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back to article City anti-Scientology protestor avoids court summons

A teenage anti-Scientology protestor who was issued with notice of a court summons by City of London police will not be prosecuted, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided. The boy was slapped with the notice at a demonstration by the Anonymous movement outside Scientology's UK HQ in the heart of London's financial …

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Pirate

So easy...

Let's confiscate placard and give summons; next time, why not arrest people and then send a PR "oops, we are sorry".

In the mean tie the demonstration has been broken apart and the Scientology avoidd having someone troubling their brain washing campaign.

Of course this tends to apply to any tentative of free speech in the City. I suspect that the only one tolerated would be for "More profits! Less employees!".

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Coat

Precendent Set! =:-)

Awesome.

Mine's the one with

Scientology!=RELIGION

Scientology==CULT

on the back in BIG letters.

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Anonymous Coward

HAAHAA

That is all.

However roll on the city police getting someone to raid his house, get access to his interwebs cache and hard disk to find all of the hallmarks of ebaumsworld addiction... Then send him away for possesing two CP thumbnails and have his life destroyed all for comedy value.

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Anonymous Coward

The damage has been done..

The guy was prevented from lawfully protesting.

He should sue the police for wrongful arrest, they shouldn't get away with this so easily.

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Anonymous Coward

So now take your cult signs and go protest

And when the police confiscate the 'scientology is a cult' sign again a few times, take them to court. Rinse and repeat until you've restored the right to protest fully that was taken away by some former leader and a bunch of overzealous police.

'Blair is a cu*t'

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Anonymous Coward

Hospitality

There are reasons organisations have rules about what hospitality can be legitimately accepted by its representatives: gifts influence us, possibly inappropriately. I bet Hurley was just made up to have an "influential" group want him to open their new HQ, and didn't realise he was being played.

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Jobs Horns

Good!

Well its a good thing the kid isn't being charged.

Noted that this morning on uk tv chan 5, the wright stuffs Matthew Wright had to rescind a previous statement (probably forced by scientology lawyers) where he said they were a cult.

A cult by any other name remains the same!

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Pirate

World Domination

We have the cops in our pockets.. next target those pesky CPS guys...

Roll out the clone army............

Woohahahaha.....(strokes white cat)

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Not surprising

My comments on the original story didn't quite make it online for some reason. But I predicted that it would never come to court.

So the cult whingers get their way with no risk and no comebacks. And it is apparently not the local force who don't know the law, it's the cps, they were supposed to have been consulted...worrying...or someone is fibbing?

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Paris Hilton

Scientology...

Isn't the Met supposed to be rife with masonic favouritism, mutual back scratching, funny handshakes and varying trouser leg heights?

Maybe Scientology is the new free masons club for the 21st century.

Paris...because she enjoys a bit of back scratching now and again.

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Happy

Alternative

I presume censored signs are A-OK with the police? Next time, let's all write 'This building is full of cu*ts'

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Unhappy

@JonB

***"He [the protester] should sue the police for wrongful arrest, they shouldn't get away with this so easily."***

Unfortunately we don't all have pockets as deep as Harry Redknapp

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/7416117.stm

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Flame

We know who the Scientologist will spend money next

They already spent a significant amount of money on the City of London police in 2004-2006. The results are quite obviously in their favour

Crown prosecution next I guess...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Not surprising

David, as you can imagine moderating comments on Scientology and similarly sensitive legaltastic matters is a nightmare on toast. So some stuff, more than in other cases, isn't going to get through. We try our best. OH WE TRY.

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Alien

@Stephane Mabille and @JonB

The protest was not stopped at the time, and the next protest was going to continue anyway. EpicNoseGuy wasn't arrested.

Nothing was actually achieved by the CoS except yet another foot bullet.

And I for one am getting annoyed at the FuckDaPolice! guys jumping on this. The London protests have a good working relationship with the cops (both CoL and the Met) and it worked out in our favour - the CPS dropped it because the CoL said we were basically jolly good chaps.

Plus we got to see the Beeb use the name 'EpicNoseGuy' on the news. Which is amusing whichever way this went.

Alien because CULT, CULT, CULT, CULTY CULT!

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How nice of them

"We decided to let him go. No harm done eh?" doesn't cut it with free speech issues. The damage is done, the protest is disrupted and the message has been sent: protest and you can get arrested, we will not tolerate abuse of organisations from which we've received bribes, instead of "Scientology Is A Cult" why not consider "I Consider Certain Aspects Of Scientology Objectionable But Support Their Right To Practice Their Beliefs (Please Don't Arrest Me Under Religious Hate Laws)." The "chillng effect" is invisible but nonetheless pernicious.

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DM

I seem to remember a comment on the previous story calling "where's the Daily Mail when you need it?" Well here it is:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-417782/Police-officers-accepted-gifts-Church-Scientology.html

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Coat

Check out...

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/search/scientology

For freedom of information requests to the CoL plods re: how much Co$ have (bought them off) donated to CoL Plodsville. Awaiting the answers with interest.

Mine's the one with the 'charitable donation' in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

>The protest was not stopped at the time

Yes it was, they confiscated his sign.

The CPS dropping it is a big let off here, had it gone to court it would have been a clear precedent and the CoS would've got the publicity it deserves.

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@Anonymous Re: Scientology

"Isn't the Met supposed to be rife with masonic favouritism, mutual back scratching, funny handshakes and varying trouser leg heights?"

Maybe it is, but this was the City of London Police, which is an entirely different police force.

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@david

I wouldn't publish the comments of cultist maniacs either.

:-)

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It's not surprising...

First we have a policewoman telling a member of the public that he wasn't allowed to take pictures in a public place, then police asking (that should read "ordering") protesters to lower banners procliaming that Scientology is a cult. Ignorance is no defence in law yet our own police force are ignorant of the laws that govern us. What chance do any of us have?

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Dead Vulture

HOGWASH

Scientology is as valid a religion as all the other rubbish from the major churches.

They are all dangerous and should not be given any validity at all. If we should discriminate between them, Scientology should be treated as safer option - at least it hasn't yet proved to be prone to outright bloodshed as some of others have.

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She Sells Sanctuary

Now all the poor kid has to do is get his DNA off the police database.

delete from dna where citizen not in (select citizen from successfully_prosecuted)

NB. nowhere does it mention that his DNA was taken, I just though I'd help with a handy bit of code.

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Black Helicopters

Scientology Hospitality...

20 tickets to a Tom Cruise premier == 20 pieces of Silver.

The Police are supposed to represent the tax payers and up hold the law...

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Happy

@Sarah Bee

You want to try moderating the forum I have to look after.... ;)

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Dead Vulture

@JonB

Yes, they took ENG's sign

They didn't take anyone else's sign, or stop us chanting CULT! (or You're a Cult and a Judge says you are!) or take other signs that used the word cult but didn't specifically call the CoS one. Nor did they take the red cards with Cult printed on them that had been handed out.

I don't believe they even stopped ENG himself protesting - he just had to do it signless.

There wasn't just ENG there - there were several hundred other people too.

Dead Vulture because there's no dead horse.

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Alien

@JonB

I fail to see how removing ONE PLACARD stopped the protest. He lost his sign, boo hoo, he was still part of the protest for the rest of the day. I should know, I was standing nearby for most of the day. EpicNoseGuy was merely inconvenienced by having his placard taken.

Losing a single placard in no way damaged the event.

Lrn2context.

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Alien

It's a bug hunt!

"All we know is that there's still no contact with the colony and that a xenumorph may be involved."

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NRT
Black Helicopters

@Mr Chris Re: Scientology

"Maybe it is, but this was the City of London Police, which is an entirely different police force."

Which is supposed to be rife with Co$ favouritism. Allegedly.

I wish this was the first time I'd encountered the 'arrest now, apologise later' tactic, which (anecdotally) seems to be a common police tactic for removing 'ringleaders' from protests with no real justification.

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Alien

@AC 'I fail to see...'

hee hee

'Standing nearby...'?

Wearing a suit and holding a dv recorder by any chance?

Or maybe just on the phone to your superiors?

I'm just guessing here.

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@Sarah

That wasn't a dig...I think you do a great job...

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Gates Halo

Repeated again

I said it in the first article about this, and I'll repeat it in this one. Email your MP's and let them know how outraged you are by this issue. If enough people email their MP's the London Police will think twice before disrupting a peaceful and legal protest against the Cult of Scientology.

I've already wrote to my MP (Andrew George, Lib Dem, St Ives), I'm awating the little yellow envelope from the Houses of Commons with some "yes, this is terrible, i shall be sure to bring it up with the Home Secretary!", if enough MP's start complaining to their MP's, which in turn start complaining to the Home Office, the HO will have no other choice but to tell the Police "look, don't distrupt Cult demonstrations, we're getting emails and one threatened to send in the BOFH!"

Bill Gates, because the Cult of Microsoft is legal, and not a cult.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC - Placards

The sign was clearly a core part of his protest allowing him to make his point to in a more visual way, making it clear that he was protesting, and of course it was the message he wanted to put across.

The right to protest is extremely important in a democracy, mocking infringements of it is just fucking stupid.

I hope you aren't a copper, we don't need any more with a sneering attitude, a dodgy grasp of the law and a dodgier idea their place in the constitution.

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@AC - placard

"I fail to see how removing ONE PLACARD stopped the protest. He lost his sign, boo hoo, he was still part of the protest for the rest of the day."

So that's theft, right? Try taking a policeman's helmet, and when he remonstrates with you tell him, "You lost your hat, boo hoo, you can still do your job for the rest of the day."

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Alien

Cult

A cult is "not enough people to make a minority".

Nobody objects to seeing their picture in the local paper over captions like "Fans of the cult TV series queued for hours to see their heroes".

So maybe what the clams objected to was the word "dangerous".

In what way is scientology dangerous? Other than harmful to wealth, of course - you can easily get rid of them by telling them you're penniless.

[Declaration of interest: my gran was a Suppressive Person]

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Pirate

could have been worse

Are we barking up the wrong cause_and_effect tree?

If senior police had been cultivated, that would have changed their view of normality.

If it's simple corruption, then any cause with sufficient funds has a chance of helping the hand of justice get heavier.

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Anonymous Coward

How corrupt are the police ?

I wonder how many of the City of London Police are members of the Scientologists ,or receiving "benefits" from them ?.

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Bronze badge

A pleasant surprise

The CPS has built up a reputation for taking a long ime to decide these issues. It always seemed very likely that the case would be dropped, but it is a pleasant surprise that the decision has come so quickly.

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Coat

So...

Where's the public bitchslap and disciplinary for the plodette who confiscated the sign incorrectly and the Chief Inspector who justified the action?

Confidence in the Police? I've got more confidence in my leg spin bowling!

Mine's the coat saying "Justice Latey says Scientology *is* a cult"

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Unhappy

sadly

Sadly cops telling lies is not new and is old as the force itself from day one , go ask the the unfortunate victims exposed in the Tulia , Texas scandal !

Which surprise , surprise the local State Propaganda mass media it seems knew all about it , but chose to ignore the evil scam until along came the BBC Panorama TV researching injustice Texas style towards a minority group of unwilling immigrants imported in another era as slaves and have been treated like them since 1776 and undoubtedly beyond into the future as well , as the closed closet system rules absolutely in the land of the paranoid and numerous assorted cults with 5000 "Oppenheimer's Toys" pointed at everyone else !

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Report the police to CPS

To sue the police would be expensive and time consuming. However, he could report the individual police officers to the CPS for theft of his sign and for threatening behaviour. If one of them touched him, assualt would be even better!

The police have said that they were ignorant of the law but, igorance of the law is no defence for the rest of us. Just keep on writing to the CPS demanding that they take the officers to court and openly publish the letters and the replies.

I wonder why the police did not donate the tickets to charity. That is what decent minded public servants would have done ......... ah yes, I see now.

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Plod need to brush up...

The Public Order Act is not designed to protect people's feelings - its designed to protect, er, public order. So even if what you say is offensive, it must be offensive and threaten public order - hence the requirement that the behaviour or words be within the sight of someone likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.

You also have a complete defence if you prove that your conduct is reasonable.

Then there's the oft-maligned Human Rights Act, which guarantees your right to freedom of expression (Article 10 of the European Convention). Ok, its qualified, and not as robust as the US 1st amendment... but its better than nothing. Come to think of it, as the Americans aren't using their constitution, can we borrow it ?

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Joke

Correction and apology

The Register editorial team wishes to apologise for a software error that caused elements of the original text to be deleted, and which has unfortunately changed the intended emphasis of this report.

"It later emerged officers had accepted hospitality including tickets to a Tom Cruise film premiere" was incorrect, and should actually have read:

"It later emerged officers had accepted hospitality, and - following a discipline tribunal at which the charges against the officers were proved - were awarded punishments including tickets to a Tom Cruise film premiere."

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Gold badge

Re: Hogwash

"Scientology is as valid a religion as all the other rubbish from the major churches."

I read in the paper today that there are moves afoot to force fortune tellers, astrologers, etc (briefly, anyone who can't prove their claims) to put big signs outside their premises saying "for entertainment only".

Now wouldn't *that* be nice...

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So, what is going to stop the LPD from chilling the next protest?

Logic dictates that the LPD knew it was going to far, and did so to chill and defang the protest. Although the precedent will dictate that the protesters can use the word "cult," this was always obvious to begin with, and what happens when the LPD decides that it will prosecute regarding the use of another patently legal word? They can string this out forever unless the source of the obvious LPD corruption is located and removed.

And corruption it must be. I recall that the LPD did nothing when the Islamic protestors marched the streets demanding the head of Rushdie, a law abiding citizen (not a cult) who merely wrote a wonderful novel. And now a 15 year old calls a "cult" a "cult" and they try everything in their power to prosecute? And we also know about the COS gifts to the LPD-- that they even accepted gifts is clearly an incident of corruption. How in heel is it acceptable for police officers to accept gifts from the people who they are supposed to police?

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Stop

@Darkside

"In what way is scientology dangerous?"

Are you serious? Any rudimentary search of the internet will turn up a bucketful of reports on the dangerous nature of the Cult of Scientology.

Don't be so lazy - find out for yourself.

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stu
Bronze badge

@heystoopid

I love these comments. Somewhere in there is always one absolute mentalist.

you tell them 'heystupid'.

whatever TF you are talking about.

Then you can have a wee biscuit and a cup of tea before you take your next set of pills.

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@AC "HOGWASH"

Unfortunately they seem to be like any other "religion" in every respect, including bloodshed. Watch the youtube video and look at the website on a placard about deaths- I would post the address here, but don't know whether El Reg's legal eagles would be comfortable with it...

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Damage not done

There's a lot of "damage has been done" type comments but this actually just attracted a whole bunch of extra attention to the situation ~and~ nothing bad happened to the kid after all ~and~ the media is reminding everyone that the British government does in fact classify Scientology as a cult.

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