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Scientology Tries To Block German Documentary 565

Posted by timothy
from the piece-of-blue-sky dept.
eldavojohn writes "The Guardian is reporting on the strained relationship that Scientology is having with the German government and the airing of a pesky documentary on Southwest Broadcasting. Until Nothing Remains, a $2.3 million documentary, is slotted to air on German television at the end of this month. It recounts the true story of Heiner von Rönn and his family's suffering when he tried to leave the Church of Scientology. A Scientology spokesperson called the film false and intolerant and also said they are investigating legal means to stop the film from being aired. More details on the film can be gleaned here."
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Scientology Tries To Block German Documentary

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  • Rights? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dziman (415307) on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:01AM (#31479318)

    Are there any laws protecting this type of "speech" in Germany?

  • Re:Rights? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:27AM (#31479486) Homepage

    I thought Germany still had anti hate speech laws (not that they're relevant for this issue).

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:32AM (#31479518) Homepage

    You can't for now, but maybe XenuTV [xenutv.com] will be able to help when a digital copy is released.

  • Re:Rights? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:56AM (#31479654)

    The problem here is that many public networks shy away from these documentaries BECAUSE of the clout of Scientology. However, ARD is supported by public euros and as such answers to nobody even the government. Many whine about having to pay a TV tax, but I gladly pay my monthly TV tax as it produces documentaries that ask hard hitting questions. Public networks would definitely not support it...

    I am a supporter of free markets and capitalism, but at times we need the government.

  • Re:Thank you! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 15, 2010 @05:57AM (#31479662)

    The Profit: http://torrents.thepiratebay.org/4092650/The_Profit_-_The_movie_Scientology_doesnt_want_you_to_see..4092650.TPB.torrent

  • Re:A point to note (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Monday March 15, 2010 @06:10AM (#31479736)

    That's painting with a fairly broad brush, don't you think?

    It is, and it's wrong in both cases, C'est la vie. Humans seem to have a desire to view things in extremes of black and white even though no such dichotomy exists.

    Based on your other post above, it seems that, if not "an idiot and an inoramus", you were at the very least being a troll.

    No, not necessarily. The original poster seems to want to condemn religious intolerance and injustice by being intolerant himself.

  • Re:A point to note (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheKidWho (705796) on Monday March 15, 2010 @06:21AM (#31479804)

    How does one wipe out religion without killing millions?

    More importantly, how do you wipe out something which is built into human nature itself? The desire and need for religion has existed throughout every culture in human history. It seems very likely to be something that has evolved with humanity as we have matured from cave dwellers to space travelers. Something not easily shaken,

  • Re:Rights? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Monday March 15, 2010 @08:00AM (#31480388) Homepage Journal

    Why would you pay a tax on something that is an inherent right.
    I think honestly you need a tax on government. Let's call it a government tax,
    The government must pay this tax to the people because without the people
    the government is nothing.

    You have an inherent right to watch television? Seriously?

    How do you know you do? Did God write it down on a tablet of stone and give it to Moses? If not, where did this 'inherent right' come from?

  • by happy_place (632005) on Monday March 15, 2010 @08:03AM (#31480404) Homepage
    Who really benefits from the Streisand effect here? Sure, you'll want to see this documentary because of legal rangling and its publicity, but you're in no danger of joining Scientology, and you've no love of such things. Even the most critical attack pieces on a topic, often end up generating sympathy for the target. It's entirely possible that the sort of folks who join an organization like scientology will only be emboldened by this particular situation. It looks to me like Scientology will protest its way into "Cha-ching!" every home.
  • by Xenious (24845) on Monday March 15, 2010 @08:15AM (#31480452)

    Anything that annoys scientology is automatically a plus in my book.

  • Re:Rights? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Monday March 15, 2010 @08:15AM (#31480454)

    It's not libel when it's true.

    Orthogonal concepts. Its libel if it makes the plaintiff look bad, which is fairly irrelevant to truth or falsehood.

    Some legal systems (by no means all) allow truth as a defense, pretty much "just because". But there's no logical connection, and certainly there are legal systems that do not allow truth as a defense, again pretty much "just because".

    Then there are other defenses, some of which seem to apply to CoS such as being "incapable of further defamation", "Fair comment on a matter of public interest", "Statements made in a good faith and reasonable belief that they were true", "No actual injury".

    All the defenses against libel vaguely revolve around either increasing tax revenues (by collecting income tax from the journalist/muckraking establishment, which would otherwise be destroyed) or around not wasting the courts time on what amounts to BS, aka attempting to eliminate "SLAPP lawsuits" etc. None of the reasoning for libel defenses is particularly concerned with the moral superiority of "truth".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation#Truth [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Rights? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rundgren (550942) on Monday March 15, 2010 @08:37AM (#31480598) Homepage
    I'm sorry, but I think you're wrong: Scientology is registered as a religion ("trossamfunn") in Norway.
  • Re:Rights? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HopeOS (74340) on Monday March 15, 2010 @09:19AM (#31480976)
    The right to interpret a signal passing through your property would fall under Universal Rights. The "right" to claim that the signal cannot be interpreted without permission is a misnomer. It is actual a property arbitration issue and would fall under Social Contract, more specifically under Law. As for God? I'm not sure how that has any bearing on the discussion at all. -Hope
  • Re:Rights? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jmac_the_man (1612215) on Monday March 15, 2010 @09:20AM (#31480986)
    In order for an American to exercise their right to have a free press, they need access to a printing press. Hell, they need to learn a language to exercise their right to free speech. Even the most hardcore supporters of the Second Amendment doesn't think that the government needs to GIVE everyone a weapon so that they can bear arms. Public parks are generally owned by the government at some level and are open to the public, with varying levels of restrictions. For example, my town built a football field for the use of its little league football programs. They charge a modest fee to the parents of the kids in the league. The local high school team also practices on it, and pays the town for its exclusive use during those times. I play in an adult flag football league, and that's our home field too, but we need to schedule our games around times when the town and school are using it. Anyone who wants to play a pickup game is also welcome to use it, but the town isn't going to give you the equipment necessary to do so. We have to bring our own flags, footballs, referee, etc.
    In the United States, we recognize the radio spectrum (i.e. where TV is broadcast) as a public resource, just like that park. The citizens own it and the government administers it on our behalf. Everyone has the right to access it with varying levels of restrictions. If you want exclusive use of it (e.g. to become a broadcast station) you have to pay for that, just like the high school has to pay the town for exclusive use of the field. If your use isn't going to interfere with anyone, (e.g. CB radio, getting TV reception with an antenna) you have the right to use it as a citizen, but you have to bring your own equipment.
    If anyone needs that in car analogy form, the park is a 10 minute jog from my house, and I play running back and corner back on the team, so I need to run a lot during the game; I can't run TO the game as well. Count a car as part of the equipment I need to utilize the football field and *BOOM* instant car analogy.
  • Re:Rights? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nadaka (224565) on Monday March 15, 2010 @09:51AM (#31481320)

    Funny thing. Many scientologists already do just that (Living in work camps and producing bad film until they are sufficiently brainwashed).

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday March 15, 2010 @10:18AM (#31481558) Homepage Journal

    I wish people would stop thinking of the "Christian right" as Christians, as they don't follow the teachings of Christ at all and in fact preach the opposite of what Christ taught.

    Christ was a rebel who was executed for heresy. Were he alive today rather than 2000 years ago, the "Christian Right" would crucify him again.

  • Re:A point to note (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jackbird (721605) on Monday March 15, 2010 @10:30AM (#31481728)
    Today?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_people

  • Re:Rights? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Monday March 15, 2010 @11:23AM (#31482382)

    Even the most hardcore supporters of the Second Amendment doesn't think that the government needs to GIVE everyone a weapon so that they can bear arms.

    That would be an interesting proposition. If your free weapon came with a rigourous firearm safety training program and range time, it would put guns in the hands of the citizenry rather than just the police or military. I don't know that that's a good thing, but I do know that the government is no longer afraid of the people - the people are afraid of the government, and that's not the way it's supposed to be.

  • Re:A point to note (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AGMW (594303) on Monday March 15, 2010 @11:58AM (#31482874) Homepage

    If any fellow Anonymous in Germany feel like telling the German government why they should not consider Scientology a religion, then please be my guest. Be clear, make yourself heard. "Ich bin Anonymous!"

    Looking at this problem from the other side, if we're against Scientology getting tax breaks and whatnot because they reckon they're a religion why don't we revisit the tax (et al) perks for ALL religions?
    Why do religions get tax perks? Why the special status?

    OK, so _some_ religions do charitable works. That's fine. The "Charitable Works" parts of religions can have some tax breaks because other charities have tax breaks. But a lot of what "religions" do is far more akin to just being a business and they damn well should be taxed on it!

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:01PM (#31484752) Journal

    Truth is, we don't really know what Christ taught. All we have is a bunch of scriptures that are claimed to be written who claim to be witnesses, which are somewhat vague on many points, and downright contradictory on some. There's no surprise there that people can back pretty much any kind of belief they want with it. For every "love thy neighbor", there is "but to bring a sword" (yeah, I'm sure that you have your own interpretation of the latter that is entirely consistent with love and peace etc - the point is that those "not really Christian" guys have their own interpretation of the other quote that is consistent with their view of "burn the heretics").

    Also, the reason why most people do identify Christian Right with Christianity in general is because the views of Christian Right today are very much consistent with historical views of the majority of what was called Christendom for the last 2000 years. It's not like Christians have been peaceful hippies for centuries. And it's not just common folks, who could be claimed to be ignorant - no, it's such well-respected Church Fathers as Thomas Aquinas who have advocated for violence to counter heresy. Heck, Christians have burned their first heretic (Priscillian) alive only 60 years after they themselves have stopped being persecuted by the Romans!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:03PM (#31484792)

    One thing that I have never had the chance to point out is that Christianity's first great missionary, Paul, would be tried and executed for crimes against humanity in today's world, specifically for his persecution and practical genocide of Christians. Unfortunately no Christian I know has lately tried to argue for capital punishment by saying, "Some people are beyond redemption."

  • Re:A point to note (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:04PM (#31484818) Journal

    There are good reasons to believe that Stalin was religious (Eastern Orthodox Christian, specifically), actually.

  • Re:Rights? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Some Bitch (645438) on Monday March 15, 2010 @03:29PM (#31486192)

    Germany is a special case with regard to denying the details of that particular era, my grandmother was Austrian and died 20 years ago still believing Hitler knew nothing whatsoever about the concentration camps and that he was a great leader lied to by his generals.

    Germans need to know their past so they can move forwards, there can be no muddying of the waters or revionism permitted.

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