Defending free speech

Free speech is one of the most basic human rights. Defending it often
comes with a cost. Those brave enough to defend our right to speak out
despite personal loss deserves our admiration.

Some people claim their beliefs are such that it should not be countered,
criticized or ridiculed. And a few are so convinced they hold the key to truth
that they reserve the right to bully, crush or kill anyone daring to
challenge their beliefs.

Like Scientology. Ingrained in the subject is the belief that Scientology
holds the Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth. And so
Scientologists are encouraged to bully and crush all opposition. Tender as
they are, they cannot stand having their beliefs countered.

Before the Internet, the Church of Scientology was able to target its
resources to hunt down and remove any critics. After 1995, the scene
started to change. With champions of free speech such as Andreas
Heldal-Lund (of and scores of others on the old newsgroup ARS,
Scientology was countered, criticized and ridiculed. The church tried to
battle the waves of criticism coming from this new frontier, but to no
avail. The founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, never predicted the
Internet and so he never devised any policies or plan to handle such a
massive arena for free speech.


In recent years, Scientology has been made to grow up through waves of
free speech champions on the Net. Anonymous did a splendid job of grinding
down any effective opposition to free speech left in the marrow of

Whereas before it was dangerous to speak out against Scientology, today
you can freely speak. You can counter it with scientific arguments, your
own subjective hunches, satire or obscene ridicule.

No beliefs – political, religious or otherwise – should have any special
defence against criticism. No people of any belief should be able to pose
special restrictions on the free speech of others.

Free speech is a two-way street. We should reserve our right to be openly

Today very few would support any special rights for Scientologists not to
be the target of satire.

How come the same can not be said of all religions or political views? Why are we so
sensitive to criticism against Judaism, democracy, Islam or the US?

I believe we should massively criticize all beliefs to the point where
those holding the beliefs defend them sensibly using free speech instead
of unfair play or violence.

I vote for more satire, not less.

Thanks Andreas. Thanks Anonymous. You have shown effective means.

Vietnam and the brewing storm of free speech

Recently I had the pleasure to meet with the leader of the main opposition party in Vietnam, Mr. Do Diem of the Viet Tan. He gave a talk to a small Vietnamese group living in Norway, and with the help of an inspiring person, Lap Huynh, I was invited to the event.


Through reading up on the country of Vietnam and with the help of Lap and Mr. Do, I can share some of the similarities I can see with a subject well known to most of my readers; The Church of Scientology.

Mike Rinder has compared the Church of Scientology (CoS) to North Korea. While the two can certainly be compared, the CoS compares much better to Vietnam. Here is why:

  • Both the CoS and Vietnam looks nice on the outside. The CoS looks posh, has Tom Cruise, John Travolta, glamorous buildings and nice, welcoming people. Vietnam is a wonderful tourist destination with gorgeous nature, great healthy food and nice welcoming people.
  • Both have a One Party Rule without tolerance for dissidents or free speech.
  • Both have severe punishments for those who dare stepping out of line.
  • Disconnection from people with opposing views is rampant in both.
  • Both have a growing insurgence and the people in power tries desperately to squash dissidents with similar tactics.
  • Both are heading for a free speech revolution where the ruling powers will face a meltdown.

Looking good on the outside, rotten on the inside and heading for a revolution.

The question for both is not whether it will be a revolution, but whether it will be violent.

I strongly support free speech and I will lend my support to the opposition in Vietnam.