Sunday, 14 December 2008

Neil Gaiman on Freedom of Speech

From the blog of Neil Gaiman, British writer of fantasy and comics, comes this impassioned response concerning the need to defend freedom of any and all speech, even speech you vehemently disagree with:

http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html

As a Brit living in the US he's acutely aware of the differences in legislation between the two countries:
I loved coming to the US in 1992, mostly because I loved the idea that freedom of speech was paramount. I still do. With all its faults, the US has Freedom of Speech. You can't be arrested for saying things the government doesn't like. You can say what you like, write what you like, and know that the remedy to someone saying or writing or showing something that offends you is not to read it, or to speak out against it. I loved that I could read and make my own mind up about something. (It's worth noting that the UK, for example, has no such law, and that even the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that interference with free speech was "necessary in a democratic society" in order to guarantee the rights of others "to protection from gratuitous insults to their religious feelings.")

13 comments:

  1. Neil Gaiman defending free speech? Are you kidding me? Neil Gaiman is a major Scientologist, he is a member of a pseudo, para-military organization that has proved itself to be the enemy of free speech.

    Scientology uses mind-control techniques such as lie-detectors, interrogation, blackmail and “disconnection” (shunning of loved ones) to control its members. Scientology strips people of money and autonomy. Ruthlessly attacking all perceived enemies with its Fair Game Policy (enemies can be "tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.), Scientology intimidates witnesses and especially critics into silence. Scientology is psychologically and physically abusive, as exemplified by their Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) where Prison camps are run for "Sea Org" members in Los Angeles, Clearwater FL, Copenhagen and other sites.

    Neil Gaiman was a class VIII auditor, Executive Director of Birmingham Org and Case Supervisor at the Guardian Office, Scientology's Intelligence Bureau. In 1983 he was declared suppressive, but in 1988, FIVE YEARS AFTER THE DECLARE, he appears in graduate lists in The Auditor Worldwide, completing three courses. The USA Gaiman family were awarded "Founding Patron" and "Patron" of Scientology awards for 2004 & 2006. According to ex-scientologist Jon Attack, “Patrons (are) the highest ranking membership - of the International Association of Scientologists.” They give the most money and the Gaiman's are right up there with the other celebrities.

    Neil Gaiman is a financial supporter of a dangerous cult that routinely attacks people for speaking out. It is deeply ironic that Neil promotes himself as a defender of free speech when he supports a cult that silences its detractors by intimidation and frivolous litigation.

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  2. I did not know that. Do you have references to support what you say?

    "It is deeply ironic that Neil promotes himself as a defender of free speech when he supports a cult that silences its detractors by intimidation and frivolous litigation."

    I would be interested to see evidence of that support, as the passage I quoted appears to be at odds with what you're telling me.

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  3. Neil Gaiman is a Scientologist and he funds Scientology. The Gaiman family are founding US "Patrons" of Scientology for 2004 & 2006 (go to Scientology Completions to see "The Gaiman Family USA listed). According to ex scientologist Jon Attack, Patrons (are) the highest ranking membership - of the International Association of Scientologists. Founding Patrons (those who became Patrons by the IAS 20th Anniversary (October/November 2004) have donated US $40,000. Patrons with Honor have donated US $100,000. Go to http://www.truthaboutscientology.com/ and search for Gaiman to find The Gaiman Family USA listed as Patrons. Gaiman donates BIG money to Scieno.

    Neil Gaiman grew up in the CULT and rose to a high rank, OT V and a class VIII auditor and was even the Executive Director of Birmingham Org. His father David Gaiman ran the Guardian office and Neil was also a Case Supervisor at the Guardian Office when Operation Snowwhite was being hatched and journalist Paulette Cooper was being harassed).

    In 1983 Neil Gaiman was briefly declared suppressive after the Guardian office was taken over by David Miscaviage and the RTC in 1981 , but in 1988, FIVE YEARS AFTER THE DECLARE, he appears in graduate lists in The Auditor Worldwide, completing 3 courses. Neil’s name appears in graduate lists in The Auditor Worldwide (published by AOSH UK) as Auditor #202 (copyright 1986). Neil is listed as completing three courses: the Hubbard Senior Sec Checker Course #222 (1988), the 21 Dept Org Board Course #227 (1988) and the Hubbard Basic Art Course.

    Neil Gaiman's family members are heavy-weight Scientologists; father David Gaiman who just died on March 7th, 2009 was head of the Guardian Office and was a co-conspirator in Operation Snow White. He was active in recruiting in Russia. Neil's sister Claire Edwards is a high-ranking executive in Scientology Missions International (recruiting end of Scientology), wife Mary Gaiman is listed as "clear" in 2002, Mother Sheila Gaiman has her own Scientology site and is also active in converting the Russians. Other sister Lizzie Calcione “runs a Scientology practice in East Grinstead , that is a mixture of auditing and WISE delivery.”

    This is an important point because Scientologists must be in good standing or they are disconnected or shunned by family members, so Neil's close association with family members is evidence he is in good standing with Scientology.

    Contrary to popular belief, Scientologists usually hide their status as cult members until they are outed by the press. The reporter from The Star who took the rap for outing Cruise was attacked by Scientology in retaliation in accordance with Scientology’s “Fair Game Policy,” (enemies can be "tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.), If association with Scientology cuts into profit, the Scientologists will keep it quiet. Just check Tom Cruise’s “completions.” He is an OT8 and an Auditor, but no completions are listed, they are hidden.

    Neil Gaiman always says he is "Jewish" and never denies being involved in the cult directly, because he is VERY involved. Scientology does not ask members to give up their religions, since Scientology is only concerned with money and allows members to "keep" their religions, so Neil saying he is "Jewish" is a spurious argument.

    The Scientology blogs often discuss Neil taking services" at FLAG in Florida and he has been seen on the Freewinds, where Scientologists take their advanced courses.

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  4. I'm grateful for the additional information, though I'm unable to verify it. Although "Gaiman Family" appears at truthaboutscientology.com, the referenced entries don't mention Neil. Searching for "Neil Gaiman" on that site lists him against a reference number (6909), but the link leads to an error message.

    It's plausible that Neil was brought up within Scientology (just as I was brought within Anglicanism) and that he rejected Scientology at some point, as you suggest. It also seems likely that he doesn't make a big deal of this in order to maintain relations with those members of his family who remain within Scientology.

    None of this is relevant, however, as Neil Gaiman's published and public statements (such as that referenced in my blog-post) show no signs of adherence to the doctrine of any religion or cult, nor of any proselytising. I prefer to judge him by his actions rather than by hearsay.

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  5. I'll give you some actions to judge Neil Gaiman by... Neil Gaiman is a liar. He pretended he was happily married for years when he separated five years ago and finally divorced. He lied to sell kiddie books.

    He pretends to be a family man, he's not... he had a girlfriend in Hollywood he strung along for 15 years. I know the woman, who was very devoted to the idiot despite best efforts to dissuade her.

    Unfortunately for her, she believed his lies and didn't even know he was in the cult until she found out by accident. In the end, Gaiman's crazy cult sent her a Scientology letter accusing her of a series of "crimes."

    I've been in the film business for 20 years and Gaiman is a user. He is abusive and has had a string of women through out his marriage.

    He is arrogant, has gotten all his opportunities through the cult and has no regard for other people. He is the worst kind of coward and is definitely a Scientologist... he often stays in Florida to get services at Flag.

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  6. I really don't believe his works would be possible if he followed scientology. Personally, I say let the man speak for himself rather than rumour and hearsay. His actions, and life are rather publicly displayed on his blog, he doesn't talk about faith, he does talk about family. A persons personal life is personal, do you have any Idea how many peoples marrages disolve now adays, so what if he has lovers, far as I can tell he is a good father regardless.

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  7. Neil Gaiman sent his kids to be brainwashed at the Greenfields Scientology school... he let them sink into the abyss that is Scientology. He either believes the cult's crap or is a coward who is too afraid to make a stand. You are incredibly naive about Gaiman. He is a cynical Scientologist workaholic who funds a dangerous cult. Neil Gaiman spun a minor talent into a long and tedious marketing blitz. His stories are heartless and have no ethical compass. If you can't see the Scientology in Gaiman's stories, you are blind. They are allegories for Gaiman's involvement in the cult. Good parents ignore children while evil parents interrogate, spy and turn unsuspecting children into brainwashed zombies, stealing their souls and replacing their eyes with buttons. Or families are just murdered or spied on by invisible creatures. The ethical threads of Gaiman's stories are unnerving; stay at home where you are ignored and disregarded because the outside world is dangerous, a sentiment shared by all cults. Bruno Bettelheim in The Uses of Enchantment examined the concept that a fairytale can be scary as hell as long as it strengthens the child's ability to cope. Gaiman's stories are all about helplessness and disempowerment, giving up, hiding and following the status quo. The funny thing is that Gaiman patrols the web and writes most of these idiotic defenses of himself, a symptom of narcissism which he would be unfamiliar with due to the fact that Scientologists have a morbid hatred of psychiatry. His flunkies frantically remove the comments when possible in order to control the dialogue. Everything about Neil Gaiman is a shell game, nothing more than slight of hand and lies. He is a spineless, moderately talented hack who will disappear in time as his followers grow up and grow weary of his emptiness. There's still time, Gaiman, to stand up for something in your life other than funding a cult and shameless self promotion... oh I forgot, you believe in just about anything as long as it makes you money, you even made a T-Shirt that says as much.

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  8. Vitriolic invective is worthless without evidence. Statements that impugn someone's motives and integrity are likely to be justifiably ignored unless substantiated.

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  9. Paulj must be a scientologist patrolling the web trying to damage control Gaiman's career.... same goofy language and tactics. The scientologists guard all their members, fighting any criticism tooth and nail and wasting everyone's time. The facts are that Neil Gaiman's name is posted in the listings of the International Association of Scientologists, the hardcopies, easily downloaded from the web. Gaiman is a scientologist all right. If anyone is interested in the evidence go to http://forums.whyweprotest.net/15-media/dont-mess-russians-37205/5/

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  10. John,

    The forum you mention links to the same site referenced in one of Anonymous's comments above, and my response to that still stands.

    I don't understand your comment about "hardcopies" - downloading and printing out something from the web doesn't make it any more compelling. As for my being a Scientologist, there is absolutely zero evidence for that, and your groundless assertion undermines any vestige of credibility your comments might otherwise possess.

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  11. Gaiman is named as Patron of Honors and Founding Patron in the Scientologists own IMPACT MAGAZINE (issues 105,107,108,109 and 110 among others). IMPACT MAGAZINE is printed, bound and shipped out to all corners of the earth in HARDCOPY form. Are you purposely being stupid or do you regularly make it a habit of arguing rather than validating the source.... maybe you received the L.Ron Hubbard version of learning, to re-read a word over and over instead of actually looking at the evidence. Neil Gaiman is a Scientologist who funds the CULT.

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  12. I'm not the one making claims here. You claim that Neil Gaiman is an active Scientologist but the evidence cited so far (see my previous comments) refers only to his parents or to the "Gaiman Family". If there is an online version of Impact Magazine please link to it, or let us all know where a hardcopy version (one that specifically lists Neil Gaiman as an active, current member) can be easily viewed.

    I'm not saying that Neil Gaiman isn't a Scientologist, because I don't know. You're saying he is, so please show us the evidence to support your claims. Merely repeating unsubstantiated assertions is unconvincing.

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  13. I have seen the same copy and paste comments about Gaiman all over the net.

    Obviously there is a campaign against him.

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