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Scientology statement re Religious Freedom supports blasphemy laws and liability

Discussion in 'Scientology Infiltrates Society' started by CommunicatorIC, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Scientology statement re Religious Freedom supports blasphemy laws and liability.

    The Church of Scientology has created a new website, Scientology Religion:
    The Church of Scientology has also created a new website and pamphlet, "What is Religious Freedom - Know Your Rights":
    The pamphlet and website "What is Religious Freedom - Know Your Rights" are very well done and, quite frankly, very well argued. They rely largely (but not entirely) on Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Bill of Human Rights.

    The website and pamphlet go on, however, to propose a very troubling "Charter on Journalistic Ethics in Relation to Respect for Religion or Belief." The Charter would support the imposition of blasphemy laws, and/or civil or perhaps even criminal liability for journalists and others who publish "denigrating references to religious beliefs and spiritual values."

    Please note there is already strong support for such restrictions on freedom of speech and restrictions on "denigrating references to religious beliefs and spiritual values" in the United Nations, largely coming from Muslim nations but also conservatives Hindus, Buddhists, etc. Indeed, I suspect may Christians in the U.S. would not be opposed.

    This is another example of the Church of Scientology playing the long game. This is important.

    The troubling sections are excerpted below. First comes the set-up (indeed, the entire preceding document serves as set-up), and then the Charter.

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Rising Social Hostility Against Religion in the Media

    The Pew Research Center global study on the rising tide of restrictions on religions finds that approximately five billion people, 75 percent of the world’s population, live in countries with high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion, which often target religious minorities. [41]

    There is no question that the media — all forms of the press, including print, audiovisual and electronic media — constitute a major cause for this high social hostility targeting religious groups throughout the world. The instances where some religion is the target of propaganda, bias, stereotyping, misconception, misunderstanding and incitement to hatred in the press in countries across the globe have become legion.

    The episode in 2005 regarding the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed and the subsequent violent reactions across the Islamic world raised the attention of the global community to the misunderstandings and lack of information within the media on matters relating to religion and belief. Yet bias and misinformation in the press continue to be a scourge, fostering religious discrimination and fueling hostility toward targeted faiths. [42]

    No universal set of principles, rules or standards in this critical area regarding the depiction of religion or belief by the media currently exists. Without clear articulation of such principles and standards, there is no effective means to gauge whether news reports violate universal human rights standards while engendering discrimination or even violence targeting individuals due to their religious association.

    The time has come to articulate a set of standards, based upon the human rights principles that make up the right to freedom of religion, to guide the media in the area of religion or belief. To address this pressing need, a proposed Charter on Journalistic Ethics in Relation to Respect for Religion or Belief (“Charter”) is contained in the next section as a tool to educate the media on the right to religious freedom and establishing proper standards for religious tolerance in reporting on religious matters.

    This Charter was created by taking into account over forty national journalistic ethics codes, more than three hundred professional journalist codes, and the relevant documents articulating OSCE, Council of Europe and UN standards that are contained in this publication. The Charter takes into account the paramount principles of freedom of expression and freedom of religion and attempts to strike an appropriate balance that preserves both of these fundamental freedoms.

    [41] “Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion,” September 2012, Pew Research Center.

    [42] See, e.g., Copenhagen Danish Institute for International Studies, Rytkonen, Helle “Drawing the Line: The Cartoons Controversy in Denmark and the US,” 2007; Islamic Monthly, “America’s Latest Outsiders: The Struggle of Religious Minorities throughout History,” 13 March 2013; Bahá’í World News Service, “A Case Study in Religious Hatred,” 7 December 2013; Commentary, “The Guardian Acknowledges a Degree of Anti-Semitism,” 10 November 2011.


    Charter on Journalistic Ethics in Relation to Respect for Religion or Belief


    Journalists are accountable for the social and political consequences of their actions and have a duty to maintain the highest ethical and professional standards.

    Journalists shall scrupulously endeavor to report the truth; respect the right of the public to know the truth; ensure that any information they disseminate is fair and objective; promptly and prominently correct any material inaccuracies; and afford the right of reply in appropriate instances.

    The media [43] is responsible for any material released through it.


    The public’s right to information is a fundamental right and cornerstone of a free and democratic society. Thus the media exercises an essential role in the society that requires a great sense of responsibility to the public. Freedom of speech, freedom of information and freedom of the press represent the heart of democracy. A free, independent media is critical to ensure transparency and an open and robust democratic society; it is instrumental to the development and strengthening of effective democratic systems.

    A responsible media recognizes the vital necessity of the free flow of information and the impact it has on shaping public perception. It is mindful of its ethical responsibility to the public and its need to respect and defend human rights.

    A responsible media has the right and the duty to report and to comment on all matters of public interest with respect to the rights and freedoms of individuals and institutions. It advances understanding and participation in the democratic process for all.

    A responsible media freely expresses personal or group opinions within the limits of the pluralistic contest of ideas. It accepts that freedom of expression may be subject to restrictions and limitations when other fundamental rights are endangered. It takes special care to not violate other fundamental human rights and takes individuals’ rights to privacy, honor and dignity into account while fostering the free flow of information.

    A responsible media respects prevailing ethical and moral standards and avoids pandering to the lurid or profane.

    A responsible media fosters the public’s right to know and right to freedom of expression. It aims at promoting the free flow of information and transparency, and adheres to the principles promoting and upholding respect for human dignity and religious beliefs as reflected in the United Nations Resolution Combating Defamation of Religions.

    A responsible media strives for peace, democracy, social progress and respect for human rights. It recognizes, respects and defends diversity of opinion. It opposes discrimination based on any grounds.

    A responsible media makes earnest efforts to reduce ignorance, promote greater understanding, alleviate cultural and religious insensitivity among peoples, and facilitate dialogue among nations.

    A responsible media ensures that the display and dissemination of images complies with the same requirements and the highest ethical standards as for written or oral presentations.


    A responsible media serves as a watchdog to safeguard fundamental rights. It does not, therefore, fuel or engender discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, cultural traditions or similar grounds. It recognizes and respects diversity and minority rights.

    A responsible media avoids discriminatory or denigrating references to religious beliefs and spiritual values.
    A responsible media does not refer to religions or religious institutions in a prejudicial, biased or pejorative context; when religious references are essential to the reported matter or facilitate understanding, they are made accurately, fairly, impartially and respectfully.

    A responsible media refrains from reinterpreting, misinterpreting, analyzing, assessing or examining religious beliefs or the expression of these beliefs. Instead, it maintains a strict duty of neutrality and objectivity—accepting what the religion puts forward as its true beliefs without disapproval, contempt, condescension, bias or ridicule.

    A responsible media does not intrude on sacred matters relating to creed, religious rites and religious institutions. It refrains from encouraging or instigating discrimination, derision, scorn or hatred based on religion or belief.

    A responsible media provides a fair and prompt opportunity for reply to inaccuracies and stereotypes regarding religious organizations or affected members when reasonably called for.

    A responsible media avoids religious stereotyping and does not associate any religion or belief with human rights violations or terrorism.

    A responsible media balances fundamental human rights, including the right to be free from discrimination based on religion or belief, with the right to freedom of expression and the public’s right to know. It shows special sensitivity when dealing with religious issues to avoid any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on religion or belief that has as its purpose the nullification or impairment of human rights.


    A responsible media never promotes religious hatred. It scrupulously avoids engendering hostility toward religions and their members likely to lead to imminent violence or systematic deprivation of human rights.

    A responsible media refrains from provoking aggression, hatred, discrimination and any form of violence directed at individuals and organizations because of their religious beliefs and association. It remains alert to the grave danger associated with condoning or encouraging violence, discrimination, hatred and intolerance on religious grounds.

    A responsible media eschews inciting foreseeable violence, inflaming hatred, stigmatizing religions and their followers, and engendering inequality on grounds of religion or belief. It is sensitive to avoid affronting religious beliefs and contributing to conflicts between religions and their members due to religious differences.

    [43] Media refers to all forms of the press, through print, audiovisual or electronic media, or any other means and all journalists who impart information through the press.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2017
  2. PirateAndBum

    PirateAndBum Gold Meritorious Patron

    Yeah, well I think that when a "religious organization" is corrupt, violating human rights, and lying to their flock then it is the duty of the press to so inform the public. If a religion hypothetically promoted slavery I think it quite appropriate for a journalist to have something to say about it.

    If co$ wants some respect then it would behoove them to stop their behaviors that engender critical media coverage.
  3. AngeloV

    AngeloV Gold Meritorious Patron

    No. No one must accept anything of the kind, nor should anyone be stopped from expressing those opinions. That is the basis of freedom of speech. What they want are blasphemy laws which are completely anti free speech. These types of laws elevate religion above secular society and make them sacrosanct.

    Are you kidding? I will analyze and criticize and joke and degrade the Old Quacks nonsense anytime I want. And the 'press' will do the same any time it wants. Because the Old Quack wrote some hideous stuff that denies human rights and he should be ridiculed.
  4. WildKat

    WildKat Gold Meritorious Patron

    They have these or similar laws in Europe. It's why journalists scrub news relating to Muslims and Islam. It's one step away from Sharia law. People have also been charged for inflammatory remarks on Facebook. People who expose Islam (e.g. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer) have been banned from England. But Imams preaching death to apostates and gays are always welcome.

    So instead of prosecuting actual crime, they are selectively prosecuting free speech.

    The penalty for insulting Islam is death.

    Another step closer.
  5. AngeloV

    AngeloV Gold Meritorious Patron

    There is a huge difference between analyzing, assessing, and examining religious beliefs or even deriding them and hate speech.

    For instance:

    "Hubbard said that 'suppressive persons' are such horrible people that they can be killed using process R2-45. This is obviously the ranting of a madman and shows he had a sociopathic streak. Cultists disconnect from SPs, they don't kill them.".


    "Scientologists are all ready and willing to kill people they deem to be suppressive using .45 caliber handguns. Scientologists are bloodthirsty lunatics on the edge of committing murder. The case of Rex Fowler proves this. None of them can be trusted."

    I am all for "analyzing, assessing, and examining religious beliefs" in order to point out inconsistencies, stupidity and dangerous doctrines of any religion. Hate
  6. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    The problem is that any legal distinction between "analyzing, assessing, and examining religious beliefs" and so-called "hate speech" would frequently not be clear, and not certainly not nearly as clear as your hand-picked examples.

    The reason so-called "hate-speech" is protected by the First Amendment in the U.S. (absent a true threat) is that the mere threat of litigation, and particularly the threat of litigation by billionaires and wealthy businesses, churches, religions, etc. can have a chilling effect on all speech, and particularly "analyzing, assessing, and examining religious beliefs."

    Another example is the issue of abortion. I know people who think abortion is murder. (I don't.) If they say, "Abortion is murder!," is that hate speech? If they try to make a rational argument that abortion is murder, is that hate speech? I certainly know more than one liberal who would say yes, it is hate speech, because it necessarily implies that any woman who had an abortion is a murderer. So, anyone who says, who tries to rationally argue, that abortion is murder should be put in jail? Fined?

    Well, what about someone who argues abortion is morally wrong? (FWIW, I don't think it is consistent with current U.S. legal parameters.) Is that hate speech? After all, doesn't that statement necessarily imply that anyone who had an abortion did something morally wrong? Isn't it disparaging that woman's character?

    If you don't believe this is an issue in the U.S., check out the status of free speech on any college campus.

    It has been said that in the U.S. most threats to free speech come from the Left. I agree.

    I've met more than one liberal who was absolutely convinced that any criticism of Islam or the Quaran, for example, is necessarily "hate speech." I've known more than one attorney who would be willing to assert such an argument in court to the great cost of the defendant, even if the defendant ultimately won.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  7. The_Fixer

    The_Fixer Class Clown

    There was a part in that lot that was titled "Purpose of this Publication", or words to that effect.

    What twaddle.

    The real purpose of it was to vilify the press for exposing any lies, shameful and hateful conduct of any religion and the destruction they create.

    Anything as long as it isn't about making them have a good look at themselves and what they are doing or are about to do that will destroy someone's life.
  8. WildKat

    WildKat Gold Meritorious Patron

    This is a really interesting topic. When people start getting fined or put in jail for criticizing ideas or ideologies, whether Scientology, or Islam, or any other Belief System ("BS") .... that is evidence we are in big trouble.

    And yes, I have seen more threats to free speech coming from the left too. It has gotten ridiculous on college campuses.

    Fuck the left, fuck Scientology, and fuck Islam especially.

    There, I feel better now.

    If this offends anyone, go find a safe space.
  9. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Does this mean Scientology will be opening "the hole" and its legal record of harassment , extortion registrar recordings, number of members driven into bankruptcy, data files they hold on political opponents etc.
    I say they do that first to all they present the proposed charter. That should be enough to to show their incidious intent behind their program to always attack, never defend.
    Transparency, oh yes sure. Bullshit and all of the OSA goons know it. They need to recover the good identity they had before they programmed themselves with a man who was on the run from the law for decades(1965 to 1986) and died alone and in the dark,, thank you George Baillee 0T8
  10. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Deleted duplicate
  11. This is troubling.

    Little by little, country by country, freedom of speech is being compromised.

    In the U.S., now more than ever we've got to hold a solid line against encroachment of free speech.


    The Anabaptist Jacques
  12. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    I agree. Unfortunately, the Church of Scientology will get a lot of support for this at the UN and internationally. Many countries have laws restricting "denigration" of religion. I know it is a big issue at the UN.

    I"m also not confident about the US. I could see the COS getting the Religious Right to support this for obvious reasons. Sadly, I could see the COS getting the Social Justice Warrior Left to support this by downplaying the religious angle, and pushing it as "anti-discrimination" and "anti hate-speech."
  13. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    Note that CO$ has great liability in denigrating independent
    and FZ Scn.
  14. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Yes, I hadn't thought of that. Very easy to provide evidence too with all their hate websites.

    (Being hypothetical here, in the event that the cult's proposed legislation gains traction.)

    Terril -- do you think this link is clickable, showing your article?

  15. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Not in the U.S., it doesn't. And it shouldn't.

    The COS should be free to analyze, criticize and, yes, "denigrate" independent and FZ Scn without liability, just as everyone should be free to analyze, criticize and, yes, "denigrate" COS, independent and FZ Scn without liability. That is what freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas is all about.
    Type4_PTS likes this.
  16. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Yet in their 'charter' they claim exemption rights to their anti- social activities and try to dead agent journalist. Kinda sounds like the pushing of the " merchants of chaos" agenda probably initially clasped onto by Hubbard as a double curve response to his fraud.
  17. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    The largest single voting bloc at the UN is the OIC, or the Organization of Islamic Conference, which strongly supports blasphemy laws. Scientology has connected with ISNA and other US groups which support them as well. It is very problematic.
  18. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    My paper is the only one with a clickable link. Its not complete
    but gives most of the paper.
  19. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    It seems to change from day to day. Yesterday I could see none of your paper; today I can see one page of it and a page of endnotes re Scn which may be yours or may be from Eric Roux.

  20. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    It's fascism. Scientoxity is fascism...the left is fascism. Islam is fascism. What's necessary is more critical dialogue of these ideologies...not less.