Russian judge shuts down scientology

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Judge Breckenridge, Los Angeles Superior Court:

“[The court record is] replete with evidence [that Scientology] is nothing in reality but a vast enterprise to extract the maximum amount of money from its adepts by pseudo scientific theories… and to exercise a kind of blackmail against persons who do not wish to continue with their sect… The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder, L.Ron Hubbard.”


That is awesome. Too bad in the USA we encourage this sort of corrosive intellectual property even in our religions, because we really worship money.


People shouldn’t chortle too much given Russia’s track record with religious freedom in general. It is Scientology this time. Next it is the Methodists or Zen Buddhists.


Copyrights were invented to protect Bible printings, and some mainstream groups trademark their names. This seems like the usual back-handed Russian way of trying to shut them down rather than convicting them of fraud or practicing medicine without a license.


Curiousity aroused by this quote, I did a quick search and found the actual text from the judge’s decision. (More accurately, I found what appears to be the actual text – this is the internet, after all. What I found is here.)

These words do appear in his 1984 decision, but they’re a bit out of context. For example, the bit about a “vast enterprise to extract the maximum amount of money” is the judge quoting the conclusions of a 1970 investigation by "a police agency of the “French Government”. So those ain’t exactly Breckenridge’s words.

I’m no lawyer, and don’t cleave to either extreme of the Scientology question. I don’t really have a horse in this race. My goal is simply to limit the re-quoting of these somewhat misleading words. (And I’m definitely not pointing any fingers at @Papasan who presumably just innocently copied the stuff from somewhere else.)


This leaves me conflicted, too conflicted to enjoy the schadenfreude. I do think that Scientology is an evil organization (it has it’s own dirty tricks/intel department at the highest levels of the org) that should be denied tax exempt status, that should be made to follow the law, and should be made to answer for the crimes it has committed, but I’m also not willing to use Russian intolerance as my standard of conduct, either.




ps: :wave::crystal_ball::wave: = :cow2: :hankey::exclamation:


Finally someone sees me! Thank you kind human!


I genuinely LOLed at that. (checks blood pressure, meds)

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Don’t laugh at me because I’m old and fat…

PS. Having a 'sensitive" day here.

Good. Please can we have some Russian judges too?

The Cult of Putin does not like competitors.


I know it’s time to worry when I find myself agreeing with @albill

I’m no fan of the “Church” of Scientology, but compared to the Catholic Church (to name one of a hundred institutions I could) its evil is basically just smaller and more concentrated.


Yeah. It’s like the way free speech activists often find themselves vigorously defending the rights of complete assholes to say abominable hateful despicable things. Because that’s where the thin edge of the wedge that curtails speech is located.

Freedom of Religion is pretty important. Having a judge declare that Scientology isn’t a religion seems like a step down a bad road


On the other hand, is Scientology a religion, or just a business posing as religion?

…on that note, why not handle religions as businesses they at the end are anyway? Then there would not be a tax reason for a business to pose as a religion. And the squeal of various megachurches could be fun to hear.


It depends on whether we’re talking tax-exemption (in which case I don’t give a shit) or freedom to practice (very important).

Since the article talked about the “constitution’s freedom-of-religion clause”, I figured we were talking about something other than just taxation


Moscow City Court? Do they even have any clout? I mean, if this happened in Omaha, there would be about ten years of appeals before it died in the Supreme Court.

The people celebrating this are the very reason the U.S. first amendment must be applied as broadly as possible. It’s easy to grant freedom of religion to the religions you like, and not to the ones you hate. (And for the record, no, not a scientologists and I think they’re probably pretty corrosive from everything I’ve read – but that doesn’t mean they don’t have rights, at least in America).

Religion is a business like all other businesses. The faster we get to treating it as a business the better.