Saturday, 24 May 2008

Sometimes You Have To Call A Cult A Cult

IMAGE: via Enturbulation Forums

One 16-year old protester, in combination with the City of London Police, has unleashed a new round of bad publicity for the Church of Scientology (CoS) - by calling a cult a cult.

The decision to serve 'EpicNoseGuy', who took part in the fourth London Project Chanology protest against the CoS on May 10th, with a court summons for displaying the sign shown in the image above has led to unprecedented UK mainstream media coverage of Anonymous' cause.

Along with articles in the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and on the BBC website, the incident has led Guardian columnist Marina Hyde to write an incisive comment article on the campaign against the CoS.

In the piece, which was published in today's paper, Hyde lashes the cult, pointing out the 'kookiness' of the Scientology belief system, in which "the intergalactic alien tyrant Xenu exiled manifold individuals to Earth in special craft - which looked exactly like DC-8s...", and raising questions about the relationship between the 'Scientology community' and City of London police:

"Two years ago, at the opening of the Scientologists' new £24m church, London's fourth most senior policeman made a speech praising them as a "force for good ... raising the spiritual wealth of society". Later that year, a freedom of information request revealed that City of London police had accepted thousands of pounds of gifts and hospitality from the church, including attending a charity dinner hosted by Tom Cruise." - Marina Hyde

The Crown Prosecution Service apparently determined after one day's consideration that it was "not in the public interest" to take 16-year old EpicNoseGuy to court over the sign.

Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that the Church of Scientology fits several of the dictionary definitions of a "cult", that as the families of Shawn Lonsdale and Lisa McPherson among others will attest it is dangerous, and that it was (as ENG explained to the City of London police) described as "sinister" and as "a cult" by Justice Latey in a London court in 1984...

Perhaps this had something to do with the interest in the case of the mainstream media, and of civil liberties campaign group Liberty - whose director, Shami Chakrabarti, described the prosecution as "barmy"...

Perhaps this had something to do with the renewed questions that would have been asked about the relationships between the City of London police (who served the summons in the first place) and the Church of Scientology, as revealed by a Freedom of Information request in 2006...

...Or perhaps it was all three?

The fifth London protest against the practices of the Church of Scientology, named Operation Sea Arrrgh, will take place on Saturday 14 June.

1 comment:

Roger Thornhill said...

A dangerous cult?

The kid can't spell.