Former U.S. Rep. Dan Burton has found a post-congressional career as a lobbyist for the Church of Scientology.
Burton was paid $20,000 for his services as a lobbyist for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) between July and September, according to a lobbying disclosure form filed Friday.
The CCHR was formed in 1969 by the Church of Scientology. The organization describes itself as a "mental health watchdog." It has campaigned against psychiatry and the "medical legitimacy of psychiatric diagnosis," and operates the "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" Museum in Hollywood.
According to the Church of Scientology's website, then-Congressman Burton attended the opening of its National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., in 2012.
Burton served as the U.S. representative for Indiana's 6th and then 5th congressional district from 1983 until 2013, when he retired citing "personal problems with family health." He was succeeded by Republican former U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks.
Burton's congressional term was marked by a number of controversies, including his claim that vaccinations caused his grandson to become "autistic right before my eyes."
He was criticized in 1998 by members of his own Republican party for releasing edited transcripts of prison audiotapes of a former associated of President Bill Clinton.
An FBI investigation in 2011 revealed Burton had received tainted election funds from the Pakistani military intelligence services. He subsequently donated the funds to the Boy Scouts.
Burton also made headlines for re-enacting his theory of the death of Clinton staffer Vincent Foster by shooting a watermelon in his backyard with a pistol. The watermelon stood in for Foster's head. Three investigations into Foster's death all concluded he committed suicide.
WATN?: It's time for another edition of "Where on K-Street is Dan Burton?" When we last heard from the former Indiana congressman and Republican destroyer of watermelons, he was publishing anti-Armenia editorials without disclosing that he heads the Azerbaijan America Alliance. Now, Legistorm notes that he has a new gig lobbying for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, an innocent-sounding group that was founded by the Church of Scientologyand "advocates against psychiatry and psychiatric medicine."
Ex-Rep. Dan Burton now lobbying for Scientology organization
Former Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) is now officially a lobbyist, having filed to lobby on behalf of a group founded by the Church of Scientology
Burton, through his firm Dan Burton International LLC, registered as a lobbyist for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, an organization established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 that advocates against psychiatry and psychiatric medicine. Burton's filing indicates he is representing CCHR's position on issues related to "psychiatric treatments including drugs and brain devices" in the 21st Century Cures Act, which has passed the House and as of yet has no counterpart in the Senate.
This lobbying role is not Burton's first encounter with Scientology. While not a member of the Church, Burton attended the opening of the Church's national office in 2012 and commended the CCHR for its work and the opening of their National Public Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. a few months prior.
Burton and Church officials are also allied in their skepticism of the Food and Drug Administration. Scientology has been in an ongoing battle with the agency for decades. Meanwhile, Burton has criticized the agency on a number of fronts, such as his belief that an FDA-approved vaccine caused autism in his grandson. The FDA and other government agencies reject the theory.
A former committee staffer of Burton's, Beth Clay, who has fought with the FDA on alternative medicines and other matters, has served as a board member on the CCHR.
12. Specific lobbying issues (current and anticipated)
H. R. 6 - 21st Century Cures Act and Senate counterpart (not yet introduced) to make sure adequate protections are maintained in law with reference to psychiatric treatments including drugs and devices.
By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, October 20, 2015
We’ve noted in the past how former Indiana Congressman Dan Burton has gone to bat for Scientology, appearing most recently when the church celebrated the first anniversary of the re-grand opening its new “national office” in Washington DC. Burton’s a clown who is known for his anti-vaxxer views and his obsession with the death of Vince Foster. He and Scientology make a natural pair, and it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that he was paid $20,000 between July and September to lobby for Scientology’s cartoonishly anti-psychiatry front group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Every couple of years or so a story about Scientology paying lobbyists in Washington DC shows up, and each time, it sounds like a revelation. But each time, and this is no exception, we’re reminded how little Scientology, a multi-billion dollar entity, spends on lobbying the US government. Even David Miscavige, we figure, knows that Scientology has little chance of overtly affecting how things work in DC. The Church of Scientology has always preferred to work more quietly, through key individuals like the late Gerald Feffer, and not through lobbying.
A group co-founded by the Church of Scientology has sought former Rep. Dan Burton's help in lobbying Congress about certain psychiatric treatments.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights paid Burton $20,000 in the past three months, according to lobbying disclosure reports.
Burton, who retired from Congress in 2013, was paid to "maintain or increase protection for the public with reference to psychiatric treatments including drugs and brain devices," in a bill Congress is considering to speed the development of drugs.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights calls itself a "mental health watchdog" dedicated to "providing information that a multibillion-dollar psycho/pharmaceutical industry does not want people to see or to know."
Burton was often critical of the pharmaceutical industry when he served in Congress.
"I've gone to a number of these lectures that are put on by pharmaceutical companies," Burton said at a hearing he convened in 2002 on the "over-medication of hyperactive children."
"They're very nice dinners they put on and very expensive in many cases, have great wines and all those sorts of things — they do have doctors that come in and talk about the attributes and the positives about these drugs," he said. "So they are very effective in selling their products to the doctors and the doctors writing those prescriptions."
Burton invited Lisa-Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley and a spokeswoman for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, to testify at that hearing. She argued that Congress should prevent schools from “coercing parents into placing their children on to mind-altering drugs.”
When he served in the House of Representatives, Dan Burton (R-Indiana) reportedly held at least 20 hearings to try to force people to accept his belief that mercury in vaccines causes autism. Now he’s pulled down 20 Gs–$20,000 from July to September—as a lobbyist on behalf of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which sounds reasonable enough, except that it’s a group co-founded by the Church of Scientology. The transition isn’t a big one for Burton because because Burton and Scientology and whacky autism causation theories go way back.
maintain or increase protection for the public with reference to psychiatric treatments including drugs and brain devices.
That’s not so wildly off the mark from his earlier goal of protecting the nation from mercury in vaccines with the expectation, one assumes, that doing so would protect the nation from the scourge of autism. Never mind that the nation isn’t under threat from either. Burton’s last hurrah as a Congressman was in 2012, the usual dog-and-pony show, giving the soon-to-be former Congressman one last chance as a representative of the people to claim that
I’m convinced that the mercury in vaccinations is a contributing factor to neurological diseases such as autism.
The CCHR must believe in Burton’s powers because it appears to be giving a large share of its “political advocacy” money to him. Their financials made available on their website stop at 2010, when they claimed to have spent just over $100,000 on “political advocacy.” They list no expenditure explicitly for lobbying. Their stated mission on their tax forms is “to investigate and expose psychiatric abuses of human rights.” The board members indeed are prominent Scientologists.
Burton’s work on behalf of CCHR is not his first public brush with Scientology. He had astar turnin Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging, produced by CCHR (the reviews at the link are worth a read). If you’re a fan of Burton’s film work, you can also find himin such instant classics as Evidence of Harm and Mercury in Retrograde/The Mercury Chronicles.
in 2012. The church’s press release noted his participation as follows:
The Honorable Dan Burton spoke to the Church’s signal contributions in the protection of children from psychotropic drugging and preservation of the rights of families: “I applaud you for taking the time to pursue this issue, and for helping make the Child Safety and Medication Act the law of the land. Working together we have been part of a course of correction to safeguard America’s youth while promoting and protecting liberty.”
He reprised his role the following year as the new Scientology office celebrated its one-year anniversary.
In addition, Burton’s former staffer, Beth Clay, a “founding board member of the National Autism Association,” is an “international ambassador” for CCHR and reportedly previously lobbied and performed other work on behalf of the “mercury causes autism” outfit SafeMinds.
How many individuals are there in the various governments who support scientology. Are they aware of what judges have said about the cult of scientology?
Burton was one of three members of Congress present when the Church of Scientology opened its national office in Washington D.C.
Does anyone know if there are pamphlets available which cover.....
From Hubbard's writing: The goal of the department [Office of Special Affairs] is to bring the government and hostile philosophies or societies into a state of complete compliance with the goals of Scientology. This is done by high-level ability to control and in its absence by low-level ability to overwhelm. Introvert such agencies. Control such agencies.