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Scientology now a `religion`

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Scientology now a `religion`

Post by Woofer on 11.12.13 18:52

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10510301/Scientology-is-a-religion-rules-Supreme-Court.html

Scientology is a religion, rules Supreme Court
A woman who wants to marry in a Church of Scientology chapel has won a battle in the UK's highest court

Alessandro Calcioli with his fiance Louisa Hodkin Photo: PA


By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor
10:18AM GMT 11 Dec 2013



Scientology has been recognised officially as a “religion” after Britain’s highest court swept aside 158 years of law to rule that worshipping a god is not essential to religion.
In a landmark judgment, five Supreme Court Justices redefined religion in law in order to enable the group to conduct weddings.
It follows a five-year legal battle by Louisa Hodkin, a 25-year-old scientologist, who was seeking the right to get married at the Church of Scientology chapel in central London, which she attends.
Miss Hodkin and her fiancé Alessandro Calcioli, who were at court to hear the judgment handed down, hailed the decision as a victory for freedom of worship.
But ministers voiced alarm that it could open the way for the group to claim lucrative tax breaks worth hundreds of thousands of pounds a year and other legal privileges.
 


  • The Government is now taking legal advice amid fears that the judgment could open the way for organisations branded as “cults” to receive tax breaks
  • It is understood they are examining the possibility of a change to the law.


Tory ministers immediately rounded on Labour, branding the Equalities Act – steered through Parliament by Harriet Harman when in power – as “flawed”, arguing the decision will leave “hard-pressed taxpayers” funding exemptions from local rates for scientologist churches.
Miss Hodkin launched a legal challenge after the Registrar General of births, deaths and marriages refused to register the chapel to conduct marriages because it was not recognised as a place of "religious worship".
That decision stemmed from a 1970 court case which excluded scientology because it did not fit within the terms of the 1855 Places of Worship Registration Act which counts only groups which revere a “deity” as true religions.
But even in the 1970 case Lord Denning observed that Buddhist temples are already treated as an “exception”.
Miss Hodkin’s legal challenge was initially turned down by Mr Justice Ouseley at the High Court last year on the basis of the legal definition but he immediately passed the case to the Supreme Court to reassess the law.
The five justices, including Lord Neuberger, the President f the Supreme Court, ruled that it amounted to discrimination to exclude groups which do not formally worship a god or gods.
The court heard that although scientologists use the word “God” in services, the term is understood to mean “inifinity” and not a specific being.
“Unless there is some compelling contextual reason for holding otherwise, religion should not be confined to religions which recognise a supreme deity,” said Lord Toulson, delivering the lead judgment.
“First and foremost, to do so would be a form of religious discrimination unacceptable in today’s society.”
In the judgment he charted the development of religious toleration in England since the Reformation and even delved into disputes within Christian theology over the nature of God.
He concluded that religion could be defined more accurately as a “spiritual or non-secular belief system” which “claims to explain mankind’s place in the universe and relationship with the infinite” and give people guidance on life.
“Such a belief system may or may not involve belief in a supreme being, but it does involve a belief that there is more to be understood about mankind’s nature and relationship to the universe than can be gained from the senses or from science,” he said.
Speaking afterwards Mr Calcioli said: “I think the court's definition of religion is excellent - I think it's what most people today would understand 'religion' to be.”
Miss Hodkin added: “My fiancé and I have always believed in the fairness of the British legal process.”
But ministers voiced alarm at the decision. During debates in 2006 Michael Gove, now the education secretary, used Parliamentary privilege to describe scientology as an “evil cult”.
Brandon Lewis, the local government minister, said: “I am very concerned about this ruling, and its implications for business rates.
“In the face of concerns raised by Conservatives in Opposition, Labour Ministers told Parliament during the passage of the Equalities Bill that Scientology would continue to fall outside the religious exemption for business rates.
“But we now discover Scientology may be eligible for rate relief and that the taxpayer will have to pick up the bill, all thanks to Harriet Harman and Labour's flawed laws.”
“Hard-pressed taxpayers will wonder why Scientology premises should now be given tax cuts when local firms have to pay their fair share.”
Paul Hewitt, a partner at Withers, who represented Miss Hodkin dismissed the use of the word cult. He said: “Five Judges of the Supreme Court have just given a comprehensive judgment that Scientology is a religion.”

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Re: Scientology now a `religion`

Post by Guest on 11.12.13 19:28

Aaaaaaahhhhh ....
Pardon my French!

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Re: Scientology now a `religion`

Post by dromodaire on 11.12.13 19:37

Woofer, I've recently been thinking about scientology in connection with the Mccann case.

As several posters have pointed out on other threads, one often has the impression, as regards for example the witness statements of seemingly everyone at the Ocean club, that we're dealing with some kind of cult. Of course since there's no hard evidence of that we might all chide ourselves for being too fantastical.

However scientology furnishes us with a bona fide example of a very powerful cult, where strict obedience to its ways and narcissim of its members are, from what I've seen, very much evident. Also the Team Mccann trolls remind me a lot of the wonderful Squirell busters (as seen on the link)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOZF0ugtnEc

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Re: Scientology now a `religion`

Post by Woofer on 11.12.13 20:44

@dromodaire wrote:Woofer, I've recently been thinking about scientology in connection with the Mccann case.

As several posters have pointed out on other threads, one often has the impression, as regards for example the witness statements of seemingly everyone at the Ocean club, that we're dealing with some kind of cult. Of course since there's no hard evidence of that we might all chide ourselves for being too fantastical.

However scientology furnishes us with a bona fide example of a very powerful cult, where strict obedience to its ways and narcissim of its members are, from what I've seen, very much evident. Also the Team Mccann trolls remind me a lot of the wonderful Squirell busters (as seen on the link)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOZF0ugtnEc
 
Yes dromodaire, I agree, there is a similarity and I`ve wondered if GM does belong to some sort of occult group - not necessarily scientology but some other cult.  I agree that how the trolls spout their stuff is very similar to those squirrell buster robots.
 
Its a bad day indeed that scientology has obtained this status in the UK - other European countries still regard them as a cult.
 
I know how they work - and its creepy to say the least and so are their cultish gatherings.   In the process of dianetics, or becoming `clear`, a person is actually cleared of emotion to what I would consider a state of psychopathy - watch David Miscavidge in action.  Yes, people do become more confident, but in the process, lose their humanity.  And, very worrying, is the fact that in the process of becoming clear the scientology organisation obtains every innermost thought, weaknesses, past history of its members and is no doubt held in their records for future use.  A very sad day indeed.

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Re: Scientology now a `religion`

Post by Guest on 11.12.13 20:49

@Woofer wrote:

Yes dromodaire, I agree, there is a similarity and I`ve wondered if GM does belong to some sort of occult group - not necessarily scientology but some other cult.  I agree that how the trolls spout their stuff is very similar to those squirrell buster robots.
 

I do wonder if the McCann's are versed - naturally, or otherwise - in such as NLP techniques. They seem to have a ferocious power to bring people around to their way of thinking, especially in person. Haven't a few been "turned" by them?

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