The Church of Fear 207

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!

207 thoughts on “The Church of Fear

1 5 6 7
  • Villager

    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’.

  • Villager

    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.

  • Habbabkuk

    “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.

  • Fred

    “Fred, the dilemma was solved”

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

  • Jives

    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.

  • Jives

    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.

  • Jives


    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.

  • Jives

    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.

  • Habbabkuk

    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”?

  • Habbabkuk

    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).

  • A Node

    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,

  • Phil

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

    “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.

  • Dreoilin

    “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. 😉

  • Jives

    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..:.)

  • glenn_uk

    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?


  • Villager

    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.

  • Villager

    Jon: “Re-importing old enmities….”

    While on words….



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

  • Nextus

    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.

  • Villager

    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.

  • jake

    On the matter of the delayed transportation booth, we needn’t treat the matter as hypothetical and/or simply a matter on which to speculate….we could also inform ourselves from first hand accounts of those who have undertaken such a journey. Are there any identical twins out there willing to share their birth experience?

    On the matter of the “trolley problem”, ie the moral issues about diverting the train, this site is worth a look…..and you can get some idea of how your answers compare to others

  • glenn_uk

    On the transportation booth delay subject – have you watched “The Prestige”? An excellent film in its own right, you find yourself pretty much addressing this exact dilemma at some point (not wishing to give anything away).

1 5 6 7

Comments are closed.