Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beltway-Backdoor Politics Catch Anonymous's Eye

Did Scientology Enlist Congressional Stooges to Attack France?

: Six members of Congress wrote a letter of protest to the French ambassador last month, taking the country to task for a new report from a French government agency that attacks some self-professed religions as "cults." Was Scientology behind it?

Over at WWP, an anon was said to have shown the letter to a retired lawyer who used to do some capitol hill lobbying, and asked for advice on how best to target the congress-ites.

After about 10 minutes of reading, he politely sputtered 'WTF!!!' type responses; the letter as a whole was deemed mighty suspicious in terms questionable use of official letterhead for personal reasons due to the lack of committee backing behind it. [view letter here]

Gawker goes on to say: " The letter, signed by Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), Dianne Watson (D-Calif.), Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) and Dan Burton (R-Ind.), said that the report— which was written by MIVILUDES, a French government agency that tracks cults and sectarian religions— "raises serious concerns regarding protection for an individual's right to freedom of religion in France.

While there could be many reasons to attack the french report—it's also critical of more normal-seeming religious groups, like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons, and MIVILUDES critiques what it calls "sectarian aberrations," which just sounds creepy—there are some connections between Scientology and some of the congressmen who signed it.
• Bilirakis, for instance, represents Clearwater, Fla., the "spiritual headquarters" of the church, and an American flag donated by him flies over the Church of Scientology Life Improvement Center in Plant City, Florida.
• Burton, the guy who shot a pumpkin in his efforts to get to the bottom of Vince Foster's suicide, employed Beth Clay as a staffer on the Government Reform committee for seven years; Clay is a board member of the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, an anti-psychiatry Scientology front group.
• Gus Bilirakis, just plain has a shady past when it comes to money that's not his.

The letter also comes when Scientology is going on trial in France for fraud, so you know they're looking for a win. And we've already seen that the group has some fairly sophisticated plans for enlisting congressional support to accomplish its goals. They are also no strangers to lobbing in DC as reported here in an 1998 SPtimes.com article, Scientology's influence grows in Washington.

Want to see what else is going on behind the scenes? Visit WWP's Operation: Sink The Congressional Stooges thread for moar info.

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