Welsh councillor gets hassle for labelling Scientology “stupid”

The New Humanist blog is one of many web sites reporting on a fracas involving criticism via Twitter of Scientology (Welsh councillor in trouble for calling Scientology “stupid” on Twitter ). The synopsis of this story is that

When Cardiff councillor John Dixon visited London last year to buy a wedding ring for his wife to be, a stroll past the “Dianetics and Life Improvement Centre” on Tottenham Court Road (just round the corner from our office, as it happens) prompted him to make the following quip on Twitter:“I didn’t know the Scientologists had a church on Tottenham Court Road. Just hurried past in case the stupid rubs off.”

This has appeared to generate a bit of a problem for poor John Dixon, as the “Church” of Scientology made a complaint to the Welsh public service watchdog. As a consequence Dixon’s facing disciplinary action.

Problem is, as someone who’s read Russell Miller’s biography of Scientology’s founder L. Ron Hubbard (the wonderfully titled Bare Face Messiah), I’m rather inclined to agree with Dixon. It’s also why I place quotation marks around “Church”, and why I believe Scientology is complete claptrap and an exercise in generating a huge income. Herewith my modest contribution to the Streisand Effect.

On the other hand (and in a spirit of even-handedness), I suggest the core beliefs of most established religions are equally loopy.

(Originally posted at flies&bikes)

CPS protection for Scientology?

For all that I despair about the dusty old mediaevalism of most extant religions, some recent efforts really are beyond the pale.

Dianetics - launched in "Astounding Science Fiction", 1950
Dianetics - launched in "Astounding Science Fiction", 1950

Scientology, a money-making religion set up on the back of Dianetics, a cod-psychology system devised by L. Ron Hubbard, a second rate SF writer has according to reports at the Mail online been offered CPS protection under hate laws (CPS gives Scientologists same legal protection as mainstream religions).  You can also read The Freethinker’s take on this story –Scientology to get religious law protection in the UK.  From the Mail Online:

The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that anyone who attacks Scientology can be prosecuted under faith hate laws.

The move will for the first time provide the controversial Church of Scientology – described by some as a cult – the same protection as other mainstream religions.

Critics of the organisation, whose members include Tom Cruise and John Travolta, attacked the decision last night, saying it would encourage Scientologists to push for official recognition in Britain.

I would recommend those in favour of such an act of stupidity to read Russell Miller’s biography of L. Ron Hubbard, Bare-Faced Messiah.  It is very informative on the nature of Scientology and how it came to be set up.