The Church of Fear

by craig on January 10, 2013 10:37 am in Uncategorized

I attended a launch last night for John Sweeney’s exposure of Scientology – “The Church of Fear”. Get down your bookshop and order a copy now. Carter Ruck and intense legal pressure was only the most “legitimate” form of the threats directed at John to stop this book, including a determined effort to have him sacked from the BBC. Every major UK publisher turned down the book and in the end John’s agent effectively self-published.

I met several escaped (that is the right word) Scientologists at the reception and I have to admit I had not previously realised just how vicious and dangerous this cult is.

I know that some regular commenters here are baffled at my friendship with John Sweeney, particularly after the mocking tone of some of “The Ambassador’s Last Stand”, his BBC documentary of my 2005 campaign against Jack Straw in Blackburn. On that one, no other tone would have got it on screen but after half an hour of fun at my expense, it socked you absolutely between the eyes with the harrowing truth of Jack Straw’s complicity in torture. You may recall that it was shifted at the last moment from 8pm to late night – there was a reason.

I disagree with John about quite a lot – most sharply about Julian Assange. But he is a big-hearted, passionate and honest man, which is what really matters. I have never confined my friends to those who share my political opinions – or I might not have any!

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207 Comments

  1. Cults have been growing fast here in Britain alongside lack of job security & the obsession of driving the poor further below the poverty line.
    This mis-governed nation is turning the cult, be it freemasonry, Jehovah’s Witnesses, covens, Scientology & working for psychopathic big business into a survival strategy.
    This will get worse until we redistribute land or get Atlee, Wilson honest, compassionate politics back in Britain.

  2. Expect Us…

  3. I’m a Murrayist. Is that a cult? Show me a church not based on fear.

  4. “I’m a Murrayist. Is that a cult?”

    Close, only one letter out.

  5. yep, Celt

  6. He also prostrates himself at the feet of Herr mudjesty, preferring himself to be referenced as a British subject rather than a British citizen.

  7. That’s one way, albeit slippery, to get a K or a P I suppose.

  8. He dislikes JA ,and Medialens as well. Anything that questions the independence of the media he works for really. Which shows that he may be big hearted, but that on matter media, the pocket trumps the reason

  9. Apparently religiosity correlates with insecurity – I read it somewhere. Studies on some island showed than the fishermen on the calm coast were quite secular, those on the stormy coast more devout. So maybe we’re headed in the same direction as the USA, where chronic social insecurity leads to all that holiness.

  10. Michael Stephenson

    10 Jan, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    Ah Scientology, a pyramid scheme that preys exclusively on wealthy westerners to part them from their savings, the absolute epitome of a first world problem.

    The only reason anti-Scientology is a such a cause célèbre is precisely because it effects such a tiny percentage of the population that basically effects no-one. It’s easy to all band together and collectively have a go at something that almost nobody has any real world experience or emotional attachment to.

    It mirrors terrorism in that it attracts a massively disproportionate amount of attention for the size of the threat it actually poses. There are far more serious real world issues to worry about than a few wealthy and gullible westerners getting duped out of their savings.

    I’m sure Mr Sweeney will make a buck preaching to the converted though, good for him.

  11. @Fred,

    There is a belated reply to you on the Baghdad Conference Photos thread.

  12. Whether this particular cult matters or not, in my world, allowing people access to books does matter and murky influences on what gets published matters right to the top of the tree.

    I suggest anyone who reckons this particular book matters should go and order it from their local library. I do this whenever I suspect a useful book is being deliberately side-lined. Most libraries have a small charge – usually under £1 – for doing search-and-deliver on a book they don’t directly own. I’m thinking of ‘Cypherpunks’ here, too. I think a lot of the readers of this blog would be willing to throw in £1 to the cause of spreading that particular title.

    It goes like this: you order the book, fill out a little card and pay your £1 or whatever. They notify you when they find a copy and you borrow it. Sometimes, With small press, self-published or other non-mainstream books, you might get a benighted part timer at the desk who will tell you the book doesn’t exist because they can’t see it on their country stock so make sure you go in armed with the ISBN number and publisher so that you can demonstrate its existence. If they try a bit harder, they’ll find it.

    They have the options of buying a copy for their own stock, ordering it from another library, or applying for use of a British Library deposit copy. They may baulk at this, saying they’d have to pay a fee to the British Library. At this point, be ready to tell them why the book is important, that lots of people you know want to read it and, most importantly, that if they buy their own copy they’ll never again have to pay a British Library fee when people ask for it.

    There are several reasons why this is an excellent thing to do. However they go about getting the book, once your order pulls it into the system, it will come to the attention of a variety of library staff on its way to you. There are still a few members of the library staff who are actually librarians and even some of the ones who aren’t are still interested in the power of books. Seeing a new and interesting book, they tend to consider buying it for the shelves of whichever part of the system they are in charge of. My record so far (that I know of) is a county library buying eight copies of book I ordered, because they then found they’d had (and ignored) requests for it from that many branches.

    As well as being a good helping hand with profile raising, your action will increase the author’s chance of getting a PLR payment. It’s only pennies per loan but, if the book isn’t in many libraries, it’s unlikely to reach the point where the library service bothers to make any payment to the author.

    So – go order books. If you’re not a member of a public library – go sign up now, then order books. It’s free to join, and it doesn’t hurt at all!

    (blasted captcha – that was a HARD sum!)

  13. Sorry – that should have said ‘county stock’ (can’t type, as well as can’t do hard sums.)

  14. I used to take them on in the street, Scientologists, but they were so indoctrinated none of them would listen to any viewpoint but the one they already held. When I told them that their founder L Ron Hubbard was a Satanist and friend of Aleister Crowley they ignored me and tried to talk to other passers by.

    I think they take short leases empty premises to recruit. There was one in Moseley some years back. It’s gone now I’m glad to say. I went in one day for a laugh and did this pseudo test (I think they called it the Oxford test) which was the furthest removed from a test in any seat of academia. The questions were psychologically designed to see how susceptible candidates were to indoctrination, like psychometric tests used in job interviews to ensure they get ‘yes’ people. My score was very low, I was told I would need a considerable amount of help with my progress. I explained how thankful I was to hear it. I would have been very worried if my score had been high. However, you can understand how the weak-minded get sucked in because they then get that pat on the back and congratulations which bring out the ego in everybody.

    Yes these people are dangerous. They take your money. Anybody who exposes them is a prophet of democracy.

  15. This young Syrian woman was not indoctrinated by Scientologists or the MSM. She says that if NATO invades her country and Russia does not back off it will be World War III. The Syrian people are not duped by western attempts to destabilise Syria the way they did with Iraq and Libya. The interviewer calls it a pre-emptive war by proxy.

    http://du119w.dub119.mail.live.com/default.aspx#n=2130185299&fid=1&fav=1&mid=05f5372e-5b1f-11e2-8a1a-00237de3f16c&fv=1

  16. Michael Stephenson

    10 Jan, 2013 - 1:14 pm

    What exactly is the solution supposed to be? Have the State ban Scientology?
    What about all the other lunatic and pernicious religions with severe real world consequences like the Catholic church.

    What about State worship which is so widespread as to be near universal, that causes people to collectively suppress the truth and believe fanciful fairy tales about the benevolence and heroism of their own particular state.

    Cognitive dissonance and a willingness to disregard reality if far more widespread among the population and dangerous, than the apex of stupidity being attracted to Scientology.

    How do you cure a moron?

  17. “How do you cure a moron?”

    Are they the ones that don’t drink coffee?

  18. Is ‘The Ambassador’s Last Stand’ anywhere online? Would love to watch it.

  19. The cure is talking, posting information and writing books. The better informed people are, the less likely they are to be fooled. There’s a great expression – “beware the man who’s only read one book.” All these silly organisations can look impressive when they’re the first one someone has come across or paid attention to. Put them side by side, and it’s immediately clear that at least some of them are nonsense.

  20. John Had you heard this? Wee Duggie is colluding too. Shame on him, Hague and the rest of them.

    Hague: ‘Options open’ on military support for Syrian rebels

    William Hague said the UK had a “moral obligation” to help save lives in Syria

    The UK has not excluded providing military assistance to the Syrian opposition, should the conflict worsen, William Hague has said.

    He told MPs the UK would look to amend the EU arms embargo so “additional assistance” was “not closed off”.

    He also pledged an additional £2m of “non-lethal” support to the Syrian opposition and civil society.

    Labour welcomed the government’s efforts to support political transition in Syria.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20969386

  21. Frightening Mary but predictable. They all sing from the same hymn book but they are not singing hymns. They are chanting satanic verses.

    I guess if it comes to WWIII people like me will be considered subversives and killed in drone attacks by the cowards who sit behind computers killing pacifists. If their actions end in victory for the cowards they will be portrayed in Hollywood movies as Audie Murphy type heroes. In a society that paints black white what can we expect. Divine intervention? The consolation I retain in my heart is that Germany was the most powerful nation at the start of WWII.

  22. John Goss, last I heard – only a few months back – the local Scientology group is due to run its events from the Pitmaston Building in Moseley. This news surfaced in 2010 but as far as I know they have not yet started using it for this purpose – I wonder if they have not received planning permission for a change of use?

  23. Addendum – they still have offices off the shopping area of New Street in the centre of Birmingham. They’ve had a presence in the centre for many years – I remember volunteering for a personality test about twenty years ago, and I discovered that my low score could be fixed with an expensive set of courses. I’d vaguely heard it was a cult even then, but the two women who interviewed me scoffed openly at the suggestion.

  24. “There are far more serious real world issues to worry about”

    Have to agree. An exposé of the relationship between politicians, global banking, the oil industry and the corporate media for instance. Now there’s a dangerous cult if ever there was one.

  25. Jon, yes I remember them on New Street in the City Centre. I thought people had got wise to them. Didn’t know they were still trying to get a base in Moseley. Not everybody in B13 is rich! So glad you got a low score in their personality test. I should think most people on this blog would get a low score, perhaps even some of the trolls. That wasn’t an invite trolls to defend yourselves?

  26. Michael Stephenson

    10 Jan, 2013 - 2:53 pm

    Barkbat:

    I’ve had a search about it’s nowhere to be seen.
    Perhaps someone has a recording of it?
    Or perhaps John Sweeney can be convinced to upload the documentary to archive.org.

  27. Well..at least they don’t knock on your door at 8am on a Sunday asking you if you want to be a Mormon, or is that Moron ??
    Think I will pop off now and hang a cross upside down..

  28. John Sweeney – Britain’s Alex Jones?

  29. There was a time when scientologists were banned from entering the country but the cult got a toe hold over here anyway.

  30. Michael Stephenson

    10 Jan, 2013 - 3:01 pm

    Kempe: Do you see the State banning people with certain beliefs from entering our country as a desirable thing?

  31. Completely O/T (well, except Craig does mention he and Sweeney don’t agree on Assange)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/us/new-evidence-to-be-introduced-against-bradley-manning.html?_r=1&

    “The prosecutors also said they would present logs of Internet chats in February 2010 between Private Manning and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, including one in which the two men appeared to be “laughing” together about a New York Times article. The March 17, 2010, article said that the Pentagon had listed WikiLeaks as a threat to military operations and security.”

    Manning and Assange laughed in February about an article printed in March? How is that possible?

    These chat logs are, presumably, those where the US Govt claims the Nathaniel Frank alias is Julian Assange. There’s a lot of problems with whether those chat logs can be authenticated as not being overwritten at a later date. I’ve said before that Nathaniel Frank – an actual person, btw, a campaigner against the US Army’s policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – doesn’t strike me as an alias that Julian Assange would choose. Maybe Bradley Manning (or an Army “forensic investigator”), but not Assange.

    Back on topic: I’ve read some of the stories by Scientology defectors and/or adherents’ families. Absolutely heartbreaking some of them. Scroll down to “personal accounts”:

    http://www.xenu.net/

  32. @John Goss – ah, aleister crowley, the only chap who’ve i’ve ever read where I literally puked from reading a book – marvellous stuff for an under graduate. I think Satanist maybe a bit strong though, more just a massive pervert.

  33. PS to previous post.

    Even worse, the US Government is asking the judge to take “judicial notice” (ie, effectively treat as fact) that New York Times articles and a June 2010 New Yorker profile of Assange as authenticating the chat logs. From Alexa O’Brien, one of the few journalists who has covered the Bradley Manning trial in person from Day 1 and who has produced the only close-as-dammit transcript of proceedings:

    https://twitter.com/carwinb/status/289076311975145474

  34. Keith Crosby

    10 Jan, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    Honest? That rant against the Scientologist was so bogus he nearly lost his Equity card.

  35. John Sweeney’s stand against the evil cult is very brave. I watched both of his BBC programmes about scientology; the first one where he blew up and the second one where he met his tormentors and the cult’s intimidation and surveillance tactics were exposed.

    The guy who runs the “church”, a poison dwarf called Miscavage (Miscarriage?) , is a thoroughly nasty sociopath who governs by fear and intimidation.

    Presumably they have lots of juicy info on their celebrity donors from hours of auditing. These sessions are routinely audited and used against people who want to break out of the cults forced labour camps (Sea Org and Gold).

    Lawrence Wright’s book on Scientology will hit the shops in a couple of weeks. I’ve pre-ordered it. (http://www.amazon.com/Going-Clear-Scientology-Hollywood-Prison/dp/0307700666/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357834003&sr=1-1)

    And another book that will give you nightmairs is “Blown for Good – Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology” by Marc Morgan Headley

  36. Tom Cruise & Scientology: New Book Details Actor’s Involvement In Church, Role It Played In His Divorce
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/tom-cruise-scientology-new-book-divorce_n_2441842.html?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books

    I have heard of only a few of the ‘celebrities’ on the slideshow.

  37. Would very much like to see the 2005 documentary “The Ambassador’s Last Stand” but it’s as though all references to it have been eradicated from the internet.

    Does anyone know where it can be viewed?

  38. “Kempe: Do you see the State banning people with certain beliefs from entering our country as a desirable thing?”

    In the case of scientology I might be prepared to make an exception besides it’s not so much what they believe but what they do.

  39. Michael Stephenson

    10 Jan, 2013 - 5:43 pm

    People being able to make “exceptions” is the root of all evil.
    It’s very difficult to force yourself to try to never make exceptions, most never try, and those that do will always fail in some way.
    It is still important to try, even for things you viscerally dislike like Scientology or the BNP.

  40. @Michael Stephenson – I know where you are coming from, but I think the matter of making exceptions to rules (moral, legal or otherwise) is a very tricky one and certainly not a ‘black and white’ issue.

    As an example, take abortion – I am not advocating any moral standpoint here, merely using it as an example of a law-maker’s dilemma – suppose a government decides that abortion is so morally reprehensible that it should be illegal – is it then wrong to make an exception for women unfortunate enough to have been raped?

    But I do generally agree that making exceptions can be a ‘slippery slope’.

  41. The trouble with Scientology is the L Ron Hubbard never predicted the rise of the internet.

    His business model cannot cope with a medium that can’t keep a secret, and where users cannot be intimidated into silence.

  42. Michael Stephenson

    10 Jan, 2013 - 6:48 pm

    If abortion is to be equated with murder, if we take that at face value, not question it. WHy should a woman be allowed to murder her child, just because she had been raped. We don’t allow death sentence for the rapist but we allow it for an entirely innocent child just because the mother has hurt feelings? That’s monstrous.

    From the point of view of someone who doesn’t view abortion as murder the idea that exceptions should be made for a rape is silly too, because the law is bad in the first place. the Law needs to be changed, not exceptions made.

    In my opinion making exceptions is universally bad, unless you can come up with a better example, I’m always open to being swayed.

  43. Michael Stephenson

    10 Jan, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    I wonder if L Ron Hubbard started out as an atheist making a point about stupidity and just got sucked in by all the cash he made.
    He did state the best way to get rich was to start a religion. It does seem rather church of the flying spaghetti monster.

  44. @Michael Stephenson – I just don’t think a sweeping statement like “making exceptions is universally bad” can be true.

    An example – “No dogs allowed (except guide dogs)”.

  45. I’m no medical expert, but I’m sure there must be cases where a woman’s life can be threatened by pregnancy or childbirth. If a woman is going to die in childbirth, AND she was raped, it follows that the rapist has now become, effectively, a murderer. Under these circumstances, should the baby, if it survives, have more of a right to live than the mother? If so, how does the motherless baby benefit?

  46. Owen Jones
    Wednesday 9 January 2013

    The Welfare Bill: A government of millionaires just made the poor poorer – and laughed as they did it

    A brutal assault from ideologically-crazed demagogues comes down to this: you have been mugged and therefore your less deserving neighbour should be mugged too.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-welfare-bill-a-government-of-millionaires-just-made-the-poor-poorer–and-laughed-as-they-did-it-8443619.html

  47. Actually the “motherless” baby will most likely be completely parentless – I don’t think rapists generally take responsibility for the offspring of their actions.

  48. and a little extra for good measure:

    Gideon advising a caller how to get round inheritance tax

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qjBec3fpBI&feature=player_embedded

  49. Michael Stephenson

    10 Jan, 2013 - 7:18 pm

    ” I just don’t think a sweeping statement like “making exceptions is universally bad” can be true.

    An example – “No dogs allowed (except guide dogs)”.”

    I think you know by context that I was referring to exceptions made to a persons rights based on some arbitrary criteria, you’re being a bit pedantic here.

  50. Michael Stephenson

    10 Jan, 2013 - 7:27 pm

    “it follows that the rapist has now become, effectively, a murderer”

    I don’t accept this premise at all.

    “Under these circumstances, should the baby, if it survives, have more of a right to live than the mother? If so, how does the motherless baby benefit?”

    You’re forcing a position I don’t actually hold, but I’d imagine that if you believe that a foetus is as much a human being as the mother, taking any action to reduce either’s chance of survival over the other is immoral.

    However this situation is totally contrived and irrelevant.

  51. At about 17 I bought a couple of copies of “Dianetics” mail-order. It was a thick paperback, cost £1.00, and I thought it would make a good xmas present at that price. Some books make impressive claims, this one was unsurpassed – you’ll be able to fly, make yourself invisible, make your eyes glow in the dark, and that was just for starters!

    It arrived, gave my friend a good laugh too when he got his copy, but after about 20 pages we had to abandon the read – it was just too ridiculous.

    However, for the next 15 years we got bombarded with mail from the “church” of Scientology, and they started getting loads of calls at my parents house too. They claimed to be friends of mine, and were anxious for details of my whereabouts.

    That’s how keen on follow-up they are if you buy a £1.00 book off them. Lord knows how they get on your case if you’d officially joined.

    Included in their voluminous bumf were price lists for “courses” they offered – tapes on how to succeed in business, have a successful marriage, dress properly, impress people and so on – these cost upwards of a thousand pounds each even back then. Let’s not get started on their Engram Eliminator machines which costs a fortune per session, so that one could eventually become a “clear”.

    What an absolute scam – they really are having a laugh with this.

  52. Thank you for your reply Michael Stephenson.

    Brain not working well today.

    I’ll shut up now.

    (“Good”, says Mary).

  53. No not at all Pan. I am sorry I interrupted your discussion.

    Your name has triggered this question. Did you ever see a film called Pan’s Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro? Very memorable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan's_Labyrinth

  54. “People being able to make “exceptions” is the root of all evil.”
    An unsecureable hyper-statement imo, and hinging uncomfortably on the mere freedom to except.

    Pan, The documentary “The Ambassador’s Stand” does seem be missing from the internet…

    Glen -very interesting account of scientology bothering/marketing. I could easily have signed up myself, at a similar wide eyed age.

  55. Craig

    Delighted you’re back and I endorse how you see John Sweeny. Those who only have friends who agree with them do not understand friendship.

    Iain

  56. “You’re forcing a position I don’t actually hold, but I’d imagine that if you believe that a foetus is as much a human being as the mother, taking any action to reduce either’s chance of survival over the other is immoral.”

    I am reminded of the old dilemma of the runaway tram. The brakes have failed and it is hurtling towards five workmen on the track who will surely be killed. You are standing next to the lever which will move the points and turn the tram onto a side line where there is only one workman working. Do you save five lives by pulling the lever?

    The answer, of course, is no. Thou shalt not kill is the rule, by pulling the lever you would be murdering the one workman.

    Now if only we could get this into the heads of people like William Hague who talks of saving lives in Syria by killing innocent people we might get rid of a lot of the evil in the world.

  57. “I am reminded of the old dilemma of the runaway tram. The brakes have failed and it is hurtling towards five workmen on the track who will surely be killed. You are standing next to the lever which will move the points and turn the tram onto a side line where there is only one workman working. Do you save five lives by pulling the lever?

    The answer, of course, is no. Thou shalt not kill is the rule, by pulling the lever you would be murdering the one workman.”

    No sorry, I don’t follow that logic at all. By not doing anything you’re complicit in the deaths of five.

  58. You want to not have such decisions made, yet a decision is made regardless. The one which kills more for the sake of passivity. Passive aggression is possible, doing by not doing.
    I think a root of alot of evil, is people can care more about their laws than they care for people.

  59. “No sorry, I don’t follow that logic at all. By not doing anything you’re complicit in the deaths of five.”

    So let’s take a different dilemma. A doctor has six patients in his hospital all of the same rare blood group. Five of them will die soon if they don’t receive a transplant, the other is healthy apart from a broken leg.

    Do you think the doctor should kill the one to save the five?

  60. So what’s so bad about Scientology? Better a small cult than a globally organised religion.

    For most of my life, TV and newspapers have been telling me how wicked Scientology is, but now I realise that TV and newspapers collude to lie to me and just because all the media agree on something don’t make it so.

    So what do I know about Scientology? Not much more than what the MSM has told me. This same MSM which tells me I need to sacrifice my human rights and my privacy, hate Muslims, love Israel, believe politicians, care about trivia and vulgarity, buy, buy, buy, …

    Scientology is a cult. Zionism is a movement. They don’t care about me, just the opposite. If they’re warning me against Scientology, it’s for their benefit, not mine.

    Unfortunately for the point I’m making, I’m not interested in organisations with belief systems, so I can’t be bothered checking out what it is about Scientology that so worries Them. But any enemy of Them can’t be all bad.

  61. Fred,

    Sorry but i respectfully disagree.

    If killing is wrong then surely it’s better to kill less by pulling the lever?

    I get where you’re coming from but the non-intervensionist must also have exceptions,mitigation?

  62. Scientolgy is a scam,a crock of exploitative shit no doubt.They’re a sinister outfit.

    But,like The Moonies in the 80′s and 90′s they are the whipping boys of the MSM.

    When will the MSM go after the really sinister cult of Freemasonry though?

    The answer is never,because they(the MSM),the cops,judiciary,spooks,banks,royalty etc are all part of it.

    So expect the Scientology crew to take up all the column inches to deflect from addressing the really sinister outfit.

  63. Jives:
    <blockquoteScientolgy is a scam,a crock of exploitative shit no doubt.They’re a sinister outfit</blockquote
    You may be right, Jives, but how can you be so certain? Where has your information come from?

  64. Jives:

    Scientolgy is a scam,a crock of exploitative shit no doubt.They’re a sinister outfit

    You may be right, Jives, but how can you be so certain? Where has your information come from?

  65. I don’t see any difference between worshipping that part of the Creation that is called science and that part that is called finance.
    Thatcher Blair Brown Cameron belong to a religion called Financeology, which I find even more unconvincing than Scientology because the movement of money out of our pockets into theirs weakens us all against the threat of Chinese and Indian power.

    We will have to fight this fiscal dictatorship, like Syrian rebels are fighting, dismantling the false pyramids of power street by street, but in our case against the overloaded institutional power of modern IT run government.
    The bankers have spread their slug pellets over European finances and their bullets over the Muslim dictatorships.
    They are inside the boom of India and China and we are just blindly overcoming the obstacles they put in our path.

  66. Yes, a lot of religions are hostile to their adherents leaving, but isn’t the focus on Scientology a bit Scientologicophobic and therefore racist?* As far as I know, Scientologists don’t actually kill apostates. They just fleece their flock for cash, like most religions.

    Anyway, I remember when the BBC ran some documentary trailer about some guy tracking down the Scientologists and the voiceover saying something like, “And then there was a confrontation…” and the video of some guy yelling incoherently in the face of someone else. When I finally watched the documentary, it turned out that the guy having yelling incoherently, in a rage, was the BBC reporter himself. I thought it was very unprofessional, and completely counterproductive in showing the Scientologist as the saner of the two.

    So, yes, Scientology is a pile of junk and can be easily countered with good-humoured ridicule. But its destructiveness is, ironically, being scaremongered out of proportion.

    * The answer is no, of course.

  67. The ethical dilemma posed by the runaway rail-cart and the workmen went further, as I remember. Instead of just pulling a lever, sending the rail-cart over an alternative track killing one worker rather than the four on the current track, you now have to choose to actively kill that one person instead of the four.

    In this scenario, you see four workmen on a track. One fat worker is taking a break on a bridge further up the track – you are standing next to him when you see the rail-cart coming. You can do nothing, and watch the four workmen be killed. Or you could push the fat man off the bridge, because you know his body will divert the cart. (No arguing about that – it’s true in this situation.)

    This sort of ethical dilemma is discussed at Westpoint (USMA), America’s top military training college. No doubt it serves to explain a few good deaths is best, so the right kind of military intervention is always righteous, and killing innocents is a regrettable necessity. America is always on the side of the angels and, after all, Freedom© isn’t Free.

    *

    It also reminds me of an 80′s version of the ethical dilemma where you had Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein and Thatcher in a room with you. In your hand is a gun with two bullets in it. Who do you shoot?

    A: Thatcher. Twice – just to make sure.

  68. Hey AS: Good to see you didn’t just drop in as a one-off

    In that much publicised video clip you mention, the journalist (the very same John Sweeney) did lose it, and ranted at the very beatifically calm Scientologist in a most unprofessional manner. That clip has gone viral, which was the intent of the CoS all along.

    What that clip didn’t quite capture was the needling Sweeney taken for weeks off these dudes, who’d been following and pestering him at every turn. They were often nasty and accusatory, not to say outright deceitful, and were constantly filming Sweeney. The guy is human, he finally lost his rag. He coughed to his blunder right away, and showed it – and apologised for it – in his own report.

  69. Note about the above post, at 2:05am, in using the term “very beatifically”.

    It was in Mark Twain’s autobiography (I think) that he said something along the lines, that should you find yourself writing a piece and you are inclined to use the word “very”, you should instead use “goddamned”.

    Upon reading this, the Editor will strike out the word “goddamned”, leaving the sentence untroubled by an entirely unnecessary raising of the point to a higher degree.

    Sadly, there is no editor involved here, other than self-editorship which works almost as well as self-regulation and self-censorship. If we had a “Preview” option before the “Submit Comment” option, perhaps it would save at least some hasty (not to say, badly written) comments.

  70. This Sweeney bloke. You call him passionate. He doesn’t seem very passionate about confronting world famous and popular Hollywood stars about their Scientology. Passionate, with redactions.

  71. Glenn: What that clip didn’t quite capture was the needling Sweeney taken for weeks off these dudes, who’d been following and pestering him at every turn. They were often nasty and accusatory, not to say outright deceitful, and were constantly filming Sweeney. The guy is human, he finally lost his rag. He coughed to his blunder right away, and showed it – and apologised for it – in his own report.

    .
    Yes, I remember that the very Scientologists were filming him too so he wouldn’t have been able to edit his goddamned unprofessional rant from his report. I suppose the BBC used his rant for the trailer to a) cut off the Scientologists’ using it exclusively and b) because people like to tune in to watch a good row.

    I know what it’s like to go into frustrated ranting mode myself, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

  72. Mary, I watched the first half of Pan’s Labyrinth some time ago. My Spanish is passable, but not quite up to extracting the full meaning of what seemed to me at the time to be a rather dark and unfathomable film and I gave up on it.

    Having followed your link, I am now interested in watching it again.

    Moral dilemmas are so deep and interesting but this particular ‘commenting’ format we use on this forum does not lend itself well to such discussions, imo.

    The runaway tram, and rare blood group analogies are apt to the subject example I chose, rather hastily. I think they all serve to illustrate just how complex some of life’s decisions can be, particularly if one is trying to arrive at a ‘just’ outcome.

    Unfortunately, things become even more complex when you factor in the duplicitous chicanery of many of those who speak in support of human rights, but act, off-camera, to destroy those same rights.

    As for exceptions, perhaps ‘National Security’ is the exception that proves the rule.

  73. Jives

    Then you think the doctor would be justified in killing the one patient to save the five?

  74. St Esther of Rantzen is quick off the mark and preempts the release of the police report on Savile’s abuse, by appearing on BBC Breakfast to say she knew nothing. Such a super caring lady and so syrupy!

  75. A Node
    11 Jan, 2013 – 12:40 am
    So what’s so bad about Scientology? Better a small cult than a globally organised religion.

    Scientology is global although not on the scale of the Catholic church.

    http://www.scientology.org/churches/regions/united-states-of-america.html

    http://www.scientology.org/david-miscavige.html?org=1

  76. “The answer, of course, is no. Thou shalt not kill is the rule, by pulling the lever you would be murdering the one workman.”

    Fred’s dilemma is an old one that I have best heard expressed in the utilitarian vs kant debate. It is beyond me to summarise the arguments as I prepare to go to work but it is a fascinating and important question. I will return later if anyone is up for discussing this. Although I am very, very far from an expert and prepared to change my pov.

    I agree with fred and kant – against gut instinct, don’t touch the lever.

  77. Can scientology be any better or worse than the other inherited belief systems.

    Sadly what we all need more of, are belief systems.

    The msm has the control to have us believing almost anything.

    Look out for the signs of improvement.

    If the belief is we are all equal. Why bother trying to better?

  78. As my morning coffee is finished I must add that my disclaimer in my above comment does not go far enough in expressing how little I know about kant. However, I was once utterly convinced by a very beautiful german lady and maybe I had other things on my mind. Now I struggle to recall what I found so compelling about her argument. I think it may have been about the arrogance of knowing what is “best” more often results in bad consequences.

  79. Barbara Tucker, the parlimnt square peace campaigner, is in southwark court again today. As not seen on the bbc.

  80. @ Fred 10 Jan, 2013 – 10:27 pm

    “I am reminded of the old dilemma of the runaway tram. The brakes have failed and it is hurtling towards five workmen on the track who will surely be killed. You are standing next to the lever which will move the points and turn the tram onto a side line where there is only one workman working. Do you save five lives by pulling the lever?”

    “The answer, of course, is no. Thou shalt not kill is the rule, by pulling the lever you would be murdering the one workman.”

    The answer isn’t obvious to me. Don’t we applaud a pilot of an out-of-control plane who diverts it into a house, killing two people, to avoid a school where hundreds might die? Should he or she take hands off the controls and leave the crash to chance?

  81. NR
    “Don’t we applaud a pilot of an out-of-control plane who diverts it into a house, killing two people, to avoid a school where hundreds might die? Should he or she take hands off the controls and leave the crash to chance?”

    But how can the pilot know that there isn’t a party, attended by a hundreds + 1 kids, going on in the house?

  82. “If the belief is we are all equal. Why bother trying to better?”

    Better as in having a big shiny new car or better as in having a low carbon footprint and not taking more than your fair share of the worlds resources?

  83. Pull the lever? Push the fat guy? The Zen approach is to unask the quesion – the answer isn’t yes or no, it’s ‘zo’. In the real world you don’t have certainty. The men on the track might hear the wagon coming and jump clear, just at the moment you pull/push. The fat man might fall and die, but miss the track. You would be frozen by your intuitive awareness of these uncertainties. A form of the dilemma crops up as an argument against euthanasia in the case of terminal illness – you can never claim absolute certainty that the patient will die.

    You can try to strip out the chance elements, but it doesn’t help. You are in a laboratory. In front of you is a large red button. Imprisoned in another part of the building are five people; four in one room one in another. If you do nothing, a lethal gas will be injected into the room containing the four people. If you press the red button, the gas will be delivered to the room containing one person. The equipment has been tested many times and has never failed. Do you press the red button?

    A little more information: the four people are David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Hillary Clinton. The one person is Craig Murray. Did that change your answer?

  84. @Vronsky
    Are you calling craig fat?

  85. “The Zen approach is to unask the quesion – the answer isn’t yes or no, it’s ‘zo’. ”

    I think if that was the approach the answer would be ‘mu’.

  86. “As far as I know, Scientologists don’t actually kill apostates. They just fleece their flock for cash, like most religions”

    That is debatable. Narconon, the dangerous and utterly discredited quackery that poses as Scientology style drug rehabilitation has claimed its fair share of victims.

  87. @ Phil 11 Jan, 2013 – 9:29 am
    “NR — “Don’t we applaud a pilot of an out-of-control plane who diverts it into a house, killing two people, to avoid a school where hundreds might die? Should he or she take hands off the controls and leave the crash to chance?”

    “But how can the pilot know that there isn’t a party, attended by a hundreds + 1 kids, going on in the house?”

    Or the pilot bails, survives, and learns that 101 kids were killed in the house party, while the school was empty for a vacation day.

    The public, instead of hailing a hero, will say they’ve never seen such stupidity and form a flash lynch mob to hunt down the murdering monster.

  88. My answer to those who follow, followers of religions, cults, freemasonry, joiners of clubs, police, army, sectarian hate cults, monarchists, shills, support football teams, company men who over identify with the firm, political parties, LFI, CFI, and so on, is that they are weak faulty incomplete scared individuals, who hope for some form of empowerment or gain by belonging to something that is greater than the individual and in their mind, greater even than the sum of the defective individuals concerned. Even if begun as benign, some will become the purest evil essence. Career, social, financial advancement plays a part in it, simply the opportunity to abuse with impunity random ideologically despised hate figures, a leg-up, protection, exemption from stent, watching, warding, preferment and favour -run through the morally void mind of the initiate. After a while their position within the cult, lodge, or church becomes over-arching, more important than it merits, to the point that they no longer function or integrate within the greater society rather erode it.

    Anyone who wishes to know further should send a postal order, return the signed, sworn oath of allegiance, and I’ll send a membership pack and sacred lapel badge.

    I agree with whoever it was above, it all smacks of ‘something must be done’ panic. There are greater evils afoot than this crummy cult. Why expend so much as an electron in care or concern about this lot. Go after the small fry when the corridors of power are packed with paniced, guileless guilty big fish ripe for netting.

  89. [..]The funny thing was, although I started the job with no strong opinions or political views, after a few weeks of this I became very emotionally wedded to the pro-Israel ideas I was pushing. There must be some psychological factor at work…a good salesman learns to honestly love the products he’s selling, I guess. It wasn’t long before my responses became fiery and passionate, and I began to learn more about the topic on my own. “This is a good sign,” my trainer told me. “It means you are ready for the next step: complex debate.”[..]

    I Was a Paid Internet Shill
    http://consciouslifenews.com/paid-internet-shill-shadowy-groups-manipulate-internet-opinion-debate/1147073/

  90. “If killing is wrong then surely it’s better to kill less by pulling the lever?”

    A bit of logical fallacy there; if killing is wrong then it’s better not to kill.

    These conceited for the Greater Good arguments become even more absurd if you take these already far-fetched scenarios into further extreme but logical reasoning, ie would you rape & sadistically torture to death five children to save the lives of six others ??

  91. A few years ago, while exploring dilemmas like these with some friends, we came up with a new one which I still ponder:

    It is the future, there are teleportation booths on every planet, and the universe is your oyster. The booths work by scanning every particle of your body and mind and instantaneously transmitting the information to another booth where you are rebuilt. It is forbidden to have two versions of yourself in existence at the same time so the instant the scan is finished, that body is disintegrated. The ‘you’ that is built elsewhere comes into existence at that same instant, continuing uninterrupted the thought train of your ‘donor’ body. The technology is 100% reliable and can be repeated indefinitely without damage to your body or consciousness.

    Would you use the booths? I would. Even though I know that I have been killed in one booth, another me continues. As far as I am concerned, I step into one booth and step out of another on the far side of the galaxy. As I look up at the triple moons of Alpha Centauri, huge against the purple sky, I don’t care about my old organic matter turned to ashes 4 light years away. I’m here, now, me, A Node, galactic traveller.

    Now for the twist. Instead of the ‘old’ body dying the same instant as the ‘new’ one is created, there is a 20 second overlap. The ‘old’ me has time to jump out of the booth before disintegration begins. I don’t want to die, that guy on Alpha Centauri is some other me, I’m the real me, kill him. Why should I feel like this? Nothing much has changed from the first scenario. I was quite happy to be killed as long as I knew I would be ‘reborn’ the same instant elsewhere, but not if I’m given an extra ‘bonus’ 20 seconds.

    I’ve been pondering this for 20 years and I still don’t completely understand my feelings. I would unhesitating enter the ‘instantaneous’ booth, but I’m not sure that I’m brave enough to go into the ‘overlap’ one.

    How about you? …….

  92. I wonder what the royal family who gave their patronage to Savile in shovels full think when reading the shocking contents of this document.

    Giving Victims a Voice
    Joint report into sexual allegations made against Jimmy Savile
    http://www.nspcc.org.uk/news-and-views/our-news/child-protection-news/13-01-11-yewtree-report/yewtree-report-pdf_wdf93652.pdf

  93. The BBC do not mention the royal patronage. Pleased to see that Sky News do so.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1036598/savile-report-reveals-full-scale-of-sex-abuse

  94. Mary, I’m gonna guess the royals and others will be more concerned about making sure another fall guy is lined up ready to take more of the heat in case public anger isn’t sufficiently assuaged.

  95. I will check out this book. Readers might also like to look at Andrew Morton’s unofficial biography of Tom Cruise, which is not available in shops the UK because of libel laws, but easy enough to obtain via the internet. I also found out about an amusing South Park parody of Scientology and its “kings” who are portrayed as refusing to come out of a closet -the latter may be just a joke, but the sci-fi legend behind the cult is presented in the sketch, which can be seen on the internet.

  96. I see Mr Mapother aka Tom Cruise intervened.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapped_in_the_Closet_(South_Park)

    Mapother

  97. Ref Savile. What were the real reasons for Surrey Police and the CPS not prosecuting Savile in 2009? We are being told that there was insufficient evidence. Did Savile threaten to expose some names in the higher echelons of power, perhaps residing in the dying embers of Gordon Brown’s regime.

    Everybody is so sorry now and ‘we must not let it happen again’. How times have we heard that phrase being churned out in recent times in so many spheres. I feel sorry for the victims who have not received any justice. I hope that they join together and get compensation from the BBC, the NHS and whoever else gave Savile free reign in their premises.

    I note we have the unveiling of a Kate portrait (who cares whether it looks like her) today as a diversion and that the raising of the Union flag in Belfast the other day to celebrate her birthday deflected the rioting. Three hearty cheers for Kate I say! :)

  98. How MANY times….

    This is from the Surrey Advertiser online today.

    Jimmy Savile ‘could have been prosecuted after police probe’
    By Chris Caulfield
    January 11, 2013
    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2127008_jimmy_savile_could_have_been_prosecuted_after_police_probe

  99. Mary 11 Jan, 2013 – 11:07 am
    “I Was a Paid Internet Shill”

    Thank for that link. Bookmarked. Fascinating to hear such accounts. I wanted more detail.

    I found the writer credible. Unlike many commentators. But then perhaps they are shills…

  100. A Node 11 Jan, 2013 – 11:19 am
    “How about you? …….”

    As this is purely a thought game I say yes to the overlap. The new me could console myself that perhaps, just perhaps, there was an escape for the old me. Better still, adopt an afterlife belief. I need time to consider really – I’ll get back to you in 20 years if I’m still on this planet.

    But how about transporting yourself a distance of 1m to sneak in a quick apology?

  101. @A Node – Your transporter booth question is an interesting one.

    Some thoughts: in the ’20 second overlap’ version, what is not stated, but must be assumed is that there is some kind of signal (like a green light) in the departure booth which tells you that you have ‘arrived’ and are ‘fully re-assembled and alive’ in the destination (Centauri) booth, so that you know when your 20-second ‘bonus’ has started.

    I also assume that the ‘disintegration’ (killing) of you that takes place in the departure booth is supposed to be completely instantaneous and painless.

    But didn’t you get into that departure booth in the first place because you wanted to be somewhere else?

    Surely you (the ‘original’ you) would only be aware of having actually arrived at your desired destination if the ‘original’ you was no longer in existence?

    Given the above conditions, if I really wanted to experience another world like Centauri, by means of the transporter booth, I don’t think the 20-second ‘bonus’ would change my decision in any way. With, or without the 20 seconds, I know I must ‘die’ in the departure booth if I want to ‘know and experience’ my arrival at Centauri, so what’s the difference? Jumping out of the departure booth during those 20 seconds just denies your consciousness the trip, and gives a ‘free trip’ to ‘some other guy’.

  102. “English Knight” – Saville wasn’t interested in boys. Underage girls was his thing. Actually the BBC was – an is – an arm of the government, always has been. MI5 had an office at the BBC. There’s not a reasonable sentence in your entire silly rant.

  103. English Knight – homophobic abuse is not welcome here. Comment deleted.

  104. “Saville wasn’t interested in boys”

    According to the report 18% of his victims were boys.

  105. English Knight

    11 Jan, 2013 - 3:57 pm

    At least we know Glen_uk did not have his injection today !

  106. English Knight

    11 Jan, 2013 - 4:02 pm

    Sorry Jon, next I will have to be more circumspect in saying THE TRUTH about Esther Rantzen. You do know Savile happened precisely because no one had the guts to say the truth and PC became the death of many of the abused.

  107. EK: it was the comment about Helen Boaden that got you deleted (and has done before, iirc). I’ve no idea if she is a lesbian, but it doesn’t matter, and in any case any abusive terminology connected with people’s sexuality is not tolerated here.

    If you think Rantzen knew about Saville’s activities and are willing to put your real name to such a statement publicly, then fair enough. But I am not convinced your “TRUTH” would be very persuasive in court.

  108. @A Node – I remember an episode of Star Trek in which Captain Jean Luc Picard and some officers were transported somewhere from the ship’s transporter deck, but even though they ‘left’ the ship they didn’t arrive at their destination. In the end, once it was decided that they really did not exist (physically) any more, they were re-created on the ship by ‘extracting’ them from the transporter’s ‘memory buffer’. I don’t remember how they described their experiences of what happened to them while they were ‘away’, but I seem to remember there was some interesting theoretical hypothesizing/analysis of the issues of ‘duplicate existence’ and such things, similar to those in your question.

  109. Macky,

    “If killing is wrong then surely it’s better to kill less by pulling the lever?”

    A bit of logical fallacy there; if killing is wrong then it’s better not to kill.

    These conceited for the Greater Good arguments become even more absurd if you take these already far-fetched scenarios into further extreme but logical reasoning, ie would you rape & sadistically torture to death five children to save the lives of six others ??’

    Well all arguments are conceits,and the more absurd the argument the greater the conceit.

    The ‘ticking bomb’ argument is a conceit of argument used to justify torture.But its Hollywood absurdity to the max really.

    All i opined was in the heat of the train lever scenario i wouldnt have time for the luxury of moral internal debate,id instinctively pull the lever so less were killed and hope ultimately the train companys faulty mechanisms were the real liablility in law.

    Id worry about my moral response afterwards.

  110. Fred 8.23 am,

    No i dont think the doctor should kill the one to save five in that scenario.

    The boy wasnt going to imminently die anyway as in the train lever scenario.

  111. Phil, since you want to know more one of those who left a comment on ‘I was an internet shill’ left this link:

    http://cryptome.org/2012/07/gent-forum-spies.htm

  112. Where’s the Foreign Secretary? Why does he only come out of the woodwork to throw half arsed accusations at Mr Assad and then scurry back into the darkness before anyone can ask him any questions?

    If Stuart Hall can be arrested for crimes committed in the 1970s why cant the Foreign Secretary be arrested for crimes committed in the 90s when there is enough evidence of the deliberate cover-up of a paedophile ring in North Wales. Impeding the detection of a crime is a crime.

    Anyone else worked out that the whole ‘This Morning’ episode with Cameron was staged to give the impression that the media blackout is self imposed (and overdue) restraint instead of orders from on high?

    It worked out well for all parties concerned except those interested in the truth. Even Philip Schofield seems proud of his mis-placed efforts to bring down the government while still managing to retain his job. How does that work when a minister of the crown gets sacked on the say so of a bent copper acting as a doorman?

  113. John Goss,

    Thanks for the shill link John.Interesting to see it formalised.

    The problem on this blog is that the shills/trolls we get are just so bad at their jobs.

    We usually suss them within 2 posts.

    Why cant their line managers send us good ones? Are we not a worthy enough target blog? Lol.

    Or perhaps they get sent here just prior to their line manager sacking them for incompetence?

  114. I see Foxy raised his head yesterday and had a pop at Camerons gay marriage policy.

    But,alas,still no Werrity to be found.

  115. I can immediately think of two cases for deleting comments: marketing links and repetition.

    But I am troubled that comments are deleted for their content. Yes, even content that repels me. Especially content that repels me. Censorship does not change the unacceptable opinion but it reduces our ability to confront unpalatable untruths. Far worse, censorship can prevent us from recognising unpalatable truths.

    The list of tabboo opinions seems to be groing. As Craig says above about only having like minded friends, only tolerating like minded, “acceptable”, comments is a ghetto.

    Censorship is what they do. We are right and protect the weak.

    This has been a fundamentalist opinion comment from cloud cuckoo land.

  116. Michael Stephenson

    11 Jan, 2013 - 5:35 pm

    Phil, unfortunately Craig can be held responsible for the content of comments posted to his site.

    So at the very least libellous comments have to be deleted.

    O/T There is an AMA (aky me anything)of someone who is testifying at Bradley Mannings trial called Lauren McNamara happening over at reddit right now.
    Unfortunately their servers are having a bit of traffic overload:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/16dpvl/i_am_lauren_mcnamara_and_im_scheduled_to_testify/

  117. Administrator, please delete the comment from Phil 5:28 pm because the word “ghetto” is offensive to minority ethnic groups living in slum areas.

    “This has been a fundamentalist opinion comment from cloud cuckoo land.” (LOL) Oh well, that gets you off the hook then!

  118. John Goss 11 Jan, 2013 – 5:08 pm

    Very nice description of shill modus operandi. I think we recognise a few of those!

  119. “So at the very least libellous comments have to be deleted.”

    Mmmm. Not sure about that. There are pages of libellous comments here that remain intact.

    “Oh well, that gets you off the hook then!”

    Fair cop. I poorly try to disguise my lack of conviction in humour.

  120. “the word “ghetto” is offensive to minority ethnic groups living in slum areas.”

    Some of my best friends live in slums.

  121. Two more nice items from what I might modestly call my “Mary – Watch” series.

    Today Mary posts “I note we have the unveiling of a Kate portrait…today as a diversion..”

    From what would that unveiling be diverting us, Mary? The bad deeds of the bad men in general, or did you have something specific in mind?

    Yesterday, Mary couldn’t resist ending another of her wonderful posts with this gem : “PS – did anyone know (Chris) Grayling is the Lord Chancellor? He has no legal background, though.”

    Had Mary been less eager to lash out at all and sundry, she might have taken the trouble to tell us that the Lord Chancellor’s role as the head of the judiciary in England and Wales was traansferred to the Lord Chief Justice back in 2005 (by the Constitution Reform Act of that year). He is now responsible for the efficient funstioning and independence of the courts. Not, therefore, a job where a legal background is a sine qua non, quite independent of the fact that he has civil servants and advisors at his disposal.

  122. Dr.Dade i presume?

  123. The moral dilemma cited by Kempe actually happened in real life in the Second World War according to Jonathan Glover in ‘Causing Death and Saving Lives.’

    The story goes that the British government had the opportunity to feed false reports (via a double agent) back to the Germans about the accuracy of the V1 and V2 rockets. Essentially they were pretty accurate mostly falling on central London, but the British considered feeding reports that claimed the rockets were falling to the north of London. The thinking was if the flightpaths were changed the rockets would fall on less populous areas south of London, thus killing fewer people.

    This idea was considered but rejected, the presumed thinking being that the Government was reluctant to ‘play God’ in this manner.

  124. “…the presumed thinking being that the Government was reluctant to ‘play God’ in this manner.”

    Really? Presumed by who?

  125. Pan

    ‘Really? Presumed by who?’

    I mean that whenever this story is related, and I’ve heard it a number of times, this is the generally accepted interpretation. Sorry, I can’t give you chapter and verse, but the story is definitely related in the work I cited by Jonathan Glover.

  126. John Goss,

    Further to your shilling link.

    Ive noticed that when incompetent shills/trolls fail in their mission and are ignored by most posters they then become focused on one person.

    This then is no longer shilling but an exercise in cyber-bullying and psychological intimidation.

    At its most serious this becomes a serious matter for the authorities or at a lesser level certainly worthy of serious scrutiny by a moderator and resulting,possibly,in a banning from the forum.

  127. A Node

    A primitive form of your teleportation booth already exists: it’s called sleep. The old self is annihilated and a new one generated some time later. The new one assumes it is a continuous extension of the old one but has no way of actually knowing it for sure. Or of knowing how long the gap of non-existence lasted. It could be centuries for all the new self knows.

    The philosopher Derek Parfit writes extensively on this issue, including numerous thought experiment variations on the teleportation booth.

  128. @11 Jan, 2013 – 5:53 pm
    I say again. If the cap fits…..

    I Was a Paid Internet Shill: How Shadowy Groups Manipulate Internet Opinion and Debate
    http://consciouslifenews.com/paid-internet-shill-shadowy-groups-manipulate-internet-opinion-debate/1147073/

    Divert, distract, deflect…..

  129. One I forgot. Stalk.

  130. Jives 11 Jan, 2013 – 6:26 pm
    “Ive noticed that when incompetent shills/trolls fail in their mission and are ignored by most posters they then become focused on one person.”

    Very nicely said. I was composing something far less eloquent.

    I have to disagree with this though: “resulting,possibly,in a banning from the forum”.

  131. Phil,

    I understand. :-)

  132. Fair point Jives, it has been a quite a show but is the hired entertainment just spitting in peoples drinks for a rise now?

    Michael Stephenson, thanks for the heads up on Lauren McNamara’s AMA on reddit. See the top threads are flooded with people criticising her for commenting before the trial, even though she says “Adrian Lamo, who I believe is also expected to testify, has been writing entire columns about the case. I was never advised against it, and I’ve been speaking with the media for some time already without issue.” , The Reddit community is capable of the occasional burst of conscience but important threads are often swamped out.

  133. A Node 1.37 am,

    How can i be so sure Scientology is an exploitative scam and sinister crock of shit?

    Personal experience. Mid 1980s a very good friend of mine,in youthful curiosity,aas stopped by them and decided to chat awhile.Given a book,which he promised to return,in exchange for his address.

    He was then hassled for months by them,at his door.Quite menacing in a happy clapper sorta way.

    Despite repeatedly telling them he wasnt interested and to stop coming to his door they persisted.

    Until one day when they called round and my friends Mother was visiting him.

    A fearsome Glaswegian woman,she left them in no doubt what would happen if they ever showed again.

    Strangely enough they didnt. :-)

  134. OT

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2013/jan/11/maya-evans-secret-courts-torture

    “However, the unredacted version of the statement that has now been obtained reveals critical information was omitted. It describes how the detainee in question complained of being tortured during interrogations. How he described being beaten repeatedly with a metal bar. How the foreign secretary and armed forces minister had personally authorised his handover.”

    Would this be Jack Straw?

  135. Craig instead of ‘cof’ may i suggest the complex by John Duignam [Nicola Tallet] isbn 98711903582848 instead Duignam being an ex cult member. I had to get a copy from Ireland as nobody had the guts to sell it in the uk.

    If a book is published in the uk then ‘safe’ is good word for it with the co$.

  136. Jives,

    My usage of the term “Conceit of the Greater Good”, is not so much referring to the artificialness of the “what would you do” fanciful scenarios, but rather that the very idea of a Greater Good is itself a delusion. This is easy to see when the so called Greater Good is being identified with a Cause, a Religion, etc, because all those who are not subscribers/believers of those Causes/Religions etc , will have no vested interest nor benefit in the realisation of other people’s “Greater Good”. However when the attempt is made to portray a “Greater Good” as a universal, as something that everybody has a stake in, then the delusion becomes an extremely dangerous delusion. To apply this to the train lever scenario, why is the “Greater Good” of the person alone on his own track, superseded by your judgement of the “Greater Good”, especially if you profess to believe all life is sacred & of equal worth; we also have to consider the ramifications resulting from pulling that lever; firstly we are consciously choosing to commit murder, consciously choosing to spill innocent blood, consciously choosing to be Judge, Jury & Executioner over people we know nothing about; we are also consciously choosing to intervene in the unknowable; we would be gambling our definite murder of one person against the unknowable future,
    perhaps if we had left that lever alone, the train would have derail at the last moment of its own accord, perhaps the five men that you saved by murdering the one man, would all die the next day in a similar incident, or perhaps there is an latent serial killer or a future mass murderer amongst those you saved, who will go on to kill scores & scores of peoples later.

    Beware of those who claim to know & act for the “Greater Good”, it is the usual camouflage of those with short-sighted and/or nefarious purposes; all those Humanitarian Bombing supporters, are now confronted by a countless number of corpses who all bear witness to the lie of their “Greater Good”.

    Lastly, if you had enough time to take in the situation, I find your instinctive decisiveness & suppression of moral consideration, quite surprising.

  137. KingofWelshnoir wrote:

    “The story goes that the British government had the opportunity to feed false reports (via a double agent) back to the Germans about the accuracy of the V1 and V2 rockets. Essentially they were pretty accurate mostly falling on central London, but the British considered feeding reports that claimed the rockets were falling to the north of London. The thinking was if the flightpaths were changed the rockets would fall on less populous areas south of London, thus killing fewer people. This idea was considered but rejected [... ].

    I wasn’t going to get into this distracting game of ‘Scruples’, whoever introduced it and fed it, as it seems like some board game or trash TV game show rehashed, artificial and fairly irrelevant surely? But the case you cite as never happening and being rejected, wasn’t rejected, certainly did happen from accounts by Chapman’s (Agent Zigzag) many biographers and several other and more authoritative histories I’ve come across over the years. Double agents weren’t the only means, there were bogus V1 impact sites shown in the press, in identifiable locations, too far north, which were carefully staged. In the case of V-1s where fuel load alone was the determining factor in where they would reach, such policies met their Machiavellian aims. Far from saving lives though by not landing on prestige buildings and high rent areas in central London, they instead landed on some populous regions of Kent with equal or worse deadly effect, though the actual V1 payload was insignificant. Their principal debilitating effect was on the capital’s morale, which had cracked totally, defeatism was rife even though D-day was past and the Russian armies had long trounced the Nazis and made the outcome a foregone conclusion if nukes or chem/bio weapons weren’t introduced by any party. Saving lives never was of the least concern, don’t kid yourself; something far more important -pre-existing class and power hierarchies were at stake. As for playing god, well that is sidling back to the topic, and in the Church of State, HMG IS GOD and so is Gus O’Donnell and above all sails QE2, who, as someone pointed out on a recent comment, as head of state is responsible in law for countless UK war crimes, which fact must have taken the shine of her jubilee soirees. With Blair gone fugitive and a papist antichrist to boot, next in succession must surely be IDS.

    May it please God to raise up that high and mighty prince William, prince of Orange, to deliver us from popery and arbitrary tyranny. I’m joking of course but to what can 17th century religious mania be attributed? Lead and mercury poisoning, ergot, mushrooms, LSD …

  138. Macky: We – as a society – take on this “greater good” responsibility all the time. Vaccinations are an example. Whenever you bring out any medicine or vaccination, you know that a small percentage will suffer a very bad reaction – brain damage, bodily damage, or death. That will happen to some innocents, guaranteed, but it’s considered worth it because it is a much lesser harm than the certain damage caused by some disease (smallpox, polio, etc.).

    We inflict that risk even on our own children, because it’s for the greater good. It’s not even for the good, directly, of the individual – it’s for a herd immunity without which we’d all be in greater danger. Not vaccinating your child is a very selfish act for just that reason.

  139. Don’t underestimate the reach of the Scientologist organisation. The German state found it impossible to give people proper protection from them. The French state found it impossible to prosecute them successfully – the court papers kept going missing. It’s interesting John Sweeney encountered such resistance to getting his book published.

    In London, the Scientologists turned out in force with “Volunteer Ministers” to ‘help out’ on the streets after the 7/7 bombings. They also hassled survivors afterwards.

    They have very good relations with the London Metropolitan Police. Yes, really. Since the 2005 bombings, the police have agreed to give them “current, fast-time” information on security alerts.

    Chief Superintendant Ken Stewart even appeared in one of their films praising their work ‘manning cordons’ after the Aldgate tube station bombing.

    Protecting people from psychiatrists, they claim. I think something else is going on.

    Out of interest, anyone know what airline their top bods fly with? Just askin’, like. Have they penetrated airport security yet, or is that not on the agenda, given the Zionist presence at Frankfurt, Schiphol, and Heathrow?

    And that’s not idle talk. There is absolutely no way the CoS would have got away with their response to the attempted German clampdown against their organisation, unless they were given the OK by the Zionists. Their response included publishing big adverts in leading newspapers showing Jewish inmates of Nazi concentration camps. The intention was to say that the German state move against Scientology were of a similar kind.

    Not sure I buy John Sweeney’s line on the CoS and Mesa – it seems very far-fetched – but hell…I’ll have to read the book.

  140. I think I am right in saying that Ray McGovern is a friend of Craig’s.

    He is speaking here with Paul Jay on Real News:

    Obama’s and Brennan’s “Kill List” – It is a moral and legal impossibility to square “kill lists” for extrajudicial killing with traditional legal and moral American values.

    13 mins
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8394

    Recommend.

  141. and again yesterday

    Hagel Nomination Defies Neo-Cons and AIPAC; Brennon at CIA will Expand Drone Assassinations

    Ray McGovern: Hagel may help restrain forces that want war against Iran; Brennan will help Obama more directly control CIA

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9476

  142. Rebelchancer
    10 Jan, 2013 – 11:37 am
    I’m a Murrayist. Is that a cult? Show me a church not based on fear.

    Fred
    10 Jan, 2013 – 11:40 am
    “I’m a Murrayist. Is that a cult?”

    Close, only one letter out.

    Craig
    10 Jan, 2013 – 11:45 am
    yep, Celt
    —-
    Craig, that riposte seems to have gone unappreciated. (Beautiful word that riposte, and way before the invention of the internet.) And brilliant answer by you thinking on your feet. Shows you’re well on your way to recovery. And on your health, i would say to you again, please take a look at Ayurveda–if i can help in anyway, please feel free to email me.

  143. Fred
    11 Jan, 2013 – 12:06 am
    “No sorry, I don’t follow that logic at all. By not doing anything you’re complicit in the deaths of five.”

    So let’s take a different dilemma. A doctor has six patients in his hospital all of the same rare blood group. Five of them will die soon if they don’t receive a transplant, the other is healthy apart from a broken leg.

    Do you think the doctor should kill the one to save the five?
    —-
    Right Said Fred, now what if the doctor allowed the first of the 5 to die and then used his organs to save the other 4?

  144. Phil
    11 Jan, 2013 – 8:49 am
    “The answer, of course, is no. Thou shalt not kill is the rule, by pulling the lever you would be murdering the one workman.”

    Fred’s dilemma is an old one that I have best heard expressed in the utilitarian vs kant debate. It is beyond me to summarise the arguments as I prepare to go to work but it is a fascinating and important question. I will return later if anyone is up for discussing this. Although I am very, very far from an expert and prepared to change my pov.

    I agree with fred and kant – against gut instinct, don’t touch the lever.”

    Phil/others, here they are very well summarised for those interested:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_sandel_what_s_the_right_thing_to_do.html

    Also very interesting re Jeremy Bentham:

    Auto-icon

    Bentham’s Auto-icon
    As requested in his will, Bentham’s body was dissected as part of a public anatomy lecture. Afterward, the skeleton and head were preserved and stored in a wooden cabinet called the “Auto-icon”, with the skeleton padded out with hay and dressed in Bentham’s clothes. Originally kept by his disciple Thomas Southwood Smith,[33] it was acquired by University College London in 1850. It is normally kept on public display at the end of the South Cloisters in the main building of the college, but for the 100th and 150th anniversaries of the college, it was brought to the meeting of the College Council, where it was listed as “present but not voting”.[34]
    Bentham had intended the Auto-icon to incorporate his actual head, mummified to resemble its appearance in life. However, Southwood Smith’s experimental efforts at mummification, although technically successful, left the head looking distastefully macabre, with dried and darkened skin stretched tautly over the skull. The Auto-icon was therefore given a wax head, fitted with some of Bentham’s own hair. The real head was displayed in the same case as the Auto-icon for many years, but became the target of repeated student pranks. It is now locked away securely.[35]
    A 360-degree rotatable, high-resolution ‘Virtual Auto-Icon’ is available at the UCL Bentham Project’s website.

    Crazy!

  145. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    12 Jan, 2013 - 12:02 am

    Holy Moly; Just seeing ‘Battlefield Earth’ with John Travolta cavorting like an atavistic theorist without a paddle, makes me want to disgorge all my dinner. Is friendship enough to tolerate that load of emetic inventory? Alex Jones/ Jim Jones have as much allegiance from the devotees of simplistic cosmology.

  146. OT: just watched a brilliant documentary

    Park Avenue – Money, Power and the American Dream

    part of the “why poverty?” series first broadcast on BBC4 in November

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuXsX3b0oJw

    Simply explains how the koch brothers and a few others control the whole game in the US and beyond.

  147. Vronsky
    10 Jan, 2013 – 12:15 pm
    “Apparently religiosity correlates with insecurity – I read it somewhere. Studies on some island showed than the fishermen on the calm coast were quite secular, those on the stormy coast more devout. So maybe we’re headed in the same direction as the USA, where chronic social insecurity leads to all that holiness.”
    —-
    Or what you are saying is that religion, like nationalism/patriotism are supposed to achieve security. Whereas, in actual fact, what they do us the exact opposite, actually create insecurity, through setting up conflict. My religion is better than yours etc. Its that simple really, it doesn’t matter which organised religion you belong to, or which country you feel patriotic about.

  148. Villager: It didn’t go unappreciated. Such a classic response is almost expected now, the bar is very high.

    Yes: Living in America when the German gov’t wanted to declare the CoS a cult, rather than bestowing on it the benefits an organisation receives for the dubious distinction of being a “religion”, we were astonished at the opprobrium (sorry, I just like that word) being heaped on Germany.

    Not content with simply reporting unquestioned the CoS’s version, with lots of uninterrupted talk-time from their PR people, news channels showed tape of the Nuremberg Rally, German tanks storming over some ancient battlefield, and rows of marching solders giving the straight-arm salute, while commenting on the dangers of suppressing freedom and oppressing minorities.

    This was on all channels for the best part of a week, it really was quite blatant.

  149. “Ive noticed that when incompetent shills/trolls fail in their mission and are ignored by most posters they then become focused on one person.”

    Very nicely said. I was composing something far less eloquent.

    I have to disagree with this though: “resulting,possibly,in a banning from the forum”.

    — Why are you, Phil, acting like some arbiter of reason re: trolls, after being such a rude and ignorant idiot just two posts ago. You need a look in the mirror.

    And talking about Kant! Best get your coat on, those shelves won’t stack themselves.

  150. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    12 Jan, 2013 - 12:55 am

    Kingfelix; Just a suggestion. You should show up more often.

  151. “Typical chicken shit student poseur.” – Phil (music media) post

    From Phil, who is supposedly better than a troll.

    I’ve posted here for years and not encountered such a cretin.

  152. Kingfelix: Just two posts ago, you were – again – telling someone with whom you didn’t agree that they were a “tool”, a “prick” or somesuch – and you have form on this. Bit much to hear you denounce someone as “a rude and ignorant idiot”.

  153. Ben.

    Who knows if that is sarcasm or not. I have had worse insults, but what annoys me is that such a narrow-minded fool as Phil is here on Craig’s site. Why? This is one of the corners of some sort of sense on the internet. And why should somebody be so hateful of students? It seems like the worst sort of prejudice to have, against people seeking to learn, to make the most of themselves.

    After all, Craig went to university, he was a rector of one! As did Kant, who Phil likes to mention today. As do/did I, and countless others. Even worse, I suppose, I went to art school, for which I have had to use my fists to defend myself, when cornered over such a fact. Or keep silent in manual jobs, because of hostility from the great working class people prowling the shopfloor in search of a puff or somebody ‘up themselves’ to have it out with.

    I thought I may have gotten away from all that after a decade out of England and going twice around the world. Instead, here is Phil, to get all upset and start yelling student as an insult.

    People such as him are the reason that the working classes will never get anywhere. They think they are ‘real’ and are completely blind to the poverty of the pathetically limited existence they that seek to barricade and defend. He should be reading BNP or the EDL or some such, and find solace in a bunch of fellow travelers. Those people hate students for much the same reason.

  154. Glenn.

    I called him a prick after he was rude.

    If you can’t follow the sequence of the exchange, maybe you should be quiet.

    As for having form, that’s ridiculous. I’ve posted more to ask in defence of people’s occasional moans at Mary than on anything else.

    Also. It has nothing to do with you. Why type it?

  155. I can only surmise that Glenn feels the need to speak because:

    1/ trying to draw me into another insult so can finger-point and say “I’m right, see!”

    or

    2/ another one who drives a forklift for a living, and is therefore, ‘real’

    The clue is my comment re: students contrasted with Phil’s lament over ‘trolls’.

    Trolls are one thing, haters another. I tried my best to damp it down with him and was rewarded with more abuse because he was operating on the bio-survival circuit by then, beating his hairy chest and accusing me of ceding his territory, Craig’s thread, out of a lack of physical courage to stay and fight. Honestly, a barbarian.

    Ok, Glenn/Phil, fellow sympathizers. There’s one word separating myself from you, well, two – education/evolution.

    I shall now return to my thesis and you can return to the low-level seething that passes for mental activity.

  156. Jon, can you pls delete this post of 12.56 which doesn’t belong here.

    King”felix have you lost your marbles? Is it very late for you in Taiwan, or is too too early. Is your knob still stuck where it was a couple of days ago? Stop disrupting the conversation here and go back and post wherever you had your problems. Show some basic etiquette even if you are compulsively rude.

    I couldn’t agree with Glenn more.

  157. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    12 Jan, 2013 - 1:22 am

    Jon; If it’s a vote, please keep Kingfelix with us. There is entirely too much acrimony over small slights. Let everyone calm down. This is better.

  158. Yes, very good idea “King” please take your knob icon and go and do your thesis. And baby please stop crying!

  159. Ben nobody is attempting to banish “king’ but he can have the courtesy to post in the right thread like everyone else and stop raking things up here and upset the flow as he so successfully has.

  160. “kingfelix”: Your ability to condescend and dish out insults is matched only by the thinness of your skin. It appears you have a real problem with anyone who doesn’t agree with you, and have a dangerously fragile superiority complex. Shame your memory isn’t up to much – you decided it was acceptable to insult me with one of your phallically obsessed terms not long back, and I’d not put an insulting word down to you before or after in that entire thread. A genuinely clever person would have made that connection at once. Instead, you had to make your silly little list of my possible motives – sorry pal, you ain’t that bright.

    Do you realise how shrill you sound? How arrogantly pompous, with this hollow appeal to superiority?

  161. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    12 Jan, 2013 - 2:06 am

    King; The focus seems to be negative and unkind. People help wherein they can. Take it as counsel, and move forward. For myself I’ve never felt dishonesty or evasion. Take the dross and make it like iron. That is all. Carry on.

  162. Ben – you really are too kind. This fellow likes to dish out insults and impugn motives, then flounce off with some self-aggrandising “I have better things to do!” fingers-in-the-ears job, before showing up later to do the same again. Being such a tough guy, and such an intellectual, you wouldn’t have thought it necessary :)

    But don’t worry – he’ll get your message. No-one that shrill and vain will fail to read _every_ comment than might concern them.

  163. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    12 Jan, 2013 - 2:48 am

    glenn-uk;

    thanks, but I never assume words are wasted. I am too vain, to think, otherwise. : )

  164. Back to Scientology -

    Let’s all join the CoS and swamp it with lazy, disinterested recalcitrants wasting their time and resources.

  165. Teenager faces prosecution for calling Scientology ‘cult’

    I’m surprised no one has yet brought up this story from 2008:

    A teenager is facing prosecution for using the word “cult” to describe the Church of Scientology.

    The unnamed 15-year-old was served the summons by City of London police when he took part in a peaceful demonstration opposite the London headquarters of the controversial religion.

    Officers confiscated a placard with the word “cult” on it from the youth, who is under 18, and a case file has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service…..

    …The City of London police came under fire two years ago when it emerged that more than 20 officers, ranging from constable to chief superintendent, had accepted gifts worth thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology.

    The City of London Chief Superintendent, Kevin Hurley, praised Scientology for “raising the spiritual wealth of society” during the opening
    of its headquarters in 2006….

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/may/20/1

  166. “Right Said Fred, now what if the doctor allowed the first of the 5 to die and then used his organs to save the other 4?”

    Well as he is a hypothetical doctor who’s only purpose in life is to get people to contemplate the ethics of putting value on human life I’d say he had completely missed the purpose of the exercise and so have you.

  167. Very interesting King of Welsh Noir. Hurley is the new police commissioner for Surrey, who got elected on a kind of hang ‘em and flog ‘em agenda. He scares me rigid. Before that he was employed by Sky News to lurk outside the Al Hilli home to make rather ridiculous speculation.

    He has appointed as his deputy one of his mates from a previous post.

    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2125334_excolleague_up_for_deputy_police_commissioner_role

    His latest missive carried in the local rag is to say that if more police on the beat are needed (visible policing!) then council tax has to be increased.

    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2126967_pay_more_council_tax_for_more_bobbies_on_the_beat

    PS He has also been in Baghdad sorting out their police and is/was in the army reserves!I spoiled my vote in the Surrey PCC election but we have not been allowed to know how many spoiled votes there were.

    The police state awaits.

  168. French empire invades Mali. The BBC have a headline – Mali and France ‘push back Islamists’

    The Guardian – France launches air strikes on Mali
    President François Hollande responds to advance south by Islamist rebels by sending armed forces to aid Malian troops
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/11/france-launches-airstrikes-on-mali

    So the West is fighting al-Qaeda there but supporting them in Syria. Some policy conflict surely?

    What lies behind. http://sluggerotoole.com/2012/10/24/mali-libya-and-the-law-of-unintended-consequences/

  169. O/T An opportunity to vote on whether the Falkland Islands should be Argentinian, British of Falkland Islands’ sovereignty. I was torn between Falkland Islands and Argentinian but waht swayed me is that the text is in English which is spoken by us and the Falkland Islanders (by and large). So I voted Argentinian.

    http://voteglobal.com/poll::Falkland-Islands-to-hold-referendum-Do-you-support-British-or-Argentine-Sovereignty

  170. @Villager

    “Or what you are saying is that religion, like nationalism/patriotism are supposed to achieve security.”

    Hmm – not quite. The conflicts arising from the existence of more than one religion is a secondary effect. Religious belief for one of these fishermen works like the native American’s ‘ghost shirt’ – it gives him the confidence to go out and do what he has to do, secure in the belief that he is invulnerable. We know it isn’t true, but it gets the job done. Occasional tragic failures of the shirt to perform as per the maker’s specification are readily explained in terms of other mumbo jumbo. Religion invented small print. Where daily life has fewer risks there is no need for such props. Maybe I should have said that secularism correlates with affluence. I read that somewhere too.

    On the 20-minute delay teleportation booth, we may be in it. The jury considering whether the universe is infinite or not gets reconvened from time to time, but the last verdict I heard was that it was infinite. Given that there are only a finite number of ways of arranging the components of the universe (must be so if we have scientiific laws) then in an infinite universe every possible arrangement of things must occur infinitely often (it doesn’t matter how often you roll a dice, you can only get one, two, three, four, five or six). So right now there are an infinite number of copies of me typing this, and infinitely many copies of you reading it. I’m not aware of any problem arising from this, apart from it sounding silly.

    On cults, a young member of my family works in the local Apple store. If you think he has a job in retail, you’re wrong. They look for a specific type of person (young, outgoing, easily enthused) and place them in a graded environment quite reminiscent of the various levels of Scientology (not that I know much about it). Any criticism of Apple’s products, methods or morals is met with a look of wounded bewilderment. I lunched with him recently, and listened to an hour-long lecture on the intricacy of the goals he had to fulfil. Every goal had a name, usually one which told you nothing about its nature of the goal. Finding that out took further questioning. I was stunned and alarmed and found it difficult not to say something cruel, like ‘FFS, it’s only a job in retail’. No. It’s a cult.

  171. I’ve fed a lot of trolls in my time, and I’m probably not the only one here who has, so please can I say – “Don’t Feed The Trolls” :-)

  172. Fred:
    V: “Right Said Fred, now what if the doctor allowed the first of the 5 to die and then used his organs to save the other 4?”

    Fred: “Well as he is a hypothetical doctor who’s only purpose in life is to get people to contemplate the ethics of putting value on human life I’d say he had completely missed the purpose of the exercise and so have you.”

    Do not be so sure you are right Fred. It is the exercise that completely missed its purpose. It has been pointed out to you, you don’t like it, so you are now turning personal.

    Watch this TED talk video, it will help you sort yourself out on your exercises which are obviously rusty. And while you are, i suggest you be open to some lateral thinking. And compare your silly response to that of the more cerebral Prof Michael Sandel who has a true sense of humour.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_sandel_what_s_the_right_thing_to_do.html

    Btw, in your original articulation, what was the need for all 6 patients to belong to the same “rare” blood group? Answer: None at all, you made it up apart from it being counter-intuitive and ridiculous that the doctor would have all 6 patients belonging to a “rare” group.

    I thought your too-cleverness-by-half, and attempt to be rude, had already been put paid rather brilliantly by Craig.

    Back to the main point, for the West to be lining up with Saudi and Qatar to partner with the salafists Al Nusra and Al Qaeda can’t be the right thing to do.

  173. 5eferring to the elction of Hurly as the new police commissioner for Surrey, Mary ends her post by saying :

    “The police state awaits.”.

    Would you care to explain how that flows from the rest of your post, Mary? Is it, for example, because

    - Hurley appointed one of his “mates from a previous post” as his deputy?

    - or because he says that more police on the beat will cost money?

    - or because you aren’t told how many spoilt ballots there were in the election?

    Surely such a serious, even apocalyptic statement demands a justification?

    Just asking!

  174. Let me summarise, that would be no trolls, no anti-Semitic comments, and for the peas de resistance, Craig should not allow common speaking, low level educated commenter’s on here.
    Come on, really, the Guardian has gone down the pan, so lets copy its mistakes and alliances with those who think they are better.

    Should we allow overseas tax dodgers to comment on here, non dom’s and/or sex tourists?

    I don’t know whats going on in Fukushima, Bankok, Balikpappan or anywhere else I’m not residing at, so I would learn from some information on the demise of the Kuomintang, Bankok’s night life or the loss of rain forest in Borneo, ideally without being talked down to by school teachers, or sworn at like a trooper that never was.

    Phil knows a lot about the belly of the beast and what is said, but is not necessarily true, appreciate his comments as much as others.

    This is not a club for students who somehow think they are moving on higher ethereal plains to others, but a reflection of reality, assembling the views by a plethora of people from all walks of life.

    That said, this kingofthegarden is now running away into the latter, some 18 bags of muck waiting for my anointed, educated hands to spread it thick and plenty.

  175. I note the targetting of Mary and (previously) Dreolin. Must be something in the troll’s play book. If you’re getting fucked over, then long ball up the park and while the referee’s got his eye on that, kick some of the women. Stylish.

    @nevermind
    “I don’t know whats going on in Fukushima”

    Gazillions of tonnes of toxins realease into the environment might just be worth investigating, though I admit I’m only guessing here. Google Fairewinds and EX-SKF. Can’t help with your other ignorances right now – got a shopping to do, then I’m clearing cupboards.

  176. Love Vronsky’s ‘ghost shirt’ analogy, marvellous. Love much of native american ethos too.

    Someone addressing the same ideas, “Only by accepting that we may fail will we take the risks that may lead to a better world” argues Mike Marqusee.

    We don’t need no ghost shirt, really.

    http://www.redpepper.org.uk/dare-to-fail-dare-to-win/

  177. Phil/KingFelix – may I suggest that you smoke the peace pipe now, or at least lay it to rest? Each of you used language/insults that were stronger than were justified at each juncture. I’d like to see you both stay, given that you’ve both a history of interesting comments here.

    Ben Franklin, thanks – agree to disagree is the best way.

    Glenn – sorry to hear you’ve an outstanding disagreement with KF, but it is helpful for peacemakers if those issues can stay in the threads that generated them. Re-importing old enmities does make it trickier to set up a ceasefire, which if we can achieve it here can only be a good thing.

  178. “Do not be so sure you are right Fred. It is the exercise that completely missed its purpose. It has been pointed out to you, you don’t like it, so you are now turning personal.”

    “Do not be so sure you are right Fred. It is the exercise that completely missed its purpose. It has been pointed out to you, you don’t like it, so you are now turning personal.”

    Like I said, you missed the point.

    It’s a dilemma, not a riddle, not a puzzle, not a competition.

    Do you understand now?

  179. Jon:

    “Glenn – sorry to hear you’ve an outstanding disagreement with KF, but it is helpful for peacemakers if those issues can stay in the threads that generated them. Re-importing old enmities does make it trickier to set up a ceasefire, which if we can achieve it here can only be a good thing.”

    Jon aren’t you being a bit arbitrary here? “king”felix has cross-wired the music media thread to this one under your nose but you don’t seem to care, despite it being pointed out to you. Very inconsistent.

    Also if you’re moderating effectively, you should nip things in the bud. The record is there for you to read where the abusiveness begins.

  180. Fred, the dilemma was solved by a ‘third way’. You’re still struggling and still in a false dilemma? Watch the video, then revert, if you don’t ‘get it’.

  181. And you haven’t solved my dilemma as to why you chose to introduce the “rare” blood group angle. Implausible as it is, it is also totally irrelevant. Sounds to me like you’ve convinced yourself of something false and don’t have the flexibility of mind to see it and let go. But thats ok. Am happy to leave it there.

  182. “the targetting of Mary”

    Come off it! Mary attracts my attention because she’s more prone than most to post a couple of bits of information and then tie them up with statements such as “Bastards” or, in the latest example, “The police state awaits”.

    But I’m quite happy to bring others to account when they deserve it. However there are so many bits of junk on here (together, I happily admit, with some valuable stuff) that it would be impossible to give everyone the salutary kick.

    Don’t worry Jives, Dreoilin and all you others, I shall keep a beady eye on you as well.

    And in the meantime I’ll contribute to the appeal for Stephen, hope you will all do likewise.

  183. “Fred, the dilemma was solved”

    Which part of “not a riddle, not a puzzle, not a competition” didn’t you understand?

  184. These charges are ludicrous,frankly.

    Equivalent to: if a complete stranger accosts you at a bus stop asking for directions to a town then 3 hours later attacks someone in that town you are somehow complicit?

    Absolutely insane,pathetic logic.

    A genuinely sad failure of basic reason.

  185. It wouldnt surprise me if Scientology,like the YMCA,is an international CIA front fkr acquiring patsies and other impressionable proxies.

    Hollywood, being a cesspit for blackmail and extortion,is but one of its natural habitats,ripe with naive wannabees.

  186. N_

    Yep good point re: trolls.

    Unless they break the law im not one,generally,for banning them.

    Its much more useful to give ‘em enough rope and let idiocy expose itself for the wider world to see

    I have noticed,also,that poorest exponents of the form,once (usually easily) exposed tend to spit the dummy and focus on individual posters- a further exposure of their sad existence.

    The worst cases,however,seem to obsess on female posters.

    Im no expert on Freud but there is surely something quite revealing in this insecure misogynist bullying.

    Again though,it does help in exposing an impotence of the genus.

  187. The Church Of Scientology is big on “auditing”

    I presume they would say its a spiritual auditing.

    Nevertheless its an interesting word that “auditing”.

    L Ron Hubbard was,apparently,a master hypnotist.

    And ex-military.

    Ho hum.

  188. Jives : I hesitate to tax your grey matter on a Saturday, but would you perhaps care to define the term “bullying” in the context of an internet blog, the majority of the contributors to which appear to be of like mind on most issues?

    Secondly; let us admit, just for the sake of argument, that my posts do constitute “insecure misogynist bullying” : in your non-Freudian opinion, of what would this be “quite revealing”?

  189. Jives, at 3.31pm, finds the word “auditing” “interesting”.

    I agree of course; however, it’s probably not more interesting than many thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of other words in the English language.

    Hence two questions :

    1/. why does Jives find that word particularly interesting?

    2/. more generally, what exactly is Jives’ point in this post? (I assume that there is one, of course).

  190. Jon, just a suggestion, I don’t know if it’s practical.

    What about a ‘naughty step’ thread where persistent bickerers can hammer out their differences. If posters get too involved in personal arguments to the point where it is distracting/detracting from the topic of the thread, their posts could be transferred to the Naughty Step rather than be deleted. I would imagine some of the disputes would die away quite quickly if the protagonists didn’t have a gallery to play to. In time, perhaps, someone finding themselves involved in a O/T dispute might invite their opponent to “move over to the Naughty Step if you think you’re intellectually hard enough”.

    Alternative names: Bear Pit, Catfight Corner, Handbags at Dawn, He Started It, Out the Back,

  191. Jon, You delete homophobia. You decry anti semitism… However, you describe someone as an ‘excellent contributor’ when they attack the working class with:

    “boy”
    “those shelves won’t stack themselves.”
    “should be reading BNP or the EDL or some such, and find solace in a bunch of fellow travelers.”
    “pathetically limited existence”

    You fail to see your own bigotry while judging others. Ideal.

    Ta be onest I ain’t bovered guv. I’ve gotta big gob meself. I’d batta is face an frow im in queens dock at i tide ifi culd get me mittens onim.

    Yu alls fink yer betta than us dontcha? Wiv yer big ouse and fancy werds an whatnot. Well let me tellya. Tha drop ain’t so igh. Not alf as i azit luks so luking dan.

    There’s a stench ere an it aint the tems. Do gooders farteen all over. Cleva farts from big oses. I luvs an internet activist i doos. S’like givin a shilling tu thpoor. Dunno wherid be wivout yer ta put gud foughts in my fick skull guvnor.

  192. “Ok, Glenn/Phil, fellow sympathizers. There’s one word separating myself from you, well, two – education/evolution.

    I shall now return to my thesis and you can return to the low-level seething that passes for mental activity …”

    “I thought I may have gotten away from all that after a decade out of England and going twice around the world.”

    I pity anyone who feels he has to bloviate to that extent. He’s insulting, but mainly he’s just risible. ;)

  193. Apologies if im considered the sweary old curmudgeon on this blog.

    I make no excuses.

    Happy to act the faux-angry man and smoke ‘em out-if it serves etc..

    Night all who deserve the sentiment..:.)

  194. Jon; all respect to you as a mod, but look at the facts – they’re just above. Your mate KF butts in here and starts in on Phil, with several consecutive posts, for a dispute that happened a couple of threads back.

    Your friend KF then weighs in on my motives (and possibly my right to exist at all) because I called him on his blatant and habitual rudeness. In further consecutive posts, warming to his theme and discussing only with himself, your effete mate concludes that I must be one of those working class sorts, probably a fork-lift driver or somesuch, and have not evolved and/or been educated to his level.

    And this gets your finger wagging in my direction? Are you personally invested in KF in some way, just like his style… what?

    Unbelievable.

  195. Dreoilin @ 12.08am

    I also pity someone who “after a decade out of England and going twice around the world.”, has evolved so little and displays such little education.

    Einstein’s “”Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” comes to mind.

    In my years, I have come across many people like that from Britain. I call them career expats–what qualifies them is that they are essentially mediocre and typically unemployable at home. You find loads of them in the academic world as well as in the financial sectors, especially true of the Middle and Far East.

    Btw, i love that word bloviate! Says it all, yet Jon rates KF as an “excellent contributor”. Excel at what? I’ve asked him his criteria, but he hasn’t had the courtesy to respond.

  196. Jon: “Re-importing old enmities….”

    While on words….

    REIGNITING + IMPORTING = RE-IMPORTING

    NOT.

    You’ve got the threads in a twist and are doing nothing about it. Not very “excellent”moderation of late.

  197. Anyone seen “The Master” yet? It’s supposed provide some sort of insight into Scientology, though I’m not sure if there’s an added twist.

    BTW, I think Jon’s doing a fine job of moderating, favouring a light touch. Of course, the moderator/contributor roles can get confused if he expressed an opinion, but unless he actually deletes something or bans someone, it’s hardly a moderation issue.

  198. Nextus: “…but unless he actually deletes something or bans someone, it’s hardly a moderation issue.”

    Nextus broadly agree based on my prior experience. Also re the light touch, which if you read above wasn’t quite the case with him selectively chiding Glenn, who i happen to agree with.

    As also deleting a comment of mine in the music media thread on the apparent basis of “it doesn’t help if people take sides from the sidelines”, while leaving in a monologue by the perpetrator calling another commenter a “knob”, subsequently a “prick”, finally butting into this thread with “rude and ignorant idiot”. At the same time Jon refers to that commenter as an “excellent contributor” (literally dis-graceful). I also don’t think mods should not be judging whether a commenter is in general excelling in his contributions, unless he’s participating directly and specifically as a contributor. I’ve noted of late a rather school-mastery attitude. But i thought we were all “growed-up” here. And Jon should really explain himself. There’s more than one person who is interested.

    If he doesn’t respond, i shall consider him to be irresponsible in these circumstances.

  199. I also don’t think mods should (delete not)….

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