a recent development - in April the European court of human rights decided that it was against EU law for Russia to deny Scientology religeon status - a judgement that applies to all EU member states including the UK and Germany (who have previously been quite outspoken against it).

May I draw people's attention to http://www.xenu.net/ [xenu.net]

Scientology - the cult pyramid scheme

Re:Especially worrying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110775)

This is not the EU. Russia is not a member of the EU.

But of course they cannot have it either way. When they are a religion, the fall under the freedom of religion but also under the freedom of speech, i.e. the freedom to criticize them.
When the are a commercial corporation, they can hide behind trade secrets etc. But as a religion, they can't.

Re:Especially worrying (5, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110819)

This is a recent development - in April the European court of human rights decided that it was against EU law for Russia to deny Scientology religeon status - a judgement that applies to all EU member states including the UK and Germany (who have previously been quite outspoken against it).

Reading the details of the case, it seems the Russian situation was quite different from that in the UK or Germany, in that an unregistered church is legally prevented from doing several things that could be considered necessary to running a church (e.g., "renting premises for religious ceremonies and worship" or "receiving and disseminating religious literature") which can be performed legally in the UK and Germany without being a registered church. Because of this factor, refusal to register effectively constituted banning them from spreading their beliefs, which is (IMO) unacceptable unless done in full view of the world, with proper democratic process (rather than via beurocracy as was done here). Not considering them a religion in (say) the UK simply means that they do not acquire a number of taxation benefits that they might otherwise be entitled to. I don't think this would be considered a violation of their human rights.

I'd be very careful about what you read into the conclusions drawn in the "case law" section of the article you link to, BTW. Wikipedia has a strong scientology community, and in this case I believe they have rendered the article rather biased. As an example:

The decision of the Human Rights Court in the Moscow Church of Scientology case mandates that States cannot intervene arbitrarily into religious matters and are strictly prohibited from evaluating or reinterpreting the internal validity of religious beliefs genuinely held by individual believers or religious communities like Scientology.

This is introduced as an interpretation of the court's conclusion that "the autonomous existence of religious communities is indispensable for pluralism in a democratic society and is thus an issue at the very heart of the protection which Article 9 affords. The State's duty of neutrality and impartiality, as defined in the Court's case-law, is incompatible with any power on the State's part to assess the legitimacy of religious beliefs." While it is a valid interpretation of the last sentence, if taken out of context, I'd say the previous sentence (and sentences earlier in the paragraph) limit the scope of the "incompatibility" noted by the court to matters which relate to article 9.

Specifically, article 9 states "Everyone has the right [...] either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance."

Also worth considering is that the court did not consider any public health issues in making this decision (because the basis of the decision that the Russian government made against Scientology was not made on those grounds), but article 9's scope is "subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society [...] for the protection of public [...] health". This means that the courts decision is not incompatible with one where a country introduces a law preventing religious practices that are considered psychologically harmful, for instance.

Re:Especially worrying (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110839)

I wonder about a deeper issue though. Why do we have a 'religion' status at all? As far as I'm concerned freedom of religion is a subset of freedom of speech and churches should be operating under the legal framework of a for-profit or non-profit organization, with all it's legal requirements.

I absolutely do not see the need to support organizations selling a fictional* story with extra constitutional or any other legal protections apart from what they are already awarded like everyone else. In my opinion the world would undoubtably be a better place without religion, but I'm not going to advocate a position where people are in a legal disadvantage because of their beliefs that I think are incorrect. However that goes the other way too, I don't want to see them get extra protections just because they title their beliefs as religion.

Scientology, as a pyramid scheme would be illegal under normal operating practices in most countries, which is exactly like it should be.

*Even if you are religious, you consider fiction the 2000 OTHER religions.

Should I be worried? (3, Funny)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110559)

When I was just out of high school, there was a Scientology office in my town. They always had a sign out front offering a 'Free Personality Test'. On a lark, a pal and me went in and had our personalities 'tested' just to see what they were hawking. When I was done, they compared the multiple choice questionare to their chart, and drew some lines through it. They explained to me that I was doing fine, and that I was already highly Dyanetic, or whatever they called it. They then thanked me for coming in, and told me to have a nice day.

I have never been quite sure how to take that. Maybe I should have sang them the leader song...Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Leader! Leader! Batman!

Actually, some Christians behave the same way. (5, Insightful)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110677)

Disclaimer: my background is Episcopalian/Quaker. I'm not exactly pro-fundamentalists. But I have experienced exactly the same techniques from fundamentalists, home grown as well as US. Choose an enemy who thinks differently from you (e.g. Catholics, psychiatrists.) Demonise them. Stir up hate among your followers; everybody likes to have an "other" they can believe to be evil. When dealing with sceptics, always behave very calmly to show your emotional superiority. This convinces your followers that you are right. (It's also a good idea to point out minor factual inaccurancies or grammatical errors in the publications of your opponents, to prove to the sheep that you are intellectually superior as well.) In order to keep your sheep in line, make sure that they keep having to pass tests, like "testifying" to your born-againness. (Of course I wouldn't for one moment suggest that Scientology auditing is in any shape or form like fundamentalist conversion experiences or speaking in tongues.)

The difference is that most nutty Protestant sects do not become as large and rich as the Church of Scientology, and they also have to keep some sort of attachment to a nominally Christian approach. They also have the problem that their followers do tend to be socially mobile - the fact of going to Church shows they want to "better" themselves - and with social mobility comes exposure to more educated people who may guide them towards mainstream Christianity. Scientology, on the other hand, is not a bizarre offshoot of a mainstream religion and there is no central tendency for its followers to gravitate back to.

There is too with cults an interesting anti-intellectual tendency. If you want to make authoritative pronouncements in, say, the Catholic or Episcopalian churches, you are probably fluent in NT Greek and can read the NT in the original. Cults contain less educated people, so they will do things like take a particular English translation of the Bible as being authoritative and solve the problem that way. Extreme cults can get a following from rich people who do not want to invest the time and effort needed to become familiar with, say, the Bible or the Pali texts. You can join something like - oh, say Kabbalah - and say pretty well anything in public without looking ridiculous, while a Hollywood actor who tries to sound knowledgeable about the Bible had better know his or her stuff because there are so many well informed people listening. A religion that does not let its sacred texts get out too much is at an advantage in this respect.

As a part time student of religious sociology, it's a pity I won't be around in 50 years to see if Scientology, like Mormonism before it, is evolving into a mainstream religion and gradually losing its bizarre baggage.

A rational response from a provoked man (3, Interesting)

brivett (1101783) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110713)

Sweeney didn't lose it. He tried a different response after a solid week of total frustration and non-answered questions and attempts to exchange understandings of how outsiders view CoS and how CoS members view their detractors. I would have lasted an hour before the same. Interestingly the BBC have received legal papers from lawyers in Hollywood asking that their famous clients (i.e. Kirstie Alley) are removed from the report as I guess they don't want to be linked with the CoS. This of course is the CoS removing balance from the debate.... and I wonder why people them think they're barking.

They are at it again. (1)

jma05 (897351) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110757)

They seem to be trying to silence Sweeney with "public" support this time.

If you look at the people who have posted negative comments with regard to Sweeney, a disproportionately large number of them seem to be those with Scientology interests or more interestingly, those who have just signed up after the incident.

Drop the "Church of" bit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110761)

As most countries recognize, Scientology is a purely profit-driven company. They got themselves the status of a church to simply reduce their tax burden in the US (they have tried the same thing in other countries, but obviously failed). However that does not mean they should be awarded the privilege of being called a church, just because they have that status in a single particular country.

So, please -- just stick to the shorter "Scientology" if you have to talk about them at all (..there is no bad PR).

Scient-what? (1)

wardle (206858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110769)

Never heard of them.

Can't think of anything more damning to say.

How about we start our own cult? (1, Flamebait)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19110813)

I'm all for the 'Church for the destruction of the Church of Scientology'. Fight fire with fire. Anyone who doesn't agree that the CoS is an evil pyramid-scheme should be sentenced to death (or an atomic wedgie).

All hail lord Xenu!

Scientologists on Wikipedia (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19110831)

This is a bit off-topic, but I just want people to know that you don't have to look hard to find scientologists pushing their beliefs on people. The Wikipedia article on scientology [wikipedia.org] seems to regularly be edited by CoS shills who try and turn the article into a PR brochure. Just look at the talk and history pages for the culprits.
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