The “Church” of Scientology has called upon the Australian Government to censor the internet and media locally in direct response to protests from Anonymous.
In a long, rambling submission made to the Australian Human Rights Commission made earlier this year, the Church dedicates two and half pages of its six page submission to attacking Anonymous, calling Anonymous among other things “a hate group” of “cyberterrorists” that is engaged in a “malicious campaign of hate” that is “an anathema to democracy.”
The submission plays the we do nothing wrong card, stating:
In Australia Anonymous have mounted a sustained campaign of misinformation against the Church. As we are a minority religion with the vast majority of the population unaware of our true beliefs and humanitarian programs, their campaign has no justifiable purpose and violates the Church of Scientology’s and parishioners rights to human dignity and religious freedom under the Constitution.
Whether you’re sympathetic to the cause of Anonymous or not, what comes next in the submission is truly disturbing: Scientolgy wants the Internet and media in Australia censored to prevent any negative stories being told about the church, and more, including:
– Banning the use of domain name registration anonymity tools such as WhoisGuard by sites who talk about the church
– The introduction of criminal sanctions for “vilification of religion,” including jail time for “serious religious vilification.”
– The prohibition of concealing ones indenty with a mask by “people engaged in campaigns of harassment and vilification against religions” (which they specifically mean Guy Fawkes masks.)
The section on the media is staggering in what it asks: “Restriction on Religious Misinformation and Misrepresentation known or reasonably known to be untruthful, in the Media.” The section specifically names Australian Current Affairs Show “Today Tonight”
It is recommended that a law be enacted to prevent the dissemination of antireligious propaganda in the media, which is based on unfounded hearsay and either known or reasonably known to be untruthful. Such dissemination shall be the subject of a civil penalty provision in favour of the defamed Church, and/or its individual parishioners if they are individually named or otherwise identified.
Scientology doesn’t stop at censorship though, and finishes off by calling for a Bill of Rights in the Australian Constitution which prevents the Federal Government “from making any law, which ‘directly, indirectly or incidentally’ prohibits the free exercise of religion to the extent of such prohibition.
The full submission as follows, and details on the next round of anti-Scientology protests are listed on www.whyweprotest.net
(spotted on Slashdot)