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Excessive length of the article due to detailed info on petty controversial or negatively characterising info
Basically, lots of info of little importance, just IMO to cast negative light or raise doubts on what Scientologiy is or what it did/does. Like, for example, what exact criticisms who exactly in what country voiced and what and where prostesters and opponents/critics wrote, actually protesting Scientology in the text of a Wiki article on it. Why not rewrite and trim that all to keep the language factual and coscise. I'm sorry, if there was an actual deal with any of that, but it mostly are petty grievances or displeasure voiced like 'you see, how strange this one thing seems, you know, that official post holder said that'. This all IMO says nothing on the subject and relevant only technically. Why in so much length? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuri Kozharov (talk • contribs) 11:43, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Intro paragraph should mention Scientology status, leave members' activities and Hubbard bio for later
I believe the following edit is justified
Scientology is a body of beliefs and practices created by American science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard (1911-86). Scientology now characterizes itself as a religion, however, the movement began as Dianetics, a pseudoscientific alternative to psychiatry. Dianetics proposes that ailments and personality flaws are the result of repressed negative memories which can be resolved through a counselling procedure known as auditing. When Hubbard lost rights to Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health in 1953, he created Scientology which extends the ideas of Dianetics to include traumatic memories from past lives and introduced an electronic device known as an E-meter to be used in auditing sessions. Scientologists progress through increasingly expensive rounds of auditing with the goal of self-improvement. Scientology is often considered to be a cult. In France, Hubbard was tried for fraud and convicted in absentia. In the 1970s, top-ranking members infiltrated and wiretapped the U.S. government and were convicted of espionage.The group's legal classification is often a point of contention. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, the church is granted tax-exempt religious status, but at least one (Germany) classifies Scientology as an "anti-constitutional sect" (verfassungsfeindliche Sekte). In France, Scientology is sometimes classified as a cult by public authorities.
In France, Hubbard was tried for fraud and convicted in absentia. In the 1970s, top-ranking members infiltrated and wiretapped the U.S. government and were convicted of espionage. In 1986, Hubbard died after years in hiding. David Miscavige emerged as leader of Church of Scientology, while many others practice Scientology independently.
Critics contend the church practices brainwashing and fraud against its members, and that it uses psychological abuse, character assassination, and vexatious litigation against its perceived enemies. The Church of Scientology has consistently used litigation against its critics, and its use of aggressive harassment has been condemned.
The group's legal classification is often a point of contention. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, the church is granted tax-exempt religious status, but at least one (Germany) classifies Scientology as an "anti-constitutional sect" (verfassungsfeindliche Sekte). In France, Scientology is sometimes classified as a cult by public authorities.
The point being, not to a provoke any argument about the status of Scientology itself, but to realize that this is an article about Scientology itself. Therefore, the status of Scientology and related controversy deserve mention early on, in the first paragraph, while details about the founder and the activities of Scientology members can be included later. --D'Andria (talk) 22:23, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Got it, D'Andria (talk·contribs), and I have no quarrel with the factual issues of Scientology. The problems with this text are several in number -- and I recognize that you are moving it, not creating it new:
Hubbard is not Scientology. Whatever legal problems Hubbard had are not relevant to this page. Rather, they belong on the Hubbard page.
The page name is "Scientology," and Scientology as a subject has no cash, no lawyers, no taxes, and no court cases. It is a passive thing like Astrology, Biology, and any other subject. But the legal status being discussed in this text is the legal status of the Church of Scientology, for which Wiki has a separate page. The facts about the tax status of the Church belong on the Church page and not here.
No religion or church in the United States gets a license from the government. None. There is a non-profit status with the IRS, and that is all. I could get a non-profit tax exemption for an organization to clean the streets or to put feral cats in a gas chamber. That status does not create a religion. The US government, the courts, and all of the agencies are forbidden by the Constitution to make any decisions on religion. That is discussed in the Appeals Court of about 1970 with Scientology and the E-meter -- no government agency or jury could decide whether it was a religion because then they would end up deciding whether it was a TRUE religion, and that would get messy -- like the English Reformation and Civil War, with Protestants deciding whether Catholicism was a true religion and vice versa.
The Hubbard court case and the IRS decision regarding the non-profit status of the Church of Scientology -- all these things are inappropriate to this page -- and downright misleading, too. Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 23:08, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
What point of view your are trying to defend with those edits? That Scientology is a religion? Will you then proceed to add that it is a cult and people need to be forcefully (on voluntary basis, of course) 'deprogrammed' from 'mind control' or put into psychiatric hospitals? For in Russia for example mainstream psychiatrists issue statements to that effect and IMO this is going overboard. Scientoloy self-identifies itself as religion and holds a number of beliefs (texts, lectures) and practices (activities), why it is so important to so many to be casting doubts if this all qualifies as characteristics of a modern religion? What do you think should be done to Scientologists? In America tax evasion is a serious crime, are you smearing Scientology suggesting their status helps evade taxes and that they are the business? This is what counter-cultists and deprogrammers are saying, they are all untrustworthy people spreading quasi-scientific ideas themselves. Here you pick on a a technicality and try to raise these matters, these are decades-old arguments. People are not authorities to say what faith is true and what is not, this amounts to incitement to hatemongering and you cleverly avoid being named responsible of that. Well, Scientology could sue, I guess, its so that you could bark out of what you say in courts. Shameful. Just bit by bit, here and there, making the article worse and worse, trying not to cross the line and write clearly libelous stuff, but just continuins to suggest and quote and refer and all of that is really not much relevant or of any substance.Yuri Kozharov (talk) 15:22, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
I am not defending a POV. Tax status does not indicate religion, and religion does not imply tax status. It is improper to equate the two in this article. The US is forbidden by the US Constitution (First Amendment) to make any official rulings about religion. Churches are not required to apply for 501(c)(3) status, and they are still religions. Religion in US law is much older than IRS law. Any serious legal analysis of the subject should help you on this point. Those who understand these matters can easily see the ignorance of those who equate tax status with religion. Other countries have different rules, but the US was very careful to avoid government certification or licensing of religions. Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 19:01, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
How about we make the move now but change some of writing "Scientology's status as a religion is often a point of contention. In some jurisdictions, such as the United States, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain, The Church of Scientology is granted tax-exempt status, but at least one (Germany) classifies the church as an "anti-constitutional sect" (verfassungsfeindliche Sekte). In France, Scientology is sometimes classified as a cult by public authorities." Further changes can occur later. --D'Andria (talk) 00:02, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
Very nice -- with one objection. This paragraph is about Scientology as a religion. The clause about tax status is irrelevant so should be omitted. My reasons? If you put it here, it implicitly equates the tax status with the religious status, which is true of some countries but not the US. The statements in this paragraph should be about countries where governments recognize and/or license religions. Tax status is simply another subject. Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk)
Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health was published in May 1950. But our text says, "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health entered the New York Times best-seller list on June 18, 1949 and stayed there until December 24 of that year." OK, so now to reconcile with RS 51. And I can't find mention of the book in the RS. Is this a problem of (1) not true? (2) not an RS? (3) not a proper record of the RS? Let's fix it. Grammar'sLittleHelper (talk) 22:30, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
Within the "Church of Scientology"-section, the same source (Melton 2000, p.17) is cited twice for the same claim (The "The following year, he formed the ship-based Sea Organization or Sea Org which operated three ships: the Diana, the Athena, and the flagship the Apollo."-claim). Also, within the "Splinter groups: Independent Scientology, Freezone, and Miscavige's RTC"-section, the same source (Nordhausen & Billerbeck (2008), pp. 469-470) is cited twice for the same claim (The "The Advanced Ability Center was established by Hubbard's personal auditor David Mayo after February 1983 – a time when most of Scientology's upper and middle management split with Miscavige's organization"-claim). Also, "Within the "Allegations of coerced abortions"-section, two different sources are each cited twice for the same claim: The claim is "Former Sea Org member Karen Pressley recounted that she was often asked by fellow Scientologists for loans so that they could get an abortion and remain in the Sea Org." and the sources are (www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22613285/print/1/displaymode/1098/) and (Morton, Andrew (2008). Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography. St. Martin's Press. p. 130. ISBN 0-312-35986-1.) Shouldn't the redundant citations be removed?