Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Some Deception from Scientology

Before I start, I must stress that in Australia the organisation known as the Church of Scientology is considered under the law as a legal religion. So I think that it might be best that I say a little about it's legal history in Australia.

In South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria have at one point or another banned the CoS from operating.

Victoria passed the Psychological Practices Act, 1965 after the findings of the Anderson Report (or in it's formal name Report of the Board of Enquiry into Scientology).

The recommendations started with:

"The Inquiry has revealed the real nature of scientology and its serious threat to the mental health of the community, and it is evident that its continued practice should not be permitted."

In 1968 the government of Western Australia passed the Scientology Act (1968),
and South Australia followed suit with the Scientology (Prohibition) Act, 1968.

These were overturned in 1983 after the High Court decision in Church of the New Faith v. Commissioner of Pay-Roll Tax (Victoria) which found that Scientology was a religion.

For those that don't know the Church of the New Faith was an organisation created by Scientology to counter the acts brought against them, but by that time Western Australia and South Australia had repealed their acts in 1972 and 1973 respectively.

And now with that very brief history of Scientology and the Law we move on to the present day.

This was reported yesterday in The Advertiser: Parent anger at religious 'advice' (In case something happens to the online version the printed versions details are: Kleinig X. 2007. "Parent anger at religious 'advice'" The Advertiser 29 October 29 p.23).

The briefest description would be that uniformed police officers have been found distributing Scientology related material at a Government school.

The version that I will give you is as follows.

Uniformed police officers went to Whyalla High School and distributed a pamphlet entitled "Whyalla High School presents the way to happiness, a common-sense guide for better living" after showing them a DVD on living a moral life.

There were two things that showed that it was a Scientologist production. The first was that the website it linked to was a Scientologist one. The second was that if you looked very carefully at the copyright information you would find out that it was written by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.

The book apparently did not contain any religious material. All well and good you think? Well no actually, this is what the police had to say:

"Police Assistant Commissioner Graeme Barton confirmed that two officers had visited the school to give lectures on bullying and that the claims of religious instruction would be investigated."

They were supposed to be giving a lecture on bullying. I fail to see where a pamphlet called "Whyalla High School presents the way to happiness, a common-sense guide for better living" has anything to do with bullying.

What makes it even more annoying is the blatant deception that the CoS has used to spread their "message". They used two uniformed officers to distribute a pamphlet that directed children to a site about Scientology, the pamphlet itself managed to convince parents that it was something from the Education Department, something that the department denies. What makes it worse is that this occurred in a Government school. They are places were proselytising is a big no no.

There is one other thing that makes it somewhat hypocritical.

They showed a DVD on morality, but they were acting in an immoral way, just like Scientology itself claims to be the most ethical group in the world, this was an unethical way of doing things.

If they don't seem to be able to gain more followers in a regular way, then maybe they should be looking at themselves and fixing what they need to fix?

I think that the name of the song that I am listening to fits well with this post...

Now playing: Sneaky Sound System - UFO
via FoxyTunes

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