Monday, July 09, 2007

Guilty until proven Innocent

If the police walk in on a guy standing over a murdered corpse, the blood stained knife in his hand and his clothes spattered with the victim's blood, even he is treated as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

But in matters of religion it seems that any bigot can make whatever outrageous accusation he wants and the target of his venom is assumed guilty and the unsubstantiated claim is repeated and repeated as if proven beyond the shadow of a doubt.

This method of attack on religion is very ancient. It was used against the early Christians who were accused of cannibalism (a twisting of the communion). For hundreds of years during the dark ages Jews were told by their Rabbis never to drink red wine during the Passover because a rumor had been put about by the Vatican that they drank the blood of Christian babies.

In this day and age, accusations of cannibalism and drinking the blood of babies would be laughed at, so the hate mongers have to turn to the modern equivalents: brainwashing and financial exploitation. Outrageous accusations can be made, put onto web sites, given to the press and generally spread around and the religion is considered guilty without any trial or anyone having to provide any actual evidence.

This happened to Scientology in the United States until finally in the early 1990's the IRS did the biggest investigation ever of an organization applying for tax-exempt status. As part of that examination they investigated all the claims, no matter how outrageous, and came to the conclusion that the Church of Scientology was a religious, public benefit organization.

This same pattern has been repeated in other countries and the result has always been the same: when the accusations are investigated they are found to be false and Scientology is recognized as a religion and as innocent of the charges of wrong doing.

So why am I writing this? Because I am sick to death of seeing the press mindlessly repeating the ridiculous accusations of certain bigots in the German government. If such libelous statements were made against an individual he could sue, but when they are made against an organization which is never given a chance to answer the claims in a court of law there isn't much you can do about it, except make posts to your blog.

Some data on Official Recognition of Scientology as a Religion:

- Official Recognition of Scientology as a Religion
- Scientology Religious Recognition in Tanzania and Zimbabwe
- Official Recognition of Scientology as a Religion
- First Official Scientology Wedding In Sweden Follows Religious Recognition
- Overwhelming Religious Recognition for Scientology
- More than 50 courts around the world have ruled that Scientology operates solely for the benefit of Mankind
- Scientology Religion Bona Fides - Recognition by the Courts
- Church of Scientology of Moscow Wins Landmark Decision in European Court of Human Rights - Confirmation of Scientology's Religious Bona Fides by the Highest Court in Europe
- Scientology Wins 17-Year-Old Case In Spain - Total Victory as Court Declares Charges Groundless

3 comments:

Dion Berlowitz said...

Why doesn't it surprise me that Germany would be intolerant of a minority religion?

I think that you folks are doing a good job trying to help people. There are people out there, such as myself, that appreciate the kinds of things you're doing.

Keep up the good work!

craig freeman said...

What constitutes libel against a religion?

Grahame said...

Good question, Craig. I don't know what it would be as a legal issue. Personally I'd say, telling lies about a religion to make it look bad, would qualify. Lies would be anything from twisting the truth to outright fabrication.