Supreme Court judges allow Scientology wedding

Discussion in 'Media' started by RolandRB, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. RolandRB Member

  2. Anonymous Member

  3. Anonymous Member

    • Like Like x 1
  4. RolandRB Member

    Well done cult -- you won fair and square!
  5. RolandRB Member

  6. Anonymous Member

    This is the crack in the door that the Scientology corporation needed.

    Now that the court has ruled in its favor, the company will use this ruling to open the floodgates and have the Scientology corporation declared a full-fledged religion with all the tax benefits and legal protections that come along.

    You did it wrong British judge.
  7. RolandRB Member

    Five judges.
  8. JohnnyRUClear Member

    Yes. They did it, five wrong British judges.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. DeathHamster Member

    In Edinburgh, "Fearless Leader"'s head asplode because they still can't call themselves a church.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Anonymous Member

    All 263 Scientologists in England are now free to marry!
    • Like Like x 4
  11. Is gay marriage legal in England? Can they get gay-married at Churches of Scientology?
  12. RolandRB Member

    They have always been allowed to call themselves a "Church" in Scotland.
  13. DeathHamster Member

    Yeah right. And they call themselves the Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence instead of the Church of Scientology just because they like the name.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. RolandRB Member

    Because Hubbard thought the Scots had a "button" on the name he chose and would serve him better. Yes.
  15. Anonymous Member

  16. disturber Member

  17. Anonymous Member
    Comments (604)
    Louisa Hodkin: "I am really glad that we are finally treated equally"
    A woman who wants to marry in a Church of Scientology chapel has won her Supreme Court challenge.
    Five Supreme Court judges ruled the church was a "place of meeting for religious worship".
    Louisa Hodkin launched legal action after officials refused to register a Church of Scientology chapel in central London as a place for marriage.
    This was due to a 1970 High Court ruling which said Scientology services were not "acts of worship".
    Evolution of beliefs
    In their unanimous decision, the Supreme Court justices said that the 1970 ruling's definition of religious worship as involving "reverence or veneration of God or of a supreme being" was out of date.

    Lord Toulson: "The church at Queen Victoria Street meets the statutory requirements"
    "Religion should not be confined to religions which recognise a supreme deity," wrote Lord Toulson, giving the judgment.
    Continue reading the main story
    “Start Quote

    We are really excited that we can now get married”
    Louisa Hodkin
    "To do so would be a form of religious discrimination unacceptable in today's society," he wrote, noting that the criteria would exclude Buddhism, among other faiths.
    The court said it was not the job of the Registrar General of Births, Marriages and Deaths to venture into "fine theological or liturgical niceties" and declared that the Scientology chapel should be recorded as a place for the solemnisation of marriages.
    Miss Hodkin says she and fiance Alessandro Calcioli hope to marry in the next few months but are yet to set a date.
    "It's been a long and demanding journey, but the Supreme Court's decision has made it all worthwhile. We are really excited that we can now get married, and thank our family and friends for all of their patience and support," she said.
    Mr Calcioli added: "I think the court's definition of religion is excellent. I think it's what most people today would understand 'religion' to be. I'm ecstatic."
    'Very concerned'
    Miss Hodkin's solicitor Paul Hewitt, a partner at law firm Withers, said the judgment was a "victory for the equal treatment of religions in the modern world".
    "We are delighted at the outcome - it always felt wrong that Louisa was denied the simple right, afforded to members of other religions, to enjoy a legal marriage ceremony in her own church," he said.
    The court heard that Miss Hodkin's brother, David, was married at the Church of Scientology in Edinburgh, a valid marriage under Scots law because the registrar general for Scotland authorises ministers of Scientology to perform marriages in Scotland.
    Miss Hodkin had argued that the 1970 ruling should not be binding because Scientologist beliefs and services had evolved and likened it to Buddhism and Jainism.
    Local government minister Brandon Lewis said he was "very concerned" about the ruling and its implications for business rates.
    He said Labour ministers had promised during the passing on the Equalities Bill before the 2010 General Election that Scientology would continue to fall outside the religious exemption for business rates - but now could be eligible for rate relief.
    "We will review the court's verdict and discuss this with our legal advisers before deciding the next steps. However, it will remain the case that premises which are not genuinely open to the public will not qualify for tax relief."
  18. Anonymous Member

  19. Anonymous Member

    • Like Like x 2
  20. Quentinanon Member

    "However, it will remain the case that premises which are not genuinely open to the public will not qualify for tax relief."

    Allowing cult marriages is one thing. Allowing tax exemption and rate relief falls under different criteria.
    • Like Like x 3
  21. I'm going to need British people to get gay-married


    at the Church of Scientology from now on, mkay?
  22. Anonymous Member

    Well that just ruined my fucking evening.
    • Like Like x 1
  23. Anonymous Member

    I suggest renaming the thread to mention the more important aspect of the story - that Scientology is now officially a religion in the UK.
  24. RolandRB Member

    It is, and the highest court in the land has said that it is so -- so we must accept it.

    It will cost less than two pence per year on average for every taxpayer in the country, so it doesn't matter.
  25. Anonymous Member

    Perhaps not, but it does give them an extra foothold in the country.
  26. The Internet Member

    Yeah sorry to burst your bubble, Britfags, but some religions are terrible. Here in the US, land of over 9,000 cults, a lot of us already figured this out.
    • Like Like x 1
  27. Anonymous Member

    Yeah, we know. It was just nice keeping them in their place.
    • Like Like x 3
  28. Anonymous Member

    • Like Like x 1
  29. The Internet Member

    The Scientologists will find some way to open some small corner of their building to the public, who will be made so uncomfortable that they generally won't want to go there. And yet it will be technically "open to the public." Because that is how those fuckers roll.
    • Like Like x 6
  30. RolandRB Member

    They are already "open to the public" in that regard.
    • Like Like x 2
  31. Anonymous Member

    Jerry Coyne has posted quite interesting material on his blog about this topic:

    British Supreme Court rules that Scientology is a religion

    I have mixed feelings about this one.

    Following a five-year battle in lower courts, the British Supreme Court has ruled that Scientology is a religion. It started when an English dupe woman, Louisa Hodkin, wanted to get married in the Scientology chapel in London. This was disallowed, for British law defines religion as involving worship of a supreme being. Now we all know that Xenu was Master of the Universe, but you don’t get to worship him—or even know about him until you’ve sunk several hundred thou in the organization and become privy to its innermost secrets.

    So what is the new definition of “religion” in British law? The President of the Supreme Court (the equivalent of the U.S. Chief Justice) announced the opinion:

    “Unless there is some compelling contextual reason for holding otherwise, religion should not be confined to religions which recognise a supreme deity,” said Lord Toulson, delivering the lead judgment.

    “First and foremost, to do so would be a form of religious discrimination unacceptable in today’s society.”

    . . . He concluded that religion could be defined more accurately as a “spiritual or non-secular belief system” which “claims to explain mankind’s place in the universe and relationship with the infinite” and give people guidance on life.

    “Such a belief system may or may not involve belief in a supreme being, but it does involve a belief that there is more to be understood about mankind’s nature and relationship to the universe than can be gained from the senses or from science,” he said.

    This is a slippery definition, as are all definitions of religion. In essense, it argues that religions are simply “other ways of knowing”! (The “spiritual” and “relationship” with the infinite” part could simply constitute some kind of awe and wonder.) According to some opponents of scientism, that could include the arts and literature, which, they claim, are not subject to scientific analysis and can tell us about our relationship to the universe. And religions could also include pantheism, belief in paranormal phenomena like ESP and telekinesis, and so on, not to mention worship of Satan, which may soon get its own monument at Oklahoma’s state capitol, right next to the Ten Commandments.

    Of course the British government is worried about this not because of the philosophical question of what constitutes a religion. No, they’re worried about it because Scientology can now share the tax breaks that other UK churches get:

    Brandon Lewis, the local government minister, said: “I am very concerned about this ruling, and its implications for business rates.

    “In the face of concerns raised by Conservatives in Opposition, Labour Ministers told Parliament during the passage of the Equalities Bill that Scientology would continue to fall outside the religious exemption for business rates.

    “But we now discover Scientology may be eligible for rate relief and that the taxpayer will have to pick up the bill, all thanks to Harriet Harman and Labour’s flawed laws.”

    “Hard-pressed taxpayers will wonder why Scientology premises should now be given tax cuts when local firms have to pay their fair share.”

    Much more at the link and a comment thread that is worth watching:

    • Like Like x 1
  32. wolfbane Member

    Attention studentfags with good library access - looks like this this needs gotten. I tried via my county library card, but as a yankfag in bumfck nowhere US they didn't carry this UK publication in their online journals that are available for web access.

    Scientology's winning streak
    (Respond to this article at
    Anthropology Today
    Volume 30, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages: 3–4, Jonathan Benthall
    Published Online : 28 JAN 2014 09:23AM EST, DOI : 10.1111/1467-8322.12082

    Abstract: In this editorial the author considers the effect of recent legal judgments enabling Scientology weddings in England.

    The author Jonathan Benthall does NOT appear to be your usual cult apologist type. Which is not saying he isn't one, but if he is - he doesn't seem to be cut from the same cloth as the ones we know better.


    His commercial books vary too:

    Other published papers:

    And a few interviews (that I haven't watched yet but the second one looks relevant to our interests):

    Bio info for above video:
    • Like Like x 1
  33. Sekee Member

    I like this.

    • Like Like x 6
  34. RolandRB Member

    What is odd to me about this is that the clams have not yet tried to register their premises (any or all of it) as a place of worship and thereby get total property tax exemption. I checked with my MP on this.
    • Like Like x 1
  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    Lord Toulson: Former UK Supreme Court judge with a deep and nuanced understanding of English common law | The Independent

    The defender of free expression recognised Scientology as a religion and opposed assisted dying


    Roger Toulson was a British lawyer who eventually became one of the country’s most senior judges, ruling in key cases relating to Scientology and freedom of expression. 2013 he judged that Scientology was a religion and could conduct marriages.

    Roger Grenfell Toulson, judge: born 23 September 1946; died during a heart operation 27 June 2017 .

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