L. Ron Hubbard: The Inspiration for the Church of Scientology's 50-Year Record of Fighting Human Rights Abuses Around the World Celebrated on his 108th Birthday
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, March 18, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ —
Sounds like the stuff of a Hollywood block buster: Fighting mental health slave labor camps in Apartheid South Africa, defeating a bill to create a “Siberia USA” for dissidents, defending international religious freedom for all and then educating the world on human rights. These were but the highlights of the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office’s celebration of a 50-year history of human rights action inspired by L. Ron Hubbard.
Named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of All Time”, L. Ron Hubbard inspired important human rights advocacy and education programs globally through his defense of human rights and his insight into the solution to human rights abuses. He famously said, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream” and lived it.
While focusing on the 50 years of promoting the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), attendees were also educated on the background history of Hubbard’s human rights activity and why he considered this document so important.
Following his military service in World War II, Hubbard felt human rights were critical to helping create a lasting peace and in the 1950s he put these principles into the Church’s founding documents. Illustrating how the Church of Scientology’s Creed aligns with the human rights principles enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Rev. Sylvia Stanard, Deputy Director of the National Affairs Office, compared the similarities, including equal rights regardless of race, color or creed.
Pointing to the UDHR as a vital tool in effecting human rights advocacy, Hubbard wrote in the Church of Scientology’s FREEDOM Magazine in 1969: “Very few governments have implemented any part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These governments have not grasped that their very survival depends utterly upon adopting such reforms and thus giving their peoples a cause, a civilization worth supporting, worth their patriotism.” He went on to say, “It is vital that all thinking men urge upon their governments (for the government’s own sake if no other) sweeping reforms in the field of human rights.” In the same issue of FREEDOM Magazine he included a complete copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all to read.
Rev. Stanard gave examples of how the Church has promoted the UDHR’s articles in their advocacy work internationally. She spoke of the Church’s efforts in the 1970s in Apartheid South Africa and how the Church exposed slave labor camps for mental patients, even after the Church’s FREEDOM newspaper was banned by the apartheid South African government one day after these exposes. Working together with many other human rights organizations and faith leaders those slave camps have been closed and Apartheid is a history lesson.
As early as 1961, Hubbard had planted the seed of human rights on behalf of all South Africans by writing a constitution for South Africa calling for “one man, one vote” regardless of race, color or creed. Hubbard gave lectures in South Africa and visited the Soweto township to see human rights violations for himself.
These efforts and a strong stance for human rights for all were followed by the establishment of numerous Churches and Missions of Scientology across the African continent to continue the work. This January the Church celebrated the grand opening of its magnificent new headquarters for Africa at the majestic 22-acre Castle Kyalami in Johannesburg. Rev. Stanard announced that Churches of Scientology all over the world will celebrate the Grand Opening in South Africa with their own special events throughout March.
In the mid 1950’s a now little-known bill was defeated that would have granted $12.5 million to set up a “Siberia USA” in the vast and then largely unpopulated territory of Alaska. Citizens could be reported on by “an interested party” and then picked up for “mental illness” and shipped to Alaska and confined there indefinitely without recourse or trial. Although already passed through the House of Representatives unanimously, through fast action by Ron Hubbard to alert friends in the Senate to the human rights catastrophe that this bill would have been, as well as through advocacy against the bill by Scientologists around the United States and other groups, “Siberia USA” was ultimately defeated.
International Religious Freedom
Church leaders and Scientologists have greatly increased their outreach in the field of religious freedom and are working side by side with other faith groups on issues of severe religious persecution of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and religious minorities in China, Russia, Pakistan, Nigeria and other countries emphasizing Article 18 of the UDHR which promises religious freedom.
Worldwide Human Rights Education
Although when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the global standard of human rights for all its countries in December 1948, few of them – including the US – followed its exhortation “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other education institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.” In addition to championing religious freedom, the Church has sponsored the United for Human Rights and Youth for Human Rights campaigns to broadly promote all of the rights of the UDHR through the Internet and mailings of free educational booklets, videos and teacher’s guides.
Today, these grassroots campaigns have reached virtually every country on Earth. In just the last year over 100,000 people received free mailings of materials on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since the Internet campaign was launched in 2007, there have been over 26 million visits to the HumanRights.com and YouthforHumanRights.org websites, which feature free downloads of the UDHR and educational videos and materials.
“When L. Ron Hubbard emphasized the importance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and broadly published it in the FREEDOM Magazine in 1969, he inspired a movement that today is one of the largest human rights education campaigns in the world,” said Beth Akiyama, Executive Director of the National Affairs Office and a board member of United for Human Rights and Youth for Human Rights from 2007 to 2012. “Every person no matter where they are in the world must know their rights. And we must call for sweeping reforms in human rights and truly, as Ron Hubbard said in 1969, make human rights a fact everywhere in the world.”
The Church of Scientology and Scientologists all over the world sponsor the United for Human Rights campaign’s purpose is to make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights broadly known, which it does through global Internet and print distribution of the UDHR and informational videos, booklets and educator’s guides for free, as well as an annual World Educational Tour and an annual International Human Rights Summit.
To learn more about L. Ron Hubbard visit https://www.scientology.tv/series/l-ron-hubbard-in-his-own-voice/
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Source: EIN Presswire