The Kewl Doodz 'n' Chyx

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The cult, the cops and the very big nose

Posted by Martin Poulter on 23 May 2008

Via the Guardian, the Register and a bunch of other media outlets including BBC London local news (below), the story of how City of London Police are trying to ban the word “cult” from anti-Scientology protests. UPDATE: there will be no court hearing – Total failure for the cult of Scientology! More details below the fold.

EpicNoseGuy, a 15-year old member of Anonymous, attended the May 10 protest against the cult’s Fair Game policy. Police there confiscated placards that called Scientology a “cult”, on the grounds that this violated the Public Order Act by insulting scientologists. EpicNoseGuy stood his ground. His small sign read “Scientology is not a religion. It is a dangerous cult” and he defended his right to use it by quoting Mr Justice Latey in the High Court. As a result, he faces a court summons.

Anonymous protests everywhere have been peaceful and police around the country have so far been very
fair, with this exception. Metropolitan police, who cover London outside the financial district, have had no problem with the word “cult”. Rewind to February of this year, and see how a City of London bobby defended the rights of protestors against complaints from the Scientology PR people:

So what has changed? Maybe the Scientologists took their complaint to their powerful friends. According to a Freedom of Information request by the Guardian, higher-ups City of London Police have accepted thousands of pounds worth of hospitality from Scientology. Please, dear reader, don’t put two and two together.

I have found well over a hundred instances in the British media where journalists have referred to Scientology as a cult, and dozens more where they have quoted other people calling them a cult. The question is now whether no one on Queen Victoria Street will ever call Scientology a cult again, or whether people will turn out in their hundreds on June 14th, every one of them with a “cult” placard.

Update: According to Slashdot, the BBC, the Rye & Battle Observer and the Guardian, there will be no court hearing because it has been decided that EpicNoseGuy has no case to answer. Sanity restored and free speech guaranteed!

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2 Responses to “The cult, the cops and the very big nose”

  1. glittrgirl said

    Phew.

  2. […] complained to the police about Anonymous using the word “Cult” in chants and placards (previously on D’n’C). Police in some areas listened and treated it as a public order or “religious hate” […]

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