Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Government Media Politics

Belgium May Prosecute the Church of Scientology 755

Posted by kdawson
from the who-you-callin'-a-cult dept.
sheean.nl writes "A Belgian prosecutor recommended after a 10-year investigation that the government prosecute the church of Scientology. The church is accused of being a criminal organization involved in extortion, fraud, unfair trading, violation of privacy laws, and unlawfully practicing medicine. Both the Belgian and the European branches of the church should be brought to court, according to the authorities. The investigation was started in 1997 after former Scientologists complained about intimidation and extortion by the church. Other European countries such as Germany have problems with Scientology, but in the US it is officially recognized as a religion. Scientology has 10 million members including high-profile followers such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta." Scientology has long used heavy-handed legal and other tactics to suppress opposition on the Net.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Belgium May Prosecute the Church of Scientology

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:06PM (#20468859)
    We're Watching.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:31PM (#20469253)
      The head of the Galactic Federation (76 planets around larger stars visible from here) (founded 95,000,000 years ago, very space opera) solved overpopulation (250 billion or so per planet, 178 billion on average) by mass implanting. He caused people to be brought to Teegeeack (Earth) and put an H-Bomb on the principal volcanos (Incident II) and then the Pacific area ones were taken in boxes to Hawaii and the Atlantic area ones to Las Palmas and there "packaged".

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Thetans believed they were one. This is the primary error. Good luck.
      • by VENONA (902751) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:36PM (#20469331)
        Scientology is so bizarre that I can't tell if you're being facetious or not.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Brian Gordon (987471)
          He's not. That's scientology. (saw it on YTMND :P)
          • by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @02:27AM (#20475509) Homepage
            Well actually the author is being facetious. Whilst the scientology executives did pathologically defend the little yarn with copyright and other legal and even illegal threats, it was never meant for public distribution, but only ever intended for the gullible, naive and those suffering from various psychological maladies,and only once they had achieved a specific level of mental suggestibility. So public distribution of it, is basically mocking it and a facetious use of it.

            At least Belgium is looking to treat it for what it is a money making corporation and not a religion or even a cult. The cynicism of that corporation is beyond normal reason, they abhor psychiatrists and psychologists because apparently those professions directly threaten their main revenue source, by curing those individuals suffering from mental diseases, the preferred target of the scientology corporation.

        • by David Hume (200499) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @05:38PM (#20470335) Homepage

          Scientology is so bizarre that I can't tell if you're being facetious or not.
          He's not. See:

          Xenu - Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]
          OT III Scholarship Page [cmu.edu]
          Fishman Affidavit - OT3, summary and comments [spaink.net]
          DMCA complaint [chillingeffects.org]
          • by VENONA (902751) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @06:26PM (#20471097)
            OK. I visited your links. Now I have to wonder if he's a fifth-columnist, in which case I'd have to say, "Nicely done!"

            But see posts later in the discussion, regarding a Slate post that CoS isn't any weirder than others, just newer.
            http://www.slate.com/id/2171416/ [slate.com]

            At some level, religion of any stripe disturbs me, as I see it all as both irrational and irrelevant. That said, at least some religions seem able to at least maintain a bit of dignity in their celebrations, and not *completely* insult the intelligence of their followers. I thought lost tribes of Israel present in central America (contrary to genetic evidence, but then we're not speaking of people who would believe in genetics), and wearing underwear that seems to serve the function of a wearable Post It note was a bit odd.

            Now I'm trying to quantify the limits of weird, thinking of how reincarnation would rate, etc. At some point, my head will explode. Have you seen Tim Burton's _Mars Attacks_? Yeah, like that.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @05:39PM (#20470343)
          Hes' not. That's part of OT III [xs4all.nl], the OT's are the official scriptures of the Church (/spit) of Scientology. They became public in the US as part of the Fishman affidavits [xs4all.nl]. The files have been closed in the US, Scientology is a sue-happy bunch, but they're completely legal in the Netherlands, our highest court has allready ruled on the matter.

          And they've starred in more than one legal case, here's to it starring in another one :)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Colin Smith (2679)
          Doesn't sound any more bizarre than Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
           
          • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @06:41PM (#20471273) Journal
            That's the thing isn't it? Scientology is bizarre and ridiculous, and yet how can one criticize it without casting doubt on all religions? How can one say that stories about volcanoes, space ships, and H bombs are silly, but being swallowed by a fish and then regurgitated after 3 days is not?

            Scientology serves as the "Reductio ad absurdum" for all religion. This may explain why so many feel so uncomfortable about it.
            • by arth1 (260657) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @07:36PM (#20471963) Homepage Journal

              How can one say that stories about volcanoes, space ships, and H bombs are silly, but being swallowed by a fish and then regurgitated after 3 days is not?

              Jonah could probably speak whale.
            • by Dun Malg (230075) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:14PM (#20472409) Homepage

              That's the thing isn't it? Scientology is bizarre and ridiculous, and yet how can one criticize it without casting doubt on all religions? How can one say that stories about volcanoes, space ships, and H bombs are silly, but being swallowed by a fish and then regurgitated after 3 days is not?
              The way I see it, absurd mythology invented by bronze age children surviving into the present day due to the inertia of tradition is religion. Absurd mythology invented 50-odd years ago by a greedy asshole third-rate science fiction writer and compulsive liar with delusions of grandeur in order to enrich himself and elevate him to the position of "prophet", well, in my eyes that's fraud. Most examples of the former were created with the best of intentions. Scientology was not.
              • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @08:26PM (#20472555) Journal
                Most examples of the former were created with the best of intentions.
                I accept your point about scientology, but how do you know that traditional religions were created with the best of intentions? How do you know that Christ or Mohammad were not con men of the first caliber, the Hubbards of their age?

                And at any rate, what does it matter? If one accepts that knowing the truth is a good thing, belief in an absurd mythology is bad no matter where it came from.

                I'm going to hell for these postings, aren't I?
                • by Brickwall (985910) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:14PM (#20472973)
                  Well, here are my "smell tests":

                  Does the "religion" make you pay to find their beliefs? Christians/Jews/Muslims: No Scientology: Yes

                  If you only pay a little bit, are you told a different truth than if you pay a lot? Christians/Jews/Muslims: No Scientology: Yes

                  Does the religion take you to court if you reveal their beliefs? Christians/Jews/Muslims: No Scientology: Yes

                  And, for pity's sake, the Jonah/Noah/parting of the sea myths are all thousands of years old, and part of an oral culture that embellishes stories to make them interesting. I seriously doubt that every part of the Iliad (let alone the Odyessy) is factual, but it's still an important part of ancient Greek culture.

                  • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @09:37PM (#20473151) Journal
                    If the tale of Jonah isn't literally true, what else in the Bible isn't true? Perhaps someone could go through with a yellow highlighter and mark off those parts I should believe, and those parts I can dismiss as mythology. Given that the world's largest religion is based on it, I think knowing which bits are true would be rather important.

                    My point being that if the Bible is the infallible word of God then there is no room to pick and choose. If the tale of Jonah is a myth then the gospels are suspect as well.

                    I have no such problem with The Iliad because no one is basing a religion on it. It's just a rip-roaring action adventure and the truth of it matters little.
                    • Who Cares (Score:4, Insightful)

                      by slyn (1111419) <ozzietheowl@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @11:02PM (#20473893)
                      Regardless of whether religion of any sort has truth or not, I could care less. Mythology of any given religion is irrelevant.

                      Though an argument could be made otherwise (crusades, inquisition, etc.), for the most part (IMO) religion has benefited mankind as a whole.

                      The main points (in major summation) to most religions are: Be nice, and worship X deity. Only the former really matters.

                      I like the way Douglas Adams puts it:

                      And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, one girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
                      Though I don't agree with any given religion's beliefs, I do agree that being nice to yourself and others is a good thing. If a religion says that it does such and practices doing so, I'm cool with that religion.
                    • by Kyojin (672334) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @11:31PM (#20474101)
                      It is actually a lot simpler than going through the book with a highlighter. As you have pointed out, there are a number of writing styles in use by the various authors of the Old and New Testaments, sometimes the same author may use different writing styles for different books. In general, however, each book is self-consistent.

                      For instance, the Pentateuch, the first 5 books of the Old Testament, are written in a number of styles. Genesis and Exodus are largely prose narrative with many figures of speech. Leviticus is largely a book of law. Numbers is intended as a historical account of the beginnings of the Jewish civilisation in Israel. The emphasis in Deuteronomy is of a more spiritual nature, outlining the love relationship of the Lord with his people.

                      Likewise, in the New Testament, we have the Gospel according to Luke, a doctor, which begins:

                      "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophillus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."

                      and we have the Gospel according to John, which focuses on signs of Jesus' identity and mission, presenting the facts as he saw them, and explaining further the meanings behind what occurred. Also by John (generally accepted as the same John, but potentially John the Presbyter), we have the book of Revelation, which is the only book in the Christian bible to be composed of entirely apocalyptic literature.

                      What I am trying to show is that there are sound reasons for not taking every word of the Bible literally. The authors did not intend each book to be taken literally and the writing styles show this. For more information, many recent publications of the Bible include introductions to each book, and some "study" Bibles offer commentaries from biblical scholars. Zondervan publishing usually include such introductions at the beginning of each book, especially in the New International Version (NIV) translation.
                    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                      by jandersen (462034)
                      My point being that if the Bible is the infallible word of God then there is no room to pick and choose

                      Good point. However, the Bible is NOT the infallible word of God; it is a collection of texts that were extracted from a larger tradition of Jewish and early Christian texts by a group of Christian leaders some time in the early middle ages; or something like that. In other words - this is a highly edited work and certainly anything but a text written or inspired directly by an almighty god. So you can ind
                    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                      by bentcd (690786)

                      If the tale of Jonah isn't literally true, what else in the Bible isn't true? Perhaps someone could go through with a yellow highlighter and mark off those parts I should believe, and those parts I can dismiss as mythology. Given that the world's largest religion is based on it, I think knowing which bits are true would be rather important.

                      The highlighter you are looking for is generally referred to as an education in theology. Depending on what interpretation you subscribe to, different parts of the book will be highlighted. If you go strictly by Aquinas, only a handful of basic tenets remain and the rest is open to questioning and is only really meant as a tool to instruct those less well educated (which would include the lower priesthood).

                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by Weedlekin (836313)
                      "Given that the world's largest religion is based on it, I think knowing which bits are true would be rather important.

                      My point being that if the Bible is the infallible word of God then there is no room to pick and choose. If the tale of Jonah is a myth then the gospels are suspect as well. "

                      This is a straw man, because the major Christian denominations outside the US (and therefore the vast bulk of the world's Christians) don't claim that the Bible is the infallible word of God, and do not therefore try a
                    • by Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) on Wednesday September 05, 2007 @12:32AM (#20474725)
                      I personally love how various translations can give you completely different interpretations, as well.

                      For example, if you quote Psalms 22:21 from the King James Version you get " Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. " and then someone somewhere along the line realizes that there were no unicorns, so to keep the "truth" "truthful" they translated it a little differently in the New International Version " Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. "

                      So, if we believe the King James Version, then there were unicorns in biblical times, and since we are reasonably certain there were no unicorns, we'll just sweep that under the rug and change them into 'wild oxen'... that way people will continue to believe the bible is factual and will keep coming to Sunday services and tithing...
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by jeffasselin (566598)
                  There is no hell.

                  Also, mythology is not bad per se. It can help us understand archetypes of human nature, and provides a basis for culture. Believing it's true, indoctrinating children into believing it's true, that the supernatural is real, that they have an invisible friend who lives in the sky listening to them... that's infantile, sad and something that belongs in the middle ages.

                  Wake up, and stop believing in anything supernatural. There's the Universe, and it's a lot more than we can comprehend even t
          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @06:42PM (#20471283)
            > Doesn't sound any more bizarre than Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

            The Jews, Christians, and Muslims don't charge $360,000 for it, nor do they sue people who hand out copies of their scriptures.

            It's not the doctrines, it's the ensuing lawsuits, that mark the difference between a religion and a racketeering operation. Why does God need a starship? Same reason he needs a team of copyright lawyers: he doesn't, and anyone claiming he does is a fraud.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by ccguy (1116865) *

              The Jews, Christians, and Muslims don't charge $360,000 for it, nor do they sue people who hand out copies of their scriptures.
              Like they don't regret having published them before Mickey Mouse :-)
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ceoyoyo (59147)
              Hm. The Catholic church is one of the richest and most powerful organizations in the world. They used to (and other churches still do) skim off a percentage of their members' wages. That tithe used to be law in many places.

              I don't think the Catholic church was ever as sue happy as the Scientologists though. They just imprisoned or burned the people they didn't like.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ToasterofDOOM (878240)
            Yes, actually, it does. When dealing with religion in terms of how ridiculous they are, it is impossible and illogical to be entirely objective in your analysis, and it just so happens that, at least by the standards of a great majority of people, scientology is far more outlandish than Abrahamic religions for many reasons.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by HiThere (15173)
        What part of that is Scientology and what part is Dianetics?

        People do tend to have a fallacious idea that their personality is unitary. Unity is something that one can aspire to (possibly unwisely), but it's not something that is normally present. This is usually masked by "state specific memories", in which each sub-component of the self finds it easier to remember the things that it has experienced than those experienced by other states of mind (i.e., mini-personalities). An extreme example of this is
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hxnwix (652290)

          People do tend to have a fallacious idea that their personality is unitary... each sub-component of the self finds it easier to remember the things that it has experienced than those experienced by other states of mind... this is very standard. As such, much of what you have said (ignoring the SF component) seems to be orthodox psychology stated in unfamiliar terms.

          Sorry, but you would be wrong to conclude that Scientology represents mainstream psychology couched in different terminology. Perhaps both explain the "you have to be drunk to do well on a test if you were drunk when you studied" meme. I suppose that yes, we have feelings, and when we feel certain ways we are more apt to recall emotionally similar experiences. Scientology supposes that our personalities comprise the disparate wills of ageless spirits glued to our life essence by an alien overlord (or so

  • by Gorm the DBA (581373) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:08PM (#20468897) Journal
    Oooooh....L. Ron Hubbard must be spinning in his grave....well...his thetans must be enturbulated around their next body host at least...
    • by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:49PM (#20469529) Homepage
      Oooooh....L. Ron Hubbard must be spinning in his grave....

      They should strap magnets to him, and wrap a coil around the casket. Free electricity! ...see what science can accomplish?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fm6 (162816)
      Why? Hubbard was widely accused [lermanet.com] of similar stuff when he was alive. The whole Scientology/Dianetics thing has attracted the attention of The Law from day one. The only difference is that Hubbard would claim that he was being persecuted by the mental health community (who hated him for "curing" mental illness, depriving them of their livelihood), whereas Scientology is a "church" and thus can claim religious persecution.
  • by kaufmanmoore (930593) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:10PM (#20468935)
    Tom Cruise to come out of the closet?
  • by Esteban (54212) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:13PM (#20468989) Journal
    Here's an article in which it's argued that Scientology is not a cult: http://www.slate.com/id/2171416/ [slate.com]

    It doesn't so much make Scientology look better, as make other religions look bad...
    • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv...vadiv@@@neverbox...com> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @06:02PM (#20470739) Homepage

      It doesn't matter whether it's a 'cult' or not.

      It matters that they use extortion to silence critics. Repeatedly. They accuse them of child porn, they have them arrested on bogus charges, they break into their houses and harass them at work. They've even kidnapped 'errant members' before, and at least such one person has actually disappeared while in their custody.

      It has nothing to do with the rather surreal beliefs of their religion.

      Incidentally, whether not something is a cult also has nothing to with the beliefs. It is simply a list of things like 'requires members to cut off contact with family' and 'uses sleep/food deprivation as a form of mind control' and stuff like. Scientology uses some of the cult tricks, and not others, so whether or not it actually is a cult is debatable, but that is not why they run into legal trouble, they run into legal trouble because parts of their organization operate illegally in attacking critics.

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:14PM (#20469007)
    I happen to think that talking unsubstantiated nonsence and practising extortion and fraud is a hallmark of all religion...
    • I happen to think that talking unsubstantiated nonsence and practising extortion and fraud is a hallmark of all religion...

      Agreed, but in all fairness to the 'regular' religions, they at least welcome you in and then extort you, whereas Scientology extorts the money up front, over a long period of time, before you're allowed full access to the church's teachings.
      • by Selfbain (624722) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:29PM (#20469227)
        I was raised in an extremely Christian environment and when I grew up I stopped going to church and rejected their belief system. However, I never once received death threats from the church and for the most part, I believe their intentions were good however misguided I believe them to be. To put it simply, the church I was forced to attend in my childhood never scared me. These people do.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Exactly. I'm not a fan of any organized religion, but to compare Scientology to any of the major Christian/Muslim/Jewish/Buddhist sects is just ridiculous. Which is why I posted the above comment of 'about fucking time'. I'm all for Scientology getting the mainstream recognition they want, they just need to realize it comes at a price.
  • Seems stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rm999 (775449) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:15PM (#20469035)
    A religion doesn't become legitimate until the people are persecuted for a little while (see the Jews, Christians, Muslims, Mormons, etc)

    Why don't we all just ignore the cult and let it die on it's own? Apparently the 10 million figure is highly exaggerated, which makes people think they are more of a threat than they really are. High up, Scientology WANTS to be persecuted so they can energize their followers and gain the sympathy of others.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by toleraen (831634)
      Persecution for your beliefs as an individual and persecution as a whole for allegedly breaking the federal laws in several countries are two completely different things. The general public won't see CoS followers being stoned in the street, sent to camps, etc. They'll see "CoS accused of extortion" in the newspaper. I don't see that situation bringing much sympathy to their cause.
    • Because one of the tenets of this cult is to infiltrate federal governments throughout the world to increase the power and influence of the cult. They also do a host of personal intimidation tactics to critics and former members of the cult.

      I'm not saying they should get the attention of law enforcement groups because they're a cult. But I am saying that when a cult acts like a criminal organization, they should not be ignored just because they are a cult.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dave420 (699308)
      Because in its death throws it will STILL be targetting the weak and needy, offering them false hope, and financially ruining them and their families. This isn't a fluffy organisation where you change your name to Fred and gain enlightenment, it costs you thousands and thousands of dollars (hundreds of thousands, even), and all you end up with is them having a folder of incriminating information on you, and a tattered mental state.

      Scientology is not benign. It's insidious, dangerous, and relentless.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:20PM (#20469105)
    The US government does not officially recognize any organization as a religion. There is the definition of church under section 501(c)(3) of the US tax code as a simplified tax exempt body. But religious organizations themselves are not regarded as tax exempt, just the complicated definition of church as a non profit body. But there are no officially recognized religions in the US.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mattintosh (758112)
      Not quite true.

      Many municipalities require "religious" buildings to be zoned residential and have a steeple of some sort (it can be inconspicuous, but there's a minimum height requirement). If these conditions aren't met, then the local government won't give it tax-exempt status. Sure, you can get out of federal taxes as a non-profit, but there's property taxes, sales taxes, and all the other local stuff.

      Then there's the states. Some states require each church location to register (similar to the property-t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Abcd1234 (188840)
      Well, unless you count the phrase "In God We Trust" on the US dollar bill. Or the fact that, throughout government, people take oaths on the Christian bible. Or the fact that the phrase "On Nation, Under God" exists in the Pledge of Allegiance (though, thankfully, for the most part, people are no longer being *forced* to recite it). Or...

      But yeah, you're right, there's no officially recognized religion(s) in the US. None at all.
  • by bmcage (785177) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:21PM (#20469123)
    What is interesting in this is that the European headquarters are also in Belgium, Brussels to be exact. So some very high ranking scientologists can be sued.

    In 1998 or so they where already being cataloged as a sect, not a church, which is important here (state money and benefits I suppose). It is estimated that Belgium has 8000 Scientologists, which is pretty lousy on 10 million, but still, with the headquarters, it could be painful for them.

  • a few more followers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SethJohnson (112166) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:27PM (#20469213) Homepage Journal


    Scientology has 10 million members including high-profile followers such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

    Don't forget

    Beck [wikipedia.org]

    Jenna Elfman [wikipedia.org]

    Leah Remini [cnn.com] (King of Queens, Old School)

    Jason Lee [wikipedia.org]

    Juliette Lewis [contactmusic.com]

    and a bunch of others... [scientology-kills.org]

    Seth
  • nitpicking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:37PM (#20469347) Journal

    Other European countries such as Germany have problems with Scientology, but in the US it is officially recognized as a religion.
    Germany has a special take on the question but in some European countries (well, at least in France but I doubt it is the only one). The state guarantees the religious freedom and does not maintain a list of official religion. And last time I checked, being a religion or a spiritual movement wasn't an excuse for not paying taxes on incomes.
  • by hoggoth (414195) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:41PM (#20469387) Journal
    Scientology is NOT a religion!

    They believe that absurd fictional super-powered entities are controlling our lives.
    They indoctrinate their believers to give up their common sense and rely on the group for 'truth'. They suck money out of their victims and they prosecute anyone who opposes their growth!
    How dare they try to be considered a religion!

    Umm.. wait a minute.. never mind...

  • by Arcturax (454188) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @04:47PM (#20469483)
    No you want a REAL religion, you should be subscribing to Sciencolonogy.

    It's the hottest new religion and all the big name Hollywood stars are taking part!

    You see, 1,000,000 Jillion years ago, the evil alien overlord Xanus ruled the galaxy and a horrible plague of dysentery broke out among all of the populated planets. To eradicate the plague, he rounded up all sufferers of the plague and piled them into huge toilet bowl shaped vessels (see the Ori from Stargate, they stole the design from us and we will sue in internet court!!) and then dumped them into a huge septic tank he dug here on Earth. They died a horrible death in that pit and their souls came out and now cling to everyone elses souls on earth are all backed up leaving our spirits all gassy and bloated.

    But have no fear... Sciencolonogy is here!

    With our cutting edge soul plunging tech we can easily measure the brain to bowel flow of the bodies energies. By reading the life changing book Diarrhetics, written by our esteemed founder Elron Chubbard, you will learn how we can help you plunge your soul clear of these obstructive souls and allow your energies to flow freely. For a small fee of course. Your initiation will come with the first five pages of the book free and a free half roll of our patented toilet paper. If you run out, the free pages of the book should tide you over until you can get to one of our study centers to buy some more. Our study centers are fully stocked with everything you need, including newpapers, magazines and books, all for a nominal fee. Act now because we are having a special deal! You can get one hour in a stall with a door for the price of the ones that come without! Hurry, this offer won't last!
  • Good luck Belgium (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Synchis (191050) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @05:23PM (#20470095) Homepage Journal
    Speaking from personal accounts, those who take on the $ciclos must be greatly prepared. My good friend Keith Henson [operatingthetan.com] is still serving his sentence for "Interfering with a religion" in Riverside, CA. He's a good example of what the $ciclos can and *will* do to keep those who would oppose them in check.

    I personally disagree with the fundamentals of scientology, I'm Wiccan.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @05:46PM (#20470451) Journal
    Just saw a message on alt.religion.scientology, Keith reportedly posting from Arel's account:


    Hi *****, this is Keith using Arel's email account. I am out, Amber
    picked me up and Arel and I have not been followed by cult PIs.

    More in a day or two.

    Best wishes,
    Keith


    -jcr

    • Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ynotds (318243) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @07:56PM (#20472221) Homepage Journal
      There is something profoundly wrong with societies where somebody like Keith who has lived a productive, generous, pioneering life can have their liberty curtailed because they piss off somebody with greater access to The Law's capacity to pursue single dubious issues against anybody who has really lived.

      But we should place more blame on the personal empire builders who are ensuring untrammeled expansion of The Law-Politics-Mass Media axis of evil^Hauthoritarianism than even the criminally motivated cult which has become so good at exploiting our excessive 'authorities'.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

Working...