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SVG should break with Scientology now!

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Fri, Jul 13. 2012

Editor: In view of charges of child abuse by the church of Scientology (numerous references, including ABC’s Lateline and New York’s “Village Voice” with its ongoing series of articles about Scientology) aboard the cruise ship Freewinds, which has recently been harboured in St Vincent, I urge the Government of St Vincent to ban the ship from these shores.{{more}} Scientology abuses small nations by feting the rich and powerful and preying on the poor in order to advance its partisan philosophy.

I had a sister, now deceased, who had ties to Scientology for many years and I was witness to the tactics the organization uses to coerce its members. As an artist of some repute, she was wined and dined and made to feel special by the upper echelons of the organization, while those without special talents were treated miserably. As a result, she spent thousands and thousands of dollars on “life improvement” classes whose purpose was specious at best. With help from family and friends, she escaped the clutches of the organization; yet today, more than a year after her death, she still receives daily posts, at the home of her daughter, urging her to return!

The current leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, has been faced with press accounts alleging illegal and unethical practices, both personally and through his organizational management. A statement in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, says these allegations include reports of “forced separation of family members, coercive fundraising practices, harassment of journalists and church critics, and public humiliation of church staff members, including physical assaults by Miscavige. Miscavige and church spokespeople have consistently denied these charges, often raising counter-charges that attack the credibility of the journalists and sources responsible for the critical accounts.”

I urge the Government of St Vincent to avoid becoming a party to these charges by breaking any relationship with Scientology (as other nations have done) which appears to compromise its integrity and statehood.

Marc Erdrich

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