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Church of Scientology Enlisting Followers In Censorship 628

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
DrEnter writes "Apparently, the recent very public divorce of Katie Holmes and devout believer Tom Cruise is reflecting negatively on the Church of Scientology. Adding to this are other recent issues causing problems for 'church' leadership. In response, the 'church' has decided to encourage its followers to censor online chatter and comments about the 'church' and the divorce. This Yahoo blog post sums it up nicely. In short, they are encouraging members to complain about people posting negative comments about the 'church' as violating the Code of Conduct' in the posting venue. I can only imagine they are hoping these complaints will just be rubber-stamped and respected without investigation, but I think the campaign deserves a bit more attention."
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Church of Scientology Enlisting Followers In Censorship

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  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:13PM (#40570265) Journal
    I'm glad Katie dumped his ass and is doing her best to protect Suri from that cult.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:20PM (#40570337)
    Name one other "religion" that charges you to read the "bible" and forbids you to tell anyone what they teach under pain of law suite.
  • by Apharmd (2640859) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:21PM (#40570365)
    Let me say first that I find Scientology repulsive and a particularly greasy form of pyramid scheme. However, compared to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic trinity, they are responsible for much less evil and far fewer deaths. Between those three religions you have tens of millions slaughtered in pointless wars over minor differences in doctrine. You have sexism that runs deep through the dogma of all three. You have churches who have officially sanctioned everything from genocide to sexually abusing children to slavery. This stuff isn't even in the distant past. I can find examples in the last century where each of these religions has committed terrible atrocities. Scientology is easy to hate because it is so ridiculous, so absurd, and generally unpopular. It's an easier target than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. But if you really take a step back and look at the doctrine of those three faiths, they are equally as ridiculous.
  • by vistic (556838) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:22PM (#40570371)

    It's not like the church you think doesn't need quotes is any more valid than this 'church' which you think needs quotes.

  • by Teun (17872) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:28PM (#40570441) Homepage
    Please don't use the words religion and scientology in the same article.
  • by Nadaka (224565) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:32PM (#40570487)

    That is only because Scientology is still young. Given time, I am sure they can kill as many people as good old fashioned cults have managed to.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:34PM (#40570505)

    This is false. They have been indicated in a number of murders and convenience suicides of people who speak out about either, or the Church itself.

    They are, in short, very much like extremist Muslims, except without the benefit of their religion having been created far enough back that quasi-rational people might give it the benefit of the doubt as being legitimate.

    It also helps that Islam doesn't have actual documents with its founders talking about making a fake religion to bilk people out of their money.

  • by PlastikMissle (2498382) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:35PM (#40570521)
    Why? They are both based on belief of the metaphysical and the scientifically un-provable.
  • by Teun (17872) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:43PM (#40570619) Homepage
    That's religion in general, in contrast scientology is a poorly cloaked commercial scam.
  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:45PM (#40570635)

    Let me say first that I find Scientology repulsive and a particularly greasy form of pyramid scheme. However, compared to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic trinity, they are responsible for much less evil and far fewer deaths. Between those three religions you have tens of millions slaughtered in pointless wars over minor differences in doctrine. You have sexism that runs deep through the dogma of all three. You have churches who have officially sanctioned everything from genocide to sexually abusing children to slavery. This stuff isn't even in the distant past. I can find examples in the last century where each of these religions has committed terrible atrocities.

    Scientology is easy to hate because it is so ridiculous, so absurd, and generally unpopular. It's an easier target than Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. But if you really take a step back and look at the doctrine of those three faiths, they are equally as ridiculous.

    All those other religions had a 2000 year head start on Scientology, so the Scientologists are way behind in the killing and other stuff, but that is irrelevant. Scientology is not a religion by any reasonable definition of the term. They only use the word church in their name for tax-avoidance purposes and so that they can claim "religious persecution" if anyone tries to challenge their absurd nonsense.

    Scientology is a lot of things -- scam, dangerous cult, organized crime -- but one thing it is not is a religion.

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:55PM (#40570723)

    Frosty Piss was unavailable to this poster as he has not reached OT$10M. His devotion is insufficiently funded, so he's basically darned to heck anyway.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday July 06, 2012 @05:56PM (#40570727) Homepage Journal

    Censor me you assholes. Go on, i dare you.

    The entire thing is a huge scam designed to suck peoples wealth dry with a bunch of lies.

  • by Absolut187 (816431) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:04PM (#40570817) Homepage

    OK... but.. so then...

    Are you saying that we should all be free to criticize ANY religion???
    With no censorship???
    AND no revenge bombings??

    That's crazy.
    You're crazy.

  • by jamrock (863246) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:06PM (#40570853)
    "The difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they own." — Frank Zappa
  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:07PM (#40570867) Journal
    They just didn't have the terms they needed to describe the spaceships and artificial alien insemination in Aramaic, so all we get are vague descriptions of "wheels with wings within wings and many glowing lights" and sudden miraculous virgin births.
  • by Gonoff (88518) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:08PM (#40570875)

    Consider the possibility that "then" she actually liked/loved/lusted after/whatever the guy and the Co$ bit was something she weighed against that and it was not as important. Her feelings towards him seem to have changed and so she re-weighs the factors and comes to a different decision.

    In other words, she may NEVER have considered scientology ok but that was not important then.

  • by magarity (164372) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:09PM (#40570889)

    It's hard to feel sympathy here; she chose Tom and his wacky religion

    Truly, I'm happy for you that you've never had to meet any actors. 99% are beautiful, self absorbed, and utterly naive. Almost certainly she took Tommy's assertions about Scientology at face value and didn't notice the down side for years.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:10PM (#40570899)

    That is only because Scientology is still young. Given time, I am sure they can kill as many people as good old fashioned cults have managed to.

    You do know that in the 20th century, the two godless societies of the former USSR and China killed many more people than the so called cults have throughout their entire history.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:16PM (#40570965) Journal

    > Their organization is so ridiculous that no matter how hard you tried you just couldn't make something like that up.

    ...you just couldn't make something like that up, a second time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:20PM (#40571009)

    One of the definitions of a cult, rather than a religion, is that their holy books aren't available to the public.

  • by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:30PM (#40571083)

    It's hard to feel sympathy here; she chose Tom and his wacky religion. She decided he was good father material. Now she's changed her mind, but you know what? She doesn't get to do that. That's not how it works.

    Her decision that scientology sucks NOW does not negate her decision that scientology was ok back THEN.

    What she did is called "growing up" and "maturing" and"learning from experience." Generally speaking, this is a positive thing. I hope you come to experience it in your life. Otherwise, you will spend it being exactly as you are now. That would suck.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:41PM (#40571187)

    A cult != a charismatic "cult of personality" != a totalitarian movement != religion != "faith".

    People are constantly trying to stick all of these on a continuum, mainly so they can tar anyone who isn't as atheist as them, but they all significantly differ in kind. Lumping them all together significantly reduces our understanding of the world and how people really are.

  • by GreyWolf3000 (468618) on Friday July 06, 2012 @06:58PM (#40571355) Journal

    What's with the need for skeptics to equate all religion with Scientology in every article about the CoS?

    The common underpinning of faith does not imply that other religions share the institutionalized, wholesale abuse and corruption committed by the Church of Scientology. If an atheist cannot see the stark differences in nature and degree, then he is blinded by a dogmatic opposition towards faith.

  • by dave420 (699308) on Friday July 06, 2012 @07:09PM (#40571447)
    Country clubs have more power than the Freemasons. Stop reading conspiracy bullshit.
  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sortius_nod (1080919) on Friday July 06, 2012 @07:15PM (#40571509) Homepage

    I disliked the use of 'church' for another reason. That is, I don't see a difference between Christianity & Scientology. Both are about believing in magic men in the sky.

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Friday July 06, 2012 @07:24PM (#40571583)
    Then you haven't looked very hard. Big difference: Christianity doesn't require you to pay money before they will reveal all of the church doctrines. Sure, some Christian churches are pretty much scams, but even those don't take it to the egregious level of Scientology.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 06, 2012 @08:13PM (#40571967)
    How does all of these tactics, including infiltration of government, not qualify as terrorism?
  • by drkstr1 (2072368) on Friday July 06, 2012 @08:16PM (#40571985)
    I am still amazed that a religion founded by a scifi author, where the premise amounts to a bunch of scifi stuff, has gained any credibility at all. It really makes me lose hope for the human race.
  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 06, 2012 @08:19PM (#40572017)

    The difference is that a religion is a large, popular cult, while a cult is a small, unpopular religion.

    (Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary.)

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ByronHope (2669333) on Friday July 06, 2012 @08:26PM (#40572065)

    ... Christianity doesn't require you to pay money before they will reveal all of the church doctrines...

    True, but once they suck you in all Christian organisations want your money and they want it tax free.

  • by chrismcb (983081) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:06PM (#40572411) Homepage

    They remind me of a saying -- Their organization is so ridiculous that no matter how hard you tried you just couldn't make something like that up.

    And yet someone did... Almost as if a science fiction author created a whole universe...

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:23PM (#40572519) Homepage

    Also Christianity does not specifically target those suffering from psychological illness and to compound that target psychologists and psychiatrists and their professions with a vilification campaign in order to ensure people suffering from psychological illness will end up trapped with in the corporate for profit cult of Scientology. This corporate cult of greed also goes to any disaster event to target people at the weakest, people when they are most vulnerable with a scheme or providing aid only to try take everything those people own. Far better to be called the Church of Corporate Psychopathy a for more accurate description.

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:26PM (#40572551)

    Book 'em, Xenu!

    And it is at this point that we need to let the moderation "Funny" go past the 5 limit... sure there are many informative and insightful posts but once you hit 5 everyone gets it. Humor, however, can do amazing things including allegedly healing people. Also it has been proven to sometimes cause fluids to suddenly appear on monitor screens, keyboards, clothing, and furniture.

    That post was at least an 8...

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:36PM (#40572639)

    ... Christianity doesn't require you to pay money before they will reveal all of the church doctrines...

    True, but once they suck you in all Christian organisations want your money and they want it tax free.

    But it is still a believer's choice to give or not, unlike scientology. And you should be glad that they are tax exempt. That's the only thing that keeps them from being able to tell their followers who to vote for. Being tax exempt means they can only speak on the issues, not the candidates.

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 06, 2012 @09:50PM (#40572743)

    Yeah, and if you know what MOST churches spend money on, you'd realize they're little different than thrifty families trying to help raise the neighbor's troubled kids while the parents are out partying.

    If it weren't for social structures like churches (but certainly not limited to them), the State would bear a far greater burden for nannying people who, it turns out, prefer to take care of each other and many strangers as well.

    There's a lot of secular value in churches, but many skeptics are too superstitious about spiritual issues (or as hung up on high-profile crazy churches as many people are on sensational television) to think much about that.

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday July 06, 2012 @11:18PM (#40573179)
    But they'll give you the information for free, unlike scientology, which gives you some only after you pay, and then they have their tentacles in you. So Christianity is sort of like shareware, while scientology is more like microsoft office.
  • by couchslug (175151) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @12:07AM (#40573397)

    "The common underpinning of faith does not imply that other religions share the institutionalized, wholesale abuse and corruption committed by the Church of Scientology."

    The Catholic Church has handed out over ONE BILLION DOLLARS in settlements to abuse victims worldwide (it can afford the hush money) and the problem is ongoing. Not only doesn't the Church punish pedos, it has sheltered them from prosecution and played a "shell game" moving them to new areas.

    Islams abusive nature currently includes killing apostates and heretics.

    Faith unsupported be EVIDENCE yet propagated as truth deserves opposition.

    Prove your God exists, here, now, and I'll recant and kiss his/her/it's Noodly Appendage. Do it now or take your lying nonsense and stick it where the sun never shines.

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @12:08AM (#40573401)

    You realize that the whole "information for free" part of Christianity is relatively modern, right? There's a reason why the Church flipped out about first the Gutenberg Bible and then even more about the Luther Bible - they didn't want just anyone being able to read the thing, you never know what damn fool ideas those laymen are going to get into their heads (and to be honest they were right [wikipedia.org]).

    Yes, Christianity is shareware today, but it has a history of being locked down tighter than Steve Jobs' iPad.

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @01:46AM (#40573819)

    "In these times of economic struggle, the Government should just take away the Tax Exemption for Religions. It would only be fair and if the religions have a problem with that, then they can pray to their gods for help with money."

    There be monsters in them there woods.

    The REASON churches are tax exempt, is that we have a practical separation of Church and State in this country.

    The reason we have a separation of Church and State, is that our Founders, through experience of very recent (for them) history, knew very well the consequences of either having a Government-run Church, or a Church-run Government. Either case ALWAYS (over the last 800-900 years or so) ended in disaster.

    So they decided: government will stay out of Church affairs, and Churches would stay out of Government affairs. And it has turned out to be, in the long run, a very healthy way to run that relationship.

    But once you start to allow Government to tax Churches, you must then allow Churches to have some say in Government ("no taxation without representation"), and you have just re-created the mess that everybody fought wars to get away from.

    NO. No taxing of churches. And no influence by churches on government. No.

    No. No. No.

  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by forand (530402) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @01:58AM (#40573857) Homepage
    Sadly you are very much incorrect in your assertion that making religious organizations tax exempt "keeps them from being able to tell their followers who to vote for." Churches do this all the time; they send out emails encouraging their members to vote against things or vote for specific candidates. Sure they are not supposed to do this but there is absolutely no enforcement of this rule. Heck didn't the Catholic church sue the federal government over healthcare laws requiring uniform coverage of workers (please note that churches were exempt from this, only entities which are not directly tied to churches were bound by it)? If that isn't getting involved in the political system then I don't know what is.
  • Re:First Thetan! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @08:54AM (#40575223)

    There wasn't an income tax code for approximately the first 150 years of the country, so the reasoning given doesn't hold water. By the time the tax code was established, religious organizations were providing much of the medical care, orphanages and other social welfare systems. Congress decided that this was good as it benefited society and it should be encouraged. As such, contributions to these organizations were encouraged, though the tax code.

    Then in the 40s, many churches became out spoken regarding reparations from the war and the treatment of the Germans and Japanese people. The government felt that this was counter to its agenda. Out of fear of the power of churches the law was changed that to keep the tax exempt status, churches could not get involved with politics. As a side note, this was also around the same time that Eisenhower wanted to start the interstate highway system to mimic the autobahn. His concern being that like the churches, the railroads were too powerful and could thwart the movement of troops.

    Basically, the issue with churches being tax exempt and not being allowed to be active in politics stems from them providing a public service for the common good but also in protecting those in power from the popularity of religious leaders.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Saturday July 07, 2012 @10:07AM (#40575601)

    So basically, you've stripped every concrete, commonsense dictionary definition out of religion in order to make it conform to your understanding of Stalinism. You've made your definition of religion so broad and post-modern that it robs it of any usefulness. Apply your definition to Stalinism and it's a religion, apply it to Catholicism and it's a religion, apply it to the Atkins diet, Apple fanboys, manual transmission drivers and Parade magazine subscribers and behold, all of these suddenly become religions.

    This is the typical pose of the ignorant atheist -- "religion is anything other people fall for."

    Religion is fundamentally a memetic complex that takes advantage of the mental illness of faith to infect and compromise the minds of a population.

    I'm not religious, or faithful, or anything, but I know bigotry when I see it, and saying religious people are "mentally ill" or "compromised" is bigotry.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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