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Scientology Literature Declared Extremist in Russia

Scientology Literature Declared Extremist in Russia

Some Scientology literature, including books and pamphlets, has been declared “extremist” and banned in Russia, according to the Moscow Times.

The views promoted by the religion of Scientology, founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952, have been found to include the “call for extremist activities” and “humiliating characteristics.” Local prosecutors in Moscow requested that the Scientology literature be examined again after a string of court cases, including one in Siberia, protected the material from being banned.

Timeslive.com reports that “scientology officials said they would protest the latest court decision.” The Scientology spokesperson for Russia claims that there are “tens of thousands” scientology devotees in the country.

Scientology is described as “a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being.” There are reportedly 10 million Scientology followers worldwide.

Hubbard’s book “What is Scientology?” along with several other books related to the subject, is now on the Justice Ministry’s federal list of extremist materials. The list also includes literature on Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, and Islam.

America has seen its fair share of books banned from school and public libraries, although the First Amendment protects most materials from being banned nationally. Seeing Russia’s long list of extremist materials (896 items) reminded me of how lucky we are to live in a country that protects free speech.

Still, every year new petitions to ban books in America arise in all parts of the country. How do you feel about this issue? Are there some materials that should be banned because of violent, sexual, or other content?

Photo Credit: Image: Surachai/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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52 comments

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12:01AM PST on Nov 30, 2011

I agree with Adam G.

3:27PM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

"The local Government office had to call the police, who came and showed the scientologists the door for disturbing the peace! Oh I just love the 90s!"

That last sentence was cut off from my post.

3:25PM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

There's always a first. In this case I'm with Russia. Scientology is an abomination. They trap insecure people into a spiral of "education and self securing classes" and this usually ends with bankruptcy or suicide. People borrow money, steal, cheat, do anything to get to the promised enlightenment in the scientology cult. And any time there's a risk one of their books end up in public view they take on drastic measures to cut people off. It happened in Sweden in the 90s. A person sent several copies to courts, local Government and the Parlament. The law in Sweden says that anyhting not deemed secret is to be public. Meaning that if a court doesn't clarify that a certain document should be classified, it's open for the public to read it. That's what happened. A court decided that the scientology "bible" were a public document and anyone was free to read it. Guess what happened then? The scientology cult in several cities around the country made sure to be at the location early in the morning, long before opening hours, just to get in, ask for the book and then sit around all day and pass it from hand to hand. My friends and I stopped them by going there even earlier and push ourselved through the door when the office opened and then ask for the book. We then had a glorious day, sitting around and reading that crap and laughing, while the scientology cult members tried to forcibly take it away from us. The local Government office had to call the police, who came and showed the

4:00AM PDT on Jul 28, 2011

Noted with mixed feelings.

6:03AM PDT on Jul 8, 2011

I don't see a problem with scientology books... as long as they are in the correct section of a library/bookstore, the science FICTION section.

10:11PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

Good on Russia! The world can take an example on your realistic view on religion/sects!

2:36PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

'religion' is proof that there's a sucker born every minute and critical thinking skills are woefully underdeveloped and undervalued with the masses

aren't all religions cults of sorts?

2:21PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

I guess someone in Russia thinks "third time is a charm"--having failed twice before to ban Scientology books for any longer than a month or two!

Each time this happens, Russian courts strike down whatever obsessed goon it is that doesn't seem to learn from failure.

The Russian people are tired of a large, central government dictating their movements, tastws and literature.

2:05PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

Thanks to all this publicity Scientology will flourish and prosper even more in Russia! Go team!

12:12PM PDT on Jul 5, 2011

It is interesting that Russian censors agree with me that Scientology is extreme. I wouldn't ban it, but it's out there.

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