Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scientology and media, free speech issues on the horizon

Time magazine reports in a brief that Nancy Cartwright, the voice actress who plays Bart Simpson, has donated $10 million to the Church of Scientology, which has named Cartwright its "patron laureate." While the COS reaches out to the famous through its Celebrity Centre program, it also has been accused of repressing free speech by suing those who malign it, an issue that came to a head with a South Park epidode, in which a satirical view of COS teachings was presented. See coverage of the controversy, which resulted in Isaac Hayes, himself a practitioner, leaving the show.

Early this year, a group known as anonymous, began posting YouTube videos promising to fight the church over issues of restricting free expression by members and others.

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