Wednesday, April 25, 2007

World's largest psychiatric watchdog celebrates its 38th Year

PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Brian Daniels
Tel: 01342 313 926
Citizens Commission on Human Rights UK celebrates its 38th Year

Three human rights awards presented at Saint Hill Castle

EAST GRINSTEAD: On Saturday 21 April, Saint Hill Castle hosted the 38th Anniversary Banquet of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR UK) when three individuals, whose work has helped champion the achievement of human rights in the field of mental health, were each presented with a Human Rights Award.

Exemplifying the efforts to inform parents and get to the cause of so-called ‘childhood mental health problems’, Professor Neil Ward of Surrey University was presented with CCHR’s annual Human Rights Award by Deputy Mayor of East Grinstead, Councillor Ian Dixon.

Opposing the use of chemical restraints to control children and refusing to medicalise ‘naughty’ kids, Professor Ward’s research has focused on nutritional deficiencies as well as other environmental factors, to demonstrate how these can result in poor childhood behaviour.

Jason Pegler, chief executive of the mental health publisher Chipmunka Publishing, was also honoured for exposing an abusive mental health system through the publication of books written by those caught up in a system where their stories would otherwise go unheard. A psychiatric survivor himself, Pegler realised a ‘healing process’ by writing about his experiences, and has gone on to encourage others to do the same, publishing over 50 titles.

From left to right: CCHR Human Rights award recipient, CCHR Commissioner, the founder of the Restorative Health Company and a former Chief Superintendent of the West Yorkshire Police - Peter Bennett, award recipient Jason Pegler, chief executive of the mental health publisher Chipmunka Publishing, award recipient Professor Neil Ward of Surrey University, and Deputy Mayor of East Grinstead, Councillor Ian Dixon.

Former Mayor of East Grinstead, Christine Mainstone, was also at the banquet to present a special recognition to 73-year-old Maggie Chapman from Bradford in West Yorkshire. Chapman underwent and survived a brutal psychiatric brain operation, which was filmed by Yorkshire TV, and is now part of CCHR’s blockbuster documentary CD, Psychiatry: An Industry of Death. Christine Mainstone described Chapman as a remarkable and courageous lady, whose experience serves to highlight the brutality of psychosurgery.

“I’ve been connected to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights for some years now, and I know this organisation has a purpose to see the back of psychiatrists. I know that’s their purpose. That’s why CCHR is the only organisation that has my permission to use the footage of my brain operation.

“If it can help to bring psychiatrists to justice, and to be held accountable for their actions, then that’s fine by me!” said a defiant Maggie Chapman.

Award recipient Maggie Chapman with Christine Mainstone, former mayor of East Grinstead.

Local dignitaries at the banquet were joined by ambassadors, high commissioners, doctors, lawyers, authors and religious leaders to acknowledge these individuals for exposing mental health abuses, so that it can return to a practice that embraces the concepts of human rights and dignity.

The event was held in The Great Hall of Saint Hill Castle.

“Today, 20 million children around the world are prescribed addictive psychoactive drugs and in the United Kingdom, someone is involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution every 12 minutes,” said Lady Margaret McNair, Executive Director of CCHR UK.

“Today, more than 150 million people worldwide have taken antidepressants in what has become a “choose your mood” society….Psychiatry’s obsession in labelling people’s emotions and behaviours will ultimately be their biggest downfall. [Now] with more than 30,000 newspapers articles and TV media exposing psychiatric dangers last year, millions of people are getting the facts.

“Only this week, this very campaign was highlighted on an international scale as the horrific details of yet another school shooting unfolded. 33 pupils were shot dead, while another 29 were seriously injured. And yes, it’s been reported the gunman had been on antidepressant drugs.

“The psychiatric-pharmaceutical alliance is being brought to account.”

Lady Margaret McNair, Executive Director of CCHR UK.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights. Past winners of CCHR’s Human Rights Awards in the UK include GMTV’s nutrition expert Patrick Holford and in the US, soul artist Isaac Hayes.

For more information, contact:

Brian Daniels
CCHR UK
P.O. Box 188
East Grinstead
West Sussex
RH19 4RB

Tel: 01342 313 926
Email: info@cchr.org.uk
Web: http://www.cchr.org.uk

See also:

Monday, April 09, 2007

Church of Scientology of Moscow Wins Landmark Decision In European Court of Human Rights

Confirmation of Scientology's Religious Bona Fides by the Highest Court in Europe

European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg

In a unanimous decision today (5 April 2007), the European Court of Human Rights (First Section) found in favour of the Scientology religion, upholding the religious freedom of Scientologists throughout the forty-six nations that comprise the Council of Europe, in a precedent-setting ruling that will help guarantee these rights for people of all faiths.

The court overturned the Moscow City government’s refusal to register the Church of Scientology of Moscow as a religious organization.

The Court in its opinion “referred to its settled case-law to the effect that, as enshrined in Article 9, freedom of thought, conscience and religion is one of the foundations of a ‘democratic society’ within the meaning of the Convention. It is, in its religious dimension, one of the most vital elements that go to make up the identity of believers and their conception of life, but it is also a precious asset for atheists, agnostics, sceptics and the unconcerned. The pluralism indissociable from a democratic society, which has been dearly won over the centuries, depends on it.”

The Court went on to find that “In the light of the general principles outlined above, the ability to establish a legal entity in order to act collectively in a field of mutual interest is one of the most important aspects of freedom of association, without which that right would be deprived of any meaning. The Court has expressed the view that a refusal by the domestic authorities to grant legal-entity status to an association of individuals may amount to an interference with the applicants' exercise of their right to freedom of association. Where the organisation of the religious community is at issue, a refusal to recognise it also constitutes interference with the applicants' right to freedom of religion under Article 9 of the Convention. The believers' right to freedom of religion encompasses the expectation that the community will be allowed to function peacefully, free from arbitrary State intervention.”

The Court then found that in “view of the Court's finding above that the reasons invoked by the Moscow Justice Department and endorsed by the Moscow courts to deny re-registration of the applicant branch had no legal basis, it can be inferred that, in denying registration to the Church of Scientology of Moscow, the Moscow authorities did not act in good faith and neglected their duty of neutrality and impartiality vis-à-vis the applicant's religious community. In the light of the foregoing, the Court considers that the interference with the applicant's right to freedom of religion and association was not justified. There has therefore been a violation of Article 11 of the Convention read in the light of Article 9.”

Elena Saycheva, spokesperson of the Church of Scientology of Moscow, praised the court’s ruling saying, “This decision not only confirms the rights of churches of Scientology, but also sets another important precedent to protect the rights of all other religious communities in Europe.”

In Church of Scientology Moscow vs Russia (Application no. 18147/02), the Church of Scientology of the City of Moscow filed an application regarding the refusal of the Moscow department of Justice to re-register the Church as a religious organization. The Church of Scientology of Moscow was first registered in 1994. After a change in the law the Church filed an application for re-registration. The Church complained that the refusal of its application violated fundamental rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.

In today’s decision, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously confirmed that the Russian Federation violated the Church’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association) of the European Convention on Human Rights read in the light of Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion).

This finding guarantees protection for Scientology churches not only in Russia but also in all 46 member nations over which the Council of Europe has jurisdiction.

The Church of Scientology was represented in the Court by English solicitor Peter Hodkin and two Russian lawyers. Mr Hodkin stated afterwards:

“This case signals the end of discrimination towards the religious community of Scientologists by government authorities across Europe. Although the Church of Scientology has existed for more than 50 years, it has suffered from discrimination in some areas due to its relative newness and misinformation and disinformation which has sometimes appeared concerning the beliefs and practices of Scientologists.”

The Scientology religion was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The first church was established in the United States in 1954. It has grown to more than 7,500 churches, missions and groups and ten million members in 163 nations. The Russian Federation has more than 40 Scientology churches and missions from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok.

For more information about Scientology, see www.scientology-moscow.ru or www.scientology-london.org

For more information, contact:
Graeme Wilson, 01342 318 229 or 07950 968 351

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Jonathan Ross Show excerpt: How Scientology has helped John Travolta

Photo from Celebopedia

'Friday Night with Jonathan Ross', BBC 1, 30 March 2007

JR: John, I'm just enamoured of your work. I love seeing you on screen. I like the way you live your life from the sound of things. We've touched on your dancing in a round about way. Let me ask you a question here - and I'm not going to mock this because I know it's an important thing to you. I want to ask you about Scientology...

JT: Sure.

JR: ...because you're one of the two most, kind of, famous practitioners. I don't know if that's the correct word of Scientology. There's Tom Cruise of course, who we all know about, and you, for many years have talked about it. What have you got out of it?

JT: I've been involved 32 years in Scientology and it's given me all the tools to survive in life that I need and it helped so many people and we're all over the world and we go out of our way to help people - whether it's natural disasters or personal help with their lives and I've always found it an enormous help and tool for me to survive better. And right from the start, I always had a wherewithal because of their help to never self-destruct, you know. I could always use the tools to better myself and become more able, more in communication with people and have more fun.

JR: Now one of the things that was in the news over here about Scientology was recently, of course, Tom Cruise and his lovely wife have had a baby, and it became newsworthy in the papers that apparently, Scientologists believe that a birth should be silent if possible. Now I know your wife is a Scientologist. Did you achieve that? Did you have silent birth?

JT: Yeah, it's pretty simple stuff really. All it is, is when pain - there's a lot of pain involved in a birth, or there can be for the baby, and the wife and often verbiage is recorded in the mind.

JR: So a baby maybe, even if it doesn't understand what's going on, will hear the sound or get the impressions of the emotions.

JT: Yes, and they can be anything from what the doctors are saying or the fears or the concerns of the people around and it's just... Even when a person has an accident or hurts themself, it's just better to be quiet when they're being handled.

JR: But here's the thing I'm asking you. How do you do that? Because when my wife was having the baby, there were times when she was calling me some things which, er alright, maybe, history has proved her correct but...

JT: Well, noise is different than verbiage.

JR: OK - just an "argh" would be a bad thing?

JT: Yes, screams, if you have to, is fine. But it's the, it's the...

JR: Don't be saying things.

JT: ...the content of the meaning of a word that could have impingement later on in life, do you see? And that's what you don't want - but if you want to make noises, it's fine, you know.

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