Scientology, Free Speech and "Religious Persecution"
«Scientologists often claim that the heated
"criticism" directed at them, on
alt.religion.scientology or elsewhere, is actually
religious persecution or hate crime. Scientology publications
Freedom magazine often blame the government or the
mental health profession for the Church's troubles, and make a
point of mentioning Scientology's religious status, supporting
their point with quotations from experts in religious studies.
It's true that governments and doctors aren't perfect, but the
Scientologists' argument is a red herring for two reasons.
• Critical speech is not necessarily persecution. The same bills of rights that
grant religious freedom also grant the freedom to voice opinions, even
controversial or unpopular ones.
• According to the Constitutions of Canada or the United States, people have a
right to believe whatever religion they want, whether it is right or
wrong. But the way people behave as part of their religious practice is not
necessarily protected. The Scientologists obscure this important distinction.»
Warning! The Bridge is Out
«Just when you think there is no depth the ambulance-chasing cult will not sink
to, they surprise you by going even further. The Church of Scientology has taken
"Casualty Contact" to a whole new low.
During the September 14, 2001 prayer service at the Washington
National Cathedral following the horrific terrorist attack on
the World Trade Center and Pentagon,
Fox News displayed a
scrolling infoline at the bottom of the television screen. While
ironically warning viewers that the "NYPD warns of cruel scams,"
this infoline subsequently offered an 800 number for "National
Mental Health Assistance: 800-FOR-TRUTH."
As can be seen from
official page at the official Dianetics Web site,
www.dianetics.org, 800-FOR-TRUTH (800-367-8788) is a
well-known and long-established marketing number for the Church
of Scientology. Clearly with a misleading name such as "National
Mental Health Assistance," they were attempting to confuse the
public into thinking they were reaching the
National Mental Health
Association, a legitimate non-profit organization addressing
mental health issues.»
Scientology: The Amoral Cult
«The Church used to practice something called
"Casualty Contact." Scientology ministers would look through the
papers for accidents or obituaries and then contact the family
of the victim and invite them into Scientology for "comfort."
When a lawyer does this, we call it "ambulance chasing."
In July 1988, the Church of Scientology of Canada offered one
million dollars to the United Way and other charities in return
for immunity from prosecution. At the time numerous
Scientologists were on trial in Ontario, Canada for theft,
possession of stolen documents, and breach of trust in Canada's
own Snow White trials. The Ontario government and the charities
all rejected the offer. If Scientology truly cared about the poor, why had they not donated so much
they were in legal trouble?»