300 INDEPENDENCE AVENUE S.E. WASHINGTON, D.C. 20003 (202) 544-1794
October 29, 1993
Mr. David Miscavage,
Central Exec. Officer National Headquarters
Church of Scientology
6331 Hollywood BLvd. Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Dear Mr. Miscavage:
Historically this newspaper, our publisher LIBERTY LOBBY and our Radio Free America talk show have always had what we have believed to be a friendly relationship with your organization, although very one-sided. We have repeatedly extended courtesies to your agents and spokesmen in regard to vour anti-phsychiatric drug projects, in spite of the fact your organization has never reciprocated in any way. We are certain your organization has attracted many members through the free and favorable publicity we have extended through our media.
Enclosed is a galley proof of an article we plan to run in The SPOTLIGHT next week. It has been prepared by one of our top reporters and at this point we have no reason not to accept it.
It fulfills requirements of our stories in that it is timely --particularly in view of the clumsy and bloody Scientolgy/ADL takeover by a high-up agent of your organization and an ADL agent of the Institute for Historical Review and your recently granted tax exemption -- newsy and interesting to our readers.
Frankly the reason we hesitate is because of your organization's well known record of trying to supress the airing of factual information by filing large lawsuits. This intimidation .has put a great "chill" on the press in publishing stories such as the enclosed and directly impacts on First Amendment rights of the public at large.
The fact is we strongly feel that the intent of your organization is to quash criticism, even if well deserved. This is un-American. Therefore, we ask you to review the enclosed story and contact us immediately with your comments. We need to know specifically if there are factual inaccuracies in this article. The SPOTLIGHT has the best :record of any newspaper in the U.S. for accuracy. We never knowingly run erroneous material and if we inadvertently do we always correct our errors.
Page 2 October 29, 1993 Mr. Miscavage
It is our intent to run this article in our next issue of The SPOTLIGHT so your response before next Thursdav, November 4th is needed. We may also run this letter and your response depending on the nature of your reply, criticisms and comments.
Vince Ryan Editor
EXCLUSIVE TO THE SPOTLIGHT
While one so-called cult -the Branch Davidian Church- was being incinerated with taxpayer-financed government military and police power, another organization often perceived as a cult-the Church of Scientology-was being given tax-exempt status worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The mystery as to why the Church of Scientology received this gift from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was explained in a front-page story in the October 25 issue of The SPOTLIGHT: As a consequence of a deal between the Scientologists and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith, the ADL used its political clout to influence the IRS into granting the church tax exemption.
This deal will be worth hundreds of millions -perhaps billions- of dollars to the massive international Church of Scientology network, which relies upon large contributions extracted from its members for its resources which are then, in turn, plowed into a wide variety of business enterprises around the globe.
Experts have said the Scientologists run one of the world's largest private intelligence operations. This was probably one aspect of the secret deal between the Scientologists and the ADL which resulted in the Scientologists being granted tax exemption. There is now believed to be a working alliance between the ADL and the Scientologists in the trading of information.
LINK LONG STANDING
Others contend, however, that the ADL-Scientology link has been long standing, especially in light of the fact that the voluminous files of veteran ADL operative Roy Bullock, based in San Francisco, apparently contain absolutely no files whatsoever on either the Church of Scientology or upon a now-defunct name-gathering front group.
There is also another significant ADL link. The Scientologists retained the high-powered public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton to enhance its public image. One of Hill & Knowlton's key handlers is none other than Frank Mankiewicz, a former public relations specialist for the Los Angeles office of the ADL. Hill & Knowlton was also retained by the Kuwaiti government to promote US, involvement in the war against Saddam Hussein.
Many find it intriguing that one of the Church of Scientology's recent and ongoing efforts has been to expose alleged "Nazi war criminals" ostensibly involved in international intelligence through their positions in the International Criminal Police Organization, popularly known as Interpol. Just recently a representative of the ADL's sponsors in the state of Israel, however, was named -for the first time in history- to Interpol's board of directors.
THE SPOTLIGHT AND SCIENTOLOGY
Over the years The SPOTLIGHT had reported favorably upon some positive activities by the Church of Scientology on several fronts: its fight against the IRS, its battle for religious freedom and its efforts to inform the public of the dangers of mind-altering psychiatrie drugs, for example.
In contrast, the Establishment media often attacked the church (to the exclusion of many other "cults") as though it were contrived to give the Scientologists further publicity. These Establishment media attacks solidified the support of the church's hard-core membership and influenced church members into filling the church's coffers even further.
At the same time the Establishment news reports gave the church literally millions of dollars in free publicity. Time magazine, for exemple, published a detailed cover story attack on the church in its May 6, 1991 issue, which gave the church a higher public profile than it had ever had before.
(Imagine, for example, all the benefits The SPOTLIGHT would reap if Time featured its publisher, Liberty Lobby, the Washington-based populist institution, in a cover story. With the passing exception of a recent false report about The SPOTLIGHT, which Time itself corrected (see Vince Ryan's column on page 9 for more details), the Establishment media simply ignores Liberty Lobby altogether.)
Now, despite all of this negative publicity, the IRS bas given the Church of Scientology a lucrative religious tax exemption. That the IRS would grant tax-exempt status to such a controversial entity, even in the wake of the attack on the Branch Davidian group in Waco, Texas -described by the Establishment as a "cult"- is, in itself, suspicious.
Operating one of the largest private intelligence operations in the world, the Church of Scientology keeps a close watch on other organizations and institutions that either rival the church, may provide it some assistance somewhere in the world or are possible recruiting grounds for new church members.
During the period when the church was still fighting the IRS and other federal agencies, church intelligence operatives were actually deployed into the various agencies for reported sabotage activities. Liberty Lobby, the populist institution that publishes The SPOTLIGHT, has itself been targeted by undercover operatives of the Church of Scientology, much in the saine fashion that the Scientology-allied ADL targeted the populist institution.
Although many publicly admitted Scientology members, working out of the church's Capitol Hill headquarters, were very friendly to The SPOTLIGHT, providing regular reports on the church's activities on a wide variety of fronts (see related stories), a deep-cover Church of Scientology operative was actually trying to sabotage Liberty Lobby from within. It was only recently that his Scientology affiliation was finally uncovered.
The Scientology operative in question never once revealed his affiliation with the church during many years of visits to Liberty Lobby headquarters or to Liberty Lobby functions. (Most Scientologists are very open and very proud about their membership in the church.)
However, after a few encounters with the individual in question -let's call him "M"- Liberty Lobby personnel realized he was very clearly working undercover for someone- but no one was able to pin down his affiliation.
SOUGHT TO DISRUPT
"M" sought to disrupt at least one Liberty Lobby Board of Policy conference and also made covert efforts to obtain internal Liberty Lobby documents. The Scientology operative also sought to turn Liberty Lobby employees against one another. The SPOTLIGHT has also learned "M" was a key behind-the-scenes player in the sabotage of the national Populist Party during the last several years, keeping a very low profile throughout, but collaborating with promoter Don Wassall. During the saine period "M" was also operating a one-man front organization (with expensive offices at the prestigious National Press Club in Washington). Tthe sole purpose of this front group appeared to be to collect names of people active in the populist movement.
"M" also popped up at Arab-American meetings with great frequency, leading some people to believe that he was an operative of the Anti-Defamation League whose own illegal spying operations are under criminal investigation at this time. Interestingly, The SPOTLIGHT is in possession of a photograph of "M" in the company of long-time ADL covert operative Roy Bullock -the now-infamous "Garbage Man"- at an Arab-American meeting in Washington, D.C.
As part of the Nazi-hunting campaign, "M" inserted himself (on behalf of the Scientologists) into the effort to free John Demjanjuk, the retired Cleveland autoworker recently cleared by Israel of false charges of war crimes cooked up by the Soviet KGB. "M's" apparent purpose was to report back to his sponsors at the Church of Scientology about the efforts to free Demjanjuk, perhaps sniffing out involvement of other "Nazi war criminals on the lam."
Although "M" sought to ingratiate himself with the office of Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio), who assisted the Demjanjuk family, The SPOTLIGHT has learned "M" has been barred from entry into Traficant's offices on Capitol Hill.
CHURCH MEMBERS PAY BIG BUCKS
Church of Scientology members are largely highly intelligent, well-spoken, clean-cut individuals. They don't wear strange costumes or sell flowers in the streets. However, they are totally devoted to the Church of Scientology, whatever other avocations they may have. The church, through its own strange brand of psychiatry-some call it brainwashing-has helped many of these individuals overcome dangerous addictions and other emotional difficulties. However, as a consequence of this, they have come under the absolute discipline of the church.
Church founder L. Ron Hubbard called potential recruits "raw meat." Would-be members pay the church as much as $1,000 an hour to be "audited" by a therapist who uses a galvanometer, which measures changes in electrical conductivity on the surface of the individuals skin to monitor emotional responses to questions. This is similar to the standard polygraph test. Church members return periodically for what amount to brainwashing sessions by their higher-ups.
Those who have analyzed Scientology's tactics say these sessions produce a drugged-like, addictive euphoria. To pay the costly fees to keep up with these sessions, new recruits are encouraged to sign up new members or to join the church staff. Once joining the staff one can receive free counseling. Here's the bite: One signs a written contract which describes a "billion years" of labor for the church.
One report about the Scientologists stated that "former [church] officials said the organization, while contending it was a religion, was run as a lucrative profit-making enterprise whose leaders systematically used the most intimate personal facts confided by members in private counseling sessions to blackmail and intimidate them."
Many Scientologists are former drug users or criminals or people with a history of emotional problems who found refuge in Scientology. Edward Walters, who had been an "intelligence agent" of the church, culled files about church members, "many of them deeply emotionally troubled," and used the information to intimidate them.
What makes these brainwashing sessions so bizarre is the fact that the church members are paying for them out of their own pockets.
One course, costing some $25,000, known as O.T. 5-7, finds and releases negative spirits said to be asleep or unconscious inside an individual for millions of years. The course known as O.T. 3-4, which costs some $17,000, reviews Scientology's socalled sacred scriptures-the tale of a galactic ruler named Xenu. Many church members ultimately become destitute paying for the courses in which they enroll, turning everything they have over to the church. Critics of Scientology say it is much cheaper to read the Bible than to pay tens of thousands of dollars to achieve what the Scientologists call getting "clear." Getting "clear" occurs when they have dropped all emotional ties with their past life and have totally devoted themselves to their church.
The church places man at the center of reality.
According to church founder L. Ron Hubbard, himself a science fiction writer: "In all the broad universe, there is no other hope for man than ourselves. This is a tremendous responsibility. I have borne it too long alone. You share it with me now." A person who has been found to be "clear" in a "Clear Certainty Rundown" (this costs $2,800) is walked around town to reacquaint himself with the world-a world in which the church of Scientology is at the center of his or her life.
Once inculcated into the doctrines of the church, Scientologists -- even at the highest levels of the organization-- function as robots directed by higher-ups. Those who are actually on the church payroll are paid slave wages and like other church members are at the beck and call of the church. One senior church staffer was being paid $34 a week in the early 1980s, at a time when the church's identifiable assets were $200 to $300 million. It is thus no wonder that Hubbard said during a lecture on writing science fiction: "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."
Many point out that the church is akin to Masonry. Behind a front of doing good public works, innocent members are slowly initiated into a cult that, at the very top, is revealed to have vastly different and sinister aims than its lower-ranked members, the new initiates and the public are led to believe.
TACTICS AGAINST THE ENEMY
The Scientology cult has devised a wide-ranging array of tactics to be used against its critics or dissident members. Over the years various details about these methods have been reported. Here are some examples:
Spying operations against other organizations. Efforts to subvert the
operations of other organizations or institutions which the church has targeted.
(See accompanying story.)
A policy order dated October 18, 1967, concerning what the church called a "suppressive person" or "enemy" of the church, said such persons were "fair game." According to the church such a person "may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."
The church has claimed the "fair game" policy has been rescinded.
One church dictum, known as "R2-45" was described in a church publication entitled The Creation of Human Ability as "an enormously effective process for exteriorization but its use is frowned upon by society at this time." Former Scientologists have said R2-45 is meant to authorize killing church critics with a .45-caliber pistol.
A church policy letter issued on August 15, 1960 said, "If attacked on some vulnerable point, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace."
The church said "If there will be a long-term threat, you are to immediately evaluate and originate a black PR campaign to destroy the person's repute and to discredit them so thoroughly that they will be ostracized." (The church has said this policy was also rescinded.)
Various reports over the years have alleged that Scientologists have actually framed their critics with crimes. The church has also brought more than 100 civil lawsuits to silence their critics.
[handwritten: Rec'd 11-4-93 via FedEX]
November 1, 1993
Mr. Vincent Ryan Editor
300 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Mr. Ryan
I have received your letter addressed to Mr. David Miscavige enclosing a galley proof of a story you propose to run in The Spotlight. Your story is so far removed from reality that it defies description. Your boastful claim of having the best record of any American newspaper for accuracy is made ridiculous by the inaccuracies that characterize your letter before it even opens. First, Mr. David Miscavige's name is misspelled. Second, he is not the Central Executive Officer (there is no such post) of the Church of Scientology.
Third, the address to which you sent the letter is not the "National Headquarters" of the Church. Fourth, you have invented names of alleged Scientology entities.
This inauspicious opening to your letter sets the tone for what follows. Your proposed "story" is one of the must ludicrous and bizarre articles I have ever read. The very first line contains a highly inflammatory lie; to wit, the false labelling of Scientology as a cult. A cult by modern derogatory definition is a closed group that worships some charismatic leader. Scientology is neither. It is probably the most open religious group in the world, with its Churches on the main streets of most major cities of the world. Scientology is also predicated on a philosophy and technology of individual spiritual betterment, not on worship.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that independent research could locate no case finding that Scientology is nothing but a bona fide religion. The Internal Revenue Service's recent rulings found the Churches of Scientology are organized and operated exclusively for religious and charitable purposes. Only the most arrogant and ignorant publication would call an organization a "cult" that has passed those tests.
6331 HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD, SUITE 1200, LOS ANGELES, CA 90028-6329 TELEPHONE (213)960-3500 FAX: (213)960-3508 / 960-3509
- 2 -
But, apparently your publication goes beyond that, descending to utter fantasies. You would have your readers believe that the Church of Scientology controls the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist establishment, the Internal Revenue Service, the world's largest public relations firm, and Time magazine. If that is the case, why don't you just surrender? You are surrounded!
We are not working with the ADL, we are not "in league" with them, we have nothing to do with them and in fact know very little about them other than what is reported in the newspapers. We are suing Hill and Knowlton and Time magazine - not controlling them nor obviously are we allied with them.
I will reiterate what Ms. Leisa Goodman wrote to you last week in a letter that appears to have crossed with yours to Mr. Miscavige of October 29th. The IRS granted tax-exemption to the Church of Scientology for reasons made clear by IRS spokesman Frank Keith, who stated that "Over the last many months the Church provided adequate and detailed information to the IRS to enable us to make the legal determination that they were entitled to tax-exemption -- that they were organizations operated exclusively for religious and charitable purposes."
The administrative record of the tax-exemption proceedings before the IRS is 12 feet in length. Never before in the history of the Internal Revenue Service has an organization been put to such an exacting test and scrutiny. And the Churches of Scientology and their related organizations passed with flying colors. The administrative record is open to the public to review. Such a perusal quickly evaporates any vacuum for the bizarre and paranoid conjuncture your magazine offers for why the exemptions were issued. We earned our exemptions. More so than any previous organization, mainstream or not. Your fairy tale to the contrary has no basis in fact.
Ours was by far the largest submission made to the IRS by any organization seeking exemption. If indeed the Church were "in league" with the IRS and/or ADL or whatever it is you claim, why did the IRS scrutinize every conceivable aspect of the Church's activities with greater thoroughness than it has done with any other organization throughout its entire history?
Your entire "sidebar 2", "Scientology Agent", is an utter fabrication from the first word to the last. The Church has no knowledge of any such scheme or any such individual. Publish at your own legal peril.
Your "sidebar 3", "Church members pay big bucks" is also fraught with prevarication. Your endeavor to attack
- 3 -
and discredit Scientology counseling, with nefarious descriptions is false and frankly despicably bigoted. The entire sidebar is perfect evidence of malice. The only quoted source in this section, Edward Walters, wrote a declaration clearing the Church of any wrong-doing seven years ago.
Two German courts have found that George Orwell, and not L. Ron Hubbard, originated the quote "if a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion". Those courts fined two publications for having made the allegation and enjoined them from repeating them.
Similarly, your final "side bar 4", "Tactics Against The Enemy", contains false and defamatory matter in each and every bullet. By way of example, I can guarantee you that no former Scientologist, no matter how antagonistic, will stand by your allegation concerning R2-45. If we need to prove it to you in court, we will.
I am enclosing with this letter a book entitled What is Scientology? This publication contains the true data about Scientology, including its codes, creeds, history, beliefs, practices, its community work and its achievements in social reform.
This book is being sent to you so that you have correct information about Scientology. You have now been informed that your proposed article is false and have been given the reasons why. You have been supplied with the true data about my Church. You have no justification whatsoever for publishing your grossly defamatory and false article and such publication would clearly be with reckless disregard for the truth.
The allegations in your article are absolutely false. If you publish this highly defamatory material, we will pursue the legal remedies available to us. I assure you that we will have no difficulty proving in court the blatant falsehoods in your story.
In closing, I thank you for checking with us before publication. Whoever your source for this information is, he has no credibility and at best has a bizarre, albeit malicious, imagination.
Rev. Heber Jentzsch
THE FOUNDING CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY 2125 "S" STREET, NORTHWEST WASHINGTON, D.C. 20008 (202) 797-9800
L. Ron Hubbard
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rev. William M. Bromfield President t
Rev. Joel Morris Vice-President t
Jane Layton Secretary-Treasurer
FOR RELEASE AT WILL
For Further Informaton Contact: Gregory Layton 797-9828
Is the Reader's Digest an Amercian hot dog? Like the frankfurter, the Digest has long been a staple of the middle class American diet.
However, a recent examination of more than 30 years of Digest articles suggests that, like the popular frankfurter, the Digest may not be as nutritious as it first appears. In an article entitled "Reader's Indigestion: Anatomy
of a Misguided Magazine," the Church of Scientology reveals that the Digest articles:
-- praised Joseph Stalin as a "tremendous success" (July 1944)
-- characterized Nazi Germany's sterilization program (Oct 1934) as "a sound application of true Christian love of one's fellow man" (Oct 1934)
-- praised Cuban dictator Batista as a "people's man" with "little vanity" (Aug. 1941)
-- promoted Army poison gas as a "cure" for tuberculosis (July '29)
-- characterized the probability of a nuclear power accident as insignificant only four years before the Three Mile Island disaster (April 1975)
-- praised J. Edgar Hoover for his work to "protect the civil rights of the Negroes," saying that critics had "not been able to pin a single civil rights violation on Hoover's men" (Oct 1929)
Having cited examples of what it calls the Digest's "literary additives and journalistic 'meat substitute'," the article responds to a Digest piece due to come out in the May issue.
According to the article, the Digest piece -- entitled "Anatomy of a Frightening Cult" -- purports to be an investigative article on Scientology, but it ignores the seamy background of its sources. The Digest also deliberately refused to allow the Church to present documentation showing the article's inaccuracies.
One of the Digest's chief sources for the piece, the article charges, was Paulette Cooper. The article, however, neglects to mention that Cooper's two previous attempts to print the "truth" about Scientology ended with profuse apologies and retractions from two now-defunct publishers and her own admission that the attempts were far short of "objective."
The Digest's other sources were a handful of disaffected Scientologists who have sworn out lurid affidavits about life in the Church. The Digest piece, the article charges, neglects to mention that the individuals are currently involved in civil litigation with the Church "based on get-rich-quick promises of Boston malpractice lawyer Michael Flynn." Nor, it notes, does the Digest piece mention that the veracity of the
affidavits are currently under challenge in a court of law. While accepting these sources at face value, the author refused both specific documentation offered to refute the allegations of the Digest and the Church's offer of an interview with the President of the Church, the article states.
In the meantime, the Scientology article states, the Church "continues its unparalleled worldwide expansion, comforted in the distinction of having been on the Digest's "Enemies List" After all, praise from the Digest seems to go hand-in-hand with historical disaster."
7 Dec 1978
Dear Mr. Blahut,
Pursuant to our conversation the other day, I am forwarding some information on a recent decision made by HEW Secretary Joseph Califano which will allow for federal funding (through medicaid and medicare) of experimental psychosurgical procedures. Psychosurgery is the irreversible surgical destruction of healthy brain tissue performed to alter behavior. The procedure has been performed on hundreds of mental patients, children and even some prisoners.
Psychosurgery has been loudly denounced by various citizens groups and Members of Congress including Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio) and the Congressional Black Caucus.
The Congressional Black Caucus has repeatedly urged Secretary Califano to ban federal funding of psychosurgery. The concern of the Caucus is that psychosurgery can be used on those least able to defend themselves - mental patients, children and prisoners. Rep. Stokes introduced a bill in the 95th Congress to prohibit all federal funding of psychosurgery experimentation and imposes penalties of up to $10,000 for violators.
In addition to opening the door to federal funding of psychosurgery, the HEW Secretary has faïled to impose any federal controls on psychosurgery performed in the private sector with non-federal funds. Instead, Califano has recommended the medical profession police itself on the subject - self regulation - under guidance of organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association and American Congress of Neurosurgeons.
It is foolhardy to believe that the private medical sector is capable of policing itself on this issue. There are numerous psychosurgery abuse cases now in the courts which demonstrate the psychiatric/medical profession's inability to maintain ethical standards of their own accord. They cannot be trusted with the regulation of psychosurgery based on their failure to do so in the past.
One of the cases now being heard in Boston ïnvolves a former Polaroid engineer, Leonard Kille, who according to the lawsuit filed on his behalf "was permanently deprived of his earning capacity and his ability to work." Kille was operated on by a Boston physician and psychosurgeon Vernon Mark.
(In 1968 Vernon Mark and Frank Ervin, another Boston physician were awarded $600,000 by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct studies into the correlation between brain "dysfunction" and violence. The purpose of the study was "to pinpoint, diagnose and treat those people with "low violence" thresholds before they contribute to further tragedy." The targets of the study were urban rioters and youths.)
Our organization believes this is an issue which the public should be alerted to as it involves tax dollars for irrversible brain experimentatïon which now may be performed on the poor and the elderly.
Note: I have enclosed some background materials for your use. Let us know if you need additional materials.
Vol. 14, No. 5 (c) 1978 Army Times Publishing Company WASHINGTON, D.C. APRIL 3, 1978
By Black Caucus, ACLU
Psychosurgery Funding Opposed
The Congressional Black Caucus and the American Civil Liberties Union have urged Health, Education and Welfare secretary Joseph Califano not to approve federal funding of experimental psychosurgery.
Psychosurgery is a technique whereby part of an individual's healthy brain tissue is destroyed in order to modify his behavior. Califano is considering a proposal by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavorial Research that federally funded psychosurgery be allowed on an experimental basis on selected patients, prisoners, and mental institution patients.
Rep. Parren J. Mitchell, D-Md., chairman of the Black Caucus, wrote [illegible]that psychosurgery is being practiced at various institutions to control such diverse behavior as homosexuality, hyperactivity in children, schizophrenia, acute depression, criminal activity, compulsive gambling, alcoholism and drug addiction.
Mitch said his major concern was that blacks, the poor the young and social and political activiste "may full prey to this operation which murders the mind." Rep. Ron Dellums, D-Calif., who also opposes the commission's recommendations, said his opposition was based on an additional factor: "The report of the commission does not support its own conclusions ... The attitude of the report seems to be one of looking for ways to justify continuing psychosurgical experimentation, rather than one looking for the truth about techniques and allowing the conclusions to grow from those findings."
Dellums said his review of literature on the subject as well as an investigation conducted by his staff had revealed that the composition of the commission which made the recommendations to HEW was wholly biased in favor of psychosurgery and that there is little documentation showing that psychosurgery even achieves the goals it purportedly aims for.
Supporting Dellums' position, Rep. Louis Stokes noted that the commission's recommendations were "inadequate, inconclusive, and incomplete," because they were based on two pilot studies of 61 patient cases, a mere sampling provided by four surgeons. "I cannot assume," Stokes said, "that the surgeons chose a cross section of cases that both failed and succeeeded." Nor did the sample include children, prisoners and voluntarily or involuntarily confined mental patients.
Stokes also attacked the study for ifs lack of adequate controls. The ACLU's National Prison Project attacked the proposals on the grounds that it was not possible to obtain informed consent from prisoners, that the closed nature of prisons exposes inmates to unchecked abuse in scientific experiments, and that psychosurgery on prisoners cannot be justified because individuals are sent to prison because they have committed specific crimes and not because they are medically or mentally ill.
Spearheading the attack on psychosurgery is a citizens group - The National Commission on Human Rights. It was this group's critique of the HEW proposal that spurred Congress to action.
Congressional Black Caucus
305 House Annex
Washington, D.C. 20515
January 19, 1978
Honorable Joseph A. Califano Secretary
Department of Health, Education and Welfare
Hubert Humphrey Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
Dear Mr. Secretary:
It is our understanding that you will shortly determine whether the administrative action proposed by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Bio-medical and Behavioral Research on the use of psychosurgery in practice and research is appropriate.
The report recommends that psychosurgery be used only to meet the health needs of individual patients, and then only under strict limitations and controls, with added safeguards whether the patient is a prisoner, minor or in a mental institution.
We ask that you not endorse the recommendations of the Commission because of the potential threat psychosurgery poses to minorities in particular, as well as to many other persons. Psychosurgery, a highly experimental surgical procedure performed to control deviant human behavior, has been used to modify such diverse behavior as homosexuality, hyperactivity, schizophrenia, acute depression, criminal activity, compulsive gambling, alcoholism and drug addiction. The Congressional Black Caucus has endorsed Congressman Louis Stokes' bill prohibiting psychosurgery in any federallyconnected health facility.
Our concern is that despite the safeguards included in the Commission report, Blacks, the poor, the young and social and political activists may fall prey to this operation which "murders the mind".
We have seen this before, particularly with Black people, who have long been the unwitting victims of social and economic exploitation. For example, the Tuskegee syphilis study subjected a group of Black men to prolonged mental and physical hardships often resulting in death long after a cure for syphilis had been discovered. A University of Texas research
The Honorable Joseph A. Califano Page Two
team study conducted between 1958 and 1962 brought to the attention of Dr. Alvin Poussaint of Harvard Medical School, revealed that 428 infants were denied a crucial nutrient in their daily formulas. These infants subsequently developed skin disorders and seven died. There have also been attempts to correlate urban rioters and possible brain dysfunction. These are but three alarming examples of patient victimization in the name of medical science. They are shocking examples, yet as frightening as these studies are, they do not compare with the actual and potential psychosurgery threat. The members of the Congressional Black Caucus urge that you reject the findings and recommendations of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.
Parren J. Mitchell
DECEMBER 11, 1978 FEDERAL TIMES
Scandalous Abuse of Trust
WELL, HE'S GONE and done it. The Emperor Califano bas bowed to the weirdos of the mental health lobby and paved the way for a development that could have disastrous consequences for the weaker and less affluent members of our Society. Califano has given his okay to psychosurgery and in doing so he has opened the door for scalpel-happy shrinks to line their pockets with Medicaid and Medicare money at the expense of the poor and the dispossesed.
To me the concept of psychosurgery - the deliberate destruction of healthy brain tissue through surgery in order to achieve behavior modification - is a revolting one. But for the high priest of HEW to glibly throw tax dollars to support this butcherly exercise, which so far has failed to pass any test for therapeutic benefit, is a scandalous abuse of the public trust. As far as I have been able to determine, psychosurgery is no more than a cult amongst its practitioners. And even the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects, which produced a controversial report for Califano, recommended that - at the very most - psychosurgery ought to be encouraged on a limited, experimental basis.
The national commission's report, guarded as it was, came under blistering attack from the congressional black caucus as well as public interest groups such as the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. These groups argued that even if the national commission's limited recommendation were accepted by Califano, psychosurgery would rapidly develop from the "experimental" stage into a full-scale venture. The human rights commission submitted its own critique of the data compiled by the HEW advisory group for justifying its recommendation for experimental psychosurgery. This critique, prepared by numerous professionals in the health field, said that the advisory group's data were biased, that most of the findings were based on the self-serving information provided by psychosurgeons themselves, and that there were no "adequate" controls included in these studies.
The critique noted, for instance, that one case of "successful" psychosurgery cited in support of the therapeutic value of this mind-mangling exercise was that the patient, after being operated on, successfully carried out a suicide plan. And the critique was replete with examples of human beings who had been turned into vegetables and in some cases into psychotics bereft of . all creative power as a result of psychosurgery. And contrary to popular belief that psycho-surgery has been used on an experimental basis to change the behavior of pathological rapists and murderers, the surgery bas actually been performed on people considered to be depressed or schizoid and on older people, prisoners and even on children branded hyperactive.
As it is, the intrusion of psychiatrists and psychologists and other so-called mental health "professionals" into the education of children in our schools has had the effect of turning many of our classrooms into experimental laboratories. As 1 discussed in a previous column, our children are often forced to become guinea-pigs in HEW-funded experimental programs designed to achieve behavior modification, and to discredit the importance of the family unit in proportion to the growing influence of these professionals. These psychiatric social workers merrily recommend the pushing of psychotropic drugs on our children in order to control "hyperkinesis" - which is defined as anything from congeniality to rebellion.
And I can see the day rapidly approaching when these professionals - now that HEW Has given them its blessing - will be able to come into our schools and recommend Medicaid-funded psychosurgery for children they define as being in need of it. And I can also see how HEW-funded institutions and programs for the elderly will start pressuring some of these older folks to undergo Medicare-funded psychosurgery.
It's a.dreadful prospect.
And make no mistake about it. Once HEW opens its door even a crack to let loose funding for one or another type of program, the lobbies which benefit from such funding pry the door open to its fullest to make sure that "open-ended" grants keep flowing into their hands for eternity. Great public relations programs designed to sell the benefits of such funding mushroom. And the lobbies make sure that their plants are in key positions within the HEW hierarchy when budgets and congressional requests for appropriations are being designed. Perhaps one of the best checks against psychosurgery is a malpractice suit. There are many such suits against psychosurgeons in the courts now including one from a Polaroid engineer who underwent the operation and, according to the national commission, became permanently incapacitated.
An additional safeguard would be legislation to ban the hideous practice. And there is every reason to believe that the congressional black caucus will push for such a bill. The caucus had pressed Califano hard to impose strict controls on psychosurgery and to ban federal funds for its use. But Califano seems more concerned about the shrink lobby at the National Institute of Mental Health than about the social and political and cultural concerns of members of Congress.
lThe Washington Star Thursday, November 16, 1978
Califano Balks At U. S. Ban on Psychosurgery,
Despite the recommendation of a national advisory commission, the government has declined to seek federal restrictions on use of brain surgery to alter behavior:
HEW Secretary Joseph A. Califano Jr., in an announcement published terday in the Federal Register, said he would prefer voluntary regulation of psychosurgery by the medical profession over federal controls governing the controversial procedure. He also opened the way for Medicare and. Medicaid financing of psychosurgical procedures. He said he soon will propose regulations setting conditions under which the government would reimburse physicians who perform the surgery on elderly or needy patients. The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects, a federally financed panel of experts, told Califano 18 months ago he should act to restrict the use of psychosurgical techniques.
The commission, which studied 600 individual -cases and reviewed the history of psychosurgery used in the ast 40 yearss, concluded that some of techniques for destroying brain alter do benefit some mentally ill atients, but that the surgery has not yet proved safe and effective enough to be considered "accepted practice."
One of its recommendations was that the Department of Health, Education and Welfare require any hospital that permits the surgery to establish a special, government-aproved review panel that would deide in advance whether a particular patient should undergo psychosurgery and, if so, whether the neurosurgeon involved is competent to perrform, the operation. Under federal and most state Iaws, physician with a license to practice medicine could legally perform highly specialized techniques used to alter behavior by destroying brain tissue. In practice, the commision found, most of the 400 to 500 sychosurgical operations performed each year are done by neurosurgeons on patients referred by psychiatrists. Lyle Bevins, a psychologist with the National Institute of Mental Health, said psychosurgery typically is used to treat severely depressed nd suicidal patients who have not Been helped by drugs or electric shock treatments.
Thursday, December 19, 1989
When more chan 25,000 applicants turned out to apply for 630 jobs at the new Moscow McDonald's, it revealed a deep hunger in the Russian people for freedom, the free enterprise system, the American way of life - or, at least, a Big Mac.
It has been a journey fraught with hardship, repression and danger, but the Russians finally seem poised to pass though the golden arches of democratization. The worid is a little safer place than it was only a few months ago.
Two men, one Russian and one American, have served as catalysts in the contemporary changes under way in society. Both have died -- Andrei Sakharov on Thursday and L. Ron Hubbard almost three years ago to the month. Both were physicists, although their credentials were later attacked. Both were harassed and vilified by the establishment and experienced exile. Both denounced the excesses of authorities and spoke out on human rights, the legal system and the abuses of psychiatry. Their positions; in their respective societies were an anomaly, scorned by the powers that be and yet sought out continually by ordinary people for help with problems the system did not address. In his Nobel lecture, Sakharov said, " .. other civilizations ... should exist an infinite number of times ... on the pages of the Book of the Universe. Yet we should not minimize our sacred endeavors in this world. We must make good the demands of reason and create a life worthy of ourselves and of the goals we only dimly perceive."
Hubbard said he sought a world "without crime, war or insanity."
Both took a cosmic view of humankind's role. Neither was perfect, nor claimed to be. The two men simply cared more and tried harder. In his eulogy to Sakharov, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said, "He was a person who had his own ideas, his own convictions which he expressed openly and directly. I valued this in him. This doesn't mean 1 agreed with him, although on many things we did agree."
Sakharov and Hubbard set aside comfortable lives to confront the moral dilemmas of their time because they had no choice. They looked out the window and saw people struggling to build a bridge, to run a factory or serve a hamburger, burdened by oppression and fear. They felt they had to do whatever was right.
It's easy to applaud Sakharov, and he merits applause. The faults in Soviet society are quick to spot from this distance. We can sit back smugly and congratulate ourselves on the triumph of democracy over communism. It's more difficult to admit that our own country could stand some improvement in certain areas. When Hubbard pointed these out, some so-called experts called him a dissident.
Perhaps it's time to honor every defender of freedom of conscience, including out own.
[images side by side ofRon Hubbard, Andrei D. Sakharov
JANUARY 16, 1995
FLAMEWAR Someone or something has been busy lately on alt.religion.scientology, the Usenet newsgroup that carries the escalating flamewar, on the Internet between the Church of Scientology and its critics. Over the past few weeks, dozens of messages - some of which contained documents the church considers secret and sacred - have mysteriously disappeared. Dennis Erlich, a former Scientology minister, accuses the church of unleashing a "robot canceler" that deleted his :messages. A spokesperson calls his charges "baseless.." Erlich says he will repost the material as soon as he figures out why his phone line suddenly went dead.