Position Papers, Letters and Petitions Signed By The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office

Discussion in 'Breaking and Major News about Scientology' started by CommunicatorIC, Oct 6, 2018.

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  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Position Papers, Letters and Petitions Signed By The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office.

    In the past, I have individually cross-posted position papers, letters and petitions signed by the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office. I will continue to do so if I believe the paper, letter or petition is of sufficient importance or sufficient interest and deserves its own thread. The purpose of this thread is to memorialize those that don't satisfy that standard.

    As I've previously argued, it appears the purpose of these Church of Scientology National Affairs Office position papers, letters and petitions is to help it gain support from and form alliances with churches, religions, and civil rights organizations.

    To start:

    ************************************

    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office calls for sanctions against officers of officers of the People's Republic of China who allegedly committed atrocities in Xinjiang and Tibet.

    https://bitterwinter.org/ngos-urge-us-to-impose-sanctions-on-xinjiang-tibet/

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *


    The Honorable Steven Mnuchin
    Secretary of the Treasury
    1500 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
    Washington, D.C. 20220
    The Honorable Mike Pompeo
    Secretary of State
    2201 C Street Northwest
    Washington, D.C. 20520

    Dear Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Pompeo:

    We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to sanction all Chinese officials responsible for the horrendous human rights situation in Tibet and Xinjiang, also known as East Turkestan. We commend the State Department for calling attention to this issue in its first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, and concur with the Ministerial’s Statement on China, which strongly urges “the Chinese government to protect the religious freedom of all individuals and to respect the human rights of all members of religious groups in accordance to China’s international commitments to respect freedom of religion.” We believe the United States can best pressure China by using the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to punish the officials responsible for these egregious human rights violations.

    Tibet and Xinjiang are considered “autonomous regions,” but in reality, they are entirely controlled by Beijing. The People’s Republic of China has made a mockery of human rights, and established concentration camps the likes of which are found elsewhere only in North Korea. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is engaged in a full-scale campaign of cultural genocide against the Tibetans and Uyghurs, and it is time for the United States to take action.

    According to the United Nations, the CCP has incarcerated 1 million Uyghurs in so-called “reeducation” camps, and as many as 2 million have been forced to undergo “reeducation and indoctrination.” The Congressional Executive Commission on China claims that this constitutes “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.” Tahir Hamut, a Uyghur Muslim who left Xinjiang for the United States, recounted during the Ministerial how his people are “now living in horror” of being thrown into these camps, where they are beaten, tortured, and forced to consume alcohol and pork, both of which are anathema to observant Muslims.

    Mr. Hamut also said that “there are unprecedented restrictions on the religious lives of Uyghurs.” Even “free” Uyghurs living in their own homes face a life of fear and surveillance. During Ramadan, the CCP embeds officers in Uyghur homes to make sure they don’t pray or fast. Xinjiang is one of the most surveilled regions in the world, with the CCP investing more than $1 billion in security investment projects in the first quarter of 2018 alone. Officials like Chen Quanguo, Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang and previous Party Secretary of Tibet, are directly responsible for carrying out these brutal orders from Beijing.

    The situation is just as bad in Tibet. Since invading and annexing Tibet in 1950, the CCP has murdered around 1 million Tibetans; destroyed 6,000 Buddhist monasteries; forced 100,000 Tibetans into exile; and ruined 80% of Tibet’s forests. The Chinese police state is so pervasive that Tibet has been described as “harder to visit than North Korea.” Yet the CCP is not content with merely controlling the Tibetans’ land; it must control their religion as well. For over half a century, the Dalai Lama has been living in exile from his homeland, and the Panchen Lama, who is the second most important religious authority in Tibetan Buddhism, was abducted by the Chinese over twenty years ago when he was only six years old; his current whereabouts are unknown. This state of oppression has tragically caused more than 150 Tibetans to lose all hope, and set themselves on fire to protest the abuses they face. China will continue its atrocious abuse of human rights in Tibet and Xinjiang until the free world pushes back. We must show those officials responsible for enslaving innocent people that neither they nor their assets are welcome in the United States until these abuses cease. By imposing stringent sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act, the United States can send a powerful message that the world will not stand by as the CCP abuses its people.

    Respectfully,

    21st Century Wilberforce Initiative
    AdvanceUSA
    Bitter Winter
    Boat People SOS
    Buddhist Solidarity Association
    Center for Pluralism
    Center for Studies on New Religions
    Chen Guangcheng Foundation
    China Aid
    Christian Freedom International
    Christian Solidarity Worldwide
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam
    The Council of Peoples and Religions of Vietnam
    Initiatives for China
    International Campaign for Tibet
    International Christian Concern
    International Interfaith Peace Corps
    International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees
    The Junior Sacerdotal of Caodai Council
    The Junior Sacerdotal Council of the Third Amnesty of God of Tay Ninh Holy See
    Keep Taiwan Free
    Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice
    Love Your Neighbor Community
    Magnitsky Global Justice Campaign
    Religious Freedom Institute
    Students for a Free Tibet
    Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union
    Uyghur American Association
    Uyghur Human Rights Project
    Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
    Vietnam Coalition Against Torture
    Vietnam Committee on Human Rights
    World Uyghur Congress


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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  2. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Calls on US State Department to Pressure Bahrain and allow Hassan Mushaima Access to Healthcare.

    https://www.adhrb.org/2018/09/ngos-...d-allow-hassan-mushaima-access-to-healthcare/

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    NGOs call on US State Department to Pressure Bahrain and allow Hassan Mushaima access to healthcare

    on September 10, 2018

    On Monday, 10 September 2018, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) and 13 human rights and faith organizations sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling the State Department’s attention to the abuse of Hasan Mushaima, a 70-year-old political prisoner in Bahrain. Mushaima is one of Bahrain’s most prominent political activists and religious thinkers who is serving a life sentence in Bahrain’s infamous Jau Prison. Continue reading for the text of the letter, or click link for a PDF of the letter.

    10 September 2018

    Hon. Mike Pompeo
    United States Secretary of State
    United States Department of State
    2201 C Street NW
    Washington, DC 20520

    Dear Secretary Pompeo,

    We, the undersigned human rights and faith organizations, write to call your attention to the abuse of political prisoner Hassan Mushaima, age 70, at the hands of the Bahraini government. Mushaima is one of Bahrain’s most prominent political activists and religious thinkers who is serving a life sentence in Bahrain’s infamous Jau Prison. As his sentence has progressed, his condition has increasingly deteriorated without access to proper medical care. Since his son has taken up a hunger strike outside of the Bahraini embassy in the United Kingdom, Bahraini authorities have continued to ignore and largely neglect the medical needs of Mushaima. As Mushaima’s health continues to deteriorate, it is imperative that the United States call on the Government of Bahrain to allow Mushaima full and unrestricted access to medical care, as well as proper treatment while in prison in line with international standards.

    Prior to his arrest, Hassan Mushaima served as Secretary-General of the al-Haq movement for Liberty and Democracy. He is the co-founder and former Vice President of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society – Bahrain’s largest political opposition group – that the government forcibly dissolved in 2016. He was arrested following the crackdown on Bahrain’s 2011 peaceful protest movement on charges of “attempting to overthrow the monarchy,” and subsequently sentence to life in prison. With his sentence, he has joined ranks of a dozen other high profile human rights defenders, political activists, and religious clerics who have all been subjected to poor treatment and abuse in Jau Prison, and all of whom are from the kingdom’s majority Shia Muslim community.

    In Jau, Mushaima has been denied access to necessary healthcare for a myriad of chronic illnesses. He has a history of cancer, having been diagnosed with and treated for stage four follicular lymphoma in 2010. Despite his remission, the chances that it could return calls for necessary regular cancer screenings. While in Jau, the Bahraini authorities have refused to provide these critical screenings, putting Mushaima’s life in peril – his last screening was in September 2016, and there have been no screenings or update on his cancer since. He also suffers from high blood pressure, gout, and diabetes. Despite clear need for consistent medical treatment, Mushaima has been prohibited to see any physician since March 2017. Nor have his medications been regularly administered throughout his sentence, lest he be in shackles to obtain his required medications. On 29 July 2018, he reported that his diabetes medication was entirely depleted, leaving him to resort to self-administered shots of insulin to try and regulate his blood sugar levels.

    The abuse Mushaima has faced under Jau Prison officials, unfortunately, extends even further than the deprivation of critical medical care. In addition to denial of treatment, in October of 2017, prison authorities subjected Mushaima to an unnecessary search and inspection, despite no history of violence. This strip search also coincided with the arbitrary confiscation of his personal items, including religious texts, notes, and phone credit cards. Mushaima and the other high profile prisoners have faced intense religious discrimination by Bahraini authorities, which has included the shaving of heads and beards of Shia clerics and the disruption of prayer rituals. Jau Prison authorities have made sure to attack every aspect of Mushaima’s identity as he serves his sentence, from his chronic illnesses to his faith.

    In addition to grave concerns regarding Hassan Mushaima’s health in Jau, we also raise the case of his son, Ali Mushaima, who began a hunger strike outside of the Bahraini embassy in London on August 1st, 2018 to protest his father’s abuse and denial of unrestricted medical care. Ali says his hunger strike will continue until the Bahraini authorities provide his father with full, unrestricted medical care unencumbered by shackles, family visitation, and the return his religious texts. However, even Ali’s demands have been met with harassment by the Bahraini government. On 12 August, a sleeping Mushaima was doused with an unknown foamy liquid thrown from the balcony of the Bahraini embassy in London, which also caused him to fear that he been assaulted with acid. When British law enforcement arrived and attempted to contact Embassy officials, no Bahraini representatives responded. The perpetrator and the liquid have not yet been identified, but Ali fears it was an attempt by Bahraini officials to end his hunger strike or silence him. After being hospitalized briefly at the one-month anniversary of his strike, Ali continues to protest on behalf of his father’s rights to healthcare, humane treatment, family visits and access to books and personal effects.

    As the health of both father and son become more dire, we call on the United States Department of State to publicly call on the Government of Bahrain to provide immediate, unrestricted access to medical care and to all necessary medications for Hassan Mushaima in accordance with Bahrain’s obligation to provide fair treatment of prisoners, as well as the full respect of his religious freedom by returning all personal items and religious texts. Finally, the United States should call for an end to the arbitrary imprisonment of prisoners of conscience, and an end to the over-incarceration of the Bahraini Shia, in line with its espoused commitment to religious freedom and human rights.

    Sincerely,

    Organizations

    AdvanceUSA
    Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB)
    Center for Pluralism
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    Citizen Power Initiatives for China
    International Christian Concern
    Mission Africa International
    Red Eagle Enterprises
    Religious Freedom Coalition
    South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation
    The Junior Sacerdotal of Caodai Council
    The Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America
    The Voice of Karachi
    The Way to Happiness Association of Florida

    Individuals

    Ms. Farahnaz Ispahani
    Global Fellow,
    Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute

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  3. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Now the truth about scientology's perspective on freedom of religion and ideology

    "A truly Suppressive Person or group has no rights of any kind and actions taken against them are not punishable."

    - L. Ron Hubbard in HCOPL 1 March 1965
    HCO Ethics, Suppressive Acts, Suppression of
    Scientology and Scientologists, The Fair Game Law

    This is the Enemy Names list (Flag ED 2830RB, 25 July 1992, Suppressive Persons and Groups) as issued by the Church of Scientology in 1992. Some SP's have voluntary agreed to include their e-mail address in this list so you can get hold of a "dreaded enemy of Scientology".
    This is a historical document. The Church of Scientology regularly updates this list and individuals and groups can therefor have been removed and added before and after 1992.




    SUPPRESSIVE GROUPS
    CHRISTIAN SPIRITUAL ALLIANCE
    A/K/A CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL AWARENESS
    * CHURCH FOR ALL FAITHS
    CHURCH FOR PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT
    * CHURCH FOR SPIRITUAL ADVANCEMENT
    * CHURCH FOR UNITY
    CHURCH OF ABILITY
    * CHURCH OF COSMOLOGY, ONTOLOGY, METAPHYSICS
    * A/K/A CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL ARTS
    * A/K/A HUNA RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
    CHURCH OF HUMAN EVALUATION
    CHURCH OF HUMAN POTENTIAL
    CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IN ZION
    * CHURCH OF MANY MANSIONS
    * CHURCH OF NEW LIFE
    CHURCH OF NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE
    CHURCH OF SCIOLOGOS
    A/K/A PERSONAL EFFICIENCY CENTER
    A/K/A THE LIFE AND ARTS CENTER
    * CHURCH OF SEVEN ARROWS
    * CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL ARTS
    * A/K/A CHURCH OF COSMOLOGY, ONTOLOGY, METAPHYSICS
    CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL AWARENESS
    A/K/A CENTER FOR SPIRITUAL AWARENESS
    A/K/A SPIRITUAL HOLISTIC EDUCATION FOUNDATION
    * CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT
    * A/K/A ADVANCED COUNSELING SERVICES, INCORPORATED
    * CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL FREEDOM
    * CHURCH OF THE AWAKENING
    * CHURCH OF THE DIVINE MAN
    * CHURCH OF THE DIVINE WISDOM
    CHURCH OF THE FINAL JUDGMENT
    CHURCH OF THE NEW CIVILIZATION
    * CHURCH OF THE NEW CLEAR UNIVERSE
    * CHURCH OF TRUTH
    CHURCH OF UNIVERSAL RELIGIONS, INCORPORATED
    CHURCH OF UNIVERSAL TRUTH

    ***************************************************************this list goes on for many hundreds of organizations and individuals to be targeted for destruction by scientology********************

    Now I don't know any of the above organizations but it seems rather obvious that the "Church" of Scientology is extremely duplicitous and they have more recently taken a different path which is to siphon off the good will of individuals and organizations as a PR move involving a repositioning from actually being destructive to claiming to abhor destruction and oppression BUT:

    The 'church of scientology is constantly being exposed in the Media such at the Tampa Bay Times " The truth rundown" and the A & E Scientology Aftermath series as well as dozens of books by previous members illustrating the true nature and true behaviour of Scientology which contradicts the posturing of Scientology.

    So:
    To anyone involved in the organizations which signed onto these position papers, letters and petitions please realize that the Scientology National Office as no dignity and should not be included as a signatory but should themselves should be investigated and identified as one of the culprits.

    If anyone not familiar with scientology and needs some understanding of scientology's motives and strategies, below are a couple of examples:


    0) http://www.xenu-directory.net/mirrors/www.whyaretheydead.net/misc/Factnet/SCNPROPA.TXT excerpts from>>

    -The organization has become a master of public relations
    propaganda. They carefully survey the general public to find
    out what they like and dislike and what a religion should look
    like. Then they attack what the public dislikes and support
    what the public likes -- as long as it doesn't interfere with
    their own hidden agenda.

    -The "church" set up reform groups shortly after Hubbard, in
    1966, wrote "Churches are looked upon as reform groups.
    Therefore we must act like a reform group."


    -The good works are done to make Scientology or Hubbard
    personally seem "old-established, stable, reliable, expert, and
    productive."
    -These works lend humanitarian or religious credibility to
    the organization and its founder and conceal the real source of
    organization propaganda.


    ---

    1)
    The redefinition of words is done by associating different emotions and symbols with the word than were intended...Scientologists are redefining ‘doctor‘, ‘Psychiatry’ and ‘psychology’ to mean ‘undesirable antisocial elements‘...The way to redefine a word is to get the new definition repeated as often as possible. Thus it is necessary to redefine medicine, psychiatry and psychology downward and define Dianetics and Scientology upwards. This, so far as words are concerned, is the public opinion battle for belief in your definitions, and not those of the opposition. A consistent, repeated effort is the key to any success with this technique of propaganda."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 5 October 1971, PR Series 12, "Propaganda by Redefinition of Words"

    2)
    "Scientology...is not a religion."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, CREATION OF HUMAN ABILITY, 1954, p. 251

    3)
    Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them. Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press. Don’t ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 25 February 1966

    4)
    "When you move off a point of power, pay all your obligations on the nail, empower all your friends completely and move off with your pockets full of artillery, potential blackmail on every erstwhile rival, unlimited funds in your private account and the addresses of experienced assassins and go live in Bulgravia [sic] and bribe the police."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 12 February 1967, "The Responsibilities of Leaders"

    5)
    "If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 15 August 1960, Dept. of Govt. Affairs

    "The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly."
    - L. Ron Hubbard, A MANUAL ON THE DISSEMINATION OF MATERIAL, 1955
     
  4. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Urges US Congress to Oppose Inclusion of the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Scheduled Analogues (SITSA) (H.R. 2851/S. 1327) Act in the House (H.R. 6) and Senate Opioid Package (S. 2680).

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/09/20...ongress-oppose-inclusion-stop-importation-and

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    September 20, 2018 9:00AM EDT

    Drug Policy Coalition Urges US Congress to Oppose Inclusion of the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Scheduled Analogues (SITSA) (H.R. 2851/S. 1327) Act in the House (H.R. 6) and Senate Opioid Package (S. 2680).

    The Honorable Paul Ryan
    Speaker of the House
    US House of Representatives
    1233 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    The Honorable Mitch McConnell
    Majority Leader
    US Senate
    317 Russell Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
    Minority Leader
    US House of Representatives
    233 Cannon Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Chuck Schumer
    Minority Leader
    US Senate
    322 Hart Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Pelosi, and Minority Leader Schumer,

    We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our opposition to the inclusion of the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Scheduled Analogues (SITSA) (H.R. 2851/S. 1327) in any final compromise legislation between the House opioid package (H.R. 6) and the Senate opioid package (S. 2680).

    In June 2018, many of us signed a letter to the House of Representatives urging members to vote against SITSA in the House. Our opposition to this legislation remains unchanged as Congress attempts to reconcile the differences between the opioid legislative packages passed by the House and Senate.

    While synthetic opioid overdoses are a very real problem, we believe that including SITSA in a final bill will ultimately prove ineffective in curbing our ongoing epidemic. Instead, SITSA will broadly expand penalties for drug offenses, concentrate power within the Department of Justice (DOJ), punish people who lack criminal intent, and overcriminalize certain behavior.

    Although SITSA passed the House, it has not been without strong Congressional opposition. The majority of House Democrats did not support the measure and many Republicans opposed it.[1] House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer commented that “this legislation lacks clarity that could result in thousands of Americans being incarcerated, potentially for life sentences, thus exacerbating an already over-populated prison system. …[T]hose suffering from opioid addiction need treatment and proper medical care, not more laws that will simply put them behind bars."[2] Further, the House Liberty Caucus produced a statement detailing the extensive and irreversible harms of the past drug war, and implored that SITSA not be employed to revive the criminalization approach to a public drug crisis, as it has “eroded federalism, eviscerated numerous individual rights, entrenched severe discrimination in our criminal justice system, and failed to meaningfully limit the proliferation of illicit drugs.”[3] Those on both sides of the political spectrum recognize the damaging impact that SITSA could have should it pass, and wish to see drug policies that are health-centered.

    SITSA has also not passed the Senate, nor was it even marked up in the Judiciary Committee. To add this legislation to a final opioid legislative package would be to ignore the will of the Senate, denying members of the Judiciary Committee a say on issues in their jurisdiction. It could greatly complicate the passage of a final opioid package. Finally, many members of Congress have been working hard to reach agreement on criminal justice reform legislation that would reduce sentences for drug offenses. This bill would undermine these efforts by taking an approach synonymous with the failed war on drugs.

    SITSA would give the attorney general virtually unlimited authority to create new drug crimes that carry lengthy, expensive prison sentences. Deciding what is a crime and how it should be punished is Congress’s duty and should not be delegated to an unelected executive branch official. While the attorney general may currently schedule substances, the power to do so is carefully constrained. Currently, the DOJ must obtain the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) approval for scheduling a drug. This is reasonable, as HHS’s drug experts offer informed and data-driven opinions as to which substances belong on each drug schedule. Under SITSA, the Attorney General would be required to consider HHS comments only before permanently classifying substances. In addition to the nearly unfettered ability to permanently schedule synthetic drugs, should SITSA pass the attorney general would have the ability to temporarily schedule drugs for nearly twice as long as currently permitted under law – 5.5 years instead of the current 3 – with no input from HHS.

    The proposed changes to the scheduling process under SITSA greatly threaten the American principles of balanced powers. SITSA would grant the attorney general – an unelected government actor – the ability to schedule drugs without oversight from medical professionals while consequently undermining Congress’ responsibility to create criminal law.

    SITSA would also overcriminalize synthetic drugs by penalizing individuals who lack any criminal intent. Under SITSA, individuals would face criminal charges and long sentences even if they did not know that they possessed or distributed a particular substance or that the substance had been scheduled, temporarily or permanently. Fentanyl and its analogues are just one example of how we already punish drug offenders with no criminal intent. In December 2017, Robert Perez, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, testified that “[t]he majority of U.S. trafficked illicit fentanyl is produced in other countries such as China, and is principally smuggled through international mail facilities (IMFs), express consignment carrier facilities (ECCFs, e.g. FedEx and UPS), or through POEs along the Southern land border.” By the time that low-level sellers (who will undoubtedly bear the brunt of SITSA’s punishments) receive drugs including fentanyl or its analogues, most do not know what those drugs actually contain. They are often oblivious to the true content of their product, unknowingly and unintentionally providing users with the deadly drug fentanyl. We believe that any drug offense should require a culpable mental state. SITSA defies this principle, treating low-level dealers with tainted product as if they were knowingly distributing fentanyl-laced substances.

    Finally, criminalizing more drugs that trigger harsh penalties does not deter people with substance use disorders from using or buying drugs. Longer sentences do not deter drug use or drug crime; rather, it is the certainty that an individual will be caught and punished quickly that deters criminal behavior. A belief that harsh penalties, such as the 10-year maximum for a first offense of possession with intent of a synthetic substance, deter the drug trade also ignores the impaired reasoning processes of those struggling with addiction. Since the 1980s, the United States has had tough penalties for heroin,fentanyl, and fentanyl analogue use and distribution, yet opioid consumption has actually increased since that time.

    While health and public safety do not often have a price tag, it would behoove Congress to consider SITSA’s costs and benefits. SITSA will apply long drug sentences to more people, forcing taxpayers to pay for an increased prison population. Longer sentences and bigger prison populations do not yield the same public safety benefits as policies that would decrease the demand for drugs. Investing in treatment and public health would be a far more effective investment of taxpayer money.

    The drug policies of the 1980s and 1990s did not prevent the opioid epidemic or stop synthetic drug use. Congress has shown a continued commitment to righting these wrongs and using more effective strategies to combat and contain drug use and drug epidemics. SITSA would be a major step in the wrong direction. This bill defies our American principles of a balanced government in the pursuit of policy prescriptions proven to be ineffective -- namely, lengthy prison sentences that apply to those who have drug use issues. We ask that both chambers of Congress focus on policies that will increase the availability of drug treatment and reserve taxpayer dollars for more effective public health strategies, not more criminalization.

    Sincerely,
    American Civil Liberties Union
    AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
    Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition
    Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
    Due Process Institute
    Drug Policy Alliance
    FAMM
    FedCURE
    Federal Public and Community Defenders
    FreedomWorks
    Friends Committee on National Legislation
    Human Rights Watch
    Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition
    Justice Strategies
    National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors
    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
    National Center for Lesbian Rights
    National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
    NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
    North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition
    Open Aid Alliance
    Reframe Health and Justice
    R Street Institute
    Safer Foundation
    SIFMA NOW!
    StoptheDrugWar.org
    Students for Sensible Drug Policy
    The Sentencing Project
    Washington Office on Latin America

    [1] http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2018/roll268.xml

    [2]https://www.syracuse.com/politics/i...oids_democrats_warn_it_will_fill_prisons.html

    [3] http://dearcolleague.us/2018/06/vot...afficking-of-synthetic-analogues-act-of-2017/


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