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UK court rules Scientology is a religion


constantgardener

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The Supreme Court in London has decreed that Scientology is a religion, not just a philosophy, meaning that they can now carry out wedding ceremonies.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25331754

 

This feels like a step in the wrong direction to me. Declaring Scientology a money-grabbing cult would have made more sense. There is also a debate over whether this means they can now claim exemption from business taxes.

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What the ever-loving hell? Scientology is a cult that has destroyed lives. It has no business pretending to be a religion, and it should never have been declared one by any legal entity, anywhere!

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The Supreme Court in London has decreed that Scientology is a religion, not just a philosophy, meaning that they can now carry out wedding ceremonies.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25331754

This feels like a step in the wrong direction to me. Declaring Scientology a money-grabbing cult would have made more sense. There is also a debate over whether this means they can now claim exemption from business taxes.

Only religions can carry out wedding ceremonies? Wow. Who defines what qualifies ?

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Only religions can carry out wedding ceremonies? Wow. Who defines what qualifies ?

It's not that only religions can carry out weddings, you can have a secular wedding at a registry office or in lots of other public places like hotels. But ministers of 'official' religions are authorised to carry out weddings in their places of worship, and prior to this Scientology was not classified as a religion so its adherents could not be married in their own church (for want of a better word).

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I'm so glad my home country (France) is still forbidding this cult to be an authorized religion...

Scientology has broken so many lives, I'm sorry for Britain :( :( and for all the other countries that accept it...

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Scotland has slightly different rules you can have a civil ceremony in the town hall or a hotel or whereever, or you can have a religious ceremony performed by an registered celebrant (organisations can have a certain number of celebrants proportional to the membership of the organization), you have been able to have a Scientologist wedding here for quite some time. My husband and I had a "religious Wedding" performed by a celebrant from the Secular Humanist Society.

This article sums up my general feelings about the decision.

http://newsthump.com/2013/12/11/church- ... eme-court/

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I guess I just didn't realize that who could perform wedding ceremonies, and what type, and where was so regulated other places. Learn something new every day.

Where I am all it takes is for someone to register on-line and they can perform any kind of ceremony they want, wherever they want. The couple just has to get an official marriage license first at the county office, and then file the form after the ceremony, signed by two witnesses.

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I guess I just didn't realize that who could perform wedding ceremonies, and what type, and where was so regulated other places. Learn something new every day.

Where I am all it takes is for someone to register on-line and they can perform any kind of ceremony they want, wherever they want. The couple just has to get an official marriage license first at the county office, and then file the form after the ceremony, signed by two witnesses.

Here there are pretty strict requirements for a group to be recognised as a religious society (church, mosque, pagan tample, etc.), some of them are:

- the group must have a creed or statement of doctrines

- the group must hold certain shared beliefs regarding guidance for human life ethically and morally

- must have religous practises as expression of faith (weddings, funerals, etc)

- the group must have a clear leadership-structure

- people in the leadership are reponsible for overseeing that weddings and other legal matters are handled in accordance with the law of the land and accountable to authorities.

- must have clear and documented membership criteria

- membership must be voluntary

I can't find any documentation for it, but I believe a membership of at least 200 people is also required. you are however free to worship and practise any religion you wan't as long as you don't thereby violate any laws, these criteria are only mandatory if you seek status of "Recognized Religous Society".

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Here there are pretty strict requirements for a group to be recognised as a religious society (church, mosque, pagan tample, etc.), some of them are:

- the group must have a creed or statement of doctrines

- the group must hold certain shared beliefs regarding guidance for human life ethically and morally

- must have religous practises as expression of faith (weddings, funerals, etc)

- the group must have a clear leadership-structure

- people in the leadership are reponsible for overseeing that weddings and other legal matters are handled in accordance with the law of the land and accountable to authorities.

- must have clear and documented membership criteria

- membership must be voluntary

I can't find any documentation for it, but I believe a membership of at least 200 people is also required. you are however free to worship and practise any religion you wan't as long as you don't thereby violate any laws, these criteria are only mandatory if you seek status of "Recognized Religous Society".

Locaste, which Scandinavian country are you talking about here? Scientology is recognized as a religion in Sweden, to my surprise, but is just a business in Norway.

So I suppose the UK is joining the US, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Portugal and South Africa in recognizing the cult as a religion. :ew:

In better news, Scientology numbers seem to be dwindling in the States and the leadership is in disarray. People do not like David Miscavige much. Prominent members keep jumping ship, spilling secrets and filing lawsuits! For those interested in following the story, I recommend TonyOrtega.org and Operation Clambake at xenu.net.

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I really don't understand how any country can rule that Scientology is a religion. Aren't there enough evidences that it's a cult which destroys lives?

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While I absolutely agree that Scientology is a dangerous cult, that in of itself doesn't rule it out from being a religious organization as well. They aren't separate categories -- rather, abusive, cultish religions fall at the extreme end of a spectrum. Think about some of the organizations we talk about here - ATI, for example, would happily fit into both classifications. A lot of psychological literature I've found doesn't even use the term cult any more, but substitutes "abusive religion" or "toxic religion" or whatever.

Not that I'm saying I'm happy about Scientology being validated in any way, but depending on the particular laws in the UK (which I'm not super familiar with, I admit), there may not have been any other reasonable options. It's hard to say "scientology is a cult, rather than a religion, but the exclusive brethren are just an extremist religion" without looking like you are prioritizing old religions over new ones, which is dangerous territory for a government to get into. Many cultish new religious movements use government 'disapproval' as proof that the outside world is hostile to them, which is an excuse for increasing control, which exacerbates the problem.

I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think there is a simple one. It might be more productive for the government to fund support for ex-members, to promote teaching about the dangers and warning signs of authoritarianism in school (which would be useful for so many other reasons as well), etc. An ounce of prevention, and so on.

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Here there are pretty strict requirements for a group to be recognised as a religious society (church, mosque, pagan tample, etc.), some of them are:

- the group must have a creed or statement of doctrines

- the group must hold certain shared beliefs regarding guidance for human life ethically and morally

- must have religous practises as expression of faith (weddings, funerals, etc)

- the group must have a clear leadership-structure

- people in the leadership are reponsible for overseeing that weddings and other legal matters are handled in accordance with the law of the land and accountable to authorities.

- must have clear and documented membership criteria

- membership must be voluntary

I can't find any documentation for it, but I believe a membership of at least 200 people is also required. you are however free to worship and practise any religion you wan't as long as you don't thereby violate any laws, these criteria are only mandatory if you seek status of "Recognized Religous Society".

That should exclude Scientology; they don't let you leave!

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That should exclude Scientology; they don't let you leave!

No kidding on the bolded! Or if top people do leave they get stalked and intimidated for years.

Otherwise:

"A cult is a religion with no political power." Tom Wolfe

“The only difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they own.†Frank Zappa

Or a cult is a small new "religion" that I don't agree with. :D

Re. cults sociologists have a lot of different typologies. Probably the simplest way to recognise a cult is to look at what happens when a member tries to leave, but brainwashing, isolation, control, abuse, claims of persecution from the outside world, and charismatic leaders all play a part. It is a lot more complicated than that, of course, and let's not even get into sects!

A grown up cult with many members that survives a couple of generations, has a clear doctrine, manages to develop a band of followers, and gains political power and money, and generally becomes accepted as a religion as defined legally by nation states and/or is recognized by sociologists as a religion.

Scientology was invented by L. Ron Hubbard as a new religion in the 20th century. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was invented by Joseph Smith in the 19th century. Mormonism is recognized as a religion because it is more grown up than Scientology, even though it arguably also has weird some science fiction aspects involving other planets in it.

IMO, Scientology is a dangerous cult but the signs are on the wall that it is slowly imploding.

Disclaimer: Unlike TW Eston I'm not an expert on cults :mrgreen: but I have one cousin who escaped from Scientology, luckily before she got too brainwashed, one friend who is a deprogrammed La Rouchie, and another friend who was brought up in little known cult that was simply known as the Organization. The Organization was active from the early 1960s until it collapsed in the mid 90s and started out as well-meaning hippie-types who wanted to do good in developing countries. The child sexual abuse that took place in the Organization was horrendous. :( Basically, the Organization failed because first generation began to die off and the younger generation fled and are still trying to recover.

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I just read this recently somewhere and I wish I could remember the source, but "A cult is where the person at the top knows it's not true. A religion is where that person is dead."

So I guess according to that Scientology is a religion. :lol: :lol:

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