This is a guest post from the Church of Scientology UK Media Relations Team
You may have heard that the Crown Prosecution Service has given the Church of Scientology the same legal protection as other mainstream religions like Christianity and Islam. This means that people who attack, abuse and threaten our faith can be prosecuted under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.
This is a long overdue decision and great news for Scientologists in the UK and beyond. For too long the UK CoS has looked on with envy at Jews and Muslims enjoying full legal protection from assault and discrimination, whilst we Scientologists have been laughed at in the street, turned away from shops, bars and hotels, suffered restricted access to job opportunities and civil justice, had the name of our founder L. Ron Hubbard denigrated and traduced and our places of worship desecrated by Scientologophobic graffiti, demonstrations and arson attacks.
We all remember the shameful behaviour of the London teenager who displayed a hurtful and abusive placard outside our St Paul’s HQ. This thug held up a sign that described Scientology as a ‘dangerous cult,’ causing severe emotional distress to those who share our faith. Although the Metropolitan Police issued a summons to the boy the CPS were unable to prosecute him. Now, under the new legal protections, any similar ‘free speech martyrs’ will receive the justice they deserve.
No doubt the usual shrill atheist critics will be out in force complaining that Scientology does not deserve legal protection. Yet Scientology has customs and traditions dating as far back as 1954. It has brought enlightenment and succour to many different people over tens of years. Scientology has eight million followers around the world, including Mission Impossible star Tom Cruise. Yes, Tom Cruise. He starred in Mission Impossible. What have you done?
Some people say that the theories of Scientology are too bizarre to enjoy legal protection. But all faiths have aspects that seem ‘weird’ to people who are not open minded and spiritually aware. The idea that millions of years ago an evil alien overlord, called ‘Xenu,’ purged his galaxies of the surplus population, brought the exiled aliens to Earth and killed them with hydrogen bombs with the result that the discorporated alien souls have inhabited humans ever since as ‘body thetans,’ while Xenu himself remains alive in a space mountain prison, might seem a little crazy if you are not on the right ‘operating level’. But, you know, Catholics believe in something called ‘transubstantiation,’ which means that their communion bread and wine represents the body and blood of Christ. I mean, they think they’re eating Jesus. Hello?
Our same ‘secular fundamentalist’ critics will tell you that there’s no proof of the Xenu story. (And keep it to yourself – most people have to pay millions of dollars to get that far!) But, at the end of the day, does this matter? Every culture needs its little myths and delusions so that people can take comfort and communities can remain stable. Plenty of children believe in Santa Claus. Similarly, Scientologists all over the world have gained insight, maturity and self-esteem through spending many years, and many thousands of dollars, having murdered alien souls excised from their bodies, finally attaining the status of ‘operating thetan’.
People don’t understand how devastating it can be to Scientologists when people try to take their illusions away. As one proud member has said: ‘If it is not a religion, then what did I do with my two hundred thousand dollars and my 27 years of association and all those hours of study and counselling?’
Like people of all faiths Scientologists want to help our communities and minister to the weak and poor. The Church of Scientology runs numerous programmes in the areas of education, substance abuse and mental health – without relying on the evils of psychiatry. We applaud this government’s groundbreaking work on engagement with faith groups, particularly in regard to service delivery: we hope to meet with senior ministers to discuss future involvement in the exciting new world of faith-based welfare. Dianetics – coming to a housing association or mental health unit near you!
There have been malicious and false allegations about Scientology in the past. Critics allege that the Church is responsible for tax fraud, burglary, assault, false imprisonment, libel, violation of labour laws, weapons violations, extortion, harrassment, esponiage, criminal neglect, practising medicine without a licence – the list is endless. Perhaps some mistakes have been made but we must remember that all such errors are the responsibility of errant Scientologist fundamentalists who have misinterpreted or perverted the peaceful intent of the Fair Game policy.
Above all, in this materialistic, decadent and consumerist age Scientologists deserve solidarity. They are being persecuted by the agents of US/Zionist imperialism, particularly the IRS and the neocon cartoon South Park. Our Church deserves leftwing support just as much as Islam.
To that end we are setting up a website called ‘Scientologophobia Watch’ where people can ‘name and shame’ those Scientologophobes (or ‘Suppressive Persons’ as we like to say) complete with photographs and, hopefully, street addresses.
Together to the stars!
‘I’m gonna sue you… IN ENGLAND!’