Feb 12, 2018

Scientology bosses to copyright key phrases

Colin Coyle
The Sunday Times
February 11 2018

The Church of Scientology in Ireland wants to register 15 trademarks for phrases such as “the bridge to total freedom”, which critics believe is further evidence of a planned expansion.

Members of the church have previously said they use trademarks and copyright laws to protect their reputation and prevent parodies or the subversion of their message.

Last week the Irish Patents Office received applications to register trademarks from the Religious Technology Center in Los Angeles, the organisation’s headquarters. The application states the trademarks, which include abbreviations such as HCO (Hubbard communications office) and NED (new era dianetics), are to safeguard the use of these expressions in books, flyers, websites and training courses.

Other phrases for which they want protection include “solo auditor”, “personal efficiency course” and “Scientology life improvement course”. Several relate to various stages on “the bridge to total freedom” — a term used by adherents to describe advancement in the religion.

Anyone who believes the trademarks infringe their own copyright has three months to oppose the applications.

Pete Griffiths of Ex-Scientologists Ireland, a group of former members, said the scientologists used trademarks and copyright to prevent critics from subverting their scripture. Griffiths believes the church plans to gain acceptance in Irish society. “According to the last census, there were 87 scientologists in Ireland, hardly warranting their massive investment, unless there is some other underlying motive,” he said.

Representatives for the Church of Scientology did not respond to queries.


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