Ala. City to Rescind 'Dianetics Month'

Associated Press/May 13, 2004

Calear, Ala. -- The mayor says he will rescind a proclamation making May "Dianetics Month,'' which he approved without knowing it endorsed a religion known for celebrity adherents like Tom Cruise.

George Roy, mayor of the city of 3,200, approved the proclamation last month, but said he will rescind it when the City Council meets next week.

"Dianetics,'' a book written in 1950 by L. Ron Hubbard, is a main basis for the Church of Scientology, based in Clearwater, Fla., and provides advice on spiritual healing.

The Bible Belt city's proclamation urged "all citizens to follow Mr. Hubbard's example and strive to improve the lives of each other by working together and assisting each other to attain a brighter future.''

The text arrived prepared with blank lines for the city to insert its name. It wasn't immediately clear Wednesday who sent in the proposed proclamation.

"We did it in good faith,'' the mayor said.

City Clerk Linda Hill said the city frequently receives requests from civic groups wanting a proclamation. They usually are granted without question or research.

"It's just an official way to recognize something,'' she said.

In the future, city officials plan to scrutinize requests more thoroughly.

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