This is the full text of SCHNEWS 632 Brighton activists group newsletter concerning the incident.
"City of London police have been cracking down hard on religious
intolerance this week and on one four letter word in particular - CULT. And
when does the word cult become illegal? Curiously only when it's
applied to the Church of Scientology (CoS) - and in the Square Mile.
Around two-hundred anti-Scientology protesters gathered outside the CoS
London base on Queen Victoria Street last Saturday as part of a day
of action. Sporting Guy Fawkes masks, many carried signs accusing the
organisation of being a cult. They were greeted by a number of City
of London Police.
At 11.20, two officers approached one 15-year-old who was wearing a
huge-nosed mask and holding a sign saying "Scientology is not a religion
- it is a dangerous cult". He was handed a pre-printed warning by a
WPC stating, "The sign you are displaying commits an offence under
Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 .. you are strongly advised to
remove the sign with immediate effect". He riposted with a verbatim
quote from a verdict given by Justice Latey in 1984 "Some might regard
this as an extension of the entertaining science fiction which
Hubbard used to write before he invented and founded the cult . .
Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious."
One cop (A747) told SchNEWS' man on the scene that, "the idea is that
if somebody gets prosecuted there will be a test case" Police were
clearly out to protect CoS's reputation with one officer telling us,
"Our solicitors at the Crown Prosecution Service have advised us that
any signs saying 'Scientology is a cult' could be deemed offensive." He
added "They are being treated as a religious organisation for the
purposes of today".
Ten minutes later and the cops returned. The youth was chased up an
alleyway and then forced to hand over his details for a court summons.
So why the sudden desire to defend Scientology so strenuously? One
explanation is that a lifetime's exposure to masonic ceremony has made
London's top cops a little more suggestible than the rest of us. Might
they now be being sucked in by cult founder L. Ron Hubbard's daffy
load of old cobblers?
A more mundane explanation is that CoS has been very generous to our
friends in blue. They're not short of a few quid - after all Hubbard
himself pointed out "If a man really wants to make a million dollars he
should start his own religion." Basic introductory sessions for
Scientology cost up to £80. the next costs £300 etc etc. In October, a
£24 million Scientology centre opened in the heart of London's Square
Mile, one of 30 "missions" in the country, including a massive HQ in
East Grinstead. Up to 20 officers in the City of London Police - from
constables to superintendents - have accepted hospitality worth
thousands from CoS, including invites to a £500-a-head charity dinner
where the guest of honour was Tom Cruise. One senior police officer
appeared in a Church of Scientology video and another, Chief
Superintendent Kevin Hurley, spoke at the opening of the new "mission" saying the
cult was "raising the spiritual wealth of society".
Two hours later, a similar demo was held, but this time outside the
City Police's jurisdiction. A bunch of 'cults' on signs were evident but
the Met, perhaps as yet unconverted, had no corresponding
Whatever the dubious nature of the hand-in-glove relations between the
City cops and the cranks, their pre-meditated use of police powers to
crackdown on freedom of speech at demos fails to reflect the
'inalienable rights to expression' or brotherhoodly love preached by the
SchNEWS warns all readers - we're not a sinister cult, we're a
pseudo-non-hierarchical rhizomatic horizontal collective. Honest!
Cowards are anon.