Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The works were banned using Russia's extremism law. A law which the Russian government claims is meant to protect the country against nationalist groups, hate crimes and xenophobic attacks. In the case of L. Ron Hubbard the Prosecutor Generals Office claims his works have been added to the list for, "undermining the traditional spiritual values of the citizens of the Russian Federation". Prosecutors also claim some of the works encourage, "general acts of violence".
Ignoring the absurdity of arguing that any one set of religious beliefs is more valid than any other and acknowledging that the works most likely do not encourage violence against anyone. It seems pretty obvious the ban was in response to Russia's loss of a human rights lawsuit brought against them by Scientology last year after Russia refused to acknowledge them as a "legitimate religion".
While I don't personally believe in the mythology of ANY religion and would argue that ultimately all religions exploit believers. If I were to define the phrase, "legitimate religion", that to me would mean a system of beliefs centered around some supernatural origin of life which cannot be easily falsified in the minds of the average person. Traditional beliefs like Christianity fit this criteria because they have the benefit of being old, making it difficult if not impossible to trace them back to their true origins and authors. Scientology on the other hand has existed for less than sixty years making it simple for anyone with access to Google to learn it's entire history, including it's invention at the hands of a second rate sci-fi writer, in the course of a single afternoon.
Though I'm always uncomfortable with the banning of anything, I'm more uncomfortable with the concept of courts forcing countries to recognize Scientology as legitimate when their obviously fabricated spiritual beliefs, combined with their practice of literally selling the details of those beliefs to it's followers. Make it more than reasonable for one to conclude that Scientology is at best a scam and at worst a cult, deserving of both ridicule as well as prosecution when warranted. What Scientology doesn't deserve, is the power, and influence that comes with being labeled a legitimate Religion.
Links and Additional contentSome of you have probably already seen this but how could I not embed this rambling crazy eyed and uber creepy Video from Tom cruise. When I first saw it I assumed cruise was practicing his acceptance speech for most arrogant douche bag ever or perhaps the angriest little man in the world award. But it turns out to be a video he produced specifically for the cult of Scientology. The video was subsequently leaked onto the Internet, presumably by someone who recognized it for the comedic gold that it is. Incidentally, the background music was not dubbed in by some youtube user. The video was actually produced using that theme. Tom Cruise, Arrogant? Egotistical? Brainwashed? no.