Position Papers, Letters and Petitions Signed By The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office

Discussion in 'Breaking and Major News about Scientology' started by CommunicatorIC, Oct 6, 2018.

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  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Position Papers, Letters and Petitions Signed By The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office.

    In the past, I have individually cross-posted position papers, letters and petitions signed by the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office. I will continue to do so if I believe the paper, letter or petition is of sufficient importance or sufficient interest and deserves its own thread. The purpose of this thread is to memorialize those that don't satisfy that standard.

    As I've previously argued, it appears the purpose of these Church of Scientology National Affairs Office position papers, letters and petitions is to help it gain support from and form alliances with churches, religions, and civil rights organizations.

    To start:

    ************************************

    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office calls for sanctions against officers of officers of the People's Republic of China who allegedly committed atrocities in Xinjiang and Tibet.

    https://bitterwinter.org/ngos-urge-us-to-impose-sanctions-on-xinjiang-tibet/

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *


    The Honorable Steven Mnuchin
    Secretary of the Treasury
    1500 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
    Washington, D.C. 20220
    The Honorable Mike Pompeo
    Secretary of State
    2201 C Street Northwest
    Washington, D.C. 20520

    Dear Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Pompeo:

    We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to sanction all Chinese officials responsible for the horrendous human rights situation in Tibet and Xinjiang, also known as East Turkestan. We commend the State Department for calling attention to this issue in its first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, and concur with the Ministerial’s Statement on China, which strongly urges “the Chinese government to protect the religious freedom of all individuals and to respect the human rights of all members of religious groups in accordance to China’s international commitments to respect freedom of religion.” We believe the United States can best pressure China by using the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to punish the officials responsible for these egregious human rights violations.

    Tibet and Xinjiang are considered “autonomous regions,” but in reality, they are entirely controlled by Beijing. The People’s Republic of China has made a mockery of human rights, and established concentration camps the likes of which are found elsewhere only in North Korea. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is engaged in a full-scale campaign of cultural genocide against the Tibetans and Uyghurs, and it is time for the United States to take action.

    According to the United Nations, the CCP has incarcerated 1 million Uyghurs in so-called “reeducation” camps, and as many as 2 million have been forced to undergo “reeducation and indoctrination.” The Congressional Executive Commission on China claims that this constitutes “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.” Tahir Hamut, a Uyghur Muslim who left Xinjiang for the United States, recounted during the Ministerial how his people are “now living in horror” of being thrown into these camps, where they are beaten, tortured, and forced to consume alcohol and pork, both of which are anathema to observant Muslims.

    Mr. Hamut also said that “there are unprecedented restrictions on the religious lives of Uyghurs.” Even “free” Uyghurs living in their own homes face a life of fear and surveillance. During Ramadan, the CCP embeds officers in Uyghur homes to make sure they don’t pray or fast. Xinjiang is one of the most surveilled regions in the world, with the CCP investing more than $1 billion in security investment projects in the first quarter of 2018 alone. Officials like Chen Quanguo, Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang and previous Party Secretary of Tibet, are directly responsible for carrying out these brutal orders from Beijing.

    The situation is just as bad in Tibet. Since invading and annexing Tibet in 1950, the CCP has murdered around 1 million Tibetans; destroyed 6,000 Buddhist monasteries; forced 100,000 Tibetans into exile; and ruined 80% of Tibet’s forests. The Chinese police state is so pervasive that Tibet has been described as “harder to visit than North Korea.” Yet the CCP is not content with merely controlling the Tibetans’ land; it must control their religion as well. For over half a century, the Dalai Lama has been living in exile from his homeland, and the Panchen Lama, who is the second most important religious authority in Tibetan Buddhism, was abducted by the Chinese over twenty years ago when he was only six years old; his current whereabouts are unknown. This state of oppression has tragically caused more than 150 Tibetans to lose all hope, and set themselves on fire to protest the abuses they face. China will continue its atrocious abuse of human rights in Tibet and Xinjiang until the free world pushes back. We must show those officials responsible for enslaving innocent people that neither they nor their assets are welcome in the United States until these abuses cease. By imposing stringent sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act, the United States can send a powerful message that the world will not stand by as the CCP abuses its people.

    Respectfully,

    21st Century Wilberforce Initiative
    AdvanceUSA
    Bitter Winter
    Boat People SOS
    Buddhist Solidarity Association
    Center for Pluralism
    Center for Studies on New Religions
    Chen Guangcheng Foundation
    China Aid
    Christian Freedom International
    Christian Solidarity Worldwide
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam
    The Council of Peoples and Religions of Vietnam
    Initiatives for China
    International Campaign for Tibet
    International Christian Concern
    International Interfaith Peace Corps
    International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees
    The Junior Sacerdotal of Caodai Council
    The Junior Sacerdotal Council of the Third Amnesty of God of Tay Ninh Holy See
    Keep Taiwan Free
    Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice
    Love Your Neighbor Community
    Magnitsky Global Justice Campaign
    Religious Freedom Institute
    Students for a Free Tibet
    Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union
    Uyghur American Association
    Uyghur Human Rights Project
    Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
    Vietnam Coalition Against Torture
    Vietnam Committee on Human Rights
    World Uyghur Congress


    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  2. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Calls on US State Department to Pressure Bahrain and allow Hassan Mushaima Access to Healthcare.

    https://www.adhrb.org/2018/09/ngos-...d-allow-hassan-mushaima-access-to-healthcare/

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    NGOs call on US State Department to Pressure Bahrain and allow Hassan Mushaima access to healthcare

    on September 10, 2018

    On Monday, 10 September 2018, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) and 13 human rights and faith organizations sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling the State Department’s attention to the abuse of Hasan Mushaima, a 70-year-old political prisoner in Bahrain. Mushaima is one of Bahrain’s most prominent political activists and religious thinkers who is serving a life sentence in Bahrain’s infamous Jau Prison. Continue reading for the text of the letter, or click link for a PDF of the letter.

    10 September 2018

    Hon. Mike Pompeo
    United States Secretary of State
    United States Department of State
    2201 C Street NW
    Washington, DC 20520

    Dear Secretary Pompeo,

    We, the undersigned human rights and faith organizations, write to call your attention to the abuse of political prisoner Hassan Mushaima, age 70, at the hands of the Bahraini government. Mushaima is one of Bahrain’s most prominent political activists and religious thinkers who is serving a life sentence in Bahrain’s infamous Jau Prison. As his sentence has progressed, his condition has increasingly deteriorated without access to proper medical care. Since his son has taken up a hunger strike outside of the Bahraini embassy in the United Kingdom, Bahraini authorities have continued to ignore and largely neglect the medical needs of Mushaima. As Mushaima’s health continues to deteriorate, it is imperative that the United States call on the Government of Bahrain to allow Mushaima full and unrestricted access to medical care, as well as proper treatment while in prison in line with international standards.

    Prior to his arrest, Hassan Mushaima served as Secretary-General of the al-Haq movement for Liberty and Democracy. He is the co-founder and former Vice President of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society – Bahrain’s largest political opposition group – that the government forcibly dissolved in 2016. He was arrested following the crackdown on Bahrain’s 2011 peaceful protest movement on charges of “attempting to overthrow the monarchy,” and subsequently sentence to life in prison. With his sentence, he has joined ranks of a dozen other high profile human rights defenders, political activists, and religious clerics who have all been subjected to poor treatment and abuse in Jau Prison, and all of whom are from the kingdom’s majority Shia Muslim community.

    In Jau, Mushaima has been denied access to necessary healthcare for a myriad of chronic illnesses. He has a history of cancer, having been diagnosed with and treated for stage four follicular lymphoma in 2010. Despite his remission, the chances that it could return calls for necessary regular cancer screenings. While in Jau, the Bahraini authorities have refused to provide these critical screenings, putting Mushaima’s life in peril – his last screening was in September 2016, and there have been no screenings or update on his cancer since. He also suffers from high blood pressure, gout, and diabetes. Despite clear need for consistent medical treatment, Mushaima has been prohibited to see any physician since March 2017. Nor have his medications been regularly administered throughout his sentence, lest he be in shackles to obtain his required medications. On 29 July 2018, he reported that his diabetes medication was entirely depleted, leaving him to resort to self-administered shots of insulin to try and regulate his blood sugar levels.

    The abuse Mushaima has faced under Jau Prison officials, unfortunately, extends even further than the deprivation of critical medical care. In addition to denial of treatment, in October of 2017, prison authorities subjected Mushaima to an unnecessary search and inspection, despite no history of violence. This strip search also coincided with the arbitrary confiscation of his personal items, including religious texts, notes, and phone credit cards. Mushaima and the other high profile prisoners have faced intense religious discrimination by Bahraini authorities, which has included the shaving of heads and beards of Shia clerics and the disruption of prayer rituals. Jau Prison authorities have made sure to attack every aspect of Mushaima’s identity as he serves his sentence, from his chronic illnesses to his faith.

    In addition to grave concerns regarding Hassan Mushaima’s health in Jau, we also raise the case of his son, Ali Mushaima, who began a hunger strike outside of the Bahraini embassy in London on August 1st, 2018 to protest his father’s abuse and denial of unrestricted medical care. Ali says his hunger strike will continue until the Bahraini authorities provide his father with full, unrestricted medical care unencumbered by shackles, family visitation, and the return his religious texts. However, even Ali’s demands have been met with harassment by the Bahraini government. On 12 August, a sleeping Mushaima was doused with an unknown foamy liquid thrown from the balcony of the Bahraini embassy in London, which also caused him to fear that he been assaulted with acid. When British law enforcement arrived and attempted to contact Embassy officials, no Bahraini representatives responded. The perpetrator and the liquid have not yet been identified, but Ali fears it was an attempt by Bahraini officials to end his hunger strike or silence him. After being hospitalized briefly at the one-month anniversary of his strike, Ali continues to protest on behalf of his father’s rights to healthcare, humane treatment, family visits and access to books and personal effects.

    As the health of both father and son become more dire, we call on the United States Department of State to publicly call on the Government of Bahrain to provide immediate, unrestricted access to medical care and to all necessary medications for Hassan Mushaima in accordance with Bahrain’s obligation to provide fair treatment of prisoners, as well as the full respect of his religious freedom by returning all personal items and religious texts. Finally, the United States should call for an end to the arbitrary imprisonment of prisoners of conscience, and an end to the over-incarceration of the Bahraini Shia, in line with its espoused commitment to religious freedom and human rights.

    Sincerely,

    Organizations

    AdvanceUSA
    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
    Center for Pluralism
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    Citizen Power Initiatives for China
    International Christian Concern
    Mission Africa International
    Red Eagle Enterprises
    Religious Freedom Coalition
    South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation
    The Junior Sacerdotal of Caodai Council
    The Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America
    The Voice of Karachi
    The Way to Happiness Association of Florida

    Individuals

    Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani
    Global Fellow,
    Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute

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  3. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Now the truth about scientology's perspective on freedom of religion and ideology

    "A truly Suppressive Person or group has no rights of any kind and actions taken against them are not punishable."

    - L. Ron Hubbard in HCOPL 1 March 1965
    HCO Ethics, Suppressive Acts, Suppression of
    Scientology and Scientologists, The Fair Game Law

    This is the Enemy Names list (Flag ED 2830RB, 25 July 1992, Suppressive Persons and Groups) as issued by the Church of Scientology in 1992. Some SP's have voluntary agreed to include their e-mail address in this list so you can get hold of a "dreaded enemy of Scientology".
    This is a historical document. The Church of Scientology regularly updates this list and individuals and groups can therefor have been removed and added before and after 1992.




    SUPPRESSIVE GROUPS
    CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL ALLIANCE
    A/K/A CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL AWARENESS
    * CHURCH FOR ALL FAITHS
    CHURCH FOR PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT
    * CHURCH FOR SPIRITUAL ADVANCEMENT
    * CHURCH FOR UNITY
    CHURCH OF ABILITY
    * CHURCH OF COSMOLOGY, ONTOLOGY, METAPHYSICS
    * A/K/A CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL ARTS
    * A/K/A HUNA RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
    CHURCH OF HUMAN EVALUATION
    CHURCH OF HUMAN POTENTIAL
    CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IN ZION
    * CHURCH OF MANY MANSIONS
    * CHURCH OF NEW LIFE
    CHURCH OF NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE
    CHURCH OF SCIOLOGOS
    A/K/A PERSONAL EFFICIENCY CENTER
    A/K/A THE LIFE AND ARTS CENTER
    * CHURCH OF SEVEN ARROWS
    * CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL ARTS
    * A/K/A CHURCH OF COSMOLOGY, ONTOLOGY, METAPHYSICS
    CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL AWARENESS
    A/K/A CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL AWARENESS
    A/K/A SPIRITUAL HOLISTIC EDUCATION FOUNDATION
    * CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT
    * A/K/A ADVANCED COUNSELING SERVICES, INCORPORATED
    * CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL FREEDOM
    * CHURCH OF THE AWAKENING
    * CHURCH OF THE DIVINE MAN
    * CHURCH OF THE DIVINE WISDOM
    CHURCH OF THE FINAL JUDGMENT
    CHURCH OF THE NEW CIVILIZATION
    * CHURCH OF THE NEW CLEAR UNIVERSE
    * CHURCH OF TRUTH
    CHURCH OF UNIVERSAL RELIGIONS, INCORPORATED
    CHURCH OF UNIVERSAL TRUTH

    ***************************************************************this list goes on for many hundreds of organizations and individuals to be targeted for destruction by scientology********************

    Now I don't know any of the above organizations but it seems rather obvious that the "Church" of Scientology is extremely duplicitous and they have more recently taken a different path which is to siphon off the good will of individuals and organizations as a PR move involving a repositioning from actually being destructive to claiming to abhor destruction and oppression BUT:

    The 'church of scientology is constantly being exposed in the Media such at the Tampa Bay Times " The truth rundown" and the A & E Scientology Aftermath series as well as dozens of books by previous members illustrating the true nature and true behaviour of Scientology which contradicts the posturing of Scientology.

    So:
    To anyone involved in the organizations which signed onto these position papers, letters and petitions please realize that the Scientology National Office as no dignity and should not be included as a signatory but should themselves should be investigated and identified as one of the culprits.

    If anyone not familiar with scientology and needs some understanding of scientology's motives and strategies, below are a couple of examples:


    0) http://www.xenu-directory.net/mirrors/www.whyaretheydead.net/misc/Factnet/SCNPROPA.TXT excerpts from>>

    -The organization has become a master of public relations
    propaganda. They carefully survey the general public to find
    out what they like and dislike and what a religion should look
    like. Then they attack what the public dislikes and support
    what the public likes -- as long as it doesn't interfere with
    their own hidden agenda.

    -The "church" set up reform groups shortly after Hubbard, in
    1966, wrote "Churches are looked upon as reform groups.
    Therefore we must act like a reform group."


    -The good works are done to make Scientology or Hubbard
    personally seem "old-established, stable, reliable, expert, and
    productive."
    -These works lend humanitarian or religious credibility to
    the organization and its founder and conceal the real source of
    organization propaganda.


    ---

    1)
    The redefinition of words is done by associating different emotions and symbols with the word than were intended...Scientologists are redefining ‘doctor‘, ‘Psychiatry’ and ‘psychology’ to mean ‘undesirable antisocial elements‘...The way to redefine a word is to get the new definition repeated as often as possible. Thus it is necessary to redefine medicine, psychiatry and psychology downward and define Dianetics and Scientology upwards. This, so far as words are concerned, is the public opinion battle for belief in your definitions, and not those of the opposition. A consistent, repeated effort is the key to any success with this technique of propaganda."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 5 October 1971, PR Series 12, "Propaganda by Redefinition of Words"

    2)
    "Scientology...is not a religion."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, CREATION OF HUMAN ABILITY, 1954, p. 251

    3)
    Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them. Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press. Don’t ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 25 February 1966

    4)
    "When you move off a point of power, pay all your obligations on the nail, empower all your friends completely and move off with your pockets full of artillery, potential blackmail on every erstwhile rival, unlimited funds in your private account and the addresses of experienced assassins and go live in Bulgravia [sic] and bribe the police."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 12 February 1967, "The Responsibilities of Leaders"

    5)
    "If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 15 August 1960, Dept. of Govt. Affairs

    "The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, A MANUAL ON THE DISSEMINATION OF MATERIAL, 1955
     
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  4. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Urges US Congress to Oppose Inclusion of the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Scheduled Analogues (SITSA) (H.R. 2851/S. 1327) Act in the House (H.R. 6) and Senate Opioid Package (S. 2680).

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/09/20...ongress-oppose-inclusion-stop-importation-and

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    September 20, 2018 9:00AM EDT

    Drug Policy Coalition Urges US Congress to Oppose Inclusion of the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Scheduled Analogues (SITSA) (H.R. 2851/S. 1327) Act in the House (H.R. 6) and Senate Opioid Package (S. 2680).

    The Honorable Paul Ryan
    Speaker of the House
    US House of Representatives
    1233 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    The Honorable Mitch McConnell
    Majority Leader
    US Senate
    317 Russell Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
    Minority Leader
    US House of Representatives
    233 Cannon Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Chuck Schumer
    Minority Leader
    US Senate
    322 Hart Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Pelosi, and Minority Leader Schumer,

    We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our opposition to the inclusion of the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Scheduled Analogues (SITSA) (H.R. 2851/S. 1327) in any final compromise legislation between the House opioid package (H.R. 6) and the Senate opioid package (S. 2680).

    In June 2018, many of us signed a letter to the House of Representatives urging members to vote against SITSA in the House. Our opposition to this legislation remains unchanged as Congress attempts to reconcile the differences between the opioid legislative packages passed by the House and Senate.

    While synthetic opioid overdoses are a very real problem, we believe that including SITSA in a final bill will ultimately prove ineffective in curbing our ongoing epidemic. Instead, SITSA will broadly expand penalties for drug offenses, concentrate power within the Department of Justice (DOJ), punish people who lack criminal intent, and overcriminalize certain behavior.

    Although SITSA passed the House, it has not been without strong Congressional opposition. The majority of House Democrats did not support the measure and many Republicans opposed it.[1] House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer commented that “this legislation lacks clarity that could result in thousands of Americans being incarcerated, potentially for life sentences, thus exacerbating an already over-populated prison system. …[T]hose suffering from opioid addiction need treatment and proper medical care, not more laws that will simply put them behind bars."[2] Further, the House Liberty Caucus produced a statement detailing the extensive and irreversible harms of the past drug war, and implored that SITSA not be employed to revive the criminalization approach to a public drug crisis, as it has “eroded federalism, eviscerated numerous individual rights, entrenched severe discrimination in our criminal justice system, and failed to meaningfully limit the proliferation of illicit drugs.”[3] Those on both sides of the political spectrum recognize the damaging impact that SITSA could have should it pass, and wish to see drug policies that are health-centered.

    SITSA has also not passed the Senate, nor was it even marked up in the Judiciary Committee. To add this legislation to a final opioid legislative package would be to ignore the will of the Senate, denying members of the Judiciary Committee a say on issues in their jurisdiction. It could greatly complicate the passage of a final opioid package. Finally, many members of Congress have been working hard to reach agreement on criminal justice reform legislation that would reduce sentences for drug offenses. This bill would undermine these efforts by taking an approach synonymous with the failed war on drugs.

    SITSA would give the attorney general virtually unlimited authority to create new drug crimes that carry lengthy, expensive prison sentences. Deciding what is a crime and how it should be punished is Congress’s duty and should not be delegated to an unelected executive branch official. While the attorney general may currently schedule substances, the power to do so is carefully constrained. Currently, the DOJ must obtain the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) approval for scheduling a drug. This is reasonable, as HHS’s drug experts offer informed and data-driven opinions as to which substances belong on each drug schedule. Under SITSA, the Attorney General would be required to consider HHS comments only before permanently classifying substances. In addition to the nearly unfettered ability to permanently schedule synthetic drugs, should SITSA pass the attorney general would have the ability to temporarily schedule drugs for nearly twice as long as currently permitted under law – 5.5 years instead of the current 3 – with no input from HHS.

    The proposed changes to the scheduling process under SITSA greatly threaten the American principles of balanced powers. SITSA would grant the attorney general – an unelected government actor – the ability to schedule drugs without oversight from medical professionals while consequently undermining Congress’ responsibility to create criminal law.

    SITSA would also overcriminalize synthetic drugs by penalizing individuals who lack any criminal intent. Under SITSA, individuals would face criminal charges and long sentences even if they did not know that they possessed or distributed a particular substance or that the substance had been scheduled, temporarily or permanently. Fentanyl and its analogues are just one example of how we already punish drug offenders with no criminal intent. In December 2017, Robert Perez, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, testified that “[t]he majority of U.S. trafficked illicit fentanyl is produced in other countries such as China, and is principally smuggled through international mail facilities (IMFs), express consignment carrier facilities (ECCFs, e.g. FedEx and UPS), or through POEs along the Southern land border.” By the time that low-level sellers (who will undoubtedly bear the brunt of SITSA’s punishments) receive drugs including fentanyl or its analogues, most do not know what those drugs actually contain. They are often oblivious to the true content of their product, unknowingly and unintentionally providing users with the deadly drug fentanyl. We believe that any drug offense should require a culpable mental state. SITSA defies this principle, treating low-level dealers with tainted product as if they were knowingly distributing fentanyl-laced substances.

    Finally, criminalizing more drugs that trigger harsh penalties does not deter people with substance use disorders from using or buying drugs. Longer sentences do not deter drug use or drug crime; rather, it is the certainty that an individual will be caught and punished quickly that deters criminal behavior. A belief that harsh penalties, such as the 10-year maximum for a first offense of possession with intent of a synthetic substance, deter the drug trade also ignores the impaired reasoning processes of those struggling with addiction. Since the 1980s, the United States has had tough penalties for heroin,fentanyl, and fentanyl analogue use and distribution, yet opioid consumption has actually increased since that time.

    While health and public safety do not often have a price tag, it would behoove Congress to consider SITSA’s costs and benefits. SITSA will apply long drug sentences to more people, forcing taxpayers to pay for an increased prison population. Longer sentences and bigger prison populations do not yield the same public safety benefits as policies that would decrease the demand for drugs. Investing in treatment and public health would be a far more effective investment of taxpayer money.

    The drug policies of the 1980s and 1990s did not prevent the opioid epidemic or stop synthetic drug use. Congress has shown a continued commitment to righting these wrongs and using more effective strategies to combat and contain drug use and drug epidemics. SITSA would be a major step in the wrong direction. This bill defies our American principles of a balanced government in the pursuit of policy prescriptions proven to be ineffective -- namely, lengthy prison sentences that apply to those who have drug use issues. We ask that both chambers of Congress focus on policies that will increase the availability of drug treatment and reserve taxpayer dollars for more effective public health strategies, not more criminalization.

    Sincerely,
    American Civil Liberties Union
    AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
    Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    Due Process Institute
    Drug Policy Alliance
    FAMM
    FedCURE
    Federal Public and Community Defenders
    FreedomWorks
    Friends Committee on National Legislation
    Human Rights Watch
    Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition
    Justice Strategies
    National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors
    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
    National Center for Lesbian Rights
    National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
    NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
    North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition
    Open Aid Alliance
    Reframe Health and Justice
    R Street Institute
    Safer Foundation
    SIFMA NOW!
    StoptheDrugWar.org
    Students for Sensible Drug Policy
    The Sentencing Project
    Washington Office on Latin America

    [1] http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2018/roll268.xml

    [2]https://www.syracuse.com/politics/i...oids_democrats_warn_it_will_fill_prisons.html

    [3] http://dearcolleague.us/2018/06/vot...afficking-of-synthetic-analogues-act-of-2017/


    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  5. Jenyfurrr

    Jenyfurrr Patron

    It’s sad because until I knew much more about Scientology, my reaction to these (as I agree with the points framed above) would have been, “Well it’s more important to address these issues than to worry about something they do that's separate from this completely - so I support what they’re doing here.” BUT now that I am familiar... I read them colored with a different opinion.

    I know that every name on that list could be called again (& their prior support of respective position papers used to cull their support later FOR CO$) once any actions are taken against the “church.”
    That’s dangerous and manipulative!

    While every other group on that list is TRULY passionate about these issues, having heard “the why” behind CO$’s participation, the focus isn’t on the people suffering under what they’re fighting (though I do imagine many lower level Scios who work directly on these issues daily are likely changed by their work and may well believe their “church” is investing time & $ to do the right thing vs it being for PR only - so I hope those people are changed and leave w/that desire to help others) but on associating CO$ with the many organizations truly fighting these issues and sacrificing to do so.

    It was also ironic to read the list (re-education camps, lack of respect for religious beliefs and thwarting of those, forcing someone to act or commit acts in direct conflict with their beliefs, etc.) re: Tibet, knowing how many SO members are subjected to the same and worse.

    Thank you so much Communicator IC for the countless hours you spend researching to educate us all about the various fronts on which they try to legitimize CO$. I can’t fathom how you’ve managed to keep it up over the years and it’s priceless to so many of us! Thank you for ALL you do!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  6. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Thank you very much for the kind words. I really appreciate them. :)
     
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  7. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office joins GLAD (GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders), Human Rights Watch, the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center and 80+ Organizations to Object to Proposed Fee to Protest on the National Mall.

    As I've previously argued, it appears the purpose of these Church of Scientology National Affairs Office position papers, letters and petitions is to help it gain support from and form alliances with churches, religions, and civil rights organizations.

    https://www.glad.org/post/glad-join...-to-proposed-fee-to-protest-on-national-mall/

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/15...k-service-opposing-protest-fees-washington-dc

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    October 15, 2018

    Mr. Brian Joyner
    Chief of Staff, National Mall and Memorial Parks
    National Park Service
    900 Ohio Drive SW
    Washington, DC 20024

    Dear Mr. Joyner:

    We write to express our deep concern over proposed rulemaking RIN 1024-AE45, issued August 7, 2018, which would revise the National Park Service’s protest permitting process regarding demonstrations at the National Mall, Memorial Parks, and President’s Park.

    This proposal would infringe on Americans’ rights to free speech and assembly. Forcing Americans to pay to lawfully assemble at our most iconic and politically significant sites places a financial barrier that precludes equal opportunity and access, dissuading and prohibiting Americans from demonstrating. The ability to afford fees for permits must not be a factor in who gets the opportunity to protest on these public lands. Introducing fees for First Amendment demonstrations would represent an overwhelming departure from American values.

    We strongly urge you to revise the proposed rule and maintain access to vibrant, participatory democracy for all Americans regardless of socioeconomic status or support from wealthy donors. Protesting is a cornerstone of American democracy. The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech … or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Over centuries, Americans have come together from near and far and lifted their voices, from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech advancing the civil rights movement to the 2017 Women’s March, the largest demonstration in American history. Americans have cried out signifying ardent diversity of thought on a wide variety of issues spanning from war and peace to the economy, the environment, civil rights, human rights, and more. There is a fundamental personal dignity in protest—the insistence that one’s voice matters. Protesting is also a patriotic act, as Americans show up to help steer the path of our country. As we work to fulfill the promise of this country, we must never restrict access to the public lands surrounding its halls of power.

    Thank you for your commitment to preserving our cultural history and natural resources. As you work to manage an increase in requests for permits and maintain your commitment to preserving visitor experience, resource protection, and public safety, we trust you will reconsider this proposal and ensure that the right of all Americans to express their beliefs in our nation’s capital will be safeguarded.

    Sincerely,

    American Hiking Society
    American Library Association
    American Public Health Association
    Americans for Financial Reform
    Anti-Defamation League
    Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
    Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education Professionals
    Association of Research Libraries
    Athlete Ally
    The Avarna Group
    Bend the Arc
    Bold Alliance
    Brown Environmentalist
    Brown People Camping
    Californians for Western Wilderness
    Campaign for Accountability
    Catharsis on the Mall
    Chesapeake Climate Action Network
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    Citizen's Climate Lobby
    Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
    Common Cause
    Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
    CREDO
    Defend Our Future
    Defending Rights & Dissent
    Democracy for America
    Diverse Environmental Leaders
    Dogwood Alliance
    Earth Ethics
    Earthjustice
    Earthwise Productions
    Endangered Species Coalition
    Environmental Defense Fund
    Friends of the Earth US
    GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
    Government Accountability Project
    Green Muslims
    GreenLatinos
    Hip Hop Caucus
    Hipcamp
    Hispanic Access Foundation
    Hispanic Federation
    Human Rights Campaign
    Human Rights Watch
    Interfaith Power & Light
    Jews United for Justice
    Lambda Legal
    Latino Outdoors
    League of Conservation Voters
    League of Women Voters of the United States
    MoveOn
    NAACP
    NARAL Pro-Choice America
    National Black Justice Coalition
    National Center for Lesbian Rights
    National Coalition Against Censorship
    National Council of Jewish Women
    National Employment Law Project
    National Equality Action Team (NEAT)
    National Federation of the Blind
    National Juvenile Justice Network
    National LGBTQ Task Force
    National Resources Defense Council
    National Women's Law Center
    New Mexico Voices for Children
    Next 100 Coalition
    Oceana
    Oil Change International
    Outdoor Muslims
    Patagonia
    People For the American Way Foundation
    Planned Parenthood Federation of America
    Praxis Project
    Project On Government Oversight
    Public Citizen
    SAGE
    SEIU
    Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN)
    Sierra Club
    Southern Poverty Law Center
    Transforming Youth Outdoors
    Veterans For Peace
    The Wilderness Society
    Win Without War
    Women's March

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  8. Jenyfurrr

    Jenyfurrr Patron

    Wow! On a bunch of levels, especially considering how CO$ views the people (if they attempt to practice Scientology) primarily responsible for bringing this forward!
    Just WOW!
    Would love to hear how some exes who were forced out or mistreated due to their orientation feel reading the above!
     
  9. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    I think by now nearly every major organization is accustomed to Scientology badgering them to carry their books, put posters in their windows, have one of their speakers perform, pushing them to buy management training from WISE, send their kids to Narconon, and so on.

    They all have got to hate hearing the word Scientology by phone, letter or otherwise so much by now that any petition with its name on it is automatically suspect. It's a tiny, abusive cult that just yells yells yells yells yells LOOK AT ME! SPEND MONEY HERE! WE HAVE CUREALLS FOR EVERYTHING! We're just the bestest!

    Yeh, right...the con is old. So old. :old:



    [​IMG]
     
  10. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office joins call to repeal change to the Internal Revenue Code that threatens to tax nonprofit organizations for the cost of parking and transit benefits provided to their employees. Many have referred to this provision as the “parking lot tax”.

    http://www.ecfa.org/PDF/Coalition LTR _ Parking Tax Issues § 512(a)(7).pdf

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    We are a group of leaders from diverse faiths representing a broad range of institutions, including houses of worship, primary and secondary education, higher education, and faith-based nonprofit organizations serving communities around the country and around the world.
    We write with serious concerns about how a little-noticed provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would tax parking and transit benefits provided by nonprofit organizations and churches. Unless repealed, this provision will require tens of thousands of houses of worship to file tax returns for the first time in our nation’s history and will impose a new tax burden on houses of worship and nonprofit organizations.

    This change in Section 512(a)(7) taxes nonprofit organizations – including houses of worship – for the cost of parking and transit benefits provided to employees. This significant change in the treatment of charitable organizations will require many nonprofit organizations to file federal Form 990-T and pay federal taxes on the cost of parking and transit benefits provided to their staff. Not only does this provision impose a new tax on nonprofits, this provision also burdens nonprofits and houses of worship with burdensome accounting and regulatory compliance costs. It is likely that these costs will exceed the tax actually collected from nonprofit organizations.

    Perhaps worst of all, this provision will hopelessly entangle the IRS with houses of worship, simply because these houses of worship allow their clergy to park in their parking lots. For good reasons grounded in the First Amendment, houses of worship are not required to file tax returns each year. This policy allows houses of worship to operate independently from the government and shields houses of worship from government interference and intrusive public inspection into their internal, constitutionally protected operations, as nonprofit tax returns are available to the public.

    Further, it is our understanding that the Joint Committee on Taxation’s score of a full repeal of Section 512(a)(7) (S. 3332 / H.R. 6460) tells the story of the toll this provision will take on the charitable sector: $1.7 billion over 10 years. Whatever purpose Section 512(a)(7) was intended to serve cannot justify extracting $1.7 billion in taxes from nonprofits and houses of worship within just 10 years.

    While the organizations and houses of worship will pay these taxes, it is the people they serve who will ultimately suffer from this massive diversion of funds from civil society to the government. We believe these impacts from Section 512(a)(7) were surely unintended and unanticipated. We therefore call upon you to repeal Section 512(a)(7) through any appropriate legislative package before the end of this calendar year.

    We thank you for your commitment to ensuring that the United States continues to have a thriving and vibrant spectrum of civil society organizations and healthy and independent houses of worship. We look forward to working with you on this needed technical fix to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act before the end of this year.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  11. Clay Pigeon

    Clay Pigeon Silver Meritorious Patron

  12. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Church of Scientology Endorses Democracy Restoration Act and Voting Rights Restoration For All People With Felony Convictions.

    As I've previously argued, it appears the purpose of these Church of Scientology National Affairs Office position papers, letters and petitions is to help it gain support from and form alliances with churches, religions, and civil rights organizations. This may (or may not) help explain why some Black clergy members have supported the Church of Scientology in its fight against Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

    Church of Scientology Endorses Democracy Restoration Act and Voting Rights Restoration For All People With Felony Convictions

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/05...oration-act-and-voting-rights-restoration-all

    * * * * * BEGIN QUOTATION * * * * *

    The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    March 4, 2019

    RE: Broad coalition endorses Democracy Restoration Act and voting rights restoration for all people with felony convictions

    Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy:

    The Justice Roundtable and the undersigned associated organizations urge the House of Representatives to support the Democracy Restoration Act and oppose all amendments and a motion to recommit to this provision within H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019.

    People living in the community after completing their term of imprisonment should have an opportunity to participate fully in community life by working, raising families and voting. Voting promotes social responsibility and community engagement - all important aspects of successful reintegration after incarceration.

    While disenfranchisement policies have been in place for many years, the number of people impacted has increased dramatically with the expansion of the criminal justice system over the last 40 years. An estimated 6.1 million citizens in 2016 were unable to vote in federal elections. Racial disparities in the criminal justice system also translate into higher rates of disenfranchisement in communities of color. Thirty-four states disenfranchise people who are not incarcerated and are living in their communities either under supervision or have completed a felony sentence. The Democracy Restoration Act would restore federal voting eligibility to these citizens.

    Law enforcement officials support the restoration of voting rights for people released from prison because it aids successful reintegration. According to the American Probation and Parole Association, felony disenfranchisement is not based on a need to protect the integrity of the electoral process and the justice system; and it works against the successful reentry of people leaving incarceration.

    We urge the House of Representatives to pass the Democracy Restoration Act without amendment as part of H.R. 1.

    For questions, please contact Kara Gotsch at kgotsch@sentencingproject.org or 202-628-0871.

    Sincerely,

    American Friends Service Committee
    Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
    Campaign for Youth Justice
    CANDO Clemency Foundation
    Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants)
    The Daniel Initiative
    Demos
    Drug Policy Alliance
    The Episcopal Church
    FedCURE
    Human Rights Watch
    Innocence Project
    Jewish Council for Public Affairs
    Justice Innovations
    Justice Programs Office, American University
    Justice Strategies
    JustLeadership USA
    Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
    League of Women Voters of the United States
    Legal Action Center
    Million Hoodies Movement for Justice
    NAACP
    NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
    National Action Network
    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    National Association of Social Workers
    National Council of Churches
    National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
    National HIRE Network
    National Juvenile Justice Network
    National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
    National Urban League
    NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
    People For the American Way
    Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
    Pretrial Justice Institute
    Prison Policy Initiative
    Safer Foundation
    The Sentencing Project
    StoptheDrugWar.org
    The Taifa Group
    Treatment Communities of America
    T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
    Union for Reform Judaism
    Unitarian Universalist Association

    Cc: Members of U.S. House of Representatives


    * * * * * END QUOTATION * * * * *
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  13. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    The Church of Scientology addressed the King of Bahrain in a letter concerning the trial of Sheikh Isa Qassem.

    NOTE:
    As indicated below, this item is from 2017. For some reason, it came up in my Google search with a date limit of one week. To briefly and all too generally bring the story up to date, I'll note that Sheikh Isa Qassim [aka Sheikh Isa Qassem] was stripped of his Bahraini citizenship, and on February 2019 announced he was moving to Iran.

    As always, my purpose in cross-posting is not to address the underlying issues (which quite frankly are far beyond my ken), but to instead memorialize the efforts of the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office to gain support from and form alliances with churches, religions, and civil rights organizations.

    ***************************

    Bahrain Interfaith: NGOs address the King of Bahrain in a letter ahead of Sheikh Isa Qassem’s trial.

    https://bahraininterfaith.org/?p=412

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    5 April 2017

    HM Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
    King of Bahrain
    P.O. Box 555
    Rifa’a Palace
    Manama, Bahrain


    King Hamad:

    We, the undersigned Bahraini and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), would like to raise our collective concern regarding the arbitrary denaturalization and ongoing prosecution of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim in the Kingdom of Bahrain. We are alarmed that the charges against Sheikh Isa relate solely to traditional, long-standing Shia religious practices. These actions target the country’s senior-most Shia cleric, and come together with broader efforts to religiously, politically, socially, and economically persecute Bahrain’s majority Shia community. With these concerns in mind, we ask that you direct your government to drop all charges against Sheikh Isa Qassim, and that you urgently restore his Bahraini nationality.

    On 20 June 2016, the Ministry of Interior (MoI), together with the Bahraini Cabinet, unilaterally revoked the citizenship of Sheikh Isa Qassim. In a statement1 announcing the “administrative” decision, the MoI vaguely cited a litany of accusations against Sheikh Isa, yet only cited one law as justification for the order. According to the statement, the MoI accused Sheikh Isa of violating Article 10, Paragraph C of the Bahraini nationality law, stating that he had “[caused] damage to the interest of the State or [took] actions contrary to the duty and loyalty to it.”

    Less than one month later, the Public Prosecution charged2 Sheikh Isa and two others with alleged money laundering. The charges relate solely to the Shia religious practice of khums, an annual payment made by Shia Muslims to Shia clerics for distribution as social welfare. Shias around the world and in Bahrain have practiced this religious practice for over one thousand years. The government, however, claims3 that the charges are not linked to religious practices, alleging instead that Sheikh Isa and other clerics have illegally received foreign funding and have been “withdrawing, depositing, purchasing, allocating, and distributing the amounts in a way that shows that their sources are licit, contrary to the facts/reality.” Yet critics at the time suggested4 that the government is creating an opportunity to both target Shia religious leadership and centralize its authority over the khums practice in order to generate profit.

    In June, 2016, the US State Department issued a statement5 on Sheikh Isa Qassim’s citizenship revocation. In a press statement by Department Spokesperson John Kirby, the US noted that they were “alarmed by the Government of Bahrain’s decision to revoke the citizenship of… Sheikh Isa Qassim.” Kirby further stated that the

    1 Bahrain News Agency. “Citizenship revoked for creating extremist sectarian environment,” 20 June 2016:

    http://www.bna.bh/portal/en/news/733106
    Bahrain News Agency. “Public Prosecution refers illegal fund-raising cases to court,” 16 June 2016: http://bna.bh/portal/en/news/736135

    @bppbahrain. “لاومأ عمجب مهمايقل نيرخآو نيدلا لاجر دحأ دض ةديقملا ةيضقلا ًايلاح رشابت ةماعلا ةباينلا نأب لولأا ماعلا يماحملا يرسودلا دمحا حرص…”

    Middle East Eye. “Bahrain’s leading Shia cleric charged with corruption,” 18 July 2016: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/b...eligious-leader-charged-corruption-1212082735
    S. Department of State. “Statement on the Citizenship Revocation of Sheikh Isa Qassim,” Press Statement by John Kirby, Assistant

    Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs. Washington, DC. 20 June 2016: https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/06/258908.htm


    citizenship revocation was just the latest action in a concerning trend of moves by Bahraini authorities to “further divert Bahrainis from the path of reform and reconciliation.”

    United Nations (UN) human rights experts have raised their own concerns over the government targeting of Sheikh Isa Qassim and other clerics. In August 2016, five UN Special Procedure mandate holders issued a joint statement6 urging Bahrain to “end the persecution of Shias.” In the statement, the mandates called on the Government of Bahrain to, “stop such arbitrary arrests or summons and release all those who have been detained for exercising their rights.” They continued by saying that, “the Government should not resort to repressive measures and we urge it to enter into dialogue with all relevant parties in order to prevent unnecessary conflict or violence.”

    The UN Special Rapporteurs expanded upon this statement when they published their most recent Joint Communications Report7 ahead of the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council beginning in February 2017. In communication BHR 5/2016,8 nine different mandates stated, “we are deeply concerned by the systematic persecution and repression of the Shia population, [including] religious leaders… in Bahrain based on their religion or belief.” The international experts expressed “further concern… at the unfair process of denaturalization of many dissidents and religious clerics that lead to statelessness and arbitrary deportation.”

    Despite the high degree of international concern from allied governments, the United Nations, and human rights organizations, the Government of Bahrain has continued to move forward with prosecuting Sheikh Isa in relation to the traditional Shia khums practice. After several hearings and judicial delays, Sheikh Isa’s trial continued this week on Tuesday, further prolonging the process of legal proceedings against him.

    We in the international human rights community stand for religious freedom and tolerance everywhere, and condemn all violations to the rights to freedom of religion or belief. Given that your government’s prosecution of Sheikh Isa Qassim under charges of “money laundering” is in relation to the long-standing Shia religious practice of khums donations for charity and social welfare, we call on you to drop all charges against Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim. We further echo the international human rights experts’ concern over arbitrary denaturalization in Bahrain, particularly regarding Sheikh Isa Qassim, and call on you to reinstate Sheikh Isa’s Bahraini nationality without delay. Finally, we urge you to respect fully the rights and practices of all religious communities in Bahrain, including the Shia majority, in line with Bahrain’s international commitments.

    Sincerely,

    Bahrain Interfaith
    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
    21st Century Wilberforce Initiative
    Center for Inquiry
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    Muslim Public Affairs Council
    Shia Rights Watch


    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). “UN rights experts urge Bahrian to end the persecution of Shias.” Geneva,

    Switzerland. 16 August 2016: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20375&LangID=E
    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB). “GCC Cases Raised in the HRC 34 Special Procedures Joint Communications

    Report.” 23 February 2017: http://www.adhrb.org/2017/02/gcc-cases-raised-hrc-34-special-procedures-joint-communications-report/

    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). UA BHR 5/2016. 10 August 2016: https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=3306

    Individuals
    With title and organization for identification purposes only
    Naseer Ahmad

    Mustafa Akhwand
    Executive Director
    Shia Rights Watch

    Amjad Mahmood Khan
    National Director of Public Affairs
    Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA

    Faith J. H. McDonnell
    Director, Religious Liberty Program
    Institute on Religion and Democracy

    Greg Mitchell
    Co-Chair, International Religious Freedom Roundtable
    President, The Mitchell Firm

    Scott Morgan
    President
    Red Eagle Enterprises

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * *
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  14. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    The Church of Scientology supports the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2019 – H.R. 1714.

    As I've previously argued, it appears the purpose of these Church of Scientology National Affairs Office position papers, letters and petitions is to help it gain support from and form alliances with churches, religions, and civil rights organizations. This may (or may not) help explain why some Black clergy members have supported the Church of Scientology in its fight against Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

    Rep. Johnson reintroduces bipartisan bill to de-militarize police

    https://hankjohnson.house.gov/media...oduces-bipartisan-bill-de-militarize-police-0

    * * * * * BEGIN QUOTATION * * * * *

    Rep. Johnson reintroduces bipartisan bill to de-militarize police

    March 13, 2019

    Press Release

    Congressman seeks to reform Pentagon’s 1033 Program that gives military-grade weapons to local law enforcement departments for free

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) re-introduced the bipartisan Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2019 – H.R. 1714 – that would place restrictions and transparency measures on the Department of Defense (DOD) Program that transfers excess military equipment to federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

    “Our neighborhoods need to be protected, but Americans and our founding fathers opposed blurring the line between police and the military,” said Johnson. “Before another small town is transformed into a warzone with gifts of grenade launchers and high-caliber rifles, we must rein in this program and revisit our view of the future safety of American cities and towns.”

    Rep. Johnson, a former county commissioner in Georgia, said there is something fundamentally flawed with local law enforcement departments bypassing their local governing authority – such as a commission, board or council – to receive weapons of war without any local accountability.

    Through the Defense Logistics Agency’s Law Enforcement Support Office, or “1033 program”, the Department of Defense has transferred $6.8 billion in surplus military equipment – often from warzones overseas – to our streets, without charge. In 2017, President Trump rescinded Obama’s executive order and fully restored the Pentagon’s 1033 program.

    Republicans Justin Amash (R-MI) and Tom McClintock (R-CA) are among 66 original cosponsors of the bill.

    The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act would:

    ? Prevent transfers of equipment inappropriate for local policing, such as military weapons, long-range acoustic devices, grenade launchers, weaponized drones, armored military vehicles, and grenades or similar explosives.

    ? Require that recipients certify that they can account for all military weapons and equipment. In 2012, the weapons portion of the 1033 program was temporarily suspended after DOD found that a local sheriff gifted out army-surplus Humvees and other supplies. This bill would prohibit re-gifting and require recipients to account for all DOD weapons and equipment.

    The bill adds requirements to enforce tracking mechanisms that keep up with and control transfers of the equipment, implement policies ensuring that police agencies can’t surplus the equipment for resale, and defines drones more clearly.

    Cosponsors (66): Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Rep. Al Green (TX-9), Rep. Al Lawson (FL-5), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Rep. Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12), Rep. Andy Levin (MI-9), Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS-2), Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-4), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL-1), Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-3), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Rep. Chuy García (IL-4), Rep. Danny Davis (IL-7), Rep. David Cicilline (RI-1), Rep. David Scott (GA-13), Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-1), Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-1), Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10), Rep. Dwight Evans (PA-3), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-1), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5), Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-4), Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14), Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-2), Rep. Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Rep. John Lewis (GA-5), Rep. José Serrano (NY-15), Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-3), Rep. Justin Amash (MI-3), Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-5), Rep. Lacy Clay (MO-1), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33), Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-2), Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41), Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43), Rep. Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY-7), Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20), Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-4), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3), Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Rep. Ron Beyer (VA-8), Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-9), Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-4), Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-9), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19).

    Supporting Organizations: American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Friends Service Committee, American Humanist Association Conference of Superiors of Men (Catholic), Church of Scientology National Affairs Office, Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces, Drug Policy Alliance, Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, Franciscan Action Network, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Government Information Watch Human Rights Watch, Indivisible, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, Muslim Public Affairs Council, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, National Council of Churches, National Immigration Project NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Open the Government, Pax Christi USA, PolicyLink Project on Government Oversight, Public Citizen, South East Asian Faith Initiatives, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society Win Without War.

    * * * * * END QUOTATION * * * * *


    H.R.1714 - To amend title 10, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Defense to make certain limitations on the transfer of personal property to Federal and State agencies, and for other purposes.

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1714/text


    /
     
  15. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Church of Scientology Urges House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies to Increase Global Magnitsky Funding.

    The Global Magnitsky Act authorizes visa bans and asset freezes for human rights abusers and corrupt officials.


    As I've previously argued, it appears the purpose of these Church of Scientology National Affairs Office position papers, letters and petitions is to help it gain support from and form alliances with churches, religions, and civil rights organizations.

    Freedom House - US: Organizations Urge House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies to Increase Global Magnitsky Funding

    https://freedomhouse.org/article/us...subcommittee-commerce-justice-science-related

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    March 28, 2019
    The Honorable José E. Serrano
    Chairman
    House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies
    H-310, The Capitol
    Washington, DC 20515
    The Honorable Robert B. Aderholt
    Ranking Member
    House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies
    H-310, The Capitol
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Chairman Serrano and Ranking Member Aderholt,

    We, the undersigned democracy, human rights, and anti-corruption organizations and experts, write to request that $1 million in additional funding be included in the Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill to ensure robust enforcement of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (PL 114-328, Subtitle F).

    The Global Magnitsky Act, which authorizes visa bans and asset freezes for human rights abusers and corrupt officials, is one of the most powerful foreign policy tools created in recent memory. It enjoys broad bipartisan support, and is widely viewed as one of the United States’ most effective methods for addressing human rights abuses and corruption – two key drivers of instability around the world.

    We have collectively documented numerous firsthand accounts from human rights activists around the world about the law’s powerful deterrent and accountability effects on corrupt activity and human rights abuses. Authoritarian leaders have taken notice. The law’s novel provision requiring the consideration of information submitted by international human rights organizations has empowered civil society to play a key role in holding kleptocrats and abusive actors to account, helping to energize and organize collaborative efforts in even the most repressive of environments.

    Since the Global Magnitsky Act was signed into law in 2016, sanctions have been imposed on over 100 human rights violators, corrupt actors, and associated entities in 17 countries around the world. This remarkable success is a testament to unprecedented cooperation between Congress, the Executive Branch, and civil society, and a demonstration of a shared conviction about the law’s utility.

    Unfortunately, the number of potential sanctions cases to be vetted by the U.S. government far exceeds current capacity. With this in mind, we respectfully request $1 million in additional funding above current levels for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), apportioned according to need among the divisions tasked with Global Magnitsky enforcement. The Department’s Civil Division (including the Federal Programs Branch) and Criminal Division (including the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section) assist the Departments of Treasury and State with assembling and vetting case files about each individual on whom the U.S. government plans to impose Global Magnitsky sanctions. Funding for the hiring of additional personnel or other unmet needs would enable the identification and vetting of a greater number of case files, thus ensuring more robust enforcement of the law, and the advancement of a critical U.S. policy priority.

    Corruption and human rights abuses perpetuate and are born from violence and criminal activity, and exact an enormous toll socially, economically, and militarily. The United Nations estimates that the costs of corruption alone equal $2.6 trillion – roughly five percent of total global gross domestic product. Addressing corruption and human rights abuses is of paramount importance for U.S. foreign policy, and Global Magnitsky sanctions are one of the most powerful tools for doing so.

    We respectfully urge you to provide this modest additional funding for Global Magnitsky enforcement in the FY20 CJS appropriations bill. We appreciate your consideration of this request and would be happy to meet with you in person to discuss this request in greater detail.

    Sincerely,

    Freedom House
    Human Rights First
    American Jewish World Service
    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain
    Boat People SOS
    Center for Justice and Accountability
    China Change
    China Human Rights Accountability Center
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    CINTOC
    Citizen Power Initiatives for China
    Council for Global Equality
    EarthRights International
    Enough Project
    Falun Dafa (Falun Gong) Association of Washington DC
    Free Russia Foundation
    Global Witness
    Human Rights Campaign
    Human Rights Foundation
    International Christian Concern
    International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University of London
    Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
    Lithuanian American Council
    Magnitsky Act Initiative
    Open Dialogue Foundation
    Open Society Policy Center
    Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
    PEN America
    Physicians for Human Rights
    Pretrial Rights International
    Reporters Without Borders
    The Freedom Initiative
    Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International
    Transparency International
    Transparency International Mongolia
    Truth Hounds NGO
    Vietnam Democracy Fund (VDF)
    Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
    “WatchDog.MD” Community (Republic of Moldova)
    David J. Kramer, former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

    Cc: The Honorable Nita Lowey, Chairwoman
    The Honorable Kay Granger, Ranking Member

    * * * * *END EXCERPT * * * * *
     
  16. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Church of Scientology endorses the Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act, a bill that would restore Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals.

    As I've previously argued, it appears the purpose of these Church of Scientology National Affairs Office position papers, letters and petitions is to help it gain support from and form alliances with churches, religions, and civil rights organizations.

    **************************

    Brian Schatz, U.S. Senator for Hawaii: Schatz, Lee, Durbin Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Restore Educational Opportunities For Those Incarcerated And Improve Public Safety

    https://www.schatz.senate.gov/press...-those-incarcerated-and-improve-public-safety

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Schatz, Lee, Durbin Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Restore Educational Opportunities For Those Incarcerated And Improve Public Safety

    The REAL Act Would Save Taxpayer Dollars and Give Millions A Chance to Rebuild Their Lives

    Tuesday, April 9, 2019

    WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act, a bill that would restore Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals. The bipartisan legislation would cut the cycle of recidivism, save taxpayer money, and improve safety.

    “When we give people in prison an opportunity to earn an education, our communities are safer, taxpayers save money, and we can end the cycle of recidivism,” Senator Schatz said. “The REAL Act would restore a program we know already works and give people a real chance to rebuild their lives.”

    “The REAL Act is an important part of providing opportunity to federal offenders and reducing recidivism,” Senator Lee said. “I’m proud to be an original cosponsor.”

    “The REAL Act is about breaking the cycle of recidivism by increasing access to education for incarcerated individuals. By restoring Pell Grant assistance that can fund educational programs in federal prisons, we will empower individuals to better themselves through education and find career paths once they reenter society,” Senator Durbin said.

    In 1994, incarcerated individuals lost access to Pell Grant assistance, causing a significant drop in the number of education programs in prisons. The REAL Act would restore access to these grants, which would reduce recidivism and incarceration costs by increasing access to higher education.

    The national recidivism rate is 43.3 percent within three years, but higher education can have a dramatic impact on reducing that rate. A report
    found that people who participate in correctional education while in prison were 43 percent less likely to recidivate than non-participants, and 13 percent more likely to obtain employment.

    In addition, studies have shown that each dollar spent on secondary education programs for prisoners reduces incarceration costs by $4 to $5 during the first three years after an individual is released. A recent study found that states would save an average of $7.6 million in incarceration costs each year in which people in prison had access to Pell Grants while incarcerated.

    Companion legislation in House of Representatives is being led by U.S. Representatives Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), and French Hill (R-Ark.).

    The REAL Act has been endorsed by a diverse group of stakeholders, including the Association of State Correctional Administrators, Association of State and Federal Directors of Correctional Education, American Correctional Association, Correctional Education Association, American Council on Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, American Association of Community Colleges, Association of Community College Trustees, National Association for College Admission Counseling, Institute for Higher Education Policy, The Education Trust, Justice Action Network, FreedomWorks, FAMM, R Street, Prison Fellowship, Faith & Freedom Coalition, Equal Justice Initiative, Sentencing Project, Coalition for Juvenile Justice, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, ACLU, Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration, and The Law Enforcement Action Partnership.
    A full list of endorsing organizations can be found here.

    -------------------

    Office of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
    Page 1 of 2

    The REAL Act has been endorsed by the following organizations:

    National Organizations

    American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
    American Bar Association (ABA)
    American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
    American Correctional Association (ACA)
    American Council on Education (ACE)
    Association of American Colleges&Universities( AAC&U)
    Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities
    Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
    Association of Community College Trustees
    Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design
    Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities
    Association of State and Federal Directors of Correctional Education
    Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA)
    Brennan Center for Justice
    Campaign for Youth Justice
    CAN-DO Foundation
    Center for American Progress (CAP)
    Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
    Church of Scientology, National Affairs Office
    Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE)
    Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ)
    College and Community Fellowship
    Correctional Education Association
    Council on Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU)
    Drug Policy AllianceDue Process Institute
    The Education Trust
    Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)
    FAMM
    Faith & Freedom Coalition
    FedCURE
    FreedomWorks
    Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
    Generation Progress
    Innocence Project
    Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP)
    Interfaith Action for Human Rights (IAHR)
    Jesuit Conference, Office of Justice and Ecology
    Justice Action Network
    Justice for Families
    Just LeadershipUSA
    The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)

    Office of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
    Page 2 of 2

    Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration
    The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
    Legal Action Center
    NAACP
    NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF)
    National Alliance of Faith and Justice (NAFJ)
    National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
    National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)
    National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
    National Employment Law Project (NELP)
    NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
    Operation Restoration
    Prison Fellowship
    R Street
    Safer Foundation
    The Sentencing Project
    Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)
    T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights\
    United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
    Vera Institute of Justice
    Young Invincibles

    State Organizations

    Center for Community Alternatives (New York)
    Middle Ground Prison Reform (Arizona)
    W. Hayward Burns Institute(California)
    Women Against Registry (Missouri)

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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019