The UN recognizes and gives Special Consultative Status to the Foundation created by Scientology in Spain

The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations grants special Consultative Status to the Foundation for the Improvement of Life, Culture and Society[i].

The Board of Trustees of the Foundation for the Improvement of Life, Culture and Society [Foundation MEJORA], has just received a letter from the United Nations NGO Branch. The message informs them that the UN ECOSOC -at its Coordination and Management Meeting of July 23 of this year- has decided to grant the Foundation the recognition of ‘Organization with Special Consultative Status for ECOSOC’.

With this recognition, the Foundation will now have official representatives at the UN in Geneva, Vienna and New York. According to the United Nations website:

The consultative status is granted by ECOSOC and gives NGOs access to both ECOSOC and its many subsidiary bodies, the various United Nations human rights mechanisms,… and special events organized by the President of the General Assembly[ii]

https://research.un.org/es/ngo
Offical letter

being able to present written and oral statements to different organs such as the UN Human Rights Council, and even organize conferences of their own within the United Nations.

The UN approves the application for the Special status

The Foundation MEJORA was founded in 2015 by the Church of Scientology of Spain. It registered into the National Registry of Foundations under the Protectorate of the then Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. As stated in its original request to the United Nations, the Foundation said that based on its:

“vision of a human development through respect for and observation of the Universal Human Rights as well as the application of core values such as human rights, equality, tolerance, respect for human life, peace, democracy and individual freedom” established its mission to “defend, promote, teach and disseminate the Human Rights as included in the Spanish Constitution as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international covenants, to promote pragmatic Scientology values and practices [note: developed by L. Ron Hubbard] aiming at the improvement of individual and social life, and to promote tolerance in all aspects of societal cohabitation…”.

In this application that has just been approved by the Economic and Social Council, the Foundation has documented and stated that:

“MEJORA’s work is done without any discrimination as to gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity and contributes actively to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially regarding the SDG 3, 5, 11 and 16.”.

Fundación para la Mejora de la Vida, la Cultura y la Sociedad
Ivan Arjona-Pelado at the European Parliament. 2019

It acts not only in Spain but at European and international level.

Iván Arjona-Pelado, President of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation and for more than two years of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights, has stated that:

“The Foundation for the IMPROVEMENT of Life, carries out in Spain the campaigns of ‘Youth for Human Rights’, ‘The Truth About Drugs’, ‘The Way to Happiness’ among others, and began working mainly at the national level in collaboration with other civil society organizations, the private sector, as well as public institutions. However, since three years we decided to expand its activity at European and international level, starting operations in countries such as Colombia, Belgium, Mexico, Switzerland, the United States, and many others”.

In the United Nations, they have already co-organized a multitude of conferences at UN facilities in Geneva, Vienna and even New York. These were addressing human trafficking, human rights education, religious freedom and drug prevention.

At the European level, they are registered in the Transparency Register of the European Union. MEJORA has actively participated in the Faith and Freedom Summit NGO coalition that held its last event at the European Parliament in Brussels. The Foundation for the Improvement of Life also participates in numerous initiatives, events and conferences. On the coming 6th September, it will organize the 6th Edition of the Religious Freedom Awards that among its awardees count multiple scholars and officials of recognized prestige in the field of Freedom of Religion or Belief.

For more information:

Email: fundacion[a]mejorandolasociedad.org — Web: www.mejorandolasociedad.org

My Thoughts on the Scientology Religious Order—the Sea Organization on its 50th Anniversary

The religious order of the Scientology religion—the Sea Organization—celebrates its Golden Anniversary.
It was August 12, 1967, in the Spanish Canary Islands. Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard had resigned from the position of Executive Director of the Church a year before, was pursuing a research project into the spiritual nature of mankind, assisted by a handful of veteran Scientologists. On this date, he published a directive stating that this group, the Sea Organization, is now “a permanent establishment within the official Scientology network.” Today, a corps of some 7,000 men and women, the Sea Org is the religious order of the Scientology religion. Its members administer and protect the purity of the religion. Historical Background of Religious Orders Gautama Buddha (ca. 563–483 BCE) created the  Read more at World Religion News: “My Thoughts on the Scientology Religious Order—the Sea Organization on its 50th 

Russian Scientologists Race to Promote Drug-Free Living

A team of Russian Scientologists from the city of Chelyabinsk joined with other concerned members of the community to run in a 2K charity race called Running for the Good of 2017.

Truth About Drugs volunteers from the city of Chelyabinsk
The Scientologists, active in the Truth About Drugs campaign, ran in their signature aqua T-shirts to raise awareness about the danger of drugs and promote drug education as a vital element in bringing the local drug epidemic under control.

Drug abuse is a serious issue in the area. According to a May 2017 report from the Minister of Public Security, drug-related deaths have increased by 600 percent, with 119 deaths so far this year compared with 20 in 2016.

Based on 25 years of experience in drug prevention, the Truth About Drugs program effectively communicates the reality of drug abuse to teens and young adults. Because children and teens are most likely to listen to their peers, the core message—booklets, public service announcements and documentary—feature young people who have gone down the path of addiction and survived to tell the story.

The Church of Scientology and its members support the Truth About Drugs campaign, one of the world’s largest nongovernmental drug education and prevention initiatives. Thanks to this support, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World provides these drug education booklets, videos and educator guides free of charge to teachers, mentors and civic and community leaders.

According to the United Nations Office on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, “Every dollar spent on prevention can save governments up to ten dollars in later costs.”

Can psychiatric drugs for depression turn someone into a killer?

BBC One Panorama documentary raise international debate, while psychiatrists claim this is irresponsible.

The question is becoming more and more important in a world where documentation has shown that most of the mass killers in what has become known as “school shootings” – now also occurring in other settings – in the USA (but also a number of European countries such as Holland, Germany and Finland) were using or in the withdrawal phase after having used #Psychiatric Drugs.

The BBC Panorama programme A Prescription for Murder? aired July 26, 2017, suggests a link between antidepressants and murder. The program dug deep down into a couple of specific cases and among others interviewed experts, both judicial and psychiatric, involved in the original investigation of the case of James Holmes, as well as relatives.

The case of James Holmes who planned and carried out an armed attack on innocent people in a cinema killing 12 and wounding some 70 random persons during a showing of a Batman film is interesting, as James Holmes was captured alive just after carrying out the attack. The initial and later interrogations and interviews were video recorded. The BBC program includes some of this original footage as well as footage from the court room – all presented in an investigative and objective approach.

Attack on the BBC

It is, therefore, worrying that the reaction of the psychiatric establishment to this documentary is an attack on the BBC. It appears they have started running a campaign aimed at silencing media which dare to raise the question if there could be a causal relationship between a psychiatric drug and carrying out a violent act.

The reaction to the question of a possibility that a drug could have pushed a person over the limit where self-restraint holds the person back from carrying out the content of an evil fantasy or intent.

#The Royal College of Psychiatrists believes that media focusing on such a matter is “unfounded and irresponsible”.

The President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP), Wendy Burn, stated that because psychiatric drugs are commonly used, it’s not impossible that somebody who commits a violent act may also take antidepressants. And for this reason (according to the logic she express) one can not question whether there could be a relationship between carrying out a crime or not doing it – due to the effects of the drug. Not even if this would be just by a very limited number of persons.

Risk factors of the drugs

The psychiatrists agree that a person who is insane may carry out a crime because he is insane, but not that a common psychiatric drug can cause a drug user or insane to become either so mentally numb or indifferent, to what he or she actually believe and live by, that he could carry out such a crime. “The drug has nothing to do with it!” Don’t even infer it, because – and that’s the argument – it could cause people to believe that the psychiatric drug(s) could be a problem, and thus some may want to stop using these drugs.

The drugs known as SSRI antidepressants according to the RCP is of such a “general benefit” that non-psychiatrists may not question whether their apparent benefit “outweigh the risks” of violence caused by these drugs in some rare cases.

By the same rationale, one may ask whether the RCP and other national psychiatric societies would take on to study the social effects of such risk factors introduced by psychiatric drug induced random and unpredictable senseless violence now being a part of life?

Willful neglect of data

The psychiatrists in the national society may well sit back and publicly ignore the impact such social ills as senseless violence and terror does to the life of survivors, relatives and society in general, but when it is caused by willful neglect of data that is available, it may very well carry with it a criminal responsibility. Is the RCP also going to silence that?

The BBC Panorama reporter dared to defy this psychiatric threat to freedom of speech and followed an investigative path which resulted in an interesting and well-documented story on this unspoken cause of mass killings.

CLICK http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08zjyp1

The program for rights reasons is restricted to residents in the UK but can be viewed on YouTube using the correct keywords.

FDFE requests OSCE member States to implement drug prevention education

Vienna, AUSTRIA. July 10-11 2017, OSCE* Conference Nexus Between Illicit Drugs, #organised crime and Terrorism executives and staff of ministries of interiors and police. The 57 members gathered to discuss how to break the connection between drugs organised crime and terrorism.

54 States Delegations, Partners for Co-operation, and 28 International Organisations, Academic and Business Circles and Non-Governmental Organisations were participating in the three sessions together with Members of the OSCE Secretariat and OSCE Institutions, with the following themes:

  1. Links Between Illicit Drug Trafficking, Organised Crime and Terrorism.
  2. Illicit Drugs as a Source of Financing Illicit Activities.
  3. Cross-Cutting Issues.

Demanding preventive actions

PhD Christian Mirre, Representative of the Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe, convened at the OSCE-wide Conference on Combating the Threats of Illicit Drugs and the Diversion of Chemical Precursors held in the “Neuer Saal” of Hofburg, former Imperial palace in Vienna (Austria). READ MORE.

World Needs “Revolution” in Mental Health Care, U.N. Health Rights Expert Reports

June 13, 2017 // Human Rights group says overhaul of psycho-pharmaceutical industry should begin with investigation into the drugging of 6 to 12 year olds

A United Nations Health Rights expert, Dr. Dainius Pūras, has issued a report calling for mental health care to move away from a biomedical (drug) model. The mental health industry watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights says the drug model has led to 8.4 million children — 1 million aged five or younger — being prescribed psychiatric drugs in the U.S. alone.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Dainius Pūras, has called for a revolution in mental health care around the world to “end decades of neglect, abuse and violence,” he said after presenting his latest report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.[1] “There is now unequivocal evidence of the failures of a system that relies too heavily on the biomedical model of mental health services, including the front-line and excessive use of psychotropic medicines, and yet these models persist,” Dr. Pūras, head of the Centre for Child Psychiatry Social Pediatrics at Vilnius University, Lithuania, said.

Between 2007 and 2011, Dr. Pūras also served as a member of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which held hearings on the increasing rate of children being labeled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and drugged with psychostimulants.[2]

Mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) presented submissions to the UNCRC warning about the massive prescribing of psychotropic drugs to children in fourteen countries.[3] In response to the report submitted to one country, the U.N. body strongly recommended the establishment of a system for the “monitoring of the excessive use of psychostimulants to children.” The UNCRC was critical of the “medicating” of children “without expressly examining root causes or providing parents and children with alternative support and therapy.”[4] CCHR says a mental health “revolution” should start with an investigation into the more than one million 0-5 year olds prescribed psychiatric drugs, including 188,899 given stimulants in the U.S. An additional 4.1 million 6- 12-year-olds are also on psychiatric drugs, according to information obtained from IMS Health.

In his recent report, Mr. Pūras warns that power and decision-making in mental health are concentrated in the hands of “biomedical gatekeepers,” particularly those representing biological psychiatry.[5] CCHR’s submissions to the UNCRC had raised concerns about this biomedical emphasis.

The U.S. has one of the highest rates in the world of children prescribed psychostimulants, with 4.4 million children and adolescents on the drugs, and in Europe is steadily growing becoming more and more similar to the USA.

 

The United States has one of the highest rates in the world of children prescribed psychostimulants, with 4.4 million children and adolescents on the drugs.[6] In May, QuintilesIMS Institute released the 2016 U.S. ADHD drugs sales and prescription information. ADHD drugs were the 13th highest class in prescriptions at 91 million, up 4.6 percent from 87 million in 2015 and nearly 20 percent from 76 million prescriptions in 2012. Sales of ADHD drugs were $11.2 billion in 2016.[7]

CCHR says the reliance upon the biomedical model is putting children at risk. A study published online in March 2017 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that ADHD drugs such as methylphenidate and amphetamine-dextroamphetamine are not only ineffective in long-term treatment of “ADHD symptoms” but also can suppress growth if taken into adulthood.[8] Other adverse effects reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are recorded on CCHR’s psychiatric drugs side effects database.

A “Revolutionary” Approach to “ADHD”

According to the watchdog group, the U.S. should look to approaches overseas, in particular Western Australia and Dr. Martin Whitely, former Member of Parliament (MP) and teacher who challenged the monitoring of psychostimulants given children in his state. In 2012, Allen Francis, a U.S. Duke University professor of psychiatry emeritus, writing in The Huffington Post said that Martin Whitely “offers a proven public health cure for this false ‘epidemic’ of diagnosis and treatment [of ADHD], one that has already worked wonders in his native state of Western Australia.” The MP’s work caused a massive downturn in child prescribing rates after calling for greater accountability of psychostimulant prescriptions to children. “The resulting more rigorous and independently administered accountability resulted in a dramatic and sustained (60-70 percent) fall in child ADD prescribing numbers,” Dr. Whitely stated.[9]

Dr. Whitely helped in the release of a groundbreaking study on the long-term outcomes associated with stimulants in the treatment of ADHD. Known as the Raine study, researchers tracked children from birth to age 14 in Western Australian (WA). Published in February 2010, it provided the world’s first independent data on the long-term effects (eight years) of psychostimulants prescribed to treat “ADHD.” It found that amongst children who had been diagnosed with ADHD, those “medicated” with stimulants had significantly worse outcomes than those “never medicated.” Specifically those drugged were 10.5 times more likely to be failing school than those never drugged. Researchers also found that stimulants may predispose children to the risk of heart attacks and stroke.[10]

Like many experts, Whitely points to the subjective means of diagnosing ADHD that underlies the epidemic of child drugging, saying that “ordinary behaviors like losing things, fidgeting, being forgetful, distracted or impulsive are turned into symptoms for concocted ‘disorders’ like ADHD. They are not symptoms, they are behaviors; perfectly normal behaviors, especially for children. In some cases they may require some attention, love and/or discipline, but they don’t require amphetamines.”[11]

This subjectivity has also raised criticism within psychiatry itself. In 2013, Professor Frances, who was former head of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) IV Task Force, said the manual and new drugs that were aggressively marketed were responsible for rates of ADHD that tripled in the United States over 15 years.[12] He called it a “false epidemic” of ADHD.[13] The most recent APA manual says: “No biological marker is diagnostic for ADHD.”[14]

After leaving politics, Dr. Whitely completed his Ph.D. thesis in 2014 at the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy in Western Australia on the subject of ADHD policy and practice in Australia.[15] He has also written the book “Speed Up and Sit Still: The Controversies of ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment.”

In 2016, a series regarding the “future of mental health” published in Psychology Today, included an interview with Dr. Whitely, who stated: “Psychiatric diagnoses rarely involve identifying a cause and virtually never involve finding a cure.”[16] A key to “changing the dominant ‘label and drug’ paradigm,” he recommended, “is confronting the disease mongers and debunking their pseudoscience. Another key is to demand from our politicians that our regulators are independent and guided by robust science.”[17]

The article further quoted Dr. Whitely: “Drugging distracted kids with amphetamines and similarly dangerous drugs is disgraceful. Twenty years from now adults will look back and wonder what their parent’s generation was thinking.”[18]

In January 2017, a study published the findings of a research team led by Dr. Whitely which analyzed data from 311,384 West Australian students aged 6 to 10 and 11 to 15. Of these, 5,937 received psychostimulants or other ADHD drugs. Among kids aged 6-10, those born in June, the last month of the recommended school intake, were twice as likely to have been given ADHD drugs as those born in July, the first month of the recommended intake. A similar difference was found in the 11-15 age group. “Similar findings in North America indicated that developmental immaturity is mislabeled as a mental disorder and unnecessarily treated with stimulant medication,” the researchers reported in Medical Journal of Australia.[19] In 2016, Dr. Whitely said, “Nothing demonstrates what a nonsense diagnosis ADHD is better than the now well-established late birthdates effects. Four (soon to be five) large-scale international studies have established that children who are born in the later months of their school year cohort are far more likely to be labeled ADHD and drugged than their older classmates.”[20]

Dr. Whitely is aware of the need for more public awareness, pointing to “the most influential exposé of psychiatric excess in the 1970s was One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. We need similar exposés that both entertain and educate,” he said.[21] With that, he and a talented young Australian film maker Ben Kosterich and others produced the “mockumentary,” ADHD is BS (Behavioral Science). The mockumentary uses entertainment to educate that there is no biological marker to diagnose ADHD and the criteria are so broad as to enable any child to be diagnosed with the “disorder.”[22]

CCHR says that U.S. legislators could learn from Dr. Whitely’s experience. “For most politicians, mental health is a mysterious field. Many believe we need to do something about mental health; however, very few have any concept of what needs to be done. As a consequence, they rely heavily on ‘experts’ for advice. This is standard practice as politicians can’t be experts in everything they are required to make decisions about,” Dr. Whitely said.[23]

CCHR says a national inquiry is needed into the high numbers of American children, especially those younger than 12, being prescribed psychotropic drugs. CCHR was instrumental in obtaining the 2004 Federal Child Medication Safety amendment, which gives parents the right to refuse psychiatric drugs for their children as a provision for attending school. They want to see the law expanded beyond the education system and for governments to act on a UNCRC recommendation to “put a stop to the practice of labeling of children as ‘having a psychiatric problem,’ in cases that are not validated by medical evidence.”[24] This would be a start to reverse what Dr. Pūras describes as “a failure to integrate evidence and the voices of those most affected into policy, and a failure to respect, protect and fulfill the right to health.”[25]

References:

[1] “World needs ‘revolution’ in mental health care – UN rights expert,”http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21689&LangID=E#sthash.MMIxDbIx.dpuf; http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21689&LangID=E.

[2] http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Health/Pages/SRBio.aspx

[3] The countries were Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Spain, and Switzerland.

[4] “Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention,” UNCRC, 17 Sept. – 5 Oct. 2012, P. 15, http://rightsofchildren.ca/wp-content/uploads/Canada_CRC-Concluding-Observations_61.2012.pdf.

[5] “World needs ‘revolution’ in mental health care – UN rights expert,”http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21689&LangID=E#sthash.MMIxDbIx.dpuf; http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21689&LangID=E.

[6] https://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/children-on-psychiatric-drugs/

[7] “Medicines Use and Spending in the U.S.: A Review of 2016 and Outlook to 2021” Quintiles IMS Institute, May 2017, p. 37.

[8] https://www.cchrint.org/2017/04/05/study-shows-long-term-use-of-adhd-drugs-ineffective-as-treatment-but-do-cause-growth-suppression/; Swanson JM, et al., “Young adult outcomes in the follow-up of the multimodal treatment study of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: symptom persistence, source discrepancy, and height suppression,” J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 10 Mar 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28295312.

[9] Allen Frances, “Taming the ADD Epidemic,” Huffington Post, 31 Oct. 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-frances/add-epidemic-_b_1293556.html.

[10] ttp://www.health.wa.gov.au/publications/documents/MICADHD_Raine_ADHD_Study_report_022010.pdf; http://speedupsitstill.com/2011/02/20/raine-study-review-one-year-on/.

[11] Eric R. Maisel Ph.D., “Martin Whitely on ADHD: On the future of mental health,” Psychology Today, 22 Mar. 2016, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rethinking-mental-health/201603/martin-whitely-adhd.

[12] “Does your child really have a behaviour disorder? A shocking book by a leading therapist reveals how millions of us – including children – are wrongly labeled with psychiatric problems,” Daily Mail, 6 May 2013, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2320493/Does-child-really-behaviour-disorder-A-shocking-book-leading-therapist-reveals-millions–including-children–wrongly-labelled-psychiatric-problems.html#ixzz2SciDb8UA.

[13] Winston Chung, “Be prudent in diagnosing, medicating ADHD,” San Francisco Chronicle, 14 May 2013, www.sfgate.com/health/article/Be-prudent-in-diagnosing-medicating-ADHD-4477451.php.

[14] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5), (American Psychiatric Association, Arlington, VA 2013), p. 61.

[15] http://speedupsitstill.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Martin-Whitely-PhD-Thesis-Copy-ADHD-and-Regulatory-Capture-in-Australia-PDF1.pdf.

[16] Op. cit., Eric R. Maisel, Ph.D., https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rethinking-mental-health/201603/martin-whitely-adhd.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] http://www.mentalhealthexcellence.org/adhd-children-may-be-immature/.

[20] Op. cit., Eric R. Maisel, Ph.D.

[21] Ibid.

[22] http://www.adhdisbs.com/adhd-facts/

[23] Op. cit., Eric R. Maisel, Ph.D.

[24] United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Concluding observations on the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Germany, CRC/C/DEU/CO/3-4, 25 Feb 2014, http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC/C/DEU/CO/3-4&Lang=En.

[25] “World needs ‘revolution’ in mental health care – UN rights expert,”http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21689&LangID=E#sthash.MMIxDbIx.dpuf; http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21689&LangID=E.