Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

Former Scientologist: CoS Told Brin It Wanted Only "Good" Search Results 205

Posted by timothy
from the refusing-to-clam-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Former Scientologist at the highest level Geir Isene reveals that he was brought in to educate top Scientology officials about the Internet, and learned that they had met personally with Google's Sergey Brin (YouTube video), asking him if it were possible for the search giant to filter results so that only positive information about the church would be returned on the word 'Scientology.' You can imagine how that went over. Isene also says that he begged the church's officials to give him a full day to explain the Internet to them before they met with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which had regularly criticized the church for its stands against Internet freedom. Apparently, the church is missing Isene's counsel, because just a few days ago, the EFF put the Church of Scientology into its 'Takedown Hall of Shame.' Last month Geir published his journey 'From Independent Scientologist to Just Me' under the GPL v3 license, recognising how being an open source advocate helped with that."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Former Scientologist: CoS Told Brin It Wanted Only "Good" Search Results

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:09AM (#44111915)

    Wait! Wait wait wait....

    Let me get my popcorn!

    Anyone want a beer while I'm up?

    • I'll take one.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:20AM (#44112061)

      No, I'll wait until you're flaccid.

    • by intermodal (534361) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:25AM (#44112123) Homepage Journal

      For a religious fight, I'll take Shmaltz Brewing Company's He'brew. Thanks, and l'chaim!

    • by Cenan (1892902)

      /raise_hand. This should be good.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Thank you old chap but i already opened my reserve wine...since whining will be served here

      • Thank you old chap but i already opened my reserve wine...since whining will be served here

        I just hope you're not wearing a T-shirt. That would be sort of inappropriate for the (intox)occasion.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @10:58AM (#44113553) Journal

      That depends...is it a decent beer or some of the piss water that passes for beer in the states? if its the former I'll take a nice cold one thanks.

      As for Scientology...it just goes to show how much money and fame can buy you in the USA, because if it weren't for the space pope and the money they have to throw around frankly Scientology would be put down with all the other cults. i mean you look at what those that get out report, so called "marathon sessions" and punishment if you don't parrot the correct responses, even those that felt compelled to "fake" their emotions and responses to keep from being singled out from the rest and targeted...its a fucking cult guys, that is what it is.

      And before anybody says its anything like Christianity...bullshit, Total fucking bullshit, yes you have a few marginalized nutballs like the WBC but those are treated as the crazies they are and most churches have preachers that LOVE a good and lively debate on beliefs, hell you get into a debate with a Baptist preacher you better bring the beer and popcorn because a good argument over scripture can last for fricking DAYS with them, whereas with Scientology lively debate about the meaning? Oh hell no, your ass better toe the line, and from what we have seen your ass better not bring up Xenu and space opera before them, they will pull the plug right then and there, compare this to most Christian churches where they will be more than happy to debate anything from Genesis on up, NOTHING is off the table.

      So to me Scientology just shows you can have a cult in the USA and be treated as a mainstream religion, all you need is cash.

      • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @12:33PM (#44114925) Homepage
        I would also say Scientologists aren't like Christians as I could go and walk into any Christian church and talk to the priest there and find out all about their belief system and the hows and whys things are done and believed unlike Scientology where you have to pay. Most of them will be more than willing to give you a copy of their holy book for free (some it is almost impossible to walk away without one) again unlike Scientology where you have to pay. I have found this to be true with a number of proper religions, like Islam, the various flavors of Christianity, Hebrew, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Hinduism but not Scientology (yes I did try and until you start breaking out the cash you get almost nothing).
        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          To me there is a REALLY easy way to tell if its a cult or not...are you allowed to question their beliefs? if the answer is NO then its a cult.

          One of my former bandmates is now a baptist preacher in a small church (even though I don't believe all he has to do is call and I'm there, they run soup kitchens, help the homeless, real nice folks) and I swear to all that is good there is NOTHING that man enjoys more than having someone who doesn't believe come into his church, he will be happy to sit down with a b

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        But what's the difference between treating them like a cult versus like a mainstream religion, if both are legal?

  • two words (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ad words

  • never forget (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:11AM (#44111949)

    Those bastards shut down Julf Helsingius anon.penet.fi remailer back in '96 and we'll never forgive them for that! The internet is not in any way new to them!

  • by intermodal (534361) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:19AM (#44112037) Homepage Journal

    Clearly, the CoS understands at this point how much control places like Google have over people's web traffic, and they're quite aware that Google can gerrymander the results. Brin seems to mistake understanding the internet as a technology to understanding the technology as a means of control.

    • Gerrymander? I think I know what that word means. Redraw electoral district boundaries to gain unfair political advantage. I'm truly having trouble understanding how that word applies in this context.
      • by Georules (655379)
        It's being used as a metaphor. Repicking search results to gain a positive appearance, which may not represent the actual picture of the thing being searched.
      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Because just as you could get a D elected in an R state or vice versa just by carving the hell out of the map so too can Google (Or Bing for that matter) shape perception just by what kind of search results you get.

        I mean imagine you type in the name of a product and "is shitty" pops up as the first choice in auto complete and all the results you get are bad, would you be more or less likely to buy that product? what about if it was the name of a politician running for office and "is a scammer" and simil

      • Gerrymander? I think I know what that word means. Redraw electoral district boundaries to gain unfair political advantage.

        Consider the generalization that results from striking "electoral" from this definition. The result set from a search engine has two distinct "districts". One is called "above the fold": results in the top 700 pixels of the page, which appear on most PC monitors without having to scroll. The other is called "the first page": the top ten results that appear without having to click "next page". A search engine has power to manipulate which results fit inside or outside these boundaries, and it becomes "gerrym

  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:21AM (#44112081)

    Is that given recent exploits by Snowden who is making a name for himself by exposing governmental spying, people that leave the Church of Scientology are treated exactly the same way.

    You leave your "religion" because it's a sham, and then you're harassed and attacked anywhere. Amazing.

    Thankfully I gave up on religion at 13, I can't imagine being lured into a cult like this. That said, Scientologists are stupider than I thought.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @11:14AM (#44113775) Journal

      Then you have never had life take a giant extended shit on you for a couple of years friend. I lost a distant relative to religion but even though I will probably never speak to her again i can see why, she had lost no less than 3 close people in her life in less than 2 years, not to mention the loss of her job and her home which she had paid on for many years.

      So while I think cults like CoS should be seen for what they are I DO get the appeal, kinda hard for many to accept its all as random as a roulette wheel and some douchebag that treats everyone like shit can have just the most perfect life while no matter how hard they work things just end in tragedy and sorrow. IRL a lot of times the bad guys DO win and the nice guys finish even worse than last, but many simply can't accept the thought of a truly random life so they turn to religion trying to make sense of what IRL is senseless.

      • by Richy_T (111409) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @11:59AM (#44114485) Homepage

        For which the essential interpretation is that there is a supreme being who routinely shits all over you for no apparent reason. Must be something you're doing wrong, eh?

        Accepting the random and arbitrary nature of existence is a first step a mature person can take in taking control of their life and actually doing something productive about it (or rationally choosing not to).

        • by Richy_T (111409)

          Sorry, I forgot the "Bad things happen but they're for a good reason that I'm just too inadequate to comprehend" interpretation also.

  • CoS is a cult ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:21AM (#44112085)

    The 'Church' of scientology was started by a bad science fiction writer who said "You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

    It's a complete sham and a fraud.

    We're somehow supposed to believe there's thousands of alien souls occupying us? This magic machine you have is going to cure my problems when it has no basis in science?

    Seriously, just look at Tom Cruise and his claims that anti-depressants don't work. You think Katie Holmes went running away because of any other reason than the idiocy there?

    The CoS is a joke, and how any country has still given them tax exempt status is beyond me. Those idiots standing outside offering you a 'personality test' are just recruiting for the cult, and should be punched in the nose.

    Posting as AC to keep these whack-jobs the fuck away from me.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mrclisdue (1321513)

      ...Posting as AC to keep these whack-jobs the fuck away from me...

      Indeed, because posting using your usual nom de plume: i'm.afaid.of.CoS would lead them right to your door.

      You dismiss their *magic*, yet you fear using a pseudo on /. ?

      THAT is irony, Alanis....

      cheers,

      • by RoknrolZombie (2504888) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:46AM (#44112395) Homepage
        Well, to be fair, while their magic isn't anything to fear, they have better lawyers than the WBC. If I wasn't already on their shitlist I'd probably want to post as AC as well.
        • by Soluzar (1957050)
          The organization known as the Church of Scientology are sham artists, confidence tricksters and shysters whose actions may border on the criminal. I have no reason to be afraid of a group of lunatic confidence tricksters, because I'm too smart to fall for the bullshit they are peddling. This is the same username I use everywhere on the internet. If they want to find me, they are quite welcome to do so. Nothing they can do (including legal action) represents a credible threat. They are laughable.
      • by geekoid (135745)

        It may actually lead them to his door, and it would certainly cause down modding. That ain't magic friend, that's what they do.

      • by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @10:15AM (#44112817)

        Dismissing their magic is very different than dismissing their potential for dirty tricks. That madman staggering toward you with a knife babbling about the New World Order and lizard people? He's still got a knife.

        • by mcmonkey (96054)

          Dismissing their magic is very different than dismissing their potential for dirty tricks. That madman staggering toward you with a knife babbling about the New World Order and lizard people? He's still got a knife.

          Don't let the lizard people here you say that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You dismiss their *magic*, yet you fear using a pseudo on /. ?

        Do you have *any* clue what they've done to people who have crossed them in the past, asshole? And I mean the recent past too. I would be less afraid to fuck with the CIA (seriously).

    • We're somehow supposed to believe there's thousands of alien souls occupying us?

      They can be detected if you wave a network toner around your body. That staticy noise is the alien ghosts.

      Seriously, does anyone know if you could use an E-meter as a network toner in a pinch?

    • Re:CoS is a cult ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @10:26AM (#44113023) Journal

      It's a complete sham and a fraud.

      So is every other religion.

      • It's a complete sham and a fraud.

        So is every other religion.

        My religion agrees

        GP: Is Eris true?
        M2: Everything is true.
        GP: Even false things?
        M2: Even false things are true.
        GP: How can that be?
        M2: I don't know man, I didn't do it.

    • by Dishevel (1105119) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @10:29AM (#44113069)

      I do not think L Ron meant to start a religion.
      I think it started as a joke.
      As more and more people started to believe, he made the religion crazier and crazier, but they just believed more.
      So he charged the stupid money and got rich.
      L Ron is my hero.

      • by kaptink (699820)

        "You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion"

        * L Ron's response to a question from the audience during a meeting of the Eastern Science Fiction Association on (7 November 1948), as quoted in a 1994 affidavit by Sam Moskowitz

    • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @10:34AM (#44113157)
      Most reasonable, rational people would recognize it is a fraud. The problem is there are a lot of unreasonable, irrational people who don't. I suppose the same could be said of most religions but generally mainstream religions they don't have people screaming at walls, "disconnecting" from families, harassing ex-members, tithing substantial portions of their earnings, taking out second mortgages to buy training materials, or working as virtual slaves on billion year contracts. The more ridicule this horrible nasty money grubbing cult gets the better for everyone.

      On the subject of tax exemption, it's a wonder to me that *any* religion qualifies for exemption unless it is transparently not-for-profit, i.e. all money going in is accounted for in its operations with limits on the salaries, expenses and other overheads of that organisation. If it cannot do that to the satisfaction of the revenue services, it should lose exemption. Religion or not.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        I suppose the same could be said of most religions but generally mainstream religions they don't have people screaming at walls, "disconnecting" from families, harassing ex-members

        I suppose you've never known a gay person from a devoutly Christian family.

        • by Teun (17872) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @12:21PM (#44114801) Homepage
          If a Christian family is debasing a gay person they are not devout and especially not Christian.
          • If a Christian family is debasing a gay person they are not devout and especially not Christian.

            No true Scotsman.

          • by Velex (120469)

            coinreturn is correct.

            Furthermore, you do realize what the Bible says about that, right? True, some Christians try to argue this etymology or that etymology or alternate usage or translation error or any number of linguistic gymnastics. However, the only arguments that allow homosexuality in Christianity that make sense to me are the same arguments that say that women don't need to be "unclean" when they're menstruating.

            However, you must remember, we love literal Bible interpretations. If somebody i

            • by Teun (17872)
              I'm Dutch and from a strict Dutch Reformed background.

              Jesus' love for all people is the guiding principle, maybe that's what differs Christians from those that go by the Old Testament.

              Or don't they, for example, allow pork around your way?

    • by cdrudge (68377)

      We're somehow supposed to believe there's thousands of alien souls occupying us? This magic machine you have is going to cure my problems when it has no basis in science?

      As oppose to believing that some woman who never had sex somehow born a child that later died after being nailed to a piece of wood and has saved everyone in the 2000 years after his passing who pray to him.

      CoS isn't a religion IMHO, but at least they try to make you believe based on some silly meter and not just say "have faith" that $reli

    • It's a complete sham and a fraud.

      I would say the same about any religion. I don't regard christianity or islam or judaism as any more sane. They are all deceitful enterprises. The only difference between a church and a cult is scale.

      Seriously, just look at Tom Cruise and his claims that anti-depressants don't work.

      Look at the catholic church's claims that abstinence is a realistic option for birth control. Or the various claims that is a punishment from god for . A lot of religious doctrine from the mainstream religions is absolutely just as bonkers.

      The CoS is a joke, and how any country has still given them tax exempt status is beyond me.

      Again, I would say the same about any church or cult. As nuts as

      • by Teun (17872)
        In many countries the mainstream churches were or (as in the US) are an import social factor in the battle against poverty and much of their money is going to 'Worthy Causes' that save the community at large from a lot of grief.

        This is contrary to the way the Cult Of Scientology is spending it's money and it's exactly because of this difference they did not get tax exemption in some European countries.

        • In many countries the mainstream churches were or (as in the US) are an import social factor in the battle against poverty and much of their money is going to 'Worthy Causes' that save the community at large from a lot of grief.

          Take one look at the vatican with all their gold leaf and artwork and fancy architecture and tell me that they are truly concerned about directing their money towards fighting poverty. While I don't deny that many churches do indeed do some worthy charity work, I've never seen one that wasn't hugely hypocritical about what they do with their money. Most of it goes towards salaries, buildings, and other tangible trappings of wealth that have little to do with charity but a lot to do with making religious o

    • by Cajun Hell (725246) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @12:23PM (#44114809) Homepage Journal

      We're somehow supposed to believe there's thousands of alien souls occupying us? This magic machine you have is going to cure my problems when it has no basis in science?

      Seriously, just look at Tom Cruise and his claims that anti-depressants don't work. You think Katie Holmes went running away because of any other reason than the idiocy there?

      *sigh* Wacky beliefs without any foundation in observations, is not what makes Scientology special. Mainstream religions make assertions that are no less crazy that the above.

      What makes it special, is its specific behavior and techniques, not its paranormal beliefs. A "church" becomes a "cult" much like how a murderer becomes a "terrorist," by working within some narrow definitions that people decided are unusually bad, rather than mundanely bad.

      Body Thetans don't exist and people who say they do are full of shit, but it's not any different sort of bullshit, than the son of a virgin feeling better a few days after his crucifixion, talking snakes, lake-of-fire-afterlife vs a different afterlife, and so on. If you happen to not enjoy the myths within Scientology that's cool, but that's not the right reason to hate 'em. Hate them because they're evil people.

      Don't tell them "you're crazy if you believe that nonsense," tell them "fuck you, asshole." I know plenty of Christians who by definition (it's what makes them Christians) believe stuff that is just as wacked. But unlike Scientologists, these people mean well so they deserve a shitload of slack. Not everyone who is delusional, is a sociopath.

      • by Darby (84953) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @08:56PM (#44118979)

        I know plenty of Christians who by definition (it's what makes them Christians) believe stuff that is just as wacked. But unlike Scientologists, these people mean well so they deserve a shitload of slack.

        The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

        A specific Catholic might mean well, but they are still supporters of an organization which actively engages in predatory behavior. Their policies are designed toward the specific goal of increasing human suffering in order to increase the demand for their services. Anti-choice to increase the number of poor and unwanted. Lying about condoms to help spread AIDS so that they can use their victims as poster children. Raping children and then blaming the victims while protecting the rapists because if they didn't cover it up people would think they weren't good. Spreading hatred of gay people because they're not going to produce more victims, and hence aren't really people in their book.

        They're the most successful business in the history of the world based on their business model of increasing human suffering and using a small part of their income to ameliorate a small portion of it.

        A specific fundie nutjob might mean well...who am I kidding, they have nothing but hate.

        Not everyone who is delusional, is a sociopath.

        No, but almost all religious organizations *are* sociopathic. One's intentions don't matter at all if their results are consistently the opposite of their intentions and they fail to adjust their actions based upon the outcome for the benefit of a sociopathic organization.

        Maybe you're talking about some specific Christians who attend some specific churches, but that has little bearing on the big picture.

        Unless their church actively supports birth control, reproductive choice and is openly accepting of people who don't harm others, then they are supporters of sociopathic organizations. Actively working to increase human suffering when your stated purpose is to decrease it is a business tactic to increase demand for your services.

        They can spend all day whining about their intentions, but what matters are results.

        All the major religions have much more in common with Scientology than you admit.
        Individual Scientologists might be decent people in their own right, they're just brainwashed and deluded like the rest of religious people. The organizations are hard to tell apart if you look past the specific details and look to the general case.

        It's just a different business model.

    • There is a flea market near my house that sometimes has some interesting old tech items. It also has the CoS people giving 'personality tests', I occasionally think about taking the test, treating it like a game going for the high score.
      I would have them running in fear from me. :)
      Then i come to my senses.
    • by c (8461)

      Seriously, just look at Tom Cruise and his claims that anti-depressants don't work.

      Well, now, I'm not sure it's entirely fair to blame the CoS for Hollywood celebrities being nuts. Hollywood celebrities were nuts before Scientology, and they'll be nuts long after Scientology is just a memory of a bad trip.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Actually, it's possible that L Ron actually believed this stuff to some degree. It started as a simple thing, just alternative psychology, and it evolved from there. When the religious aspect was added many people dropped out or forked. At one point he had a bad motorcycle accident, with broken bones, and declined to have medical attention. That says to me that either he believed in scientology or that he had an amazing amount of self control to keep up the charade and avoid even secret medical help. O

  • by kannibal_klown (531544) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:22AM (#44112089)

    OK, I try to keep an open mind and really don't care what people believe so long as A) they don't get into people's faces about it and B) the message is peaceful.

    I don't even mind their big back-story about aliens and what-not. Ignoring the fact that a sci-fi writer wrote it, who's to say that's any more laughable than other stuff. And you could say that maybe he was just inspired by the spoken word or universal secrets to write his other stuff, which isn't that much more implausible than where many of the stories for the Bible came from.

    But... in practice Scientology is making it quite hard to like or respect them. Between the lawsuits, making people's lives hell for leaving or speaking out against them, the pay-to-learn thing they have going on, etc it's hard for me to say "fine whatever"

    And now this... sigh. It's just making it hard to respect you. I mean, lots of people HATE the Catholic church but you don't see them trying to stifle people's thoughts and comments about it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:38AM (#44112303)

      Between the lawsuits, making people's lives hell for leaving or speaking out against them, the pay-to-learn thing they have going on, etc it's hard for me to say "fine whatever"

      This.

      It's not about the aliens. It is about the coercive tactics.

      All religions have beliefs that sound strange to nonbelievers. I give it three minutes until a Scilon shill says something about the Xenu story being no sillier than Jesus in order to derail the story into a flamewar of Atheists vs Christians, instead of talking about a cult that has been at war with the Internet itself [wikipedia.org] for almost 20 years.

      Starting with a forged rmgroup message, moving on to a sporgery campaign of random text to flood out commentary on USENET, the compromise of anon.penet.fi (at the time, the Internet's most important anonymizing remailer), the Mickey Mouse Protection Act [wikipedia.org] (named after noted Scilon Sonny Bono), the near-immediate application of the DMCA in order to out a critic [cnet.com], and of course the the 2001 DMCA attack against Slashdot itself [slashdot.org], and black SEO activities too numerous to count, including this latest one against Bing.

      • by Entropius (188861) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @10:18AM (#44112853)

        The Xenu story *is* no sillier than Christianity. But the difference between the Scientologists and the Christians is that the latter won't send lawyers after you if you post the Bible on the internet or make a webpage saying "The Pope is a dickbag". Silliness is perfectly fine; silliness that attempts to impose itself via lawyers on others is not.

        • Letting the conversation be diverted to the relative silliness of world religions* takes the focus off the clams and will draw the one holy roller still on /. that will make the Hubbardists look sane.

          *Eris for the win. Hail Eris, all hail Discordia!

    • by jythie (914043) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:46AM (#44112399)
      And that is the key point. Scientology is not widely mocked because of their belief, but because of their actions.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Part of what's been going on since the death of L Ron Hubbard, as I understand it, is that there are significant numbers of people who are leaving the CoS but retaining the belief system, as sort of a "protestant" version of Scientology. And the CoS is reacting to that about as well as the Catholics did to Martin Luther, because its current leadership has really retained the paranoid and conspiratorial streak that the CoS has had throughout its history.

      The thetans, the auditing, etc I see as no more harmful

  • I think it's pretty clear where the CoS stands on internet freedom, and what they want from you if they ask you for a meeting. Why would anyone in their right mind even talk with these people? What, do you think you're going to REASON with them?!? Do you want to give them a chance to threaten you *in person*?!?

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      I wouldn't turn it down. Should be a good laugh.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      You talk to people like this for the audience. You won't convince the deluded person talking to you about enrams*, but you might get people who are watching to think about how mind boggling stupid it is. That IF you are polite and dissect the argument.

      *At least not during the conversation. Hopefully it will add a grain of sand to getting those people to actually think.

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        Except that these meetings were apparently private. Speaking personally, there is no way would I meet with anyone from the CoS without at least several witnesses, legal counsel, and someone video recording the whole thing.

    • I think it's pretty clear where the CoS stands on internet freedom, and what they want from you if they ask you for a meeting. Why would anyone in their right mind even talk with these people? What, do you think you're going to REASON with them?!? Do you want to give them a chance to threaten you *in person*?!?

      Wouldn't you? Probably wide-eyed optimism is the best explanation for why such meeting happened, but if there was any chance at all in getting them to see reason, and you had the time (or it was your mandate to try getting people like them to see reason, as is the case with the EFF), wouldn't you take the time to try? I would.

      And who cares if they threatened me? Google isn't doing anything illegal with how they filter their search results, and they're within their rights to keep the algorithm by which it's

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        Wouldn't you?

        Absolutely NOT. Those guys do not fuck around. When they come after you, it's not a game.

        Why don't you ask John Sweeney [wikipedia.org] what can happen after an "innocent meeting" with CoS officials?

        And who cares if they threatened me?

        They can (and often do) do a *helluva* lot more than that. They've had people put in prison, ruined lives, destroyed careers. You would be amazed at what they can do to you if you get on their bad side.

    • I did try to talk to them once. Unlike every other religion where I have done a similar thing I was prodded to either pay for some auditing and pay for the intro training. I was curious about their religion as well as a number of other ones so I figured what better way than to talk to actual representatives of each. I was well aware of the CoS's tactics but didn't know how much to actually believe but after the brief shitty movie and sales pitch they didn't provide any info other than trying to get you to b
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:31AM (#44112205)

    Nothing is perfect in the world and they are tradeoffs. If you believe that something is perfect (terrestrially speaking (I don't care to debate if God Exists or is perfect or not, today)) Then you are probably wrong.

    Everything has an up side and down side to it, whether or not the upside make it worth it or not, is open to debate. That is why we have free speech, it is so we can be allowed to look at the universe with our own objectives and try to measure if the up side or down side is worth it. However Free Speech often comes with broadcasting misinformation, outward lies, or just ignorants. In order to keep free speech working we need to keep our education levels up so we can help spot this.

    Propaganda, is sending one side of the issue and blocking debate about it. If your side is well thought out and expressed, there could be a lot less idiocracy about the topic, but it is limited and prevents growth, however this is often abused and used to spread lies as well.

    Saying you should block all sites that say something negative about your beliefs is trying to say I want you to be part of our propaganda engine. And restricting free speech.

    Now Google biggest value is in Good Will, an accounting term to express Brand Recognition and Trust. If Google were to degrade their customers trust, they will go to different sites and ruen Google.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Perfect is determine by the parameters set by the conversation.
      If I say a hinge moves 100 degrees, and it moves `100 degree it's perfect within the confines of the statement.
      Of course it has to be provable.

    • by monzie (729782) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @09:53AM (#44112445) Homepage

      I could not resist bringing up Orwell. Do go through his "All Art is Propaganda" - http://www.amazon.com/All-Art-Propaganda-George-Orwell/dp/0156033070 [amazon.com] - If you haven't already. His writings are still relevant today and do apply to this discussion.

    • by dkf (304284)

      I hope all those random misspellings were just a ruse to defeat a CoS-hijacked PRISM or something like that, because they were painful my friend. True perfection might not be attainable on this earth, but correct spelling is most certainly something that can be achieved with only minimal effort. What's more, it promotes understanding of your point in your readership.

  • was last Sundays episode of Venture Bros.

  • Disclaimer: I'm an atheist. I'm going to sound like an atheist ( because I'm going to attack Scientology ) - But please do understand the broader message.

    And the message is very simple.

    Any organization/group which sells bullshit will be criticized. The only way for the organization to grow is to continue selling bullshit. The organization cannot sell bullshit if sane people criticize it. Or put sane arguments against it. Thus the only way for this organization to survive is to do one of the three below:

    - Su

  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Wednesday June 26, 2013 @10:34AM (#44113169)
    Burzrzrzrzrzr...

Science and religion are in full accord but science and faith are in complete discord.

Working...