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Google has murdered the AdSense account run by one of the web's most influential anti-Scientology sites. Yesterday, the search giant cut off all ads served to Enturbulation, a fledgling site dedicated to promoting activism against the Church of Scientology and all its related organizations. This could have something do with …
Well this is only going to fuel anonymous (remember it all started over censorship).
So Here is my guess, either:
a) Goggle is actually run by scientologists or has a few at high levels in the organisation. (They are being a little selective here there are a number of groups that use youtube and or adsense that are strongly opposed to to the ideas of others)
b) Scientology have some very very good lawyers, with a case, and google are taking the easy route out.
c) google are worried that anonymous will take their actions beyone peaceful protest and don´t want to encourage their activities
d) The evil lord Xenu has a holiday home in Cupertino
I guess it´s b) which is encouraging...... it means that scientology, after years of tuning their practices, only has legal recourse against protestors... ok so it means that the web site is a bit skint but the movement continues.... they have no effective answer... a scientology lawyer is not going to be able to stop the internet or people turning up to legally protest.
As for google.... hmmmmm lets theorise....I´m Shell or Exxon or Monsanto ....I complain to google that my ads are going on the greenpeace site... or that greenpeace are engaging in "advocacy against any individual, group, or organization."..... I hate to say it but this is a bit of a president.....
How about Microsoft and <fill in the gap>.....
It´ll all end in tears......
I'm starting to think that maybe Anonymous should start picketing YouTube and Google, to start asking these questions about the suspicious favoritism Google shows for Co$, in a public forum.
I've written to YouTube several times asking about their not banning the Co$ account, when it is demonstrably guilty of the same TOS infringement that got Mark Bunker permanently suspended. They simply don't answer. They'd have to be asked these questions more publically, more visibly, so that they'd HAVE to address it, to avoid negative publicity.
I'd always had a positive image of Google, and YouTube, prior to these incidents. I think I was simply naive to think that their "Do No Evil" motto was anything more than empty gum flapping for PR purposes.
The joys of keyword matching. Enturbulation should be the ones to feel offended. The BNP did.
The same type of problem will affect users, rather than websites, with Phorm. Mine’s the one with pockets stuffed full of anti-Phorm leaflets.
Thank you for the article, much appreciated. I'm one of the founding co partners of enturbulation.org and just wanted to point out something in the article that is somewhat misleading. For the record Mark Bunker has no connection whatsoever to enturb in either creation or running of the site.
Whereas his excellent documenting of the cult has been and still is an inspiration to us, that is as far as the connection to us goes. I'm sure Mr Bunker would also agree.
Scientology also stalk, frame and ruin the lives of those that publicly speak out against it - and don't wear a mask. Criminals don't hide their faces behind masks. People that don't want to have their lives ruined by criminal organisations (read: Scientology) hide their faces behind masks.
Criminals also show their faces when committing crimes (I drive over the speed limit while not wearing a mask... oh noes!), does this also mean that people that don't wear masks are criminals? Using this logic, Scientologists are criminals.
Thanks for the comment tamphex, it's good to know.
There is no forum in the world that would not violate Google's prohibition against advocacy against ANY person, organization, etc.
OSAMA BIN LADEN IS A TERRORIST: no good
HITLER WAS A TERRORIST: no good
HITLER WAS THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED, AFTER OSAMA BIN LADEN: this is perfectly fine under Google's policies.
Shame on you Google, supporting cults. (another violation)
I mean, okay, Google had to do something. However, I'm sure they could have found a way to only put adds which are not paid for by the CoS. This is a really lazy solution.
By the way, I don't really like the idea that they are choosing their partners in this way... Of course, they have every right to partner with who they choose, but in their position, it's not very far from censorship. Benevolent dictators, but dictators...
And the condition is insane| "Advocacy against any individual, group, or organization"? This covers all the political blogs about Hilrack Obinton...
I have had Google.com as my homepage forever...
Between this and Google's bow to China -- I'm thinking maybe Yahoo/Microsoft will be my new choice.
Through no fault of its own, Enturbulation.com has been subjected to scientology's advertisements showing on its site.
Is there no way to opt out on scientology's or Enturbulation's part regarding these ads?
What a shoddy service AdSense is! LOL! How... LOW TECH.
Google -- you disappoint in your inability to provide cutting edge service regarding advertising.
I wonder now how Yahoo and other portals handle this...
I'm off to check this out. Perhaps Google has lost its edge (not to mention its soul).
Not in the U.K it isn't. You see that .co.uk in the address bar?
While we're on the subject of criminals, I wonder if your world view enables you to see the number of criminal trials brought against the COS in various countries. To quote your own words, "They've chosen to use methods of criminals and that says all about them."
... seems to me that if this is some sort of conspiracy, then it fails miserably... all Google have really achieved is to provide Enturbulation with some high profile reporting...
I'd never heard of Enturbulation before today - and I just usually laugh at the whako's trying to sell me the Scientology crapola... but after reading this I think I'll troop on over to Enturbulation to see what all the fuss is about.... if Google were trying to reduce Enturbulations traffic, I think they picked a really stupid way of doing it...
"Anonymous people use masks which is what criminals do when committing crimes. They've chosen to use methods of criminals and that says all about them."
... that is really funny dont you think - considering that the leadership of the organisation "who would like to be known as a church" is ANONYMOUS!
USE YOUR OWN DEFINITION ON YOURSELVES BEFORE APPLYING ON OTHERS!
Sorry everyone, felt like shooting a fish.
"Anonymous people use masks which is what criminals do when committing crimes. They've chosen to use methods of criminals and that says all about them."
The ecological movement chose to term themselves green which is the same colour that armies paint their equipment. They've chosen to use the methods of armies and that says all that needs to be said about them.
See, you're so brainwashed you can't even see that what you said has no bearing on, well, anything. Now sod off.
Anonymity online has a function, and it's working just fine, thanks. In my case it has *nothing* to do with Scientology and everything to do with posting from work.
Well it ain't you, obviously - you're offering to give money to whoever spots it. If it was you, you'd demand a tenner entrance, sorry <i>administration</i> fee and the prize would be a guaranteed new and un-read set of Mission Earth books, together with the scripts for same (written by J Revolting and T Crooze??)
Skull and crossbones cos, let's face it, it's not much short of pirating peoples "choice" of targeted ads...
(Although we prefer the term "Ethically Challenged Merchants" - more Politically Correct, and less likely to catch the attention of the Thought Police and/or, in this case, the Co$ 'Enforcement Crews'...)
>I hate to say it but this is a bit of a president.....
Which bit? A toe perhaps?
The word you want might be "precedent"?
>Re: Scientology is a religion
>Not in the U.K it isn't. You see that .co.uk in the address bar?
There's no official registry of what is or isn't a religion in the UK.
Scientology is not a charity.
Having seen Anonymous at work in Manchester, they don't look very pleasant the masks give a very sinister air, clearly intended to intimidate. The very things they accuse the scientologists of, I guess that's the idea. Mimicking the bad guy doesn't put you on a moral high ground though.
In 2002 the Co$ used the DMCA against Google to get the anti scientology site xenu.net delisted from the search engine.
What Google did was replace the search result with a copy of the DMCA letter, which contained the infringing URL. This basically meant that anyone who read the letter would know where to go anyway.
At the time I thought that was an extremely clever move on the part of Google as they had responded within the requirements of the law but not actually mad much difference. According to the Wikipedia entry (link above), it resulted in the search result for Xenu climbing 2 places in the Google rankings from 4th to 2nd, right behind the official Co$ site.
So, Google don't allow Adsense on sites that have "advocacy against any individual, group, or organization."
So, presumably that means any religious site that knocks any other religion or atheism. Pretty much all atheist sites (they're basically all against religious organisations). Every political site (reds vs blues etc). Every environmentalists site that is anti car/4x4. Every activist site of pretty much any description.
Oh, and @ Peter Smith you cult promoting numpty...
Look, they just cannot accept or admit Scientology is a group of people who are driven by self interest. At more than basic 'grunt' level it's just another form of Freemasonry, and frankly I don;t see Freemasonry as that much of a problem.
Just shut up about it being about little green men, invisible alien spirits and outer space wars. L Ron was a very good science fiction writer, so was Frank Herbert but you don;t see a bene gesserit sisterhood as a major "religion" for the non-nerdy amongst you see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bene_Gesserit.
It's all Tosh
Try Germany for example. And it's status in the UK is shaky, to say the least. Most religions are registered as a charity to save money, but not Scientology. Doesn't meet the fundamental criteria.
Not a mask, just dark glasses. Welders wear masks, so just arrest all of them, they must be criminals. And actors wear makeup to hide their true faces, so they should be arrested as well (especially Tom Cruise for some really bad films, and John Travolta for Battlefield Earth).
"...L Ron was a very good science fiction writer, so was Frank Herbert ..."
To even mention Herbert in the same sentence... [shudder].
Hubbard's wrist-breakers have no merit as any form of literature. At least Herbert could write and build a universe that hung together. Frankly, the B-G would be a better Church than Co$. They at least teach you wicked-cool martial arts and Voice...
I'm a Buddhist. You obviously know nothing about us - stop talking out of your arse you ignoramus. To put all of the major world religions in with this bunch of dangerous rich numpties just shows how little you know. Stop embarrassing yourself.
On another tack, if you want to see something really scary:
Here is the spoof (which isn't as funny):
Originally mentioned by dear Mitch Ben on his blog.
Who needs to go to the German government to get permission to believe something?
This is bizarre, if I want to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Praise be, may his noodly appendages fondle us all) I don't need the German or any other governments official sanction.
Dunno how the Germans can put up with that level of government interference in their lives.
Such evil evil people should not be allowed in such positions of power... Oh hang on we still have Bush... But yes people not supposedly running the country.
I'd be willing to be Google has:
a. Scientologists high up (not running the company though just in positions of power)
b. Their main tactic for dealing with critics is the use of lawyers, and with massive pockets to dig into, they've managed to strongarm many a large corporation and almost all of the smaller parties who speak out the truth against them.
To me it's inhumane that they can get away with the crimes they are.
if you join scientology, then fair play. If you were stupid enough not to check them out properly then you deserve everything you get. If you check them out before, and still join, well good luck. It's like those guys 'tombstoning' at the weekend. F*ck 'em, its basically Darwinism*. You get every thing you deserve. If you want to get pissed and jump of a cliff in to a couple of feet of water and you break your neck, deal with it.
*Which ironically, is probably not what the Co$ stands for.
(OoI, what is the Co$' stance on evolution?)
(also is the above apostrophe appropriate for pluralising a dollar sign that is replacing an S?)
This has nothing to do with a COS conspiracy, its all about Google trying to hide the failings of the adsence system that is being dragged into a very hot debate.
They are not anti Anonymous they are anti bad PR when its shown that their adwords can turn up on one of your competitors sites.
Fremasonry - a society with secrets, whose leaders public figures (http://www.ugle.org.uk/ugle/whos-who.htm).
Freemasonry - a society intended to help its own members, but only if that's morally correct and within the laws of the land.
Freemasonry - a society which donates hundreds of thousands to charity (second only in value after the National Lottery).
Fremasonry - a society that assures people, it is not a religion. The only religious membership requirment being a belief in a supreme being.
Bit of a crap comparison really. Idiot
As for the article, Google appear to be going the way of all corporations who all worship at the altar of the mighty greenback. Unlikely to care if it's hypocritical, as long as it's the path of most money.
I don't understand why google would do this, in Adwords there is a feature under the "tools" section of any adwords campaign, the tool is called "Site and Category Exclusion" where you can "Refine your Google Network targeting by preventing individual websites or categories of web pages from showing your ads."
So why didn't scientology simply specify this website as a site not to show ads on, or more importantly why didn't Google advise the church of scientology to do this.
Can the register please look into this.
That's a bit of rationalization on the part of Hubbard.
Actual story is at a science fiction convention a long time ago, he and Heinlein were getting drunk at the bar and they made a bet about who could write a book that would start a religion that would gather more adherents. Hubbard wrote his gawd awful long opus and Heinlein wrote "Time Enough For Love." After the fact, Hubbard realized what a great money making scam his stuff was so he pushed harder. I've tried to enjoy Heinlein's stuff and just never quite managed, but at least he had integrity and stuck with the craft.
Of course I have no facts or research to back this up - I'm relying on a bit of the so called common sense here to make this up:
I don't think it's a question of the German Government granting or denying permission to believe but more a question of denying the rights and privileges of a religion (probably on the whole tax breaks and stuff).
No more unfounded speculation now, just a bit of good old fashioned opinion.
Whether religions should be treated differently to any other type club is another matter entirely. Not that I'd be barred from the Freemasons for lack of belief in an overall cosmic force that is (I'm sure there's plenty of other reasons though) I'm just not sure religions can ever deliver the promise they make.
If we're talking about the original and underlying similarities between the big religions that's another matter - wonderful stuff at the core and hard to argue with in many respects. It's the men who've been in charge over the years who've pissed it all up and spoiled it.
If you want a good read then "The Great Transformation" by Karen Armstrong would do you well. I just wish a few fundamental Jews, Christians and Muslims would read it so they could learn what their fundamentals actually are!
That google is agressively helping to shape reality and censor the internet in favor of a tremendously destructive cult reveals that we must all think of a way out of the google trap. Google has proven they are evil, and cannot be our informational gatekeepers, unless we want to wind up in a 1984 world.
First China, now the USA. Google hates people, and loves large countries and corporations who give them money. Nothing new, they just carry things to an insane extreme. The "Don't be evil" mantra has become a joke. I, for one, have switched my prime search engine. I also refuse to click any adsense adds, ever.
"(OoI, what is the Co$' stance on evolution?)
(also is the above apostrophe appropriate for pluralising a dollar sign that is replacing an S?)"
You don't use an apostrophe for pluralising, you use it for the possesive.
The rule is thus:
add apostrophe-s. (Even if the singular word ends in s.)
Julian -> Julian's ego.
Julian Fellowes -> Julian Fellowes's ego.
(Julian Fellowes went off on one about this on his atrocious little grammar panel quiz.)
regular plurals ending in S: add apostrophe.
Irregular plurals not ending in S: add apostrophe-s.
two dogs -> two dogs' bones
people -> people's homes
>more a question of denying the rights and privileges of a
>religion (probably on the whole tax breaks and stuff).
Appears to be correct, there are protections for religions in Germany to prevent religious discrimination and such like - due to the history obviously.
This however opens up the same problem what if a new government got in there and decided that Judaism wasn't a religion? Which is presumably the purpose of the anti-discrimination law in the first place.
As it stands it's already resulted in scientologists being discriminated against on the grounds of their beliefs (Tom Cruise had issues during the filming of Valkyrie) and ridiculed on the basis that "it's not a religion".
Certainly the big religions are all rooted in the same Judaic tradition, religions falling outside that area can quickly fall foul of religious laws. The UK's "is-it-a-religious-charity" test includes the requirement that there be a god figure. Many religions including mainstream ones like types of Bhuddism would fall foul of this.
I think it's probably best for governments to keep out of this stuff.
Certainly the idea that a government tells you whether ones beliefs constitute a religion or not is abhorrent.
In the same way that confidence tricksters are discriminated against on the grounds that their belief that stupid people owe them a living?
Religions at least have a veneer of doing "Good Works" and responisibility to and engagement with Society. Scientology is an intrinsically selfish "belief system" (both on an indivdual basis since it concentrates almost solely on self-improvement and on an organisational scale since all its members works are for the Church alone) and contributes nothing to society, even extracting worth from society in the form of the people they isolate.
One can see on the real life examples that the Govt. involvement can bring either positive or negative results. Consider extremes on both sides:
US where Govt. keeps out of it almost completely: idiotic cults (including COS) pop up and flourish, many ending in tragedies and/or mass murder/suicide (US based cult has the lead in the grim death record).
Russia where Govt. tied itself strongly to one religion (I am keeping here to the semi-Western style democracy and not going to religious states around the world, where this discussion does not apply anyway): Cults are suppressed but so are the genuine religious movements that pose no threat.
I personally see the German model as middle-of-the-road, best though not perfect solution. If laws are still similar to what I remember, tests COS would fail there are forcible linking of the status in the church with the moneys given and lack of openness of the church teachings to the outside world. Clear markings of the cult.
In some ideal world Govt. wouldn't need to be involved but considering that most democratic govt's give churches some special status, some minimal responsibility needs to be maintained as well.
Couldn't this be something to do with the major hackage of Bulletin boards? Long story short, a board I use was over-run. All users, mods and admins had their permissions reset to prevent them posting. All posts were replaced by some vomit inducing pictures - and links to Enturbulation.
Word is, that was not an isolated incident. Apparently there were quite a few places had the same problem. That would have produced a huge number of complaints about Enturbulation.
I must drink beer.
Beer is the mind-killer.
Beer is the little death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my beer.
I wil permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it is has gone past I wil turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the beer has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
As your new Kwisatz Haderach, I will cease melange shipments to the Co$. ;)
So, I guess the Greens and Libertarians are successfully screwed one more way now. We USians can't be against the Democrats and Republicans screwing the people and defecating on the Constitution of the US and get AdWords revenue to pay for our sites and our political movements? What's next, no bitching about the news media covering Paris and Britney instead of the news, or your ads get cut?
"Certainly the idea that a government tells you whether ones beliefs constitute a religion or not is abhorrent."
Well the main problem here is that being a religion has certain benefits not available to ordinary organisations. Why in this case coouldn't anyone make up thier own religion and then claim a tax free status based on that. Or do we have a panel of "other" religions deciding which belief system can be classed as religion, I am sure that would go down well!
There has to be a definition or list of acceptible religion for governments to operate with, either that or remove all the benefits of being a religion and make them just an ordinary organisation subject to ordinary taxes and rules.
>Religions at least have a veneer of doing "Good Works" and responisibility
>to and engagement with Society.
Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't, I don't think this is a defining characteristic of a religion but of a charity.
The US cult problem should perhaps result in laws that control the illegal activity rather than saying whether or not the activity is a religion.
Perhaps these cults set up in the US because they can, the US is a very free country compared to many places, I doubt Saudi or Iran would tolerate these groups forming. On a lower level there are fewer in France and Spain perhaps because of the homogeneity of belief.
>not going to religious states around the world, where this discussion does not apply anyway
Why doesn't it apply to fully religious states? That's the extreme end of the spectrum, not the Russian one.
Your description of Scientology is of a pyramid scheme rather than a cult, I'm not arguing with that, but there are laws covering that in most countries. Perhaps religious suppression isn't required, rather that the law is enforced.
Cults aren't inherently bad, I know a guy who is a priest in a fundamentalist christian sect, while I don't follow his beliefs (very definitely atheist), he is not a bad person.
BTW "many ending in tragedies" s/many/some/ there's a lot out there you never even hear about.
Well there are more than one thing related to this.
1. The German government does not stick its nose into what you are or what you are not believing. What it does is to have a regulated tax system which is used to classify what constitutes what kind of organisation for tax purposes. This means that some organisations which would like to be recognized as 'churches' do not fulfill the criteria. It does NOT mean that people are 'verboten' to believe what they want. You are perfectly free to believe in pasta monster when in Germany without any problems or 'discrimination' per se.
2. The reason for why the 'church' of Scientology is not allowed to act freely in Germany is because its activities have been classified to be criminogenic after the organisation several times have appeared in german courts. This is not for religious reasons at all but for their organised criminogenic activity. In the same way that organised crime and terrorist organisations are 'discriminated' against in modern society.
If google has a single brain cell I would hope not.
I could (if I had the tech. ability) hack a board and link to hotmail with tubgirl. Doesn't mean MS had anything to do with it.
Its one of the problems Anonymous has (no centralized leadership and membership), and its probably been exploited by the Co$ a thousand times.
I could also goto a 10's of website that require no registration but allow me to enter a username (el reg does not) and make my username 'Caroline' and spout all manner of hateful things about religions, races etc. Doesn't mean you did it jsut because it was done in your name (disclaimer, i am NOT going to do that).
"As it stands it's already resulted in scientologists being discriminated against on the grounds of their beliefs (Tom Cruise had issues during the filming of Valkyrie) and ridiculed on the basis that "it's not a religion"."
Actually this is just not true: he was not discriminated because of his beliefs - he was 'discriminated' because he is a member of a 'criminogenic' organisation which he was promoting. In the UK a member of an organisation which is recognized as a terrorist organisation would risk not just to be 'discriminated' he would (if not shot in the metro) be arrested... In the USA the way they would treat members of organisations which THEY assess as terrorist organisations - they would either arrest a foreigner on the spot (and possibly send them to 'the Bay') or refuse to let them in. All in all it seems that the German officials were amazingly tolerant in the case of T Cruuze and did in fact not discriminate him for his beliefs.
>There has to be a definition or list of acceptible religion for governments to
Then there are religions like islam without any clear leadership, how Islamic would I have to be to get a tax break for my "mosque" (House)?
>either that or remove all the benefits of being a religion and make them just
>an ordinary organisation subject to ordinary taxes and rules.
Maybe the best option, I'm all for government leaving things alone.
Benevolent Google my ___. "Do no evil." The best lie is a blatent one.
Freemasonry... helps its own members... donates to charity.... requires belief in a (singular) supreme being... uhhh yeah sounds like a religion to me.
It all starts to look like clubs designed to help their own members. Know a guy that's 'in the club' you get that promotion. Darwinism of the religions and clubs. Power breeds power. Siphons it from the weak. You seal my job, but pitty me with charity.... just another power grab.
Also, I hate grammar... But I don't recognize "->" as any word I've ever seen. Maybe you're thinking of "becomes."
mine's the ghillie suit.
What you are seeing here is the effect of too many people thinking that the Internet is Serious Business.
'Anon' comes from a pretty unpleasent part of the internet collectively called the *chans - image boards where posting anonymously is the norm, and people who do use names are generally mocked for it. As you can imagine, this leads to people generally behaving like fucktards.
Some of these people are upset at Enturbulation and other 'moralfags' for 'decreasing the lulz', stealing the concept of Anonymous and taking everything too seriously - as a side effect they too have started to take things too seriously themselves. (It used to be tradition on one (some?) of the *chans to blame internet misdeamenours on a site called ebaumsworld - it looks like in one instance at least, they're using Enturbulation as their scapegoat)
Basically, what you're seeing is the fallout caused by people who think that the internet is Serious Business.
Dead Vulture because that's what happens when people take themselves too seriously. Dead vultures everywhere.
Hmm... Microsoft advocates against FOSS and Linux-- guess Google should ban them as well. Methinks this sort of ruling may have some very interesting unintended consequences if applied fairly. I suppose one could create an organization that an existing advertiser could be construed as "against" and then file a complaint. Gillette razor ads are "against" Sikhs, eh? Besides being major idiocy on Google's part, this one has gaping holes in its logic...
Google, now having demonstrated some measure of control over where their ads are placed, should be sued both to comply with their own stated standards by removing advertising from any site that expresses an anti-anything message, and to, more broadly, remove their ads from any site that anyone might find potentially offensive.
Google should be sued for any potential mental anguish and/or stress caused by websites upon which their ads appear because they are collaborating in funding the offensive websites until the positioning of their ads and/or the host website has been suitably sanitized.
Anonymous wears masks at protest to protect themselves against the criminal actions of the CULT of Scientology. It is their policy to harass everyone who publicly criticizes the Cult. They call it "Fair Game" or "Dead Agent".
"The homes, property, places and abodes of persons who have been active in attempting to: suppress Scientology or scientologists are all beyond any protection of Scientology Ethics, unless absolved by later Ethics or an amnesty ... this Policy Letter extends to suppressive non-Scientology wives and husbands and parents, or other family members or hostile groups or even close friends."
1965, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
For a lot fair game reports check out
Well, I've had Google as my home page for donkeys. Now I intend to boycott them. Has anyone got any suggestions to a replacement? MS? Dogpile? Yahoo?
Also, I'd like to email Google and tell them exactly why I've moved. Anyone got an email that could get through to someone who matters?
Yes I admit I am an idiot, and I apologies unreservedly for mentioning Frank Herbert and L Ron in the same sentence. Frank, may you ride the deep desert always.
As for you my touchy brother, unlike many others I see no problem with Freemasonary, a "society with secrets" not a cult, and while the Pope isn't so keen, I see you as benign.
But please don;t make out you're all saints. Free masonry has been self-serving the business community for over 500 years. I'm a capitalist, I'm good with that...
Q' Are you jealous that the guys with the power and the money are joining the opposition.
Oh, and at least I have the balls to put my name to something you anonymous ar$e.
>You can only be a 'religion' if you believe in one or more 'gods'
You would also exclude variants of spiritualism where 'spirits' aren't considered gods but the life force of inanimate objects. Variants of Bhuddism where they believe in rebirth and an eternal karma but no actual god figure.
Ancestor worship, unless you actually perceive your ancestors as gods, but then you'd be considering yourself a god?
You're right in that a dictionary definition would exclude those, but in general usage they would be considered religions.
No god for the Jedi either is there? ;)
>I'm a capitalist, I'm good with that...
Are you sure you are? Capitalists normally believe in a free market, you can't have a free market where secret societies are doing deals.
"Then there are religions like islam without any clear leadership, how Islamic would I have to be to get a tax break for my "mosque" (House)?"
After reading your posts on this subject matter - I cannot help to wonder if you are actively and selectively promoting this kind of misinformation on purpose. You seem to be far too intellectually able to confuse these issues by mistake.
In your statement above you are confusing religion with organisation. It is not the religion which gets the tax break - it is the organisation which is representing a community of believers that gets the tax break. Also each "active" mosque as you put it has an organisation which has recognized (often religious) leaders of the community which it serves.
I guess that was my point.
I chose Islam because there is no clear official leadership to denounce a fake mosque - a fake catholic church would get a slap from the pope quite quickly. Not because there is any particular issue with Islam itself.
So, in short if I set up a Mosque, I've got a god figure, the community of believers - my family and friends. Can I get my tax break? A bit of tax relief on the old mortgage for the "mosque" (my house) would be very nice. That is, I want my organisation - the mosque to get the special considerations given to religions.
The intention is to highlight the flaw in the idea that there can be a defined list of acceptable religions that are automatically deserving of special consideration.
By extension the problems associated with having government declaring what is and isn't a religion, and that belief isn't their domain anyway.
Ultimately that the idea that scientology isn't a religion because the German government say so is basically laughable.
>>>(OoI, what is the Co$' stance on evolution?)
>>>(also is the above apostrophe appropriate for pluralising a dollar sign that is replacing an S?)
The apostrophe does not pluralize* ANYTHING. Apostrophes are used to establish possession (That is Michael's), or to denote missing letters in a contraction (You can't have it). The apostrophe has nothing to do with pluralization*.
And I thought us Yanks had poor grammar. Come on!
*Yes, the American spelling...
Bribery to damage your competition and silence your critics is a crime. Harrassment and suppression of free speech are crimes. Attempting to defraud the inland revenue by misrepresenting a commercial organisation as a religion is a crime. Making false claims about the medical effectiveness of your products is a crime. Using a pyramid payment scheme to recruit new members is a crime. Wearing a mask is not. So tell me which is worse: choosing to use methods sometimes employed by criminals for legitimate purposes, or choosing to commit crimes in plain sight?
Mine's the one with 'Fair Game' now painted on the back.
So, accusing people of wearing a "mask" while posting online in an anonymous forum under a name that could apply to a couple hundred thousand people or more is not hiding something? Give it up. If you want to really be truthful, you could just post the relevant details, like your address, full name, tax status, income, and any other relevant details so people could appreciate just how wonderfully honest and truthful you are. You know, as should all the other CoSers who live in Clearwater, FL and on that boat called the Freewinds (currently sealed and docked due to a blatant disregard for US law and general human safety because it was stuffed to the gills with asbestos).
I mean, if you have nothing to hide, you should let it all hang out, right? That's why there are all the attempts to seal civil court records that are generally public domain or suing people into the ground using abusive practices. That's obviously the work of people with nothing to hide. If you really want to be recognized as a "religion." that's fine. But you realize it's public domain to be a religion. There is no copyright or intellectual property to be suing people over in court. The Catholic Church, everyone's favorite whipping boy, doesn't sue non-Catholics for use of the Bible in works critical of the Church's beliefs. They also have a clear hierarchy that is visible to anyone who cares to look. Who's the leader in theCoS? It is a board like a corporation, or one person. How were they appointed? Was it a vote, succession, anointed, name drawn from a hat? What texts do they use and what public policies do they support? Are they funding any outsides entities to do work on their behalf in the PR or Gov't spheres? What is the overall leadership structure? Centralized, decentralized, broken down by region, church, book sales, etc?
Those are questions that need to be asked, Mr. Smith, and claims to privacy indicate you have something to hide and crimes that you don't want aired, using your logic. Come clean, expose yourself to the sunshine you require of everyone else in the world when they dare speak a word against you. Just like every other real religion. Otherwise, remain a fringe cult, known for preying on the weak-minded, large-account suckers you do. Get all the negative publicity and weaken and demean your own reputation, doing more damage to yourself than all your critics could ever do.
To be honest, it's very entertaining to watch. It's like a slow motion implosion. I'm guessing the next "step" is that a high level "leader" will be thrown under the bus by the CoS to "prove" that they don't tolerate corruption and abuse of power in their hierarchy. That will obviously show that they are really a kind and gentle religion, with none of the maniacal grasping for power and influence that has dominated the other Western-sourced religions over the last 4000 years.
Until then, you will have no respect and people will be suspicious of your church and it's claims. And you will never achieve any type of status, other than fringe cult, and go the way of the thousands of other start-up religions that have sprouted in the warm, moist, and dark regions of the human mind and domain, just like mushrooms after a rain.
There really needs to be an eye-rolling type icon for the side. Paris it is, cause even she isn't weak-minded enough to join the CoS.
"As it stands it's already resulted in scientologists being discriminated against on the grounds of their beliefs (Tom Cruise had issues during the filming of Valkyrie) and ridiculed on the basis that "it's not a religion"."
It is not a distinction between religion and cult, but between religion and business. The German government considers their prime motivation to be generating profit (which would be hard to argue against) and they are therefore a commercial enterprise.
A commercial enterprise who have commited crimes against the German Government and people.
Refusing to let a member of a criminal group film on a government installation is not discrimination.
The reason Germany has such hatred for the CoS, Is because in Germany it is a crime to misrepresent any matter pertaining to the holocaust or publish any media that denies the holocaust.
And it is punishable by a custodial sentence as others have found out, and I see this as the most sickening aspect of the Cult of scientology and why we here in Britain allow them to promote this poisonous propaganda is a sad indictment of how low or values have sunk to allow a group like CoS to misrepresent the death of millions by a sad pathetic washed up sci-fi b class lunatic like L. Ron.
up until now i haven't really cared about the whole anonymous/scientology debacle but i'm sick and tired of scientology fucks censoring anything negative about them on the internet.
trying to shutdown alt.religon.scientology(very well documented), closing out critics youtube accounts(very recently) and creating shill accounts on youtube, sending cease and desist letters to wikileaks for posting the alien worshipping bullshit(this month), and now trying to pull the financial plug on an anti-scientology site(this week).
count me in on the next anti-scientology protest....you'll see me there with a sign that says 'go worship your aliens and leave my internets alone'.