Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Vetoes Mental Health Bill At Request Of Scientology

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Vetoes Mental Health Bill At Request Of Scientology.

The Texas Tribune: Scientology Group Urged Veto of Mental Health Bill

http://www.texastribune.org/2015/07/14/scientology-group-urged-veto-mental-health-bill/

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After a Church of Scientology-backed group helped organize a campaign against it, Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed legislation that would have given Texas doctors more power to detain mentally ill and potentially dangerous patients, according to records obtained by The Texas Tribune.

The governor's early June veto of Senate Bill 359 caught many of the measure’s proponents off-guard. The legislation had sailed through the House and Senate with little debate and only a handful of negative votes — and during committee hearings in both chambers, a range of mental health advocates, medical groups and law enforcement officials showed up to testify in its favor.

Intended to provide a window of protection for doctors who sometimes find themselves choosing between illegally holding mentally ill patients and letting them leave with the real possibility they might be a danger to themselves or the community, the legislation would have allowed hospitals to retain patients for up to four hours, allowing law enforcement to arrive and evaluate the situation.

“This bill applies to a very small group of patients — those who voluntarily seek services at a hospital or emergency department, decide to leave the facility, but the physician has determined he or she poses a potential imminent danger to self or others. This is a high bar. Very few patients will meet it,” said a letter jointly signed by Texas Medical Association President Tom Garcia and Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians President Daniel Pearson.

But after the bill passed, a coalition quickly mobilized to work behind the scenes urging Abbott to kill it.

In a letter hand-delivered to the governor’s office on May 20, the “SB 359 Veto Coalition” said the bill threatened the “delicate balance” between providing “access to humane care and treatment for persons suffering from mental illness and safeguarding the person’s legal right." It characterized the bill as granting “sweeping powers” to hospitals that could lead to fraudulent mental health detentions and threaten a patient’s right to refuse medical care.

Among groups signing on to the letter was the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which had opposed the bill from the start. The anti-psychiatry group was founded by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to serve as a “mental health watchdog” dedicated to taking a stance against "the biological/drug model of 'disease' that is continually promoted by the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry as a way to sell drugs," according to the group’s website.

“It was really just a matter of making calls to the different groups, and going 'Hey, what do y’all think?' or them calling us … and we just decided not to let it go,” said Lee Spiller, a CCHR lobbyist.

Asked whether his organization spearheaded the veto campaign, Spiller said the coalition emerged organically, with the main link among the groups being “some connection to right and liberty issues.”

“These are all basic rights-related issues," he said. "These are not partisan issues."

Others lending their names to the letter included the Texas Home School Coalition, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the anti-vaccine group Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education and Texans for Accountable Government, a libertarian organization currently campaigning to stop water fluoridation in Austin.

Marcelo Tafoya, LULAC’s deputy state director, said he participated in the veto campaign because he feared the bill’s consequences for the “majority of the Latino community” that receives health care from hospital emergency rooms.

People in emergency rooms are “yelling and screaming and carrying on because nobody is taking care of them,” Tafoya said. He said that he was worried that under the bill, “anybody there could claim that these people are hallucinogenic or have problems and turn them in, which to us is completely wrong.”

The letter was signed by Johana Scot, executive director of the Parent Guidance Center, a group that helps parents regain custody of children who have been taken by Child Protective Services.

Scot declined to give details about how the veto alliance was formed, and questioned the relevance of CCHR's link to Scientology.

“All you really need to know, there are thousands and thousands of people willing to get together against something that is big and bad and wrong that has a bunch of money behind it,” she said in an interview. “I don’t think that it is very beneficial to try to break down those grassroots organizations and figure out how they affiliate and how they actually come together on the various issues, because we are fighting a guerrilla war here. Our groups don’t have Big Pharma money to spend. We are passionate people who do this for free.”

Documents obtained through an open records request reveal further correspondence between Spiller and the governor’s office. In an email written on June 3, the day after the governor announced his veto, Spiller sent a message to first lady Cecilia Abbott asking her to “please pass on my warmest regards and sincere thanks for upholding individual liberties and restoring my faith in our constitutional form of government.”

Spiller added a postscript: “I have not forgotten about your last message. Please consider yourself invited to our office, and any event we hold, any time.” He then asks to set up an “informal coffee … with a few close friends.”


Abbott’s office did not respond to questions about Spiller’s message to the first lady or his veto of SB 359.

In his veto statement, Abbott echoed concerns noted in the coalition’s letter, saying he objected to the bill because it raised “serious constitutional concerns” and that medical facilities already had options to protect the mentally ill and the public.

"Medical staff should work closely with law enforcement to help protect mentally ill patients and the public,” he said. "But just as law enforcement should not be asked to practice medicine, medical staff should not be asked to engage in law enforcement, especially when that means depriving a person of the liberty protected by the Constitution.”

The veto came despite messages of support for the bill from various factions within the medical community, including the Parkland Hospital System, the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians and the Texas Medical Association.

A May 22 email accompanying a letter of support from doctors asks an Abbott staffer to “please remember that the veto coalition is being led by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a front group for the Church of Scientology. … Their positions are well outside the mainstream.”

When the veto became public, it perplexed many of the legislation’s supporters, who said they had not heard concerns from the governor’s office prior to its passage.

After Abbott announced the veto, the Texas Medical Association issued a statement saying the governor "should have reached out to physicians and other medical personnel who provide care in the real world of our emergency rooms before vetoing this legislation."

Garcia, the TMA president, said the group was "extremely disappointed” because the bill “would have saved lives, provided short-term help for people with mental illness and actually would have kept some of them out of forced imprisonment."

Mary Jensen, executive director of the San Antonio branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who worked to shore up support for the bill throughout the legislative process, said she was “very surprised” by the veto.

“Right now, [doctors] cannot legally hold [patients], even though they know they are a danger to themselves, or they might go back to their house and harm their family members. There is nothing a doctor can do,” said Jensen. “Doctors under the law currently have the authority to stop an emergency detention, but they don’t have the authority to initiate emergency detention.”


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Rolling Stone: Scientology-Backed Group Lobbied Against Texas Mental Health Bill

http://www.rollingstone.com/politic...ied-against-texas-mental-health-bill-20150714

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A group associated with the Church of Scientology lobbied against a vetoed Texas bill that would have allowed doctors in the state to detain dangerous and mentally ill patients, The Texas Tribune reports.

The paper has obtained records showing that a conglomerate group that included the Scientology-founded Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) sent information to the state's Republican governor, Greg Abbott, who vetoed the bill. (Abbott is Christian.)

The legislation would have given emergency room doctors a four-hour window in which they could detain patients who were mentally ill or appeared unsafe until authorities could assess the situation. Two weeks before Abbott's veto, a group calling itself the SB 359 Veto Coalition hand-delivered a letter to the governor opposing the bill, the paper reports. The bill had passed through the state House and Senate with ease, and the governor's decision to stop the bill surprised many.

Other groups who were involved in the Veto Coalition include the Texas Home School Coalition, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the anti-vaccine group Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education and Texans for Accountable Government. A LULAC staffer said his organization thought the law could be used unconstitutionally against non-English speakers.

"I don't think that it is very beneficial to try to break down those grassroots organizations," Johana Scot, the head of the Parent Guidance Center, which signed the Veto Coalition letter, told the Tribune.

Lee Spiller, a lobbyist for the Church of Scientology-backed CCHR, which is against psychiatry, was also in touch with the governor's office; the Tribune reports that he sent an email to the state's First Lady the day after the veto. "Please pass on my warmest regards and sincere thanks for upholding individual liberties and restoring my faith in our constitutional form of government," he reportedly wrote. "I have not forgotten about your last message. Please consider yourself invited to our office, and any event we hold, any time."

When he vetoed the bill, Abbott voiced sentiments that had appeared in the coalition's letter, saying it raised "serious constitutional concerns," among other things.

A group of doctors had previously sent Abbott a letter warning him of the CCHR's association with the Church of Scientology. "Their positions are well outside the mainstream," they wrote.

The governor "should have reached out to physicians and other medical personnel who provide care in the real world of our emergency rooms before vetoing this legislation," said the Texas Medical Association in a statement, which lobbied in favor of the bill.


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EDITED TO ADD:

Raw Story: Don’t mess with Xenu: Scientologists convince Texas governor to veto mental health bill

https://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/do...ce-texas-governor-to-veto-mental-health-bill/
 
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CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Lawrence Wright weighs in.

https://twitter.com/lawrence_wright/status/620959071974232064

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Churchill

Gold Meritorious Patron
Inexcusable. All Greg Abbott needed to do was Google Mitch Daniels vs. Scientology

to understand Scientology's pathological hatred for psycho-pharmaceuticals and Psychiatry.

This is a Texas sized blunder!
 

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
Whoa...a governor that is influenced by scientology and the anti vaccine crowd. Guess he was trying to avoid the 4 hour hold on himself.
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
It appears Texas first lady Cecilia Abbott may have been important in this. From the Texas Tribune article:


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Documents obtained through an open records request reveal further correspondence between Spiller and the governor’s office. In an email written on June 3, the day after the governor announced his veto, Spiller sent a message to first lady Cecilia Abbott asking her to “please pass on my warmest regards and sincere thanks for upholding individual liberties and restoring my faith in our constitutional form of government.”


Spiller added a postscript: “I have not forgotten about your last message. Please consider yourself invited to our office, and any event we hold, any time.” He then asks to set up an “informal coffee … with a few close friends.”


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mockingbird

Silver Meritorious Patron
This story is disturbing. Scientology is gradually getting overt influence politically. It has long had covert influence through secret deals , bribes , blackmail and espionage but now in politics Scientology is openly interacting with higher and higher politicians. Very troubling . DM may like a two pronged strategy of having Scientology look like a goofy new religion that is persecuted for being new and an internal view that is quite different . If they can get on the sane page as any elected officials that can give an appearance of being socially acceptable and accepted for DM to parade out as proof for whales . And as PR for outsiders to confuse them when they hear of the horrific crimes and abuses Scientology commits.

A very , very old PR theory is that if you can bury a topic with contradictory statements from equally trusted sources MOST people get confused , do not like the feeling of cognitive dissonance and AVOID the topic as much as possible . Completely if the topic is not a needed part of their life ..

This benefits sociopaths tremendously. Think about it , most sociopaths know most people are not like them and would object to their conduct IF they understood the intent behind them . So by getting people to avoid them it gives sociopaths a free pass to keep abusing people.

Hubbard and Miscavige both employ this method . Getting even marginal social acceptance gets played up by the cult so it is their way to confuse the uninformed. The best thing about Scientology is that it has drawn in very few people. It probably never has had more than one hundred thousand members at any time . That is tiny in a world of perhaps six billion people . But the bad news that goes with that is that perhaps a few hundred thousand people worldwide bother to learn the truth about Scientology .

As Scientologists we were in a small club . As people who put in a serious , and hopefully effective , effort to understand Scientology we are also in a small club.

DM has other plans for us but he wants to neutralize the majority of people and control a needed minority. For him a governor is a prize to be sought , much like a movie star . The main thing TC and JT do is not recruitment , that is almost impossible now . The main thing they do is make the cult seem possibly acceptable. Even if just enough to confuse people.
 

scooter

Gold Meritorious Patron
DM is sure to wheel this out at an event as a "major win" and I'm sure the IAS vultures will be using this one in "closed door" briefings to the sheeple.:omg:

But:

DM has precious little to brag about and this IS small fry compared to not being able to get His ideal NarCONons up in Canada, Oz and at Trout Run.:roflmao:

AND

Look at how the media are jumping onto it - that would never have happened even last year:yes:
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
It appears Texas first lady Cecilia Abbott may have been important in this. From the Texas Tribune article:


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Documents obtained through an open records request reveal further correspondence between Spiller and the governor’s office. In an email written on June 3, the day after the governor announced his veto, Spiller sent a message to first lady Cecilia Abbott asking her to “please pass on my warmest regards and sincere thanks for upholding individual liberties and restoring my faith in our constitutional form of government.”


Spiller added a postscript: “I have not forgotten about your last message. Please consider yourself invited to our office, and any event we hold, any time.” He then asks to set up an “informal coffee … with a few close friends.”


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Tony Ortega has an item up and notes the same thing.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott aids CCHR, and hears about it (2nd item)

http://tonyortega.org/2015/07/15/ni...-seduce-mike-rinders-wife-in-a-spy-operation/

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Anyway, it seems pretty clear that CCHR had taken the lead on this collection of idiots who opposed the bill, but then every bill is opposed by some group of wackadoos or another. The real question is, why did Abbott listen to them? Gov. Abbott has already raised eyebrows for his less than sober reaction to the Jade Helm morons in his state, and this is another troubling sign about his susceptibility to the irrational. The Tribune found some records that indicate CCHR might have specifically targeted Abbott’s wife for influence, and it will be interesting to see if more documents emerge about how the Abbotts came to agree with L. Ron Hubbard’s wackiest front group.

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CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
This is interesting. The post is below is by the Ring of Fire website. One of the hosts of the Ring of Fire show is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. You will recall that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. recently supported the efforts by the Church of Scientology and the Nation of Islam to defeat the mandatory vaccine law in California.

Ring of Fire: Scientologists Feared Texas Law Would Result in Them Being Institutionalized, Forced Governor to Veto It

https://www.ringoffireradio.com/201...institutionalized-forced-governor-to-veto-it/

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A Scientology-backed anti-psychiatry group influenced Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) decision to veto a heavily-favored mental health bill, reported RawStory. The reason the group was so concerned about the passage of the bill is that it would have permitted mental health professionals greater ability to temporarily hold individuals for psychiatric evaluation if the individuals are a potential danger to themselves or others. Members of Scientology obviously feared this would include every one of its members.

Senate Bill 359 was heavily-favored on both sides of the aisle in the Texas state legislature and passed through both chambers with ease and little debate. Several mental health experts and law enforcement officials testified in support of SB 359. However, Gov. Abbott shocked lawmakers with his surprise veto of the bill.

Despite being supported by lawmakers, one group in particular expressed staunch opposition to the bill, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a group founded by the Church of Scientology and led by its lobbyist Lee Spiller. After Governor Abbott vetoed the bill, he was invited by Spiller to a social engagement. “Please pass on my warmest regards and sincere thanks for upholding individual liberties and restoring my faith in our constitutional form of government,” said Spiller’s message. “Please consider yourself invited to our office, and any event we hold, any time.”

Scientology groups are beginning exert influence in government branches, and that’s scary. Considering the church’s reputation for harassment, bullying, and manipulation, government is the last place for them to have influence.

About the Author
Joshua De Leon
Josh de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.

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This is interesting. The post is below is by the Ring of Fire website. One of the hosts of the Ring of Fire show is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. You will recall that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. recently supported the efforts by the Church of Scientology and the Nation of Islam to defeat the mandatory vaccine law in California.

Ring of Fire: Scientologists Feared Texas Law Would Result in Them Being Institutionalized, Forced Governor to Veto It

https://www.ringoffireradio.com/201...institutionalized-forced-governor-to-veto-it/

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

A Scientology-backed anti-psychiatry group influenced Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) decision to veto a heavily-favored mental health bill, reported RawStory. The reason the group was so concerned about the passage of the bill is that it would have permitted mental health professionals greater ability to temporarily hold individuals for psychiatric evaluation if the individuals are a potential danger to themselves or others. Members of Scientology obviously feared this would include every one of its members.

Senate Bill 359 was heavily-favored on both sides of the aisle in the Texas state legislature and passed through both chambers with ease and little debate. Several mental health experts and law enforcement officials testified in support of SB 359. However, Gov. Abbott shocked lawmakers with his surprise veto of the bill.

Despite being supported by lawmakers, one group in particular expressed staunch opposition to the bill, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a group founded by the Church of Scientology and led by its lobbyist Lee Spiller. After Governor Abbott vetoed the bill, he was invited by Spiller to a social engagement. “Please pass on my warmest regards and sincere thanks for upholding individual liberties and restoring my faith in our constitutional form of government,” said Spiller’s message. “Please consider yourself invited to our office, and any event we hold, any time.”

Scientology groups are beginning exert influence in government branches, and that’s scary. Considering the church’s reputation for harassment, bullying, and manipulation, government is the last place for them to have influence.

About the Author
Joshua De Leon
Josh de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.

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[B"...The reason the group was so concerned about the passage of the bill is that it would have permitted mental health professionals greater ability to temporarily hold individuals for psychiatric evaluation if the individuals are a potential danger to themselves or others. Members of Scientology obviously feared this would include every one of its members...."
[/B]

Probably not everyone of it's members, more like those members who have a breakdown or go psychotic. eg., Lisa McPherson.....and all the others that went psychotic, or go psychotic in Scientology. It would not be good if these people can be detained where scientology's effects can be seen.
 
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