Oy, Scientologists: Not in MY Backyard!

I sort of hate myself a little for this, but my previously passive anti-Scientology stance has suddenly become an active one after discovering that the Church of Scientology is setting up its UK headquarters in my backyard.

OK, not my actual backyard, it’s actually in a £4.25million Grade II listed building down the road, but the entire village is just 3 miles square and frankly, I don’t want them here. Or anywhere, to be fair. I’d rather they didn’t exist at all. And it does no-one any good to say “not in my backyard” when the obvious reply is “ok, whose backyard then?”, but it’s also nearly impossible not to care more about something harmful once its on your doorstep. And Moseley, home of Tolkien and inspiration for Hobbiton, is largely unspoilt by…well, anything, let alone those hideous jackets the cultists wear. Anonymous has already started a poster campaign but it’s clearly too late. And even if the campaign was successful, the Scientologists would simply set up elsewhere, and it would become what Douglas Adams called an SEP. Someone Else’s Problem. And I’m not happy with that conclusion either. No-one wins this one, except the ever-richer Cult of Scientology.

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  1. tkingdoll,

    You need to give yourself a bit of a break. It would be great if we could all fight all evil everywhere at all times, but we can’t.

    NIMBY is unattractive perhaps, but attacking someone, or one’s self, for it is akin to the logical fallacy Ad Hominem Tu Quoque. Just because NIMBY is unattractive doesn’t make your uneasiness wrong.

    In other words, it is bad to have Scientologists in your back yard. Of course it’s bad to have them in anyone’s back yard, but assuming you aren’t infinitely powerful, you can’t chase them out of everyone’s back yard, since you do all sorts of (presumably) productive things with your time. Fight the battles you can make the time to fight.

    If Kant gets his way and everyone fights them, there won’t be a backyard anywhere where they’ll be accepted.

    Perhaps that wasn’t as clean an argument as I meant for it to be, but keep strong and fight them.

  2. Additionally, and perhaps more to my original point, nuclear waste *has* to go somewhere, so a NIMBY strategy is, as you say, immoral. If it is the least harm to the most people to have that waste in your backyard, maybe you should suck it up and accept it.

    Scientologists, on the other had, are not nuclear waste — no one needs to put scientologists anywhere. Scientologists not having a home is a good thing. We could offer them a time share in Yucca Mountain, perhaps…

  3. Thanks, msd. I guess the difficulty is that if I helped in a massive campaign to stop them setting up in Moseley, they would go somewhere else, and I’d probably go back to to my regular passive stance. But I only have finite resources, same as anyone.

    Moseley is an interesting choice of location for them. It’s an extremely prestigious and affluent area, so this move smacks of an attempt to improve their image. It is odd, though, as Moseley is bordered on two sides by predominantly Muslim-areas. I can’t imagine there’s much fodder for recruitment there.

  4. What others have said! Its not being a NIMBY to fight something you don’t want anywhere but especially don’t want next door! And since we don’t have infinite energy, its OK to fight the closest evils first. Just be careful, since the Church is both powerful and wicked.

  5. A couple years back, a group called “Global Country for World Peace” associated with the Transcendental Meditation movement approached our city counsel to ask for use of a plot of publicly owned land to set up a Peace Palace.

    I practice a couple of forms of meditation myself, but even I can tell you that these guys are out to lunch.

    But my final position on the issue was that if they wanted to buy their own land, and build a Peace Palace, then that’s their business. Maybe not in my back yard, but I probably wouldn’t mind them next door as long as they kept their stereo down.

    I’m all for religious freedom, but by no means should the city donate public land to this, or any other religious group, especially given the half baked “scientific” research that they claimed to have. I have no idea what the counsel finally decided, but to my dismay, they were seriously considering it at the time.

  6. You could try and sneak in one day, though. See what they’re all up to… Get a merry gang of sceptics together, I live only 2 hours away in North Wales. I’ll bring my chums! Seriously, though… I thought it was silly before, but now I hate them because, apparently, they got Pete Doherty now. I thought he was better than that. Wake up, Pete!

  7. I didn’t realise you were a fellow Brummie – and a Moseleyite to boot! If there’s a campaign to oust these whackos, let me know asap and I’ll be right over.

  8. Of course, now they’re nice and close for any…say… less scrupulous… things you might have planned ;)

  9. Scientology sucks. I live in Hollywood. They have always been my neighbors. Everyday when I walk to the gym I watch them them try to sucker people in with their free personality tests and anti psychiatry crap and e-meter nonsense. The best thing you can do is tell anyone who will listen how incredibly wrong they are. Counter their crap with some good old fashion facts…and I find it fun to take their pamphlets and then flip them off. :) I wish you the best of luck.

  10. Elwood: Go Brummies!

    Amy, I think I will probably end up making and carrying a few pamphlets of my own. It’s a bit twee, but if it works for them it’ll work for me.

    That or balaclavas.

  11. Try writing to your local paper. If you simply point out some of the less salubrious facts about Scientology’s history, their modus operandi, and warn off potential victims as a ‘service to the community’, you are almost certain to get a nasty pro-sci response. If you are lucky it will spark a heated controversy, which will do a lot to educate everyone and the editors will love.

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