Scientology: No Rights, Please

New York Post/September 4, 2003

Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Lisa Marie Presley, Kirstie Alley, Juliette Lewis and other Scientologists may have signed away many of the rights that most Americans take for granted.

As they move up into the higher levels of the Church of Scientology, members sign documents giving up their right to psychiatric care and to see their families.

These contracts have been unearthed by David Touretzky, a research professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the Computer Science Dept. and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.

Touretsky, who has been investigating the Scientology "religion" for six years, has posted the documents on his Web site.

One is a release form a Scientologist seeking advanced training must sign "forever [giving] up [the] right to sue the church and its staff for any injury or damage suffered in any way connected with Scientology."

Rick Ross, a well-known cult watcher, writes on his Web site, "It seems that Scientologist superstars may be signing away rights most citizens within free countries take for granted."

The "church" also has a document titled "Agreement and General Release Regarding Spiritual Assistance" which states, "Others may think that I need psychiatric treatment. I instead desire to receive Scientology spiritual assistance."

The same agreement prohibits "any psychiatrist, medical person, designated member of the state or family member" from placing the Scientologist into a hospital or facility for psychiatric treatment.

Instead, the Scientologists are subjected to the "Introspection Rundown," an "intensive, rigorous Religious Service that includes being isolated from all sources of potential spiritual upset, including but not limited to family members, friends or others."

The subject is supervised by "church members 24 hours a day at the direction of [a] Case Supervisor [who will] determine the time period [the subject] will remain isolated."

The "church" is under scrutiny for this practice and is being sued by the family of Lisa McPherson, who died in 1995 in Clearwater, Fla., allegedly after being held for 17 days as she underwent an "Introspection Rundown."

McPherson's body was dehydrated and covered in insect bites, according to her family, which has a wrongful death suit against the Church of Scientology.

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