Swedish Radio, P1 Friday 18 May -- Scientology crime syndicate
18 May 2001
"Catarina Pamnell" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Today, a short statement I made on Scientology will be aired on the Swedish national public service radio, P1, which is the "serious" channel with news, documentaries, debates, etc. It's part of an ongoing debate of Scn.
Klarspråk at 11.50 and 15.45, also available during Friday at http://www.sr.se/p1/program/klar/lyssna.htm (my little thing is at the end)
The OSA PR Sweden Gullevi Almgren has made a couple of replies to earlier statements in this debate, so it's a fair guess she may respond next week.
OK, OK, there are still a few remaining people out there who don't speak Viking, so here's approximately what I said:
"The incidents surrounding the secret scriptures of the Scientology movement have been debated. Whether or not scientologists believe in flying saucers is hardly of major importance to the average person, other than as a curiosity. One thinks the small, and since the 1980s shrinking, number of scientologists in this country should be allowed to tend to their religious life in peace.
There's only one catch - movements like Scientology refuse to leave the rest of society in peace. They have a clear goal to try to influence decision-making agencies and opinion leaders, in order to forward their own agenda. Already in the 1960s, the founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard laid down guide lines for how his adherents were to place themselves in anonymous positions close to persons in power, in order to indirectly through these spread a Scientology message. A practical example of this is how the movement at the end of the 1980s recruited several of the body guards of the Finnish president. Today, the movement spends millions [of Swedish krona] on lobbying U.S. politicians in Washington, and systematically attempts to recruit business executives around the world.
They have not even refrained from using illegal methods in their hunt for materials to use for applying pressure. The Scientology founder's own wife and right hand person was in the 1980s sentenced to several years in prison for a number of burglaries, document thefts and illegal bugging of American authorities. The movement and its officials have been convicted several times during the last ten years in various countries, for anything from fraud and libel to involuntary manslaughter. As recently as of March this year, the movement was convicted in Germany for libel of an opponent.
So what is the message of Scientology? This is harder to say than one would think, as the message the movement presents in public often heavily differs from the internal teachings and practice. I would claim that it has a clear element of elitism and the worship of strength. In the perhaps most important and most widely read text for internal use, "Keeping Scientology Working", the absolute authority of the leader is stressed, and democracy and a public right to influence decisions are spoken of in disparaging terms. This attitude permeats the movement today.
The price we have to pay for a democratic society is that people must also have the right to encompass anti-democratic points of view. But this naturally should not mean that such forces are given a free playing field and excluded from public debate. To register as a congregation of faith must never become an acceptable excuse for avoiding public scrutiny."
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