|Subject:||Ground Zero Zeroes|
|Date:||29 Sep 2001 21:57:31 GMT|
|Msg-ID:||<20010929175731 .22517.00002806 @mb-fi.aol.com>|
The day that we can fully trust each other, there will be peace on earth.
- L. Ron Hubbard
Scientology is behind Narconon — a costly yet dubious drug rehabilitation program. The trademark "Narconon" sounds suspiciously like the effective, altruistic self-help group Narcotics Anonymous. Insidious? It gets worse.
Several years ago, Scientology vexatiously sued the Cult Awareness Network (CAN) out of existence, taking control of their name, records, real estate, and clearinghouse hot-line number for concerned families and friends of those caught up in dangerous cults. Call CAN, get a Scientologist on the line. Didn't think it could get any darker? Think again.
In the worrisome wake of the World Trade Center disaster, Scientology has been hiding in plain view behind the truth. 1-800-THE TRUTH, that is. Only hours after the terrorist attack, that toll-free number was publicized on Fox News as a crisis hot-line for an outfit called National Mental Health Assistance, or, NMHA — a gross usurp of the initialization of the esteemed organization, the National Mental Health Association.
Just days after the WTC disaster, a phone call to THE TRUTH caught a chirpy guy claiming his outfit was part of the official disaster relief effort working with the Red Cross — a false claim. He then offered directions to a Times Square address for assistance. Not once did this drone offer up his Scientology affiliation, but a stop at the 46th Street location he pitched found dozens of yellow t-shirted "volunteer ministers" buzzing around Scientology headquarters, unpacking boxes of cult propaganda for immediate dissemination to the masses of shell-shocked Manhattanites. There, at Scientology central, the culties try to recruit dazed passerby into helping them pass out copies of a Hubbard-penned common sense clap-trap pamphlet titled The Way to Happiness and other printed material.
In the resulting days since 9-11, ardently anti-psychiatry Scientology has been shamelessly Internet-webbing photos of their volunteers giving "touch assists" to hapless disaster victims. They claim that this process relieves trauma, eases pain and even mends broken bones, but the National Mental Health Association — the country's oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness — ain't having any of it. In a press release issued on September 17, they object to Scientology's deceptive use of the initials "NMHA," strongly urging them to stay out of mental health — especially during "this important and sensitive time." Scientology spokeswoman Janet Weiland calls the real NMHA's reaction a "petty turf war."
At a barricade just two blocks from the WTC attack site, a ghastly pair of black-clad, loud-mouthed women try to crash the police line, announcing "We're from the Church of Scientology!" Flashbacks to the Battlefield Earth premiere for sure, but this was a disaster of far more epic proportions, and an army reservist named Ramirez wasn't buying their pushiness. He held them at the checkpoint until they displayed their "grief counselor" badges, then reluctantly let them pass. "I didn't want to let them in, but they had passes," shrugged the soldier who was hip to, yet handcuffed by the Scientology bait 'n switch.
- Mark Ebner