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  Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?

Social Justice Posted by <Xnoubis> on Saturday May 06, @06:47AM
from the star-spangled-thetan dept.

After a series of public expressions of concern, the U.S. government has formally accused the German government of discriminatory practices against Scientology. Germany has an official policy that the government may not support L. Ron's organization in any way: Scientologists may not work in government positions, and the government may not do business with Scientology owned or operated companies.

This brings up an interesting problem. Our government has a point: freedom of religion is freedom of religion, and due process would ordinarily entail that Scientology either be prosecuted through the courts or be treated like any other church. On the other hand, Scientology has a track record of the worst kind of abuses that such an organization can muster, but they've generally been able to navigate the U.S. court system without convictions, so to speak. So it's easy to understand the German government's concern.

What do you think? Should due process be the priority in this case? Or should we applaud Germany for the courage to stand up against this worrisome, uh, minority religion?

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.

**Re: Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?**
by Vim Patior on Saturday May 06, @09:44AM

Interesting post!

Disregarding any position that the government of Germany may or may not be sinking, I must tip my hat to the greatness of Value and integrity that Germany is now expressing. If the U.S. could only borrow a small piece of this formula stand assured at what a better place it would be! Save that it has always been the concern of great nations to restructure and improve its many houses, and not to leave vulnerable its working structure to such infinitessimal shrouds of dust, however equal and imposing they are.

**Re: Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?**
by David R. Jones on Sunday May 07, @02:12PM

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Germany has a worrisome history of repressing minority religious points of view, going back at least to Lutheranism and the 30 years war. One can take the holocaust as a response to the genocidal nature of Jehovah himself and necessary to the acquisition of the Holy Land, “next year in Jerusalem” as the Seder prayer. Nonetheless I don't see how one can ignore or support such actions any more than treatment of women in Afghanistan and the Sudan, on religious grounds. Though it all does seem curiously karmic at times.

Love is the law, love under will.

David R. Jones aka ^333^ at #thelema on Undernet

Re: Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?\\
by Vim Patior on Sunday May 07, @04:58PM
So I take it, Mr. Jones, that you have no real position on the issue?\\
Tell me then, do you think scientology would actually qualify in Crowley's point of view or of other adept minds, as indeed a religion in the truer sense of the word?\\

Re: Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?\\
by Davy Jones on Monday May 08, @02:15PM
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.\\
Liber III taught me that most opinions are the flotsam of ego, not that I don't have them but I do take them for what they are. I assume, vide Liber 474, that they are usually the manifestations of unresolved duality and generally need to be synthesized into a new thesis that contains both aspects of the apparent antimony. Beyond that Scientology gets a lot of abuse, and the same ecclesiastical authorities that are now lauding Germany's stance were all too quick to either support or turn a blind eye to Hitler's final solution.\\
I have known quite a few Scientologists in my life and they have been to a person intelligent, tolerant, successful, clear about what they perceived to be their own wills and respectful of the rights and ideas of others, esp. in terms of other religious POVs. Were my thelemic brethren and sistern or our pagan cousins nearly so broad-minded I might view this problem differently, but sadly this is not the case. I can only judge rightly what I myself know or understand. I am loath to condemn Scientology on the testimony of others alone, esp. governments whose past performance in such matters is itself very suspect. Hearsay is a dangerous source of data to build ones premises upon and if we were to believe only those who condemn a religion from either external evidence or even personal negative experiences few amongst us would still be thelemites.\\
Love is the law, love under will.\\
David R. Jones aka
333 at #thelema on Undernet\\

Re: Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?\\
by Vim Patior on Tuesday May 09, @12:59PM
May be for good that to be spanked until you perform rightly. Obedience requires foremost of threatening circumstance.\\

Re: Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?\\
by Tim Maroney on Thursday May 11, @04:20PM\\
Do you use a random word generator to create your messages?\\

  • |Re: Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?\\
    by Mordecai Shapiro on Thursday May 11, @07:46PM

    A random word generator would have to in this case be drawing on a rather limited set of words. I think the “cut-up” technique is more likely to be the tool used to create “Vim's” messages.\\

**Re: Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?**
by Mordecai Shapiro on Tuesday May 09, @11:46AM

I'm not a supporter of Scientology. I think it makes exorbitant financial demands on its members, and what I know of its teachings does not impress me. That being said I strongly support the right of people to be defrauded and deluded so I think the German government's stand is wrong. The larger issue of religious freedom in government is more complicated. Does anyone expect that the Israeli government would not consider a job applicant's membership in Hamas to be relevant?

  • |Re: Should the U.S. Defend Scientology?\\
    by Grant Potts on Thursday May 11, @09:47AM

    Mordecai, your comment cogently captutes the complexity of religious freedom. For most the world, religious beliefs, practices, and values are more then “what we do with our personal time” and therefore spill over into realms like politics. At the same time, what seems at the heart of religious freedom is freedom of thought, something I must support, as a Thelemite.\\
    The specific question of Germany and Scientology seems even more complex. The German governments concern is that COS is waging a secret war to take-over the German government. Religious freedom aside, this reeks of the type of paranoia that has always served to build regimes of oppression at the expense of freedom–religious or otherwise. One of the questions this brings up is to what extent a government should act to curb these developments of power that might destroy freedom and to what extent in doing so it risks destroying the freedomin purports to protect.\\
    Another interesting aspect of this case is that through it the COS, which has always played the part of the baracuda is able to capitalize off the victim meme a bit and gain a good deal of sympathy from groups that normally would rather keep their distance.\\
    My own feelings on Scientology are mixed. I've met some very wonderful, tolerant Scientologists, though the majority of them displayed a calm fanaticism that troubled me, to the say the least. At the same time, I've found many examples of manipulative fanatics out of mainstream religions that never enjoy persecution from governments.\\

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