UK set for first Scientology Church wedding after Supreme Court rules it a ‘place of worship’

32

The UK’s first Scientology wedding is set to go ahead after the Supreme Court ruled the church’s chapels are “places of worship”.

Scientologist Louisa Hodkin had wanted to marry her fiancé Alessando Calcioli at the church’s London headquarters, and took her fight to the highest level after a High Court judge decided against her.

That decision has been overturned by five Supreme Court justices, who have been considering the case since a hearing in July and today ruled the Scientology church was a “place of meeting for religious worship”.

Scientology was developed by the science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, and sets out for its followers a “precise path to understanding one’s spiritual nature”.

Today, the Supreme Court justices ruled that the definition of a religion should not be confined to those faiths which involve a “supreme deity”.

Written By: Adam Withnall
continue to source article at independent.co.uk

32 COMMENTS

  1. I am slightly torn on this one. In Britain you can have a secular wedding in a pub or a field or pretty much where you like, so the liberal in me says why should Scientologists (however daft their beliefs) not have the right to marry wherever they wish in a manner of their own choosing?

    The Communities and Local Government minister Eric Pickles went on record as welcoming the original High Court decision (against the Scientologists), which has now of course been overturned, so presumably he is not happy today.

    More concerning is the Supreme Court’s view that Scientology is a bona fide religion. This opens up all sorts of tax exemption possibilities, and the dismal prospect of them claiming their “fair share” of taxpayers’ funds to open up state-funded faith schools, a privilege already extended to all the major faiths,

    Then again, the prospect of Scientology schools may be sufficiently unpalatable that we will see a reaction, including further (and overdue) checks on the formation of new faith schools…

    • In reply to #1 by Stevehill:

      More concerning is the Supreme Court’s view that Scientology is a bona fide religion.

      More concerning than the faith that abuses children and shelters criminals? More concerning than the faith that wraps women in black bags and promotes nothing but hatred? More concerning than the faith that divided people into classes based on birth?

      Granted scientology is a load of bullshit, but no better or worse than the other major faiths. Sure anglicans might sound timid now, just a generation ago, they were the same cult of xenophobic, misogynistic mass murderers like the rest of them! Until they are thrown out of their legislative privileges and denied special state privileges, one can hardly blame scientology for their tax benefits.

      • In reply to #5 by soulreaver:

        More concerning than the faith that abuses children and shelters criminals? More concerning than the faith that wraps women in black bags and promotes nothing but hatred? More concern…

        You should check out the stuff Jenna Miscavige Hill writes about in her book Beyond Belief. There’s a lot of abuse in there, too.

        • In reply to #6 by Kim Probable:

          There’s a lot of abuse in there, too.

          Hence my point,

          Granted scientology is a load of bullshit, but no better or worse than the other major faiths.

          But lets be honest here. The two monotheistic faiths fought rampant and brutal wars for half a millennium. Both the Europeans and the Middle eastern versions of it were used to justify genocide and cultural annihilation of countless societies. And the surviving polytheistic cult have subjugated a section of population for over two millennium.

          And don’t you think it is a bit hypocritical to put up with these so called “great” faiths but refuse to give the same privileges to an another set of equally stupid and pointless faith.

          • In reply to #8 by soulreaver:

            And don’t you think it is a bit hypocritical to put up with these so called “great” faiths but refuse to give the same privileges to an another set of equally stupid and pointless faith.

            I’m hardly putting up with the other faiths, but I sure hate to see another system of abuse and harm receive official recognition and permission to carry on in their practices. It just makes it that much harder to remove later.

            That said, I don’t see why Scientology needs recognition in order for these people to get married. If they want to get married they should be able to do so.

      • In reply to #5 by soulreaver:

        In reply to #1 by Stevehill:

        More concerning is the Supreme Court’s view that Scientology is a bona fide religion.

        More concerning than the faith that abuses children and shelters criminals? More concerning than the faith that wraps women in black bags and promotes nothing but hatred? More concern…

        Steve doesn’t need anyone to defend him but come on, what has other religions crimes got to do with not wanting another? Specifically in comparison to letting the nutters marry? Your comparison is a non sequitur.

        I don’t like any of the things you mentioned and it still has no effect on Steve’s argument.

        Back on topic. They can marry whoever they please and I’m not going to stop a secular wedding on the non-deity clause, daft.

      • In reply to #5 by soulreaver:

        In reply to #1 by Stevehill:

        More concerning is the Supreme Court’s view that Scientology is a bona fide religion.

        More concerning than the faith that abuses children and shelters criminals? More concerning than the faith that wraps women in black bags and promotes nothing but hatred? More concern…

        Did you read his post ? Steve was clearly saying the tax-exemption status of scientology is more concerning than the court allowing scientology to conduct its own weddings.

        Michael

    • In reply to #1 by Stevehill:

      Scientology’s bona fides have been officially recognized by a number of governmental agencies and public authorities in the United Kingdom. These include:

      The Ministry of Defence, which has officially recognized the Scientology religion in the Royal Navy (1996).

      HM Customs and Excise, which classifies the Church as a religious organization (2001). Inland Revenue, which ruled that Church staff serve out of a religious commitment rather than financial award (2001).

      The City of Westminster Finance Department, which holds that the Church of Scientology qualifies as a charity “with purposes beneficial to the community.” The City of London Head of Revenues has recognized the Church as “an organization established for charitable purposes only” and entitled to property tax exemption. The General Register Office in Scotland has authorized a Scientology minister to solemnize marriages as a minister of religion.

  2. That’s it!

    I’m going to set up a religion; I’m fed up with forking out so much in tax.

    Plus, I’ve always fancied myself as a con artist, and this religion lark seems like a pretty good racket.

    Always wanted a helicopter too.

    Now let’s see what I’ve got to play with here:

    Erm, greed, dishonesty, vanity, opportunism, lust, compassion – slightly anomalous that one but it’ll serve – credulity – I like it – irresponsibility, desperation – it gets better and better – naivety – oh boy oh boy!

    I’d better go and lie down for a while.

    I’ll get cracking first thing Moday!

    • In reply to #4 by Stafford Gordon:

      That’s it!

      I’m going to set up a religion; I’m fed up with forking out so much in tax.

      Plus, I’ve always fancied myself as a con artist, and this religion lark seems like a pretty good racket.

      Always wanted a helicopter too.

      Now let’s see what I’ve got to play with here:

      Erm, greed, dishonesty,…

      And as we know, Stafford Gordon, the public admission of your plan will be no barrier to success :)

  3. I’m all for anyone being married by any magician anywhere they like. As marriage is a state sanctioned legal contract we need certain checks to make sure the magician can fill out the paperwork properly but it should be a secular office independent of any magical office they may also hold within their cult. It should allow Humanist weddings, Scientology weddings, Wiccan weddings etc on equal footing with C of E weddings.

    Unfortunately, the UK doesn’t have such a system, which means Scientology appears to have been elevated to a group of privileged cults who now get other benefits like tax breaks. That is fucked up.

  4. In other scientology news, a Texas Court judge today ordered the deposition of chairman-of-the-board David Miscavige in a harassment lawsuit filed by the wife of scientology’s ex second-in-command, Marty Rathbun. The defendants are: Miscavige, Church of Scientology, other cos alphabet soup entities, and a couple of other individuals.

    It’s a big deal and it’s going to get very ugly.

    If the subject is of any interest to you, first look for Squirrel Buster videos on youtube (which were a determining point in scientology’s harassment campaign against the Rathbuns), then Tony Ortega’s blog is an excellent source for the lawsuit’s developments since it was filed earlier this fall.

  5. Is it a religion?

    Sadistic mind control system…………………………………..check,
    Based on unprovable bullshit…………………………………..check,
    Kleptocracy………………………………………………………..check,
    Exempt from business taxes……………………………………check (in some countries),
    Aggressively pursues potential new victims/converts………check,
    Persecutes outsiders…………………………………………….no,
    Has many factions………………………………………………..no,
    Cause of major wars……………………………………………..no,

    So its made a good start, but it still has lots to achieve before it can be considered a real religion

    • In reply to #14 by N_Ellis:

      Is it a religion?

      Persecutes outsiders…………………………………………….no,

      Has many factions………………………………………………..no,

      Cause of major wars……………………………………………..no,

      Scientology persecutes outsiders aplenty if they so much as look at scientology the wrong way. From orchestrating bogus criminal charges against critical authors, such as Paulette Cooper (see Operation Freakout), killing court officer pets, internet smear campaigns and of course, SLAPP suits.

      Scientology doesn’t abide with factions if only because its Office of Special Affairs (OSA) is its lucrative enforcement arm.

      Cause of major wars: perhaps not on the battlefield, but the judicial has seen more than its fair share.

  6. Et tu, UK? You have to hand it to L. Ron for realizing that if you call something a religion, they’ll let you get away with practically anything, like a secretive and litigious organization based on a financial scam and which has been accused of everything from slavery to extortion.

  7. I think there is very valuable publicity here. For the court to say that a religion doesn’t have to be based on belief in a supreme being opens up a huge can of worms? What exactly then is religion and what justifies all the tax and other benefits society gives it? I’m going to apply for tax exemption for my yacht club and demand that the commodore be given the authority to perform legally binding marraige services between club members who like each other. All this type of nonsense is helping to expose how ridiulous religion, whatever it is, is. It should be welcomed!

    • In reply to #18 by Richard01:

      I think there is very valuable publicity here. For the court to say that a religion doesn’t have to be based on belief in a supreme being opens up a huge can of worms? What exactly then is religion and what justifies all the tax and other benefits society gives it? I’m going to apply for tax exemption for my yacht club and demand that the commodore be given the authority to perform legally binding marraige services between club members who like each other.

      I thought captains of ships could perform marriages ? They always did in the movies.

      Michael

    • In reply to #22 by Miserablegit:

      If a cult like Scientology can be deemed a religion, where does that leave all the other cults that will want the same privileges?

      Unfortunately all the other cults (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism etc) already have those privileges.

      • In reply to #23 by The Truth, the light:
        >

        Unfortunately all the other cults (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism etc) already have those privileges.

        True. Once we allow “supernaturally-inspired bonkers” (Joseph Smith’s magic dinner plates, anyone?) it’s not really defensible to say one set of delusions is “better” than another.

        I’m with Stafford. If you can’t beat them, join them. The Bengal cat called Ziggy now purring on my lap is a divine reincarnation of Anubis and I worship him. Accordingly I shall forthwith cease paying taxes and am accepting donations so as to acquire a suitable palace for Ziggy, in which I shall of course need to reside as his faithful servant.

  8. In reply to Jabarkis # 13.

    Precisely; delusions are profoundly subjective, that’s why religion is ubiquitous, and I shall become a very wealthy man!

    Ha ha haaaaa!

    Licks lips and rubs palms together.

  9. I agree with everyone on here on this – Scientology is ridiculous and dangerous and shouldn’t have these privileges or recognition.

    However, whilst we continue to afford that same privilege and recognition to other, more monstrous, religions, it is more than a little disingenuous to deny it to another one.

    Therefore, until we (in the UK) disestablish the Church of England and treat all religions the same as we would any other hobby, ALL forms of woo-woo will be in a position to demand such privilege.

    On the positive side, the economic benefits could be immense… for instance, I bet the Italian restaurant chains are licking their lips at the thought of putting on Pastafarian weddings…

    • In reply to #27 by Dr Bob:

      I agree with everyone on here on this – Scientology is ridiculous and dangerous and shouldn’t have these privileges or recognition.

      However, whilst we continue to afford that same privilege and recognition to other, more monstrous, religions, it is more than a little disingenuous to deny it to anot…

      I am with Dr Bob on this. Most atheists (including Prof Dawkins) have a soft spot for the faith we are used to. We need to be impartial be it the Quakers, the Jains or the Unitarians. Deep down, they all rely on superstition and unscientific world view.

  10. In Britain, abusing a position of trust, and/or lying to, and/or withholding key-information from, people, in order to take their property, is fraud, which is a form of theft. Furthermore, the subjecting of human beings to any form of medical experimentation (physiological or psychological) without their fully-informed voluntary consent, is prohibited by the Nuremberg Code:

    ‘This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved, as to enable him/her to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that, before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject, there should be made known to him/her the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his/her health or person, which may possibly come from his/her participation in the experiment.’

  11. Earlier today, I posted links on this Website to 2 articles which contain a comprehensive analysis of the recent ‘Scientology’ court case in the UK, but these links have been removed. The following, is a quote from one of the articles (which was published under the 2013 copyright of David Brear):

    ‘This fairytale court case which was ostensibly brought by Ms. Louisa Hodkin – a demonstrably-deluded deployable agent of the US-based organization known as “Scientology” – (who is, in fact, the daughter of one the organization’s attorneys) against the UK Registrar General of Births Marriages and Deaths, is part of an overall pattern of ongoing, major racketeering activity (as defined by the US federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 1970) which stretches back more than 60 years.

    The clandestine criminal objective of the bosses of the “Scientology” organization (who were undoubtedly the real instigators of the recent UK courtroom charade) was to obtain apparent official recognition of “Scientology” as a tax-free religion in Britain via the back door, in order to continue to commit fraud around the globe by preventing victims of the fraud from confronting reality and complaining.

Leave a Reply