Church of Scientology Voices Opposition To Ballot Measure To Fund Mental Health Services
In a "mass mailing" to residents statewide, the Church of Scientology voiced its opposition to Proposition 63, a measure on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot, the Los Angeles Times reports (Halper/Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 10/30). Proposition 63 would increase taxes by 1% for state residents with taxable annual incomes of more than $1 million to fund mental health programs (California Healthline, 10/28).
In its "Freedom" newsletter, the Church of Scientology stated that Proposition 63 is part of the "same psycho-pharma racket whose proliferation of mind-altering, violence inducing drugs on our school children in recent decades has fueled the explosion of school violence fatalities." The Times reports that the newsletter stated passage of Proposition 63 could result in more school shootings and included a photograph from a funeral for an individual killed in the school shooting in Columbine, Colo.
According to the Times, the eight-page newsletter is the "first major campaign attack" on Proposition 63.
Supporters of Proposition 63 said the mailing violated campaign finance law because the Church of Scientology did not report production or mailing of the newsletter to campaign finance authorities.
Assembly member Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), an author of Proposition 63, said, "Clearly this publication was sent to more than just their membership," adding, "We think the public has a right to know who paid for it."
"Freedom" editor Tom Paquette said, "Our constitutional rights stand just like those of the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor or any other newspaper" (Los Angeles Times, 10/30).
Additional information about Proposition 63 is available online.