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Surprise Arrest For Online Scientology Critic 954

destinyland writes "An online critic of Scientology was confronted at a routine hearing Tuesday with surprise arrest warrants and thrown into jail. Six years as a fugitive ended in February. (After picketing a Scientology complex in 2000 over the unexplained death of a woman there, he'd been arrested for 'threatening a religion' over a Usenet joke about 'Tom Cruise Missiles.') But 64-year-old Keith Henson had been out on bail, and was even scheduled to address the European Space Agency conference on Space Elevators. He's a co-founder of the Space Colony movement, and one of the original researchers at Texas Instruments. In this interview he discusses both space-based solar energy and his war with the Scientologists — just a few days before he was arrested."
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Surprise Arrest For Online Scientology Critic

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  • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @10:52AM (#19067599) Journal
    I still question whether you can call Scientology a religion at all. I think for a group to claim a nonprofit status as a religion it should be required to offer free religious services and only request donations. Scientology requires big $ to pass through their hurdles. That is a business, not a religion.
  • by rnelsonee ( 98732 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @10:53AM (#19067601)
    I think criticizing a religion is protected by free speech, but threats against a person, or group of people, no matter how large, are not not necessarily so. Among the several things the First Amendment doesn't protect (fire in a crowded theater, sedition...), out-and-out threats are in there.

    Now, that being said, I think the statements he made should be considered criticisms, not threats. It's not like he said he was going to kill every Scientologist.

  • by dr_dank ( 472072 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @10:53AM (#19067605) Homepage Journal
    Don't be hasty modding this a troll. Judging by the GP's number, he/she may not have been around for the scientology incident.

    To answer your question, CmdrTaco was essentially forced several years ago to remove a comment from an AC that Scientology lawyers claimed was DMCA protected, namely a portion of their "sacred/copywritten" texts for OT3. The story is here [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @10:59AM (#19067731)

    I still question whether you can call Scientology a religion at all.

    Well, at least in Germany, courts have ruled they are a commercial enterprise and not a religion

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:03AM (#19067799)
    Scientology is a religion WITHOUT a deity. L. Ron Hubbard claimed to be a reincarnation of Cecil Rhodes, Maitreya (the future Buddha) and a hero who lived 70 billions (or quadrillions) years ago. Scientology claims it is compatible with whatever god you believe in (Buddhism does the same, actually - I have met atheist, monotheist (in Indonesia for example everybody HAS to be a monotheist) and polytheist buddhists), but Scientology is not compatible with christianity (which they want to destroy) nor Buddhism (which they try to embrace & extend).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:05AM (#19067817)

    You have to dig down below the surface of this incident and look at the history of what has been happening between Scientology and Keith Henson. Keep in mind that 1. Scientology has a special relationship with the U.S. government through the Internal Revenue Service (hint: Scientologist's tax deductions are huge and not available to any other citizens) and 2. Scientology has a religious practice called 'Fair Game' which allows them to trick, lie to, or destroy people.

    You have been warned!

    AC and proud of it
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:05AM (#19067819)
    "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."

    I hope that's short enough for fair use

  • Fair Game Policy... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:09AM (#19067885)
    Are you the Operating Thetan charged with trashing Henson online?

    The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly [] []
  • Re:How the hell... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) <> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:12AM (#19067937) Journal
    He was explicitly threatened with being killed in Jail, during his trial. It doesn't take a gang of scientologists to make this happen, just a bit of money.

    Read up on what Keith has gone through. Scientology is a very dangerous organized crime operation.


  • Operation Clambake (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:14AM (#19067953)
    From Operation Clambake: [] ------------ Who is Xenu? I'm going to tell you a story. Are you sitting comfortably? Right, then I'll begin. Once upon a time (75 million years ago to be more precise) there was an alien galactic ruler named Xenu. Xenu was in charge of all the planets in this part of the galaxy including our own planet Earth, except in those days it was called Teegeeack. Now Xenu had a problem. All of the 76 planets he controlled were over-populated. Each planet had on average 178 billion people. He wanted to get rid of all the overpopulation so he had a plan. Xenu took over complete control with the help of renegades to defeat the good people and the Loyal Officers. Then with the help of psychiatrists he called in billions of people for income tax inspections where they were instead given injections of alcohol and glycol mixed to paralyse them. Then they were put into space planes that looked exactly like DC8s (except they had rocket motors instead of propellers). These DC8 space planes then flew to planet Earth where the paralysed people were stacked around the bases of volcanoes in their hundreds of billions. When they had finished stacking them around then H-bombs were lowered into the volcanoes. Xenu then detonated all the H-bombs at the same time and everyone was killed. The story doesn't end there though. Since everyone has a soul (called a "thetan" in this story) then you have to trick souls into not coming back again. So while the hundreds of billions of souls were being blown around by the nuclear winds he had special electronic traps that caught all the souls in electronic beams (the electronic beams were sticky like fly-paper). After he had captured all these souls he had them packed into boxes and taken to a few huge cinemas. There all the souls had to spend days watching special 3D motion pictures that told them what life should be like and many confusing things. In this film they were shown false pictures and told they were God, The Devil and Christ. In the story this process is called "implanting". When the films ended and the souls left the cinema these souls started to stick together because since they had all seen the same film they thought they were the same people. They clustered in groups of a few thousand. Now because there were only a few living bodies left they stayed as clusters and inhabited these bodies. As for Xenu, the Loyal Officers finally overthrew him and they locked him away in a mountain on one of the planets. He is kept in by a force-field powered by an eternal battery and Xenu is still alive today. That is the end of the story. And so today everyone is full of these clusters of souls called "body thetans". And if we are to be a free soul then we have to remove all these "body thetans" and pay lots of money to do so. And the only reason people believe in God and Christ was because it was in the film their body thetans saw 75 million years ago. Well what did you think of that story? What? You thought it was a stupid story? Well so do we. Unfortunately this stupid story is the core belief in the religion known as Scientology.* If people knew about this story then most people would never get involved in it. This story is told to you when you reach one of their secret levels called OT III. After that you are supposed to telepathically communicate with these body thetans to make them go away. You have to pay a lot of money to get to this level and do this (or you have to work very hard for the organisation on extremely low pay for many years). We are telling you this story as a warning. If you become involved with Scientology then we would like you to do so with your eyes open and fully aware of the sort of material it contains. Most of the Scientologists that work in their Dianetics* centres and so called "Churches" of Scientology do not know this story since they are not allowed to hear it until they reach the secret "upper" levels of Scientology. It may take them many years be
  • by Iloinen Lohikrme ( 880747 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:15AM (#19067975)
    Only in United States you would get arrested for criticizing church of Scientology. In Europe at least many governments have understood that Scientology is not a religion but a business: i.e. Wikipedia article [] about them states that "Germany classes Scientology as a business, rather than a religious organization, and Belgium, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom, remain unconvinced that Scientology is a religion"

    I also remember an incident from the beginning of 90's where a Finnish anonymous email re-mailer service was accused in US, actually in California if I remember correctly, on being a nest of pedophiles and Johan Helsingius the maintainer of service being a pedophile too. Actually if my member serves me good some California states legislator in public speach demanded that US uses to it's power to pressure Finnish government to crack down on service. Later it was found at that the church of Scientology was behind this campaign as a pressuring way and as a retribution Johan for not cooperating with them and disclosing information about on the users of service. Wikipedia has a small article about this in their section about Johan Helsingius [].

    Just have to wonder how on earth US government hasn't cracked on Scientology and hard.
  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) * on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:16AM (#19067989) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, I'm not really sure how they can get tax-exempt status, given they're running the thing as a business.

    As a former treasurer of a 501(c)(3) religious organization, I can tell you that it's not illegal for a tax-exempt organization to charge money for things. It's done all the time. Ever buy Girl Scout Cookies?

    In fact, non-profits are expected to run as a business -- they are required to use GAAP methods for accounting and everything.

    Non-profits are only prohibited from, among a few other things, participating in politics -- doing things like backing or opposing particular political candidates or parties for office, from backing or opposing particular pieces of legislation, etc. Also, they're required to donate a certain percentage of their income to charity. There's nothing wrong with making money -- it's just that whatever is brought in has to go either to administration cost, towards the organization's stated purposes in line with its bylaws, or towards a charity that is in line with the organizations goals and purposes.

  • Operation Clambake. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:18AM (#19068025)
    Here [] is more information on Scientology.
  • Re:How the hell... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rycross ( 836649 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:22AM (#19068113)
    From what I remember of the case, he skipped town because he received a lot of threats that, if he went to jail, that he wouldn't make it out of jail alive. It was heavily implied that they would use their connections to make this happen. Skipping town would start looking like a very good option to me.
  • by camusflage ( 65105 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:31AM (#19068277)
    That is a business, not a religion.

    That's not what the IRS has to say, and they're the authority (in the US) on what is and is not a religion. Now, that might have something to do with 2,500 (yes, that's two thousand five hundred) lawsuits filed by CoS against the IRS. It might also have something to do with CoS paying for private investigators to dig up dirt on IRS officials. It would be nice to be able to answer these questions, but the IRS has refused to officially release any documentation regarding the agreement with the CoS over tax status.

    Now, surprise surprise, when people have tried to use this as a basis to deduct their religious donations (a couple tried to deduct 55% of payment to a school on behalf of their kids--That portion deemed for "religious education"), they were given the legal smackdown. In this case, interestingly enough, the appellate judge said, essentially, if you don't think this is fair, sue. Quoth Judge Silverman:

    "If the IRS does, in fact, give preferential treatment to members of the Church of Scientology--allowing them a special right to claim deductions that are contrary to law and disallowed to everybody else--then the proper course of action is a lawsuit to put a stop to that policy. The remedy is not to require the IRS to let others claim the improper deduction, too."
  • by morethanapapercert ( 749527 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:38AM (#19068421) Homepage
    A definition I've always used, based on something Robert A Heinlein wrote, is based on the demographic makeup of the group.
      If the majority of a faith's adherents are people who were born and raised into that faith then it is a religion. If the majority of the faith's adherents are people who have joined as allegedly freely consenting adults then it is a cult. Cults are also often characterized by their more blatant and strident attempts at brain-washing the flock and vigorously defending their legitimacy. (A religion doesn't need to be as obvious in it's brain washing since it gets most of it's members while they are young at a time when there are no other competing theologies in their brains that need to be displaced. It also doesn't need to defend it's legitimacy as vigorously because it's been around so long that it has become an institution...) This definition isn't perfect however, as it leaves such conceptual groups like the followers of the FSM [] or IPU [] in the class of cult rather than religion.

    Personally, I think the whole concept is futile and consider myself to be an Ignostic []

  • PART 1 (Score:5, Informative)

    OT III
    [Operating Thetan Level 3]

    by L. Ron Hubbard

    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 unplants. 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 1 know 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.

    * * *

    For the purpose of clarity, by BODY THETAN is meant a thetan who is stuck to another thetan or body but is not in control.

    A THETAN is, of course, a Scientology word using the Greek theta which was the Greek symbol for thought or life. An individual being such as a man is a thetan, he is not a body and he does not think because he has a brain.

    A CLUSTER is a group of body thetans crushed or hold together by some mutual bad experience.


    Character of Body Thetans

    Body Thetans are just Thetans. When you get rid of one he goes off and possibly squares around, picks up a body or admires daisies. He is in fact a sort of cleared Being. He cannot fail to eventually, if not at once, regain many abilities. Many have been asleep for the last 75,000,000 years. A body Thetan responds to any process any Thetan responds to.

    Some body Thetans are suppressive. A suppressive is out of valence in R6. He is in valence in Incident I almost always.

    One can't run a human being on these two incidents since human beings are composites and would not be able to run the lot. Aside from that, non-clears are way below awareness required to even find these Incidents.

    Huge amounts of charge have already been removed from the case and the body thetans by Clearing and OT I and OT II to say nothing of engrams and lower grades.

    Awareness is proportional to the charge removed from the case.

    Although a human is a composite being there is only one I (that is you) who runs things.

    Body thetans just hold one back.

    You will continue to be you. You, inside, can of course separate out body thetans and so solo auditing is the answer. How good do you have to be to run body thetans off? Well, if you didn't skip your grades, Clearing and OT II particularly, you. should be able to'command body thetans easily.

    * * *

    Incident II is over 36 days long. Capture on other planets was weeks or months before the implant. Tho
  • PART 2 (Score:5, Informative)

    OT III Errors

    Amongst OT III errors are "a BT run on Incident I fails to blow". There are three reasons:

    1. Auditor is trying to run a cluster with an Incident I. The right thing to do is date and get the character of the incident that made it a cluster and then run Incident Its on those left when it breaks up. Or get Dianetic auditing.
    2. There is an earlier Incident I on the same BT. Find it and run it. The BT has a chain of them all by himself.
    3. Another BT is copying the Incident I just run so it looks like it didn't blow. Failure to ever run Incident I can also cause a bog. Routine Dianetic auditing by a Dianetic HDC who is also on or above OT III using triple flows and LDN OT III also handles bogged OT III pre- OT's.


    Cluster Formation - Cumulative

    In doing a cluster one is likely to find it is made up of other earlier clusters. This looks like this. 1898 impact horse accident. When engram 1898 run on R3R, that part blows. No F/N occurs, TA remains up. Remainder will grind after the blow. Earlier portion dates as 93,000,000 years ago, electric shock. When run on R3R, that part blows, no FIN. TA remains up, will grind if run further. Earliest portion dares as 72 trillion implant. When run on R3R, all blow, FIN.

    A cluster or engram which is a cluster can repeatedly FIN as BT's blow. Dates as 778 million explosion. After run once or twice an FIN occurs as one BT blows. Run again to second FIN as two more BT's blow. Remainder blow with a wider FIN. The cluster has gone. This happens (repeating FIN) when picture persists and noter check reveals it is not a copy. It will be more BT's in same cluster. So above repeating FIN occurs when pre-OT is moved through it. Clusters are found by meter dating, listing for type of incident and run as an engram. Clusters can occur at Incident .II and Incident I. They can also occur at 1 quadrillion, which is the Clearing course materials. They also occur at random dates for different reasons.

    * * *

    I have lately been C/Sing a number of failed OT cases and have found them all running well on solo now. The errors are made as follows:

    1. The solo auditor cannot audit, needs more training.
    2. Cases are not well prepared with Dianetics.

    The remedy for all of these is to:

    1. Run the PC for at least a score or two of Dianetic items by R3R, done of course by a good HDC,
    2. then do a GF 40.

    And then repeat it until necessary auditing is complete. These two actions take care of the majority of difficult cases on OT

    The real End Phenomena of OT III and OT IV is exterior with full perception. You can and should accomplish full stable exteriorization on doing the materials of III.


    Further III remedies:

    3. High TA. This comes from not completing the Incidents I and II on body thetans.
    4. The solo auditor puts too wide an intention on the BT and runs two or three when he is intending to run only one.
    5. A cluster just won't break up. The remedy is a Dianetic session listing for impacts or incidents that would cause a cluster and doing R3R. The principle of earlier similar holds good. When this is completed, the solo auditor is sent back to solo to clean up the BT's shaken loose and to continue with OT III.
    6. Rudiments go out on BT's. The remedy of course is to locate BT's who have out-ruds, put in the ruds and run Incident 1, at which the ST should leave.
    7. A theta-bopping meter sometimes puzzles a solo auditor -on OT Ill. This means a BT is trying to exteriorize and can't. The remedy is to complete the partially run Incident 11 or Incident I or in extreme cages put the ruds in on the hung up BT.
    8. One-hand electrode giving wrong TA read baffling the solo auditor with floating needles with a high TA. The remedy is to have two-hand electrodes handy and trim the trim knob so the one-hand electrode reads the same as two-hand electrodes.
    9. A suppressive body thetan sometimes isn't auditable. The remedy is to run Grades IV
  • Interesting (Score:2, Informative)

    by FinnMcGee ( 1073732 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:52AM (#19068671)
    I find it quite strange that the continued stories on 10zenmonkeys....etc can not be viewed anymore.
    I was just reading the first article and went to go to the second hyperlink and now neither of them work.
    Gah! the men in black suits just pulled up *runs too the hills*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:59AM (#19068821)
    Except that they DO have 'agents' in the IRS.

    Members of the Cult Of Scientology have been prosecuted for badly using their position in the IRS in USA, Canada and France.
    They are also known to "infiltrate" (get hired into) prosecutors offices. Again cases exists in the USA and France (a big scandal there in the 90's).
    Since you cannot discriminate future employees based on "personal believes" it is easy for them as long as they are competent in their domain.

    When a prosecutor and a sheriff showing up with a search warrant are all members of the cult. When the warrant is signed by a judge member of the cult. When the warrant specifies "documents" but the sheriff leaves with computers including screens, printers and even phones.
    When you lived thru these you tend to get paranoid.
    Yes you have recourses, but it takes months or years. The COS has billions of $$$. Even the Washinton Post backed off following a law-suit threat.
  • by MrHill ( 1100413 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:05PM (#19068921)
    The Church of Scientology and its followers want you to believe that Keith Henson stated he would "have them bombed and the buildings exploded": This is utter fabrication, Keith Henson never expressed such threat, jokingly or not. He merely corrected someone who answered to a post in which someone else was joking about a "Tom Cruise Missile."

    Here is his post in Google archives: []

    Keith Henson was picketing and trying to bring awareness to what he calls "depraved indifference" in the death of two young women in and around the Scientology compound. He was trying to bring awareness because he cared. This is directly from the doctrine of the Church of Scientology: "[People critical of Scientology] may be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed," from L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. This is the precise doctrine they followed to try and silence Keith Henson.

    Meanwhile, the leaders of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige included, have been promoting the murdering of other human beings. This is beyond irony that it is now Keith Henson in jail, just because he cared enough, while David Miscavige is free to go despite his graphical depictions of deadly violence against psychiatrists -- with thundering applauses from followers... (ref.: Evening Standard (London, Oct. 2006): "Tom's aliens target City's 'planetary rulers'" by David Cohen, Michael Leonard Tilse: "False Purpose Rundown") ( [])
  • by kwandar ( 733439 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:07PM (#19068949)
    Yes, I still remember Scientologists being convicted in Canada

    From an article by Glen McGregor, The Ottawa Citizen Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    "Scientology is also the only religious group ever to be criminally convicted in Canada. It was found guilty on two counts of breach of the public trust related to a 1982 conspiracy to break into government offices. The criminal charges lead to a precedent-setting defamation case, known as Hill vs. Church of Scientology of Toronto, brought by a Crown prosecutor whom the church's lawyer had accused of criminal contempt. The Supreme Court in 1995 upheld the finding against the church, which became the largest libel award in Canadian history."

  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:07PM (#19068957)
    That'll cost you a cool $1.5 million to find out. But, you can then become a 'Quatro OT'. ooooooowwwwww ;-)

  • by DM9290 ( 797337 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:07PM (#19068969) Journal
    is this any less plausible than talking serpents, men walking on water, water turning to wine, immaculate conception, talking bushfires, resurrection or giants that live 800 years but leave no bones?

  • by MythMoth ( 73648 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:37PM (#19069567) Homepage
    (For non-UK readers, Panorama is the BBC's flagship investigative journalism programme)

    Monday 14 May
    8:30pm - 9:00pm
    Scientology and Me
  • Re:How the hell... (Score:2, Informative)

    by abigor ( 540274 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:39PM (#19069613)
    There are no contemporaneous, third-party accounts of Jesus that we know of. Everything about him was written after he supposedly died. It seems likely Jesus is a fictional figure.

    For example, see here: []
  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:48PM (#19069763) Journal
    RTFA. He was arrested and _convicted_ for "interfering with a church", a law which likely violates the Establishment clause on its face and freedom of speech as applied. THEN he ran, seeing that there ain't no justice and believing his life would be in danger in prison.
  • Re:How the hell... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:51PM (#19069821)
    Check out the flash animation on the Scientology website: its hilarious. []

    "A Civilization without insanity.
    Without Criminals
    And Without War
    Where the able
    Can prosper
    And Honest Beings
    Can Have Rights
    And Where Man
    Is Free
    To Rise to Greater Heights
    Are the Aims of Scientology (by L. Ron Hubbard)."

    So much of that is ironic, due to current circumstances. Mostly the part about "Without Criminals" when they threaten to kill a man in jail, and "Honest Beings Can Have Rights" when they are specifically trying to prevent the right of freedom of speech.

    By far the best part though is the end, with the little "By L. Ron Hubbard" text, like Scientology is some book that Hubbard wrote. Oh, wait . . .
  • by Chyeld ( 713439 ) <> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:07PM (#19070119)
    [pendantic mode]
    Actually, while may Christian based churches today operate in that manner, if you study the history of the Roman Catholic church, especially the Reformation period, you'd see they acted just about exactly as the Scientologist do today.

    The Church punished people who attempted to bring the Bible to the masses, because that cut into the Church's lucrative business of being the middle-man between God and the rest of us. Prior to the illegal publications of bibles translated into English, only a select few who knew Latin had the access to the biblical texts we take for granted today.

    As far as Scientology goes, it's about as corrupt as any religion. The lay person seems about as sincere as any, and the leadership seems just as willing to compromise principles for power. I don't see anything different there than I do for the other main stream religions.[/pendantic mode]
  • by ZoomZoomZoombot ( 1100451 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:11PM (#19070193)
    Thought these would be good to add the the thread, now with more organization this time [] - Scientology's Military [] - Scientology and Children's RPF [] - Ex-Scientologist talks about criminal methods [] - About Xenu and finances [] - Formation of Sea Org [] - Recruitment and Blackmail [] - Scientology and cameras [] - "What are your crimes?" [] Scientology harrassing a German critic [] - Investigation into Scientology's Narconon, Fox 13 part b [] - Investigation into Scientology's Narconon, Fox 13 part b [] - Expose into Scientology's ties to Narconon part 1 [] - Expose into Scientology's ties to Narconon part 2 [] - Expose into Scientology's ties to Narconon part 3 [] Undercover audio from Scientology's Volunteer Ministers bragging about keeping psychiatrists away

    Yep, Scientology is fucked up
  • For non-UK readers, Panorama programmes are available online at the BBC website for a long while after transmission.

    "John Sweeney investigates the Church of Scientology, endorsed by some major Hollywood celebrities, but which continues to face the criticism that it is less of a religion and more of a cult. Some former members claim the Church uses a mind control technique to put opponents at a psychological disadvantage. During the course of his investigation, Sweeney is shouted at, spied on, visited in his hotel at midnight and chased around the streets of LA by strangers in hire cars."

    but not presumably by Tom Cruise.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:29PM (#19070527)
    author. He created scientology based on a bet that if he created a relegion that people will follow!
    All based on a bet!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:53PM (#19071037)

    Only in United States you would get arrested for criticizing church of Scientology. In Europe at least many governments have understood that Scientology is not a religion but a business: i.e. Wikipedia article about them states that "Germany classes Scientology as a business, rather than a religious organization, and Belgium, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom, remain unconvinced that Scientology is a religion"

    If you look down in the same article in the cult section ( ogy_as_a_cult []), several countries consider it a dangerous cult:

    In France, the Church of Scientology was categorized as a sect (or cult) in the 2468 report of the Assemblée Nationale (the legislative body), in 1995. A more recent government report (1999) categorized the church as an "absolute sect" and recommended that all its activities be prohibited.
    but of course, Sarkozy the French president elect received Tom Cruise a while back so this may change...
  • Re:Old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @02:06PM (#19071317) Journal
    Well, the Spanish Inquisition is given its own name because it differed from the inquisition in general. For one thing, it had more direct support from the political powers (the Crown, who established it in 1480). For another, it was more organized and institutionalized than the inquisition in general. It also lasted much longer than the the inquisition lasted elsewhere -- until 1834!

    Another note about the Spanish Inquisition is that it was especially known for the use of torture and other cruelties, moreso than the inquisition elsewhere.

    As for executions in German states being 100 times greater than those under the Spanish Inquisition -- do you have a source for this? The S.I. is estimated to have killed between 3000 and 5000 people (plus hundreds of thousands displaced); are you seriously suggesting that the inquisition in German states was responsible for the deaths of 300,000 people via inquisition?
  • by Synchis ( 191050 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @02:08PM (#19071379) Homepage Journal
    I'll supress the largest bulk of the rage that I feel about your comments, and give you the facts, as you obviously have not researched this.

    When Keith fled the US to apply as a political refugee in Canada, I worked with him. I spent a good 3 years with the man or more and got to know him as a good friend.

    Keith *did* try to defend himself in the original trials. And in fact, there were more than just the original charges of "Interfering with a religion". The cult made motions in limine to exclude much of Keiths evidence and testimony based on copyrights and religios "secrets" that they didn't want put in the public eye. The court allowed this, and there went Keiths case. The assertions that he was a "terrorist" and threatening to bomb them were thrown out as ridiculous, even an idiot could see that the comments made were made in jest. *BUT* they did make the charges of "Interfering with a religion" stick, based on some far-fetched theory that his organised picketing was interfering with their right to practice their religion. *Thats* what he's supposed to go to jail for.

    The reason Keith fled the country, or at least the biggest reason was because he feared that if he went into prison for this so called crime, he would never come out alive. And after my involvement in an incident here in Canada, I would believe it. Even when Keith came to Canada, the $cilos never left him alone. They dropped false tips to law enforcement agencies here in Canada that resulted in a high-profile swat style take down of Keith in a local shopping center. It not only put Keith at risk (who was unarmed and very much not a dangerous man) but all civilians that were in the shopping center at the time. The take down was executed based an tips that Keith was a terrorist that was "Armed and Extremely Dangerous".

    Keith is a kind and generous man who wanted nothing more than to see justice served on this horrible cult.
  • Not a problem (Score:4, Informative)

    by Concern ( 819622 ) * on Thursday May 10, 2007 @02:33PM (#19071837) Journal
    It doesn't really matter - it turns out that if you don't like what the IRS decides, you can get your way. All you have to do is mount a campaign of terror against the IRS until they give in.

    They just kept at it, year after year. 26 years, actually. They identified and targeted individual civil servants. They sued and blackmailed and swarmed them with PIs. They harassed their friends, families and associates. They spent uncounted millions. They ruined countless lives. Eventually, in '93, it worked. Read more here. []

    I'm no fan of tax free religion period, but nothing should make you sicker about it than watching these wackadoos sponging off of hard working Americans.
  • Re:Total BS! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Darby ( 84953 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:13PM (#19072493)

    I also failed to mention that all the priests that agreed with me were Jesuits, which are pretty much the scholar branch the Catholic church (gross generalization, I know).

    It's really not a generalization gross or otherwise.
    There does not exist a single Jesuit who isn't *very* well educated.
    Other Church folk than the Jesuits engage in scholarly pursuits, and the Jesuits do more than just read books but neither of those facts makes your statement a generalization any more than saying that the Navy is pretty much the ocean branch of the US military.

  • And also in Germany (Score:2, Informative)

    by BamZyth ( 940235 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:39PM (#19073061)
    If you want to work as a civil servant, you must sign a declaration stating that you are NOT a scientologist.
  • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:59PM (#19073455) Journal
    In Herod's case there is at least a tomb [] so we can be reasonably sure that he existed and was alive around the time of Jesus' birth (~5BC). Also many of the "background" events in the bible are known to be historically accurate e.g. the Romans really did require everyone to return to the town of their birth to be taxed around 5 B.C. So while there is certainly not proof of all the events in the Bible the historical setting at least has evidence to support it.

    Where are the remains of the interplanetary craft? Where are the isotopes left over from the H bombs? The Hawaiian volcanoes were not even around 75 million years ago: the are only 11 million years old []. If you don't even get the verifiable facts correct then what hope is there for the ones you cannot verify?
  • Re:Old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:17PM (#19073749)
    Crusades? Mass burnings of "pagan" written knowledge? Torture of brilliant minds like Galileo Galilei for his heretical heliocentric [] teachings and beliefs?

    Crusades, check. Had nothing to do with why it was called the Dark Ages, as the Dark Ages had been proceeding nicely for 500 years (about as long as from Columbus to the present, for perspective) when the Crusades got going.

    Mass burnings of "pagan" written knowledge? Missed that part. The European "pagans" were generally an illiterate bunch, so not sure where this comes in. Or did you mean that stuff done during the Renaissance?

    Torture of brilliant minds like Galileo Galilei for his heretical heliocentric teachings and beliefs? Well, if he'd been tortured, that might mean something. Being restricted to his palatial estate doesn't even qualify as torture today. Never mind that he was tried for calling the Pope (who was a personal friend of his, once upon a time) a simpleton in his books, rather than for heliocentric beliefs. Never mind that he was so "brilliant" that he thought comets were optical illusions. Never mind that he didn't do any "teaching", just wrote the one book on the subject (where he called the Pope a simpleton, repeatedly). And mostly, never mind that Galileo was well AFTER the Dark Ages.

    You've described many things attributable to the Renaissance as part of the Dark Ages. Why not remember some of what the Dark Ages REALLY had going for it? Like Three-Field Rotation? Invented in the Monasteries. Like double-entry bookkeeping? Likewise, invented by a bunch of Catholic monks.

    But if you must remember the Renaissance as the Dark Ages, remember this - Copernicus was both a Catholic Priest and a scientist. Oh, wait, that punctures your world-view that the Church was opposed to science, doesn't it? Never mind, then. Just forget what you just read.

  • THE UNFUNNY TRUTH (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:20PM (#19073797)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:09PM (#19074687)
    Here's the law [] that he was found guilty of violating in 422.6. This is part of California's "hate crimes" laws. []

    No person, whether or not acting under color of law,
    shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate,
    interfere with, oppress, or threaten any other person in the free
    exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her
    by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the Constitution or
    laws of the United States because of the other person's race, color,
    religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual
    orientation, or because he or she perceives that the other person has
    one or more of those characteristics.

    As you can see, it's incredibly vague. The law was passed in the 1990s, when 'hate crime' laws were in vogue in the US. The lawmakers' intention was not to protect Scientology or any other religion. In fact, it was intended to prevent violence (and threats of violence) against gays. Nice idea, but that doesn't excuse a bad law!

    Opponents of the law claimed it would be abused to restrict legitimate freedom of speech. Supporters accused opponents of being homophobic or even being actively in favor of violence against gays.

    Well, the opponents were right. The concept of a "hate crime" i.e. threatening by force to abridge someone's civil rights, is incredibly vague and can easily be perverted to cover almost any strong criticism, as happened in this case. The intentions behind the law were good, but the law itself is awful and can easily be abused.
  • by quintesse ( 654840 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:13PM (#19074729)
    You do know that even in this document they're using FUD tactics, don't you. The case where they say "a Dutch court found an individual and numerous Internet service providers" was not won by them at all for example: entology-v-xs4all-supreme-court.html []
  • by zahl2 ( 821572 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @06:28PM (#19075845) Journal
    Can someone explain why he is in jail now? If the case were in 2001... And it's a misdemeanor?

    I called the Attorney General's office, they said there were ways to protest against judges and whatnot. I'm not sure what a really useful thing to tell them is, but presumably more public exposure would help.

    So far /. seems to be the biggest news outlet this has hit. So he's probably screwed.

    To contact the California Attorney General's office, there is []
    (916) 322-3360

    But what do you say? Are we already overtaken?
  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @06:36PM (#19075971)
    The IRS. The charitable organization certificate is known as a "501c3", and it's a big fiscal deal for a lot of charities and churches, because it eliminates taxes on a lot of your fiscal affairs. It also buys you a lot of First Amendment protection in US courts.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @07:51PM (#19076819)

    Let's just be clear about one thing: Scientology (the "applied religious philosophy") is indeed a 100% valid religion. The question is whether or not the Church of Scientology (the transnational corporation) is a religious organisation or not.

    The main thing that distinguishes CoS from just about every other religious organisation that I can think of is that you have to pay them money to find out what they actually believe.

    The overwhelming majority of mainstream religions will be happy to tell you. You ask a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu or a Buddhist what they believe, and (assuming they're not busy right at that moment) they'll be happy to fill you in or tell you who can. Or you can go to any bookstore and buy books describing their beliefs and practises in some detail.

    There also still exist, in the world, "mystery religions". Mystery religions have an arcanum, some body of secret wisdom that is only revealed to initiates. I'm a bit dubious about these, personally, but still, the main differentiating factor between traditional mystery religions and the CoS is that in the CoS, the revealing of the arcanum is directly tied to the handing over of money.

    The other thing that distinguishes the CoS is its aggressive behaviour in attacking critics and splinter groups. It clearly doesn't act as if it believes in freedom of religion. Therefore it's not a religious organisation.

  • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) * on Thursday May 10, 2007 @08:06PM (#19076983) Homepage Journal
    reliable writings made by multiple witnesses

    You mean, found on codex fragments that at the earliest, are from 150 AD (and more likely 250 AD, simply because they are codexes and not scrolls), all part of one book and with no evidence whatsoever that speaks to the origin, or authorship, of those codexes, and further, no evidence of the existence of the central figure in the story, and further, found to contain stories that blithely refer to supernatural events, some of which would have been visible to any writer of the period, such as country-wide darkness during the day, of which there is also no record.

    The bible's "reliability" is entirely contained in the concept that the bibles we have today are very, very similar in content to the bible's content at the time it was first constructed. There is no "reliability" in the sense that anything of significance in the stories contained therein has been confirmed by any other source. In fact, the first mention of Christ or Christians occurs well after Christ was supposed to have died, in writings by one Josephus, a Pharisee who wasn't even born until 37 AD. And he is supposed to have said some things that a Pharisee would never have said, to wit, "He [Jesus] was the Messiah." That alone is a huge red flag to indicate that even the Josephus quotes have been tampered with. When we try to find something else as contemporary (if I may misuse the word a bit), we next find Tacitus, born in 55 AD (about 22 years after the crucifixion's purported date), writing in 120 AD, 87 years after the crucifixion, and he basically calls them pests - but his report is also suspected of being tampered with, because there are mistakes that are unreasonable, such as Tacitus referring to Pontius Pilatus as a procurator (unspecified as to what of), when in fact he was a prefect, which is something else entirely.

    So that whole "reliability" thing is really just a myth. Not saying there was or wasn't a Jesus; just saying that when people quote either the bible stories or the existence of Jesus himself as a "sure thing", "reliable", or any variation thereof, they're just showing that they are ignorant of the actual situation vis-a-vis actual contemporaneous historical records.

    But hey, other than that, yeah, I'm with you 100%. Hubbard was a space opera manufacturer (though to be fair, at the time, so were a lot of other SF authors, including some we hold in high esteem for the very space opera-ness of their output, such as E.E. Doc Smith.) Dianetics, later to deliquesce into Scientology, is an amazing tribute to the vulnerability of the left side of the IQ gaussian on the one hand, and to general gullibility everywhere across the bell on the other.

    PT Barnum had part of it right when he said: "You'll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public"; I like to add, you're not going to go broke overestimating their gullibility, either.

Variables don't; constants aren't.