UK teen faces prosecution for sign calling Scientology a "dangerous cult"

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359 Responses to “UK teen faces prosecution for sign calling Scientology a "dangerous cult"”

  1. Takuan says:

    aha! (ahem) The Birth Of Scientology:

    “Well, all day him and the king was hard at it, rigging up a stage and a curtain and a row of candles for footlights; and that night the house was jam full of men in no time. When the place couldn’t hold no more, the duke he quit tending door and went around the back way and come on to the stage and stood up before the curtain and made a little speech, and praised up this tragedy, and said it was the most thrillingest one that ever was; and so he went on a-bragging about the tragedy, and about Edmund Kean the Elder, which was to play the main principal part in it; and at last when he’d got everybody’s expectations up high enough, he rolled up the curtain, and the next minute the king come a-prancing out on all fours, naked; and he was painted all over, ring-streaked-and-striped, all sorts of colors, as splendid as a rainbow. And — but never mind the rest of his outfit; it was just wild, but it was awful funny. The people most killed themselves laughing; and when the king got done capering and capered off behind the scenes, they roared and clapped and stormed and haw-hawed till he come back and done it over again, and after that they made him do it another time. Well, it would make a cow laugh to see the shines that old idiot cut.

    Then the duke he lets the curtain down, and bows to the people, and says the great tragedy will be performed only two nights more, on accounts of pressing London engagements, where the seats is all sold already for it in Drury Lane; and then he makes them another bow, and says if he has succeeded in pleasing them and instructing them, he will be deeply obleeged if they will mention it to their friends and get them to come and see it.

    Twenty people sings out:

    “What, is it over? Is that all?”

  2. johninsapporo says:

    At last, someone on this board posts something that makes some sense:

    THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.

    -L. Ron Hubbard

    EXACTLY.

    Now, boys and girls, think very carefully. Can you think of a time when someone tried to control you by lying to you? No? Never happened?

    There’s so much stuff on this, it would fill pages.

    There are fairly innocuous lies such as, “Go to bed now, or the Bogey man will come and get you!”

    And there is, lest we forget, a whole WAR in Iraq right now, where a culture is being destroyed and hundreds of thousands killed and many, many more injured and traumatized, their lives ruined.

    BECAUSE OF LIES.

    Try a web search for “Bush lies” and see what you come up with. “They got WMDs – we know where they are ……”

    The whole Iraq “war” is based on lies. They lied to the world to bring about this incredible, meaningless destruction.

    You lifted this quotation out of context to make it look like Hubbard is recommending a course of action, which he isn’t.

    Why?

    You have been lied to about Scientology by people who are trying to control you.

    There are people who are lying about Scientology on this board in some vague effort to control.

    If there is anything that I would like to accomplish on this board, it’s to clean up some of the lies about my religion.

    It may be impossible.

    It probably is.

    But there’s no harm in trying.

    John Davis

  3. funeralpudding says:

    SCIENTOLOGY IS NOT A RELIGION, IT IS A CULT.

    No religion charges fees for its knowledge… they may ask for money, or for 10% of your income, but no religion withholds their “knowledge” without receiving payment. Too bad after you pay to get your final level and you realize the Xenu story of souls and space-planes and Hawaiin volcanoes is nothing but bad science fiction.

  4. nex says:

    [Sorry if I'm stubborn, just a thought:]

    you can read the Moderation Policy via the gray link just above ‘Recent Comment’ on the right. It gives the rationale for disemvoweling.

    Not quite, it doesn’t give a rationale for why disemvoewlling might really achieve any desireable goal.

  5. Piove says:

    Actually John,
    I for one feel like you are the one lying about your religion.
    Omission is a lie of a type after all.
    You will not answer direct questions.
    You will not discuss what we all find interesting.
    You put people down and use pseudo facts and diversion to justify the unjustifiable.

    You sir are a liar and a coward.

    All that remains is for you to send us a bill for conveying your crap to us.

  6. noen says:

    Takuan, I’m sorry if that came across as overly combative. Thing is I still believe in Rousseau’s social contract. Libertarianism destroys that, which is what it sounded to me you were talking about.

  7. Piove says:

    Oh, by the way, the question that came up that I want answered?
    Just in case you had forgotten..
    What do you know about Xenu?

  8. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Some comments on the unstated ‘vice-versa’ aspects of TNH’s post above.
    Separation of church and state is usually looked at from one direction: Keep churches out of politics so they cannot influence government to their advantage. Churches also benefit from being separated from government. In the US, they operate with far less regulation and control than in other countries where they have cozier relationships with power.
    Those who wish to rejoin separated state and church risk far greater distortion over time of the relatively small Church than they would gain in applying leverage on the immense State.
    It may seem the holy thing to do today but in the long term it’s a devil’s bargain.

  9. arkizzle says:

    Tak:

    Oh I get it… so we have to pay to get in, huh?

    I know you aren’t asking for money, just an “initiation tax”, like big ol’ stinky puns come for free.. hah!

    Well, grumble grumble.. I’ll see what I can come up with, grumble grumble.. just wanted an insecty name.. sacrificing puns.. and to who? grumble grumble..

    We’re all just puns in your game of chess :p

  10. Jeff says:

    What happens when your religion requires you to wear signs that denounce all other religions as false? You would think that GB would have formal protections in place for protests and other freedoms of speech.

  11. johninsapporo says:

    Teresa, the moderator who doesn’t moderate:

    “Shouldn’t 32 years of studying Scientology have made you a better rhetorician by now? Or is this one of those things like the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit not including a discerning taste in religious tchotchkes?”

    #5. Just plain nasty.

    “You likewise can’t talk about your your personal experiences, or what specific miracles Scientology has wrought for you.”

    Do you think I’m going to talk about my personal experiences, my most private precious experiences and have you and the other guys pull them to pieces and make fun of them?

    I’m perfectly willing to talk about these things. But not in this situation. Of course, you could do your job and moderate this forum so that it is a safe space for me to express the things that really matter, but you don’t seem to be able to do this, do you?

    “You know, that’s not actually true. Sure, there’s an element of attempted control in any interaction in which someone lies to you; but there’s also an element of attempted control in just about any other interaction with other human beings. Furthermore, having someone lie to you doesn’t infallibly mean they’re trying to control you, unless you’re using “control” in such a broad sense that it’s practically useless.”

    Now this is good. This I can handle. You disagree with something. Great. We could discuss this. This is not knee jerk reaction.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but most of the time, Teresa, I just get the feeling that you are seething with hatred for LRH and Scientology. You have made up your mind that it’s all bad and that I am some kind of devil because I defend it.

    I don’t think you are a bad person, but I think you are operating on false data. You only know what you have been given to know, and not all of that is true. I’d be willing to be that you have never actually taken a course in a Scientology organization.

    You and other guys on this forum think you know about the material in the upper levels of Scientology. I’m stepping over the line here to say this, but you don’t. You don’t have a clue. You have been lied to by people who would try to control you. I’m not going to discuss this any further, as you say, I cannot. But I can just say this. It’s not what you think it is at all. Not even close.

    You assume that I’m here for “damage control,” you write, “It’s increasingly clear that you’re operating under a set of rules.”

    Teresa, you are confusing your own assumptions with reality.

    Believe me, nobody sent me. I’m not doing this on the Church’s behalf. I’m not operating on a set of rules or guidelines. If I were, I could prove it to you, but it’s very hard to prove one is not doing something.

    I’m sorry if I offended you with the “boys and girls” bit. I was patronizing. With all the “Yah boo sucks!” going on, I should have been a bit more saintly and just turned the other cheek. I am not perfect, after all. But then, I know that and admit it.

    Do you?

    John Davis

  12. Jake0748 says:

    I’ve never accused anyone of this before, but Johninsapporo, you are a troll. You’ve never written any comments here other than as an apologist for the COS. Do you have any other interests? Maybe you should meet up with Evidence. You each have one note, perhaps you could harmonize.

  13. Don says:

    Charles Stross rants a bit about this here, while also commenting on the number of public officials who have taken money from Scientology – surely just a coincidence, yes?

  14. Xopher says:

    Yes, John. What about Xenu?

  15. johninsapporo says:

    Takuan,

    If you knew anything at all about Scientology you would know that it doesn’t have anything to do with belief.

    “Sciens” = from the Latin “scire” = “knowing”
    “logos” = from the Greek “logos” = “study”

    Scientology is the study of knowing. It doesn’t require that you believe ANYTHING.

    What is the difference between belief and knowledge?

    Knowledge is direct perception. You know things you can perceive and/or experience directly. You believe things that people tell you.

    L.Ron Hubbard “Look. See what you see, not what someone tells you that you see.”
    L.Ron Hubbard

    “What you observe is what you observe. Look at things and life and others directly, not through any cloud of prejudice, curtain of fear or the interpretation of another.”
    L.Ron Hubbard

    “The most flagrant lies can be punctured, the greatest pretenses can be exposed, the most delicate puzzles can be resolved and the most remarkable revelations can occur, simply by gently insisting that someone look.”
    L.Ron Hubbard

    John Davis

  16. johninsapporo says:

    MORE ABOUT LIES

    For those who are interested. Here is the exact quotation by L.Ron Hubbard about lies and control:

    “They only way you can control a people is to lie to them. And you can write that down in your book – very big letters.

    All right. Now, look. When you find an individual is lying to you, you know that the individual is trying to control you. You can put that down, one way or the other, this individual is trying to control you. That’s a mechanism of control. The individual is lying to you, so they’re trying to control you.”

    Note the cunning, “minor” changes in the “quote” someone posted above and the actual Hubbard quote.

    Above quote: “The only way you can control people …..”
    Hubbard quote: “The only way you can control A people …..”
    (Emphasis added)

    There is a world of difference between “people” and “a people.”

    Hubbard is NOT recommending a course of action, he is showing people how they have been duped and lied to so that they can be controlled.

    Whoever removed the “a” from the original quotation was doing just this. He/she was lying to you in an attempt to control.

    John Davis

  17. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Sorry, missed Takuan’s earlier question –

    I wonder though, is for example the pope’s believing the same as the meanest member of the church? Does he get a bye somehow?

    Nobody gets a bye. As Garry Wills has observed, Catholic representations of the Last Judgement have always included bishops and popes in the groups of damned sinners.

    If you’re going to compare two Catholics, you have to allow for the normal range of variability. It’s a big old religion, and it hardly ever throws anything away. There are tradition-minded Catholics who pray the hours and know all their prayers in Latin, very modern Catholics who aren’t sure what scapulars are for, leftist Catholics who quote Dorothy Day and Archbishop Romero, right-wingers who undoubtedly exist but I don’t think I’ve met any of them socially, and about a thousand other variations.

    With that in mind, let’s say you’re comparing Pope B-16 to an elderly grandmother who’s never been more than twenty miles from her village in the Sierra Oriental. The Pope knows more history and theology. The grandmother gets to leave her workday dramas at the door when she enters a church. Very different lives. But the core beliefs, sacraments, cycles of readings, and underlying form of the service are the same.

    You may think it’s crap, but it’s all the same basic kind of crap.

    Compare that with the Scientologists. One of the reasons they initially reacted so violently to having their beliefs discussed online was because they’d been telling lower-echelon Scientologists that if they didn’t go through all the lower-level classes — we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of instruction and auditing — the secrets revealed at higher levels could make their brains explode. Yet here these guys were, revealing the secrets on the internet, and nobody’s head was exploding. Worse, the people who were reading their descriptions were laughing incredulously: clams? Volcanos? An evil alien mastermind named Xenu?

    They went after the apostate Scientologists by claiming they were violating copyrights, but the real sin was giving away the trick.

    The pointlessness of Scientology’s upper-level revelations is a genuine structural problem, because they’ve laid claim to major insider knowledge and power. It’s their big come-on. Given the claims they’ve made on behalf of their teachings, and the length of time they’ve been in business, by now we should have seen an appreciable number of Scientology’s upper-level adepts hit the Transcend and emerge as minor superheroes. This hasn’t happened. Advanced Scientology initiates get old, get sick, and die just like anyone else, and they aren’t obviously wiser or saner or happier in the meantime.

    You can say that all religions promise more than they deliver, but grant this: most of them don’t promise results in this life. Scientology does promise worldly knowledge and power, and they don’t deliver. Moreover, their organization’s leadership demonstrably acts to obfuscate that specific point.

    I could go on at length, but I need to finish up here. Is your question answered?

  18. Antinous says:

    It deprecates but does not delete the remark. With work, the disemvowelled text should still be readable.

    Q. Why can’t you just tell everyone to ignore the trolls?
    A. Because they can’t. Everyone automatically reads the text that’s there. If it’s nasty or unpleasant, they get a dose of that. If there’s too much of it, they stop participating. There’s far more internet discourse lost to trollage and casual rudeness than is ever lost to moderators.

    Also, disemvowelling doesn’t mess up the numbering, which is a big issue in lengthy threads where commenters are responding by number.

  19. Takuan says:

    Dear John Davis

    What do you know about Xenu?

  20. Agent 86 says:

    If you get to be High Costello, can I be the First Abbot(t)?

    ♫ow-ow-ow♫

  21. Alessandro Cima says:

    Teresa Nielson Hayden,

    The subject of the original post is a child holding a sign with words on it and then being arrested for his efforts. That is the subject of the post. Not Scientology. Not religion. It’s about one’s right to use words to express opinions in public. It makes absolutely no difference what direction a forum takes in its discussions. I am free to post my ideas as they pertain to the subject matter of the article at the top of the page.

    I am amazed at how little people seem to understand about language. I am also amazed at the hostility to controversy and language being expressed by the BoingBoing staffers. It just does not fit the image the site works so hard to maintain. I wrote a poem about language and how is scares people. I posted it because you people provided me with a ‘post’ button. Fair enough. You then removed the vowels and engaged me in a back and forth that was actually rather interesting.

    But now you seem to have my little poem stuck between your teeth. Have you ever seen ‘The Vagina Monologues?’ Do you know who wrote it? Do you know why the playwright used the ‘highly charged’ words in the play? Go make your speech about highly charged words to some of our great poets and writers. See what they will tell you. If you worry about highly charged words then you will never write a single useful one of your own. There is nothing ‘highfalutin’ about it. Highly charged words are where our society exposes its hypocrisy and its deep-rooted fears. Does the slang word for the male organ offend and frighten you? Why should the one for the female?

    And why should the kid’s use of the word ‘cult’ offend British police officers? That’s the question. But perhaps those British police officers part-timing for BoingBoing forums.

  22. buddy66 says:

    Re:#54 I really like the definitions BAKAHAGE gives: neat, quick and precise.

    My calling the early followers of Jesus a ‘cult’ is therefore wrong; since he and his followers were Jews, their efforts formulated a sect, an offshoot of their original faith. While Jesus was alive it would have been a cult only if he had repudiated Judaism and started afresh, much as L. Ron Hubbard did.

    So…Jesus founded a sect, Hubbard a cult.

    Today Christianity, a Jewish heresy, is one of the world’s major religions; and $cientology is…a two-bit hustle.

  23. Xopher says:

    John, or maybe they misunderstood the quote and therefore misremembered it. Misquotation and conceptual drift happen all the time with no one intending them; in fact they’re the default case, and happen unless you take steps to prevent them.

    Do you understand the questions “Do you believe in Xenu?” and “What do you know about Xenu?”? Because you haven’t answered them.

    This may not be the only thing we’re interested in hearing from you AFTER you answer it, but until then, it really is.

  24. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Are those fire ants? I just went looking for pictures and descriptions of the giant red ants of my childhood. I really did get on well with them — I’d play with them, and they never bit me. I had a pet ant heap in the vacant lot out behind our house. I used to feed it dry Cream of Wheat cereal.

    Years after I’d moved away from the region, Patrick happened to mention that the things have a serious bite. I would never have known if he hadn’t told me.

    I’m immune to poison ivy, too.

  25. minTphresh says:

    can i talk to you about…..THETAN!!

  26. shiva7663 says:

    A cult is a religion that I don’t like.

  27. johninsapporo says:

    PADSTER:

    “I find creationism offensively stupid.”
    But if people find it true, surely they have a right to believe it?

    “I find the stoning to death of female rape victims for supposed “adultery” offensive.”
    Of course! Or even if it were adultery, and the woman was just as responsible as the man, stoning either or both to death is more than offensive, it’s a repulsive anachronism.

    “I find the billions of dollars worth of human effort that goes into absurd religious monuments offensive, when children are starving.”
    Small fry indeed when compared with the incredible amounts of cash Bush, Cheney and crew are spending on the Iraq “war.” The Guardian newspaper estimated it at THREE TRILLION DOLLARS.

    John Davis

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.

  28. Takuan says:

    de nada, Noen, we are both all over the map with the last few undisciplined comments. We could do it properly and start with defined terms and a small kernel. Terribly huge amount of work though since I invariably recapitulate all human political philosophy – some of it even wittingly.

    Dear Teresa
    I wonder though, is for example the pope’s believing the same as the meanest member of the church? Does he get a bye somehow?

  29. johninsapporo says:

    One important datum in the study technology is the observation that the reason people get confused or have the impulse to give up a study is that they have gone past words or symbols that they didn’t understand.

    Let’s rephrase that. There’s something you don’t understand, the impulse is to reject it. And if it’s not possible to reject it, the solution is to withdraw yourself from it.

    “Aah! But I do understand Scientology – it’s a dangerous cult!”

    Boys and girls, that is not understanding. That is exactly what I’m on about. It’s rejection, pure and simple. “It’s a dangerous cult, so I don’t have to think about it any more!”

    Understanding is a much deeper thing. It involves being able to analyze, see the parts of it, perceive it directly, think with it.

    I see very little of that on this site. As far as I can see, most, if not all of the negative statements about Scientology are not even first hand. It’s on the lines of, “I know all about that. My friend told me about it and he had read the whole back page of a paperback what was wrote by RLH* himself.”

    *NOTE: I know that it’s LRH – this is called “sarcasm.”

    If you want to find out about Scientology – probably many of you don’t because you already know ALL about it, in the sense of the example above, go to a library, and do as Hubbard suggests. Get a good dictionary, read a bit, think about it, think about if it’s true for you or not. If it isn’t, forget it. No harm done. If it is, maybe you got yourself a new hobby!

    John Davis

  30. nex says:

    [OT again, sorry; skip ahead for commentary actually related to Scientology]

    @Antonius:

    Since I turned out to be the only one here who’s annoyed by the intermittent strings of gibberish that I have to wade through in order to get to the next non-censored, readable post, I’ll just accept that as a fact of life and stop complaining. It’s not that bad, and not a huge issue; merely annoying, like occasional spam mails.

    But I’d like to make you guys aware that my argument above (I said that the Moderation Policy doesn’t give “a rationale for why disemvoewlling might really achieve any desireable goal.”) hadn’t been addressed, unless you’re seeing the deprecation of questionable comments as a desireable goal in itself. Has anyone even spent half a minute thinking about why disemvowelling is better than the alternatives I’ve suggested?

    disemvowelling doesn’t mess up the numbering

    — Antinous (#156)

    Setting kittens on fire doesn’t mess up the numbering either. You can even delete posts without touching the numbering. Well, maybe within the system currently running bb you can’t do that, but that’d just mean that the tech guys haven’t done a proper job; it’s not a matter of principle.

    [back to the discussion:]

    Scientology is the study of knowing. It doesn’t require that you believe ANYTHING.

    — Johninsapporo

    If you started out trying to not believe anything that you can’t also know, and ended up believing to know about events that happened long before the existence of the entire universe, and believing that your training is giving you distinctly super-human powers, you’ve failed in a big way. But maybe you, John, aren’t believing anything that crazy. Maybe you just know a lot of stuff most people don’t know.

    But if you do know anything about Xenu, you’re clearly not going to use that knowledge to answer any questions here. So, let’s talk about a subject you like: This great ‘tech’ of yours. How many books has LRH written? I mean, filling several shelves at your place, wow! Which one is your favourite, which one has helped you most with your life? Feel free to include some Amazon links in your reply. It’s OK if they contain a referral code that kicks a part of the purchase price back to you or your church.

  31. bach says:

    Whether or not Scientology fits any one definition of a cult is not the issue. The issue is that a teenager is getting prosecuted in violation of his freedom of speech. If someone had a sign “Judaism is a cult” then sure the public reaction might be different, but the legal one should not.

    That public order act is absolutely insane, and this application of it is disgraceful.

  32. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    I’ve always figured that if we ever did require prayer in schools, within a matter of months the religious hardliners would be the ones screaming for its abolition, because no prayer ever formulated would satisfy everyone’s requirements.

  33. Jubal Cain says:

    “…quoting a 1984 high court ruling…”.

    I was going to cry “Orwell!” on this article, but the text did it for me.

  34. Agent 86 says:

    John, as has already been mentioned, your church fits the definition of cult. So do many other churches, fine, but if you want to be dictionary-technical you do belong to a cult.

    As for blowing it off, I’ve read a few of Hubbard’s SciFi books. Not bad, really, except a few of the stories I’ve read that are in the cannon of your mythos. Those were complete crap, and they felt like he wasn’t trying to write them well. Your cult sucks because of your cult’s actions, not because I can think of it in broad terms as an evil cult. We aren’t overgeneralizing because we don’t know about your cult, we are doing it because we have already seen/heard/read all the facts we need to write it off as a cult. There may be good things about it, but there are too much horrible, rotten, no good things about your cult for me to accept your organization.

  35. nex says:

    I would have liked to have a look what Johninsapporo has to say, but (at least for me as a non-native English speaker) it’s way too much effort to see through the disemvowelment. To me, that post has effectively been censored. IMHO that wasn’t clever.

    One of the larger allegations against the CoS in the current protests concerns the asshole tactics they use to silence critics. We should stand above that and not give them any reason to play martyr and claim, “nooo, they‘re doing it to us!” I don’t give a fuck about obscenities and I can make up my own opinion about comments.

  36. rosethornn says:

    #79

    Okay, so: Jesus started up a following. While the majority of “casual” members attended his speeches, to hear his private teachings and conversations recruits had to abandon and express hatred for their families, jobs and livelihoods first. Only then were they allowed into the inner circle and allowed to listen to the Leader’s special teachings.

    That sounds quite cult-like to me, from the many definitions in this thread.

  37. Takuan says:

    “Spiritual Observance Time” then?

  38. johninsapporo says:

    Dear Alessandro,

    You write: “And why should the kid’s use of the word ‘cult’ offend British police officers? That’s the question. But perhaps those British police officers part-timing for BoingBoing forums.”

    I don’t think they were offended by the word “cult,” but worried that some people would be and that this might lead to an incident of “civil unrest,” something that they are supposed to prevent.

    I wish I had seen your poem before the “deep colonic,” or whatever they call it. Is there anywhere else on the net it’s posted?

    John Davis

  39. Antinous says:

    Nex,

    Just last night, while the Moon rode her silvery chariot through the inky void, Boing Boing got its one-hundred-thirty-thousandth comment. I know that you are the Sun in your own personal Solar System. But in here, you’re just one more of an endless list of people demanding an explanation for a policy that has been discussed many, many times. When you have finished reading all 130,000 comments, why don’t you come back and let me know if your question has been answered. I have quoted the parts of the Moderation Policy regarding disemvowelment, which you were apparently unable to discern after I referred you there. I have spent far too much time paying attention to your demand to know why one single post in this thread is not easily readable to you. Do whatever makes you happy on your own blog. You are dead to me.

  40. Antinous says:

    Hey, I’m immune to poison ivy and common insect venoms.

  41. Tenn says:

    I kinda wish that there was an ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button that would post one’s comment to a random thread.

    With some things people say, it would hardly make a difference. I include Taku-san on this one, but not because he’s necessarily being off-topic but because I can’t comprehend him sometimes. Higher intelligence ant understanding a human’s thought etc…

  42. aliceinreality says:

    The distinction between Scientology and religion is that they charge money for enlightenment (as a core belief, not as a misinterpretation of their texts), believe it’s acceptable to destroy dissenting individuals, and are outrageously libelous, believing that they can own ideas.

    American Christianity may be morally oppressive, but only a tiny (<1%) fringe minority advocate actual physical harm or violation of personal liberties.
    Islam has a history of being violent, but they also have a history of allowing conquered cultures freedom of religion and custom, as long as they obeyed Shari’a in public.

    Also, do not make the pampered first-worlder mistake of conflating the moral authoritarianism and superiority complexes of private citizens with oppression.
    Having someone call you a fag and tell you you’ll burn in hellfire is not oppression. Hurtful, but it isn’t oppression if you can leave.
    Being locked in a room with little food or water for the “Sunshine Rundown” is oppression, and in Lisa McPherson’s case, it was also premeditated murder.

  43. Nelson.C says:

    Are you saying that John Travolta and Tom Cruise aren’t superhuman? Blasphemer!

  44. minTphresh says:

    oh, and johninsapporo, i’m not the one who’s childish, YER the one who’s childish! nyaa, nyaa, nyaa,na, nyaaa, nyaa! yer asceered a xenu! nyaa, nyaa,nyaa,na,nyaaa,nyaa! :b

  45. Takuan says:

    “The City of London police came under fire two years ago when it emerged that more than 20 officers, ranging from constable to chief superintendent, had accepted gifts worth thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology.

    The City of London Chief Superintendent, Kevin Hurley, praised Scientology for “raising the spiritual wealth of society” during the opening
    of its headquarters in 2006.

    Last year a video praising Scientology emerged featuring Ken Stewart, another of the City of London’s chief superintendents, although he is not a member of the group.”

  46. Xopher says:

    Takuan, I believe you founded the Holy Order of Owists of Takuan (HOOT) after my enormous stinker. Since I want to be a HOOTer, please, o Costello, endow me with an insect name!

    As for the Scientology stuff: isn’t it obvious why they’re not allowed to talk about it? No, I don’t mean “because it’s obviously crazy bullshit.” I mean because they CHARGE MONEY to learn it. LOTS of money. The so-called “Church” of Scientology is a profit-making enterprise. It’s a huge scam perpetrated by the crazy but canny Old Motherfucker Hubbard, who was not satisfied with the wealth he could accumulate by being a piss-poor science fiction writer.

    Same reason they go after people on their copyrights whenever someone publishes the Xenu stuff, or the wacky Tom Cruise tapes. If you can get the shit for free, whose going to buy their bull?

  47. Takuan says:

    uh-huh:
    “The effect that this new corporate structure had was to seemingly successfully hide scientology’s primary assets from the IRS and from successful litigants who had won claims against the CSC entity. The sophisticated mechanism of multiple corporations allowed, and still allows, a cover for those who actually control all major policy decisions, legal decisions, and money flows, regardless of what corporate papers say to the contrary. All control of scientology assets, money flows, and activities is centered at the very top. If you look behind the corporate veil, you will see this clearly. Scientology has co-opted and bought control of selected U.S. government officials, particularly in the IRS, in order to carry out and maintain this charade effectively. Without the cooperation of those individuals, the infamous IRS decision to award scientology churches tax exempt status would have never materialized.”

  48. Xopher says:

    Ack. I meant “who’s,” of course. Drat.

  49. Enochrewt says:

    #61: See, this is the insight that I knew BB readers would have and I lack since I read Dianetics 15 years ago and completely dismissed the entire thing as foolish. Thank you! I will be making the first shirt tonight.

    Oh course I’ll still take other suggestions on slogans that insult Scientology.

  50. Galumet says:

    Teresa Nielsen Hayden -

    Wow. How disappointing. nthr brng wmn who takes offense at a WORD instead of an idea or an act.

    You disrupted a perfectly fascinating and crazy exchange with a perfectly tedious reaction. Why would you make it personal by calling a fellow commenter names?

    And – just to point out the obvious – BoingBoing’s looking for an audience, YOU are looking for an audience. Most people are looking for an audience. W cld LL s sm qlty tm wth prfssnl. Ths nclds y.

  51. johninsapporo says:

    One more for Teresa.

    When I was at the Scientology organization in Florida a few years ago, a guy I roomed with told me a story about LRH. It was interesting and since you want me to tell my experiences, I thought I would write it here.

    This guy was an engineer on the Apollo, the ship that LRH had lived on for many years. One day. he was fixing something on the deck and he had his tools laid out in front of him. Ron was curious and watched what he was doing for a while. Many of his tools had seen better days, and one especially nasty specimen caught Ron’s eye. “What is that?” Ron asked. “Sir. It’s a monkey wrench,” answered my room mate. “That,” replied Ron,” “is not a monkey wrench. Look at it. What is it?” My friend looked at this tool, really looked at it for probably the first time in his life and said, “Sir. That is a piece of scrap iron!” Ron’s reply to this was, “Right. It’s a piece of scrap iron. Call it what it IS, not what it WAS.”

    People often call things by what they should be or what they were, rather than what they actually are.

    You call yourself a moderator. Yet you don’t moderate. You have a very visible bias. What does it take to be a moderator. Let’s take a look at how Antinous describes the post:

    “The idea of moderation in these threads is to maintain a balance between freedom of expression by individual commenters and creating a comfort zone that encourages a diverse group of commenters and readers to participate in the conversation. It is a tight-rope act.”

    Create a comfort zone?

    If that is part of your job description, you have failed miserably.

    Much of what you post is just “Plain Nasty.” (The old #5.) It’s not oil on troubled waters, it’s trying to put out fire with kerosene.

    Your position should be impartial. As I have commented earlier, you seem to have a seething hatred of everything scientological. If you want specifics, I would be happy to point them out to you.

    Don’t call yourself a moderator if you don’t moderate.

    John Davis

  52. Raum187 says:

    So then, everyone down to Scientology HQ this weekend with little “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult” signs.

  53. Takuan says:

    you have just offended me by your act, “galumet”. I suggest you apologize.

  54. minTphresh says:

    HA! like i said,NO BALLS!

  55. johninsapporo says:

    As I was on my bike today, scooting back from work, I thought about some of the verbal exchanges on this site over the last couple of days. One thing that I realized – it may strike you as painfully obvious – was, that, as a scientologist, I’m a member of a minority group. I can understand the feelings that members of other minority groups, whether a group of sexual orientation, skin color or religion. It was a humbling thought, I can tell you.

    When someone says, “You’re a (member of disliked ethnic group)! You guys eat cats, pick your nose in public and don’t wash your hands after going to the toilet.” How does the member of disliked ethnic group (above) feel when he has never seen a member of his group pick a nose, several of his friends have cats and no one, including his mother has EVER served cat or even talked about it, and, as far as he knows. everyone of his group always washes their hands after going to the toilet.

    That’s how I felt when I saw the line, “the further up the management structure you go, the less the people at that level believe what they teach.”

    This is SO FAR from the truth, it was off the wall.

    It was an insult.

    Especially as it appeared in a post by Teresa – a person who claims to be a moderator, but evidently is not.

    She even went on to add insult to injury with this lovely line:

    “That technical knowledge being a fine ability to swindle.”

    Teresa, this is insulting.

    John Davis

  56. nex says:

    Just because it’s a dangerous cult doesn’t mean it can’t also be a religion.

  57. Takuan says:

    This thread is about the corruption of the London police by a dangerous cult and the subsequent attack on civil rights by the legal assault on a 15 year old boy.

  58. Antinous says:

    Galumet,

    That’s quite a rude-fest for your first comment. I took some of your vowels. I’m a man, by the way. As I mentioned a couple posts up, we just hit our 130,000th comment. Who were you saying is looking for an audience? I think that you might want to take a gander in the mirror.

  59. Ceronomus says:

    Dangerous Cult – 1
    Common Sense – 0

  60. Piove says:

    Sapporo John,
    You are obfuscating.
    I often rant about Taku-san and his erm, distinctive, style…
    BUT.. Answer a perfectly civil and obvious question.
    What do you know about Xenu?

  61. Doctor Pickles says:

    I find it interesting that BoingBoing never mentions Project Chanology in these Scientology articles.

    http://www.partyvan.info/index.php/Project_Chanology

    http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/PROJECT_CHANOLOGY

    I’d be willing to bet my annual salary that the 15 year old in question is a regular poster at 4chan.

  62. minTphresh says:

    hey joh, unwad your panties for a second, and read this: theresa did not give the swindle comment, it was put out there by a completely different commenter called ‘tenn’. are you gonna apologise for your being wrong about that? i’ll bet not. now answer takuan’s question: DO YOU BELIEVE IN XENU? or will you just sidestep the Q. as you always do? hmmmm.

  63. Takuan says:

    Postulant Ross! OW! Thou art hencforth “Cicada, the Semi” Go forth and crush the languages of Man beneath your uncaring wheels! OW!

  64. JSG says:

    Are we surprised, this is Great Britain a la 1984. With the CCTV cams everywhere. The inability to take a public picture, and certain protected religions. Is this a surprise to anyone?

  65. buddy66 says:

    @32,

    You mess with $cientology at your peril. These are tough monkeys and they play real dirty. They’re not even afraid of Lyndon LaRouche.

  66. Antinous says:

    When you say ‘super’, do you mean ‘non’?

  67. Tenn says:

    “That technical knowledge being a fine ability to swindle.”

    My line, thanks.

  68. Takuan says:

    um, “John” might be biologically female. “No balls”? Try: “no integrity”.

  69. jimh says:

    Surely there is enough truthiness to the sign to make it defensible in court? If not, what if you preface it with “In my opinion”? Does that make it legal? I mean you’re allowed your opinion in the UK, right?

  70. johninsapporo says:

    Theresa,

    Where on Earth do you get this idea?

    ” I hold that Scientology does not qualify as a religion, because the further up the management structure you go, the less the people at that level believe what they teach.”

    I have 32 years of experience in Scientology and I would say the exact opposite. The further up the management structure you go, the more they apply with and think with the tech. And there is an awful lot of tech to know. I have bookshelves full of books, books that don’t repeat themselves nor do they contradict themselves, all by Hubbard on the subject of the mind, life and livingness.

    I would go so far as to say that any trouble that the source of trouble that people have had with scientologists is either beginning scientologists or people who were on staff who hadn’t really any knowledge of the subject. In both cases, they were people who were not applying the tech, i.e. they were not scientologists. Scientology IS very exact. Applied correctly it can and does produce miracles. Applied incorrectly or mixed up with something else, it’s a mess. I find it interesting that, way back, in the 50s, when Dianetics was a major best seller and the subject was threatening to intrude on psychology’s turf, there were all kinds of attacks in the media, but most of these contained the line, “Hubbard is a superb psycho-analyst, ….”

    And to go back to the subject, those at the top of the management structure got there only by technical knowledge and the ability to apply it correctly.

    John Davis

  71. Takuan says:

    wayddaminute…HOOTS on first? If I’m the Costello than Stag Beetle’s the Abbot – and ya better believe it Bud! So a wise guy eh?? Why I oughtta….Deacon Xopher! OW! Be born again, alien burrowing mammal, and henceforward be known as “Blackfly” OW! Spread the Doctrine and bite, and bite, and bite, and bite..and then bite some more. OW!

  72. Jake0748 says:

    Galumet – Almost every time I see a comment like yours, I notice that it is from someone who has just created a new account so that they can complain.

    There are a few (not many) WORDS in the English language that are almost universally offensive. They do cause pain, insult and a bad reaction. And even these words can be rendered acceptable at times if used in an extremely original, effective or humorous way. In Teresa’s opinion, the word in question was gratuitous, so it was rendered somewhat unreadable.

    There ARE rules here. It takes a little while to learn them, but not that long, really. Everyone is free to figure out what they are, then abide by them or leave. Disemvowellment is part of the deal. It’s not your house, its Teresa’s (and the rest of the Boinger’s.

    Teresa is not boring. Read some of her stuff.

  73. Tenn says:

    “In my opinion”? Does that make it legal? I mean you’re allowed your opinion in the UK, right?

    Anything you express is obviously your opinion unless cited. If this is permissible with an IMHO preface and not without, I’m going to be perhaps even more pissed than I would be if it was unacceptable either way. It’s like when you write an essay- you don’t say “my opinion” because it kills the strength of your argument- OF COURSE it’s your opinion, you’re expressing it!

  74. Jake0748 says:

    Oh yeah… almost forgot! John, Xenu?

  75. ZippySpincycle says:

    AMCCANN, if this were really a logical extension of this site, the cop would have made the sign read “Scntlg s nt rlgn, t s dngrs clt.”

  76. Tenn says:

    those at the top of the management structure got there only by technical knowledge and the ability to apply it correctly

    That technical knowledge being a fine ability to swindle.

  77. johninsapporo says:

    TENN-sama,

    I stand corrected.

    The swindle thread was your contribution:

    “#135 POSTED BY TENN , MAY 23, 2008 3:13 PM
    those at the top of the management structure got there only by technical knowledge and the ability to apply it correctly

    That technical knowledge being a fine ability to swindle.”

    It doesn’t alter the fact that what you said was insulting and totally away from the truth.

    However, Teresa, is not guiltless either:

    “#123 POSTED BY TERESA NIELSEN HAYDEN / MODERATOR , MAY 23, 2008 5:20 AM
    Establishing an absence of religion isn’t freedom either. Freedom is being able to have religion or not, as you choose.

    Takuan myn, I hold that Scientology does not qualify as a religion, because the further up the management structure you go, the less the people at that level believe what they teach.”

    I’ve seen many criticisms of Scientology. You may not believe this, but there are some that I accept. Whereas I haven’t found anything yet to disagree with what Hubbard said or wrote, this is not true for everyone who professes to be a scientologist.

    But this is just OFF THE WALL.

    Those people I have met in upper management of Scientology KNOW THEIR STUFF and PRACTICE IT.

    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this is a far, far higher level of knowledge than you know.

    Picture a pile of books the size of the Oxford English Dictionary (13 volumes) and the Encyclopedia Brittanica (I’ve no idea how many volumes, but LOTS), imagine a person who can tell you which volume, which page and how far down the page and who can instantly give you ten examples of how to apply (use) a particular piece of information contained in the study materials.

    This is the level of knowledge required.

    Believe me, my pantaloons are devoid of any wadding whatsoever.

    TENN, and TERESA, you insult my religion.

    That is what I want to say.

    Peace,

    John Davis

  78. Jeff says:

    All religions started out as small cults. I think once you have more then ten members it becomes an official religion (emoticon shrugs shoulders and burps to show support for religion). The Church of England is a cult. It’s all occult crap.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Please tell me it’s a joke. This just can’t be true.

    Is all of the Western world truly ignorant enough to accept the erosion of citizen and human rights?

    Clearly, calling them a cult is not insulting.

  80. Takuan says:

    Dear Nex

    But some of us do care about obscenity. I personally find it tedious if done without style.

    $cientolgy is not a cult, it’s just a business. Like the Mafia.

  81. minTphresh says:

    perhaps, taku-san, not female. chemically castrated? audited to the point of non-maleness? a lying bag of doody? sorry, carried away. definately lacking in integrity.

  82. hanov3r says:

    Not that I am supporting this (nor am I a lawyer), but the wording of the Public Order Act seems to place him pretty squarely in violation.

    “The Public Order Act 1986, Section 5 states:

    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if he:

    (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
    (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,

    within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”

    Per the original article, the protest took place at the HQ of Scientology, thus “within… sight of” people who would consider being called a ‘cult’ harrasment.

    Note that this is different from the case of the judge’s ruling, which was neither behaviour nor *displayed* writing.

    He’s got an out, though; he can probably prove in court that his actions were reasonable.

  83. minTphresh says:

    john will never answer the xenu question. he is just proving to us what a lier and fraud he, and his “religion’ truly are. jhn, sy ths t y nd y ln: y r s lw s snks blly slthrng thr wrm csngs, nd twc s fll f sht. you refuse to even acknowledge the xenu thing because that would open you and your dangerous cult up to massive ridicule and embarassment. no one ever told me any ‘lies about CoS trying to control me.’ i got all my info from first hand reliable sources. so come on a-whole, i double dog dare your ass. WHAT ABOUT XENU? $10 SAYS HE DON’T SAY NUTTIN.

  84. Takuan says:

    a lying bag of doody, I could live with. I just don’t want half the world to feel slighted.

    What is it about some things that dealing with them invariably taints us? It’s a huge challenge and high standard, but we have to strive. All the time.

  85. Alessandro Cima says:

    Teresa,

    Now I am all confused. I was continuing the discussion from your post #297. Did I miss a post?

    But, yes, I was responding to #297. Maybe you were talking about something else entirely in that post. I hope my response made sense.

  86. manicbassman says:

    this case is important… it must not be allowed to be dropped by accepting a lesser punishment… he needs to go the whole hog to get completely exonerated by a jury of his peers… if it gets in front of a jury, there’s no way he’d be found guilty…

    the biggest problem is getting it in front of a jury… it’s probably one of those offences Bliar got demoted to not being heard by a jury…

  87. rosethornn says:

    Aliceinreality: So.. that makes the death toll for the CoS.. 1.

    Islam and Judaism/Christianity are all quite happily trying to wipe each other off the face of the earth at the moment, and anyone who gets in the way. If I started listing names of all the people killed by them, even if we narrow it down to the last 12 months, we’d be left with a very, very long post.

    And lets not get into the amount of people killed in Africa as a result of the Catholic Church’s anti-contraception propoganda, or the amount of people killed by the enforcement of sharia la.

    Call me a pampered first-worlder here.. But killing thousands is “tiny oppression” but killing one American is a huge concern in comparison? Could you explain this?

    (I’m not defending Scientology. It’s a nasty religious organisation. The powerful, recognised religious organisations of the world are a lot, lot worse, however.)

  88. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    “watch you ass”
    Jack Parsons.

  89. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Concerning that word:

    Not all men are comfortable with it.

    Quite a few women are made uncomfortable by it in almost any context.

    Many women are made very uncomfortable, not by the word itself, but by its use in mixed company, because it gets used there as a contemptuous term of address meant to establish dominance, and as a general assertion of the speaker’s claim to automatic social superiority. This is the real reason the word has such a heavy charge on it.

    It helps to understand this if you look at the other word that’s severely deprecated in Boing Boing’s comment threads. That other word is a racial epithet, whereas the word under discussion here is supposedly taboo because of its sexual connotations. The useful point is that they nevertheless generate nearly identical ranges of problems. My reasons for deprecating one of the words are nearly identical to my reasons for deprecating the other.

    Why the similarity? Because both words get used as a contemptuous term of address meant to establish dominance, and as a general assertion of the speaker’s claim to automatic social superiority.

    Second-order effects:

    A substantial number of readers will take the casual use of the word as a marker indicating that they are not part of the site’s target audience.

    It doesn’t matter what motivates the first batch of commenters who use that word. If you let it stand, you’ll start acquiring new participants for whom the attraction is not the ostensible subject of the conversation, nor the word as it was initially used, but the fact that it’s been used and is being allowed to stand. They interpret it as a marker saying Antisocial behavior allowed here; come on in!

  90. Anonymous says:

    The further we get into the 21st Century the less and less I want to be here.

    What concerns me the most is most people don’t care. I informed 30 work colleagues of the government proposal to monitor our entire communications and the reaction was muted at best. And this was in an IT related sector.

    I’m not proud of what this nation is becoming… has become.

  91. Tenn says:

    I can make up my own opinion about comments.

    And so can the moderators. The rest of the community doesn’t want to slosh through cesspools of cursing. I curse, but not to the level that comment did.

    If you really must partake of the sludge, you can do so here.

  92. Antinous says:

    Why is this discussion still going on? Is anyone deriving anything of value from it any more?

  93. Chris says:

    Doesn’t he have anything better to be doing?

  94. Alessandro Cima says:

    ‘England is not a country, it is a dangerous cult.’

    ‘England is not a country, it is a dangerous cnt.’

    Which one is offensive? Perhaps they both are. I should expect my summons as soon as possible. Frankly, I am just horrified by what seems to be going on in England with its psychotic cops and its security cameras pushed straight up everyone’s ass. Are they getting this crap from us here in the United States? Can somebody please tell them that we’ve had a monkey in charge for the past eight years and didn’t really mean any of it? These brits appear to have really gone off the edge and into the shitter. Wow. Fish and chips aint worth the hassle, man. Hey, why don’t you bobbies just start shooting people who take pictures and hold up signs. Clean it up good. Wipe it clean. No more trouble.

    Now, I will say that ‘cult’ isn’t as great a word as ‘cnt.’ Just doesn’t have the same punch. ‘Cnt.’ Say it out loud, ‘cnt.’ Now say this slowly… ‘England is not a country, it is a dangerous cnt.’

  95. Takuan says:

    Brother Arkizzle! OW!
    http://www.morethings.com/fan/marx_brothers/677_1221.jpg
    OW! (Hail ruler of Freedonia!)

  96. noen says:

    In the middle ages Catholicism rose to power by way of the confessional. It was a means by which priests could gather intelligence and then use that info to influence or control the halls of secular power.

    Today many cults like Scientology use similar means to get damming information on people and then use that to manipulate and control others.

    Same as it ever was.
    Same as it ever was.

  97. Agent 86 says:

    Hah, you’re talking about someone who is “cleared” right? Dare I bring up LRH’s embarrassing press conference where the world’s first “clear” could not remember the color of LRH’s tie when her back was turned?

    As for the “That technical knowledge being a fine ability to swindle.” bit, I’ll acknowledge that was a bit low. I’ll also acknowledge that it was mostly accurate. Change “swindle” to “effectively lie” and it will be entirely correct

    Dear John, don’t forget we are the group that eagerly awaits the next document leak on wikileaks or xenu.net, or the next youtube video from a former high-ranking scientologist. We are the group that will spend our free time browsing and laughing, instead of socially interacting. Don’t spread your lies, I’ve seen and heard enough to know that your organization does teach its upper levels how to effectively lie (to both the public, and its own members), in a sort of for your own good/for the greater good bullshit way. It’s on the record, for god’s sake! I am almost positive that after 30+ years, you know what it is your organization does. There is a list of offenses I could bring up here, that I have yet to hear a justifications and counter-arguments for. Would you like to donate your free time? You work for a cult, that is in the process of spawning an actual religion. I’ll respect that religion as much as I respect any other, but your cult will always receive nothing but scorn from me and mine.

    On a side note, I firmly believe that a lot of your applied study works better than what I see going on in our public education system. Too bad you folks haven’t turned from a money-hungry organization into a true teaching establishment. Maybe next generation, when the majority of your high-ups will have been born and raised in your mythos and truely believe, being a Scientologist will mean something.

  98. Antinous says:

    ‘Cult’ has developed a pejorative and linguistically sloppy connotation. It has only very recently been used widely in its current sense. Behold its primary meaning at #1:

    cult
    noun
    1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
    2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
    3. the object of such devotion.
    4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
    5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
    6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
    7. the members of such a religion or sect.
    8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.
    –adjective
    9. of or pertaining to a cult.
    10. of, for, or attracting a small group of devotees: a cult movie.

  99. Takuan says:

    I’m not sure that is correct or fair. To my thinking, “troll” is reserved for one who DOES know better and acts anyway. That is simple malice. A true believer who does great harm is still a victim too. And as such, merits help before justice.

  100. Agent 86 says:

    PS:answer the xenu bit, I’m interested in seeing where tak’s going with it.

  101. scottfree says:

    I hoped the article would give a little more detail on the charges. The law in question was meant to, for instance, crack down on anti-Semitism etc. but so far has been used fairly ridiculously by police to harass protesters. I remember at a gay pride march a year or two ago, a few gay and lesbian friends of mine had their sign taken away because it said ‘Queer’, which was deemed as abusive by police, despite being the term many lgbt people prefer. gay pride is for tourists, apparently.

    Anyway, good luck on the courts trying to come up with meaningful distinctions between religion and cult. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s thrown out at the first, since a decision either way would set a precedent I don’t think anyone will be happy with.

    He should get a lawyer though.

  102. Takuan says:

    well… It is shamefully entertaining… come now, confess, even you slow down at freeway accidents

  103. asuffield says:

    The Public Order Act is the UK equivalent of what is called “disorderly conduct” in the US: it’s a generic law that pretty much everybody is breaking by leaving their house, which the police can use to drag in anybody. Conviction rates are low (something like 70%), and that’s not counting the people who are arrested but released without being charged. This guy isn’t going to be convicted, and the charges will probably be dropped.

    It’s pretty lame that every country in the world has these laws, but it’s also the only legal basis for the police to break up disturbances before any real crimes are committed. We could certainly do better, but if you accept the need for a police force then some law similar to these is necessary – if they don’t have the power to keep the peace, then they’re just unpaid bounty hunters.

    The real problem here is that there’s no attempt or desire to prevent the police from applying these laws at whim.

  104. minTphresh says:

    admittedly so, sir. but standing against the tyranny of thought that these ‘people’ represent is an important pastime as well. did you notice how our friend john would expound paragraphs on just how offended he is by what we say, but danced like a cat coughing up a hairball when pressed about the nitty-gritty of his B.S.(belief system). but, we strive. ( lol, you said “taint”!) oh, we strive.

  105. Jake0748 says:

    “Is anyone deriving anything of value from it any more”?

    Not me, but I keep looking in to see if there’s anything on the Xenu question.

  106. Jake0748 says:

    OK, I stand corrected Taku-san. I will continue to read and reserve judgment.

  107. johninsapporo says:

    Dear AGENT86,

    “You work for a cult,”

    STOP assuming!

    AGENT-san, I work for NO ONE but myself. I promise you. I’m not here, as our moderator who isn’t a moderator, Teresa-sama assumes, I AM NOT HERE FOR DAMAGE CONTROL.

    “I’m just a guy.” I teach English in Japan. I have spent the best part of 32 years studying (part time) Scientology and feel I know quite a lot (but not all) about it.

    But I DO NOT work for the Church of Scientology.

    “your cult will always receive nothing but scorn from me and mine.”

    “I’m glad I don’t like wearing pajamas, because if I liked wearing pajamas, I’d have to wear them, and I’d hate that.”

    Ain’t a cult, AGENT-san. Scientology is NOT a cult. It’s very difficult to say what it is, because there is not much in Earth culture that bears any resemblance.

    Personally, I accept that Scientology is a religion, but I cannot accept that it’s a religion in the sense that Christianity is a religion. I see it more as Buddhism. Now, another scientologist might not agree with that. As I said, that’s my opinion. So, personally, I don’t like the term Church. I don’t think it fits.

    You see, we are not clones. Scientologists can have different opinions. As I keep trying to explain, this is a study of knowledge and NOT belief.

    “On a side note, I firmly believe that a lot of your applied study works better than what I see going on in our public education system.”

    You better believe it, but, sincerely, do you know about this?

    Study technology is pretty near incredible. There is so much to say about it, but the main thing for me is that TIME has nothing to do with education – i.e. you take a test at 18 and if you pass you’re OK and if you fail you’re a dumb dumb.

    That never made sense to me.

    In the study technology of Scientology, TIME has nothing to do with it. You graduate when you can get 100% on a test – or you can prove that you know and can apply the data. EVERYBODY graduates. EVERYBODY graduates with 100%.

    It’s always seemed strange to me that someone can become a medical doctor by passing a test with 65%. What about the 35% they got wrong?

    “Too bad you folks haven’t turned from a money-hungry organization into a true teaching establishment.”

    Like I said, AGENT-san, I’m not “you folks.” I’m just a guy.

    I’m not here on “Damage Control,” or anything else. I’m an English teacher who has studied quite a lot of Scientology and who digs it, who also digs BoingBoing and visits every day. Whether you like it or not, I’m a member of your community.

    “Maybe next generation, when the majority of your high-ups will have been born and raised in your mythos and truely believe, being a Scientologist will mean something.”

    Huh? Sorry I couldn’t get that. What do you want to say?

    Peace,

    John Davis

  108. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Yeah, it’s like a train wreck in slow motion. I’d like to bid on the popcorn concession for the next one.

  109. mattymatt says:

    Wait wait wait. Am I understanding this correctly — that it’s ILLEGAL TO INSULT PEOPLE in England? What a bunch of uptight fussbudgets.

  110. jgriffiths says:

    @77

    Probably people would be less critical, but really, it doesn’t fucking MATTER if Scientology is a cult or not. Who cares?

    The important thing here is that someone was prosecuted for being part of a peaceful protest on public property by a police force with very sketchy links with one of the parties in question.

    SCIENTOLOGY BEING A CULT OR NOT IS NOT THE ISSUE.

    (Also, this Dispatches episode – http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/dispatches/in+gods+name/2206647 – shows a group of Christian’s protesting the construction of a mosque in their area, they call Islam a religion of hate and a false religion, I didn’t see any prosecutions handed out).

  111. Antinous says:

    Mom defines it something like ‘refusing to acknowledge that it’s their behavior that’s alienating people, not their positions’.

  112. johninsapporo says:

    Teresa,

    I’m not here as damage control, I’m not here as anything. I’m just myself. I like BoingBoing and look at the site most days over a cup of coffee in the morning. I looked at the comments on this topic and thought I would put my two cents in.

    For a moderator, you don’t seem to be doing much moderating, more twisting what people write into something that you want to say. Teresa, you seem awfully biased to me.

    1. You wrote this: “I hold that Scientology does not qualify as a religion, because the further up the management structure you go, the less the people at that level believe what they teach.”

    2. I replied, “……… those at the top of the management structure got there only by technical knowledge and the ability to apply it correctly.”

    3. Then you wrote this: “those at the top of the management structure got there only by technical knowledge and the ability to apply it correctly

    That technical knowledge being a fine ability to swindle.”

    You’re just twisting what I wrote.

    The technical knowledge required to become a senior executive in the Church of Scientology is A LOT of material. It is (very roughly) the equivalent of a PhD. (Lots and lots of books with no pictures in them!) They higher up you go, the more you have to know. It’s similar to the Dalai Lama. That guy knows A LOT about his subject. I have met several senior execs and they KNOW A LOT about Scientology. And there is a lot to know, believe me.

    The point I wanted to make was this: In my experience, people at the upper management levels of the Church of Scientology DO know their materials and they DO apply them.

    Peace,

    John Davis

  113. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    I published my own proposed definition of cult vs. church some years ago:

    If, on appropriate occasions, the members tell, enjoy, trade, and/or devise transgressively funny jokes about their denomination, it’s a church.

    If such jokes reliably meet with stifling social disapproval, it’s a cult.

    Hanov3r @3:

    Per the original article, the protest took place at the HQ of Scientology, thus “within… sight of” people who would consider being called a ‘cult’ harrasment.

    Fortunately, while the law (which you quote) does prohibit the use of “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour,” or displaying “any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,” it doesn’t prohibit words or displays of words which aren’t normally considered threatening, abusive, or insulting, but which the plaintiffs claim are so upsetting to their sensibilities that they constitute harassment.

    The alleged feelings of the plaintiff are not the standard for what is and isn’t allowable language. Otherwise, one shopowner could claim it’s harassment if his competitor four doors puts up signs saying “Lowest prices on the block.”

    I’m sorry the Scientologists have put a bucket on their heads, but that doesn’t oblige the rest of us to stand in a fishtank and sing “Jerusalem.”

    Jupiter12 @77, if his country wasn’t at war with a predominantly Islamic country, and if Muslim extremists hadn’t been responsible for a number of terrorist attacks (we’ll ignore for the moment the further complications that attach to that statement), and if most people who saw the sign had no preexisting opinions about Islam, then you might say it was a comparable situation.

    It isn’t comparable.

    “Scientology is a dangerous cult” falls well within the range of “an expression of personal opinion”. So would “Scientology is a fake religion,” if his sign had said that instead.

    If this incident had happened in the US, I’d have a better sense of how much further he should have been able to push it. Some of the fundies and evangelicals are big on denouncing other denominations as cults. Their favorite targets include the Mormons, Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unification Church (Moonies), and Seventh-Day Adventists. They’ve been known to picket and leaflet their gatherings. As far as I know, they don’t get stopped unless they litter, use loudspeakers in residential neighborhoods, or block traffic.

    Rosethornn @83, every sufficiently long-lived organization will have nasty episodes in its past. In terms of the overall experience that a reasonably devout average member can currently expect, Scientology is far worse than the major denominations.

  114. Xopher says:

    Bumper sticker: “Scientolgists are Xenuphobic.”

  115. mellowknees says:

    where do I get my Guy Fawkes costume again?

  116. Antinous says:

    I keep looking in to see if there’s anything on the Xenu question.

    I keep checking to see if Bambi’s mother might not really be dead. Hope springs eternal.

  117. johninsapporo says:

    Takuan-san,

    My dearest little yellow pickled radish. Show me that you are capable of DISCUSSING anything connected with Scientology in an unbiased manner, and I will be happy to get into a discussion with you. As it is, this kind of stuff seems to indicate that you have a bias:

    John Davis

    (THESE ARE ALL TAKUAN QUOTES)

    put all the $cientologists in a cage and walk away

    $cientolgy is not a cult, it’s just a business. Like the Mafia.
    why not feel bad about those that $cientology has killed and ruined?

    What you have to give to $cientology is the back of your hand. At speed.

    put all the $cientologists in a cage and walk away

    all neither here nor there. Continue to speak out against $cientology. Give them nothing. Never stop raising your hand against them. Boycott any with them.

    Think of the worst abuses of Guantanamo as a mild preview of a world where $cientology prevailed.

    Yer right. I’ll just take them over to the dustiest stacks and mis-file them. Sorry noble librarians, but we are fighting evil here.
    Always make a point of covering them with other titles when in bookstores.

    ah good, now they can sue $cientology and shut them down for good

    you must adopt a $cientologist and raise it as one of your own
    $cientology will be defeated by starving it of new victims. Those already inducted are pumped dry soon enough. Protests like this prevent them from getting fresh blood.

    I will no longer give money to prominent $cientology shills (Tom Cruise. Travolta etc.) by patronizing any of their work. I wll do this consciously and will do the work of seeking out the information to avoid giving money directly or indirectly to this cult. Should be pretty painless.

    yer on, though $cientology is still more of a common scam – give er another century or two to qualify as an organized religion

  118. Takuan says:

    value..value… OK! We have all learned here that the quickest way to get rid of glassy-eyed “personality testers” is to say: “Tell me about Xenu” That’s worth something.

  119. amccann says:

    This is just the logical extension of the politics supported on this site, unfortunately.

  120. Xopher says:

    Ack! “Sci-ent-ol-o-gists.”

  121. Takuan says:

    a fine line between being careful and appearing willfully obtuse.

  122. Takuan says:

    well John, I know you are out there. One last time:
    Xenu?

  123. scottfree says:

    where do I get my Guy Fawkes costume again?

    Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue used to have them.

  124. Takuan says:

    take away $cientology’s tax free status. Take it away immediately. If they are indeed a “religion”, they won’t protest at all. Begin there.

  125. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    If only my mother in law had known that she wouldn’t have had to change her phone number to scrape them off. OTOH, she’s the type who would have been hooked in by all that alien talk, so who knows?

  126. Jake0748 says:

    Yes, lesson learned.

  127. wynneth says:

    @Ceronomus-Agreed.
    @Hanov3r-Wow, so you can’t say or display anything that might be construed as insulting… So you can’t speak?
    @AMCCANN-

    This is just the logical extension of the politics supported on this site, unfortunately.

    By this site, you mean BoingBoing? If so, yup, most boingers call ‘em like they see ‘em: A cult is a cult.

  128. Tenn says:

    Taku-san, I am in need of guidance. Just why do religions get tax-free status anyway? I would support tax exemptions for specific churches which are doing a visible and measurable good for their community or other communities, but why religions as a whole? You’re older and wiser in the ways of the world so tell me!

  129. historyman68 says:

    What a bunch of uptight fussbudgets

    That’s why we broke free. What, you thought it was cause of the tea?

  130. Antinous says:

    To me, that post has effectively been censored.

    It wasn’t the obscenity so much as the screaming. The comment was a rant that was only marginally related to the post, and it was from a commenter who only shows up to launch attacks against critics of Scientology. He is completely welcome to make a civil, on-topic comment, as I already mentioned.

  131. Takuan says:

    before I forget: “all honour and obeisance to the Holy Web That Binds Us All, that we show proper gratitude for the complete and free text of Huckleberry Finn – Praise Sam!

  132. minTphresh says:

    I truly b’lieve that mr. johninsapporo, in dancing so gracelessly around the question, that when it comes to the ‘xenu’ question, he is far too afraid to answer. in my opinion, your cult is not only dangerous, but libelous, cheap, condescending, blackmailing and possibly murderous. my opinion based on many years of stories from very reliable witnesses. my sister-in-law( former SoC secretary) had to go into deprogramming, then into hiding for almost 10 years because of what she knew about the orginization. so answer the xenu question. oh, wait. you haven’t got the balls.

  133. Alessandro Cima says:

    k*nt

    Mssng n prfctly
    Gd knt
    Wht’s hppnd whn
    Cn’t gt knt n dgws?
    Wht knd f hl r w n
    Tht w cn’t sy knt?

    Crdbrd rdgs
    Mk my rd mrkr bmp
    Wrds cm t
    Crkd
    Smmn th ldrshp
    Th cll f th clt
    Wll f th crwd
    Cn’t hld t clsr
    Fr phts
    T pst
    Lk y mnt t
    Flt n my chst
    Lk bdg
    r stff
    nwshd
    Shrt
    nshth
    Yr jstlng btn
    sk m gn
    T pt ths wy

    Th rtsts
    r bddng wth trps
    Shtng
    Thrgh cmflg lnss
    Tkng fr frm rfs
    Tht bllt’s bnkrbstr
    Cmng n fst
    Bnd wy vr bckwrd
    S th rdrs cm dwn
    Bts ht th grnd
    Thr’s sfty n nmbrs
    Bmbs n th rd
    Kck dr dwn
    Sht p hs
    nd g wth t lv

    Scrty pprts nrts prts
    Pshng prbs
    Swvl hds
    Fngrtp scnnrs
    Rtnl mppng nd
    bstd p hd
    Shw yr rcpt jrk
    r y cnnt lv
    W r thrts
    nd w wrk fr th sfty
    nd cnvnnc
    f ll

    nd by th wy
    Whn dd th hwlng stp?

    Snc dn’t w rnt
    nd schl’s t tdy
    cn stnd n crwd
    Lk frm tdy
    Mldly rtrdng
    Yr rclnng sbmssn

    Lk cck-jrkng
    Btt-thmbng prst
    skng y t lst
    T thnk bt Gd
    s y g n yr wy.

    Th Qn’s crmnl knt
    Jggr hr lshd btch
    Dyln’s crnvl shw
    s rblls s bsby
    Bcs y cn’t
    Y cn’t
    Y cn’t
    Y cn’t
    Y cn’t sy knt

    Rspctflly yrs,
    lssndr Cm, My 2008

  134. Jake0748 says:

    Now wait a minute, are you saying that Sam invented the Web? I thought it was Al.

  135. Nelson.C says:

    John @295: You tell us you’re not operating under any rules and guidelines just two paragraphs after telling us that you’re “stepping over a line” by hinting at the secrets of the upper levels of Scientology.

    And, you know, for me one of the big flags that I’m being lied to, is being told that I can’t tell anyone else. If it’s true, then the truth should be able to stand up on its own legs in public, be tested and found to be true.

    Another flag is when I’m told that I can’t be told the truth that my interlocutor has. To those who aren’t in the know, a secret isn’t even a lie, it’s just nothing. To tell us that you have secrets that show you to be right means nothing. You may as well be saying that the voices in your head tell you that you’re right, for all it means to us.

  136. magiclightbox says:

    I also find the “I read a couple of negative, once-sided arguments against Scientology on the internet, therefore I have the moral right to attack people who don’t have the same beliefs as me” attitude absolutely disgusting.

    This child is being totally moronic..

    Could you be any more condescending? All the evidence suggest that this guy has thoroughly researched the activities of the cult and has taken to the streets to display his opposition to them. He even read out the ruling of a High Court Judge in support of his stand against the City Police’s innapropriate use of the Public Order act.

    The protestors are not attacking the abstract beliefs of Scientologists, they are attacking their real world policies and actions.
    The April protest was themed around opposition to the CoS’s Disconnection policy, which encourages Scientologists not to speak to people who question their beliefs. This has broken up families. Just search Youtube for testimony.
    The May protest was themed around CoS’s Fair Game policy in which scientologists are taught that it is OK to use any means necessary to discredit critics. Search for the testimony of ToryMagoo44 on Youtube, who talks about how when she was in the cult she took part in a picket outside the house of a prominent critic, holding signs accusing him of paedophilia.

    Some sects of the world’s major religions may have carried out actions similar to these, but the difference is that in Scientology this behaviour is policy.

    As an atheist who has lived in a small village where the Anglican church infinitely enriched the life of the community, it makes me sick to hear Scientology appropriate the language of Anglicanism, calling their members ‘parishoners’ as if they were serving their immediate community. Instead they specialise in displacement, shipping the vunerable around the world to purchase the next morsel of truth.

    Those are some of the reasons why Scientology is not a religion but a dangerous cult. If we think that a Scientology HQ is a nefarious presence in our community we have a duty to say so.

  137. Antinous says:

    Just why do religions get tax-free status anyway?

    Hey! I’m planning on starting my own religion. Back off!

  138. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Can my Owist name be Cicada? I have a jar of them here on my desk. I like how they hide underground for years then come out and irritate the crap out of everyone for an entire August.
    Actually, anything but Crane Fly would be fine.

  139. Takuan says:

    “The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.”

    - L. Ron Hubbard, A MANUAL ON THE DISSEMINATION OF MATERIAL, 1955

  140. Alessandro Cima says:

    Teresa,

    Now we are talking. The word in question does seem to momentarily stop most thinking and create a purely emotional reaction. But now we seem to be talking about the actual word and its use. I would simply point out that BoingBoing did not focus its disemvoweling on the word, but rather on the entire poem. There were also other related comments that had unoffensive language censored. This is all understandable within the context of anger. After all, the poem is meant to make people angry about censorship and our gradual retreat from free expression because of some half-formed idea of security that comes to us from third-rate politicians.

    You might note that no individual or group is being addressed directly in the poem by the word in question. The word is being used in a more abstract way. There have been poets in our history who have been charged with obscenity. They have won their cases. It does not matter if a reader is made uncomfortable by literature. That is one of the jobs of literature – to unsettle. This brings up another point about forums and comments on blogs. Forums and comments are not a form of personal communication. They are a form of literature. They may seem like simple communications, but they are not. Forgive me if I seem to be a bit snotty about this. I am very serious about this point.

    In general, I would expect a site like BoingBoing to exercise caution in how it determines whether a curse word or epithet is being used against a person or group or whether it is being used in a literary expression, or for the purposes of a comparison. You can see that in the poem the closest thing to a person being targeted is when the Queen is called by the word. But the ‘Queen’ can apply to any queen at any time in history. It is purely an abstraction. The poem is about how afraid we are to say certain things and what a terrible effect this is having on art, journalism, politics, and, unfortunately, great web sites.

    And also, I really don’t think one should worry too much about what people will take as markers to allow them to engage in bad talk in your comments section. That is the same kind of argument made by every censor in every repressive country on earth. It is always for the protection of society and so as not to offend a higher standard. I can understand protecting children from rough language, but not adults.

    I certainly appreciate the discussion and look forward to your reply. This is going better than I thought.

  141. Takuan says:

    democratic governments are rooted in the idea of universal human rights. Unfortunately, being stupid is also a basic right. Free men have the right to make choices. Good choices, bad choices and even stupid choices. The organized religion meme was useful in early social development. Deferred gratification makes large, stable populations possible. It also quickly mutates into other people’s deferred gratification, hence the real primate appeal.

    According to the fundamental principle of democracy: “Equal Pain For All”, if any one organized religion is permitted, than any and all must be. Insofar as taxation (theft by your government) is concerned, religion fills the same space as organized crime in human hearts. We all resent the confiscation and limitation, Robin Hoods, Yakuza, Sopranos all speak to the same chord in our hearts and we secretly rejoice that at least SOMEONE is not a slave.

    The priests figured a long time ago that a living was to be made and we have done little to discourage it. The irony is that $cientology IS a “religion”. They just garner more contempt for being new and having no class.

    Once again our true, Basic Human Rights are perverted. Freedom from religion (ie: freedom of thought)has been perverted into “freedom of religion”. What else do you expect? We have a basic right and need for mobility and it was perverted into the petroleum burning private car. At what cost?

    I am sorry to treat you so badly and sugar coat the truth of the world this way, but social convention and my own weak, vain folly forces me to try to protect you from the unrelenting truth.

    I am,

    your faithful Knurd-ship.

    Takuan

    post script: please forgive my craven self, I do not merit it but beg it anyway

    post post script: you will find all your elders equally cowardly in the face of whom they have betrayed

  142. C0nt1nu1ty says:

    Ok, the Police Officer was taking the whole thing to the nth degree but y’know devils advocate time:

    Assume a (for example) neo-nazi had a sign saying “all jews should be exterminated” and was showing it an predominately Jewish area a reasonable interpretation of the public order act would be to ask him to remove the sign.

    In this case…..its a bit fuzzy. Yes “the church of scientology” is a dangerous cult but as Anonomous have several times publicly stated the actual religion itself is as benign as any other religion.

    Its difficult to draw a distinction between these two examples and I agree that the law may need clarification/review or the police may require more training on how do deal with grey areas like COH.

  143. ferg says:

    Amusingly when “The Wright Report” (uk daytime TV show) reported this, the host Matthew Wright said “Scientology is a cult” straight to the camera just to provoke them.

  144. isopraxis says:

    Scientology is not a religion. It is a dangerous **** that will **** with your head and leave your ******* wallet empty.

    What’s next? A court summons for using implicit ambiguity? Facecrime? Thoughtcrime?

    The irony in it all is that this matter perfectly demonstrates that scientology is not a religion. It is a dangerous cult that bribes public officials to kowtow to their avarice and insatiable lust for power.

  145. cimail says:

    johninsapporo,

    You wondered if there was a way to read the terrible poem that was disemvoweled a couple of days ago (was posted May 24, 3:58 pm). It’s the poem that was apparently so offensive to many here at BoingBoing.

    The forum has its rules and I suppose it must enforce them. So, out of respect for those rules, I have posted the complete poem, with all of its vowels, at this location:

    http://camouflagelenses.blogspot.com/

    Enjoy.

    AC

  146. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Next @94, not everyone reacts the same way you do. Besides, the Scientologists aren’t going to make a big deal out of the episode. If they did, they’d have to acknowledge that what Sapporo John said was far worse than what the kid had on his picket sign.

    To me, that post has effectively been censored.

    Tell me truthfully that you feel obliged to sit down and listen, thoughtfully and attentively, until the speaker is done, to every screaming ranter you encounter in public or private; and I’ll consider feeling slightly less cheerful about that comment having been disemvowelled.

    Doctor Pickles @95:

    I find it interesting that BoingBoing never mentions Project Chanology in these Scientology articles.

    You do not find it interesting. What you’re trying to do is suggest that there’s some ulterior purpose in it, without obligating yourself to explain what the bleep that might be.

    There is no ulterior purpose in it.

    Next: unless I missed the creation of a new law that says that 4chan regulars have no civil rights, what does it matter whether the kid hangs out there? — which, by the way, is still Not Proven.

    JohninSapporo @99, usually I don’t much care what L. Ron Hubbard said. The man said a lot of things. However, your quasi-quote is worth a comment:

    Hubbard notes that people tend to see things that are unfamiliar to them in terms of things they already know. A person who saw a sitar for the first time might describe it as “an Indian guitar.”

    Yes, and they’d be right. The two instruments are related, as are the words we use for them.

    Looking at a sitar and interpreting it in terms of more familiar objects is an appropriate response. It’s how we bring to bear the learning and experience we’ve accumulated in our lives. In this case, it tells us that we’re looking at a musical instrument, not an elaborate bead loom or egg slicer. Once you can see how like a guitar the sitar is, you can stop paying attention to its points of resemblance and shift your attention to its points of difference, like the curved frets tied on with string, and the tuning pegs along the neck.

    Which is to say: when we do that thing, it’s not necessarily an error.

    Besides, we all know what we’re really hearing when someone tells us to ignore everything we’ve learned so far about life, the world, and other people: “Honey, I swear it’s not the way it looks! Who are you gonna believe — me, or your lyin’ eyes?”

    (Among the people of my adopted land, this lesson is traditionally imparted via a parable concerning the ownership of a bridge.)

    I do care that multiple courts in multiple countries, operating under full rules of evidence, have ruled that Scientology is a criminal organization. That’s not a statement about their beliefs. It’s a statement about how the organization operates.

    I care that Scientology has a long history of doing everything it can to stifle discussion of its beliefs and behavior, especially on the internet.

    And I care that a long list of former Scientologists have testified that the organization has an explicit no-holds-barred policy of going after people who criticize it, without regard for proportionate response or collateral damage.

    Tenn @100 (which is a nice rate of return):

    My post was taken down, just as the 15yr old’s placard was taken away from him.

    People have trouble making the distinction between BoingBoing and meatworld. That was public property he protested on; this is not public property. There is a difference.

    It’s a good argument, grasshopper, but it should be used in combination moves for extra points:

    Sapporo John: your post was not taken down ‘just as the fifteen-year-old’s placard was.’

    First, your post was not taken down. It was disemvowelled, which means that, unlike the kid’s placard, it can still be read.

    Second, the kid was in a public place, where he had every right to expect that the law would protect his speech. You’re in someone else’s weblog; and if you’re read this site’s posted moderation guidelines (which you haven’t), you would have known before you wrote that comment that it would be over the line.

    Third, the language in your disemvowelled post was far more violent, abusive, and traditionally actionable than anything the kid said on his placard.

    In short, while he was undeniably a victim of censorship, you can hardly claim to be on his level.

    (You see? Like that.)

    Padster, Sapporo, @101-102: Scientology may not be the greatest evil in the universe, but it’s the subject this thread is discussing. Also, I’ve never noticed that a smaller evil was made any better by the simultaneous existence of a larger one.

  147. Takuan says:

    makes the origin of “bug house” clear….

  148. minTphresh says:

    none are immune to the larval sting of the screwfly!

  149. Anonymous says:

    This cult has (again) bought off a personal brigade of law enforcement officers. This is truly disgusting on all levels of decency.

  150. Antinous says:

    Alessandro Cima,

    I don’t know what you’re trying to get at, but stop trying to get at it. I’m getting tired of disemvowelling you.

  151. Takuan says:

    but of course Ross. If you wish, “Cicada” is “Semi” in Japan. It is tradition (as of now) to club one’s brethern and sistern with a truly horrendous pun when announcing one’s Owist name.

  152. arkizzle says:

    willfully obtuse

    no shit :)

    I’m the Groucho of Owist?

    in-sect-name! in-sect-name! in-sect-name! geddit?

  153. Piove says:

    Tak, Can I be cockroach? Please? Huh? Huh?
    Go on, can I?
    Sapporo John, had I called anyone else here a liar and a coward I would have had an honest response. Even if that response was only anger.
    (How about it Tak, You are a liar and a coward…)
    I have never called anyone that, either online or IRL. You failed to acknowledge that I had spoken, let alone answered a question.
    Takuan annoys me frequently with his glib, ill thought out responses. (Again, sorry Tak, personal opinion….)
    My response to Tak generally lasts about 4 seconds or so.
    My response to you lasts considerably longer and is a lot more negative.
    I would discuss with Tak a lot of my experiences and genuinely expect an honest response, whether I liked it or not. He has proved this over many months of watching his comments: The substance does not change, so nor does the man.
    I would not expect the same courtesy from you, as you have shown yourself to be dishonest by omission.
    By failing to answer, you have shown what I said to be true.
    You have two options to redeem yourself at this point.
    Either answer, or don’t post again.

    Both would speak volumes.

  154. Tenn says:

    Poor boy forgot his Guy Fawkes Mask.

    I am sorry to treat you so badly and sugar coat the truth of the world this way, but social convention and my own weak, vain folly forces me to try to protect you from the unrelenting truth.

    If this is sugar-coating, I might as well give up now before I reach the sour center.

    I know all these things, but I still hate that it happens. I think you put it best as “Freedom from religion (ie: freedom of thought)has been perverted into “freedom of religion”.”

    And on rejoicing that not all are slaves, your mention of Yakuza / Mafia types, do you mean that as explanation of the veneration of that lifestyle? Because that does make sense.

    Antinous- Hey, I’m still going to help run the monastery, remember. We can do something good for the community and get our tax exemption that way. All things are possible through worship of- what are we worshipping, again?

  155. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Thank you, Brother Takuan. I look forward to the enlightenment I shall receive owing to this new course of spiritual growth.

  156. arkizzle says:

    OW! SHIT!

    The HOOTening has begun!

  157. Takuan says:

    I suppose the locked steamboat pilot mailboxes were a precursor, but the web was invented by scientists needing to fool their imbecile military masters into paying for a chat line.

    All Al did;
    Call me call me call me
    What a beautiful time we had together
    Now it’s gettin’ late and we must leave each other
    Just remember the time we had
    And how right I tried to be
    It’s all in a day’s work

    Call me
    Losing your love, acting foolishly
    Go on and take your time ’cause you’re only losing me
    Love is a long ways from here
    Tell you it’s all in the way you feel
    If your love is real

    Come to me
    Call me call me call me come back home
    The best thing I can do is give back your love
    Let you go away feelin’ free as a dove
    If you find you’re a long ways from home
    And somebody’s doing you wrong
    Just call on me baby
    And come back home

    Call me call me call me
    Come back home

  158. Alessandro Cima says:

    Lk t th pm bv. ll vwls hv bn rmvd by smn r smthng t BngBng. BngBng, th sppsd stndrd-brr fr frdm f xprssn nd strng rgmnt gnst cnsrshp. Bt, fr sm rsn, thy dn’t lk nsty wrds tht r mssplld. Gdnss. Wll, prhps thy r ll td p wth gns t thr hds nd cn’t rlly pst wht thy wnt nymr.

    Gd nght BngBng.

  159. johninsapporo says:

    Antinuous:

    You write, “Why is this discussion still going on? Is anyone deriving anything of value from it any more?”

    For me, I feel it’s getting a little pointless.

    There were many points that could have been discussed, but discussion seems to be a bit beyond many of the posters on this board.

    You know, wouldn’t it be good for someone to make a point and for others to step in with their agreements, disagreements, personal points of view and discuss the issues presented here? In an adult fashion?

    Personally, I would very much like to do that. The reason being that through a real discussion and exchange of viewpoints, you widen your own viewpoint and find new things, new knowledge.

    This is the truly wonderful thing about websites like this. It could be a learning experience. It’s such a pity that it’s abused.

    But there was one thing that I got out of it, and it came from a post of yours. It was this line:

    “A glance at the news makes it evident that religion is a declaration rather than a philosophy for very many people.”

    There is so much truth in that short sentence. With most religionists I meet, this is what I find. The philosophy is way above their heads, they don’t analyze or think with it. It’s just a declaration.

    It was timely for me, because I had just come from this exact situation. I’m a musician and while we were waiting to go on stage, two of the singers were talking. They are both Baptists, Christians. Both of them have husbands in the US military. This struck me as odd and still does. How can a Christian condone going to war? How can a soldier lob a bomb into a house containing many innocent people, children, babies and so on and then go to Church the next day?

    Anyway, thank you for your sane comments.

    Yours sincerely,

    John Davis

  160. Tenn says:

    It’s a good argument, grasshopper, but it should be used in combination moves for extra points:

    Yes sensei. I admit I considered a fuller argument but was disheartened by the regularity of how often such an argument must be made. Laziness is no excuse.

    Your example does hearten me and will shape my actions in the future. I shall get get merrily to the pushups and incense-meditation, now.

  161. Agent 86 says:

    The HOOTening, you say?

    There can be only PUN!

  162. Antinous says:

    what are we worshiping, again?

    The moment. Life. The universe. Consciousness.

  163. arkizzle says:

    glib, ill thought out..

    That’s the Costello of the Order Ow you are talking about there, my friend.

    And what a complement! It’s nice to see Him (I can’t remember if Costellos get a capital “h” or not) getting the recognition he has been striving for, for all these aeons..

    Prostrate yourself before him no more Piove, you are welcome here and need offer no more praise. Indeed, I see big things in your future, big in-secty things..

  164. arkizzle says:

    Agent, I think that’s is probably a level-up you’ve just gained, masterful indeed.

  165. Takuan says:

    if I may put in a word for the advantages of worshiping large, relatively ocean-tang smelly, multipodinous beings of ancient evil and ethanol?

  166. Takuan says:

    Xenu?

  167. Piove says:

    Costello certainly gets a “H”.
    If I no longer prostate myself, can someone please adjust my back?
    OW.

  168. Tenn says:

    The moment. Life. The universe. Consciousness.

    Hey, that there sounds rather familiar to my current practices!

  169. johninsapporo says:

    I’m sorry about the four letter words. I do feel strongly about this and get fed up with people posting all kinds of weird stuff that comes 100% from someone’s imagination. However, it did make a point. My post was taken down, just as the 15yr old’s placard was taken away from him.

    Hubbard notes that people tend to see things that are unfamiliar to them in terms of things they already know. A person who saw a sitar for the first time might describe it as “an Indian guitar.”

    This is what I get fed up with. The description of Scientology in the original Guardian article was SO off the wall that – using the analogy above – it described a sitar as “a Chinese iPod.”

    But, back to the topic. The policeman in question might just have been a scientologist. Perhaps punishing the kid this way is a borderline application of the law, but, what is needed more in our society is tolerance. And if that is what was in this policeman’s mind, I applaud him.

    John Davis

  170. arkizzle says:

    ..emm, if it’s your prostate you’re talking about, I’m gonna pass on that one :)

  171. Wareq says:

    Should’ve worn his Guy Fawkes mask.

  172. Tenn says:

    if I may put in a word

    As long is it is the Word. A ‘word’ alone is insufficient.

  173. Antinous says:

    I just feel like I’m watching a few guys taking turns shooting fish in a barrel. Just because the fish keeps moving doesn’t mean that you have to keep shooting it.

  174. Tenn says:

    a few gay and lesbian friends of mine had their sign taken away because it said ‘Queer’

    What in hell? That’s as idiotic as Mohamad getting sent to the office because he responds to “Muslim” as his nickname. Or Arab. Or Raghead, or a bevy of other slurs. Just like Nick responds to spic, and I respond to the flavor of the month (sometimes I get the N. American slur, sometimes I get ‘kraut’). What ever happened to Yankee pride?

    Our nation has a foundation in taking slurs and taking pride.

  175. catbeller says:

    I’ll state the reason why Scientology is a cult:

    They lie about what they are until years and tens of thousands of dollars lie behind the new recruit. They claim to be about engram-cleansing and past lives, and being compatible with other religions… then they spring Operating Thetan Level Three on the recruit, the explanation of the world as being afflicted with the disembodied souls of executed citizens of a Galactic Federation, souls intentionally released by H-bombs in seven volcanoes in which the frozen aliens were placed. This was done by the evil tyrant Xenu, who had those aliens captured and frozen when they came in for a fake tax audit.

    This is all top-top secret, and remained so until the internet newsgroup al.religion.scientology blew it open 15 years ago. Anon.penet.fi remailer got the word out originally.

    Cult = lie to people about what you are and take their cash. Then tell them the truth, and watch them discombobulate. They either leave quietly, or go even nuttier and stay.

    I’ve no problem with them believing in Xenu and volcanoes. I’ve a problem with them because they lie and lie and LIE about it to the world and their own, non-tyled members.

  176. Alessandro Cima says:

    Antinous, you are making my point for me. BoingBoing censors. Just like the bad guys. The words I use in my poem above are perfectly acceptable in any adult context. Just not yours.

    Rspctflly yrs.

  177. Piove says:

    oooops…
    Sorry.
    prostrate…

  178. Tenn says:

    My post was taken down, just as the 15yr old’s placard was taken away from him.

    People have trouble making the distinction between BoingBoing and meatworld. That was public property he protested on; this is not public property. There is a difference.

  179. Takuan says:

    lousy fish lover…

  180. Antinous says:

    A ‘word’ alone is insufficient.

    Verbum sat is my creed.

  181. Antinous says:

    Alessandro,

    You can read the BB Moderation Policy by clicking the gray link above ‘Recent Comments’. It’s quite rare for comments to run afoul of the policy on obscene speech, but you’re making a habit of it. You’ve hit the trifecta of gratuitous, off-topic and offensive. As always, you can write whatever you want on your own blog.

    The words I use in my poem above are perfectly acceptable in any adult context.

    It would appear that you include very few women in your acquaintance.

  182. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    John in Sapporo: “Do you believe in Xenu?” was a simple question when we first asked it. It’s a simple question now. Yet your responses are growing longer, stranger, and less relevant with every reiteration.

    I take it from your reaction that you’re also not allowed to discuss the rule set under which you’re operating.

    As for my own rule set: what you’re seeing here is not “just plain nasty”. I regard you with interest and a certain amount of sympathy, and I’m trying to figure out where you’re coming from. Me geek, you black box.

  183. Kyle Armbruster says:

    Um.

    Aren’t all major religions dangerous cults?

    Made-up stories + Power = Dangerous cult!

    But I cannot believe that it is basically illegal to hurt people’s feelings. That’s basically why we have free speech. We have the right to offend.

    And AMCCANN: Nah, this site has a pretty strong civil libertarian bias. Don’t fall into the “left v. right” trap. I’d say that most people here are somewhat socialist, but also supporters of civil liberties. They’re two different things. The first is views on the economics of groups living together. The second is on the lifestyles of living together.

    Basically, I think most of the frequent posters here would indeed be called “liberal” on a left-right paradigm, but that lumps in all sorts of things that I/we may or may not support. This is why gun debates flare up here fairly frequently. That particular issue is a lot more about where you fall on the civil liberties spectrum than the economic, even though many would have you believe otherwise. There is no such thing as “liberal” or “conservative.” That’s just a model politicians use to get elected in a two-party system. Real people are a lot more interesting.

  184. Agent 86 says:

    Quiet down, fellow HOOTers, I do believe we are being bugged.

    Oh, and I’m sure I can double as a coat/hat/mumu rack, but not as a semi-rack (only full-racks for us HOOTers, please)

    I may have a case of rack envy.

    Alright, feel free to rack me.

    OW!

  185. Agent 86 says:

    your prostate has now been adjusted.

  186. Piove says:

    Sapporo John,
    You still avoid the question.
    I have some experience with the CoS.
    It is a dangerous cult.
    It deliberately fucks with peoples minds, and asks them to pay for the privilege.

    Antinous: You are much more articulate than I.
    I salute your Wordjutsu.
    Taku-san, yours isn’t bad either. (That didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would)

    John: Xenu?

  187. buddy66 says:

    “Ugly buildings, politicians, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.
    –Noah Cross

    So do cults. It takes a while, but persistence is rewarded with respectability. Look how long it took the Jesus cult. So hang in there all you clears!

  188. danegeld says:

    I had dinner in London with a lawyer this evening and he mentioned this case and how deeply absurd it is.

    apparently, the same word was being waved on placards outside other Scientology buildings at the same time, just in front of uncorrupted Metropolitan police who were doing their job rather than the bidding of Scientology.

  189. jgriffiths says:

    @45

    No, I thought it was because you didn’t want to pay your fucking taxes.

    @46

    There’s a chance here (we should learn from the anti-choice lobbyists this week and jump on every chance, even if it results in a loss) to attack the Public Order act itself.

    Because it might be a reasonable interpretation of the act to order a neo-nazi to remove an antisemitic sign, but, in a free society, he shouldn’t have to.

    Neither should someone protesting Scientology, on a public street, have to control what they call it (outside already established public decency laws – swearing, pornography etc.)

    I reckon he’s got a pretty decent case going with the fact that the last ruling on Scientology resulted in a high court judge calling it a cult. If they can, we can.

  190. Takuan says:

    Xenu?

  191. Takuan says:

    I have no wish to cause you pain, Piove-sama. Occasional intense annoyance mayhap, but that is my Way

  192. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Alessandro, this is an unexpected result. How did you read my last response to you? I thought it said “the answer is no, and here are the reasons why.” Is it intended to address them?

  193. Alessandro Cima says:

    Revealing. A poem is a poem. The subject matter of the poem is offensive language and its what its effects on people really are. Did you not see that when you read it? Did you read it?

    The standard reaction to the title word of the poem that you express at the end of your last post is part of the very subject matter of the poem.

    I may be more closely included with women than you think. Assumption piled upon assumption. Makes life interesting.

  194. Tenn says:

    Verbum sat sans sapienti?

  195. Takuan says:

    hows do you feel about “Tarantula Hawk”? Too long? You get to pick your own you know.

  196. electricinca says:

    Although they deny it, it sounds to me that the City of London police went out specifically to target any protester that was using the word cult to describe Scientology. Also I find it strange that they had ready-made court summons to issue to any protester they believed breached the Public Order Act. Is that usual?

  197. Jake0748 says:

    Sorry to pipe in here. I’d like to know about Xenu, too. But I guess we haven’t paid enough money to know about that?

  198. Piove says:

    If you didn’t cause me pain, you wouldn’t be making me think.
    Which is worse?

    Pain I can handle, obfuscation I cannot.

  199. Takuan says:

    I just want to know what John Davis thinks, knows or believes about Xenu. Anyone else curious? I think it is a logical and fair question. An important question. A question worthy of an answer.

    Xenu?

  200. Xopher says:

    Takuan 234:I have no wish to cause you pain, Piove-sama. Occasional intense annoyance mayhap, but that is my Way

    Is that what they call Takuan-do?

    When I read what Old Motherfucker Hubbard appeared to believe, all that Xenu stuff and so on, my thought was “Wow, I thought he was just a scammer. But he was a paranoid schizophrenic who didn’t want to be medicated…because he wouldn’t have these groteque delusions if he were.” I think one limit to freedom of religion should be that denying your kids the medical treatment they need should not be allowed (yeah, I know Christian Scientists will also object).

    I heard a story recently about a teenage boy who was schizophrenic; his parents were Scientologists and refused to allow him to be medicated; eventually his delusions and hallucinations drove him to kill both of them. This is a tragedy, but it’s also a crime…against the boy, not the parents, who after all were just reaping the natural consequences of their own behavior (that is, their karma). But this boy’s life is entirely ruined; even if he’s now treated appropriately, he killed his parents. He can never lead a normal life; his parents’ stupidity (i.e. their Scientology) robbed him of his chance to live a full life.

    Being personally acquainted with a paranoid schizophrenic who is absolutely fine and deeply lovable when he’s on his meds, and terrified, suspicious, and hostile when he is not, I think the Scientology attitude toward medication for mental and emotional disorders is nothing short of cruel and criminal.

    Believing your own paranoid delusions: Understandable; you just need medication.

    Believing someone else’s paranoid delusions: Just plain stupid. You need to be smacked upside the head, especially when you’re paying a frakkin’ fortune to learn about the delusions of a paranoid long dead.

  201. Piove says:

    Xenu??

  202. arkizzle says:

    There’s always someone on hand, huh?

    (that’s a visual pun, for anyone who chooses to get it. I can do diagrams for everyone else))

  203. Antinous says:

    The verbum isn’t sat without the sapienti. Which, if you meditate on it for a moment, could explain some recent threads.

  204. Antinous says:

    Did you read it?

    I did read it. I even kind of liked it. But it has absolutely nothing to do with this thread. If there were a post about the disempowerment of obscene language by usage (which I would really like), you could make a very good case for context. In this thread, it’s just an assault on a large portion of BB’s readership who will likely find it mortally offensive.

  205. arkizzle says:

    John,

    You sound more like a FreeZoner than an out and out CoSer.

    Or maybe you just haven’t been graced with the knowledge of Xenu yet. What level are you at?

    Do you acknowledge the difference in the techniques practiced by the ‘church’ and the beliefs they eventually provide? Is it possible that the techniques may be useful, but the beliefs are not?

  206. OM says:

    “There are a few (not many) WORDS in the English language that are almost universally offensive.”

    …Yes, which is why many European nations have been trying to eradicate France for centuries :-/

    [ducks behind big rock]

  207. Takuan says:

    (cow splatters on rock)

  208. Takuan says:

    pan narrans is where it’s at

  209. Alessandro Cima says:

    Jake0748,

    You wrote: There are a few (not many) WORDS in the English language that are almost universally offensive. They do cause pain, insult and a bad reaction. And even these words can be rendered acceptable at times if used in an extremely original, effective or humorous way. In Teresa’s opinion, the word in question was gratuitous, so it was rendered somewhat unreadable.

    And I write:

    Which words in English are universally offensive?

    Do they mean the same things in French? Arabic?

    Do they roll beautifully and secretly off the tongue when one says them alone in the car? On the highway.

    How do you make them acceptable? By removing the vowels? Why not delete them entirely? Or just arrest the writer. Or shoot her. Forgive me, my thinking is Satanic, I’ll admit. But no more so than my verses.

  210. arkizzle says:

    Yeh Tak, Antinous is gonna need a name and a designation, top ranking too. FireAunt was a great choice for Teresa though.

    Any word on the robes yet? Where the hell is Antinous?

    And my first Presidential Decree: Harem’s for ever-y-one!

    OW! OW-Y OW! SHIT!

  211. Alessandro Cima says:

    It’s cool that you kind of liked it. But read it again and keep these things in mind. The poem is a direct reaction to a society that threatens a child for holding up a sign that contains no offensive language at all. Poems are difficult. They are sometimes a bit misleading. What if the boy had used my word instead of ‘cult?’ Any difference? Should there be any difference? What of a world that is in such terror of words that it abuses a child for making a cardboard sign? That’s the subject of the poem. It is hard and nasty and belligerent for a reason. You have to throw rocks to break the security cameras.

    I’m enjoying this exchange. I hope you are also on some level. Of course, it’s quite possible that the poem is just a bad one. So I won’t belabor the point here.

  212. Takuan says:

    sounds like a wonderful potential discussion. You should suggest a segue link to the editors. We could throughly explore it there. Here, it would likely serve as a smokescreen for people who don’t want the truth about $cientology bruited about.

  213. Antinous says:

    OM,

    How’s the leg going?

  214. Agent 86 says:

    Takuan-do
    Boo, Hiss. I feel lessened just reading such a pun (and annoyed that I didn’t think of it).

    Also, I have trouble believing Hubbard was more than just a very good conman, after reading a few of his quotes.

    THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.

    -L. Ron Hubbard

    …then again this is the man that believed Calculus is a false branch of mathematics, so I guess anything is possible.

  215. Antinous says:

    I understand where you’re coming from. The idea of moderation in these threads is to maintain a balance between freedom of expression by individual commenters and creating a comfort zone that encourages a diverse group of commenters and readers to participate in the conversation. It is a tight-rope act. I would personally prefer that nobody find any language offensive, but it doesn’t work like that. What you express in a political or artistic concept, somebody else may only associate with situations of verbal and physical abuse. There are very few particular rules about language. You just happened to bump into one.

  216. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering if there is a legal fund for this kid. Because I would like to donate 100 bucks of hard earned cash for his defense against this intolerable censorship.

  217. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    John in Sapporo: trying to drag in Bush, WMDs, and the war in Iraq is a gorgeous red herring. I don’t think anyone here is going to fall for it, but I can admire the audacity of the attempt. Unfortunately, whatever warm fuzzies that earns you is more than cancelled out by your excessive use of vertical white space.

    That “boys and girls” thing wrecks the tone of the more-in-sorrow-than-anger victim routine you had going when you first showed up. Also: while focusing solely on one typo in one quote from LRH is a nice distraction, all it takes to ruin it is one person pointing out that that’s hardly the only time LRH talked about lying to people — and on some of those other occasions, he was recommending it as a way to deal with non-Scientologists.

    Shouldn’t 32 years of studying Scientology have made you a better rhetorician by now? Or is this one of those things like the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit not including a discerning taste in religious tchotchkes?

    Onward.

    It’s increasingly clear that you’re operating under a set of rules. That’s why you’re thrashing and flailing around like this, and why there’s that ever-widening gap between your responses and the statements you’re responding to.

    It’s not that you won’t talk about Xenu; it’s that you can’t. You likewise can’t talk about your your personal experiences, or what specific miracles Scientology has wrought for you. I suspect your guidelines direct you to steer clear of any concrete subjects that touch upon Scientology, excepting only the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard.

    And speaking of those teachings:

    “They only way you can control a people is to lie to them. And you can write that down in your book – very big letters.

    “All right. Now, look. When you find an individual is lying to you, you know that the individual is trying to control you. You can put that down, one way or the other, this individual is trying to control you. That’s a mechanism of control. The individual is lying to you, so they’re trying to control you.”

    You know, that’s not actually true. Sure, there’s an element of attempted control in any interaction in which someone lies to you; but there’s also an element of attempted control in just about any other interaction with other human beings. Furthermore, having someone lie to you doesn’t infallibly mean they’re trying to control you, unless you’re using “control” in such a broad sense that it’s practically useless.

    The larger point here is that that statement of LRH’s means a lot less than initially appears. Other people are always lying to us — by which I mean other people don’t normally emit dispassionate, painstakingly accurate statements designed to satisfy our interests at the expense of their own. Other people are the centers of their own universes, and this necessarily shapes their interactions with us in our own universes. Their speech will always reflect their interests, producing results that can be seen as lying, and an attempt at control.

    But while it can be seen that way, that view is not helpful. Neither is Hubbard’s formulation of it, which turns this inescapable feature of human interaction into something more threatening and less sane: They’re lying to you! Because they’re trying to control you! Thinking about it this way will not make you happier, saner, or better at getting along with others.

    Contrast it with David Mamet’s practical one-step lesson in understanding human motivation by understanding human communication:

    People may or may not say what they mean, but what they say is always designed to get them what they want.

    It’s not uplifting, but it’s accurate. You can work with it.

    The other big difference between Hubbard’s and Mamet’s versions? Mamet presents his version as though it’s just something that happens to be true — the kind of thing anyone might have noticed (meaning a lot of them probably did), only he’s the one who mentioned it. Hubbard presents his as though he’s on to something — as though he’s revealing a secret.

    There’s a tremendous appeal in the idea of being let in on secrets. Trouble is, a really powerful secret is one that tells you something basic about how people work or the world works, and is true all the time. (That’s as opposed to a powerfully circumstantial secret, like knowing exactly how Warren G. Harding died.) Therefore, one of those really powerful true-all-the-time secrets has to have been hanging around within arm’s reach, yet have somehow gone unnoticed, for millennia.

    Sometimes a person really will spot one of those and recognize its potential. It’s rare, but it happens. But when you see someone coming up with a whole bunch of them, as L. Ron Hubbard did, the list of possible explanations is short:

    1. Supernatural intervention.
    2. Transcendent genius.
    3. They aren’t all brand-new discoveries.
    4. They aren’t all true.

    In Hubbard’s case, I’d say the answer falls somewhere #3 and #4.

  218. Tenn says:

    Nothing is enough for pan narrans much less a word.

  219. Takuan says:

    “Owism”: Owism is that spiritual practice wherein unwieldy puns are dropped on the foot of the disciple. As they hop and curse they inadvertently bounce their way to Satori and and thus achieve Nirvana. I have the distinction of being the first self-declared Owist. Our mantra; OW! OW! OW! (and on special occasions: OW Shit!

  220. minTphresh says:

    yummmm, fish.

  221. commonsense says:

    Hey! Guess what guys?

    SCIENTOLOGY IS A CULT. Founded by a bunch of whaco nutjobs. This is nothing but the uncut truth.

  222. rosethornn says:

    Catbeller: Seriously, do they still try to cover up the Xenu stuff now, though?

  223. minTphresh says:

    i’m told there are only 2 things on this earth that smell like fish.

  224. Brian Carnell says:

    @77 wrote:

    “Imagine if he was holding a sign that said “Islam is a dangerous cult”. Would peoples’ reactions here be any different? ”

    Indeed. To be accurate, the sign should have said “Scientology is a religion, therefore it is a dangerous cult.”

  225. Alessandro Cima says:

    Yes. This points to what I think is the great difficulty of the web and its apparent openness and the illusion of freedom that it presents. Once a blog or web site has a large audience, it must serve the widest possible sampling of that audience’s opinion. Otherwise, its traffic goes down and its ad revenue drops. So, it’s ultimately the same game the network broadcasters are playing.

    My final point is simply that we are living in a time during which people in nearly every venue, whether it’s a web forum, an airport, the military, a street corner, a newspaper, a television broadcast, or a protest, are afraid of getting into serious trouble because of something they say. Don’t we all worry about what will happen if our boss reads what we write on the web? Don’t we all worry about the guys in suits banging on our door because we said something nasty about a TSA agent at an airport? It is this fear that needs to be attacked because it is leading to very bad things that a kid with a small cardboard sign just isn’t strong enough to stop.

    It has turned out to be good talking to you. I have to go now, but have a good weekend and I hope no one else drives you a crazy as I have.

  226. Takuan says:

    Dear ALessandro
    “I can understand protecting children from rough language, but not adults.”
    Using the “C” word gratuitously – or not – is not about protecting small children reading BoingBoing.

    Let me put it to you this way: (and I’ll self-bowdlerize, or better yet, steal from my better: There’s no -ing point to -ing punctuating with -ing swear words since it -ing accomplishes -ing nothing but -ing diminishing the available -ing armamentarium of -ing useful words.
    We all know the word. We know what a person using it is saying. We can usually divine the reason. My opinion, in this time, in this place, is that there is no justification or good purpose to use that word. Why don’t you take it to a more appropriate place? Or create one? And don’t ask me where – you are the one driving here.

  227. commonsense says:

    Hey! Guess what guys?

    SCIENTOLOGY IS A CULT. Founded by a bunch of whaco nutjobs. This is nothing but the uncut truth.

  228. minTphresh says:

    one of them is fish.

  229. Anonymous says:

    There’s two issues, I think, that need to be addressed.

    One) Anonymous is not protesting against the religion of Scientology. They are protesting against the Church of Scientology, as an organised corporation (which is, at the end of the day, exactly what they are). They are protesting for ex-scientologists and outspoken critics (Mark Bunker, Tory Tory Christman, and so on) who have been declared SPs and have possibly been cut off from their families. They also protest against the Sea Org, which is currently been looked into by Her Majesty’s Customs for using what tantamounts to slave labour: 50 dollars a week (I believe in USD, roughly 25.33 in GBP) for up to twenty hour workdays- and this is not an exaggeration. They also employ children as young as twelve. In the US, they acquired tax-exempt status underhandedly and have been charged in federal crimes. So no, this has nothing to do with freedom of religion- Freezoners (Scientologists who operate outside of the Church of Scientology) are left alone and/or encouraged to speak with Anonymous, as they are not involved with the degradation of civil liberties that the Church is. It is about an organisation that lies, tricks, deceives, and destroys members of its own congregation. You can hate Christianity, or Islam, or Judaism or Paganism, but generally speaking, they don’t have you work for pennies on the hour, have you sign billion year contracts, and they’re all pretty up front about what they believe.

    Two: The other is the fact that this ever happened- an adolescent being charged with showing a word that ruffles feathers- is so wrong and against the fundamental rights that every single human being on this earth should have access to. He’s not threatening them, he’s repeating a statement said by thousands in hopes that he will win more to his cause. If an Iman thumped his religion in the same place, we’d have no concerns because it is the iman’s right to say what he thinks is right- but we can’t let a boy protesting in a peaceful demonstration have his say? This absolutely dilutes the very concept of freedom of speech and is fast tracking society to something very Orwellian.

    I wish I could say that feathers were ruffled in the Scientology building, but I’m not. Freedom of speech, as my father told me, is not to protect your rights- it is to protect the rights of those who don’t agree with you. (You being editorial, before someone get all indignant.) The young man deserves, at the very least, an apology and a PROMISE that he will never be prosecuted or persecute for airing his opinions again.

  230. Antinous says:

    Trust me. Ad revenue plays no part in any decisions here. I don’t get paid and the Boingers are not hard-wired to pay attention to that sort of thing. It’s really just an attempt to build an online community.

  231. Antinous says:

    As an American, it’s nice to be the lesser evil on occasion.

  232. Jupiter12 says:

    Imagine if he was holding a sign that said “Islam is a dangerous cult”. Would peoples’ reactions here be any different? I don’t know any Scientologists, but I believe people should be able to practice their religion (no matter how nutty it may be). The kid with the sign has every right to be there despite his intolerance, but his actions remind me of abortion protesters who hold signs outside Planned Parenthood. They have a right to be there as well, but sometimes I wish they would mind their own business.

  233. minTphresh says:

    sorry, theresa.

  234. arkizzle says:

    It is this fear that needs to be attacked because it is leading to very bad things that a kid with a small cardboard sign just isn’t strong enough to stop.

    Off-topic train, back on track!

    Well done :)

  235. minTphresh says:

    and antinious.

  236. minTphresh says:

    now, move along, people. nothing to see here…

  237. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    A useful thing to know: Boing Boing gets a lot of traffic, and some of it arrives in old threads via Google. The ends of threads don’t get as many readers as the beginnings, but they do get read.

  238. paul m doherty says:

    I find it appalling that some people find it so acceptable to go on such an all-out offensive against Scientology.

    ls fnd th ” rd cpl f ngtv, nc-sdd rgmnts gnst Scntlgy n th ntrnt, thrfr hv th mrl rght t ttck ppl wh dn’t hv th sm blfs s m” tttd bsltly dsgstng.

    Ths chld s bng ttlly mrnc – cn nly hp th lgl ctn gvs hm wk-p cll bt hs lf.

  239. Takuan says:

    I held out for triple what you get.

    Looks like John Davis won’t tell if he believes in Xenu. I wish he would. I wanted to ask if that was in the material he spoke of. Most religions welcome the chance to declare their faith. Isn’t there one true Xenu believer out there ready to step forward and witness? If a payment is required, perhaps I can take up a collection.

  240. Antinous says:

    And the other one is a person with Trimethylaminuria. So your point is…?

  241. Takuan says:

    Dear John Davis

    I said earlier that I suspected you were here for your own reasons, reasons beyond advertising for $cientology or defending the actions of corrupt cops. Your steadfast refusal to answer my basic question about the evil space alien of 75,000,000 years ago that blew up his people and left their magical invisible souls littering the landscape to plague us until Elron showed up and explained how to get rid of them – for money -, means you must be here since you can’t leave.
    OK, stay, hang around, my hand is extended to you. I understand it’s tough to leave something like a mercenary gang and one may need help. OK, we’ll help. I suggest you change your handle and start saying the forbidden things out loud. Ask the questions forbidden until now. It’s a big world full of wonderful things, congratulations on abandoning the blind alley.

  242. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    That would last exactly as long as it took for an Asatru family to move into the district.

  243. Nelson.C says:

    Allesandro @42: All countries will seem dire, if all you do is read the bad news from them.

    JGriffiths @48: I believe the rallying call was, “No taxation without representation.”

  244. Takuan says:

    OW! (shitwhathaveIspawned?!) Full points to Gokiburi! (sounds better than Cockroach?) lessee…Our Blessed Mod is the FireAunt, still working on Jake… anyone I missed?

  245. Takuan says:

    Dear Arkizzle:
    Very well, I can no longer deny the clamour of the people. I hereby annoint myself High Costello of the Order of Owists. Any wishing to join must make Holy Vows by laying an enormous stinker before me. This shall be the Test. If I am made to OW!, thy bug-name will be granted. Our mutual sacrifice (in enduring each other’s efforts) will witness for our faith.

  246. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Alessandro Cima: Since you’re posting from inside the United States, you can’t possibly have failed to notice that that word you keep trying to use is one of the two or three most highly-charged words in the general vocabulary.

    Furthermore, you dragged the word into this conversation via a comment that was only marginally relevant to the discussion. In it, you emphatically foregrounded that favorite word of yours, and used it repeatedly. There was no other point to it.

    The rest of the commenters didn’t follow your lead. They were talking about other subjects entirely. You nevertheless came back and posted another comment in which you repeatedly used and foregrounded your favorite word. (Spelling it with a “k” changes nothing.)

    So knock off the highfalutin’ excuses. You just want to say that word a lot, and you want an audience to listen to you while you do it.

    You know what that makes you? A piker. A cheapskate. If you want someone to listen to you while you talk dirty, there are perfectly good professionals out there who accept all major credit cards. Stop trying to hijack Boing Boing’s readership into giving you a freebie.

    John in Sapporo, it looks to me like you’re talking all around the subject, but avoiding central topics like what you personally believe, why you feel Scientology is preferable to other religions, and what Scientology has actually done for you/people you know/the world.

    It’s exceedingly odd to see a professed believer avoiding those topics, since devout adherents of almost every other religion are irrepressible when they get to talking in that vein. The only exception are members of religions that don’t seek out new converts; but as a longtime member of the First Church of “Would You Like to Take a Free Personality Test?” you hardly qualify.

    Also, I have real trouble believing that a non-celebrity English teacher could be a Scientologist for 32 years without working for the organization. If you’re a celebrity you get it for free, and if you work for the organization you get it at a discount. Everyone else runs out of money, and it doesn’t take them 32 years to do it.

    Specifically regarding your comment @174: I really have trouble believing you’ve been a Scientologist for this long without hearing the common criticisms made of the organization. Besides, it has to take a lot of the sting out when the “minority group” you belong to believes it’s superior to everyone else on the planet.

  247. techsoldaten says:

    Come to England, where fact is an insult.

    Ingsoc doubleplusgood!

    M

  248. minTphresh says:

    johninsapporo, once again you have sideswiped the REAL question while expounding on trivial minutia. i find that pretty interesting. are you afraid of the ‘xenu’ question? do you think that by answering honestly that you might be thought of as ‘foolish’ or ‘a dunderhead? i have 3 friends who were high ups in the CoS organization, one was a secratary to a VERY high muckety-muck. so i know a but about your ‘training techniques’ , and your belief system. i also know that what these friends tell me jibes with what i’ve read here and on other sites such as ‘xenu.com’ and wikileaks. from reading your previous posts, it is obvious to me that your big billowy granny-panties are still in a wadded state, and desperately in need of a disenwadding. now a challenge, oh john : ANSWER THE QUESTION! WHAT DO YOU KNOW OF XENU? do you have the cajones to answer honestly? oh, elron be praised!

  249. Tenn says:

    Personally, I accept that Scientology is a religion, but I cannot accept that it’s a religion in the sense that Christianity is a religion. I see it more as Buddhism. Now, another scientologist might not agree with that. As I said, that’s my opinion. So, personally, I don’t like the term Church. I don’t think it fits.

    Like Buddhism, eh?

    As a Buddhist, I feel obliged to retract and apologize for the rude way in which I expressed my beliefs about your religion. It was inappropriate and could have been phrased better.

    But like Buddhism? Buddhist doctrines are free to the public. You don’t have to pay to reach nirvana. You have to be good to others. To gauge sin as what is wrong to you, not by what is wrong to others.

    I have never, ever, in my perusal of news or my daily life, seen an instance of Scientology contributing to the community. In my view, that is the only reason a religion should exist; because it improves a life. I’ve never seen Scientologist community outreach. I’ve never seen a public speaker for Scientology give answers. I’ve never seen any measurable good provided by Scientology. Of course we can’t know very much about the patterns of your religion- you’re supposed to pay for everything, to get ready for ‘ascenscion’ and what not!

    Scientology is not like Buddhism. The Buddha gave his wisdom freely and did not require followers to follow it to the letter but rather to make their own decisions. He gave freely so that each person may follow the ideas of peace and charity and learn to be a better person to have a better effect on humanity- we must be good to man because man deserves it.

    Xenu?

  250. Takuan says:

    while on the topic of synthetic religion:
    http://bernd.wechner.info/Bokononism/

  251. John Mark Ockerbloom says:

    C0nt1nu1ty@48: There’s an important difference between criticism and threats. Saying “Jews (or Scientologists) should be exterminated” is a threat of violence (you’re calling for particular persons’ deaths, after all). Saying “Judaism (or Scientology) is a cult” is a criticism, which may or may not be fair or well received, but it’s a completely different case from threats.

    Zippypincycle@40: As far as I can tell from the article, the protestor was on a public sidewalk opposite Scientology property, not on it. I have not seen anyone on BoingBoing claim any sort of right to regulate expression outside BB’s own property (this blog); nor have I seen anyone in this thread claim that a property owner (even a cult like Scientology) has no right to regulate expression on its own property. (Of course, one reason they haven’t is that it’s not applicable to this story.)

    Apples and oranges, folks.

  252. noen says:

    Tak
    Insofar as taxation (theft by your government) is concerned, religion fills the same space as organized crime in human hearts.

    Standard Libertarian gobble-de-goop framing. As if it was ever yours to begin with. You live within a social contract. And equating religion with the mafia is specious in the extreme. Don’t look Tak, your biases are showing. However if you do wish to break free of the terrible burden of being the social animal you are then I’d be willing to have you dropped in any wilderness area naked, with your mind wiped of all cultural knowledge.

    Tenn
    Just why do religions get tax-free status anyway

    It’s a solution to the problem of open warfare between religious sectarians. Europe settled on a slightly different solution. Both work, which all that really matters.

  253. Antinous says:

    I’ve been trying so hard to avoid this thread, but here goes.

    I do see Scientology as being analogous to Buddhism in that they are both self-centered (literally, not pejoratively) rather than god-centered. Having said that, there are murderous, raving lunatics and saintly people in every religion, even Buddhism. A glance at the news makes it evident that religion is a declaration rather than a philosophy for very many people.

    There has been a trend in American religion in the last few decades away from selfless devotion and social activism towards self-empowerment through worldly success. The kerfuffle around Senator Obama’s pastor highlighted the fact that there aren’t very many rabble-rousing African American preachers around anymore.

    The New Age movement, which shares some features with Scientology, has seen the brunt of this prosperity-centered religious fervor. EST, The Forum, Scientology and a variety of gurus have been preaching for some decades that your first duty is to go out there and find worldly success. In fact, there’s a notion that you cannot move on to spiritual success until you first address the worldly concern of financial abundance. I would like to say, in the most kind and benevolent sense possible, Fuck That. It’s just a rehash of the Calvinist notion that wealth is a sign that God favors you.

    There is a lady of my acquaintance who has devoted herself to the spiritual cause of helping her fellow human beings. She works at it ten to twelve hours per day, six days per week. For $75 per hour. She even compares herself occasionally to Mother Teresa. When I challenged her (you should have been there) just to imagine the idea of moving to Calcutta, she informed me that moving from a 4,000 sf mansion in Pebble Beach to a 2,500 sf mansion in a gated golf course community down here was almost the same as moving to Calcutta. We all have our ideas of spirituality.

    When the Catholic Church in Latin America fights for the poor and disenfranchised, that seems to me what a religion should be about. The same for any church-sponsored charitable endeavor that doesn’t come with a price tag, monetary or philosophical. When a church preaches a gospel of self-empowerment so that you can enrich yourself, not so much.

  254. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Alessandro Cima @212:

    I am free to post my ideas as they pertain to the subject matter of the article at the top of the page.

    Certainly. You’re free to post whatever you want on your own website.

    I am amazed at how little people seem to understand about language.

    Chance of my falling for that one: zero.

    I have to run off to a book signing, or I’d explain that one myself. For now, you can either ask Xopher about my bio, or look up my Wikipedia entry.

  255. Agent 86 says:

    cimail, thank you, the poem was simply wonderful. The modderators are correct that it doesn’t belong in polite conversation, but most of the conversation in this thread has not been polite [read:I would have let it stand]

    I do have to ask, are Alessandro Cima and cimail both your accounts, or were you just re-posting the poem for Alessandro? Multiple accounts are frowned upon.

  256. johninsapporo says:

    Dear Tenn,

    Excuse me for saying this, but your comment is exactly the kind of thing that prompted me to put in my two cents in the first place:

    “those at the top of the management structure got there only by technical knowledge and the ability to apply it correctly

    That technical knowledge being a fine ability to swindle.”

    NOWHERE in the study materials required to be a senior executive in the Church of Scientology teach or encourage anything to do with swindling. In fact, it’s the opposite.

    I’d just like to give Teresa, especially, a better reality on exactly what it does take to be a senior exec.

    A person would have get through their basic training – five, six weeks at two and a half hours per day, prove by actual statistics that they can use this data, complete all the study for their particular post – probably a couple of months – show that they can apply this with a rise in statistics, get promoted, complete all the study for that post and so on. To become a senior executive in a small Church would entail the equivalent study of a BA, higher up, the equivalent of an MA and to be in top management, the equivalent of a Doctorate Course and several internships.

    And what does this study consist of?

    Sitting in a room listening to a lecturer droning on and on, with several students in the room nodding off or texting their friends?

    NO WAY

    Each student has a checksheet that contains all the steps he has to complete for that particular course. Each step is varied, it might be listening to a tape, reading something, writing an essay, doing a drill. It’s a nice balance. You take in some information, you do something with it. And because each student has his or her own checksheet, you study at YOUR pace, which might be fast or slow, it is up to you.

    The result is that in one hour of study, twenty students are doing twenty hours of work. It’s very intense. It has to be – to get through the amount of material there is.

    Teresa, senior managerial staff know the tech. They would have to – to keep it going and growing the way it is.

    John Davis

  257. Takuan says:

    what is an acceptable definition of “religion”?

  258. padster123 says:

    I find it pathetic when followers of any religion (cult, whatever) say they are “offended”, and then everyone obliges them by tiptoeing around.

    I say fuck them and their sensitivities.

    I find creationism offensively stupid. I find the stoning to death of female rape victims for supposed “adultery” offensive. I find the encouragement of people not to use condoms when AIDS is rife offensive. I find the billions of dollars worth of human effort that goes into absurd religious monuments offensive, when children are starving.

    And yeah, Scientology’s sinister hounding of anyone who stands up to them is offensive, but you know what? They’re small fry.

  259. Tenn says:

    It’s a solution to the problem of open warfare between religious sectarians. Europe settled on a slightly different solution. Both work, which all that really matters.

    Or religions could only get tax-free status on a case-by-case basis, which would work and provide less benefits to things like Scientology. I’m not disparaging religion, I’ve seen some churches do some good things, but not all religions are created equal.

  260. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    @305:
    Oh, I like this one -
    “Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before. He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.”

  261. JacobDavis says:

    I love the Guardian, and I love that they’re calling bullshit on the cult. Further, I love that BoingBoing is interested enough the subject to bring it even more attention.

    The following quote from the article is very telling:

    “The City of London police came under fire two years ago when it emerged that more than 20 officers, ranging from constable to chief superintendent, had accepted gifts worth thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology.”

    While it sucks for the kid who now has to face charges over expressing an opinion against a dangerous cult, this is a major footbullet for the cult. The May 10 protests were focused on the cult’s “Fair Game” policy. The cult continues to deny that it harasses its critics.

    Way to go with that cover story, cult. Have fun tearing yourselves apart.

  262. Takuan says:

    Noen-san

    Biases? Nai. Demonstrate and I’ll listen.

  263. minTphresh says:

    philosophy: is a walk on a slippery rock religion: is a smile on a dog edie brickell said that ! hope it helps zen mastah!

  264. minTphresh says:

    takuan, will you postulate the ow-te-ching? i,know. i,know. OW,shit.

  265. bakahage says:

    Problem that I have with this is that “Cult” is not an insult and is an anthropological term to describe a religion that is still in its first generation.

    Now that Hubbard has died, this may not be accurate, but it is not an insult.

    This is a scientific term to describe a new religion that does not fit into the definition of a sect that has branched off from an established religion.

    The word dangerous is more damaging than the word cult in this sign…

  266. johninsapporo says:

    ‘m gttng fd p wth th crp tht pprs n sts lk ths.

    Ths knd f ln jst kps n pprng: “Pr fls kp lbbng t mny fr yrs nly t fnd tht t’s bd scnc fctn stry.”

    mn, wht th fck r y tlkng bt?

    Ths s BLLSHT!

    dtng s ncrdbl! Th whl thng s wndrfl vry stp f th wy. Y fnd t bt Y.

    Why d ppl py fr t?

    Bcs t’s wrth t!

    t’s nt clt, t’s nt smn tllng y wht t blv, t’s n ncrdbl jrny nt yrslf.

    Scntlgy s Scntlgy. t s tslf. Thr’s nthng ls qt lk t.

    “Lk. S wht y s, nt wht smn tlls y tht y s.” L.Rn Hbbrd

    Jhn Dvs

  267. Takuan says:

    mou… what’s a “libertarian”?

  268. Anonymous says:

    “Once the world is Clear – a nation, a state, a city or a village – the Scientology-organization in the area becomes its government! And once this has taken place the only policy accepted as valid is Scientology policy.”
    - “Future Org Trends,” January 9th 1962. By L. Ron Hubbard (founder of the Cult of Scientology)

  269. Anonymous says:

    How do you protest something without using any wording that can be considered insulting?

    “Scientology is not necessarily a positive way to spend your leisure time”?

    Yeah, THAT will be an effective sign…

  270. nex says:

    [OT comment, sorry.]

    Folks, thanks for your replies to my objection against the disemvowelment; I appreciate and understand the points made above. AFAICT there isn’t really a consensus on whether it is censorship or not, though. When the practice was invented and applied in order to slow down heated arguments, cooling them down in the process, I found it ingenious. But I don’t see it having this effect here on bb; the discussions are slower-paced anyway, and the amount of deliberate trolling is minimal. So, what else is it good for? Is it a “fuck you!” to the censored poster? Is it an odd way of telling readers that they shouldn’t bother with the comment in question? I can’t think of anything that would justify its use.

    I’d say, if a post doesn’t violate any rules (in that case it should of course be removed completely) and just makes the poster look like a vitriol-spewing idiot, let it stand and speak for itself, FWIW. If people want to have their eyes protected from nasty words and prefer human intervention to nannyware they could install locally, why not enter the 21st century and implement some sort of comment rating/hiding feature à la Reddit, YouTube etc.? There, I can see how many people voted something down and decide whether it’s worth my time to make one click and unveil the post. Over here, people regularly respond to crippled comments, often before they even are crippled, and in order to make sense of the replies I might want to have a look at what the fuss is about.

    Or maybe use ROT13? That at least would be easily reversible. (The reemvoweller linked to above is a nifty idea as a joke, but really doesn’t work at all.)

    In this specific case, however, several people have told me the comment in question is not worth bothering with at all, and I trust you guys. And I’m not complaining. However, had there been no godly intervention, I’d just have skimmed the offending comment and moved on, soon forgetting about it. Instead of ranting on and on and on …

    … and on … ;-) (And thanks for reading all of it.)

  271. Takuan says:

    woooah!
    that’s like a mystical double post man…..

    I do hope everyone understands what I am trying to do here. Enlightenment comes in any guise – I use infuriation.

    I like the smiling dog.

  272. Agent 86 says:

    Like Nihilists, you Owists seek a moment of complete Nothing through pain? I don’t think you were the first Owist, Piers Anthony is the king of turning off my mind with mindless puns.

    I’m all for joining, so long as I get tax-exempt status every time I murder the English language.

  273. buddy66 says:

    correction: ‘…forty lunatic SAUDIS…’

  274. Tenn says:

    Taku-san
    In common parlance isn’t it a set of beliefs / rituals? In that case, Scientology qualifies. But I think religion should do measurable good or else it is useless.

  275. nex says:

    NOWHERE in the study materials required to be a senior executive in the Church of Scientology teach or encourage anything to do with swindling.

    I think that’s completely true. You’re not lieing when you actually believe what you’re saying yourself. Whether other people get the feeling that they’re educated or bullshitted is a different story.

  276. MrWeeble says:

    regarding section 5 of the public order act, subsection 3 says “It is a defence for the accused to prove … that his conduct was reasonable” http://snipurl.com/PublicOrderS5 . So there seems to be a valid defence. But it seems wrong to me that the burden of proof is on the accused, surely it should be up to the CPS to prove that is was unreasonable.

  277. sirdook says:

    Bakahage,

    While ‘cult’ may indeed have the specific usage you describe, in the general culture it has a broader (and much vaguer) meaning. Offhand, I would guess that, like most words, the ordinary meaning is prior to the scientific one which was derived from it. It’s perfectly ok (indeed necessary) to have such more specific, technical uses of words. But it’s silly to pretend that ordinary uses of the word are invoking the technical meaning.

  278. nex says:

    I find it appalling that some people find it so acceptable to go on such an all-out offensive against Scientology.

    I find it completely acceptable. Here’s why: Scientology is not a human being with feelings — Scientologists are. Scientology (per se, not talking about the Church of Scientology here) is an ideology, a set of beliefs. Beliefs that happen to be rather stupid, but then, the scripture of all mainstream religions has pretty stupid parts in it, too. And there are so many people that don’t question these parts all too much that it’s a given you can’t call all of them idiots or something else that’s offensive.

    And here’s the thing: as in other religions, you don’t have to be a complete nutter to be a Scientologist. Imagine your parents are in the church and most of their acquaintances are and you were raised in this environment where being a believer is completely normal; questioning it isn’t really on anyone’s mind. Doesn’t happen as often as it happens to Christians or Jews or Muslims, but it happens.

    Sure you’d find it offensive to hear someone call your religion bullshit, but you’d very much help keep the discussion constructive if you accepted that it’s a matter of philosophy (and related subjects, such as epistemology) and not an attack on you as a person.

    Social democrats don’t freak out when you call Socialism bullshit. Queen fans don’t get a heart attack when you call their music rubbish. Existentialists don’t kick you in the shin when you praise empiricism. It’s only in religion that leaders instruct their sheep never to question their faith, because it is holy and doubting it is a sin. They do that because they lack rational arguments for their specific ideology. In other words, while it’s mostly good intentions and docile do-goodery, at the core religion is bullshit. Especially when it serves as the core of an evil, greedy organisation that ruins many people’s lives while trying to brainwash them into even being thankful for it.

    Going on an all-out offensive against that doesn’t strike me as particularly appalling. If you think so, that’s fine with me, but I’d like to see a better reason than “just because”.

  279. Takuan says:

    Rufus T.Firefly, President of Freedonia! in-sect! OW! SHIT!

  280. Takuan says:

    so who in England loves liberty enough to pay this boy’s legal fees? Has anyone stepped forward?

  281. Takuan says:

    set of beliefs? Is physics a religion? Rituals? Is baseball a religion?

    Measurable good; who’s good? What good? Usefulness? Can’t religion be just good to look at?

    What is a definition of religion acceptable to all?
    So far all I have is ” Whatever I say it is” (with sub-script: “and I’m big enough to kill you if you disagree”

  282. Antinous says:

    Nex,

    If you haven’t seen it already, you can read the Moderation Policy via the gray link just above ‘Recent Comment’ on the right. It gives the rationale for disemvoweling.

  283. Xopher says:

    I seem to have gone to bed too early. I’ve adjusted many a prostate in my time, and have no objection to putting that experience to use!

  284. arkizzle says:

    OW!

  285. buddy66 says:

    WHOOPS … The above intended for another thread. Sorry

  286. Antinous says:

    set of beliefs? Is physics a religion? Rituals? Is baseball a religion?

    I think yes, for some people. All those people who saw every one of a hundred thousand performances of Cats on Broadway seem to be practicing more of a religion than, for instance, self-declared Christians who never attend a service or give it any thought.

    Semantic treaties are never fully ratified. No definition is likely to be accepted by everyone. We always have these “It’s not art! Yes it is!” wrangles, but nobody can ever make a perfect definition of art. All you can do is say whether you like it or not, or what it evokes for you. Religion is the same.

  287. Alessandro Cima says:

    Nelson #52, you write: “Allesandro @42: All countries will seem dire, if all you do is read the bad news from them.”

    I read it all friend. Good, bad and in between. And ‘dire’ is not what I said. I called England a cnt. Nothing dire about a cnt. I’m just hoping to provoke the cnt. Just like the kid with the cardboard sign. I’m on his side. Cult… cnt… I don’t know, I guess I can’t spell.

  288. johninsapporo says:

    Teresa,

    “I’m trying to figure out where you’re coming from.”

    There’s nothing to figure out. I’m just me. I’m not here on anyone’s behest. I don’t have any hidden or secret agenda. I don’t say one thing and mean another.

    I’ve said this before, but there are topics that this subject touched on that I really would have liked to discuss. Perhaps not many people are interested. That may be so. Or perhaps the childish jibes and people trying to attract attention to themselves and show how witty they can be create such an atmosphere of noise that anyone who might like to exchange ideas and join a real discussion would take one look and leave.

    Antinous was right. There’s nothing to be gained from this discussion any more.

    If we all just calmed down and stopped trying to prove something, you never know, we might even get to understand each other a little better and learn something. Teresa, in spite of what you may think, I don’t think I’m superior or inferior to you or anyone else. I am me and you are you. Comparing two people is like trying to compare, oh, I don’t know, windscreen wiper blades and green tea. With a calm, reasoned discussion, you could learn something from me and I could learn something from you.

    John Davis

  289. Takuan says:

    very well: what is an acceptable definition of religion for the purposes of state recognition in regard to exemption from normal business taxes?

  290. Takuan says:

    But of course, Stag Beetle, the tax evasion, er “planning” goes without saying. All Owist disciples are awarded insect names – consider yourself lucky to be at the front of the queue. (You! Silverfish! Get over here!)

  291. johninsapporo says:

    Jake accuses me of being a troll. What Takuan is saying, God only knows. Takuan, you talking to yourself. Did you ever suspect there might be people out there?

    Does anyone here know how to discuss?

    John Davis

  292. Enochrewt says:

    I saw this elsewhere yesterday, and I decided I really wanted to make a a “Scientology is a Cult T-Shirt”, or something else offensive to scientologists. The trouble is (and I’m sure that it’s their master plan) “scientology” is a very hard thing to fit on a T-Shirt and still have it readable from farther than 1 foot away. I was hoping to solicit slogan ideas from this thread. Maybe something like:

    CoS=Cult
    or
    I am a Thetan

    I think the “I am a Thetan” one might be construed as pro-scientology. I don’t know, I’m not trying to delve into their crazy cult beliefs too deeply to find a T-Shirt slogan. I’m thinking possibly of selling these and donating the proceeds to the kid’s legal defense fund, or some other worthy anti-CoS cause.

  293. wynneth says:

    I’m not in England, but I’d donate $5 american right now for the guy’s legal fees! Good idea Takuan! Someone set up a legitimate fund…

  294. minTphresh says:

    ow!

  295. Antinous says:

    what is an acceptable definition of religion for the purposes of state recognition in regard to exemption from normal business taxes?

    I’ve read the IRS one. It’s on their website somewhere. It wouldn’t be very easy to get tax-exempt status as a religion if you were primarily monastic. It’s very activity-defined.

  296. johninsapporo says:

    Teresa – the moderator who doesn’t moderate.

    You write:

    “John in Sapporo: trying to drag in Bush, WMDs, and the war in Iraq is a gorgeous red herring. I don’t think anyone here is going to fall for it, but I can admire the audacity of the attempt.”

    What red herring?

    It’s an example and a damned good one to illustrate the quotation. Bush and the wrecking crew lied to us about WMDs. You think this had NOTHING TO DO WITH CONTROL?

    It had EVERYTHING to do with control. And is exactly the context that Hubbard made this statement about. Governments controlling people, manipulating them with misinformation and lies.

    I can’t make head or tail out of what you want to say here:

    “Unfortunately, whatever warm fuzzies that earns you is more than cancelled out by your excessive use of vertical white space.”

    “Warm fuzzies?”

    Nothing about this gives me any emotion even slightly close to warm.

    “Vertical white space” loses me. I’m sorry it’s over my head. Could you make it simpler for me?

    John Davis

  297. Xopher says:

    Not if you won’t answer direct questions about your beliefs. There’s nothing uncalm or unreasoning about the simple question “Do you believe in Xenu?”

    If the answer is complex, that’s fine. I myself believe in reincarnation on a good day, and on a bad day I’m more rational and believe that I will simply rot without any part of me surviving. That kind of answer would be fine.

    But you’re not willing to answer that question, or even acknowledge that it has been asked. You are arguing in bad faith, and that, not our gonzo humor, renders any useful discourse between us impossible.

  298. scottfree says:

    My fear is, and alright, I’m not religious at all, plenty of people would be happy to call Wicca a cult–and I may think it’s bull, but I’ve yet to meet the Wiccan who acts like a dick about it. Or why not Hasidism? It’s a religion extremely at odds with mainstream culture.

    I mean, properly, when we think of cults we think of Halle Bop comet and Jonestown, and Scientology really doesn’t come up to that standard. Or Monochrome has a link to Skpotsy [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skoptsy] which strikes me as ‘cultish’, you know, slightly. So if this went to court, it strikes me as lose-lose. One decision would hurt free speech in that the state would get to decide what is and isn’t a cult, and the other decision would hurt free speech in that you couldn’t call a cult a cult if you saw one. We know that organisations exist to take your money on the pretence of Righteousness–I’ll take your money on the pretence of righteousness, for eff’s sake, if it makes you feel any better–but is the only difference between that and a religion the proportion of your money they demand?

    Again, I strongly suspect this case will be dismissed, because it’s significance is so incredibly disproportionate to the incident.

    But then, I got a strange sense of deja vu when I saw this; I feel like this may have happened in the UK before. Anyone remember?

  299. Takuan says:

    orginal monasteries didn’t have the web.

    You stand at the threshold. Penetrate deeply.

  300. minTphresh says:

    take-one-dough, KAN I HAZ IN SECT NAME? something intestinal wood bee nice! and remember: do be a do bee, don’t be a don’t bee. or a doobie. or an africanized honeybee. i am 1/2 wasp. er, something like that.

  301. Alpinwolf says:

    Xenu?

  302. arkizzle says:

    Piers Anthony is indeed the king of pun-liners..

    Also Tak, I want a insect name too, but think it only right that the Founder name the Owists. I mean, if I did it, it would just be made up :)

  303. arkizzle says:

    John,

    Xenu?

  304. Takuan says:

    oh jeez! now you’re on the Deep Core list and the Bliar Memorial list! Sorry.

  305. Takuan says:

    Exemption Requirements

    To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

    Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

    The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

    Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities. For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues.

  306. Takuan says:

    that gets me thinking Buddy: are there $cientologists in Saudi Arabia?

  307. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    John Davis in Sapporo: 32 years in Scientology, and an obvious familiarity with their upper management? You’ll be here as damage control, then.

    NOWHERE in the study materials required to be a senior executive in the Church of Scientology teach or encourage anything to do with swindling.

    Let me see if I’ve got this straight: “Deceiving the general public and swindling their own members is not part of the official training manuals or job descriptions for Scientology’s upper management, and therefore they can’t be doing it.”

    Dishonesty is likewise not commended in the rules of the House of Representatives or the Senate.

    Your argument is not having the effect you intend. Quite the opposite.

  308. Agent 86 says:

    Well, they do have a midnight mass.

    Dear John, I was trying to get at the same thing TNH said, that your higher-ups don’t believe your religious myths. How can they, when the majority of them were not indoctrinated in their youth. I will respect your organization when I feel that your leaders care slightly more about your religion, than about gaining power and money.

  309. Takuan says:

    Novice Mintphresh! OW! I dub thee “Screwfly” , bear your letters well and tempt all men into linguistic atrocity! OW! OW!

  310. efergus3 says:

    Takuan: “All my friends are on the Deep Core list and all I got was this damned T-shirt.” I want a cut of the profits.

  311. Takuan says:

    Dear John (the John Davis above)

    I ask you directly: do you believe in Xenu? A simple yes or no if you please.

  312. Mikey Likes BoingBoing says:

    Maybe the perfect out would have been if the kid’s sign was instead a direct quote as follows:

    The Church of Scientology is a “cult” that is “corrupt, sinister and dangerous”. — Mr. Justice Latey. 1984 high court ruling.

    It’s an abomination that such wordsmithing is necessary to help avoid being hassled by the Scientology security goons–oops, I mean the police.

  313. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    John in Sapporo, do you normally hang out with people who can’t tell whether you’re telling the truth?

    Takuan, I can has insect name? Because if I can, I’d really like to be Pogonomyrmex barbatus. I’ve always gotten on well with that species.

  314. Antinous says:

    The above intended for another thread.

    I kinda wish that there was an ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button that would post one’s comment to a random thread.

  315. johninsapporo says:

    “NOWHERE in the study materials required to be a senior executive in the Church of Scientology teach or encourage anything to do with swindling.

    I think that’s completely true. You’re not lieing when you actually believe what you’re saying yourself. Whether other people get the feeling that they’re educated or bullshitted is a different story.”

    Thank you NEX. I appreciate that.

    I haven’t actually studied all the materials that a senior exec in top management would, but the possibility of a “How to Swindle” checksheet existing is totally unthinkable. I have studied a lot of the materials and this would be so totally out of place, I just can’t think with it. Kind of on the lines of a book titled, “Where I went wrong and screwed it all up,” by George Bush.

    What I’m most familiar with, in Hubbard’s work is the data about Study. I’m an English teacher and I use this information all the time. It works. It works like a dream. The lessons run well, students learn and retain their knowledge. There are some MAJOR, MAJOR discoveries in his research. This is not my BELIEVING in it therefore it works for me. It’s logical. It’s common sense.

    John Davis

  316. rosethornn says:

    While I think the protests are misguided and a waste of time (An organised religion is out for your money? And.. this is news to whom exactly?), I think people should have the right to protest whatever they please.

  317. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Venomous ants!
    OW!
    OW!OW!OW!

  318. Jake0748 says:

    I want an insect name too, Tak-san. Use your judgement. I’m really pretty indifferent to them bugs, but maybe you could give me a hook to hang my hat on. Ow.

  319. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Establishing an absence of religion isn’t freedom either. Freedom is being able to have religion or not, as you choose.

    Takuan myn, I hold that Scientology does not qualify as a religion, because the further up the management structure you go, the less the people at that level believe what they teach.

    Tenn @120, granting tax-free status on a case-by-case basis would land us in the same old quagmire. This is a tricky issue. The reason churches in the US are largely unregulated and have tax-free status is that the framers of the Constitution pulled a radical move: they severed the ancient connection between church and state.

    Politically motivated God-botherers who claim that the US was founded as a Christian country are lying. What the Constitution basically says is that religion is not the government’s business, and vice-versa. (Someone will now point out that that’s an oversimplification.)

    The fact that most members of the Constitutional Convention had some detectable Christian affiliation doesn’t mean they intended the US government to have a religious component. That view can only be arrived at by ignoring their official statements on the subject. Rather, they were a bunch of guys, most of whom had detectable religious affiliations, who nevertheless established as a principle that religion is not the government’s business, and vice-versa.

    We do loosely regulate what can and can’t call itself a church. (The Scientologists squeaked in when no one was watching very closely.) But to the extent that we tighten our oversight of religion, we get ourselves into the business of determining what is and isn’t a religion. I don’t generally like slippery slope arguments, but that really is a slope, and it really is slippery.

    Besides, if we took away the tax-free status of all religions, by the end of the next working day they’d all have filed for reclassification as tax-exempt educational organizations, and we’d forevermore have covert sectarian conflicts being pursued in our tax assessment processes.

  320. johninsapporo says:

    Teresa,

    Thank you for your communication. It was better. Better, yes, but we are not there yet.

    However, if you sincerely want me to talk about what I personally believe at greater depth, may I suggest that you grit your teeth and resist this urge to lard your posts with carping little criticisms.

    This passage in particular:

    “It’s exceedingly odd to see a professed believer avoiding those topics, since devout adherents of almost every other religion are irrepressible when they get to talking in that vein. The only exception are members of religions that don’t seek out new converts; but as a longtime member of the First Church of “Would You Like to Take a Free Personality Test?” you hardly qualify.”

    Imagine that you went to see a movie. You really enjoyed the movie. Everything about it was great. You told your friend that you had seen that movie and his reaction was to criticize the movie, the actors, the director, the story line and so on. Would you want to continue talking about the movie?

    I may be wrong, but what I get from your communication is NOT, “John, please tell us what Scientology has done for you,” but, “John, shut up and get out of here.”
    “Also, I have real trouble believing that a non-celebrity English teacher could be a Scientologist for 32 years without working for the organization.”

    Why? I know a lot of people like me. People who get on with their lives, go and have some auditing or do a course from time to time. We are everywhere. We don’t necessarily shout about being scientologists. I’ve met doctors, dentists, pilots, shop assistants, people in all walks of life. I wonder if the policeman who started this whole discussion wasn’t a scientologist also.

    “If you’re a celebrity you get it for free”

    Teresa, there you go again. They certainly do not. They may get preferential treatment to some degree, but they would get that anywhere. And they pay for it the same as anyone else.

    “if you work for the organization you get it at a discount.”

    What does that have to do with the price of fish?

    You can get a book out of the library and not pay a cent – except what you are paying for the privilege indirectly in taxes. I met an Australian farmer in Sydney a few years ago. He told me this story. One day, he went to town to do some shopping and picked up a copy of the Dianetics book in a second hand bookstore. He and his wife read it avidly and decided to audit each other. “Auditing” (basically audire = listen) is a procedure where an auditor asks a question and listens to the answer without commenting, criticizing or otherwise adding his own ideas to what the person being audited is saying. This is vastly different to counseling for many reasons, the principle being that the auditor does not add anything to the communication at all.

    Anyway, these two decided to audit each other and they did. A year or so later, the guy was in trouble. He couldn’t find anything to audit on his wife. She was not in trouble, she was really happy and felt twenty years younger. So the next time they were in town, they went into the local Church of Scientology and the guy’s wife checked out CLEAR.

    I don’t know how much the book had cost them – a couple of dollars? So her journey to clear cost her one dollar.

    “Everyone else runs out of money, and it doesn’t take them 32 years to do it.”

    I see the problem. You’re equating again. You’re thinking, “It doesn’t take 32 years to read the bible, or How to Make Friends and Influence People.” There is MUCH, MUCH more data than you would believe. I mean bookshelves full of books, shelves and shelves of taped lectures. Do you think that the whole subject of the mind and the human condition can be expressed in ONE VOLUME? This is a large and complicated subject.

    If you want to know about me, I have spent time during these years running Scientology study groups (for which I charged JUST enough to cover the rent of the room we were using), done auditing as a volunteer and helped countless people how to study using Hubbard’s study technology. Scientology is my life work. I don’t want to work within the organization. I respect those who do, really, but it’s too total for me.

    “Specifically regarding your comment @174: I really have trouble believing you’ve been a Scientologist for this long without hearing the common criticisms made of the organization.”

    Well, I don’t know which criticisms you mean, since you don’t say. But let me tell you that in Japan I am off the mainstream. We don’t have a TV or read newspapers. This is nothing to do with Scientology, it’s our preference. I get news from people or from the internet – one of the sources is BoingBoing.

    “Besides, it has to take a lot of the sting out when the “minority group” you belong to believes it’s superior to everyone else on the planet.”

    Dear, dear, Teresa, you have to try to curb these little barbs of criticism. A moderator is supposed to moderate, “calm the waters,” “not take sides.”

    I spoke to you about something that I had learned, a realization that I had had and you smack it into my face. Your knee jerk reaction is a fallacy. The “minority group” to which I belong – Scientology, is not a single being. In other words, “IT” cannot and does not have ONE OPINION. There are scientologists who think they are superior and others who don’t. It’s a very varied lot.

    Over to you.

    John Davis

  321. Jeff says:

    It’s nice to know that the English do NOT seem to know how to put that pretty little OED to good use. The world cult can be defined by almost every aspect of the church of Scientology.

  322. george57l says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7416425.stm

    Charges have been dropped. See link. I still think he should start a fighting fund to pay for a private prosecution of the police for false arrest.

  323. Takuan says:

    Xenu?

  324. Takuan says:

    ermmm, I was saving Fireant for someone, but first come, first serve. BUT! First you must make the Offering to the Way. We quail in anticipation….(oh this is gonna HURT!) and no shrubberies either, it’s gotta be a pun.

  325. efergus3 says:

    #29: Actually it was thought from his #26, but thanks for correcting me.

  326. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    @333 You’ll find it’s no picnic.
    OW!

  327. Takuan says:

    logic? Common sense? Nope. Just coincidence at best.
    I ask you directly: do you believe in Xenu? A simple yes or no if you please.

  328. rosethornn says:

    Deep Core
    from wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Deep Core is a futuristic platform game developed by Dynafield for the Amiga. It was released in 1993 and pusblished by International Computer Entertainment.

    Captain Dawnrazer has been sent to save an underwater nuclear research base which has been invaded by strange aliens. A platform game, Dawnrazer must work himself through nine levels (with additional sublevels and bonus levels). The game offers a variety of six weapons, all of which can be upgraded via power-ups.

    —————-

    It’s probably a sign of fatigue that this made me giggle outrageously.

  329. arkizzle says:

    hmm.. is Tenn in her room? Something tells me she wants in on this..

    Tee-ennn!

    We’re really going to need some robes too.
    Antinous? I bet you have a mumu or two, stashed in a trunk from the 70′s.

    Gold lamé, mayhap? *fingers crossed*

  330. Antinous says:

    Those are the generic rules for non-profits. It’s tougher for churches. It’s a vague points system involving public worship, charity, etc.

  331. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Cicada needs no adornment.
    OW!
    OW!OW!OW!

  332. Tenn says:

    Taku-san, mine Liege! I prostrate myself before you in the manner of all creeping things! Mine in-sect-name, I beg of you!

    Kneeling near all these assorted in-sects is agonizing! OW!OW!OW!OW!

  333. Agent 86 says:

    Screw xenu, John mentioned “clear” again. Come on, John, you surely can’t believe the crap your organization spews about “clears”, when not one certified “clear” has been able to fulfill RLH’s claims? If you do, you might want to see if they have a few courses about confirmation bias, and maybe cognitive dissonance.

  334. johninsapporo says:

    Antinuous-san,

    You raise some interesting points:

    “I do see Scientology as being analogous to Buddhism in that they are both self-centered (literally, not pejoratively) rather than god-centered.”

    I cannot discuss Buddhism because I have only a superficial knowledge of it, but as for Scientology, I would say that it includes self where many religions deny self. “I” is included in the equation, but is not necessarily the center of it.

    “dynamic(s): there could be said to be eight urges (drives, impulses) in life. These we call dynamics. These are motives or motivations. We call them the eight dynamics. These are urges for survival as or through (1) self, (2) sex and family, (3) groups, (4) all mankind, (5) living things (plants and animals), (6) the material universe, (7) spirits, and (8) infinity or the Supreme Being.” L.Ron Hubbard

    “Having said that, there are murderous, raving lunatics and saintly people in every religion, even Buddhism.”

    A very interesting point indeed. One wonders if a person like Bush who brought about a war and indirectly, the murder of hundreds of thousands (I don’t have an exact figure), many of them innocent bystanders, could be considered a Christian. His religion tells its adherents that they shouldn’t murder “Thou shalt not kill (murder),” “Love your enemies,” “Turn the other cheek,” and so on. What is a guy who lobs a grenade into a house full of people on Saturday who goes to Church on Sunday?

    There may be murderous raving lunatics in Buddhism, I don’t know, but it seems to me that they would be the exception. Those Buddhists I have met have been very calm, patient and kind people who do not criticize unduly and accept people as they are. This is very evident in Thailand which must be one of the largest practicing Buddhist communities on the planet. These people are very tolerant. They accept. Parents are not ashamed of their son being a Ladyboy, or their daughter being a prostitute. They love and accept them as they are.

    The way for Scientology to handle this phenomenon is the much criticized “Suppressive Person Declare.” This has a long religious precedent and is a kind of excommunication. Charles Manson said that he was a scientologist. Did this make him one? Hardly. He was declared suppressive to show the fact that he is not a scientologist because that is what this declare means.

    “A glance at the news makes it evident that religion is a declaration rather than a philosophy for very many people.”

    A lot of truth in this, Antinuous, a lot! I loved this line. So, so true!

    John Davis

  335. minTphresh says:

    then i lie, prostate before ye…

  336. arkizzle says:

    Cicada’s uniform, shall be nought but his semi, let it be written.

    OW!

  337. Antinous says:

    johninsapporo,

    If you want to defend Scientology, knock yourself out, but try to do it without screaming obscenities next time. You might get more readers that way.

  338. Takuan says:

    Rise Young Termite! Go forth and bore holes in the wooden leg of society! OW! OWWY! OW!

  339. Takuan says:

    Thank you for that Teresa, a moment while I find something….

  340. minTphresh says:

    OW, SHIT! oh, masterful one. i bow to your soup pier eeyore verbage! your humble screwfly awaits his next lesson. OW! OW!

  341. jimh says:

    @#57 Enochrewt: Just do a shirt with a giant “SP” on it!

    IMHO people in cults should have thicker skins about people critical of cults, lolz. But to me this is all about police over-enforcement to silence someone temporarily, knowing the charges won’t stand up. The net result is still infringing on freedom of expression. It reminds me of anti-Bush protesters in the U.S. being detained as “security risks” until after the public event was over, and then released without charges. Silenced.

  342. Takuan says:

    this true, John?

    Xenu
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    • Learn more about citing Wikipedia •
    Jump to: navigation, search
    Semi-protected
    For other uses, see Xenu (disambiguation).

    Xenu (also Xemu), pronounced /ˈziːnuː/, according to Scientology founder (and speculative fiction writer) L. Ron Hubbard, was the dictator of the “Galactic Confederacy” who, 75 million years ago, brought billions[1] of his people to Earth in DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Scientology holds that their essences remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm.[2][3] Members of the Church of Scientology widely deny or try to hide the Xenu story.

    These events are known within Scientology as “Incident II”, and the traumatic memories associated with them as The Wall of Fire. The story of Xenu is part of Scientologist teachings about extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in Earthly events, collectively described as space opera by Hubbard. Hubbard detailed the story in Operating Thetan level III (OT III) in 1967, warning that this material was “calculated to kill (by pneumonia etc) anyone who attempts to solve it.”[sic][4]

    Criticism of the Church of Scientology often includes details of the Xenu story. The Church has tried to keep Xenu confidential[5] but critics say the story should be made public, given the high prices charged for OT III, part of Scientology’s secret “Advanced Technology” doctrines taught only to members who have already contributed large amounts of money to the organization.[6] The Church avoids making mention of Xenu in public statements and has gone to considerable effort to maintain the story’s confidentiality, including legal action on the grounds of both copyright and trade secrecy. Despite this, much material on Xenu has leaked to the public, largely via the Internet.

  343. BassTooth says:

    +1

    SCIENTOLOGY IS A CULT!

  344. Agent 86 says:

    Oh, the inhumanity!

  345. Takuan says:

    is this true, John?

    The Cost of Scientology

    Courses
    * CoS prices for processing up to OT8 and beyond
    Membership
    There exist various categories of memberships within Scientology. Each category defines itself through the amount of money which was paid to the “International Association of Scientologists” (IAS), or the number of people who were signed up for the IAS.

    These are the different categories:

    a) 6 month begiining membership – free
    b) Annual membership – 300 US $
    c) Lifetime membership – 2,000 US $
    d) Sponsor – 5,000 US $
    e) Crusader (New!) – 10,000 US $
    f) Honor Roll – 20,000 US $ or 20 new members for the IAS recruited
    g) Patron – 40,000 US $
    h) Patron with Honors – 100,000 US $
    i) Patron Meritorious – 250,000 US $
    j) Gold Patron Meritorious – 1,000,000 US $
    k) Senior Honor Roll – 100 new members for the IAS recruited or “contributed to IAS expansion in some stellar fashion”.

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