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Church of Scientology recommends Internet censorship

Move would protect it against "campaign of abuse" from Anonymous, and "misinformation and misrepresentation" in the media

The Church of Scientology has recommended Internet censorship as a method of defending itself against what it claims to be a constant campaign of abuse by the group Anonymous, and misinformation and misrepresentation in the media.

In its submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st century project, the organisation recommended that “Websites created with the primary purpose of inciting religious vilification shall be removed or their access to the Australian public restricted” and that restrictions be placed on “Religious Misinformation and Misrepresentation known or reasonably known to be untruthful, in the Media”.

It also advocates that the creators of Web sites whose primary purpose is the incitement of religious vilification shall be prevented from concealing their identity.

Explaining its recommendation to restrict or block access to such Web sites, the organisation claimed that the group Anonymous, currently uses the Web site www.whyweprotest.net and others to “orchestrate… raids and other anarchist activities against the Church.”

For its part, Anonymous says that the “Church of Scientology, while claiming to be a religion and functioning as such, behaves strikingly like a business and cult”, its site says. “The ‘fair game’ policy, for example, is responsible for the harassment of numerous scientology critics over the years.”

In its submission, the Church argues that these Web sites are not legitimate forums, but rather “have as their central purpose to act as a forum for Anonymous members whose sole goal is to ‘destroy’ our Church for what they consider to be the ‘good of mankind’ and for their ‘own enjoyment.’”

“We have identified that such websites play a major role in the ongoing hate campaign against our Church and their removal or a restriction of access and of content would play a major role in preventing further religious vilification against us,” the submission reads.

While the Church recognises the importance of freedom of speech in a democratic society, it does not believe that a “constant campaign of misinformation and misrepresentation of our beliefs in the media should be tolerated”.

“It is recommended that a law be enacted to prevent the dissemination of antireligious propaganda in the media, which is based on unfounded hearsay and either known or reasonably known to be untruthful,” the submission reads. “Such dissemination shall be the subject of a civil penalty provision in favour of the defamed Church, and/or its individual parishioners if they are individually named or otherwise identified.”

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Comments

Anonymous

1

Crazy lunatics.

So basically a blasphemy law?

Anonymous

2

Do unto others ...

The German courts have ruled that Scientology IS a cult. They act like a cult. They treat their members (and non-members) the way a cult does.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

A religion would be hapy to debate their beliefs, not simply shut down any dissent.

Anonymous

3

Do unto others ...

The German courts have ruled that Scientology IS a cult. They act like a cult. They treat their members (and non-members) the way a cult does.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

A religion would be happy to debate their beliefs, not simply shut down any dissent.

Anonymous

4

Church of Scientology recommends Internet censorship

The Church of Scientology is a repressive and menacing organisation, and is a "church" by naming only. It has an internal mandate of control over the lives of members and members are pressured into breaking all ties with non-members.

Critics are intimidated, followed, have private detectives and smear campaigns set against them.

All this is well documented.

They are an organisation that appears to misuse as well as use any law available to pursue their interests.

Cowcakes

5

Apart from Scientology like most religions, being a business masquerading as a religion if censorship "...that restrictions be placed on “Religious Misinformation and Misrepresentation known or reasonably known to be untruthful, in the Media”, was put in place surely that would censor all religious sites on the internet. After all is not all religion misinformation and misrepresentation?

Anonymous

6

So Called Freedoms

What does all this mean... i see 2 sides of the coin here ... on one side you have the church of Scientology asking for all the propaganda and disinformation to stop, but how do you enforce such a thing without crippling our freedoms just a little bit more. on the other side you have organizations which in its nature has been set up to lie and misinform as many people it can reach to protest Scientology.

Very interesting .. as far as i know Scientology has been a practicing religion for 60 odd years, i have know a few Scientologists and they seem pretty sane to me looking from a non biased point of view, not some freaky cult.

johnny

7

scientology why dont we censor them?

lets censor scientology if anything.

Anonymous

8

I'll swap you scientology

when scientology stops fair gaming, defaming and suing others out of existence then I'd be happy to tell them who I am when I publicly criticise them.

really

9

If You Say You ARe

If you want to stop something, come out and tell us all about it... The way to the truth is to tell the truth... I say if your a tax free organisation that's for the benefit of the community and you want the benefits that come with... open up and tell us what's really going on...

Anthony

10

Best use for Internet filtering

If this Internet filtering ever comes in, then its very first use should be to block business related 'cults' that spread their propaganda based on some 'religious' ramblings of a bad sci-fi writer.

esteven

11

If They're For It, Then I'm Against.

If the Loony Scientologists support censorship, then I'm definitely against it. Otherwise we would have to censor them as a terrorist organisation.

Anonymous Coward

12

And this...

Is why we don't need internet censorship in Aus.

Politicians become bound to special interests, christian senators and here we are.

Though thankfully, the church of scientology is dubious at best. They certainly are not going to sway any hearts of minds.

(L Ron Hubbard, *snigger*, he was not even that good a sci-fi writer)

Anonymous

13

It is so funny..

To see a scientology biased comment from an Anonymous poster.
You say "on the other side you have organizations which in its nature has been set up to lie and misinform as many people it can reach to protest Scientology."

How do you know whether its misinformation or not until you have paid the substantial amounts of money to be allowed to fully discover all of scientologys teachings?

Anonymous

14

Religion, by nature should be open source and be available to the public.

By concealing their beliefs as a matter of trade secret or intellectal property, will further lead to speculation, misinformation and misrepresentation.

Open up or shut up - pick one.

Terry

15

What happened to the filter?

I don't support Scientology, nor do I support the group anonymous or anyone like them, I do however believe that they all have a right to have their say and that neither side should be shut down simply because their agenda opposes the other.

But all that is beside the point, the filter was promoted during the election campaign as something to protect our children online, this has article has nothing to do with child protection but rather strictly on political censorship.

I have no doubt that everyone has something they are offended by or have opposing views of somewhere on the internet, it is absurd to even consider blocking those sites simply on that basis, and it's not what the filter was originally intended for.

Anonymous

16

Why We Protest

Terry,

Anonymous protests to warn people of the documented human rights abuses enabled by the Church of Scientology.

The goal of "Anonymous", as you call them, is to stop those abuses.

This attempt at censorship is an attempt by the Church of Scientology to prevent knowledge of these abuses and its fraudulent practices spreading.

Terry

17

Anonymous

I think you missed my point, I don't really care about what the group Anonymous (or whatever you want to call them) does and don't support their cause, but at the same time I don't care about or follow Scientology either.

I do however care that we live in a country where both of them should be able to have their say even with their opposing views. The forced shutting down of either side is political censorship, and that is the bottom line here.

Of course as per my post below the original intention of the internet filter was for child protection online, things like what is being suggested here have nothing at all to do with child protection and everything to do with censorship.

Anonymous

18

Weirdo's

Scientology Pty Ltd should not be allowed to hide behind religious laws of any kind. It is a tax dodge business pure & simple.

Brendan

19

Hah

Scientology supporting the cause of Internet censorship doesn't do the cause itself any favours.

Anonymouse

20

Crazy Lunatics posting here

Missing the point are we? There is censorship and discrimination and reduction of human rights all over the place. Is it every okay? The unfortunate truth is YES, there is a place for it. For example, slander/libel in the media does have the possible effect of unjustly ruining someone's reputation and thus affecting their livelihood. Thus there are laws. Discrimination exists where immigration is harder for countries that are found to often violate immigration rules and get a short term visa, while really intending permanent migration. Thus their countrymen get a harder time at the visa office due to the dishonesty of some (not all!) earlier immigrants. Human rights are taken away from criminals. They are made to live in a certain place, can't have mobile phones, etc. No one (who is sane) disagrees with the above. The more decadent the society, the more we need such laws. For what decent man would live dishonestly, commit crime and slander and libel people? Would you respect such a person and "fight for their rights?" Their right to what? To kill, maim, slander? Hitler did such. Are you on the side of such people? I'm not saying that Scientology's suggestions are spot on. But anarchists out there saying everyone should be free to do what they please aren't right either.

Terry

21

Calm down

Oh please, I'm posting saying that both Scientology and the group Anonymous should have freedom online without political censorship and now you're posting the anti-Scientology crap here and then having a go at me implying I would support Hitler.

I said I don't support your group and I don't support your cause, that doesn't automatically mean the oppose is true and I support everything you've just attacked me with. I hate to say it but if that is the attitude that the group Anonymous is presenting then it's no wonder Scientology is calling for you to be blocked online.

Calm down from your rant, it is illogical and ludicrous, and all you're achieving is giving your vigilante group a worse name then it currently has.

Terry

22

Hang on..

Hang on for a second, I've just reread your comment a few time, are you saying you're in support of filtering the group Anonymous because of the views it represents? It took a few more reads of your post to try and get a grasp of what you were trying to say.

I don't believe either group should be filtered, the filter was intended for child protection, what we are talking about here is political censorship. No matter how much you oppose the views of something else, provided it doesn't break our laws (which in this case neither does) there is no reason for it to be censored.

We don't live in a nanny state, we don't need people such as yourself placing your opinions of what people should and shouldn't be allowed to see and do. If people want to join Scientology, then so be it, if they want to join Anonymous, then so be that too. But imposing restrictions on the ability to do either (or even for someone trying to research either) is a cut into our freedoms. And if this suggestion was to actually occur it opens the door for more worse censorship and controls.

Anonymous

23

wow

Scientologists, stalk members, threaten innocent people and try and stop members leaving. They are constantly suing people for ridiculous cases, clogging up the legal system. Their beliefs and practices are only open to those whom have money, and now they want internet censoring, not to stop child abuse but to protect themselves.

Anon have every right to protest and voice an opinion. They have a right to freedom of speech just as scientology apparently have the right to not pay tax and charge their followers to learn the secrets of a supposed open religion, and sue and stalk people. All groups have a right to protest, and say what they think. This filter no longer just filters child abuse...but it stops freedom of speech, and limits our rights. They say they want to stop vilification...and yet this filter is doing that...stopping other groups and religions and taking their rights away and only allowing those whom are deemed fit according to christian and political leaders. This is a major breach of human rights and freedom of speech, one that I will not be supporting.

Spagman

24

LOL the irony goes deeeeeep

"Religious Misinformation and Misrepresentation known or reasonably known to be untruthful"

Umm, hello Church of Xenu, that's what churches do. Most of what's in the bible, and your own beliefs is "reasonable known to be untruthful". Perhaps we should simply block all religious sites to be safe.

Matt Burgess

25

Freedom of Speech misunderstood

My favourite paragraph is this one:

While the Church recognises the importance of freedom of speech in a democratic society, it does not believe that a “constant campaign of misinformation and misrepresentation of our beliefs in the media should be tolerated”.

Actually - yes it should. That's exactly what Freedom of Speech is about. That the government should make no laws that impede the free communication of the people.

Anonymous

26

heh

Get rid of all religions completely and I bet the world would become a better place

Defier123

27

Is there a nondisclosure agreement to accept scientological God?

Mayhaps this could be the reason behind the persecution, lawsuits, and harassment of former members. I didn't know God was the IP of the chosen, rich, few. "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Buying absolution. The only way to salvation is through one's bank account? Purchase your way into heaven? Is there a set price for enlightenment? If your a bit short, is there, a give a penny take a penny, bowl? "It is easier to fit a camel through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

If this censorship carries forth. Since all scientology aspects are suppressed, oppressed and repressed, how can we know what is truly a slanderous lie, so we can censor it? Or do we censor the truth also, if it reflects scientolgy in a bad light?

God seems to be about equality, and full disclosure. He told the apostles to spread his word to all the earth. I think God wants us to make uncensored, informed, choices. Not excuses.

Anonymous

28

Scientology is for the mentally weak

I would love nothing more than to see scientology banished from all human minds.

Anonymous

29

That's rich....

Anonymous called themselves anonymous and created a website based on anonymity to avoid Scientology's Fair Game policy where the cult smears, litigates and attacks its detractors into silence. Scientology is a dangerous cult and now they're whining because they can't use their smear tactics to get rid of their antagonist? Boo hoo. Anyone who thinks Scientology isn't a cult needs to talk to a victim of their disconnect and fair game policies. If you are a critic and they know who you are they will go to any lengths to destroy you.

Ron Jacobs

30

Scientology is a criminal org., NOTHING less. They harass people that leave them and harass people they are trying to recruit for there dirty deeds(criminal acts).They are famous for FRAUDS of all kinds, but go much deeper into crime than most of you could imagine.From mild petty crimes to violet crimes such as murder...And yes, they are into child porn big time. This part is there criminal core and are large and probably the biggest crime ring in USA, if not the world. Even ex-cult members do not know how deep they are into crime. The gang stalking is to recruit you. they do life backwards....as you and I.
Instead of asking you to join, they harass you UNTIL you join., NO asking here !!!.. I truly dont know whom is treated worse, members or victims.I am a victim, I live in no fear zone. Ask a gangstalking victim, they know what i mean !! Scientology is a wicked,wicked org. There is no religion involved.It was only to get tax relief....Bring your own religion, is there motto !! Thats why victims find it hard to point a finger at a single org..They can claim mormon,baptist, wicca, dont matter !!!!!come one, come all !!

Pamela Clark

31

Please! The Church of Scientology just wants to shut-up anyone who knows anything about their many crimes.Religion has absolutely nothing to do with the "Church" of Scientology, it is simply a "front" that was formed by a group of criminals to launder the money from their financial fraud and internet thefts and get a tax deduction and suck in more suckers!

Ray Jaco

32

Crowley and Hubbard ??? Now you tell me if a religion ????

MK ULTRA/Scientology/CIA..Documented... Now you tell me if Scientology is a religion ?????

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