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back to article Scientology refuseniks sue over compulsory workplace courses

Two ex-employees of Diskeeper have sued the firm over allegations they were obliged to take part in Scientology training courses as a mandatory condition of employment. Alexander Godelman, former chief information officer of Diskeeper, and Marc Le Shay, former Diskeeper Automation Planning Officer, filed a joint suit of unfair …

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Anonymous Coward

This title has been removed as a result of a copyright complaint by the Church of Scientology.

Scientologists wouldn't need software to read a users hard drive. Using their amazing OT powers they could just read the data directly off the disk surface with their mind, from anywhere in the world!

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Unbelievable

"Disklabs argues that religious instruction in the workplace is protected by the First Amendment, making the proposed sanction unconstitutional."

What an interesting interpretation of the right to free speech and free expression of religion - compulsory indoctrination. I'm surprised no-one thought of it sooner. I sometimes think we're fighting the wrong religious war...

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Paris Hilton

Idiocy, but

Quite a number of US firms indulge in a bit of "Let Christ lead us through the business day" etc., and I don't see this as so different.

Unless your organisation is professionally in the business of promoting Sky-Fairies (e.g. a church, mosque etc), then it's probably best to stick just to business, without trying to get your colleagues to believe in your pretend friend as part of their job.

Hallelujah!

Paris - because she likes to see the "hard evidence" before swallowing.

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Anonymous Coward

Explains a lot

Snake oil distributors. Who would miss them?

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Anonymous Coward

Quite a big proviso....

"Disklabs argues that religious instruction in the workplace is protected by the First Amendment, making the proposed sanction unconstitutional."

Depends really on whether this counts as a religion - and if this question comes up, it could make for a VERY interesting case...

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"religious instruction protected"

The First Amendment gives people the freedom of speech - it does not allow you to force people to listen! This is a big difference and I hope Craig Jensen loses his shirt.

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Well I will not be buying their software

Let's spread this story, clearly this company is not trustworthy.

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Black Helicopters

Bogus 1st Amendment claim by company...

"Disklabs argues that religious instruction in the workplace is protected by the First Amendment, making the proposed sanction unconstitutional."

If this is their defense, they will be patently shot down in court. (Not going to bore you with the legal issues, but in short, the minute you force someone to listen to you, you're no longer protected. )

I agree with the German government. I for one find it weird that anyone would work for a company that forced indoctrination. Were I microsoft, I'd be worried about a supplier having said stance.

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First Amendment

"Disklabs argues that religious instruction in the workplace is protected by the First Amendment, making the proposed sanction unconstitutional."

When will people learn that to have fredom of speech you must also accept peoples right not to listen.

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Protected by the 1st?

Not an American, but I would have hoped that religious instruction in the workplace was outlawed by the constitution. I expect this would also rule out Sunday schools, which would be no great loss...

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Stop

The proof may be in the litigation...

I hope that Diskeeper and Disklabs are one and the same company - the author seems to think so.

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Flame

First Amendment?

"Disklabs argues that religious instruction in the workplace is protected by the First Amendment, making the proposed sanction unconstitutional."

I take this to mean that they don’t dispute that religious training is part of the terms of employment and want to assure that they are able to continue discriminating on the basis of religion. It’s interesting how if they added the words “No Jews need apply.” or “No Catholics need apply.” at the end of their job postings there would be no question of whether this is discrimination. They seem to think it is OK to do exactly the same thing in a backhanded way. After all no believing Jew or Christian is going to follow Scientology. Its pure and simple join our cult or find a new job.

Hopefully the courts will explain the error their ways to Disklabs.

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compulsory hypnosis = nreasonable

It seems very unreasonable to force employees to take part in courses from a cult, or even any religion.

People who want to know more about these types of courses should look for a film (use google) called 'The Bridge' (made in 2006).

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I would be of the same mind..

..to take the Scientology course crap and ram it up Craig Jensen's arse. What a twat.

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Paris Hilton

Scientology

My employer is a huge, privately owned German company and will dismiss any employee found to support or follow scientology. They openly declare their position against it and will gladly accept any penalty as more favourable.

Those guys are too scary. How the hell does such a group thrive in these times? Has Robert Ludlum written about them yet? "The Nutcase Propaganda"... (sticking to the three word title)

Paris because it can't be long before she finally admits membership.

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Stop

Planet, please...

"Disklabs argues that religious instruction in the workplace is protected by the First Amendment, making the proposed sanction unconstitutional."

I don't know what planet Disklabs' folks come from, but in this version of reality, unless you are specifically a religious organization (i.e. a church or seminary, neither of which Disklabs appears to be), then compulsory religious "education" of their workforce is rather forbidden here in the Colonies.

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Anonymous Coward

only vaguely related

but a good way to recover from the recession would be for teh government to remove the tax exempt status from religions. The amount of money flowing through some of them, scientology for example, should get us back on our feet in no time.

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Coat

religions and cults

it still amazes me that even in 21st century we still have people that refuse to think for themselves! these two show some individualizm and free will and get canned?

i hope they win and bring that establishment down to the ground.

as for religion and cults why the hell people even listen or pay them anything?

is it simple refusal to think for oneself or just plain lazyness on their part?

the biggesgt desease facing the world in 21st century is not hunger, war or new viral and bacterial infections that mother nature seems to come up with everyday as well as boffins in hermeticaly sealed labs but RELIGION.

any belif system or religion is amental desease that threatends everyone equaly so why not do something about it?

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Stop

Diskeeper opinion

Leave Diskeeper well alone. In 2004 its MFT defrag on start-up completely killed XP's MFT and I had to restore from backup. I never used the MFT defrag feature again. This year Diskeeper (to my surprise) defragged the $MFT directory just prior to XP self-hibernating, which when later cancelled due to corrupt hiberfil.sys resulted in unwritten disk data being lost. Gradual discovery of file system corruption eventually led to yet another rebuild. So now it's only the built-in defragger for me, and occasional use at that.

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Anonymous Coward

Shocked

I never knew this about Diskeeper. Quite shocked really as I have used their products in the past and yet I despise the tactics of Scientology (so called "religion" which is nothing of the sort. It's run like a cult and is essentially one big money scam).

It does make me wonder if they were snakeoil after all (much like a certain Mr. Gibson's products. Another that suckers far too many people in).

Still waiting for the cover to be blown on the "Way to Happiness" cloaked recruitment adverts. I tried complaining to the ASA and they kindly responded saying they can't prove it's them, but it's worded as such that hints they obviously suspect them, plus if they did know it was them, the adverts would likely be banned.

Feel sorry for anyone vulnerable suckered into this, thinking they're attending courses on improving their life and wellbeing, but instead being indoctrinated into a scam cult that'll suck all their money dry.

Anon as I fear Tom and Xenu monitor The Reg!

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Being an...

...OT XV I am getting a kick out of these posts and just to put the record straight I DL'd all the materials and laughed my tits off when I read them.

Then I studied them hard and became what I am today, a poor fucked-up idiot who still uses winbloze.

Oh well, life is a box of chocolates, you eat them and get fat.

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Anonymous Coward

Keeping it in the family

'Religious instruction' may be legally acceptable, but it's not that simple either. Nothing from the Sci Cult is free, I'd imagine these mandatory courses are no different. So it's equivalent to having your boss say you MUST donate $XX to his pastor or you're fired.

Whoops! That's what you get for claiming your BS multi-level-marketing scam is a religion!

And to the German ACs, congrats on the wisdom of your countrymen, it's going to take examples like yours to bury these guys for good.

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@AC, Re: religions and cults

[QUOTE]

it still amazes me that even in 21st century we still have people that refuse to think for themselves! these two show some individualizm and free will and get canned?

i hope they win and bring that establishment down to the ground.

as for religion and cults why the hell people even listen or pay them anything?

is it simple refusal to think for oneself or just plain lazyness on their part?

the biggesgt desease facing the world in 21st century is not hunger, war or new viral and bacterial infections that mother nature seems to come up with everyday as well as boffins in hermeticaly sealed labs but RELIGION.

any belif system or religion is amental desease that threatends everyone equaly so why not do something about it?[/QUOTE]

Replace the word "RELIGION" with "PSYCHIATRY" in your rant and you win the 2008 "Tom Cruise Sound-a-Like" contest.

Congratulations on not only being intolerant, but doing so with ironic flair!

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Alien

@Lyndon Hills

"I would have hoped that religious instruction in the workplace was outlawed by the constitution"

IANAL, or even American either, but I do live here... I have the impression that the constitution outlaws the establishment of religion in *public*, gov run workplaces and the like. Not in private ones. But as I said, I could be wrong. It's know to have happened... frequently.

On the other hand, there are other laws against discrimination and unfair dismissal or whatever the name mentioned, which is what the two guys are (rightfully, IMNSHO) working with.

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Alien

In the words of Tom

I LOVE DISKEEPER I LOVE DISKEEPER I LOVE DISKEEPER I LOVE DISKEEPER I LOVE DISKEEPER I LOVE DISKEEPER I LOVE DISKEEPER I LOVE DISKEEPER I LOVE DISKEEPER

/anon because Xenu may be reading these......

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Microsoft/Scientology connection suggested by the article... huh?

Your article's last paragraph, reproduced in full:

"The German government asked Microsoft for the ability to inspect source code before it was prepared to allow the use of the technology of German government systems. Microsoft declined, but resolved the resulting impasse by releasing a tool that removed the utility from systems. ®"

PARDON ME? What has this to do with scientology or firing people for refusing to study it? PLEASE connect the dots this is FAR to interesting to let pass unquestioned. Are you suggesting that Microsoft is under the influence of a cult? or that it is connected to one somehow?

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Boffin

Belchy Pork.

"The German government asked Microsoft for the ability to inspect source code before it was prepared to allow the use of the technology of German government systems. Microsoft declined, but resolved the resulting impasse by releasing a tool that removed the utility from systems"

I don't believe for one moment that the source code of any operating system is a big secret in governments of any size.

But..

It does strike me as odd that before this controversy, closed source anything would be allowed access to a government site. Any site in any government.

How the hell would anyone know what is on a system install? You can only know what you have decoded. You can never know what you missed. That applies to the very best of the very best.

And the ultimate incredible is that the inventors of computing go to bloody Microsoft. WTF????

I mean...

WTF?

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Coat

@Microsoft/Scientology connection suggested by the article... huh?

AFAIK Microsoft has never let anyone outside of Microsoft access the source code. Nothing to do with Scientology.

Can't resist, must resist,.. The way Windows trips over itself sometimes, it may be doubtful they let their own developers see other parts of the code.

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@J

IANAL, or even American either, but I do live here... I have the impression that the constitution outlaws the establishment of religion in *public*, gov run workplaces and the like. Not in private ones. But as I said, I could be wrong. It's know to have happened... frequently.

On the other hand, there are other laws against discrimination and unfair dismissal or whatever the name mentioned, which is what the two guys are (rightfully, IMNSHO) working with.

The reason why they will lose because its discriminating against people of other faiths , and atheist.

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Stop

Scientology is a total load of dogs bollocks!

And any person who takes it seriously is either;

A) Quite mad, sad or deluded, or

B) In it for the profit $$$$

But, nut jobs all.

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@Deliberatus

Don't just read the last paragraph... Read the one above it... Then you'll see the Scientology->Diskeeper->Microsoft->German Govt link

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Constitutionality

I'm too tired to speak about this other than to say I hope this company dies a painful death while its valuable employees are hired by other firms (it's likely not their fault the company does this, so the employees shouldn't be punished). But about whether or not religious instruction is outlawed by the US Constitution, here is the text of the first amendment:

"Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

So no, religious instruction is not outlawed by the Constitution (at least not this amendment). In fact, this amendment does not prevent religious discrimination, either. It merely says that CONGRESS shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about private companies' policies on the issue. Having said that, there are various state and federal laws regarding employment discrimination (religious and otherwise).

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@AC: availability of Windows source

"AFAIK Microsoft has never let anyone outside of Microsoft access the source code."

It is available to MVPs (who are all non-Microsoft, by definition) and various universities have access. I've read (here?) that the then current version was made available to the Chinese government a few years ago. It's all under NDA of course, but the Windows code is *widely* available with Microsoft's blessing, and (as another suggested) almost certainly even more widely available without.

Then, speaking as a developer, it isn't *that* hard to reverse engineer small fragments. Virus authors do this to all the patches from Windows Update and I expect much of the process is automated. If your attackers have deep enough pockets, the only truly closed source is the stuff you don't release at all.

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Black Helicopters

Terms and Conditions of Employment

I would imagine that if this company were forcing people to go to classes or education based upon the teachings of Islam then it would be an open and shut case!

One, does wonder however if this obligation to be a Hubbardian Nut Job was outlined in there terms and conditions, in which case they were not drafted and therefore could have declined the job - this is not revealed in the article?

It is not unusal for faith based organisations to indicate that they would prefer someone sympaphy for thier cause, but you wouldnt expect a technology company to do the same.... it is california nad not utah afterall?

If this was the case, it appears to be like the recent supermarket cases where employees have tried to take their employeers to court on relgious grounds for being exposed to pork and alcohol in the workplace (doh! wake up, its a supermarket), even when the supermarket as attempted to reallocate the worker. One does wonder if the 'worker' was angling for the compensation all along?

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Anonymous Coward

@ThinkingOutLoud : Scientology

> My employer is a huge, privately owned German company and will dismiss any

>employee found to support or follow scientology. They openly declare their position

>against it and will gladly accept any penalty as more favourable.

Whilst I find the compulsory religion of diskeeper unnerving that one chills me to the core.

Not picking on the Jews this time then? Provided it's some small group that everyone hates it's OK I suppose.

Why can't people leave their religion at home then no-one has to be persecuted.

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Alien

@JonB

"Why can't people leave their religion at home then no-one has to be persecuted."

This is precisely why the German firm targets Scientology - it does not stay in the home. It's zealots are like a cancer and they are killing the first few cells that infect their organisation before it spreads.

The comparison with Jews is also a low blow - if anything, it is the (mainstream) German's post-war sensitivity to intolerance that means they try to quash any organisation that is itself publically intolerant - and let's face it, Scientology fits that bill very well.

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Anonymous Coward

This might be interesting...

Here in the USA we have discrimination laws which prohibit discrimination based on (among other things) religious affiliation. A couple of religions decree that theirs does not allow for others (take your pick). Scientology professes to be a religion, so people with other religious bents can decree that being indoctrinated (taking classes) is against THEIR religion. The only way that this can not be allowed is to have Scientology NOT be declared a religion. Of course this might (we can only hope) end the tax exemption for the "Church". In the end this might not be a "bad thing".

As the saying goes, be careful for what you wish for, you just might get it!

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@Jon B

The Nazis picked on the Jews because of their race, not their religion.

Oh bugger, I've just proved Godwin's Law (although Jon alluded to the N word).

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@JonB

> Why can't people leave their religion at home then no-one has to be persecuted.

Simple. Because CoS is not a religion.

Just like peadophilea is not a sporting adventure. Despite the contrary claims of the Super Action Adventure Club's committee.

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@JonB

Not everyone holds the American idea that something is a religion just because it likes American tax benefits. The German goverment is actively seeking to ban Scientology for the simple reason that it is a money-making-scam-cult. That German organisations should actively ban their staff from being associated with a potentially illegal organisation should come as a suprise to no-one.

And let's be quite clear here: Scientology is not a religion; it is a scam.

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Exactly the same thing happened to me!

When I was 17, I managed to get a pretty decent technicians job for a small re-sellers firm

The set up was weird aside from the Scientology part - I wasn't allowed to leave this familys house for lunch, and I had to eat lunch with them at the table (i thought this OK coz I was allowed to smoke as much as I wanted..)

I went through a rough patch with my EX at the time, and was off ill with a tummy bug for a day...I came back and instead of sympathy - I received stern words along the lines of "You've let us down, only weak, wrong-doing people get down and ill"

They then asked if I'd like to take a read through some self help books, i thought "yeah why not" I was feeling low at the time and was open to any suggestions to pick myself up

I asked if I could take said books home to have a look through as I was busy at work - they said no. They said I had to be with other Scientologists whilst reading them, and that this had to be done at their house....

I said..hold on, I'm sorry I'm not religious in anyway, I'm not up for that...

The next day I had a letter entitled "Termination of Employment" under grounds that I was "underperforming"

I never signed a contract with them so I couldn't take it further with industrial relations.

My IT career was ruined and I had to work in a shop earning minimum wage for the next year. Thankfully I got myself back up and I'm running and IT department now ;)

These people are poison in our communities - they prey on the weak and persecute those who don't "buy in"

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Joke

it is woz's fault i tell ya

In Germany it is a criminal offence to deny the holocoust, so by defination it is a criminal offence to be a scientologist as they deny the Truth of the holocoust so the company are pretty much covered legaly.

Scientology is religion for idiots = pay more for the same old repakaged garbage a bit like apple is to the computer industry.

why be a scientologist i mean you pay more than any other member of any organisation for the same crap other curches gives out, you have to follow their rules with their stuff or they will hound you by any means everything you buy from them is locked down...wait i have just described a MAC user

...SO THAT IS IT SCIENTOLOGISTS ARE MAC USERS.

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Anonymous Coward

@Various

Kicked one off there didn't I..

>This is precisely why the German firm targets Scientology - it does not stay in the home.

Nor do many religions, I worked with a very committed fundamentalist Christian a while back and he was quite vociferous. Whilst I don't subscribe to any religion, I would've been appalled if they'd sacked him for it.

>The comparison with Jews is also a low blow

Yes, but nonetheless it is another example of picking on a small subculture that everyone hates (or did back when they did).

>CoS is not a religion.

It could be a chess club and it's still wrong to sack people because of membership of a group.

With the German company, what if they're Catholics and decide they don't want gays working for them? I think that companies really shouldn't be meddling with their employees private lives.

Don't forget just because you don't like them doesn't mean it's right. It's important to consider the things that are being done to the unpopular groups. One day you might discover that you're in one.

If they're involved in crime it's obviously a different matter, but that's for courts to decide, not employers on a whim.

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Good by Diskeeper?

Hmm... What to do? I've been a faithful user of Diskeeper since 2004 or so. I've never knowingly had a problem that was attributable to Diskeeper, either.

Now, do I get rid of Diskeeper because of my personal distaste for Scientology and its followers?

Interestingly enough, all of Lenovo's Windows installs include Diskeeper Lite as a preinstalled application. I wonder if there's some weird Scientology -> Chinese gov't connection too? Heh.

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Retardology.

What kind of utter buffoon would publicly support such a foolish foolish belief.

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LPF
Paris Hilton

@ David Hogan

well dave considering that christianity, Islam and Jusadism or belive in Jesus Christ a man supposedly born with a father, they for one are not in a postion to talk.

Put it this way, if I put a tescup on a table and either god, allah or whoever can move that cup , while in my presense I will belive in them :P

Paris becuase she knows all religons are balls

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Anonymous Coward

A few things

Pink Duck: Defragger in Windows - is based on Diskeeper

Re: Microsoft/Scientology connection suggested by the article... huh?

Well that's what Wikipedia are suggesting (as the Reg have quite obviously just sourced it from there. Though they could have added that entry!).

Windows source code

Mainsoft have significant access to Windows source code to develop their (very expensive) Visual C++ porting software for unix.

Re: AC's intolerance & religion rant...

CoS are the intolerant ones. Most wars are through intolerance yes, but to accept an intolerant "religion" because you are yourself tolerant does not mean they are not a danger to the world. To tolerate intolerance invites persecution and war.

That's if you don't consider the fact they are not a religion, and are more akin to an organisation such as the Nazis in the way they recruit and breed intolerance to anyone who doesn't fit their point of view, and harass anyone who speaks out against them.

With that perspective though, you are tolerant of the Nazi's I take it?

p.s. if anyone think these guys are harmless, please read this http://www.xenu.net/ (assuming your ISP isn't owned by CoS and they censor it).

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Beliefs

Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, provided that's exactly what they are - their OWN, and keep 'em that way! I like to think I'm a reasonably tolerant person, but when religous fanatics of varying persuasions turn up on my doorstep (despite a clear, LARGE sign on the door saying no unsolicited callers, leaflets, etc.), trying to force their vague, ethereal and nefarious theories on me, something snaps and I invariably tell them to go away in terms which cannot be mis-interpreted!

Oh - and by the way, after reading the article, I shall not be touching DisKeeper with the proverbial barge-pole!

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Happy

@john wilson

"The German goverment is actively seeking to ban Scientology for the simple reason that it is a money-making-scam-cult."

Erm, you have just described EVERY organized religion. They want your money and they want to control what you think, see, and do.

@Alexander - Scientology is religion for idiots

Make that "religion is for idiots" and you've got a winner.

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Stop

Would it be that ppl could keep their religions entirely to themselves.

In November a couple of Merkin states passed marriage bigotry bills that were largely promoted and funded by the religion industry. While there were probably many zealots among the electorate, I am confident that many quietly religious folks pulled the lever for discrimination as well.

So, while people keeping their religion to themselves in public and in the workplace would be a sorely- needed first step, the nonsense will not stop until people are well enough educated to think for themselves and not swallow without question the idea that some guy- in- the- sky will only like them (or like them better) if they treat other people as second class citizens. Do they really think that Jesus will, during the second coming they seem to want more than anything, check his ledger, see their discriminatory and intolerant acts, and slap them on the backs for work well done?

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