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Scientology Critic Arrested After 6 Years 1046

Posted by Hemos
from the running-to-standstill dept.
destinyland writes "Friday police arrested 64-year-old Keith Henson. In 2000 after picketing a Scientology complex, he was arrested as a threat because of a joke Usenet post about "Tom Cruise Missiles." He fled to Canada after being found guilty of "interfering" with a religion, and spent the next 6 years living as a fugitive. Besides being a digital encryption and free speech advocate, he's one of the original Burr-Brown/Texas Instruments researchers and a co-founder of the Space Colony movement."
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Scientology Critic Arrested After 6 Years

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  • by lecithin (745575) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:34PM (#17890704)

    "Other posters joined in the internet discussion, asking whether Tom Cruise missiles are affected by wind. "No way," Keith joked. "Modern weapons are accurate to a matter of a few tens of yards."

    So, does that make Tom Cruise a 'straight shooter'?
    • by DJCacophony (832334) <v0dka@mygMONET0t.com minus painter> on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:37PM (#17890744) Homepage
      Tom Cruise? Straight? I think not.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:45PM (#17890864)
      I didn't know that interfering with a religion was a crime. Could any lawyers provide some details about this law and what constitutes breaking it?

      Thanks.
      • by Intron (870560) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:03PM (#17891164)
        California hate crime [la.ca.us] law from the DA's office. ... threatening to use force to injure, intimidate, or interfere with another person who is exercising his or her constitutional rights.
        • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:23PM (#17891508) Homepage Journal
          What I would like to know is how this discussion [google.com] violates that law. I don't see anything remotely threatening, just a few people having fun talking about a non-existant 'Agent 99' and their fictitious (and humorous!) exploits.

          If you can arrested for this, it makes me wonder how many /.ers have been arrested?
          • by jrumney (197329) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:32PM (#17891680) Homepage
            If you look at the original Slashdot article from the time of his conviction (linked in one of the comments here), reportedly he was not allowed to use the context of his quotes in his defense. So all the jury saw were a couple of snippets the Scientologists picked out. He probably ruined his case by going on the run, as I can't believe that a higher court would not have overturned the decision on appeal.
            • by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Monday February 05, 2007 @03:18PM (#17893542)
              Co$ are master deceivers and masters of half truths, as well as exploiters of the legal system in the most unprecendented damnable manner. They have been rebuked by courts and judges all over the world. Unfortunately the California law enforcement and judicial branches have been infiltrated by Co$ members so it would be no surprise that Hensen faced a partial judge who was symphatetic to Co$. The only reason the IRS recognizes them as a "church" is that the Co$ infiltrated IRS offices and bullied them into submission with thousands of lawsuits.
              • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:00PM (#17894192) Homepage Journal
                Unfortunately the California law enforcement and judicial branches have been infiltrated by Co$ members

                Has the infiltration of scientologists risen to the level of the infiltration of Christians, in your estimation?

                Or is there some reason you would present to support the idea that the infiltration of one religion is of more concern than of another?

                As far as I can see, the problems for society and its citizens are similar in nature, if not in scope, with regard to any religious person who, in your words, "infiltrates" the justice system. But I am curious as to your take on the matter.

                • by Shakrai (717556) on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:14PM (#17894352) Journal

                  Or is there some reason you would present to support the idea that the infiltration of one religion is of more concern than of another?

                  I wasn't aware that Scientology was a religion.

                  There, I said it. Kinda shocked that nobody else had the guts to do so in the first 100 posts.

                  Tom Cruise won't come out of the closet.....

                  • by inviolet (797804) <slashdot@ideasmatt e r .org> on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:42PM (#17894772) Journal

                    I wasn't aware that Scientology was a religion.

                    After landing here on Rhene 01-3 (called 'Earth' by the local dominant species), my investigation into this issue led me to the following conclusions:

                    If the founder of an ideology is still alive, then it's a cult.
                    If the founder is dead, then it's a religion.

                    Since the founder L. Ron Hubbard is dead, Scientology is therefore a religion.

                    • by dbIII (701233) on Monday February 05, 2007 @05:04PM (#17895158)
                      I really don't think so - truly bad SF with the good bits plagerised from the ramblings of someone writing during psychotic episodes in Chicago in the 1930s is still distinguishable from religion. I do however think they must have really good lawyers since they can get a ponzi scam labelled as a religeon.

                      The way they treat women in childbirth and the mentally ill is truly evil - the most fanatical of religions at least look after their own when they are in trouble.

                    • by dbIII (701233) on Monday February 05, 2007 @10:54PM (#17899622)

                      Unless you are arguing that age alone somehow imparts validity, a presumption I cannot go along with.

                      Bullshit crafted during our lifetime with plenty of living witnesses to say so in my opinion makes it invalid.

                      As for naturopaths and others doing weird and harmful voodoo - just becuase one group does stupid stuff doesn't justify another. Interesting that you threw all of Islam in there with the African practice of mutilating women and the post-revolution Iranian practice of stoning people to death. I don't understand their religeon but I'm not going to throw them all in one boat - not all Christians and agnostics are followers of Jim Jones either.

                      The arguement that Bobby can punch Sally because Jimmy punched Jane is something that should be left in the playground soon after you learn to talk - but it's amazing how many people try it. Also things that look similar may not be.

            • by dr_dank (472072) on Monday February 05, 2007 @03:28PM (#17893688) Homepage Journal
              He probably ruined his case by going on the run, as I can't believe that a higher court would not have overturned the decision on appeal.

              If the context of his words that could have exhonerated him was thrown out, whos to say that an appeal would be granted? Hell, even a "accident" involving a shiv in the prison shower room while awaiting an appeal is reason enough to get the hell out of dodge. I don't blame him for fleeing. When the game you're playing is rigged against you, theres no use to sticking around to play.
          • by KenSeymour (81018) on Monday February 05, 2007 @02:39PM (#17892902)
            I read in TFM that he was tried and convicted based on his picketing activities outside a Scientology film studio. Since then, I have not been able to get to TFM.

            You can read about it here [wikipedia.org].

            So he was not arrested for that usenet discussion. He has been sued in civil court
            for publishing Scientology documents. He defended himself and lost, to the tune
            of $75,000. He then declared bankruptcy. At that time, he started repeatedly picketing
            a Scientology film studio.

            When he was convicted and sentenced to six months in jail (for the picketing),
            he chose to flee to Canada because he believed that Scientologists would have him
            killed in prison.

            He applied for political asylum in Canada. After three years, Canada asked him
            to appear in person to hear what the decision was. Fearing deportation, he packed up
            and left Canada the night before.

            So no, usenet posting, in this case, did not get him arrested.
      • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:15PM (#17891366)
        If I were to start a religion based on the preservation of copyrighted works for when they may eventually enter the public domain, employing any methods necessary to make the copies (similar to the preservation of ancient works through the Dark Ages, sort of like Digital Monks of the Internet Monastery), can I gain similar protection against the likes of the RIAA and MPAA, provided I can afford Scientology's lawyers?
    • by IdleTime (561841) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:02PM (#17891136) Journal
      Well, the real joke is "The land of the free" bullshit.
  • Scary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by salimma (115327) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:35PM (#17890712) Homepage Journal
    Have we in the Western world become so enamored by political correctness that we cannot even take a joke for what it is? A similar double standard is happening in Britain right now: racism by the majority is rightfully condemned, but some minorities seem to be able to get away with inciting hatred [guardian.co.uk] (The Observer)
    • Re:Scary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:38PM (#17890766) Homepage
      Have we in the Western world become so enamored by political correctness that we cannot even take a joke for what it is?

      We've become so enamored with religion and terrorism that we can't make jokes about anything having to do with either.
    • Re:Scary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by edwardpickman (965122) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:41PM (#17891876)
      Comforting to see it's not just the US. Here what is percieved as the majority have to watch every word but minority groups are largely allowed to say what they want so long as it's about the majority. There is some condemnation if they insult other minorities. Intolerance and hatred is pretty color blind and virtually all groups have issues. Offhand the only major religion that doesn't condemn anyone or anything is Buddism. Most factions have some issue with some one or some thing. Even most racial conflicts tend to be more ethnic or social than racial. In the US we even have a north south division that is a hold over from the civil war. It isn't spoken of very often but there's still tension. Intolerance should never be tolerated by any group and people need to take intent into account. I remember a fuss made about a town called Fish Kil. An animal rights group was demanding they change the name of the town to something fish friendly. When locals pointed out it meant Fish River in Gaelic the group wasn't impressed and still wanted it changed. Intent is everything and sometimes the insult is in the eye of the beholder.
      • Re:Scary (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday February 05, 2007 @03:54PM (#17894094) Homepage Journal
        "In the US we even have a north south division that is a hold over from the civil war."

        Did you mean to say "the war of northern aggression"?

        :-)

      • Buddhism and War (Score:4, Informative)

        by Valdrax (32670) on Monday February 05, 2007 @07:25PM (#17897426)
        Offhand the only major religion that doesn't condemn anyone or anything is Buddism.

        Actually, militant Zen Buddhism [racematters.org] was a unifying force in WWII Japan. Much like promises of eternal reward after death helps assuage fears for believers in Judeo-Christian teachings, the beliefs in impermanence and reincarnation assuage the fears of death for Buddhists. Soto Zen has also been criticized for racial discrimination [thezensite.com] [PDF] in the treatment of the former Japanese lower caste members. You can read a long list of essays about Buddhism going wrong (particularly Japanese Buddhism) here. [thezensite.com]

        Then, of course, there was the White Lotus Revolution which overthrew the Mongol Yuan dynasty and established the Ming dynasty. That was basically a Buddhist nationalist secret society. The ethnic struggles in Sri Lanka are between the Buddhist Sinhalese and the Hindu Tamils, so Buddhists aren't all innocent either.

        The problem is not the religion -- it's the people that practice it.
  • hm (Score:3, Funny)

    by UPZ (947916) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:38PM (#17890750)
    And yet they couldn't arrest Kyle and Cartman....
    • Re:hm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Applekid (993327) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:47PM (#17890888)
      One of the things that makes Scientology dangerous is not that they believe in odd things, it's that they are very well organized and equipped to muzzle detractors. South Park attacked the fundamentals of belief in a way that's obvious. Nobody except Keith and that church branch really know what happened during his protest. The original trial where he wasn't able to even counter Scientology's accusations is a travesty of justice. Beleving in Xenu, thetans, and paying gobs of money for the privilage of memorizing word lists aren't in themselves dangerous, illegal, or even wrong. What IS dangerous is how much legal protection they are granted by being recognized as a religion and their willingness to exploit the law in their favor. Other religious organizations (Roman Catholic for the best example) dumped influencing governments centuries ago. Like a badly behaved child, this new religion is trying to do exactly what a lot of the old world religions did at one time and no longer consider fashionable.
  • by Cornflake917 (515940) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:41PM (#17890808) Homepage
    Seriously, it's just a pyramid scheme that takes advantage of people's unhappiness. The leaders of scientology make bank by brainwashing their followers.

    Even if Scientology was a legitimate religion, why is it illegal for someone to interfere with a religion, but it's completely acceptable for religions to interfere with everyone elses lifes.
    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:52PM (#17890960) Homepage Journal
      So what's your definition of a "legitimate religion," and why doesn't Scientology fit it?
      • by Timesprout (579035) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:00PM (#17891110)
        Legitimate religions are based on Gourds or Sandals. Scientology is based on science and so clearly is not legitimate.
        • by ArcherB (796902) * on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:14PM (#17891346) Journal
          Scientology is based on science and so clearly is not legitimate.

          No, scientology is based on a science fiction novel. It's no more a religion than The Jedi Order [bbc.co.uk] or a church based on Harry Potter.

          Personally, I don't care what scientologists do, but if I can be ridiculed for believing in ID, then I see no reason why this guy should go to jail if all he did was ridicule Tom Cruise.

      • by Bastian (66383) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:05PM (#17891184)
        At this point it's no secret that L. Ron Hubbard started the Church of Scientology as a sort of get rich quick scheme. There's plenty of documentation of this, and there is plenty of information on the CoS's internal workings that has made it into the public record thanks to a number of court cases. Red flags should start flying immediately once one realizes that you have to pay the CoS thousands and thousands of dollars before they will start telling you the religion's actual theology (the stuff in Dianetics is really only the tip of the iceberg, it isn't even enough that I would be willing to say that Dianetics alone could possibly qualify as the basis for a religion).

        It's true that you've struck on an interesting semantic conundrum, though. The fact of the matter is that, as part of his scheme, LRH and his compatriots did have to construct a religion, and the fact of the matter is that anything can be a religion as long as people actually believe it. And there is a group of people, the Freezone Scientologists [wikipedia.org] who have turned the official Church of Scientology and the incredible number of crimes it has committed. This group is obviously a legitimate religion as much as any religion can be according to any objective definition that I can come up with*.

        *Since I can't personally determine the details of the beginnings of any religion, I don't feel it's reasonable to say one religion is legitimate and another isn't based on which ones I am guessing came from the imagination of one man and which ones are truly divinely inspired. Especially given that, as an atheist, I believe that all religions fall into the former group. So I won't call Scientology-the-religion illegitimate despite the fact that it was created as part of Scientology-the-pyramid-scheme.
        • by raju1kabir (251972) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:39PM (#17891828) Homepage

          It's true that you've struck on an interesting semantic conundrum, though. The fact of the matter is that, as part of his scheme, LRH and his compatriots did have to construct a religion, and the fact of the matter is that anything can be a religion as long as people actually believe it.

          But that's what's great about Scientology, and why I hope to see it flourish.

          The fact that something which was started in our lifetimes as a get-rick-quick scheme, could become considered a "legitimate religion" on legal par with Christianity and Islam and all the rest, is the most striking demonstration to date of why religion is a crock and in fact deserves no special legal recognition whatsoever.

  • Here is my hope... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:42PM (#17890816)
    That, at the end of the day, Scientology will be laughed out of court, and this guy set free. Think SCO vs IBM.

    One can dream, of course. Scientology is well-known for legally attacking any and all critics. They are the biggest bullies you have ever heard of, even worse than most Fundamentalists.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:43PM (#17890828) Journal
    Personally, I've only become aware of this case via this article. If all he did was post that on a forum to cause all this trouble with Scientology, I sure feel sorry for him. But if a California court found him guilty of any wrong, then I think he should serve his time. I don't think "interfering with a church" should constitute a long sentence though. I feel I am missing a large part of the story here or that this article was written omitting tactics Mr. Henson used agains Scientology. I can't judge until all the facts are in but I am aware that people with a lot of money can make strange charges stick.

    If you want to support Keith Henson, there is a donation fund set up for his defense fees [extropy.org].

    I personally hate Scientology but they are a religion and must be respected as one. If they can convince chumps to give them money, there's nothing I can do to stop that.
    • by thelexx (237096) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:53PM (#17890970)
      "I personally hate Scientology but they are a religion and must be respected as one."

      Not necessarily. From http://home.snafu.de/tilman/krasel/germany/ [snafu.de]:

      "The German Federal Government maintains that Scientology is an organization which has primarily economical interests. This idea has been reinforced by a ruling of the Federal Labour court (which is not connected to the government in any way). After having reviewed several Scientology books, the judges concluded that Scientology is not a religion, but a commercial enterprise.

        Furthermore, the German government maintains that Scientology tries to distribute its ideas as widely as possible, ideally leading to a society where humans life together according to Scientology rules. A closer look at Hubbard's writings shows that this is not desirable since Scientology is structured in a totalitarian, anti-democratic fashion."

      There is an entire faq on the Germany v Scientology thing: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/faq-you/germany.txt [snafu.de]
    • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:53PM (#17890992)

      I personally hate Scientology but they are a religion and must be respected as one. If they can convince chumps to give them money, there's nothing I can do to stop that.

      I was going to say something of my own here, then I thought of this Menckenism:

      "We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart." -- H. L. Mencken

  • by PhxBlue (562201) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:43PM (#17890830) Homepage Journal
    Can we set up a solar colony for the Scientologists?
  • Previous Discussion (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lev13than (581686) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:43PM (#17890836) Homepage
    Here's a vintage /. discussion from 2001 [slashdot.org] that discusses Hanson's escape to Canada.
  • by otacon (445694) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:49PM (#17890912)
    Isn't satire and other kinds of humor covered under the first amendment? and Wow how are you not supposed to make fun of scientology...it's such an easy target...all that stuff about Xenu and aliens being sent here 75 million years ago...it's a humorist's dream
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:51PM (#17890942)

    Friday police arrested 64-year-old Keith Henson.

    I don't know who these Friday police are, but they should be stopped. Friday police don't have the right to stop free speech anymore than normal police do!

  • sometimes, i think it is wrong for countries like germany to prosecute them

    other times, i think it is wrong for the usa not too

    the issue is one of persecution: one should not be persecuted for their beliefs

    but if you are persecuting a group BECAUSE they believe they have a right to persecute people like this poor guy who is also just expressing his beliefs, the argument about freedom kind of collapses in on itself

    you are free

    we all are

    but you are not free to restrict the freedoms of others

    and across that simple philosophical divide, so much misery in this world is created, this scientology case beign but one small example

    personally, i think there is intolerance, which is evil

    and then there is intolerance of intolerance, which is a virtue

    you don't gain anything in this world by tolerating the intolerant, except more misery and intolerance

    and i think this argument applies just as much to fundamentalist christianity and fundamentalist islam

    how or why is tolerance served by tolerating the intolerant?

    being intolerant of the intolerance is actually extending tolerance in this world

    scientology should be punished, not this poor guy
  • by Rahga (13479) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:54PM (#17891010) Homepage Journal
    'In 2000 after picketing a Scientology complex, he was arrested as a threat because of a joke Usenet post about "Tom Cruise Missiles."'

    I thought people only read Usenet for the pictures.
  • Religion ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:56PM (#17891046) Homepage
    Surely calling scientology a religion is an oxymoron ?

    They have lots of followers but that is only because they have been brainwashed. Scientology is a way of making money for the high ups. Another source of information about the crap that the scientologists peddle is the fishman affidavit [spaink.net] .

    If there was any sense in what they were on about they would argue it out in the open, rather than using underhand legalities to silence those who show them to be the charlatans that they are.

  • Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:56PM (#17891056) Homepage Journal

    I'm no fan of Scientology (they suck, bottom line), but after reading the article, I'm sensing there's a LOT more to this story than we're getting told. It's not like the government are typically fans of scientologists either, so I doubt just their nutty braying is going to get someone sentenced to jail. The guy's statements make him sound a little... er... paranoid and wacked out himself.

    I think this is one of those cases where both sides are crackpots. Just because the victims are scientologists doesn't mean this guy didn't do some ugly crap that we don't know about.

  • by oohshiny (998054) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:57PM (#17891064)
    Granted, the scientologists are deeply confused and potentially dangerous. And, yes, I think people should be able to criticize them harshly, just one like should be able to criticize any other religion harshly.

    But cryonics, extropianism, Drexler-style nanotechnology? This guy is pretty high on the nut-o-meter as well. It's not quite the same level as thetans, but not far off either.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:58PM (#17891088) Homepage
    Freedom of religion should not be extended to religions that are clearly made up. There is ample evidence to show that Hubbard pulled Scientology's belief system out his ass, the same cannot be said of any other religion from Christianity to Taoism to neo-paganism. The "Church" of Scientology is nothing more than a roving scam that exploits the first amendment to avoid taxation. It has also been shown to be a haven for systematic criminal behavior and should be considered a threat to American society.

    Bottom line is religions don't have "trade secrets," but Scientology does. I could buy that if it claimed to be a mystery religion or a form of gnosticism, but it doesn't. Rather, those secrets are exposed as the result of a financial transaction.

    Some religion. Despite my being a libertarian, I think the Germans are right on this one. It's not a religion. It's a subversive organization that needs to be monitored by the state because it has been known to use force and criminal behavior to advance its agenda, which is not even remotely religious.
    • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:28PM (#17891604) Homepage
      All religions look like they are "made up" when they are getting started, are small, and the core tenets are associated to a single leader, who claims to have received them by divine revelation.

      The LDS Church (Mormons) have been around for a century and a half... old enough for some people consider it a "religion," but young enough for some people to feel that Joseph Smith just "made it up." Don't expect to see the golden plates in a museum the next time you visit Salt Lake City: Smith gave them back to the Angel Moroni.

      How do you support Christianity looked during the lifetime of Jesus of Nazareth? Do you think the Roman authorities saw it as a religion? Or as something that Jesus just made up?

      Deciding what counts as a religion and what doesn't is a very tricky business.
    • by drxenos (573895) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:28PM (#17891608)
      Freedom of religion should not be extended to religions that are clearly made up.

      Um, wouldn't that be all religions?
    • by Animats (122034) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:47PM (#17891976) Homepage

      "religions that are clearly made up. ..." the same cannot be said of any other religion from Christianity to Taoism to neo-paganism."

      Most, if not all, religions are "made up". In some cases, we know when and by whom. Christian Science was made up by Mary Baker Eddy in 1866. Mormonism was made up by Joseph Smith in 1830. Islam was made up by Mohammed around 610. Christianity was more of a group project; most modern doctrine comes from a committee meeting [wikipedia.org] in 325. In 431, there was a another meeting for a feature upgrade [wikipedia.org], and the Virgin Mary was added.

    • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday February 05, 2007 @02:11PM (#17892458)

      Freedom of religion should not be extended to religions that are clearly made up.

      Freedom of religion is simply a horrible concept. People should have freedom of belief, and freedom of expression. Whether or not what you choose to believe in or advocate is called a religion by anyone should be irrelevant.

      Similarly, the reasonable practice of religion (for example, by gathering for collective worship) is generally covered by other established freedoms, such as movement and association.

      This being the case, the expression "freedom of religion" is usually used as an excuse, an implicit claim to more rights than someone else has, or to have one's own wishes valued more highly than another's. Following a certain religion does not earn you those rights, any more than someone following a different religion (or no religion) has those rights at your expense.

      One can readily extend this argument to anti-discrimination legislation. Why should it be necessary to prohibit discrimination on explicit criteria? If something is important enough to protect in this way, why not simply require that any decision be made based only on information relevant to the matter at hand?

  • by cprael (215426) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:02PM (#17891128)
    Having dealt with Mr. Hanson in the past few years, he has my earnest hope that he gets better advice this time 'round, and LISTENS to it. No small part of this tragedy comes from Keith's own choices.
  • by modemac (873654) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:17PM (#17891430) Homepage
    Wikipedia is a geek's best friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson [wikipedia.org] One ironic note about that Wikipedia article is that it was created by a Scientology sock puppet, especially to tarnish Henson's reputation with their ongoing smear campaign to make it seem as though he is a dangerous bomb-making terrorist (and a "child molester" -- they even dug up one little snippet from his divorce papers of 25+ years ago to blow it up and try to label him as that, too. His ex-wife laughed that one off and has denied the accusation as fervently as he has.) To get an idea of what Scientology has been trying to do to Keith Henson, you should go to their own hate site on the Internet: http://www.religiousfreedomwatch.org/anti-religiou s-extremists/keith-henson/ [religiousf...mwatch.org] -- but be sure to check the whole site out and see the outlandish, unbelievable BS they pile up on there. It all falls just a whisker short of libel, of course. (My own commentary on "Religious Freedom Watch:" http://www.modemac.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl/Religious_F reedom_Watch [modemac.com] ) It should also be noted that Wikipedia's entry on Scientology is probably the most informative, comprehensive, and UNBIASED look at Scientology in the entire world today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology [wikipedia.org]
  • by bad_fx (493443) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:18PM (#17891442) Journal
    Here's all the info you need on Scientology [xenu.net]
  • by sconeu (64226) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:26PM (#17891566) Homepage Journal
    Xenu imprisons YOU!
  • by naChoZ (61273) on Monday February 05, 2007 @01:56PM (#17892154) Homepage Journal

    "interfering" with a religion

    So now it's just a matter of time before creationists start having archeologists arrested for digging up dinosaurs and interfering with their religion...

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Monday February 05, 2007 @02:02PM (#17892254)
    Don't mess with space aliens.
  • by a_karbon_devel_005 (733886) on Monday February 05, 2007 @02:42PM (#17892976)
    This is the most telling part of the article I think:

    Last week, Henson unsuccessfully asked the judge to dismiss the prosecutor's case because the government showed bias by not investigating the deaths of Ashlee Shaner and Stacy Meyer. Both women died at the Golden Era Productions location.


    Two women DIE in a Scientology facility and it's not even INVESTIGATED, while the man who is trying to get prosecutors to look at the case winds up convicted.

    Odd? No, it's Scientology's usual MO. If you don't think so you've NEVER done any real research on the group.
  • by gsn (989808) on Monday February 05, 2007 @02:55PM (#17893228)

    The jury rejected Henson's claim that he was exercising his First Amendment right to criticize a dangerous cult, and convicted him of interfering with a religion, one of three counts against him.
    his "crime" -

    Henson seems undeterred. "After court today, my wife Arel and I picketed outside the court with signs about the women killed out at the cult's place last summer," he said in an e-mail. "We also gave away about 200 flyers about how Scientology is hurting people and breaking the law."
    1) Why is interfering with a religion even a crime. What if I chose to not believe in a god, can I argue that door to door evangelists that claim I am going to hell unless I convert are interfering with my religion?

    2) Also even if interfering with religion is a crime - how is picketing with signs or giving away flyers interfering with it. He didn't forcibly go yank emeters out of peoples hands did he. He didn't take someones copy of OTIII and burn it or something. He didn't try and sink their stupid boat? He picketed and distributed flyers.

    "It was not just the postings themselves," said Deputy District Attorney Robert Schwarz. "He had been engaged in other odd behavior -- chasing down buses, taking down license plate numbers."
    Since when did odd behavior become illegal??? Seriously how is taking down license plate numbers illegal?

    The jury was hung on the other two counts against Henson: 9-3 for conviction on the count of terrorism, 10-2 for conviction on the count of attempted terrorism.
    HOW THE FUCK WAS HE EVEN CHARGED WITH TERRORISM??? The man said we should aim cruise missles at them. I've heard radio hosts talk about nuking the democratic convention? WTF is going on? And whats up with

    The site says that Scientology has a suspiciously close relationship with the prosecutor: "What kind of Alice-in-Wonderland Court is it that allows organized criminals to sit in the prosecutor's chair bringing charges against the honest citizens, in which a heavily-armed cult has Mafia lawyers direct the activities of the District Attorney?" "A dodgy District Attorney, with cult lawyers sitting at the prosecutor's table, set him up for absurd charges of threatening the cult with cruise missiles," says Dave Bird, another Scientology critic. "Virtually all the defense evidence was excluded.... Even when Henson quoted L. Ron Hubbard's violent words, it was presented as his own speech without quotation marks."
    Man was smart to go to Canada - maybe he should have tried someplace further away.
  • Unfortunate... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Synchis (191050) on Monday February 05, 2007 @03:56PM (#17894140) Homepage Journal
    Its unfortunate that Keith has finally been arrested. While he was in Canada, I worked closely with him on a few R&D projects. He was a good guy who always had an interesting story to tell. He fought very hard to get political refugee status from the Canadian Gov't while he was here, and was eventually denied after about a 3 year struggle. He left on his own terms, returning to the US in his own time, claiming that if he was escorted properly across the border, he would be a dead man.

    In all the time that Keith spent in Canada, he was never once left alone by the cult of Scientology. I was involved with one incident with a P.I. that was following him, and there were numerous other occasions that I had heard about from him.

    He was a good friend, always willing to stick his head out for ya. I sure do miss him now, and sincerely hope that nothing terrible happens to him now that he's been arrested.
  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Monday February 05, 2007 @04:38PM (#17894698)
    Never has been, never will be.

    I still have the original print of the book, where L. Ron Hubbard himself clearly states that he did not consider it to be a religion, nor did he intend to allow it to become a religion. Gee, did he actually die of normal causes? Or was there some other more sinister event?

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.

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