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?
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