Zeitgeist Magazine, for the story behind the news
Issue 25,
Volume 8,
12 November 301 AP

The Story behind the news.
Edition
Business
The trouble with Starlight's satellite
Economic figures: the world opens up!


Politics
Lasanne, all the latest polls
Governor Hope's uneasy deal


Law
It's Cryer's town, Pardner.


International Rovens: the census begins
"Blackland" to get independence


Sport
Moves in Team Savant
Football: The players' revolt?


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Jerman for "Spirit of the Age". In this case it is to mean the "spirit" of the Utanian people, the magazine reporting the people's thoughts behind the press-releases and reported news.

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©Zeitgeist Magazine, 301 AP.
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©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)
This here is Cryer's town, Pardner
Men arrested under religion law in Nystonia.

The Religious police law has brought low four foreigners, men who were escaping a similar law in Armatirion. It was controversial from the start, yet it has wide support amongst Utani, and is further proof that no matter what the politically correct say, Governor Cryer is going to run HIS state, HIS way.

The four men were the presenters, salesmen and suppliers for a series of "Aura camera" devices that are said to analyse the subject's aura for psychological, physical and spiritual problems. According to the Rector of St John the Apostle's Church in downtown Vela Luka, no one could possibly have taken these men seriously. What they were selling was "total rubbish".

Yet, after broadcasting at four in the morning on the state's Channel Four, advertising that "for just Û30" you would receive a book explaining the science behind the camera, and for Û260 you could have your own Aura read, Police rang the station and demanded the address of the promoters. By six in the morning, as the men slept in their beds, police burst into their four-room downtown apartment and arrested the drowsy and unshaven men, who had recorded the Channel Four broadcast several days beforehand.

The four men were charged with violating the False Religions and Cults law.

The four men are also citizens of Armatirion, but have residency in Utania. Indeed, they had only just arrived in Utania, from Armatirion, fleeing the Anti-religion law passed in that country almost twelve months ago.

While they faced arrest in Armatirion, in addition to ridicule as scientists debunked their "Aura Cameras", with Utania providing the most vocal opposition to that law, it would be IN Utania that the men would be arrested.

Police say they are also seeking several other people in connection with the broadcast.

Cryer's religious regulations
Governor Cryer's False Religions and Cults law was very unpopular from the very start. It was introduced a few short weeks after his strong win in the state elections in March, and immediately raised the ire of civil libertarian groups across the state.

It was passed in the middle of this year by the Cryer government, which consists of 23 Cruistian-Democrats, 11 Liberal Nationalists and five Democrats. The Democrat leadership vacillated about the law for weeks, and eventually decided to vote for it, only to have three of their five MPs vote against it. That SHOULD have brought the Bill to an end, the vote would have been 36-37, were it not for two Utani-Saedaj and one Peoples Party opposition MPs who supported the principles of the law and voted for it.

The law is unique to Nystonia state, and allows police to arrest those who "promote or supply religious materials about religions that have no long-term foundation, or that require substantial financial commitment for membership, or that distort the truths of foundation religions". It is described as a simple religious police law by civil libertarians, having vague and unspecific clauses.

"The law is simply designed to prevent minority religions from propogating in Nystonia state", says Diane Lalor of the Republican Civil Liberties League (RCLL). "It allows minority religions such as Mounism to exist, but not to promote themselves, while mainstream Cruistian religion is given free reign."

Ms Lalor tried to have the law struck down by the state's High Court, but they turned down the opportunity. She has since spoken to the federal government, but, like the Death Penalty, which the RCLL also opposes, the law has the tacit support numerous Utani MPs who support Governor Cryer's stand against "cults". With the government already clinging to power by a thread, it appears powerless to stop it.

State Supremo
"What is most troubling about this situation, about this law", claims opposition leader Montgomery Ashton, "is that it tells us that Governor Cryer is a law unto his own. No one who has the power to do so, such as the courts, has the guts to bring him into line."

Ashton points out that the High Court refused to strike down the law on the basis that they were no longer the arbiters of the constitution. It was a technicality, but it was enough for the judges to refuse to hear it. But, says Ashton, "every one of those Judges was appointed by Cryer himself, under the Justice reshuffle that came with independence."

"He runs this state", Ashton adds, "as though it is his own personal fiefdom."

(Several hundred judges, magistrates and other officials lost their positions when Utania gained independence if they had been appointed by the Tsarist regime or its officials. The state Governors were then required to appoint replacements, which Governor Cryer has used, it is asserted, to his own benefit.)

It certainly appears so. With the President's promise to bring down the Death Penalty law in tatters, any attempt to reverse this law would be futile. The courts are on his side, the people love the man, and the state is growing faster than any other in the country. Governor Cryer appeals unassailable.

And Montgomery Ashton has the scars to prove it, suffering a mauling at the March Governor's election. Yet, he is undeterred.

"I want to see this state return to the rule of law, not the rule of Cryer. And I will fight and fight and fight until we succeed."

Church disapproval?
So, why does the law have popular support? Prominent Vela Luka Psychiatrist, Dr Lars Keppell, says Cryer has "made (the peoples') corner of the world stable. He can't control the unification of Utania, nor the increasing influence of the Utani, indeed, he has encouraged Utani in this state, but he will ensure that the people of Nystonia state have a stable society."

Dr Keppell says that by providing a rock, the state, the people feel more certain. "The Governor even uses this same language, himself, using words like stability, and emphasising the fundamentals one does when under attack: country, family, religious belief."

But, not all are for the Governor. Dr Emile Atosu of St. Amea's church in the leafy suburb of Castlereigh, Vela Luka, says that the Governor is right to expose the four men as hoaxers, but "the truth of the Church can protect itself".

Dr Atosu is a world-travelling Cruistian speaker, and well-respected theologian and philosopher.

"I saw that broadcast. These men were selling something that has no basis in science, as they said it did. It was special effects and they knew it. There SHOULD be a code of conduct for mass media outlets, so that they do not just pump out this mindless drivel by people in lab coats, who pretend to be doctors. Simply, they should not have been given the airtime.

"But, I am concerned that this law will have a serious impact on the state's reputation internationally, and on the fabric of the very society the Governor is so determined to protect."

Dr Atosu explains that "the mind is like a muscle. Faith is like a muscle. Both must be used in order to grow, in order to no turn to flab. If we allocate ourselves a very narrow path down which to walk, we will develop a flabby mind and a flabby faith. We must be prepared to face such people head on, disproving their ridiculous claims."

He advocates, however, that such hard analysis should also be provided for all product advertisements.

But, he also adds that the "deceivers" should be excluded from the church.

"We must understand that the world is wide, and must include all peoples, all beliefs. But, we, IN the church, must stay pure, close to the truth. THIS is the battleground where the battle must be fought, not in the chambers of the Parliament. The government should have no role in the regulation of belief, lest we not only alienate others, but end up handing the keys to the truth to legislators.

"And Guwimith's failure in this regard is proof why this will and should always fail." The Tsar-is-god religion was enforced by law under the Tsarist rule of Guwimith, but despised by the strongly-Cruistian Utani people.

We can only hope that Governor Cryer hears such wisdom. Alas, we have recently heard that Zeitgeist Magazine has been taken off the required reading list for the Governor. So, even if we have the truth, there is little chance he wants to hear it.

And that is perhaps the point.
Related links:

Analysis: Governor Cryer - Mr Popular

In this Edition:

Lasanne, all the latest polls

Previous Editions:

Angorit wooed for his influence

Rovens: an analysis of the chances for peace

Stock Exchange:
Luka Stock Exchange, March 23rd

Stocks continue to stagnate - when will the Govt. release cash controls?

Belson, Utania's largest food processing company. Link to homepage.