Thursday, May 17, 2018

Church of Scientology to Host Breakfast on Drug Prevention

The Church of Scientology in partnership with Drug-Free Tennessee, is hosting a breakfast on drug prevention on International Day Against Drug Abuse.

When it comes to preventing drug abuse, we all have needs and we all have resources. Let’s come together in this fight,” says Rev. Brian Fesler, regional coordinator for Drug-Free Tennessee.

Aiming for an international society free of drug abuse, the United Nations named June 26th as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. So on this day, the Church of Scientology in partnership with Drug-Free Tennessee, will host “Drug Abuse: Preventing It Together,” beginning with a breakfast at 8:00 am.

During the event, there will be speakers present who have been on the drug-prevention battlefield and can speak to current issues, and valuable resources to help others live drug-free.

In 1987, the United Nations established the International Day with resolution 42/112. Their very next resolution, 42/113 stated that the UN General Assembly, “…Taking into account the need to reaffirm the effectiveness of human, moral and spiritual values for preventing the consumption of narcotic drugs, at the national and international levels, through information, guidance and educational activities… Calls upon the Governments of countries facing problems of drug abuse, particularly those most seriously affected, as part of their national strategy, to take the necessary measures to reduce significantly the illicit demand for drugs and psychotropic substances with the aim of creating in society a deep respect for its own health, fitness and well-being and to provide appropriate information and advice for all sectors of their communities with regard to drug abuse, its harmful effects and the way in which appropriate community action can be promoted.”


DFT is the local chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, which is based in Los Angeles and has as its mission to educate people about the dangerous effects of drugs so they understand and can make informed choices on the subject. Fesler says, “There is a need in our communities to educate everyone on drugs, drugs impact all our lives in one way or another. That’s why we work with others so people can get a complete overview.” For more information on Drug-Free Tennessee, visit drugfreetn.org.

Church of Scientology to Host Sustainable Living Conference

The Church of Scientology in partnership with the Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee is observing World Environment Day with a Sustainable Living Conference.

According to Global News, “The fashion industry is the world’s second-largest polluter, after oil. That means even if you’re diligent about correctly separating your recycling, put solar panels on your roof and collect rainwater, and strictly buy local, organic produce, you’re inherently implicit in fashion’s shameful truth just by getting dressed every morning.” To combat pollution and enlighten people on the best sustainable living practices, the Nashville Church of Scientology, in partnership with the Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee, is hosting a Sustainable Living Conference on June 5th, World Environment Day. 

The conference, which begins at 7:00 pm, will have a keynote on sustainable fashion by Elisabeth Donaldson of 365 Days of Thrift Followed by an Eco Conscious Panel discussion with Wall Street Journal featured low waste lifestyle expert and blogger Erin Hendrickson, Homesteading Hero Janelle Hillman, and Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee Representative Charlotte Weatherington. Following the panel will be a fashion show featuring all thrifted clothing.

The Way to Happiness Association was formed around the book The Way To Happiness, written by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. The book is filled with twenty-one precepts based on the fact that one’s survival depends on the survival of others. One of these precepts is “Safeguard and Improve the Environment,” which takes to heart care for the planet.

World Environment Day occurs each year on June 5th and is celebrated by the United Nations. According to unep.org, World Environment Day “…has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.”


For more information on the Sustainable Living Conference, contact media@twthtn.org. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

CCHR Nashville Joins Protest in New York Against Electroshocking of Children

Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Nashville (CCHR Nashville) wants Tennessee law amended to outlaw electroshock, especially on children

When members of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) arrived in New York for their annual meeting recently, they faced hundreds of human rights activists marching against the use of electroshock treatment (ECT)—up to 460 volts of electricity sent through the brain—especially on children, some younger than five years old.   While Tennessee law partially prohibits the use of electroshock on a child younger than 18 years of age, under specified circumstances, the brain-damaging procedure can be administered to a child labeled with “mania” or “severe depression” when all other treatments have been exhausted.

Psychiatric watchdog, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) marched against the APA to highlight that Tennessee needs to ban all use of ECT. Supporters marched from Time Square to the Javits Center, where the APA was meeting, with several marchers dressed as Grim Reapers, the age-old symbol of death, to make the point that American kids are at risk when electroshocked or drugged.   The Tennessee Code 33-8-302 allows children to be subjected to ECT if their life is at risk, including the potential suicide.

However, CCHR points out that there are no clinical trials proving ECT is life-saving.  On the contrary, experts such as psychologist John Read, professor of clinical psychology at the University of East London confirmed from a comprehensive review of research on ECT that there is “no evidence that ECT is more effective than placebo for depression reduction or suicide prevention.” He and a colleague concluded, “Given the well-documented high risk of persistent memory dysfunction, the cost-benefit analysis for ECT remains so poor that its use cannot be scientifically, or ethically, justified.”

Electroshock, or electroconvulsive treatment, sends vast quantities of electricity into the brain to induce a grand mal seizure. Documented adverse effects include short- and long-term memory loss, cognitive problems, unwanted personality changes, manic symptoms, prolonged seizures, heart problems and even death. There is nothing new about this treatment or its effects, the protesters state.  And since 2005, the World Health Organization’s Resource Book on Mental Health, Human Rights and Legislation has informed governments that there are “no indications for the use of ECT on minors, and hence this should be prohibited through legislation.”

The protest was prompted by the APA requesting the FDA to permit more ECT on kids that psychiatrists label as “treatment resistant.” The APA’s request is particularly serious, says CCHR, because kids they are calling “treatment resistant” are those who experience no improvement from drugs the FDA has already said should not be used on children. These drugs also have a long list of side effects, some of them very alarming, such as increased depression and suicidal thoughts. Protesters say this could open the door for millions of children who have no positive outcome from these drugs or experience their side effects to be reclassified as “resistant.” They could then be forced to submit to electroshock.  As young children have no rights to consent to treatment, any electroshock is forcibly given and violates recommendations from Juan E. Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, who said that forced electroshock could be tantamount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. He called for an “absolute ban on all forced and non-consensual medical interventions against persons with disabilities,” including “electroshock.

“No one should be subject to such torture,” says CCHR Nashville board member, Brian Fesler, “We are here defending our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, and helping to give them a voice.  Tennessee must ban the use of all electroshock treatment as it is torture.”

CCHR is also demanding that states be required to document and provide records of how many children are electroshocked each year. State Medicaid records, obtained by CCHR through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, reveal 16 states where electroshock is administered to children, including those younger than one year old.

CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. To learn more or contact CCHR Nashville for more information, visit cchrnashville.org.

References:

[1] John Read, Chelsea Arnold, “Is Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression More Effective Than Placebo? A Systematic Review of Studies Since 2009,” Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry Volume 19, Number 1, 2017, pp. 5-23(19), http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/ehpp/2017/00000019/00000001/art00002

[2] A/HRC/22/53, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez,” United Nations, General Assembly, Human Rights Council, Twenty-second Session, Agenda Item 3, 1 Feb. 2013, p. 21, para 85, http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/A.HRC.22.53_English.pdf.

[3] https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/tennessee/tn-code/tennessee_code_33-8-302

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee Working for Peace

The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee was excited to participate in a large-scale peace event recently.

Organizers for The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee (TWTH-TN) say their mission isn’t just peace, but a calm environment. The group was happy to participate in a large-scale event recently where hundreds gathered to form a human-made peace symbol. This is an annual event held in Old Hickory, Tennessee, and the second time TWTH-TN has participated.

The Way to Happiness Foundation, based in Los Angeles with chapters around the world, was formed to forward the booklet of the same name written by L. Ron Hubbard. The Way to Happiness booklet details 21 precepts that are predicated on the fact that one’s survival depends on the survival of others.

According to thewaytohappiness.org, “This code of conduct can be followed by anyone, of any race, color or creed and works to restore the bonds that unite humankind.” The Way to Happiness aims at giving people back a sense of what is right and wrong in a way that is easy to understand. In the two decades since it was authored, some 80 million copies of the book passed hand to hand.

The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee distributed hundreds of copies of the booklets during the gathering for peace.

The Tennessee Association launched its campaign to distribute many copies of the booklet in 2009. Since that time, the group has visited local health fairs, festivals and community gatherings.

Rev. Brian Fesler, the regional coordinator for The Way to Happiness Association, says, “Our goal is a crime-free, healthy, and happy community. We will participate in events anywhere across the state to achieve this goal.” For more information, visit thewaytohappiness.org.


Tennessee United for Human Rights Stands Against Racism

Tennessee United for Human Rights was proud to stand with other advocates at the annual Stand Against Racism event in Nashville.

Organizers for Tennessee United for Human Rights point out that Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” As such, they made it a point to stand with human rights advocates, organizations and citizens to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities during the YWCA’s annual Stand Against Racism event.

In order for human rights to be upheld and protected, they must be known. That is why Tennessee United for Human Rights’ main purpose is to educate people on their basic rights.

Tennessee United for Human Rights (TUHR) was formed as a non-profit public benefit corporation in 2015 to provide education and materials to Tennesseans. Since that time, the Tennessee chapter of the international non-profit United for Human Rights has delivered seminars, participated in events and raised awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights across the state.

During the Stand Against Racism, TUHR volunteers distributed human rights educational materials, newsletters and booklets.

United for Human Rights provides materials that visualize the complete history of human rights, break down of the individual points of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and show how people can protect themselves with this knowledge.  


United for Human Rights was founded on the Declaration’s 60th anniversary, in the face of continued worldwide abuses which violate the spirit, intent and Articles of this charter of all human rights, the first such document ever ratified by the community of nations. 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the document and the 10th anniversary of United for Human Rights’ formation. For more information about United for Human Rights, go to www.humanrights.com.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Nashville to Celebrate International Day Against Drug Abuse

Drug-Free Tennessee is the local chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, and is planning a series of events for the 2018 International Day Against Drug Abuse.

Recently four police officers were charged with bringing drugs into Tennessee jails; 43 people were arrested in a Sevier County drug roundup; and a man and woman in Murfreesboro were found with 1.3 million dollars in Xanax pills, and arrested.

“When it comes to people’s lives being ruined by drugs and addiction, the news is just non-stop,” says Rev. Brian Fesler, regional coordinator for Drug-Free Tennessee. “We need to spread a positive drug-free message and educate as many people as possible and as fast as possible,” he says.

For this very reason, Drug-Free Tennessee (DFT) has been working to organize a series of events in honor of International Day Against Drug Abuse, which takes place each year on June 26. Fesler says his group has high goals to educate people and intends to meet them.

International Day Against Drug Abuse was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime is leading a global campaign to raise awareness about the major challenge that illicit drugs represent to society as a whole, and especially to the young. The goal of the campaign is to mobilize support and inspire people to act against drug use, according to unodc.org.


DFT is the local chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World (FDFW), which is based in Los Angeles and has as its mission to educate people about the dangerous effects of drugs so they understand and can make informed choices on the subject. Fesler says, “There is a need in our communities to educate everyone on drugs, drugs impact all our lives in one way or another. That’s why we work with others so people can get a complete overview.” For more information on Drug-Free Tennessee, visit drugfreetn.org.

Nashville to Celebrate International Friendship Day

Friendship Day takes place each year at the Church of Scientology in Nashville.
The Church of Scientology will host its fourth annual Friendship Day open house at the end of July, with participation from many of the ethnicities and nationalities that make up the city of Nashville.
The International Day of Friendship was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 in the belief that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.”
“The whole point of our open house is to bring a diverse group of people together and demonstrate the power of friendship,” says Rev. Brian Fesler, pastor of the Church of Scientology. “Most of life’s problems come from our basic misunderstanding of each other—a misunderstanding of intentions. Getting along with one another starts with getting to know each other.”
The Church of Scientology will partner in this effort with The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee, which provides a community betterment program based on the book The Way to Happiness by L. Ron Hubbard. The initiative is predicated on the fact that one’s survival depends on the survival of others—and that without the survival of others, neither joy nor happiness is attainable. Several precepts in the book promote dialogue and friendship, among them “Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others,” “Be Worthy of Trust,” and “Try to Treat Others As You Would Want Them to Treat You.”

For more information on the Church of Scientology, its programs or upcoming events, visit scientology-ccnashville.org.