Scientology Banned From Wikipedia

by Irma Arkus

The Church of Scientology has stepped on too many toes, as it has officially been banned from contributing in any fashion to Wikipedia entries. While Wikipedia previously banned individuals from promoting their own agenda by re-editing the entries on Wikipedia, this is the first time that a high-profile organisation has been banned from doing so.

Today, the Arbitration Committee has blocked all IPs associated with the Church of Scientology.

The surprise move should actually not be such a surprise, as according to The Register article: “multiple editors have been “openly editing [Scientology-related articles] from Church of Scientology equipment and apparently coordinating their activities.” Leaning on the famed WikiScanner, countless news stories have discussed the editing of Scientology articles from Scientology IPs, and some site admins are concerned this is ‘damaging Wikipedia’s reputation for neutrality.'”

The main concern over the Church of Scientology contribution is the fact that “the [Church of Scientology] Office has organized massive efforts to remove Scientology-related materials and criticism from the web.”

This is not the only public relations crisis that the Church of Scientology is dealing with at the moment. The Church of Scientology could be dissolved in France, should the seven of its French leaders be convicted of organized fraud and illegal pharmaceutical activity.

The case in France may provide some illuminating information on how exactly the Church of Scientology gained so much power and money in a matter of decades, as the court case involves three plaintiffs who describe their astronomical expenditures for books, electrometers and “purification packages.” In one case, a plaintiff describes spending all her savings, and even taking out loans, in the sum of some $30,000 to purchase all that the church required of her. Upon changing her mind and deciding to leave the church, she requested a refund, and the church leadership refused her request.

Moreover, the issue that will be addressed in French court is not only the appetite for money, but also the willingness of the leadership to provide curatifs, mainly vitamins peddled at high costs to their followers. In this case, Church of Scientology acts as a “pharmacy.” [The Register, The Associated Press]