Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Watch what you say about the Scientologists, Stupid!

It's reported in The Times today that Cllr John Dixon, a Lib Dem councillor on Cardiff City Council, is under investigation after a critical message on Twitter about Scientologists.
He Tweeted:

"I didn't know the Scientologists had a church on Tottenham Court Road. Just hurried past in case the stupid rubs off."

Scientology complained to the Ombudsman for Public Services in Wales, who found there was a case to answer under the code of conduct for councillors and has passed the matter on to Cardiff City Council's standards and ethics committee.

Frankly, I think scientology escaped lightly. He could have said a lot worse, and once again, they have done nothing but draw attention to their failings by complaining about his Tweet. Cllr Dixon has 194 followers (a much higher figure I suspect than when he first Tweeted about them!), but now thousands of people have been told how 'stupid' they are.

But this worries me - as well as my day job working with different religious and spiritual organisations, I'm also a local Councillor. Occasionally I'm called upon for comment by the media and in the past I have both critiqued Scientology and stood up for it in one particular circumstance. Where would I stand under this kind of nonsense? I trust the Standards Committee will see sense and drop this.

Meanwhile, I like the comment by my colleague David Barrett, New Religious Movements expert and author..."I think I'd like to see a law that all religions have to laugh at themselves..."

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