Flint Michigan Considers Distributing Scientology Book To Save City

seal220px-L._Ron_Hubbard_in_1950For those already uncomfortable with the erosion of the separation of church and state in voucher programs and faith-based programs under Presidents Bush and Obama, a new proposal in Flint Michigan is likely to seen the inevitable result of this trend. The Flint city council is considering using police and other public officers to distribute copies of “The Way To Happiness,” a book by Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard.

1233401_637574412941910_1965015334_nScientologist Monika Biddle reportedly introduced the council to the book during an August 22 meeting as a way to reverse the high rates of crime and poverty in the city. The message appeared to resonate with Councilwoman Monica Galloway (right) who said “We need to sow [values] into these children [because these] are things they are not getting.”

While presented as a nonreligious moral code, the book is obviously associated with Scientology and written by its founder. Putting aside the controversy over Scientology and the view of some countries that it is a cult or criminal organization, there remains the more pressing question of the use of material closely associated with a religious organization. The book contains 20 different principles like “Don’t Be Promiscuous,” “Be Temperate,” and “Do Not Murder.” It has been distributed by The Way to Happiness Foundation which claims a distribution of 100 million copies of the book all over the world. The Foundation and distribution of the book has been the source of long controversy around the country, particularly in schools.

Police Chief James Tolbert did not balk at the notion of police officers passing out the book. He is quoted as saying “From the information I’ve seen, apparently it works. I’m for anything that works.” (You may recall Tolbert from the Detroit scandals)

488px-scientology_symbolsvg220px-The_Way_to_HappinessSecularists have objected to the plan for obvious reasons. First, the use of public employees to distribute such a book is highly troubling, particularly when the book is written by a religious leader. I would feel the same if it is Hubbard or a rabbi or the Pope. It further erases the line of separation that is already under fire in our society. Second, the notion that a book like this will save the city of Flint shows how detached from reality some members of the government have become. The idea that a police officer will hand a copy of this book to a drug dealer and he will suddenly realize that killing and promiscuity is wrong seems less than likely. Finally, the role of politicians in trying to instill morality in a population is a dangerous proposition. Not only are politicians the last group that I would look to for such lessons, they often use such gimmicks to take away from the fact that they are making no serious efforts to address these social problems.

Flint has enormous and growing problems. It will not help its image with investors to be seen as using public employees to pass out a book like this. More importantly, it will not help its citizens. Flint has lost too much in jobs, the environment, schools and other areas. It does not need to add the separation of church and state as another casualty of its long-standing downturn.

123 thoughts on “Flint Michigan Considers Distributing Scientology Book To Save City”

  1. Sqeeky, religions do punish behavior, just as you say. What they do in addition, is try to control one’s spirit, intellect and beliefs. I gave the example above where Scientologists are told that if they learn the deepest truth of their religion, (the information about Xenu listed above), unless they have undergone enough prior programming, they will die. Now that is simply not true. If you read the information right now you are not going to die because you read it. That’s controlling the thinking and beliefs allowed to a person who is part of the religion of Scientology.

    Religions often disallow certain thoughts, certain ways of understanding the world by calling them evil. People who don’t want to be part of this way of doing things often stay away from religions. We would like to test things for ourselves. We do not want any religious ideology to stand in the way of our thinking and feeling. We don’t want our conscience circumscribed by ideology.

    As an example, I know many people who will not allow themselves to go to a lecture on astronomy or paleontology because it would be evil. There they would be confronted with evidence that the earth is not 4 to 6000 years old. Their minister has told them that they should not put themselves in the position of hearing this type of heresy.

    I don’t want to live that way. Nothing is heresy to me and I can consider anything I want to consider. I am free to evaluate what I think and feel based on my own experience, the knowledge of others, not the dictates of a religion. That is a real difference for those of us who are secular. I think it would even be a real difference for you if you were suddenly forced to obey the dictates and ideology of Islam. You would not be allowed to think like a Christian any longer. You would have to think like a Muslim. If that happened to you, how would you feel about it?

    I’m asking an honest question and not trying to lay a trap. I really would like to know what you would feel if you were forced to think and feel only what the Iman told you to think and feel.

  2. Squeeky, you put me in stitches again with all those “Thou shalt not…” very creative.

    Everybody loves Aristotle’s ethics, which are like a cuddly, cute, pet skunk without the scent gland. But if you re-brand Aristotle’ ethics, verbatim, you’d think someone has put the scent gland back on the skunk. No matter how valuable the message inside the book, for a lot of people today only the cover matters — just like skin color.

    Would it help to pass out the books in Flint — without the covers?

    P.S. I’m not for or against handing out the books.

  3. You are full of puppy poop on this subject once again Turley. The Way To Happiness booklet is NOT religious and has been and can be used by governments across the world, should they choose. IT SAVED COLUMBIA & GAVE IT BACK TO THE PEOPLE INSTEAD OF THE DRUG LORDS. For a generally smart lawyer, you can be pretty dumb when it gets to this subject. Are you trying to get more invites on Martha’s Vineyard with the big boys? Read Illuminati, Merchants of Chaos, etc. Back up, Turley, there is a chance to really patch up Flint, Michigan and you want to urinate on their parade.

  4. America is a Deist nation that allows all its citizens to roam widely the nebulous realms of mysticism and fantasy. It’s called freedom of religion. It’s an indulgence. America is not a theocracy – except it is. Somewhere along the way, Deism was overthrown. Wars for Israel are infinite. The only product America imports from Israel is religion (i.e. fantasy). America must be a theocracy or the entire cadre of the Catholic Church would be in prison for life on charges of the most heinous crimes of child abuse, molestation and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

    Onward Christian Soldiers!

  5. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06.html

    Religion and the Founding of the American Republic

    “When the Constitution was submitted to the American public, “many pious people” complained that the document had slighted God, for it contained “no recognition of his mercies to us . . . or even of his existence.” The Constitution was reticent about religion for two reasons: first, many delegates were committed federalists, who believed that the power to legislate on religion, if it existed at all, lay within the domain of the state, not the national, governments; second, the delegates believed that it would be a tactical mistake to introduce such a politically controversial issue as religion into the Constitution. The only “religious clause” in the document–the proscription of religious tests as qualifications for federal office in Article Six–was intended to defuse controversy by disarming potential critics who might claim religious discrimination in eligibility for public office.

    That religion was not otherwise addressed in the Constitution did not make it an “irreligious” document any more than the Articles of Confederation was an “irreligious” document. The Constitution dealt with the church precisely as the Articles had, thereby maintaining, at the national level, the religious status quo. In neither document did the people yield any explicit power to act in the field of religion. But the absence of expressed powers did not prevent either the Continental-Confederation Congress or the Congress under the Constitution from sponsoring a program to support general, nonsectarian religion.”

  6. Squeeky, and the rest of the conservatives: give up. The leftist liberals will NEVER admit that anything that came from religious principles/beliefs is good or that anything good ever came from religious principles/beliefs.

    The fact that killing another human is illegal, to them, is clearly NOT based on any religious principle but, rather, on the inherent wisdom of the government.

    Those who worship the government will never respect those who worship anything else.

  7. @Jill

    You said, “Civil law governs behavior, not thoughts or values.”

    Uh, what do religions do??? The same thing and on mostly the same points. The Decalogue is “Thou shalt or thou shalt not,” which is all about behaviors. That is why they made the religious rules in the first place. People were mis-behaving and society was suffering as a result.

    Now, with the value-less analysis that is being erroneously applied IMO, you get absurd conclusions like:

    . . . well the Bible says you shalt not steal, but you can ignore the Bible if you want, because it is just another religion like Satanism. Now, the government may punish you for stealing but that is not the same thing at all. Oh no, not at all!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  8. Also Squeeky,
    Civics is taught in schools, are you confusing civics with values? ‘Values’ encompasses much more than civics.

  9. Squeeky,

    Civil law governs behavior, not thoughts or values. You may not do something or you will get a fine, go to jail, get probation. What the govt. cannot compel is your thought or conscience. That is why we have people who engage in civil disobedience. These are people who think the behavior required by the govt. (for example setting up separate fountains for black and white people are wrong) and they are willing to break those laws and pay the consequence because their conscience tells them those laws are wrong.

    I agree with you that many of our existing laws clearly come from the Judeo Christian religious tradition. Many of us do not agree with the Judeo Christian values and try hard to allow more freedom and safety in our society than those traditions would like people to have.

    For example, wife beating is a part of that tradition. It has not been illegal for all that long in the US. Even now, the penalties for men who beat their wives are often very lax, go unenforced or are barely enforced. In some cases, the response of law enforcement and the judicial system has gotten much better about protecting women but it’s been a hard slog, IMO, this is, in part, because many people’s religious training teaches that man is the head of the woman and may control her at will.

  10. Squeeky, government makes laws and enforces them. Government’s role is not to TEACH values. Most conservatives do not want their children to be taught ‘values’ in a public school. It’s the role of parents or church, or a non governmental body to TEACH values. Government may reflect values embraced by the society as a whole, but it doesn’t simply TEACH values.

  11. @Annie

    You asked, “Squeeky would you be so kind to point out what is mistaken in my comment, specify please. Are you saying that government’s role IS to teach values?”

    OMG, need you ask??? Compare these:

    1. Thou shalt not steal.
    2. He who steals, let his hand be cut off.
    3. Theft of an object over $200 in value is a Class B Felony subject to a fine of not more than $1000 and 5 to 10 years in the pokey.

    Government is all about laws, and what one’s behavior should be.

    Thou shalt not hideth fees in real estate settlements.
    Thou shalt not bear false witness to thy finances when applying for a loan.
    Thou shalt not putteth out crooked books.
    Thou shalt not shooteth the bald eagle, or taketh any of his feathers.
    Thou shalt not hunteth over bait.
    Thou shalt not filleth in the wetlands without a permit.
    Thou shalt not driveth without insurance on thy chariot.
    Thou shalt not discriminate against the elderly when hiring.
    Thou shalt not faileth to payeth thy child support.

    I mean, really, what does government do but set forth values for us by penalizing us when we fail??? If we are lucky, we have learned much of this before we leave home.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  12. Here is Hubbard’s thinking on what it means to achieve Operating Thetan. BTW, Xenu regularly posts on this blog and I hope he will do so today! From Hubbard:

    “A great many phenomena (strange things) can happen while doing these drills, if they are done honestly,” Hubbard writes in regards to ‘OT1.’ Hubbard then goes on to explain in hand written notes, the ‘drills’ one must do in order to become ‘OT1’:

    “One: Walk around and counts bodies until you have a cognition. Make a report saying how many you counted and your cognition. Two: Note several large and small female bodies until you have a cognition. Note it down. Three: Note several large and several small male bodies until you have a cognition. Note it down. Four: Final a tight packed crowd of people. Write it as a crowd and then as individuals until you have a cognition. Note it down. Do step over until you do.”

    Hubbard then goes on to explain OT2, but before he does so, he tells the Churches how to keep Scientology working. One way is to not divulge information on their “technology.” Doing so, says Hubbard, would result in “the complete destruction of all our work.”…

    “An individual being such as a man is a thetan, he is not a body and he does not think because he has no brain,” states Hubbard.”

    It is not until ‘OT3’ when you learn the true beginning of Scientology. In Hubbard’s own hand written notes, he begins to describe a series of “76 planets [orbiting] around larger stars founded 95,000,000 years ago” which he says “are visible from here [Earth].” I am breaking security as I disagree that this should only be released to an elite in Scientology. I do, however, ask it not be released to psyches or ‘squirrels’ or anyone who will break the Independent Security Network and allow it to get back to the Church of Scientology.”

    From those planets, which were over-populated by “about 250 million per planet,” came a “head of the Galactic Federation” named ‘Xenu’ who solved the overpopulation by sending vast numbers of his people to Earth somewhere between “75,000,000 and 4 qadrillion [Sic] years ago.” Hubbard says that he brought them to Earth and dropped them off inside volcanoes on an island he describes as Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. Xenu then captured the ones who escaped after 36 days and exploded the remaining individuals with a hydrogen bomb. Xenu was later “captured after six years of battle” and Earth had since become a “desert.”

    It is also said at this level, an implant, in what Hubbard calls an “engram” will be given in which the individual can “see pictures.” However these pictures are not to be “stuck” or permanent…”

    If you learn this information before you are ready (meaning have spent about $100,000.00 +), the church tells you you will die from knowing it.

  13. Jill n Annie – Well Said!

    Dredd – Well (thought) Put!



    Hitler quoted great people – too;
    doesn’t mean his words, designs and ideals should be repeated as gospel!

  14. Squeeky, I feel the govt., (any govt.) may not compel other’s conscience. That is a violation of ethics in and of itself.

    A workplace has a right to demand that people do their assigned work, that they treat others with respect and that they maintain a safe environment. Attempts to demand the compliance of the conscience of others is not a right of any govt.

    No matter how worthy you may find the scientology book, it would be an ethical violation to demand that others adopt these precepts as part of their workplace. Our souls, our spirituality belongs to us, not the state.

  15. Squeeky would you be so kind to point out what is mistaken in my comment, specify please. Are you saying that government’s role IS to teach values? Isn’t that the traditional role of parents, family and the church if one is religious? Am I wrong that the US doesn’t have a state religion?

  16. @Darren Smith

    Uh, er, uh. . .could you put Annie’s comment at 9:58 back into the spam filter, because she said this:

    “Is it government’s role to teach values of any sort? I think not. Government can’t sanction one religious philosophy/ ideology over another, there is no state religion in this country.”

    And I am sure when she has time to think about what she said , she will realize that she is flatly wrong and be totally embarrassed. I am just looking out for her!


    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  17. @MichelleBarnes

    What is laughable is your refusal to compare the two before launching your criticism. I gave a link above to a Sparks Notes site where you can get a brief overview of the Nicomachean Ethics. I don’t think they made a Great Classics Illustrated comic book of it, or I would link you to that also.

    And, since you are unlikely to compare the two on your own, here is a brief excerpt from the NE notes, and a brief comparison:

    One by one, Aristotle discusses the various moral virtues and their corresponding vices. Courage consists of confidence in the face of fear. Temperance consists of not giving in too easily to the pleasures of physical sensation. Liberality and magnificence consist of giving away varying amounts of money in appropriate and tasteful ways. Magnanimity and proper ambition consist of having the right disposition toward honor and knowing what is one’s due. Patience is the appropriate disposition toward anger, though it is sometimes appropriate to show some degree of anger.

    While the moral virtues dispose us to behave in the correct manner, it is necessary also to have the right intellectual virtues in order to reason properly about how to behave. There are five intellectual virtues. Three of them—scientific knowledge, intuition, and wisdom—consist of contemplative reasoning, which is detached from human affairs. The other two—art or technical skill and prudence—consist of calculative reasoning, which helps us make our way in the world. Prudence is the intellectual virtue that helps us reason properly about ethical matters.

    Self-love is more important than friendship, since only people who treat themselves with appropriate care and respect can achieve proper virtue and happiness.

    Now, compare with some of the 21 Precepts:

    1. Take Care of Yourself
    2. Be temperate.
    3. Don’t be promiscuous.
    4. Love and help children.
    5. Honor and help your parents.
    14. Be worthy of trust.
    15. Fulfil your obligations.
    16. Be industrious.
    17. Be competent.
    21. Prosper and flourish.

    There, did the heavy lifting for you!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  18. Given that the Scientologists fought so hard to become recognized by the IRS as a church, the handing out of this book violates the separation of church and state.

    And, I agree, this city council is out of touch with reality.

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