Jonny Jacobsen: Why the Moscow ban on Scientology may be built on shaky foundations - 2015-11-29
Our man in Europe, Jonny Jacobsen, finally found some time in his busy schedule covering the Scientology prosecution in Belgium to give us his thoughts about the other big story this week — the Moscow court's decision to ban the church. Like us, Jonny has his concerns about the way Russia goes about its opposition to Hubbardism.
I reported briefly last week on the decision by a Moscow court to order the shutdown of Scientology's Church there. When Tony tipped me off to the story, I was on the way back to Brussels to continue my coverage of the Belgian trial, so I did not have the time to offer any analysis. Here then are a few thoughts now on why I think the Moscow ruling is no cause for celebration.
As I explained here on Monday, the justice ministry argued successfully in court that Scientology should be shut down for repeated "gross and repeated violations" of Russian federal laws. The simple fact that Scientology copyrighted its own name and trademarked its symbols meant it was not a religion, Ria Novosti news agency reported. The court seems to have agreed.