…according to this court judgement from Judge Latey, who repeatedly describes Scientology as a cult:
In Re: T Minors (Transcript of judgments given on 10th December 1975) the Court of Appeal was concerned with children one of whose parents was a member of another and very different sect. In the course of his judgement Lord Justice Scarman (as he then was) stressed that “it is conceded that there is nothing immoral or socially obnoxious in the beliefs and practices of this sect”. Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious. Mr. Kennedy did not exaggerate when he termed it “pernicious”. In my judgement it is corrupt, sinister and dangerous. It is corrupt because it is based on lies and deceit and has as its real objective money and power for Mr.
Hubbard, his wife and those close to him at the top. It is sinister because it indulges in infamous practices both to its adherents who do not toe the line unquestioningly and to those outside who criticise or oppose it. It is dangerous because it is out to capture people, especially children and impressionable young people, and indoctrinate and brainwash them so that they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living and relationships
Also, here is the definition of the word “cult” from the Compact Oxford English Dictionary online:
• noun 1 a system of religious worship directed towards a particular figure or object. 2 a small religious group regarded as strange or as imposing excessive control over members. 3 something popular or fashionable among a particular section of society.
It seems to me, from reading Judge Latey’s judgement, that Scientology falls under the second definition above. Why am I saying this now? Because there are those seeking to prevent people from being able to describe Scientology as a cult, including the City of London Police, according to the Register:
His sign read: “Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult.”
Within five minutes of arriving, the teenager was approached by a female police officer and told he was not allowed to use the word “cult” to describe Scientology, and that the Inspector in charge would make a decision. Soon afterwards officers again approached, read Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 and handed him this notice.
The Act makes it an offence to display “any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby”.
The Register article also states:
City of London Police gave us this statement:
City of London police had received complaints about demonstrators using the words ‘cult’ and ‘Scientology kills’ during protests against the Church of Scientology on Saturday 10 May.
Following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service some demonstrators were warned verbally and in writing that their signs breached section five of the Public Order Act 1986.
One demonstrator, a juvenile, continued to display a placard despite police warnings and was reported for an offence under section five. A file on the case will be sent to the CPS.
I hope this case gets thrown out, otherwise people’s ability to say what they believe to be true, and engage in peaceful protest, will have been seriously undermined.