He has published research on Scientology, the Children of God/The Family, fundamentalist Mormon polygamy, and other new and alternative religions operating in Canada, the United States, and around the world.
FBLA: What are your thoughts on the news that Wikipedia has banned Scientologists from editing their page on its site?
SK: My understanding is that the ban is not a blanket prohibition against all Scientologists, but instead bans edits coming from one IP address that goes to a particular Scientology building. People wanting to edit articles must register, which allows the Wiki editors to monitor their submissions and potentially ban them if their comments consistently prove to be disruptive.
Scientology must continue to remove critical material about it from the Internet, so this issue will continue.
FBLA: Why do they need to remove all critical material?
SK: Scientologists consider critical material about the organization to be what they call ‘entheta,’ and the organization’s policy is to remove entheta from the environment. The issue for Scientologists is not accuracy but rather negativity, and the group works tirelessly on its public relations presentation. The organization has fought a losing battle to keep ‘entheta’ off of the Internet. Undoubtedly that material kills interest on the part of many who otherwise might have explored the beliefs and practices. It also has helped some members read critical information and defect.
Interesting stuff. Who thinks Dr. Kent should dress up as Craig Newmark for Halloween?