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 …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    misread

    maybe she thought it said cunt?

    Paris.....

  2. HFoster
    Unhappy

    Where's the Daily Mail when you need them?

    They should be worried about this lot rather than Islamic extremists. Then again, I can't see the Daily Mail reading dunderheads of the world turning on Tom Cruise or John Travolta.

  3. Alan
    Joke

    He got it wrong

    it's SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY, not SAW YOU LAST TUESDAY.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    your

    your law enforcement working in you the citizens best interests yet again.

    Do not question your betters, little people.

    Citizens? Know your place!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Double standards

    And yet the police stood by and did absolutely nothing when masses of people in this country took to the streets and demanded the death of an innocent British Citizen (Salman Rushdie) while they hung effigies and carried placards instructing anyone who found him to kill him.

  6. TMS9900
    Thumb Down

    Why am I not surprised?

    It's simply the thought police telling us what we are allowed (and not allowed) to think.

    George Orwell. 1984. (For those of you that haven't read it - I read it recently and was gobsmacked).

    Of course, once the Government have the ability to store all our communications, they will able to search for dissidents like me, and, having sentenced them to 'thought crimes', can ship them off for 'thought re-alignment'.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Outrageous

    Do I really have to elaborate on this?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    sweet

    If this goes to court we could win the right to call scientology a cult :D

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Cu*t

    How about a mass-milling-around outside HQ - everyone holding Cult Clothing (Google them) carrier bags? :o)

    Freedom of speech may be under attack but nobody will stomp on your freedom of shopping!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Astounding

    How can summarising a High Court judgement lead an unbought police force to issue a summons under the Public Order Act?

    Someone at City of London is dealing from a straight deck

  11. Jack Harrer
    Thumb Down

    Free speech...

    ..anybody?

    Welcome in UK of 1984!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    where's Boris..

    .. when you need him? I'm sure he would side with the protester and stand up for his right to free speech (as long as he wasn't a scouser)

  13. DM

    @ AC(s)

    Until I'm notified(forced to be) otherwise I'll be a british subject thankyouverymuch!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    WTF

    Sad state of affairs - Reinforces the view that we're truly living in a 3rd world, clapped out, crapped out shit hole of a country where the police can be bought for a few doughnuts, a free film and a copy of the latest masterpiece by L. Ron Hubbard.

  15. DM

    I'm

    the guy in the orthopaedic shoes!

  16. Ross
    Stop

    Wrong

    So very wrong! This really has got to stop.

    It's about time that the gov were reminded that they're not our rulers, but our servants. We supposedly elect them to administer things on our behalf. Policy like this, using the police to take away people's right to free speech is simply unacceptable.

  17. Anonymous

    Public order act = Arbitary power

    Yet another example of how section 5 of the public order act gives the poilce arbitary power to restrict expression. When will the country wake up and force parliment to revoke this oppressive law?

  18. alphaxion

    @where's the daily mail

    They're too busy exclaiming against the "cult of emo" right now.. please leave you name, number, NI number and inside legmeasurement and they'll get right back to you.

  19. Mike Crawshaw
    Flame

    Cu*t of Cu*ts

    F*cking ridiculous. They're not a recognised religion in this country (cu*try?), so they shouldn't be able to hide behind religious discrimination laws or similar. I don't give a flying f*ck whether what I say upsets them, just like they don't give a flying f*ck that their repression of my right to free speech upsets me.

    I want them to come to my area (Sheffield). I've converted a Mormon missionary into a beer-swilling smoker, so my next challenge is this lot. F*ck, I might even make the effort to go find some of them.

    Flames, as they would once have been burned as witches, the lot of 'em.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    What's wrong with "cult"?

    Merriam-Webster says:

    1.formal religious veneration : worship

    2: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents

    3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents

    4: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>

    Sounds perfectly good. Christianity is a "cult". Maybe the cops should learn the use of proper english? Or the protesters should.

    Xenu icon, you know why.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    I'm going to protest that "Scienceology is a cult", carry a placard and wear a t-shirt with the statement written on it. There's nothing the police could (should) do.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    TBH...

    I think that the Brighton civil rights groups are going to cause problems for the protests. I've seen their little newsletter and they seem to be far more interested in fighting the plod than protesting the Clut of Scientology.

    For anyone interested in this who isn't following the Enturbulation boards, the Queen Victoria Street protest (where the teenager, aka EpicNoseGuy, was issued his summons) is policed by the City of London Police, and the Tottenham Court Road one by the Met. The Met don't seem to care if the CoS get called a Cult.

    Also, in fairness to the CoLP Cops, they didn't stop anyone chanting cult, and let signs that didn't directly call the CoS a cult, but did use the word, stand. Overall the police have seemed very professional and well-disposed to the protests.

    Alien because, well, yeah. LOL Xenu.

  23. George Johnson
    Alert

    Out of interest...

    I have several t-shirts proclaiming my faith in metal music, one even declaring the fact using the word "faith". The next time some bunch of brain-dead chavs decide to take exception to my "faith", hurling abuse, I assume I can rely on Mr Plod to come to my rescue, carting the ne'er do wells off to clinky? No, didn't think so!

  24. Sven
    Thumb Up

    sealed

    http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Authorities_in_Belgium_raid_Church_of_Scientology

    We raided the building and sealed it off. Since the 12th of april the building is closed and hasn't reopened.

  25. Michael McLean
    Thumb Down

    what the hell....

    .....happened to free speech, does that mean i am going to be arrested the next time i wear my I'M WITH STUPID t-shirt?

  26. HFoster
    Thumb Down

    @alphaxion

    "They're too busy exclaiming against the "cult of emo" right now.. please leave you name, number, NI number and inside legmeasurement and they'll get right back to you."

    Can the last person to leave please turn out the lights.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: What the hell....

    ".....happened to free speech, does that mean i am going to be arrested the next time i wear my I'M WITH STUPID t-shirt?"

    Only if you're standing next to one of those cu... scientologists, I guess.

  28. AnonymousNow
    Alert

    If the Brits let this pass, they will shortly realize they have given away everything.

    What the London law enforcement is doing is attempting to shape reality in favor of a dangerous cult. They are doing so by criminalizing the truth. If they can criminalize free speech, they can control thought.

    The implications are huge. The same law could be used to criminalize all truthful advocacy regarding any corporation or governmental entity.

    All advocates for free speech, and all advocates for human rights ought to be pounding the battle drums over this. If the Brits let this pass, they will shortly realize they have given away everything.

  29. Tom
    Black Helicopters

    Did anyone...

    Read the links attached to the last big scientology article from El Reg? I did, all of it, and it's fucking scary. I would not like to mess with these guys, they seriously believe in powers of mental manipulation, and give followers 'levels' (for which they have to pay to be merited on) mostly based on social observing and manipulation techniques, and reading this article just goes to show how far the long tentacle does actually reach!

    Still hasn't 'cured' Tom Cruise though, despite his best efforts.

  30. Eponymous Cowherd
    Black Helicopters

    Telling the truth.....

    is now a criminal offence that can land you in jail.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    The notice...

    ...issued to the protester reads "The sign ... commits an offence under ... The ... Act."

    The police clearly believe that it is the sign that must be prosecuted, not the protester.

    Mine's the one with "I'm with that cult^H^Hnt" on the back.

  32. David
    Alien

    Just Noticed...

    There's a link for the Scientology channel on YouTube at the bottom of this story, that I assume they paid for. After the Google fiasco, that makes me all happy inside

  33. babz
    IT Angle

    Whos to blame?

    The police have to uphold the law, its there job.. So do we blame the coppers for this or the numptys in westminster that wrote it..

    Now the reason they had to act could be some jumped up Scientology lawyers made a complaint and cited the act and the subclause, the plod checked it and had to act.. Of course the good old Scientologists wouldn't do THAT.

  34. preethi
    Go

    Double Agent

    Time to get some more "you tubesque" videos out from the inside.

    Any Volunteer's ?

  35. Joe Carter

    Time to buy T-shirts from "The Cult"

    I wonder if you can arrested for wearing the T-Shirt of a band?

    In this country, probably yes. We make China seem liberal now.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    <title>

    The "Church" of Scientology use a similar tactic to Islam.

    When anybody criticises them in any way they just shout very loudly to drown out the critic, then use the excuse that being a "religion" allows them to act in any way they choose, because they act upon the will of their chosen diety.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    as an aside...

    The ElRons don't like having their HQ photographed - especially not if you're taking pics of the hilarious videos they run there.

    "It makes me feel like Superman"

    "If I met L Ron Hubbard I'd hug him"

    etc. etc.

    Had an "interesting discussion" with one of their security guards when photographing them one night!

  38. Ian McNee

    Re: Whos [sic] to blame

    Dear, dear babz - that's utter bollocks. Plod is entitled to use judgement in enforcing the law which is why the Met plods chose *not* to invoke Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 against the protesters at the Scientology bookshop on their turf.

    And looking at the YouTube video I would suggest that the cu*tists at the bookshop were more "likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress" than the imposing cu*tist front doors at Queen Victoria Street, protected as they were by numerous City of London plods and a plod van.

    This is simply a case of the CoL Inspector plod who was in charge on the day deciding to be a wanker for whatever reason (the article suggests a few possibilities). This is simply the flip-side of things like country plod failing to enforce the ban on hunting with dogs. Yes it may well be a bad law from crap politicians but it can also be badly enforced by plod.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Check this...

    and see who owns scientologycult.org

    Domain ID:D44105129-LROR

    Domain Name:SCIENTOLOGYCULT.ORG

    Created On:20-Nov-2000 18:22:28 UTC

    Last Updated On:11-Jan-2008 00:23:40 UTC

    Expiration Date:20-Nov-2008 18:22:28 UTC

    Sponsoring Registrar:Spot Domain LLC dba Domainsite.com (R87-LROR)

    Status:OK

    Registrant ID:ODN-185806

    Registrant Name:CSI DOMAIN DIRECTOR

    Registrant Organization:Church of Scientology Int'l

    Registrant Street1:6331 Hollywood Blvd

    Registrant Street2:

    Registrant Street3:

    Registrant City:Los Angeles

    Registrant State/Province:CA

    Registrant Postal Code:90028

    Registrant Country:US

    Registrant Phone:+1.3239603500

    Registrant Phone Ext.:

    Registrant FAX:+1.3239603508

    Registrant FAX Ext.:

    Registrant Email:domains@scientology.net

    Admin ID:ODN-203044

    Admin Name:CSI DOMAIN ADMINISTRATOR

    Admin Organization:Church of Scientology Int'l

    Admin Street1:6331 Hollywood Blvd. Suite

    Admin Street2:

    Admin Street3:

    Admin City:Los Angeles

    Admin State/Province:CA

    Admin Postal Code:90028

    Admin Country:US

    Admin Phone:+1.3239603500

    Admin Phone Ext.:

    Admin FAX:+1.3239603508

    Admin FAX Ext.:

    Admin Email:domains@scientology.net

    Tech ID:ODN-203044

    Tech Name:CSI DOMAIN ADMINISTRATOR

    Tech Organization:Church of Scientology Int'l

    Tech Street1:6331 Hollywood Blvd. Suite

    Tech Street2:

    Tech Street3:

    Tech City:Los Angeles

    Tech State/Province:CA

    Tech Postal Code:90028

    Tech Country:US

    Tech Phone:+1.3239603500

    Tech Phone Ext.:

    Tech FAX:+1.3239603508

    Tech FAX Ext.:

    Tech Email:domains@scientology.net

    Name Server:NS0.DIRECTNIC.COM

    Name Server:NS1.DIRECTNIC.COM

  40. Robert M. Stockmann
    Paris Hilton

    Recruitment season has started

    Every year in May , when the sun is shining, Scientology starts of with their new recruitment program. As you should understand, every members financial assets are limited, so new members are more as welcome.

    XENU.net and XENU.tv are basicly Scientology controlled vehicles, part of that old Hegelian dialectic principle : Control the message of both fierce opponents and supporters. By making XENU look bad, uninformed people might even get interested in Scientology!

  41. StopthePropaganda
    Heart

    where's the Anonymous protestors?

    there were a few at Cult..err..Co$ headquarters on Saratoga Ave in San Jose. I missed out on the event. When is Anonymous coming back?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Qualified Privelege

    Surely quoting from a Judge's ruling in court is one of the few things that, by law, cannot be challenged? (Assuming right to reply, blah blah blah).

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Don't a lot of top cops

    already have there own private club, Masonic Lodge?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/police-defy-force-with-masonic-lodge-715368.html

  44. Trevor Watt

    Basically it is now an offence to upset someone.

    If you do something that causes another person distress then you have commited an offence, even it it is a case of 'The truth hurts'.

    Welcome to super politically correct UK.

  45. SPiT
    Alert

    Turn the tables

    How about if I consider the police notice to be threatening, abusive and insulting. It also clearly causes considerable distress. Can I summons the police officer involved under the public order act? What is there to prevent a private prosecution on this basis? No doubt it will be that wonderful court idea of "not in the public interest" that somehow doesn't require any review by the public.

  46. Huns and Hoses
    Black Helicopters

    So.....

    If I, hypothetically, were to hold up a sign in a public place saying Hitler sure was one evil MOFO then a Fuhrer fan club somewhere could successfully make a complaint under this same law?

    I fully understand why laws like this should exist but this particular one is poorly worded, to say the least.

  47. Sarah Davis
    Alien

    WHOSE A STUPID CULT !!

    whats all the elron hubbub about ?

    scientology really is a CULT ?

    but just in case they try to have me arreseted may i just say that their god really does exist, it's true (see icon below/above/adjacent) - now, can i have my spaceship now ?

  48. Danger Mouse
    Thumb Up

    I would suggest

    If you feel strongly about this you could always email psd_public@cityoflondon.police.uk with your thoughts.

  49. John Imrie
    Thumb Down

    Text of the Act.

    "any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby"

    Well thats nicely vague.

    I feel threatened by the visible representation of the Cult of Scientology in the form of its HQ. It causes me alarm even though I don't live in London. I wonder If I can get PC Knacker to close it down.

    Thumbs down, for Scientology, not El reg.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mad

    once again the police prove they are completely lacking in any common sense.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Flashmob to spell CULT - probably not illegal..

    Question: if a large group of people spells the word CULT at aforesaid location so that it can be clearly seen from above, does that breach any Act?

    And if someone then takes a picture, say, journalists who were briefed in advance, would that picture be a violation if published?

    Would holding up said newspapers the next day at said location consist a violation, even when done in considerable volume (for extra effect, spell CULT again with available newspaper carrying bodies)?

    No?

    Well, what are you waiting for?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    City of London Police

    No real surprise there - they are complete fascists and should be disbanded

  53. Ron Eve

    Surely...

    .

    ..it's 'Hubbardtards'..

    Errr.. yes, the one with built-in 'bracelets'...

  54. Jamie
    Linux

    Another reason why I cry when I see the British Flag

    Britian use to make me proud for the way it led the way to freedom for the masses. But with the New Labour, Conservatives, and other parties the freedoms that once made Britian great are just being used for the upper class.

    As the saying goes if you don't learn from history you are doomed to repeat it.

    I am not extreme but if society keeps going in the direction it is currently taking one fo two things will happen. The lowly people, ones who work for a living will have no rights including things like privacy. OR you will end up with a bloody revolt as has happened in a lot of countries multiple times around the world throughout history.

    Long Live Guy Fawkes.

  55. Jim Dandy
    Thumb Up

    England wins.

    As much flak as we Americans deservedly get for being the arrogant, bigoted, ignorant, warlike xenophobes we are, I take some small solace that at least we still (for the moment) retain the right to call a cult a cult. I am embarrassed and saddened that our friends in England do not.

    Seriously. Being the bastion of fascist corruption and general douchebaggery in the Western World is our job. What are you playing at, trying to restrict the freedoms we haven’t gotten to yet?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    the guy should be very afraid

    They'll be stalking him now and trying to get his family to disown him. Either that or brainwash him into joining. Then again, they won't get much money out of a student, so probably not! ;-)

    I passed their place in London a while back and some of their representatives tried to talk to me (I assume to recruit me). I really wanted to tell them to shove it where the sun doesn't shine, but I feared they'd follow me.

    What's more scary though is the big names who really do seem to have fallen for the scam. Either that or Cruise et al are the biggest scammers out there.

  57. David Webb
    Alert

    Complain in force!

    What we really need to do is complain to the people that matters, our local MP's. I'm sure El Reg has readers from every constituency in the UK and if they were to email their MP with their outrage at the Police prohibiting freedom of speech for a recognised and aknowledged cult, then maybe the MP's will do something about it? Maybe earn their wage for a change.

    Contact your MP, you can find the contact details of your local MP here:

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Diol1/DoItOnline/DG_4018047

    I'm sure as hell going to email mine venting my disgust at the treatment of protesters to their a) freedom of speech and b) their freedom to protest.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    And again Scientology shoots itself in the foot

    so far all the legal action stemming from Anonymous' protests has either backfired or exposed them to potentially greater embarrassment. Nice to see them doing the protester's work for them

  59. Mike Richards Silver badge
    Flame

    CPS

    The plod said: 'Following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service some demonstrators were warned verbally and in writing that their signs breached section five of the Public Order Act 1986.'

    Incredible, the CPS can make a judgement on that in minutes; yet 6 months ago one of my neighbours was racially abused in front of witnesses. We brought a complaint to the police who took statements and referred it on to the CPS - they still haven't come to a conclusion whether or not there will be a prosecution.

    Guess we should have let Xenu into our lives to guarantee swift justice.

  60. Neil Hoskins
    Go

    That young lad...

    ... is my new hero. With more like him there could yet be hope.

  61. Lul Whut
    Pirate

    Fail anon is fail.

    Seriously.

    Anon has failed.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Should work both ways then ...

    "but we have to balance that with the rights of all sections of the community not to be alarmed, distressed or harassed as a result of others' actions."

    Proper balance would be to insist that the scientologists should be forced to restrict their campaigns to places where non-scientologists are unlikely to be.

    ie -- henceforth, they must campaign only *inside* their own headquarters.

  63. John Robson Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Cult inside

    A la intel logo

    On T Shirts - Line up on the wall.

    Get a projector on it too :)

    I've been saying for a while that 1984 was "just around the corner" and while I think that a complete 1984 scenario is a way off there doesn't seem to be much stopping it.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    charge the copper!

    Is it just me or would those written warnings definitely come under 'any writing' and almost certainly could be considered to cause alarm and/or distress?

    Then again, if the coppers involved read this they could be quite alarmed by the possibilities, I'd better go into hiding fast.

    AC, cos ya never know...

  65. Dan
    Black Helicopters

    @Joe Carter

    Funny you should say that, I seem to recall a particularly nice band t-shirt (cradle of filth?) with 'Jesus is a cu*t' printed clearly on the back. Apparently the t-shirt is now banned and at least one person got nicked for wearing it - 80 hours community service for a t-shirt... gits.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scary

    It seems that the City of London Police are seeking to act for the Scientologists to try and prevent what THEY perceive to be a defamatory statement. I would guess that somewhere along the line senior officers of the City of London police are members of the Scientologists and receiving some kind of "benefits" from them. We all really should be concerned that this has been acted upon by the Police and also then passed for proscecution by the CPS as well.

    Can we all now make compaints about being called things on the internet and expect the police to act ?

  67. simon perryman

    Time to make some T-Shirts I think

    Maybe something that says "Scientology is not a cult" in 144pt font apart from the word "not" that could be in 8pt. Would that be a problem?

  68. Claire Rand

    maybe...

    its possible the idea of the plod, who are probably sick of dealing with the scientology types and their complaints etc.

    the idea being they nick someone, the CPS goes ahead with a court case.. note the scientology types *are not involved* hence can't drop the case if it looks like its going the wrong way.

    assuming chappie is found innocent.. well thats a legal precedent right there.

    has to be something of that sort otherwise whoever took the pic would be black and blue by now under the terrorism act.

  69. Cameron Colley

    So, how much did L Ron Hobbalb pay?

    How much to buy the police's co-operation nowadays?

    Protesting tossers aside -- either the police officer was a moron or she had instructions.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Its a fine line

    Lets face it, all religions are pretty bonkers, and its a fine line between church and cult. Personally I'm not bothered if these guys want to gather in their basements and play with their toy spaceships or whatever. Mostly they should be pitied not derided. What I do object to is the fascist plods looking for any excuse to throw their weight around - in this case picking on some poor kid who is actually tying to do some good rather than mugging old ladies or smoking crack. The trouble with the plods today is that so many women and ethnic minorities have been fast track promoted beyond their ability and lack the brain power and common sense of your average 10 year old. Who do they think they are? Where is the spirit of 1968 when its needed?

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    UNBELIEVABLE

    Just unbelievable.

  72. Alan Esworthy
    Coat

    Are anagrams actionable?

    ye snot logic = cloudy bolt

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    E-,mail Boris

    mayor@london.gov.uk

    "You may or may not be aware of the monthly demonstrations by the "Anonymous" group against the behaviour of the "Church" of Scientology. CoS has a large office premises in the Square Mile area.

    I recently saw a similar demonstration in Birmingham and it was good natured even if they consider CoS to be less than honourable and a threat to peoples' lives.

    I was therefore disturbed to read that in London, free speech at these demonstrations is now being obliterated by City Of London police.

    [[Quote snippets from El Reg report]]

    The report goes on to include bland statements from City of London Police and City of London Chief Superintendent Rob Bastable.

    Am I mistaken in my belief that the right to protest peacefully is one all British citizens have?

    There are numerous mentions of the word "cult" in Justice Latey's judgement. One statement in particular stands out for me and I quote it here:

    "The evidence is clear and conclusive: Mr. Hubbard is a charlatan and worse as are his wife Mary Sue Hubbard (she has been convicted of criminal offences in the United States in connection with Scientology and imprisoned) and the clique at the top privy to the Cult's activities."

    Given that the teenager concerned was acting within the law as I understand it and was invoking not his own opinion but that of a learned Judge, how can the actions of City Of London Police be tolerated?

    I would urge you to exercise whatever influence you have to highlight this attack on the right to peacefully protest, ensure the summons is withdrawn and that a full apology is forthcoming to the teenager concerned from City Of London Police.

    In this case I have to say that the policewoman concerned and the Chief Superintendent do neither credit to London nor the Police.

    Please ensure that the right thing is done and that respect for freedom to peacefully protest and to quote learned judges is restored."

    Maybe the Police person misread the sign, saw CU and T and bad programming did the rest. My grandfather was always less than complimentary about the reading and writing skills of the local force.

  74. Ethan Cinquetti

    Defense Fund?

    Is this young man likely to incur substantial legal costs?

    If so, and a defense fund gets started, I trust Ye Olde El Reg will be so kind as to post the contact info.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mixed Priorities

    So calling a cult a cult is illegal, but marching around saying I'm going to burn in hell for liking girls is perfectly acceptable?

    England prevails I guess.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Turn the tables"

    In answer to ;

    Turn the tables

    By SPiT

    Posted Tuesday 20th May 2008 18:42 GMT

    Alert

    How about if I consider the police notice to be threatening, abusive and insulting. It also clearly causes considerable distress. Can I summons the police officer involved under the public order act? What is there to prevent a private prosecution on this basis? No doubt it will be that wonderful court idea of "not in the public interest" that somehow doesn't require any review by the public.

    End Quote

    Let me tell you ,the best way to attack any possible offence by the Police is to use the MAGISTRATES court and NOT Civil Court's. Make sure the offence is one that can be heard fully in the Mags Court as if it gets to the Crown Court FORGET IT !!. So yes you can take actions against named Police Officers for all manner of things. You may also like to be made aware that ANYONE can issue a Summons in the Magistrates Court summonsing someone to answer summons EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT A PARTY TO THE MATTERS INVOLVED !!!! (see recent "Ewing" case)

  77. Graeme Sutherland
    Paris Hilton

    At least they're paying for El Reg

    Paid adverts from the Church of Scientology are appearing in the Google Ads boxes too:

    Scientology:Get The Facts

    Learn About Scientology On YouTube. Growing at an incredible rate.

    YouTube.com/ChurchOfScientology

    Now if all readers click on these, it'll cost the Scientologists wonga, which will be transferred into El Reg's beer fund. I can't see the downside to that. :)

    Paris Hilton, because even she would appreciate the logic.

  78. Highlander
    Coat

    Be afraid, very afraid....

    Good grief, every time someone does something to expose this nasty cockroach of a cult, ten more objectionable things come to light.

    For example, now the people of the UK are not allowed to use simple verbiage to protest. I suspect I'm not the only one to feel outrage that the City of London Police and CPS have acted in this manner. They should be both ashamed and apologetic for their role in this little drama. Instead they are using their own rather offensive weasel words to defend their jackboot policing of a peaceful demonstration.

    When did the City of London police become the private security firm of the Fans of Hubbard? When did the CPS lose it's backbone and back the storm-troopery? Pathetic.

    Oh, but the cherry on the icing on the top layer of the super rich cake is the wording of the Public Order Act 1986. As reported in the story is says....

    "any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby"

    Oh, that's great that is. I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised since this was passed by the Thatcher government. One of Douglas Hurd's presents to society I think. The wording is so vague as to be virtually impossible to obey. Since the judgment of who is likely to be alarmed, distressed or harassed is somewhat subjective - as is the definition of threatening, abusive or insulting, this act seems to be a license to arrest whoever the hell they please. Time to be afraid folks.

    I would guess that according to the Public Order Act of 1986 any protest against literally anything or anyone where the protesters do anything other than gather silently without signs would be an offense under the act. What are protesters supposed to do under that act? throw flowers? Oh, wait I'm guessing they'd be guilty of littering. Perhaps if the flowers were particularly pungent or had a lot of pollen that irritated the nasal passages of the target of the protest, they might even be charged under the public order act. I'm quite sure that the way that act is phrased that unless there are a hell of a lot of really clearly drawn exclusions any political demo would fall foul of the act as well. After all the slogans of protest are pretty well bound to fall under that vague definition of threatening, insulting, alarming or whatever.

    Let me know when the UK recovers it's status as a free country, in the mean time mines the big orange jumpsuit.

  79. Dinsdale Piranha
    Coat

    You gotta feel sorry for the vulnerable in this life

    Apparently, it really pisses off the Hubbardistas when their way-dodgy modus operandi is exposed to the rational.

    http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Church_of_Scientology_collected_Operating_Thetan_documents

    You couldn't make it up. Well, actually you could - Ron Hubbard did just that.

    Religion my @rse.

  80. Graham Lockley

    Saddening

    'the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.'

    <V for Vendetta>

    Im in two minds over this. On the one hand I suspect it may simply be that a relatively inexperienced policewoman made an error of judgement while trying to keep a gobby 'yoof' under control. On the other, V isnt talking about the future......

    Im inclined to the former at the moment but watching carefully for any more signs of the latter.

  81. Rohan

    Unlawful. Period.

    Proceedings will be dropped against X. Any conviction is going to be unlawful under the Human Rights Act being an act incompatible with the Convention (ECHR) right to freedom of expression. (Section 6 and Sch 1, HRA 1998). The issue turns on whether the speech was 'insulting'. The European Court has stated on many occasions that 'freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and for each individual's self-fulfilment. Subject to para 2 of art 10, it is applicable not only to “information” or “ideas” that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb' (see Handyside v UK [1976] ECHR 5493/72 at para 49). More recently Sedley LJ stated that 'free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.' Redmond-Bate v DPP (1999) 7 BHRC 375 at 383.

    However, Article 10 is a qualified right. In other words it can be restricted in the public interest. However, such restrictions must be both convincingly established and proportionate. Here a three limbed test needs to be satisfied. First, is the restriction prescribed by law? Yes the POA. Second, does the prosecution further one of the legitimate aims set out in Article 10(2). Yes, the protection of the rights of others. And third, is the interference is 'necessary in a democratic society'. The answer is clearly no. In Percy v DPP [2001] EWHC Admin 1125 the defendant was prosecuted for trampling on the Stars and Strips in front of a group of US personnel. She was convicted. She appealed from the Magistrates Court by way of case stated to the Divisional Court which reversed her conviction. The Divisional Court concluded that her actions did not go beyond legitimate protest on a matter of public concern (Star Wars Shield) - as such it represented a disproportionate interference with Article 10. Her conviction was quashed.

    Moreover, the activities of the Church are a matter for legitimate debate. Is it a cult? Certainly their activities have been a matter of concern to HMG in the past: http://www.justis.com/titles/iclr_s7530027.html This is a matter for legitimate debate. There is a public interest here is not 'chilling' speech. In Giniewski v France [2006] ECHR 64016/00 the applicant complained that a conviction in France for public defamation of Christianity was a disproportionate interference with his Article 10 right. The court agreed. In doing so it noted that "While the published text, as the applicant himself acknowledges, contains conclusions and phrases which may offend, shock or disturb some people, the Court has reiterated that such views do not in themselves preclude the enjoyment of freedom of expression. Moreover, the article in question was not “gratuitously offensive” or insulting, and does not incite to disrespect or hatred."

  82. The Aussie Paradox
    Paris Hilton

    Careful

    I would like to warn anyone who calls the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster a cult they will be dealt with in the same manner.

    Sheesh, I hope Xenu is real, and he get's my letter asking for a lift to a better planet.

    Paris, cause she would never join a cult.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    need more medication asap

    Send them to Mars!

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    @ Flashmob to spell CULT - probably not illegal..

    cultiget ftw - this also has the advantage of being visible to the people inside the building (including the nice man who stands on the roof throughout protests), but not those standing on the street, such as the police...

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    What probably happened

    What probably happened was that there was an application to hold the protest. The City Police took some advice in advance and 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.

    In theory because they can of course choose not to enforce a law (cannabis law for example - it was Lambeth's police that first chose to not arrest for minor possession which lead to the declassification, although the City Police decided they were going to ignore ACPO's line when it was first declassified and arrest people anyway ...).

    So, it comes down to whether using the word cult distresses the Hubbardites. If the Hubbardites have already told the City Police they find this distressing then the situation becomes tricky.

    Abolish or alter the law and the problem goes away. There is case law (or was a few years ago) that meant a woman was prosecuted under the same (or similar) legislation for burning a US flag outside one of the nuclear bases in front of an American in a car.

    The judge decided (on the basis of the legislation) that her appeal would fail as her actions were distressing to the USian even though such behaviour would be lawful in the states (although I'd love to see someone try it, especially these days).

    To hear that the City Police were wined and dined by the Hubbardites surprises me not one bit. If someone were to make a Freedom of Information Act request asking to see how much money had been spunked on jollies erm I mean conferences and seminars (check out the hotel accommodation for the senior officers during these jollies - in the City, where they "work" every day) over the past five years then they'd get an interesting read.

    AC 'cause it aint just the Hubbardites who can wreak revenge on people they don't like!

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pedant

    Spelling seems to be an issue with sum of us tekies doesn't it ?

    So just mispell the kult the hell out of there

    Sigh-unt-owl-igy is a kult ?

    Perhaps the question mark is all you need to get over it - can Ian Hislop's lawyers advise please ?

    PS - Revolution is now the only way out. Trouble is we will all have left the country and the revolution will be Islamic

  87. heystoopid
    Gates Horns

    hmmm

    Hmmm , my local cult branch office of Co$ is selling up it's heavily exposed city office after several street protests and moving in behind high walls to a former Catholic Convent in a leafy so called up market suburb in order to hide it's evil activities away from the general public !

    I pity the poor neighbours in the entire street , they will now hound them mercilessly day and night with absolute impunity , and infest it's local council with their usual zeal of "peter principle adherents" at every angle with people who have no brains but make a good slave class that usually follow this kind of silliness that allows some one else to do their thinking for them ! Undoubtedly after that quiet not so subtle takeover has been done , no permits for any kind of protest in that borough unless pro Co$ will be issued again !

    As for the sign , it shows that UK cops are now virtually on track to become virtual evil twin clones of the Cheka/NKVD from the bad old days of Joe Stalin now that they can murder innocent civilians where they stand or sit with impunity and immunity from the highest levels in the name of protecting the people from the improbable unreal events of their self creation ! So the question arises when is the UK going to start building Gulags and create the same secret list of people to be detained as known terrorists(i.e. AKA all prominent vocal democracy and freedom supporters) in these camps as per the DC chimp merkins created one in January 2001 , in the former Naval and Air Bases that dot the countryside south of Hadrian's Wall ?

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Quoting Justice Latey

    IIRC people were told that they could quote Justice Latey on signs as long as the attribution was the same size as the quote used. (Basically so that people could see that it was a quote)

    Pirate.... All aboard the Freewinds for your free blue-asbestos induced cancer.

  89. Trefor Roscoe

    Pile of CU*TS

    This is dreadful.

    They need to be advised as to the reasonable situation

  90. P. Lee Silver badge
    Coat

    Not the Police's fault

    I'd just like to reiterate what's been said - the man probably did break the law because the the law is so very wide - I suspect he did cause "distress" to the CoS. Fortunately for this man, common sense prevailed in this case. Unfortunately it also shows that the legislation is "working", rather than being an immoral abuse of power.

    Its the fault of lazy politicians who want to bend the law using political pressure. 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. If you don't punish politicians for their behaviour they'll carry on. Also examine legislation going through parliament ("Today in Parliament" on R4 is a good overview that isn't difficult to digest) and tell your MPs in a hand written letter you'll vote against them if they are doing something you don't like.

    As for the CoS, anyone who charges for information is running a business. The difference between a cult or religion is irrelevant here. Technically there is great similarity between the two, although I suspect the common distinction is that a cult in effect ascribes the highest authority/loyalty to someone not deemed to be God.

    Now, I'm off to Rome for a meeting. Mine's the red one.

  91. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Ahh scientology

    Doing what the Cult does best.

    Making Enemies at every turn.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    CULT

    CULT

  94. Matthew
    Thumb Down

    telling the truth is illegal?

    bad show..

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Unlawful. Period.

    Nice analysis Rohan.

    Surely these words also have legal meaning?

    threatening, abusive, insulting, harassment, alarm, distress

    Surely such meanings do not incorporate "I don't like it"? Even if calling something a cult is insulting it also has to cause harrassment, alarm or distress to be an offense, totally aside from Human Rights Act provisions. Alarm and distress presumably relate to perceived concerns about physical and mental health or safety - which should be distinct from "I don't like it". And is there any provision for fact? I understand some English laws have historically been unconcerned with fact but I thought that was a thing of the past.

    Of course, the charge and the summons are irrelevant really. The real issue here is the City police bullying a juvenile. Is it too much to ask that they're not allowed to get away with it?

  96. Charles Manning

    N*ggers!

    The law is about preventing hate speech.

    The same law is used to prevent you waving a big "Niggers" poster.

    Is this censorship or preventing hurt? You be the judge.

  97. Martin Eddington
    Pirate

    Never mind

    Rumour has it that "Does the City of London Police support a CULT ?" is going to be a popular placard on June 14th when the next protest happens.

    As will

    "'Scientology is a CULT' - Justice Latey 1984"

    "City of London Police say I can't call Scientology a CULT"

    "Religious Hatred Act says I can call Scientology a CULT (Section 29J)"

    Anyone who fancies protesting a nasty, brainwashing CULT on June 14th should hae a look at http://www.londonlulz.com

  98. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Up

    Strategies against Interdimensional Architects

    For the student: little worries, it will take time but this will be thrown out of court and a justice will speak sternly of the police while apologizing to the student. [FFS, it's the plods that should apologize, not the justice dept.]

    For next time, maybe spread the message over several independent signs --- "Scientology" "is a fuckin" "g cult" comes to mind --- and thus escape. This not only helps evade, but also increases sign-size a lot.

    You could even prepare several statements, but planning ahead and training (and having a few different extra signs in reserve). Extra cunningly, train in a few silly or ungrammatical nonstatements, to claim any message is "accidental, and probably caused by a god displeased with the cult of xenu".

    For those with time on their hands, go look stressed at the scientologists' little desk, that appear about every saturday just north of the square mile [Islington Angel: 100yards from the tube, opposite side, just before the split of Upper Street and .. eh, is it Essex Street?]. They are always sitting there with their "are you stressed" free test, and dianetics books (but no interdimensional aliens, natch -- that might convince me).

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Religions and Pubs

    Now why am I posting this anonymously ;-)

    Ingredients for a Cult Religion:

    1: Several young SF authors

    2: Beer

    Result: money spinning idea - "found a fake religion".

    To put some names (or initials) and dates on this, try "ACC", "KB", and "1948". One (perhaps less pissed) observer had the initials "LRH". The rest, as they say, is history.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    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!

  101. Aram
    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.

  102. Anonimoo
    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.

  103. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  104. Gwaptiva
    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

  105. Slaine
    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.

  106. Chris
    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

  107. Chris

    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.

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ipcc

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

  109. Anonymous Coward
    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).

  110. Steve

    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.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    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?

  112. Anonymous Coward
    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

  113. fixit_f
    Thumb Down

    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.

  114. alistair millington Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    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.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Just call them a......

    CUMT

    1 letter either way is fine by me!

    AC - because I'm not risking it.

  116. Tim Brown
    Black Helicopters

    Word association...

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

    nothing changes :(

  117. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  118. Anonymous Coward
    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

  119. Mark

    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!!!!

  120. Anonymous Coward
    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....

  121. alphaxion
    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" ;)

  122. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  124. Shady

    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.

  125. dave
    Thumb Down

    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.

  126. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  127. Anonymous Coward
    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

  128. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  129. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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.

  130. Secretgeek
    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.

  131. Billy Goat Gruff

    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.

  132. Anteaus
    Thumb Down

    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.

  133. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  134. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  135. Secretgeek
    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.

  136. David S

    @Charles Manning

    It's censorship.

    Next question.

  137. Mike Crawshaw

    @ 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.

  138. 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!! :)

  139. Anonymous Coward
    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!)

  140. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  141. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  142. Secretgeek
    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

  143. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Full ruling

    Justice Latelys full ruling makes quite interesting reading!

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

  144. Secretgeek
    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)

  145. david wilson

    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

  146. Andy Towler
    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.

  147. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  148. david

    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...

  149. Anonymous Coward
    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..

  150. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    SCHNEWS 632

    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?

    CRUISE CONTROL?

    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

    mind-yer-language problem.

    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

    cultists... "

    ....Disclaimer

    SchNEWS warns all readers - we're not a sinister cult, we're a

    pseudo-non-hierarchical rhizomatic horizontal collective. Honest!

    Cowards are anon.

  151. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    who owns scientologycult.org

    It wouldn't be the first time the co-opted an anti-cult site. See also http://www.cultwatch.com. I'm not sure if it's the same one, but I recall an anti-cult organization in the US being bankrupted by the COS, the lawyers of which took it over and the web site then went very luke warm on the dangers of cults like scientology. What was sinister was that it was the kind of site that most poeple would go looking for information on the dangers of cults like COS, little knowing that it was being run by them. A very sinister organization.

    In case you aren't already aware of it, the prime function of audition is to gather as much compromising information on you as is possible, to be used to blackmail you and disuade you on going public on the real nature of COS. For instance a youthfull sexual indiscrition in a 'restroom', will be dragged out and sent to your current employers.

    "Shawn Lonsdale .. was found dead at his home over the weekend in an apparent suicide"

    http://www.scientomogy.com/shawn_lonsdale.php

    A very very sinister organization.

    -------

    This just in: It was Cult Awareness Network that was assimilated by the COS ..

    "Expert Information available Legal repercussions and information on harmfull effects of deprogramming" .. :)

    http://www.cultawarenessnetwork.org/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_Awareness_Network

    http://www.holysmoke.org/cos/buying-salvation.htm

  152. Andrew Taylor

    Where are all the solicitors?

    Solicitors & barristers seem to find time to protect the human rights of scum like Peter Sutcliffe but can't help the young lad in this case, why not?

    Also isn't this a clear case of contempt of court by CoLP, a High Court judge has ruled CoS to be a cult, a young man is arrested for saying so therefore the CoLP are disregarding the courts ruling ergo contempt of court. Simple now we just need a honest solicitor with the balls to act honourably.

  153. Xpositor
    Stop

    Bias

    Having been exposed to Scientology, but in no way believing in it (I was a local councillor in a town where many Scientologists live, and commute to work at Saint Hill Manor (http://www.sainthillmanor.org.uk/), and got involved in numerous 'disputes' locally on the issue (for example - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/southern_counties/4446572.stm), I find some of the comments above rather blinkered.

    Let me say again, I in no way believe in or support scientology, before I hear cries of CoS In The House or similar.

    Why blinkered? Because people are always reticent to draw comparisons between their own 'religion' and that which scientology 'sells'.

    Take the issue of money, for example. People bemoan the CoS for the way in which members have to keep contributing to its coffers. But this is no different to the CoE, for example, except here its called a 'tithe' - you speak to your local parish church and the recommended 'contribution' level is 10% of your income, plus you're expected to dip your hand in your pocket every time you go to a meeting (sorry, service).

    How about their recruitment methods? Absolutely, the CoS aggressively recruits people in to its folds, and once in they'll never let you go. Compare that with the Jehova's Witnesses. It took some rather forcible phone calls from myself to one 'church' for them to stop harrassing my mother-in-law. She had been 'recruited' but decided after a few meetings that she no longer wished to go - they didn't like that idea at all, and their behaviour reflected that fact.

    But what about all this Thetan nonsense, doesn't the CoS believe that we are ruled by aliens that live in Jupiter or Saturn? An old rumour this one, but let's take it as fact. What they would be saying is that they believe that some 'superior' being, that lives beyond Earth, controls our lives. Sound similar?

    What about some of their other beliefs? To me, a lot of the CoS beliefs are complete and utter nonsense. They could not possibly prove that some of their statements are true. Take the above example, they're not about to prove - scientifically - that what they are saying is true. Surely they're not implying that we just have to accept what they are saying, are they? What basis is that for a 'religion'? Oh - the same as every other religion out there - its fundamentally based upon faith, not fact.

    But look at all the money that they are making, its disgraceful. Absolutely - but again, let's check some facts on our 'own' religions. The church of england is something like the third biggest landowner in the UK. Regular church attendance is dropping. So why don't they rationalise the churches they have got, and use that land to offer to people something that is really needed - affordable housing, green play space or youth centres? Not going to happen is it?

    What the police did here is absolutely wrong, but don't get carried away and jump on the bandwagon, and please take those blinkers off - after all, the opinions being shouted here aren't very 'Christian', are they?

  154. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I rather like the word cult

    It has a cool 'culty' ring to it.

    Yeah, the hypocrisy going on here is stupendous.

    There are much bigger things to be fighting for than an end to Scientology. Oh I don't know, free speech perhaps.

    Wouldn't it be ironic if the anti scientologists and the scientologists became friends over this.

    Scientology has big enemies, mainly the psychiatric field, I am interested to know who is pulling the strings behind the anti scientology movement, and not so much the 15 year old brainywashede pawns.

    Both sides are pretty much cultesquee, pot or kettle hard to tell'em apart on that point. And what about those police protests, those baseball caps could have been seen as menacing.

    I think we are just caught in a constant selfish power struggle, no party seems particular benevolent to the whole, oh well eye for an eye and all that.

  155. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Advertising?

    Can't they just register "The Church of Scientology is a Cult" as a company. Then instead of a protest have large visible "Advertising Campaigns"?

  156. Rohan

    Re Unlawful. Period.

    The words have their ordinary meaning Anon Coward. The problem is that the phrase is so wide that it covers of multitude of situations. Which is why section 5 is so liked by the police.

    But under section 5(3)(c) X needs to show, inter alia, that his "conduct was reasonable.” Further by section 6(4) "a person is guilty of an offence under section 5 only if he intends … the writing, sign or other visible representation, to be threatening, abusive or insulting, or is aware that it may be threatening, abusive or insulting."

    So in the pre-HRA case DPP v. Clarke [1992] 94 Cr. App. R. 359 the magistrates dismissed informations issued against a group of anti-abortion protestors who stood peacefully outside a clinic holding placards of aborted fetuses. The bench accepted that they did not intend the placards to be threatening, abusive or insulting. And this was despite the sole witness, a policeman, who said he was upset. The poor flower.

    So if the defences are properly applied and the offence is read down by the court using the HRA to give free speech its proper weight it shouldn't go any further.

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