BWF: Church of Scientology
This is the 1st in what we hope to make a regular feature here at The BlaBla Blog – BWF/GWF is our Bad Week For / Good Week For feature that will highlight someone, something or somewhere that stands out as having had either a noticeably Good or Bad Week.
This weeks’ Bad Week For winner is the Church of Scientology.
In the space of just four days, the COS has had the expansion of a drug rehabilitation centre in Tampa challenged by the locals; seen its’ senior hierarchy in France facing fraud and other charges that could relegate the church to the annals of French history; and had the “open” online encyclopaedia Wikipedia decide to stop the church making any changes to COS related pages in its database.
In the first case, local residents of Brooksville in Florida, USA have lodged a formal objection with their local planning authorities in an effort to prevent the church from expanding an already controversial drug rehab centre in their neighbourhood.
Local resident says: What really put her off was the night earlier this year when she heard yelling coming from the property along her back lot line.
“It was some guy,” she said. “It was like someone being tortured.”
Fager prepared to call 911, but then she heard other voices — women and men laughing. It made her uneasy, and she doesn’t use her back yard anymore. She’s not alone in her fear.
In August, the 3-acre site behind Fager’s home was bought by Toucan Partners LLC, a firm with ties to the Church of Scientology. The elderly residents who previously had inhabited the small assisted living facility were moved out.
More damaging to the church by a long shot: the French arm of the COS has had six of its’ senior members in court in Paris this week facing charges of fraud and (in some cases) selling pharmaceuticals without a license.
The six are being sued by Aude-Claire Malton, whose lawyers are arguing that the Scientologists preyed upon her at a time when she was “very psychologically fragile”, pressuring her into spending €21,000 (around R250,000) – her life savings – on products including “purification packs” and vitamins. They argue that she was the victim of a “deliberately manipulative system that exploits vulnerable people in order to make money”.
France’s Church of Scientology today went on trial on charges of organised fraud in a case that could lead to the nationwide dissolution of the controversial organisation. The Church’s “celebrity centre” spiritual association and its Scientology Freedom Space bookshop in Paris stand accused of targeting vulnerable people for commercial gain.
Finally, the Wikipedia open online encyclopaedia’s Arbitration Board has unanimously decided to place bans on any edits being made to COS related pages by people using computers known to belong to the church.
The user-edited online resource has over 400-odd pages dedicated to the Church of Scientology, and to Scientologists in general. These pages have been the subject of regular changes by both pro- and anti-COS groups, and it seems that no-one can really agree on what information to keep and what to change.
An array of editors believed to have taken sides in a Scientology public-image war at Wikipedia have also been barred from tinkering with topics related to the church.
“Each side wishes the articles within this topic to reflect their point of view and have resorted to battlefield editing tactics,” senior Wikipedia editors said in arbitration committee findings backing the decision.
Cult? Religion? Crack-pot fad? Serious, worthy life-choice? We don’t know. What we do know is that…
the Church of Scientology
is the worthy recipient of our first ever
BlaBla Blog Bad Week For Award!