Jan Figel on FoRB: “The aim has to be to raise awareness of what is going on in Europe itself” 🗺

EU’s religious freedom envoy wants Europe to do more to protect minorities


The EU’s special envoy for religious freedom, Jan Figel, believes that Europe needs to face up to the numerous cases of discrimination that occur against religious minorities within its own borders.Speaking at a high-level conference in Brussels, Figel said the upcoming European elections in May was a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the threat to religious freedom and belief.“The credibility of the EU and Europe is at stake,” Figel said during his opening address at the Faith and Freedom Summit, a coalition of 18 NGOs which have come together to promote religious tolerance, including in Europe.
Figel said he had personal experience of a society where freedom of speech was frowned upon, saying, “I spent half my life in Czechoslovakia under Communism so know all about this issue. Even today, data shows that some 73% of the world’s population lives in countries which have high or very high restrictions or obstacles in place against religious freedom and belief. We must stop these negative trends and reverse the threat that currently exists. It is not just discrimination against minorities that is going on, but persecution and, in some cases, even genocide,” said Figel, who added, We simply cannot stand by here in Europe and be mere commentators or observers of this.”Figel outlined some positive developments that have occurred in the last five years including the creation of his own special envoy post in 2016 and the adoption of EU guidelines on religious freedom three years earlier, as well as the creation in the parliament of an intergroup for religious tolerance.

The EU Fundamental Agency on Human Rights was another “vital instrument” in the struggle against restrictions on religious freedoms.

Noting the difference between “Continental Europe” and the wider region covered by the Council of Europe, Figel said that “real problems” still exist in Europe, including in Turkey in the crackdown against the Orthodox Church and also in Russia against Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as numerous cases of anti-Semitism in various EU countries.

“We have got to face up to these problems and tackle them head-on. The aim has to be to raise awareness of what is going on in Europe itself, as well as further afield, and to seek improvements,” said Figel. We have to realise that we, in Europe, cannot preach to others what they should be doing if we are not credibly tackling these issues within our own borders”.

Scientology Europe participates as co-organizer at Human Rights event in United Nations Geneva

The Church of Scientology participated as one of the main co-sponsors of the event of the 70th Anniversary of the UDHR organized by over 20 civil society organizations and Permanent Missions of Estonia, Finland, Philippine and Slovac Republic.

The event, celebrated on December 10th at the original UN room of the League of Nations between 1936 and 1946 in Geneva [Room VII], was headed and organized by CAP Freedom of Conscience and the Fundacion Vida Green Ecological Group, two human rights organizations with which the Church of Scientology work tightly to defend the rights of everyone on earth, fighting religious persecutions, human trafficking and as well as racial discriminations and of all sorts.

In representation of the Church was Mr. Ivan Arjona-Pelado, President of the Brussels based European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs, who was honored with being one of the Masters of Ceremonies of the celebration because of his key implication in the organization of the event.

During his speech at the panel dedicated to the actions of faith-based organization to promote Human Rights, Mr. Arjona-Pelado spoke of the origins of the Creed of the Church of Scientology, which developed by founder L. Ron Hubbard states that “all Men [meaning both Men and Women] of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights… inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance… inalienable rights to their own lives…” and also made reference to the work being done through the campaigns UNITED for HUMAN RIGHTS and YOUTH for HUMAN RIGHTS because of the incredible materials they have produced with the support of the Church and its members.

He continued saying that: we not only urge our own people to KNOW, LEARN and APPLY the UDHR, but we also make sure everyone around us get to know them. It is our duty to engage civil servants, diplomats, with people from different beliefs and non believers, to make sure that the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion can be enjoyed by every human being, and it is in this light that we have fought for this right and others at the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the OSCE and even the United Nations Human Rights Council, defending Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and every other existing religion and ways of belief”.

And he concluded with this final statement and call: “We should all be UNITED for HUMAN RIGHTS, we should all STANDUP4HUMANRIGHTS. Lets share our success stories, lets use the materials provided by many, to make Human Rights, in this 70th Anniversary of the UDHR, a sustainable reality well in its way”.

Among the circa 120 participants to the event, there were representatives of numerous civil society organizations, as well as personnel from the UN Permanent Missions of Armenia, Angola, Congo, Cuba, Gabon, Georgia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Soudan, Sri Lanka, Uruguay and Zambia.

With speeches from over 20 NGOs, churches and activists, the attendees learned a grasp of good practices around the world to make Human Rights known, being education a key factor most of the speeches.

The Conference was structured with different themes, and starting with a panel in which the co-organizing missions encouraged all the activists to keep working on Human Rights and to do it together with the states.

This was followed with the screening of the award-winning documentary ”The History of Human Rights” (www.humanrights.com), produced by United for Human Rights and Youth for Human Rights, and which the attendees applauded with great enthusiasm and admiration.

The 2nd panel topic was: Education – Knowing and understanding the UDHR to apply it, was moderated by Mr. Luis Alberto Alarcon-Valencia, Chairman of the ECOSOC Foundation Life Green Ecological Group, and had the participation of the representatives of “Humanidad de Oro” [Mexico], “United for Human Rights International”, “Association of Training and Orientation to the Refugee and Migrants (FOARE)[Spain-Colombia-Venezuela], “Foundation for a Drug Free Europe” [Sweden], and “Corporación Vida SILOE” (Colombia-Spain).

The topic of the 3rd panel: Faith based organizations committing to the UDHR, was moderated by Mr. Martin Weightman, Director of the UK based All Faiths Network, who had the participation of the representatives of “Assoc. for the Promotion of the Dialogue Intercultural and Interreligious” [Switzerland], “United Sikh International” [United Kingdom], “Muslim Ahmadiyya Community”, “Church of the Light of the World” [USA and Mexico], “Center of Studies on New Religions CESNUR” and the “European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs”.

The 4th and last panel was about the Commitment of activists with public authorities to further & protect the UDHR and it was moderated by Mr. Eric Roux in his capacity of Chairman of the “European Inter-Religious Forum for Religious Freedom” and had the participation of representatives from “Gerard Noodt Foundation” [Holland], “Soteria International [Denmark], “European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion” and the “Fundacion para la Mejora de la Vida, la Cultura y la Sociedad” [Spain].

Scientology TV launches news season, including European content 🗺

Los Angeles (CA) – Tonight, Monday, October 8, 2018 at 8 pm the Scientology Network begins its second season with more than 60 new episodes showing every aspect of the world’s youngest major religion and its global humanitarian mission.

Since launching on March 12 with more than 70 hours of programming, the Scientology Network has been viewed in 237 countries and territories worldwide in 17 languages spotlighting the lives of Scientologists; showing the Church as a global organization; and presenting its social betterment programs that have touched the lives of millions.

The network has been praised for shattering the paradigm of religious broadcasting, ushering in a new era that shows a religion in action, making the world better. The Scientology Network doesn’t preach but, instead, through its dynamic selection of programs, simply shows the religion, its members and its work, so that viewers can see for themselves and this new Fall season includes also European content.

The network also uniquely features the good works of those across all major faiths, while providing a platform for independent filmmakers www.scientology.tv/series/documentary-showcase/  to air poignant, uplifting films on important social issues that underscore the goodness of the human spirit and show how determined individuals can make a difference.

The new season will launch with a three-hour special featuring programs across the channel’s spectrum of content, including:

Inside Scientology as it goes behind the scenes at Scientology Media Productions, where all television programming is produced and broadcast.

Meet a Scientologist spotlighting an acclaimed Emmy Award-winning television and film composer.

Destination: Scientology goes inside the Church of Scientology in the heart of New York City.

Voices for Humanity shows the efforts of a courageous champion for drug education who takes on New Jersey’s addiction crisis.

Is It Possible to Be Happy?, the landmark article in L. Ron Hubbard’s own voice.

For more information on the network debut, click here: https://www.scientology.tv/news/new-scientology-network-season-debuts.html

You can see the Scientology Network on DirecTV channel 320 or through live streaming via www.scientology.tv or:

APPLE TV app download here — AMAZON FIRE TV app download here —  ROKU app download here

Discover Scientology UNCENSORED, the history and aim of our new TV Channel

By MICHAEL BRENNAN & DAN LUZADDER. Years in the planning, the Church’s new television network reaches every corner of the planet with a message about helping others.

The Scientology Network went live with the flip of a switch at 8 p.m. on March 12, 2018, instantly ushering in a momentous new era by which the religion is disseminated to millions of people across the United States and hundreds of millions more worldwide over the internet. From the three-story atrium of the Church’s landmark Flag Building at its spiritual home in Clearwater, Florida, Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, welcomed the world to the network with a powerful introduction during its first minutes on the air to explain the mission of something that redefines religious broadcasting.

“You’ve probably heard of Scientology,” Mr. Miscavige stated. “In fact, every six seconds someone searches the question, ‘What is Scientology?’ There’s a lot of talk about us, and we get it. People are curious. Well, we want to answer your questions, because, frankly, whatever you have heard, if you haven’t heard it from us, I can assure you, we are not what you expect.”

Mr. David Miscavige, Ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion

WELCOME — Mr. David Miscavige welcomes viewers to the launch of the Scientology Network from the atrium of the Church’s 21st-century Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida.

“Scientology is a dynamic and expanding religion, and we’re going to be showing you all of it.”

Mr. David Miscavige, Ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion

Mr. Miscavige described to the audience watching on TV screens, computers and mobile devices worldwide the purpose of the new Scientology Network—let viewers see and experience the religion for themselves with a fresh take on the religious broadcasting genre. People would view what they never see in the media today—who Scientologists are, what Scientology is and what Scientology can do—as told by Scientologists themselves around the world for the first time on any network. “Scientology is a dynamic and expanding religion, and we’re going to be showing you all of it.”

Mr. Miscavige continued: “Let’s be clear, we’re not here to preach to you, to convince you or to convert you. No, we simply want to show you. Because, after all, the first principle of Scientology is that ‘It’s only true if it is true for you.’”

With the launch of the Scientology Network, as outlined within this special edition of Freedom magazine, the Church is opening new frontiers in its global effort to bring about a better world.

The Scientology religion is expanding at an ever-quickening pace. It is attracting new members daily. New Churches are being built around the world to accommodate the demand, and to serve as centers for its humanitarian missions, including its efforts to reduce drug abuse and dependence, to improve learning through educational programs, to encourage and support social justice and human rights and to teach the lessons that Mr. Hubbard found crucial in fostering change.

As you will read in this special edition, the Church of Scientology now has the means to tell its own story by showing the world who Scientologists are, what they do and the work they do to help bring about an advanced civilization and society, developing and perfecting the technological expertise behind the message. And that message is, and has always been, to realize the goal of a world without insanity, without criminals, without war—one, as Mr. Hubbard envisioned, where man is free to rise to greater heights.

The Church has been dedicated to doing this work for many years, and it has had an impact. Its humanitarian programs have reached tens of millions of people, bringing opportunity and hope. As the world’s youngest major religion, and the only one able to bring the world the unadulterated words and insights of its Founder, it is now embarked on a greater mission: to bring Scientology solutions and Scientology spiritual understanding to millions more people on every continent of Earth.

But, for many around the world, the story of Scientology and its benefits and insights into human spirituality have been misunderstood and mischaracterized, sometimes purposely distorted. That has not been unexpected, because the Church has faced what all world religions have faced, especially when they are new: skepticism, doubt and critics. But now, as this new era of communication unfolds, the Church can begin to tell its own story, factually, frankly and fully.

Scientology not only helps individuals discover their own spirituality, it honors good works, creativity, imagination, compassion and goodwill.

Those who come with curiosity about Scientology find it represents something unique: its technology is neither obscure nor in dispute. Scientologists the world over have the benefit of the living words of the Church’s Founder, who devoted his life to developing a gift to Mankind—the gift of understanding oneself, of reaching greater spiritual awareness, and the important recognition that Man’s inalienable human rights are shared by the souls of men. These have been important steps within the religion’s quest for human and spiritual freedom, and are reflected in the accounts that follow of how, and why, the Church has reached this historic moment in time.

From its history and development to its principles and acceptance throughout the world, this is a story like none ever told of any religion before, with elements both ancient and modern. And it is now told in the most modern way possible, by bringing the Church’s own television channel to the nations of the world.

Scientology not only helps individuals discover their own spirituality, it honors good works, creativity, imagination, compassion and goodwill. It reaches out to people around the world to disseminate its primary message: that the greatest human right is the right to help. And that is its overarching purpose, its intent and its mission, bound by its Founder never to forsake.

Church members have expressed their excitement to come to this place in the Church’s history, and from here they see a bright future. Scientologists know Scientology works for millions. And through this new network, viewers can discover how seriously the work of the Church is taken—work to clear the pathways to peace and happiness that Founder L. Ron Hubbard discovered, explained and codified. Viewers will see how it positively affects the lives of Scientologists.

This is the Church’s story, its vision and realization of the technology that allowed it to develop the kind of communication to help achieve its aims and its hopes for all of Mankind. Hearing the true story, learning about the unique insights that Scientology technology offers to Mankind, and sharing with Scientologists everywhere the message of hope that the Church has for a better world, introduces new perspectives on ancient questions. The Church is intent on bringing new light to an old world in a bold, new way, and with unassailable aims, on the path that its Founder envisioned, with the road ahead clearly marked by his insights on the human condition.

Read FULL article in FREEDOMMAG.ORG

Europe was present at the Youth for Human Rights International representatives from 42 nations were a noteworthy pressence at the 2017 International Human Rights Summit at the United Nations

The fourteenth Annual International Human Rights Summit, prepared by Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI), an arm of United for Human Rights, was held at United Nations central station in New York City in August 2017. Approximately 360 individuals from 64 nations, including ambassadors, U.N. diplomats, human rights activists, teachers and agents of nongovernmental associations, participated at the three-day occasion, which was trailed by an open house in the Church of Scientology Community Center in Harlem.

Solidarity IN DIVERSITY The summit included youth activists, chose for their achievements in raising human rights mindfulness.

Youth for Human Rights agents informed envoys and representatives on the fundamental role the Church plays in supporting the YHRI battle.

Diplomats from Cambodia and Panama welcomed YHRI for high-level meetings with their authorities in the ministries of education and those of foreign policy and different offices to examine the potential for receiving human rights programs in the two countries. Furthermore, negotiators from Italy, Ireland, Brazil and Liechtenstein investigated approaches to hold comparable meetings between their states and YHRI.

When a significant part of the world is wracked by a broad refugee crisis, fanatic viciousness and the risky ascent of religious persecution, United for Human Rights proceeds to overwhelmingly reaffirm and protect the fundamental values of human rights in its mission to help bring international rules of social equality.

Standing up Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, illustrative of Youth for Human Rights Africa, addresses delegates, lamenting Africa’s human rights infringement.

United for Human Rights, bolstered by the Church of Scientology, works together with government offices and nongovernmental associations to spread mindfulness and execution of the standards revered in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration, which has been translated into more than 500 dialects and tongues, holds that not only are individuals similarly qualified for their human rights wherever they are with no discrimination, yet that their rights—to education, work and equity, for instance—are interrelated, indivisible and interdependent.

At the human rights summit in New York City, YHRI delegates from various foundations worked with each other and exchanged their succesful programs and practices in educating others about human rights in their local areas. Other than direct coaching and on-the-ground information sharing, the representatives met with top-level state authorities from countries extending from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Cuba to France, Ireland and Italy. The authorities imparted their own knowledge and experiences of learning to the adolescents and gave them with a platform that spans internationally.

The founding president of YHRI, Mary Shuttleworth, was the master of ceremonies at the summit, which included roundtables on the overall scourge of human trafficking, and leadership and group activism. Marisol Nichols, performing artist and founder of Foundation for a Slavery Free World, a nonprofit against trafficking, showed a film to the delegates about her covert work to uncover human trafficking.

Previous Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sánchez, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in helping put an end to Central American common wars, was the summit’s keynote speaker. Shuttleworth gave Sánchez YHRI’s Human Rights Hero Award.

 

Spanish Scientologists Condemn Barcelona and Cambrils Terrorist Attacks

Countering terror by spreading calm and hope

The beautiful cities of Barcelona and Cambrils on the eastern coast of Spain hold a very special place in my heart. Hundreds of my friends and close family members live there and I have fond memories of the many months I spent in the region growing up.

On August 17 in Brussels, where I head the Church of Scientology European Office of Public Affairs and Human Rights, I watched in horror the news of a van plowing into Las Ramblas Street, killing 13 and injuring 100. And the nightmare began all over again that night with the news of Cambrils.

Despite these attacks on my country, I hold strong to my belief that in our ever complex and pluralistic world, terror can only be defeated by education, unity, morality, and justice, including social justice and human rights—and law enforcement when these civilizing factors have not kept pace with the encroaching chaos. But even then, it is vital that we carry forward with education, unity, morality and justice, and the application of the fundamental principles of human rights.

When these atrocities took place, my office condemned the attacks and urged unity among all religions, a message echoed by the Director of Religious Affairs of the Catalan regional government as well as by the City Hall of Barcelona, in an official letter calling for all faiths in the region to work in their communities to restore peace and hope.

In Barcelona, Scientology Volunteer Ministers organized a blood drive and went out into the streets reaching out to more than 3,000 people, helping them come to terms with what had just happened and rekindling their hope for the future.

The Volunteer Minister movement was launched by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in the mid 1970s. He described the Volunteer Minister as “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.”

Our Volunteer Ministers served in Madrid after the March 2004 train bombings, in London after the June 7, 2005, suicide bombings, at Ground Zero New York after the September 11 terror attacks, and in Japan, Haiti, Louisiana, Nepal, the Philippines, and the sites of hundreds of other natural and manmade disasters, helping people recover from the stress and trauma of these incidents.

Our Churches have always been and will continue to be open to all. I invite anyone affected directly or indirectly by these terrible events to call or stop in for help. Compassion and unity will triumph over hate and fear, and these are the qualities we all need to create a better world.

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.