Friday, October 01, 2010

Insulting Scientology

It has been a tough week for Scientology.

But His Grace would like to know why it is perfectly in order for an MP to say that Scientology is 'intellectually difficult and religiously rubbish' but a councillor may not call it 'stupid'?

Do they not amount to the same thing?

Parliamentary privilege aside, why can the Roman Catholic convert John Gummer insult the sincerely-held beliefs of thousands of Scientologists, while anyone who dared to express the view that Roman Catholicism was 'intellectually difficult and religiously rubbish' would doubtless soon find themselves called a 'bigot'?

Is papal infallibility 'intellectually difficult and religiously rubbish'?

Is the Anglican Settlement?

Why should Tom Cruise and John Travolta be pilloried for believing in Lord Xenu while Yusuf Islam and Baroness Warsi may believe in Mohammed with impunity?

When it comes to state funding or tax subsidy of religious organisations, what constitutes a 'dangerous cult'?

Councillor John Dixon has now been cleared of breaching the code of conduct for councillors after he tweeted that Scientology was 'stupid'.

He had been reported to the standards and ethics committee earlier this year by the Public Services Ombudsmen for Wales. But members on the standards and ethics committee have found no evidence of a breach of the councillors' code of conduct, ruling out the possibility of a hearing for the case. The committee concluded Dixon was not acting in his capacity as councillor at the time.

Apparently he was tweeting 'in a personal capacity'.

Yet Mr Gummer clearly made his comments in his capacity as a politician.

What is it that MPs may say about religions that councillors may not?

One wonders if the standards and ethics committee would have absolved Cllr Dixon quite so quickly and absolutely if his comment had been directed at another minority faith group.

Perhaps we need a quota of Scientologists in Parliament.

26 Comments:

Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I'm not quite sure I get what you point is YG.

Scientology is no more a religion than the mafia.

1 October 2010 at 09:54  
Blogger Maturecheese said...

Perhaps we need a quota of Scientologists in Parliament.


why not, as parliament ceased to represent the people of this country some time ago.

1 October 2010 at 09:56  
Anonymous len said...

Scientology doesn`t strike me as being the stupidest religion(not that I agree with it) but there are some equally qualified.

Do M P`s have some sort of immunity for remarks that they make,in the House,perhaps?. Unless of course one insults the 'prophet'.

1 October 2010 at 10:05  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

There is no reason that Scientology, Christianity or Voodoo should be treated differently. They are all supernatural belief systems. If you believe in the supernatural you of course leave yourself open to ridicule. So Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Yusuf Islam and Baroness Warsi can be ridiculed for believing as they do.

What is a dangerous cult? Well dangerous applies to many belief systems, Islam, Catholicism, Voodoo. A cult is usually defined as being at the fringe of normal behaviour and relatively small in size, so Scientology is not a cult but it is certainly dangerous.

Sincerity should have nothing to do with it, as it cannot absolve the individual of responsibility for their actions. Lee Harvey Oswald may well have believed that he was “right” to kill JFK.

As regards tax and charitable status no belief system should receive special treatment. Charitable status should only be conferred on a “religious” organisation whose sole aim is improving welfare, human rights and the like.

What you are alluding to Cranmer are double standards; most of us feel free to criticise Scientology because it is alien but the most cosseted alien religion in the UK, Islam, is treated with kid gloves. Well I think its time for the gloves to come off, but that means exposing the coercive methods used, not just by Islam, but by many religions to ensnare the young, exploit the ignorant and often encourage discrimination.

1 October 2010 at 10:16  
Anonymous len said...

Graham Davis,
Gloves off by all means.
But you will find that radical Islam which is spreading rapidly by all accounts will have no truck with Atheists, Homosexuals, in fact everyone who will not 'submit ' to Islam.
This may be the price you have to pay for your' freedom 'from Christianity.
You had better start praying that Christianity prevails.
Sharia law is already being used in the UK.
50Yrs ago no--one would have thought this possible!

1 October 2010 at 10:39  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Scientology is no more a religion than a Star Trek convention is. It was conceived as a business and operates as a business - and a particularly ruthless one at that. The mafia could learn a thing or two from them.

Once again, the whole thing boils down to this: "If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal then follow him."

A nation cannot serve many gods. We must ultimately choose whom we will acknowledge as God. Syncretism can never work. In this respect - Saudi Arabia has it right. They have chosen which God they will serve and the regime they live under is a consequence of that. Historically we have chosen to acknowledge the God of Abraham, Isaac & Israel and consequently enjoyed freedom, liberty, prosperity and the rule of law.

With the onset of secular humanism as the dominant belief system and religious syncretism we seem to be suffering the worst of all possible worlds.

[Interesting to see that Mr Davis didn't include his belief system in the list of those that are dangerous when many of us would consider it the most dangerous of all].

1 October 2010 at 11:17  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Len said

This may be the price you have to pay for your' freedom 'from Christianity.

I’m not sure that the presence of Christianity is a bulwark against Islam. We are all in the firing line. The strength of my opposition to religion varies depending on which one. I would be the first to acknowledge that the CofE is by far the most benign and I share many of its values without believing in god. My objections are mainly from a secular perspective that it enjoys privileges that it does not deserve like the right of bishops to sit in the House of Lords. In an elected second chamber I am sure several bishops would be there by right and of so course I would have no objection.

Rebel Saint

You are so narrow minded as to regard only your belief as religion. What about the druids who ponce around Stonehenge at solstice or aboriginal ancestor worship in Oz, are they too just businesses or are they beliefs, however daft, that are as sincerely held as you own?

A nation should not serve any gods, leave that to individuals. And atheism is not a belief system. If belief in god did not exist then nether would atheism. It is like a vaccine, if there were no disease, the vaccine would not (need to) exist.

There is no belief in atheism, no guiding philosophy, nothing to inspire violence and no claims to a special status. Religious belief is a basic human right and provided it doesn’t try to claim special privileges, I have no objection to it.

But religion invariably tries to invade the public space so that is where it meets opposition from the likes of me.

1 October 2010 at 11:43  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Scientology is different from paganism or any other religion in that it is not a religion! As I said, it was conceived as a business idea and is operated as a business. If the creators of star trek decide to call Star Trekology a religion in order to sell more merchandise, it doesn't make it a religion.

A nation should serve God - and indeed every nation/person does serve a god. Whether their god is God or not is a different matter.

Atheism is not a belief system par se. However people who are atheists tend to also be humanists. i.e. Would you consider someone to be a true atheist if they believed in ghosts or their horoscopes?

As I say to you repeatedly ad nauseum. If we cannot agree on our very axioms then debating things with you from 1st principles will never work. That is why I wish you'd keep your views to your own blog as I cannot see the point in constantly commenting on a blog where you do not even agree with it's fundamental tenets. As I have said before it is a tedious & annoying as the Manchester City supporter who goes to the Manchester United supporter blog just to tell them that Manchester City are in fact the best team, and on every article about Manchester United you simply say "I don't know why you're even talking about this coz Manchester United are rubbish". Well if we thought that we'd join your supporters blog wouldn't we you dimwit? You may have noticed that not a single person has been converted by your proselyting yet.

1 October 2010 at 12:06  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Rebel Saint

Preaching to the converted is bit dull don’t you think?

1 October 2010 at 12:37  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

It seems to me that the chief question here is: why are there double standards?

Why is group ‘A’ protected and not group ‘B’?

To describe scientology as ‘intellectually difficult and religiously rubbish’ one must have a reference point in order to judge it – for John Gummer it may be Catholicism.

But as Judaeo-Christianity is driven from the public square (by laws framed by the Socialists and supported by the Coalition) the vacuum is filled by another belief system: ‘Political Correctness’.

Anthony Browne in ‘The Retreat of Reason’ defines PC-ness as:

‘Political correctness is an ideology that classifies certain groups of people as victims in need of protection from criticism, and which makes believers feel that no dissent should be tolerated.’

In other words as men reject the revealed values of Judaeo-Christianity they produce another set of values as a foundation upon which to decide what is worthy of protection and promotion. These values can promote or extinguish any issue those in power find expedient (this is the road that leads to Nazism and serfdom).

For example, the Royal College of Nursing adopts a politically correct position by stating its opposition to the recruitment of nurses from the Third World on the apparent moral ground that it would deprive the Third World of a valuable health resource.

The politically incorrect truth is that recruiting nurses from the Third World would suppress the pay and conditions of its own members.

Another example would be the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia published a draft report that detailed evidence of Muslims attacking Jewish people. The official and published report replaced ‘Muslim’ with ‘skinhead’.

As the lawyer Rosalind English once wrote commenting on a case that banned the broadcasting of a pro-life film:

‘It is often forgotten that in the great classic celebration of free speech, Milton's Areopagitica, Milton says, "Now you understand of course that when I speak of toleration and free expression I don't mean Catholics. Them we extirpate". The exclusion of the Catholic message in Milton's text is based on much the same rationale as the BBC's exclusion of the Pro Life Alliance…’

Let there be no mistake and let us mark this well: once the revealed values of Judaeo-Christianity are finally extinguished in this country then those in power will do as they will.

We are entering a dangerous phase in our rapidly collapsing democracy when the political elite decide what is and what is not allowed in the zone of free speech.

1 October 2010 at 12:41  
Blogger I am Stan said...

@Rebel Saint,

I suspect Mr Davis is seeking God,as the scales fall from his eyes the more he resist`s,he is reaching out to God in tears and with a trembling hand.

1 October 2010 at 12:48  
Anonymous Caedmon said...

Among the all-familiar frank exchanges of views over revealed religion there seems to have been forgotten perhaps the most insidious and vicious religion of all; its prophets are venerated, its warriors and evangelists have slaughtered millions in the name of its creeds, which have insinuated themselves into the consciousness of the general public through the media, over which it holds a pervasive and malign influence. Despite its hagiography and its faith, it offers no hope to the sick, the distressed and the dying, because it parasitically derives its benefits from the living. It violently hates anyone and anything that opposes it. It is a counsel of despair, and its name is Socialism.

1 October 2010 at 13:26  
Anonymous len said...

Mr Singh,(12:41)
This is exactly the scenario that faces us.I believe the situation you describe has been engineered to put power into the hands of a 'select'minority.When the public become aware of what is happening it will be too late.
As the E U tightens its grip on free speech ( in the interests of minority groups of course)it is able to impose its own will on the Population.(If you can control speech you can start to control peoples ways of thinking which is where we are at now!)

1 October 2010 at 13:44  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr len

“We are now entering the post-democratic age.”

Peter Mandelson

1 October 2010 at 14:03  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Your Grace would do well to read German. In fact I believe you once could. The BfV Counter-Intelligence Service and BKA Police Agency watch Scientology carefully as it buys up apartment buildings, organises homework clubs for children, and pursues an agenda through front organisations to recruit unsuspecting novices to the cult.

It is regarded with great suspicion for its cultish behaviour and surreptitious activities in harvesting unsuspecting recruits.

This country is so full of woolly thinkers that they failt to recognise how cults function and how rich cults buy influence.

1 October 2010 at 15:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See xenu.net

1 October 2010 at 16:54  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Interesting thought that we are returning to pantheism run by athiests .
As to scientology , no jesus , so must be missing somthing , father son and holy ghost replaced by buy add ons !

1 October 2010 at 17:22  
Anonymous I think therefore I thwam said...

Very good point made by Vox Day in a post made by him today:

"The atheists with whom I do have a problem, and for whom I regularly demonstrate a great deal of contempt, are the liars, the cheats, the deceivers, and the malicious. If one genuinely believes that religion is a crutch for the weak and psychologically needed, what does it say about those who are so eager to kick that crutch out from under those who clearly need its support? And, as an armchair intellectual, I find their willful ignorance of history, religion, and philosophy to be as astonishing as it is irksome. Intelligent? I don't even consider them to be educated. To claim that religion either causes war or is an important strategic element of war is to be every bit as ignorant as the apocryphal Flat Earth proponents so often cited; the significant difference being that the Religion Causes War Society not only exists but is even willing to expound their ludicrous and historically illiterate arguments in public."

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2010/10/mailvox-atheist-on-religion-survey.html

1 October 2010 at 17:27  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I have an extremely limited knowledge of Scientology, but what I have heard and read about it strikes me as utterly stupid.

This may sound like an unfair and stupid thing to say if I do not know anything about it, but what keeps me Christian is not so much about knowledge but what the Holy Spirit says to my heart. I have no creatures from another planet declaring that they are such and telling me how to conduct my life.

Its the idea of alien creatures contacting people and such that comes across as totally moronic. But who knows, maybe these aliens have decided that I am not worthy?

However, I don't generally go around pumping out my opinion about such things, but this seems like a perfect opportunity to say that I think Scientology is stupid.

1 October 2010 at 17:29  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

"Perhaps we need a quota of Scientologists in Parliament"

Perhaps we could see Scientologists on the panel of Question Time? This seems to be the accepted method for dispensing with stupid ideology.

1 October 2010 at 17:54  
Anonymous Voyager said...

but what I have heard and read about it strikes me as utterly stupid.

but extraordinarily lucrative as a means of running a corporation exempt from taxes which is why L Ron Hubbard created it.

I simply cannot believe how anodyne these comments are about a giant commercial fraud, but noone ever said the English were worldly-wise - they simply have no idea what is going on under their noses.....one day they will lose their country through sheer complacency

2 October 2010 at 07:51  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Voyager

I am Welsh, and Wales is a principality of England, so maybe you can label me English sort of.

Who are we going to lose our country to now, Aliens?

2 October 2010 at 08:04  
Blogger Oswin said...

Jared - retrieve the longbows from beneath the thatch; they don't like it up em' you know!

2 October 2010 at 15:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jared Gaites said...
I have an extremely limited knowledge of Scientology, but what I have heard and read about it strikes me as utterly stupid.
This may sound like an unfair and stupid thing to say"

Sorry, Jared, that last sentence hits the nail right on the head.

Unlike you, I have lots of knowledge and experience of Scientology (as well as the rumours and negative PR it has attracted from sad attackers), having first benefited from it in 1966.

It seems to me that ALL the contributors to these comments are in the same state as you - having heard "lots ABOUT". Pity they have never benefited from actual Scientology, as I have. From being a very insecure young person, with some alcohol "to keep me going", I became rapidly much more confident and outgoing, purposeful, and free in myself.

I have since survived quite a number of personal and business difficulties without becoming bitter or depressed, and have continued with my life optimistically. And have been able to help my 5 children and many others to make progress towards their life goals.

I have also had my disagreements with the CoS, but always balanced the overall good that they have achieved for me personally and in the wider world against the negative actions that have occasionally and temporarily burst forth. These actions are always taken up and corrected in due time).

The work done by CoS groups with education, drug rehab, and with getting prisoners OFF a life of crime is truly ground-breaking, in that the results can be counted, and ARE results, and stable.

A Scientologist

6 October 2010 at 17:33  
Anonymous serviced apartments said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

13 October 2010 at 14:51  
Blogger Hammy said...

I don't. Know a lot about. Politics or religion ,having spent two of my primary school years in a Catholic I. Have noticed that every religion tends to "educate " children at a young age.......this could be taken as brain washing.
A thing that bother s me is that the religion of a child appears to be chosen by the parent and so the child has no free choice of their beliefs.
Also I've read every comment on this page and a surprising amount reminded me of two fictional books I've read,1984 by George Orwell and a lesser known Cave rats by Kerry Greenwood(thisone features a specifically made up religion).

From both these books I've found that it is not people strongly believing in such things that's the danger but individuals using these people's beliefs to put themselves in high positions.

I've come to the conclusion that the only religion not dangerous is one without positions and a leveled ground(think round table)

This is coming from an athiest whos fed up with people squabbling over which is right or wrong, if the other person insists their right leave them alone,they wouldn't know better, people will believe anything if it is hammered into them at a young age (I mean santa clause was a marketing scheme for cola)

30 January 2012 at 12:42  

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