Merry Christmas Gerry. and Caroline. Sorry for the delay, busy times.
!ots of love
!ots of love
LEO HAMEL'S TIES TO CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY EYED IN ASSEMBLY RACE
“The Scientology question is a fair one,” Eric Andersen said in a comment. “Although religion should not be a test for office, it helps us understand the ...
The one-man publisher taking on Goliath
Over the years the Church of Scientology has become known as an enthusiastic and tenacious litigant with expensive lawyers on speed-dial.
That reputation seems to have delayed the publication of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright’s devastating exposé of the organisation, by three years in this country.
The book had originally been slated for publication here in 2013 by Transworld, an offshoot of the then publishing giant Random House, whose Knopf division had printed it in America the same year. But shortly before the text was due to be released in Britain, Transworld abruptly pulled it from its schedules after taking “legal advice”.
However, a change in the libel laws later that year saw the introduction of a “publication on a matter of public interest”, a reinvigorated defence against an accusation of defamation.
“That change emboldened me to publish,” says Humfrey Hunter, the owner (and sole employee) of Silvertail Books, who has brought Going Clear to the British market along with several other books prepared to criticise scientology.
“I reasoned that in PR terms it would be counterproductive for a multibillion-dollar organisation like the Church of Scientology to pursue a small publisher like us.”
At least a decade of critical media coverage and multiple allegations of human rights abuses at its premises have, it is claimed, severely reduced the church’s ability to attract new adherents. (The organisation strenuously denies the claims of abuse.)
Hunter believes that today the church is in a “parlous” state. “Its membership is down to, at most, 40,000 people worldwide. I probably sell more books about scientology than there are scientologists in Britain. The conveyer belt of defectors — the No 2, 3 and 4 in the organisation have all left in recent years — has done it serious damage,” he says.
Critics point out that the church has had only two leaders: its founder, L Ron Hubbard, and David Miscavige, who is said to have seized power from Hubbard’s anointed disciples in 1986. “The church is effectively his,” says Hunter. “It’s not democratic and he answers to no one.”
Some of scientology’s alleged disregard for human rights could still be occurring, he believes. “Scientologists believe that a baby possesses an adult soul, so no age is too young to separate children from their parents. That, to me, is inhuman and it is still going on today, including in Britain,” says Hunter.
However, the organisation’s colossal wealth — its property portfolio alone is estimated to be worth $1.5bn (£1bn) — gives it huge potential power. Those defectors wishing for its imminent collapse are likely to be disappointed.
21-year-old fraud case dismissed in France
Translation of an AFP article published in French on April 6, 2010.
Non-lieu définitif pour la Scientologie dans un dossier d'escroquerie - dépêches AFP - la-Croix.com