Thursday, December 25, 2008

Henson Files an Appeal

EFF reports that Keith Henson has filed an appeal to the Appellate Division of the Riverside County Superior Court of his criminal conviction in 2001.

The article is riff with bias and myths, like the one that the reason he was convicted was for "picketing in front of a Scientology "base"". It also seems to be inaccurate when it states that "Henson sought, and temporarily obtained, political asylum in Canada right after the verdict, then was arrested upon his return to the US in 2007" as it forgets to mention that the reason he returned to the States was precisely because his asylum request was eventually denied.

We'll probably see more Henson myths coming up in a near future.


Only Love Can Do That said...

OK you're talking about legal details here, but what about the basic point, which is that he actually did nothing except speak the truth about Scientology and was therefore relentlessly pursued for years? I'm sorry, but y'all have to learn that it's not good PR to hound random people, regardless of how it plays out in court. It's both ineffective and mean. Responsible citizens allow public criticism of their actions.

Bernie said...

That basic point is precisely what I refer to as a myth. Henson did way more than "just speak out". He relentlessly hounded, stalked and harassed Scientologists. See details in the page I linked to in the entry above.

Only Love Can Do That said...

As I understand it, Henson was originally persecuted only for releasing the NOTS documents. He was eventually acquitted of making criminal threats. The only crime for which he was ever convicted was "interfering with a religion," which is hardly appropriate as there are of course no religions involved.

And that's still not the point. Real religions don't persecute even their harshest critics, because to do so would paint them to the public as both weak and cruel. Persecution doesn't stop counting if the person you're persecuting has ever done anything wrong. Scientology went psycho on this guy for ages-- fair gaming him isn't wrong because he's a saint, it's wrong because it's flat out wrong.

Bernie said...

You are mixing several issues here, each of which we could debate for months:

Initial NOTS case (for which he was convicted separately years ago); Cruise missile joke threat (for which he was acquitted); Scientology is a religion or not; "Real" religion don't persecute (yeah right...); Whole Henson history with the CoS; Fair Game...

Let's focus back on the basic point at hand:

Critics claim Henson was only sentenced to jail for speaking out and "peacefully picketing". I say: this isn't true. He didn't just speak out or peacefully picket. He actively stalked,harassed and hounded Scientologists relentlessly, as detailed on the page referred to above.

I say, the "Henson was jailed only for speaking out" is a myth.

Only Love Can Do That said...

Me and Scientology both have a few months (maybe). So let's to it. The initial NOTS case. Say something about it. Defend it if you will. He revealed the fact that the higher levels of Scientology are all about aliens, which made them mad. That's what the whole fight is about, isn't it? Scientology started this fight, after Keith revealed a secret and that made them angry. The upper levels are all auditing Body Thetans. I'll say it again. The upper levels are all about removing aliens from your body. That's what started this.

The cruise missle threat was a joke. By someone else. Scientology relentlessly attacked Keith for that, didn't they? Want to say something about that? I've got a few months. Scientology has a few months. Maybe. So say something. Someone else made a joke, and so Scientology attacked a critic for it-- not because they were offended by the joke, mind you, but because they were offended by the secrets that critic revealed. The secret that all of the upper levels are auditing out body thetans.

Real religions aren't allowed to persecute people these days, by either law or public opinion. Neither is Scientology, really, which is why it is in trouble with both the law and public opinion, and is widely considered to be something other than a religion. So defend it, if you would. Someone else persecutes like Scientology? Who? I'm not sure even the Inquisition had quite the diabolic certitude of Scientology's attacks, and it's the only thing that comes to mind as remotely comparable.

Henson's whole history with the church was indeed that he was fair gamed. And who can deny fair game at this point, while Anonymous is systematically documenting it??

Keith obviously did more than picket, but he did nothing violent nor harmful. He was attempting both to defend himself against Fair Game and to help people to escape from a system of indoctrination which ensnares their mind (and, at intervals, involuntarily recovers their bodies, which is called kidnapping). Scientology tries to catch people crossing the bright red line of the law, but there's no evidence that he crossed the real line, the line of true impropriety.

Whether he made mistakes or not, the people of Anonymous and the people of the world will remember Keith Henson forever as a hero. This conversation itself is building his mana. He will be remembered as someone with the vision and the courage to confront, and to help to defeat, a darkness which plagues the human spirit. You can't stop that with a few dirty words. The sum total result of your posting a nasty critique of Keith Henson is so far to continue make him a hero to the world.

So do you have anything damning to say? Can you succeed in painting Keith as you so desperately-- and why, and who are you-- want to paint him? Try again.

Bernie said...

"I'm not sure even the Inquisition had quite the diabolic certitude of Scientology's attacks"

If you are not sure about that then that says quite something about how evil you see Scientology and how little informed you are about history. Try reading a thing or two about the inquisition.

While you are at it, try to read a little about some countries where even today leaving one's native faith or criticizing the prophet is sentenced to death.

"You can't stop that with a few dirty words. The sum total result of your posting a nasty critique of Keith Henson is so far to continue make him a hero to the world."

Giving what you posted I can see why anything critical about your "hero" would be qualified as "dirty" and "nasty". Only love can do that, I guess...

"Keith obviously did more than picket, but he did nothing violent nor harmful."

He stalked, hounded, and relentlessly harassed Scientologists. Call that as you will, justify it as much as you like, but to me it is way different than "just speaking" and "peacefully picketing".

But obviously, to someone who views the inquisition pale compared to Scientology, those who engage in stalking Scientologists are doing nothing wrong and quite on the contrary are "heroes".

That makes sense...