Friday, July 18, 2008

Church of Scientology banned from shopping centre

The Birmingham reports that

"THE Church of Scientology has been banned from a Midland shopping centre after a string of complaints that they had been preaching to children."


"We had complaints that kids had been invited to take part in a stress test and were then being asked questions about religion,” said operations manager Colin Quinton."

However, Graeme Wilson, the church’s public affairs director, said:
“Apparently there was one complaint by one person, who didn’t identify himself, saying he had seen children approached and offered stress tests.

“I understand that he did not claim to be a parent of any such children, and no evidence has been presented.

“Our stress tests are not offered to children,” Mr Wilson added.
The reasons I find the CoS report in this case more credible are:
  1. Where are the evidences of the parents complaining?
  2. Operations manager Colin Quinton is obviously biased at the start, as he is quoted saying
    "we wouldn’t have allowed them in if we had realised who they were"
  3. False accusations using children is a favorite anti-cult tactic. One will remember the recent FLDS incident, as well as the Waco tragedy:
    "According to CAN critic Dr. Gordon Melton of the Institute for the Study of Religion in Santa Barbara, California, CAN has used a number of means to try to destroy small religious groups: they unsuccessfully tried to expand "conservatorship" to allow families to remove members from "cults"; they unsuccessfully tried to have laws passed against "cults"; they unsuccessfully sued the American Psychological Association for rejecting their views on "brainwashing." However, they have found one successful method of disrupting groups: false anonymous charges of child abuse. Anonymous reports are legal under current law. [24]
  4. Anonymous has recently discussed the opportunity to "Using Youth As A Weapon"

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