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In the Media

article imagePetition to White House on Scientology receives enough signatures

article:313390:13::0
By JohnThomas Didymus
Oct 26, 2011 in Religion
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A petition to the White House, created on September 24, 2011, calling for an investigation into the Church of Scientology for "crime, fraud and abuses" has received enough signatures for the White House to consider it.
The petition, according to RadarOnline.com, was served through the "We the People" section of the White House website.
Petitions may be made to the White House through "We the People" section of its website which, according to the White House, was designed to give "all Americans a way to create and sign petitions on a range of issues affect our nation."
According to RadarOnline.com, petitions served through "We the People" section of the White House must be supported by 5,000 signatures within 30 days before the White House considers looking at it. The Scientology petition received 5,694 signatures by Tuesday. But the threshold had been reviewed to 25,000 signatures within 30 days on October 3. RadarOnline.com says the White House may still look at the petition because it was submitted prior to October 3. The Village Voice reports that a statement on the White House website said, "Thresholds are subject to change, but changes will not be applied retroactively."
The petition, according to RadarOnline.com, is sponsored by California-based attorney Graham E. Berry. The petition reads:
"We petition the Obama administration to: Examine the government's failure to investigate and prosecute Church of Scientology for crime, fraud and abuse...Whereas, the FBI has 300+ recent complaints of Scientology crimes and atrocities — human trafficking, forced abortions and civil rights violations, and the IRS has evidence of private inurement violations justifying intermediate sanctions, and existing evidence on hand meets RICO statutes...We request that the White House investigate and employ a Special Prosecutor to: examine why, with such an abundance of RICO evidence of Scientology being a corrupt entity...no law enforcement agency has moved forward...investigate undue favor and pressure brought by lawyers for Scientology leader David Miscavige to stop the investigations; examine why around the world the 'church' is investigated as a criminal entity while the U.S. Government does nothing?"
Graham E. Berry, speaking to RadarOnline.com, explained his motives for making the petition:
"I have been handling cases against Scientology for 20 years and during the course of that 20 years they have targeted me for destruction, so I have come to work for those who are fighting Scientology crimes and abuses. I became aware of the White House starting [We The People] and with the assistance of Karen De La Carriere, ex-wife of the former President of the Church of Scientology, we crafted a petition.The next step will be to ensure that the White House carries through with their assurances that they examine what happened and take action and to that end, there will be an email campaign with the White House, the Department of Justice and Congress."
According to RadarOnline.com, a Scientology spokesman has responded to reports of the petition:
"...'We the People' initiative cannot take seriously...Petitions that have been submitted to 'We the People' include demands to legalize prostitution, legalize marijuana, to change the motto of the United States, and to proclaim a World Psoriasis Day...Not surprisingly, these petitions have become the butt of numerous jokes by comics and sarcastic articles and have unfortunately polluted the White House's efforts to raise serious issues. Tellingly, the White House earlier this month raised the threshold from 5,000 to 25,000 signatures within 30 days. In short, the petition to investigate Scientology should be taken as seriously as the petition to 'form a presidential commission to investigate the covert use of mind control technologies on AmericanOnline citizens.'"
In spite of expectations by those who want the Church of Scientology investigated, The Village Voice notes there isn't yet any official word from the White House on whether it will be looking at the petition.
article:313390:13::0
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