Have their ever been any unmerited "attacks" against the Dianetics / Scientology?

SpecialFrog

Silver Meritorious Patron
My overall impression is that virtually all government / legal actions against L. Ron Hubbard's various Scientology-related enterprises (including Dianetics) were essentially appropriate responses.

Is this correct or are there cases where the treatment of the Church of Scientology was not justified by its own actions?

To start with, I would argue that the AMA / APA's rejection of Dianetics was their only possible response to a thesis that made such grandiose medical claims without an ounce of hard evidence to back it up.

I would also argue that the same material phrased as a working theory might have found some support within the mental health community provided Hubbard was willing to work with people to try to validate some of it rather than just taking his word as gospel.

Subsequent AMA / APA / FDA actions also seem to be reasonable responses to the unverified medical claims and lack of oversight into what was essentially a therapeutic practice.

Were there other government responses that were unjustified?
 
... Were there other government responses that were unjustified?

Unjustified lies in the eye of the beholder. :)

The german government's treatment of scientologists historically appears to be a clear violation of the basic human right of an individual to free association and the free practice of their religion. It is based on a cultural history of state extension of special privileges for officially recognized religions and a culture leery of attempts by organized groups to subvert the state.

They are clearly motivated by concern over the cult's practices in europe, however arguably their actions have been excessively punitive and resulted in open discrimination against scientologists in germany. The state appears to be moderating their approach in recent years to give more support for the rights of individual scientologists while nonetheless closely monitoring the abuses of the cult.


Mark A. Baker
 

SpecialFrog

Silver Meritorious Patron
The german government's treatment of scientologists historically appears to be a clear violation of the basic human right of an individual to free association and the free practice of their religion.

While I think some aspects of the German governments response have been excessive it's not as cut-and-dry as you make out.

Germany doesn't recognize the right to free association when it comes to anti-democratic groups. As I understand it, this is the main source of the issues with the Church of Scientology.

Also, I think this reaction from the German government started the at the time the CoS was being prosecuted in the US and Canada for infiltrating government organizations and stealing documents. In that context, being concerned about Scientologists infiltrating government organizations does not seem strange.

Without Snow White would the German government have cracked down like this? Even if the response was excessive, the root cause was the CoS's own actions.

Finally, whether or not you agree with them, there are many good reasons not to consider Scientology a religion. I don't believe the right to practice unlicensed therapy is universally recognized.

I personally think individual Scientologists are entitled to practice their unlicensed therapy, though I'm not sure they should be able to charge money for it without it falling under at least the same level of oversight that other alternative therapies do.
 

OperatingSP

Patron with Honors
Unjustified lies in the eye of the beholder. :)

The german government's treatment of scientologists historically appears to be a clear violation of the basic human right of an individual to free association and the free practice of their religion. It is based on a cultural history of state extension of special privileges for officially recognized religions and a culture leery of attempts by organized groups to subvert the state.

They are clearly motivated by concern over the cult's practices in europe, however arguably their actions have been excessively punitive and resulted in open discrimination against scientologists in germany. The state appears to be moderating their approach in recent years to give more support for the rights of individual scientologists while nonetheless closely monitoring the abuses of the cult.


Mark A. Baker
The Waterkamps, Germany, "Religious Bigotry" vs. Justified Fear, Independent Scientology & The Tech

Marty's Blog: The Waterkamps Declare Independence
http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/the-waterkamps-declare-independence/

Fairly standard, albeit lengthy, Declaration of Independence. Still worth a read.

Mark, Dr. Faustus made some interesting and insightful comments that are relevant to the points you have made:
http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/the-waterkamps-declare-independence/#comment-219648

Dr. Faust | August 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Reply
Gerhard,

“A few days later I was escorted by security out of the building. The owners wrote me a letter stating how disappointed they were, as per their own words, I had been one of their most energetic and productive executives and how in the world could I do it to them to be involved in Scientology.”

[...]

“Here I was, without means to support my family, publicly ousted as a bad guy and practically blacklisted from management positions in Germany.”

You wrote this was in 1995, which is nearly 10 years after Miscavige came to power. Has it ever occured to you, that this “blacklisting” happened because you were a member of, and giving money to an organisation whose policies were and still are abusive, and that could possibly be perilous to non-Scientologists?

You have just recently realised the truth about a situation that has been ongoing for at least the last 20 years and more. I think this is something that independents can agree on as well, as they hold Miscavige responsible for the suppressiveness of the Scientology organisation.

I am not making you wrong for not having realized this earlier. If I were in your shoes, it might have taken me just as long to wake up. However, already back then, the dangers were very real. Ruined existences, phony real estate deals scamming people out of their savings, dirty tricks OSA operations, bankrupt companies after managers in high positions start to divert company moneys into Scientology accounts. THIS is what brought about Ursula Caberta. Not a general suppressiveness on behalf of the German government.

You may have been a good guy. But let me ask you this: If Scientology had wanted to know information about the company where you hold your management position (like: “we need information about a suppressive working at your place!”), under threat of ethics handling or even an SP declare, could you honestly, with good conscience say, that you would have refused?

Nichts für Ungut. Alles Gute für Dich, und deine Familie!
(No offence! All the best to you and your family!)
http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/the-waterkamps-declare-independence/#comment-219677
Dr. Faust | August 7, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
My point is, that it is schizophrenic to say “The organisation I supported for years is suppressive and destructive”, while at the same time blaming “religious intolerance” for the disadvantages resultant from the involvement in it.

“Religious intolerance” has nothing to do with it. Involvement in a criminal organisation has. I know that Gerhard probably hasn’t realised back in 1995 what Miscavige, and his cronies and unethical Scientologists using money scams to forward the agenda of the IAS was really up to.

But ignorance is no excuse in law, and in hindsight, he has to take responsibility for consequences that followed.
 

Mick Wenlock

Admin Emeritus (retired)
Unjustified lies in the eye of the beholder. :)

The german government's treatment of scientologists historically appears to be a clear violation of the basic human right of an individual to free association and the free practice of their religion. It is based on a cultural history of state extension of special privileges for officially recognized religions and a culture leery of attempts by organized groups to subvert the state.

Historically?

Actually up until Hamburg in the early 90's they were treated pretty much like any other weird sect.

And they - the Hamburg Org - actually stirred up the City against them - not because of "infiltration" but because they created such probelms with their financial crap.

It has NEVER been about what the German Government was doing to scientology. It has ALWAYS been the cofs fouling its own nest EVERY TIME. It does it in every location. And then once they have created unhappy people and unhappy victims THEN they get pursued, and investigated - and, at that point they start to whine.

They are clearly motivated by concern over the cult's practices in europe, however arguably their actions have been excessively punitive and resulted in open discrimination against scientologists in germany. The state appears to be moderating their approach in recent years to give more support for the rights of individual scientologists while nonetheless closely monitoring the abuses of the cult.


Mark A. Baker

As you say - the status and privileges of "religion" are within the gift of the government. They are not enshrined in a fundamental right of the country like the USA.

Germany legally does not consider Scientology to be a "religion" therefore it has no need to treat it as one. All it need do is treat it the same as it treats any commercial enterprise suspected of abusing customers.
 
... As you say - the status and privileges of "religion" are within the gift of the government. They are not enshrined in a fundamental right of the country like the USA. ...

I know for guy's like us it seems like yesterday, Mick, but the late 20th century is officially history now. :)

Germany is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which seeks to protect the rights of individuals throughout the world. If you notice my post specifically points out the government's legitimate concerns over the abuses of the cult along with the question of whether that is unjustly resulting in the impairment of the lives, livelihoods, and human rights of individual scientologists.

As I said ...

Unjustified lies in the eye of the beholder. :)

Not everyone sees it the same way.


Mark A. Baker
 

SpecialFrog

Silver Meritorious Patron
The Universal Declaration doesn't define religion, does it? If the German government doesn't consider it to be a real religion what aspects of the Declaration are they violating?
 
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