Russian courts don’t like Scientology. From The Moscow Times:
Works by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard will be added to the country’s list of extremist literature for “undermining the traditional spiritual values of the citizens of the Russian Federation,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said Wednesday.
Individuals in possession of extremist materials can be jailed for up to 15 days or fined 3,000 rubles ($100). The law also allows for harsher punishment of suspects convicted of other crimes.
Among the works to be banned from distribution in Russia are “The Factors, Admiration & the Renaissance of Beingness” (Lectures 1-18) and “The Unification Congress. Communication! Freedom and Ability” (Lectures 1-16), the statement said.
It was not immediately clear which additional titles were included or when they would officially be added to the list, a process that has taken months in the past.
According to the research requested by prosecutors, the seized works contained “ideas justifying violence in general and in particular any means of opposing critics of Scientology,” the statement said. “The works have clear as well as hidden calls for social and religious hatred” and call for hindering the work of the state.
This is censorship, and I believe the Russian courts are in the wrong.
Individual Scientologists have done bad things. The cult of Scientology has systematically done things that I don’t agree with. And in instances in which individual Scientologists or representatives of Scientology have broken the law, they should be prosecuted. But Scientologists should have a right to publish their ideas, people should have a right to read them, and in turn we should have the right to mock those ideas into the dirt. For a government to refuse to allow the dissemination of ideas in the first place…I can’t get behind that.