Clearwatergate: US politics and Scientology

[Cartoon: Hello Senator, I represent the church of Scientology. We would love to have your support, or we will destroy you. Have a nice day.]

Clueless US politicians

I am tired of clueless US politicians who support Scientology although they should know it better, or who sign recommandation letters that are later presented by the cult as proof that they are accepted in society.

skip these dummies

In 1993, the Baden-Württemberg state government refused to invite OT8 Chick Corea at a state-sponsored concert (contract negotiations were stopped). After that, Scientology made a lobbying effort, and several US politicians stood up and called the refusal to invite Corea a violation of the freedom of expression and the artistic expression. Chick Corea lost his lawsuit against the state of Baden-Württemberg twice (read the court decision in german).

In 1997, 6 members of congress proposed H. CON. RES. 22, which failed miserably in a vote. In 1998, 53 members of congress proposed H.CON.RES.325, which died with the end of the legislative session.

In 1999, 56 members of congress proposed H.RES 388IH and 3 members of congress proposed SRES 230 IS; in 2000, 3 members of congress proposed H.RES 588 IH. All three resolutions died with the end of the legislative session.

In 2001, Rep. Gilman introduced H.R.3151 and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen introduced H.R.3145. Both resolutions died with the end of the legislative session.

In 2003, Rep. Max Burns introduced H.R.1170 ("To protect children and their parents from being coerced into administering a controlled substance in order to attend school, and for other purposes"). The resolution died with the end of the legislative session.

In 2005, Rep. Ron Paul introduced H.R.181 ("To prohibit the use of Federal funds for any universal or mandatory mental health screening program"). The resolution died with the end of the legislative session.

In May 2009, 6 members of congress, led by Trent Franks (R-AZ), wrote a letter of protest to the Ambassador of France because they didn't like the MIVILUDES report that had been published one day before.

Who are the people who support Scientology in the political arena?

Here is the list of supporters of H.CON.RES.325:
Rep Donald M. Payne (NJ 10th district), Rep Robert W. Ney (OH 18th), Rep Brad Sherman (CA 24th), Rep James E. Rogan (CA 27th), Rep Richard A. Gephardt (MO 3rd), Rep Jon D. Fox (PA 13th), Rep Sam Gejdenson (CT 2nd), Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX 18th), Rep Ed Pastor (AZ 2nd), Rep Michael P. Forbes (NY 1st), Rep Edolphus Towns (NY 10th), Rep Joe Scarborough (FL 1st), Rep Bennie G. Thompson (MS 2nd), Rep Mark Foley (FL 16th), Rep Loretta Sanchez (CA 46th), Rep Jerry Weller (IL 11th), Rep Elijah E. Cummings (MD 7th), Rep Nick J. Rahall II (WV 3rd), Rep Xavier Becerra (CA 30th), Rep Helen Chenoweth (ID 1st), Rep Lois Capps (CA 22nd), Rep Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ 8th), Rep James H. Maloney (CT 5th), Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL 18th), Rep Harold E. Ford (TN 9th), Rep Thomas M. Davis (VA 11th), Rep Luis V. Gutierrez (IL 4th), Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX 30th), Rep Eliot L. Engel (NY 17th), Rep Major R. Owens (NY 11th), Rep James E. Clyburn (SC 6th), Rep Alcee L. Hastings (FL 23rd), Rep Carrie P. Meek (FL 17th), Rep Sanford D. Bishop (GA 2nd), Rep Danny K. Davis (IL 7th), Rep Chaka Fattah (PA 2nd), Rep Corrine Brown (FL 3rd), Rep Albert Russell Wynn (MD 4th), Rep Barbara Lee (CA 9th), Rep Earl F. Hilliard (AL 7th), Rep Gregory W. Meeks (NY 6th), Rep Eva M. Clayton (NC 1st), Rep Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA 37th), Rep Lane Evans (IL 17th), Rep Nancy L. Johnson (CT 6th), Rep Pete Sessions (TX 5th), Rep Deborah Pryce (OH 15th), Rep Jack Metcalf (WA 2nd), Rep Louis Stokes (OH 11th), Rep Gil Gutknecht (MN 1st), Rep Steven R. Rothman (NJ 9th), Rep Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (IL 2nd).
Contact them to ask them why they support a hate group. Rumor is that many were signed up through the black caucus. See Donald Payne for a reference to Scientology racism. The resolution failed as congress period ran out.

Here is the list of supporters of H.RES 388 IH:

Rep Matt Salmon, with Rep Donald M. Payne, Rep Benjamin A. Gilman, Rep Juanita Millender-McDonald, Rep Joe Scarborough, Rep Albert Russell Wynn, Rep James H. Maloney, Rep Steve R. Rothman, Rep Mark Foley, Rep Brad Sherman, Rep James E. Rogan, Rep Ed Pastor, Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee, Rep Lane Evans, Rep JohnConyers, Jr., Rep Robert W. Ney, Rep Bennie G. Thompson, Rep Jack Metcalf, Rep Adam Smith, Rep Thomas M. Davis, Rep Harold Ford, Jr., Rep Xavier Becerra, Rep Eliot L. Engel, Rep CorrineBrown, Rep Martin Olav Sabo, Rep Neil Abercrombie, , Rep Michael P. Forbes, Rep Earl F. Hilliard, Rep Jerry Weller, Rep Stephen Horn, Rep Deborah Pryce, Rep Carrie P. Meek, Rep Edolphus Towns, Rep Luis V. Gutierrez, Rep Steve Chabot, Rep Elijah E. Cummings, Rep Major R. Owens, Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Rep Alcee L. Hastings, Rep Maxine Waters, Rep Lois Capps, Rep Nancy L. Johnson, Rep Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Rep Gregory W. Meeks, Rep Eva M. Clayton, Rep Bill Pascrell, Jr., Rep Danny K. Davis, Rep Melvin L. Watt, Rep Thomas G. Tancredo, Rep Donald A. Manzullo, Rep Sam Farr, Rep Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep Mac Collins, Rep Matthew G. Martinez, Rep Mark E. Souder, Rep Cass Ballenger
SRES 230 IS is supported only by Michael B. Enzi and Sen Mary L. Landrieu.

Relevant US State Department documents:

Did you know... that Scientology uses the official seal of the U.S. State Department (also here)?

Read also this article: Why the U.S.'s International Religious Freedom Commission Is Harming Its Status In the World Community

Visit this excellent website: Florida politicians and officials lending credibility to Scientology

[Leo J. Ryan memorial park in Foster City]Smart US politicians

US politicians were not always that dumb. In the past, a few politicians did speak out against other cults: Sen Robert Dole (R), Kansas and Rep Donald M. Fraser (D), Maine, against Moon (this resulted in the legendary "Fraser report"), and Rep Leo J. Ryan (D), California, against Jim Jones (sadly, this resulted the murder of Ryan). Here the text of a letter he wrote to a concerned mother, Ida Camburn:
Congress of the United states
House of Representatives
December 10, 1976

Dear Ida Camburn,

Thank you for your very detailed letter regarding Scientology. 
We haven't yet found a way to attack these jackals who feed on 
children and young adults who are too emotionally weak to stand 
by themselves when they reach the age of consent.

It's too bad there isn't a 20th Century Charles Dickens to 
write about the terrible destruction of these 20th Century 
fagins who make themselves rich while they destroy the 
psyche of so many.

At the present time, I can only encourage you to do more of 
what you have been doing.

Sincerely yours
Leo J. Ryan
Member of Congress

At the 1992 Cult Awareness Annual Conference, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, U. S. Representative Anthony Beilenson, California Assemblyman Tom Hayden participated at an Honorary Committee.

Clearwater mayor Gabe Cazares did speak and act against Scientology. Result: Scientology sabotaged his Washington career plans. In 1991 and 1992, he was again targetted by Scientology lawsuits (of course dismissed), because he kicked out Scientologists Marsha Lovering and Alice Herben out of a meeting of the Democratic Party in March 1991. Here their complaint (St. Petersburg Times 11.12.1991):

It says Cazares called the organization "Sintology," referred 
to it as a paramilitary organization and spoke of the group's 
plans to build a "brainwashing factory" in Clearwater. 
He also said Scientology should be "ejected from Clearwater
just as Iraq was ejected from Kuwait," it said.
Mayor Rita Garvey has also not shown much sympathy for the cult. She immediately issued a critical statement after Scientology had tricked her to appear in a cult school foto.

Sen Thomas F. Eagleton (D), Missouri, was unsuccessfully blackmailed in 1980 by his niece Elizabeth Eagleton Weigand (alias Libby Weigand alias Elizabeth Weigand, now Elizabeth Regan) and her attorney Stephen Poludniak, both Scientologists, to buy her shares on the family-owned Missouri Pipe Fittings co. for $220,000 or she would publish "damaging information". He declined and called the FBI, because 1. he didn't believe her that such information existed, 2. he knew she was a Scientologist and that the money would go to them. Scientology denied any involvement, but admitted that it was a GO operation in their IRS 1023 Tax Exempt Application. (Of course this didn't interfere with the Scientology career of "Libby": she became a director and key employee in CRIMINON, a scientology front)

Nevada State Sen William Hernstadt (D), Las Vegas, sponsored state bill SB108 (later modified as SB343) to protect the public against organizations that provide "personal or psychological improvement", forcing them to provide a list of fees and protect ex-members against frivolous defamation suits. In the debate Hernstadt alleged that Scientology "president" Heber Jentzsch "lied through his teeth" in his testimony and called Scientology a "criminal organization". Sadly, the bill did not pass.

His daughter Liane had spent $50,000 for courses and loans to other "church" members, and had troubles to get her money back (she succeeded later in getting most of it).

Rep William J. Hughes (D), New Jersey, wrote an inquiry to the US Marshalls Service, concerned whether they were lending their name to an effort to "improve the image of Scientolog" after they had participated in an event of a Scientology front.

Sen Robert Dole (R), Kansas, presidential candidate for 1996, knows whose vote he doesn't want (AP 28.8.1996):

   As the vacationing Dole made his way down Santa Barbara's main
drag, heading for dinner Monday at Joe's Cafe, he and a crush of
autograph seekers drew near a building prominently labeled "Dianetics
-- Church of Scientology Center."
   Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a top policy adviser to
the Dole campaign, eyed the surrounding horde of news photographers
and tugged at press secretary Nelson Warfield, pointing out the
Scientology center. Its storefront sign would likely land in the
photographers' frames if Dole headed in a straight line down the
   "You don't want him in front of there. Cross him over there, then
cross him back," Rumsfeld instructed while gesturing across the
   Dole appeared unaware of the whispering as he was guided to the
opposite side of State Street.
Jackie Speier (D) is a member of the California State Senate (San Francisco / San Mateo district). She was legal counsel to Congressman Leo J. Ryan and survived Jonestown after being hit four times:
"Jim Jones and the other cults that followed wrapped themselves around
freedom of religion, and we are very loathe to take any actions against
any, quote unquote, organized religions," she said.
The Oakland Tribune, 16.11.2003
There are still over 1,000 cults operating in the United States and
around the world," she said. "And we -- in terms of the government --
have always looked the other way because of our great appreciation of
the First Amendment and freedom of religion we have allowed many of
these cults to operate outside the law.
CNN, 18.11.2003
"Jim Jones got away with what he got away with because he was politically
connected and because he had the ability to call what he had a religion.

Our commitment to protecting the First Amendment clouded reasonable
people from recognizing that even though religions have a right to
exist, they do not have a right to conduct themselves in a manner that
suggests criminal conduct."

San Diego Union-Tribune, 16.11.2003
Louisiana Rep John Cooksey (R) said on a hearing about Germany:
So how can we criticize Germany for not recognizing Scientology
when our administration made a public proliferance decision with
a group that has a history of preying on elderly, perceived wealthy widows
and apparently preys on some people of the entertainment industries
who are not smart enough to do anything else but be entertainers.

So I really am opposed to this and do not think that it serves 
any useful purpose and I think that if we need to do something 
useful and meaningful (...)

International Relations Committee Mark-Up meeting of 3.10.2000, discussing H.RES 588 IH
Rep Doug Bereuter (R-NE) spoke against H. CON. RES. 22 with these words:
Germany is a free country in which religious freedom is guaranteed under
the Constitution and thus sacrosanct. The U.S. State Department country
report on human rights clearly confirms this in its most recent report.

I would add that I think we need to be reminded every time that what we do
as a body expressing our views on foreign policy is taken very seriously. 
This resolution is not balanced. It singles out Germany for a variety of
practices, particularly those related to Scientology where their position
is no different than seven or eight other European countries and several
other countries outside the European Continent.

This is a troubling situation for them. It is a matter that is pending
currently in their tax court. But I think it is important we not have 
Tom Cruise or John Travolta setting foreign policy in this country, and I
think that is a driving factor behind this legislation. It is very
unfortunate. I urge my colleagues to oppose the resolution.

House of Representatives, parliamentary inquiry of 9.11.1997

If you want to know how politicians voted on important issues, look up Project Vote Smart. If you want to know who pays them, look up the FECInfo database; my favorite is the form to find individual contributors, where I enter the name of wealthy Scientologists and see what happens. You'll find people like Scientologists Earle Cooley, Craig Jensen, Tom Cruise, Isadore Chait and Priscilla Presley. You can also search and find individual contributors.

Homepages of Senators
Homepages of representatives
The Ten Dimmest Bulbs in Congress

Jonestown and Official San Francisco

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