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Google's video-sharing site YouTube began hosting a channel for The Church of Scientology last month. It's a "sponsored" channel, so Scientology pays for the privilege as well as for the Scientology ads YouTube also began serving in April. Now a group of Scientology critics have accused Google of banning users critical of Scientology in order to win the Church's advertising business.

They say that it isn't a coincidence that a week before Scientology began its YouTube campaign, YouTube banned Scientology critic Mark Bunker because, using a previous account, he once posted a copyrighted clip to the site. Perhaps it makes since that banned users shouldn't allowed to rejoin YouTube, these critics say, but then Scientology itself — once banned from the site for posting videos that revealed other users' private information, including[pictures, names and locations — shouldn't be allowed to create a new account either. Bunker, commenting on a Blogoscoped post on the subject, writes:

I don't expect YouTube to turn away the cash cow of Scientology and ban them from their service the way they banned me. YouTube will allow Scientology to say it was a subsidiary or a file clerk who opened the canceled account and not the same corporate entity as the paid channel but that is just crap.