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back to article Teen battles City of London cops over anti-Scientology placard

Anti-Scientology campaigners are up in arms after it emerged that City of London police issued a court summons to a teenager for displaying a sign that branded the Hollywood-bothering, UFO-fancying sect a "cult". The incident occurred on 10 May outside Scientology's controversial Square Mile headquarters, at a rally spearheaded …

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Flame

Culting hell!

Not a single CoS shill to be seen yet. Come on guys, you're slacking off in your Culting duties. Get with it and come Cult us up fun time!

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Paris Hilton

@Your honour, what is this scientology you're talking about?

I was thinking along similar lines - either:

Scientology is a clut

or

Scientology is a cnut

Hell, if the tossers at FCUK (French Connection UK) can get away with it...

Paris icon: make love not Scientology.

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Coat

Police State in UK

Charles, yes people have a right to hold up a sign of their choosing, even with something as detestable as that. A great man once said, "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

I don't care what scientologists believe as long as it does no harm to others. But I do have issue with their attempts to take over governments (see the OSA training manuals here: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/osa-int-ed-508r.html

Anyway, this is yet another sign that the UK is sliding into the kind of police state as seen on V for Vendatta. They took your guns. Now they are coming for your right to speak. Citizens of the UK, don't become an example that the rest of the world wants not to follow. Another country did that once. Ironically that same country is now doing more to fight scientology than any other country in Europe.

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Black Helicopters

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/nov/22/freedomofinformation.religion

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/nov/22/freedomofinformation.religion

Nuff said.

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Alien

Placard Suggestion

Why not just carry a placard that reads in big letters "Scientology is a cult" and then add in small letters "in Germany".

That would take away completely from any semantic nuances of what a cult is, but would inform of fact.

ref BVerfG 5 AZB 21/94

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Alien

Time to roll out the D of HR's again, again, again.

<quote>Scientology describes itself as a "religion", and calls those who oppose it "bigots". </quote> Well it passes the first test... if it calls the opposition "bigots", it is a religion. Now then...

Article 19: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Article 20: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association. These are HUMAN rights, not Xenu-phobic alien's rights.

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Flame

e-mail Boris!

Get BojoCop to sort this out. Isn't that why you all voted for him?

I emailed him here: mayor@london.gov.uk

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Religion or dangerous cult

A religion is a very large, well-established cult.

They're all dangerous, because they're irrational and driven by a loathsome self-righteousness.

Dawkins may be too strident, but after the latest Dispatches on fundies it seems evident that the disease isn't confined to backward parts of the US or Iran.

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Anonymous Coward

ipcc

Maybe getting in contact with The Independent Police Complaints Commission is the way to go in this case?

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Anonymous Coward

@Anonimoo

'A great man once said, "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."'

You shouldn't believe everything you hear.

That was originally written by a woman, Beatrice Hall. (who was paraphrasing something Voltaire wrote, "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.". The phrase then got mistakenly ascribed to Voltaire).

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Re: Not the Police's fault

"The law catches everyone and then informal pressure is applied to pick up those the politicos want or the newspapers scream about. Just like all the GWOT legislation.

Don't blame the police, vote for someone else. "

While they may be unaware of it, the police in this country serve the LAW and not the government. If they are selectively applying the law for political aims then that most certainly IS the police's fault and they need to be held accountable.

If they are willing to act like political enforcers, then they can't start crying when people hold them responsible for their actions - it's not like anyone joined the City of London Police so that they could "clean up their neighbourhood".

Re: Flashmob to spell cult

That would probably be classified as a "visible representation" allthough they'd have to arrest everyone invovlved. That or they'd label a few people "organiser" and do them for "conspiracy to incite a visible representation that may cause alarm, distress or offence" or something equally silly.

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Anonymous Coward

Using the law against them.

"...someone at the CPS suggested that the Hubbardites would claim to be alarmed and distressed by the use of the word cult.

In theory it is the law that's wrong here not the police..."

So many people are alarmed and distressed by the thought of Scientologists and their pernicious deceit that surely their very existence in public in this country is an ongoing and serious breach of the POA? Could Anonymous, when seeking permission for next month's protest, not mention this to the Plod, and ask them to take action?

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Coat

Police working for 'Da Man'

Easy way around all this police harassment of the little people. Just wait until they go on strike and then wave what ever you want. Of course they could just send in the Anti-Terrorist Police and cart us all and our families and our friends off to Guatameno Bay.

Picked this icon because it looks like police carrying out a strip search. Gulp! here come the rubber gloves

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City of London police

This does not surprise me one bit, the City of London police are pretty much a bloody cult themselves. They're almost completely seperate from the rest of the police, and seem to be are at liberty to make up their own rules which are completely inconsistent with other forces. As an example, they charged me 260 quid for driving at 38mph over Tower Bridge on a clear road at 6am - anywhere else and it would have been 60 quid tops. When the judges in court were reading the means testing forms that they make you fill in they put on static noise over louspeakers so you can't hear them saying "how much can we sting this particular mug for?" - It was pretty much a kangaroo court worthy of any banana republic.

Seriously, there's something not right about them.

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surely he can get legal aid.

That would be justice, the govt paying at both sides of a stpuid argument.

Let's hope boris gets involved, though I do want this to go to court as a way of making it stick in legal terms. Forever to be realed out as more evidence against the cult.

Sad day for people of this country, but recently that is happening a lot.

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Go

Just call them a......

CUMT

1 letter either way is fine by me!

AC - because I'm not risking it.

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Black Helicopters

Word association...

Scientology... Freemasonry... Senior... Police... officers...

nothing changes :(

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Dead Vulture

Policing

Just proves once again that the police only go after the soft targets, the regular law abiding citizen. Forget the proper crimes, thats too hard to solve or not worth enough money to waste their time on.

If you cant catch criminals, they criminalise civil things, then you can look like you are actually effective. It seems over filling your bin is more of a crime than burgalry these days. The only reason the police acted no doubt was because it was a spotty student.

Democracy, the best illusion ever created by man. We believed it for so long but it's starting to show signs of breaking down. We never truly had freedom, but thanks to Labour and the morons in parliament its far more obvious now.

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Anonymous Coward

@Aram - FCUK

There is a furniture shop I pass occasionally called Indulgence Furniture with the web address (printed prominently over the door) of:

IFUK.EU

Which certainly beats the FCUK angle

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Re: Strategies against Interdimensional Architects

How about we turn up at the CoS site with leaflets and tests "how to tell if you're a cult"?

And I find the insinuation that I'm stressed both demeaning and insulting. Get them off the streets!!!!

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Alien

Daily Mail Story

London City Police have a reported history of accepting gifts from this cult.

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

If you believe the daily mail....

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Thumb Up

paying to get high up in scientology

actually seems like a very clever way of reducing infiltration and destruction from agents working within.

You have to put your money where your mouth is. Would you lay waste to £300k of your own money just to bring down something like them?

Hmm... I have an idea to pitch towards channel 4 or 5 for some truly gritty "reality TV" ;)

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Alien

petition

There is currently a petition on the Number 10 website calling for any application by CoS to be recognised as a religion to be opposed. Over 8000 signatures so far.

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Anonymous Coward

the UK is sliding into the kind of police state ..

"the UK is sliding into the kind of police state as seen on V for Vendatta", Anonimoo

Sorry to disillusion you, but that happened some time ago, the current 'war on terror' being the final pretext in implimenting total information awareness.

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If this goes to court...

...we wouldn't WIN the right to call scientology a cult - we should LOSE the right to call it a religion.

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Welcome to Blair Britian

Now we are just one step away from the thought police.

Is there no commen sense in law? (or has there ever been)

Just another case of the police screwing the general public with bad laws.

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Anonymous Coward

@fixit_f

Slightly off-topic.....

You ARE aware that the speed limit over Tower Bridge is 20mph, not 30, aren't you? Even at 6am? The limit is there because the Bridge is a grade 1 listed building, is privately owned by the Corporation of London, the road surface is not brilliant and that they (the limits) have been in place since 1955. Not enough notice, maybe?

Seems to me you were fucking lucky to keep your license at all, let alone get away with a 260 quid fine.

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Stop

Offensive is as offensive does

Ok so who do i complain to regarding the offensiveness of signs and literature which offend my intelligence i.e Police on a building / uniform, Political party literature, UK government "information/consultation", PR material and advertising from most business

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Alien

Freedom of speech my arse.

"A great man once said, "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.""

The context is entirely different. What you're attempt to defend is the right to insult people on their doorstep. The Police acted correctly to keep any disturbances down to a minimum. Imagine the uproar if they allowed a bunch of fascists to march the streets of Golders Green on a tour of synagogues.

I don't get Scientology or anti-Scientology, but does it really matter? Live and let live. If some poor sap wants to give their money to Scientology then let them get on with it. If some poor sap wants to give their money to the Mormons then let them get on with it. Religion is for stupid people. Athiests shall inherit the Earth.

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One rule for one.... one rule for the other

Why it is offensive to display the word "Cult" to a scientologist, yet the police will sit by and let animal rights terrorists shout and display words such as "Murderer" to people who work at Huntington Life Sciences? Surely thats far more offensive/threatening ?

Anonymous post as we know what those animal rights terrorists are like.

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Unhappy

More t-shirts.

I was planning on having a load of 'Evolution did happen. Oh yes it did. There's a lot of irrefutable evidence to say so', tee's printed, but I'm afraid I'll have to cancel in case I happen to harrass a Creationist.

Same goes for 'We were monkeys once.'

And 'The sun isn't drawn across the sky by unicorns.'

Etc etc etc ad absurdum.

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Banning scientology is as bad as banning placards

I'm amazed at how many people think protesting against a cult is free speech, and right.

But saying there's a God and he's an alien is not free speech and it's wrong.

So, it's a cult. So what. The principle of free speech is that it will live or die on it's merits. If it does something illegal like give backhanders to the police, judiciary then let it live and die on that.

Received opinion. Like wisdom, only for sheeple.

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Double Standards

On the UK PRC Embassy website you can find links to onsite pages which sections which openly call Falun Gong a cult, and to PRC-run Tibet-related sites which slander the good name of the the Dalai Lama.

http://uk.china-embassy.org/eng/ - RHS panel about 2/3 of the way down.

For a while these links were taken off the site, but surprisingly, now they're back. In view of the strength of public feelings shown at the Olympic Torch parad- er I mean rout, maybe the police would do better to slap a banning order on these offensive statements. But then, I know that won't happen. Why? Go figure.

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Alien

Freedom of speech my arse.

"Why it is offensive to display the word "Cult" to a scientologist"

Why is it offensive to draw a picture of the Islam prophet Mohammed? Neither 'religion' likes the offensive comment aimed at them, so why should the Scientologists have to tolerate insults and people get locked up for drawing cartoons? This is about getting in peoples faces and trying to upset them. Its about pushing buttons you know will cause a reaction. It is not about freedom of speech.

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Alert

Re: Freedom of speech my arse

"Why is it offensive to draw a picture of the Islam prophet Mohammed? Neither 'religion' likes the offensive comment aimed at them, so why should the Scientologists have to tolerate insults and people get locked up for drawing cartoons?"

Er, I don't believe anyone was locked up for drawing a cartoon, in the country of origin, there was little hoohah when they were published, it appears that the brouhaha arose weeks later when it was picked up by extermists/press* (delete to blame your own favourite), in other countries. Later arrests arose from the threatening language and placards that protestors used on a demonstration in London. These were, granted, pretty threatening, death to, murder, kill all, that sort of thing. The young lad in question was merely repeating what a judge had said of the Co$. It's very, very different.

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Heart

@Billy Goat

I think you're way off there Billy. What I think most reasonable commentators are NOT talking about is banning Co$ right to say 'God is an Alien - give me your cash.'

What I and a lot of others find particularly offensive are the subversive and underhanded methods that Co$ use to silence and even destroy anyone that raises their voice in opposition to their beliefs or methods.

Extremist Christians used burning crosses.

Extremist Islamists use suicide techniques.

Co$ use lawyers.

There is no real difference fundamentally (!), they all attempt to destroy those that disagree with them and their beliefs.

@AC 'Freedom of speech my arse' (Friend of Xenu anyone?)

I find the word 'Scientologist' deeply offensive to me. Tolerate it.

Spread the love people.

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@Charles Manning

It's censorship.

Next question.

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@ Billy Goat

Thing being, the exact opposite of your scenario is true. the Cult of $cientology have carte blanche to do and say what they like as long as it doesn't break the laws of the land (and a lot of the time that doesn't stop them...) - but anyone who disagrees with them and says so is "silenced".

Therefore they have free speech, and we do not. That's the part that winds me, and I don't doubt a lot of others, up so much. It can only live and die on its merits if its merits are open and up for debate amongst supporters and detractors alike, rather than simply banning anyone who says anything "nasty" about them - even if this includes, as in this case, the repetition of a legal ruling.

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Law
Alert

sigh

Bloody cult-tards.... the police are useless and pathetic... next they just need to start tazeing us rather than reading "rules" and "regulations" that don't even apply. It's time for a good old fashioned riot or civil war I think - put the queen back in charge - now they knew how to run a country!! :)

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Stop

Don't like Scientology?

Well if you want to show you're not all talk and believe genuinely in help ridding the world of these evil misdistorting group, go along and join the protests!

One piece of advice 'Scientology=Bad', not a winning argument as signs go, 'Scientology=Dangerous' would be an improvement. A better example would be to use quotes from their own secret documents and then mention its from their doctrine. People taking one read of it will immediately see these guys are whacko.

I've been past the Tottenham Crt Rd one a fair bit, at times when they've tried to stop me i just 'Sorry im not into cults' or 'Sorry i dont believe in 'religions' started by failed SciFi authors' and walk off, and other times i just ignore them. But what i hate is when i see them sucker someone in for one of their 'stress tests', i've been tempted to call out 'don't do it, they are dangerous', but yeah its a shame the shop next to that cult can't be another ship which educates people against Scientology (and had deep pockets for good lawyers!)

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Alien

@ Freedom of speech my arse

Hang on, it is about freedom of speech, the same freedom that gives a person a right to say 'I don't like people saying things' is supposed to be the same freedom as the one who opposes whatever the cause. You clearly miss the point of freedom of speech, it's not there to protect people being upset because they disagree with what someone else has to say, it's there to allow both contradicting points of view be expressed.. freely!

The methodology of the CoS is what SHOULD BE QUESTIONED. I don't agree that ANY religion, chrisitians, catholics, jews, buddhists and YES Muslims and CoS should be beyond the consequences of their actions, just because their 'god' says its okay doesn't make it right. If people believe others are being put in harms way by others it is Human Kind to have the opportunity to communicate their message too, and from EDUCATION people will have the opportunity to decide.

But you probably don't even know this, CoS bans the reading or viewing of any non-CoS approved materials, that's as bad as the Vatican and what they did many centuries back to Gallileo because his science went against their beliefs.

However in this case, whilst I don't think the cops were really trying so actively to censor, I do believe they weren't acting as a representitive of the people and acting balanced or objectively. Holding up a sign saying 'Cult', regardless of who its aimed at should never be substance enough for any court case.

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Anonymous Coward

England needs to break away from the UK

We need our own country and independence back, I think that is what we should be demonstrating for.

Over a decade of Scottish rule has bought this country to its knees.

And like a torrent rush,

Rebellious Scots to crush.

God save the Queen!

And all who sail in her :)

I wonder if the National Anthem falls under some banner.

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Flame

@AC 'England...'

Yeeess. That's right. We'll fight for our right to be English and defend it to the death! Well except the Northerners, useless dole scrounging bastards that they are. I'll defend everyone south of Watofrds right to be English to the death.

Except those from Saaf of the river, bunch of ponces the lot of them. I'll defend everyone in Claphams right to be English to the death!

Except for that bloke in the flat down the hallway he's a dodgy looking fucker. In my own living room I'll defend everyone's right to be English to the death!

Except when the footballs on.

Credit: Al Murray - Pub Landlord

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Alert

Full ruling

Justice Latelys full ruling makes quite interesting reading!

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/audit/latey.html

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Alien

@AC 'Full ruling.'

Have just started to read the Justice Latelys ruling.

And all I can say is that I take back the reasoned, moderate, 'lets-all-live-together' comment, above and am more than willing to exchange it for a 'let's nuke this Co$ from orbit, it's the only way to be sure'.

How can we continue to let this mind-control freakery continue? (And I'm not talking about Derren Brown - who is cool)

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CPS thinks sign is perfectly legal

Looks like the cops probably can't pull the same trick again, even if their friends in CoS ask them to:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7416425.stm

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Alien

Definitely a Cult

I would like to declare here and now that Scientology is a dangerous cult that has destroyed lives (literally in some cases).

I will now sit back and wait for the London Police to arrive.

Alien - obviously.

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Jobs Horns

When did Co$ become a relegion in the UK?

Who say they a religion in the first place?

To my knowledge Church of Scientology (opus that should be Corporation) they do NOT have religious status in the UK. Co$ have gone to court and could NOT win the status of being a Religion!

http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Library/registration/pdfs/cosfulldoc.pdf

My answer to this is

Church of Section 10 Cult.

Our religion is simple say a Cult is Cult when it is a Cult.

Also why do police do Co$ for dumb acts of terrorism with so called silly unscientific test with stress. This test is designed to terrorised someone to believing they are suffering with stress.

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Looks like scientology is stepping in...

...to fill the void left by freemasonry.

(if it ever _really_ went away)

It's a shame that this will never come to court (just a prediction). Someone needs publicly showing up as some sort of dickhead.

To all the people who insist the police are not complicit and were just doing their job, they can exercise discretion. Let the whiners at the CoS put their balls on the chopping block and bring a prosecution against them for not upholding the law as the CoS see it - it will fail for the simple reason Church=religion=cult by any dictionary you want to use. Of course that would mean the freebies would dry up.

CoS got what it wanted for the price of a few coffees and biscuits with no risk...disgraceful. Just disgraceful.

I've been saying for 10 years that the tide will turn but it looks like it might take a bit longer...

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid laws...

And to think they were messing about with a proposed religious hatred law a bit back, it was obviously unnecessary.

Dunno what this copper was thinking, looks like it might be a wrongful arrest case to me..

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