Also cross-posted at For Great Justice:
Press Release concerning Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Anonymous Québec
Contact info: email@example.com
ANONYMOUS QUEBEC APPLAUDS CANADIAN CARDINAL'S STANCE ON SCIENTOLOGY AND OFFERS TWELVE STEP PROGRAM OF EDUCATION AND ACTION
Anonymous Québec cheers Canadian Cardinal Ouellet as he says Scientology is not a church and offers him a thought-provoking twelve point program of education and action for Church consideration and public discussion and asks his blessing on their efforts to bring Scientology to accountability in the eyes of society and its institutions.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Anonymous Québec - Monday, February 9, 2009 - Québec City, Québec - Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Québec sent shock waves through the world of Scientology criticism last week when he stated in an interview with Québec's Le Soleil that Scientology "is not a Church" and raised questions about the criteria used by the Government of Québec to accord religious organization status to groups like Scientology.
His words would have disappeared in the sands of news cycles had not the Scientology-critical group Anonymous Québec (AnonQC) decided to address a letter to the Cardinal praising his stance, enumerating alleged human rights abuses so far largely hidden from public view, and offering for consideration a twelve point action program for the church.
Wide-spread release of the letter among church clerical and lay leaders and the religious and secular media is sure to stir great discussion since Scientology has become of increased public interest since the tragic death of Jett Travolta on January 2, 2009.
More importantly, Cardinal Ouellet is the highest-ranking official in Catholicism to have publicly spoken critically of Scientology in recent memory. He is Primate of Canada and chief pastor of 12.8 million Catholics in Canada. Widely praised for his combination of intellectual acuity, pastoral sensitivity, and administrative skillfulness, he was considered among the leading candidates for the papacy at the conclave which elected Benedict XVI in 2005.
Anonymous Québec draws to the attention of the Cardinal and the public allegations of human rights abuses by former staff members of Sea Org which supplies the organization's middle-level and executive management:
All of these issues require urgent public discussion particularly among the communities of authentic religions, some of whom have been co-opted into silent and tacit approval through the false irenicism of inter-faith religious groups which Scientology has infiltrated.
Among abuses, most shocking is the policy of coerced abortion for female staffers. Coerced abortion is among practices, along with human trafficking and illegal labor practices, mentioned in legal complaints recently filed by former staffers Claire Headley and her husband Marc Headley with the Los Angeles Municipal Court in January.
Introducing its suggested twelve point program of education and action for the Church AnonQC writes:
Anonymous places itself at your service for the education of the churches and the public about the true nature of organized Scientology so far hidden from public view behind the masks of high-profile celebrity Scientologists.
AnonQC recommends creation of educational and pastoral programs along the lines of the Lutheran and Catholic churches of Germany where awareness of Scientology is more acute. It specifically requests funding for sub-titling and production of a French version of the German documentary The Cleared Planet for schools which is being promoted by the Lutheran Church.
The program also recommends negotiating the exclusion of organized Scientology from inter-faith associations on the basis that Cardinal Ouellet has stated, namely, that it is not a church. The program also recommends that the Church form commissions of Catholic lawyers and others to examine the feasibility of bringing a complaint to the UN Human Rights Commission as well as the feasibility of bringing legal human rights complaints such as the Headleys' in Québec courts.
Finally, Anonymous Québec recommends that the Church request the Government of the Province of Québec launch an inquiry into the nature and practices of Scientology and investigate whether the aims and intents of Scientology are compatible with the Canadian Constitution. A similar inquiry in Germany resulted in organized Scientology being placed under special surveillance by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungschutz)
Anonymous Québec closes its letter:
We would be honored for your Eminence to give us your blessing to our efforts to bring Scientology to accountability in the eyes of society and its institutions.
Anonymous Québec is a cell of the world-wide Scientology-critical free speech and human rights movement Anonymous that declared war on Scientology on YouTube in January 2008 and continues to raise sharply public awareness of Scientology-critical issues through internet activism and monthly global demonstrations, such as those scheduled for Saturday, February 14, 2009.
Le Soleil, 05 février 2009: Scientologie: «Ce n'est pas une Église» - Mgr Ouellet
English translation of Le Soleil article: For Great Justice: Canadian Cardinal on Scientology: It's not a church.
Anonymous Québec website: AnonQC
Anonymous website and forums: Why We Protest
French text of Anonymous Québec letter to Cardinal Ouellet:
- Light in the Darkness: Lettre d'Anonymous Québec au Cardinal Ouellet
English text of Letter from Anonymous Québec to Cardinal Ouellet:
- Light in the Darkness: Letter from Anonymous Québec to Cardinal Ouellet
Legal complaints of Marc and Claire Headley: Scott Pilutik - Marc Headley v. Church of Scientology International and Claire Headley v. CSI, RTC
On Anonymous: We Are Legion: Anonymous and the War on Scientology by Jeff Jacobsen