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!

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207 thoughts on “The Church of Fear

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  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

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

  • kingfelix

    “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.

  • glenn

    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”.

  • kingfelix


    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.

  • kingfelix


    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?

  • kingfelix

    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!”


    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.

  • Villager

    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.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    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.

  • Villager

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

  • Villager

    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.

  • glenn

    “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?

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    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.

  • glenn_uk

    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.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)


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

  • Jemand

    Back to Scientology –

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

  • KingofWelshNoir

    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….

  • Fred

    “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.

  • Mary

    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.

    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.

    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.

  • Mary

    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

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

    What lies behind.

  • John Goss

    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.

  • Vronsky


    “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.

  • N_

    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” 🙂

  • Villager

    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.

    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.

  • Habbabkuk

    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!

  • nevermind

    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.

  • Vronsky

    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.

    “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.

  • Jon

    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.

  • Fred

    “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?

  • Villager


    “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.

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