Thursday, January 26, 2017

Nashville Church of Scientology Hosts World Interfaith Harmony Service

The Church of Scientology in Nashville is opening its doors to all religious communities for a special service in observance of World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Hate graffiti, death threats, and violence toward people of religion have become recurrent mainstream news. Even as of January 9th, the Washington Post reports that the “FBI is looking into bomb threats at Jewish centers in the United States...”

“In order to truly combat religious discrimination in this day and age, we have to come together and learn about the religious other,” says Rev. Brian Fesler, Pastor of the Church of Scientology, who has called together people of many different faiths and cultures to take part in a service for World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Rev. Fesler is passionate about bringing together all peoples and has reached out to many different faith leaders for this special service. “Everyone, regardless of their race, religion, culture—everyone deserves to have a voice, to live in peace, and to practice their religion in harmony with the rest of mankind,” he says.

The Church of Scientology’s creed begins with the words: “We of the Church believe that all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights; that all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance…”   

“It is part of our very fabric to support others’ rights and abilities to practice their religion in peace, so that is what we are lifting up through this service,” says Rev. Fesler.

The World Interfaith Harmony Service will take place on February 1, 2017 from 4:30 – 6:30pm in the Church of Scientology community hall in Nashville, Tenn. Participating religious peoples include Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Scientologists and more.

For more information about Scientology, its practices or beliefs, visit 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tennessee United for Human Rights Participates at Nashville MLK Day Event

Tennessee United for Human Rights (TUHR) has the mission to bring awareness and education on the 30 human rights, as listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to people all across the state.

“The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday is a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service. [The day] empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community,” according to It is with this in mind that Tennessee United for Human Rights (TUHR) went out to join in the movement in Nashville to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

TUHR, which was formed as a non-profit public benefit corporation in 2015 to educate Tennesseans on the basic principles and foundations of human rights, was part of events in Nashville to honor the iconic human rights hero. The main event is the MLK Day march and convocation which took place at Tennessee State University on Monday. The march began at 10am at Jefferson Street Baptist Church. According to, the theme for 2017 was “What’s Next… There’s Power in Progress.”

One TUHR volunteer says the organization is excited about being part of these events and is anxious to spread education on human rights, “This is the time for everyone to learn their basic human rights and be united in the fight for freedom.”

TUHR is the local chapter of United for Human Rights, an international, not-for-profit organization dedicated to implementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its membership is comprised of individuals, educators and groups throughout the world who are actively forwarding the knowledge and protection of human rights by and for all Mankind, according to

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. For more information about United for Human Rights, go to

Monday, January 9, 2017

Citizens Commission on Human Rights Presents The Holocaust: What They Don’t Want You to Know

Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Nashville (CCHR Nashville) is holding a special briefing on The Holocaust: What They Don’t Want You to Know in observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The UN General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides,” according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website. So it is that the Citizens Commission on Human Rights chose this day to present a special briefing on “The Holocaust: What They Don’t Want You to Know,” which takes place at 5pm at the Nashville Church of Scientology.

The event will look at the atrocities committed in the early 1940s under the Nazi regime and show exactly whose ideas led to the Holocaust.

CCHR has long been an advocate for human rights, especially as relates to patients’ rights in the field of mental health. Per the international CCHR website,, “CCHR has long fought to restore basic inalienable human rights to the field of mental health, including, but not limited to, full informed consent regarding the medical legitimacy of psychiatric diagnosis, the risks of psychiatric treatments, the right to all available medical alternatives and the right to refuse any treatment considered harmful.”

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. CCHR receives reports about abuses in the field of mental health and is especially interested in situations where persons experienced abuse or damage due to a false diagnosis or unwanted and harmful psychiatric treatments, such as psychiatric drugs, electroshock (ECT) and electronic or magnetic brain stimulation (TMS). CCHR is often able to assist with filing complaints, and can work with a person’s attorney to further investigate the case. To contact CCHR Nashville for more information, visit  

Friday, January 6, 2017

2016 Year in Review – Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Nashville Chapter

2016 saw the expansion of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Nashville Chapter, carrying out the work of the international organization in the Southeast United States.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) Nashville Chapter began the year with a special event held in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day where chapter members posed the question, “If Hitler was behind the Holocaust, who was behind Hitler?” Church of Scientology pastor, Rev. Brian Fesler, was glad to host this event, which he opened by saying, “We remember [the Holocaust] so we can mourn the loss, we remember so we can honor the lives, but more than that we remember so we can prevent.” A video was played to attendees which revealed how the pseudoscience Eugenics contributed to the Holocaust, and exactly who propagated these ideas.

Next, Nashville Chapter members traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to join other civil rights and social justice groups in protesting the American Psychiatric Convention. Representatives of the NAACP, the Nation of Islam, 10,000 Fearless Men, Black Lives Matter and Concerned Black Clergy joined CCHR in protesting the use of the controversial ECT (Electro-Convulsive Therapy, also known as electroshock treatment) on children. ECT is an “archaic technique invented in the 1930s, [which] sends jolts of electricity into the brain, inducing a seizure. It’s associated with numerous side-effects, including short and long-term memory loss, cognitive problems, unwanted personality changes, manic symptoms, prolonged seizures, heart problems and death,” according to Natural News.

CCHR Nashville then took its message of human rights for those being abused in the field of mental illness to a community event in the Edgehill neighborhood and to events for parents and educators. Volunteers distributed fliers and spoke to people who have been victims of abuse in psychiatric hands.

Then, volunteers were out at a national music and arts festival and soon after participated in a cultural festival, shining a light on psychiatric abuse and spreading the word.

In October, to observe World Mental Health Day, CCHR held a special “Lunch and Learn” with a health and wellness doctor. During the seminar, she was able to bring awareness to parents on children’s mental and physical health needs, especially what to do if a child is experiencing health issues, and what parents can do to help their children be at a more optimum health level. She discussed societal norms where people are given a pill, and how that merely masks the problem without fixing it.

Rev. Fesler, who also serves on the board of CCHR Nashville, said, “CCHR volunteers are excited about all of the activity in 2016, but there is much more work to be done. People are getting hurt every day at the hands of psychiatrists. They must be brought to account for their actions.”

CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health industry watchdog whose mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health.  It works to ensure patient and consumer protections are enacted and upheld as there is rampant abuse in the field of mental health.  In this role, CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices since it was formed five decades ago. For more information on CCHR, visit

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 Year in Review - The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee Making Waves

2016 saw the expansion of The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee, a state chapter of The Way To Happiness Foundation.

The Way to Happiness, a book written by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1980s, is comprised of 21 precepts, each one 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 are attainable. In the three decades since it was authored, more than 115 million copies of the book passed hand to hand, thus inspiring the international movement which is spreading throughout Nashville, TN.

Volunteers for The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee (TWTH-TN) began the year by participating in a large-scale event to promote peace, where they passed out hundreds of copies of The Way to Happiness booklet.

To honor World Environment Day, volunteers met with others interested in making Nashville a greener city, during an event called “It’s Your City—Green it Up.” Among those attending were a Nashville Horticulturist, the director of BURNT (Bring Urban Recycling to Nashville Today), and the District 17 Beautification Commissioner.

Next, TWTH-TN was at a local Father’s Day celebration distributing booklets and speaking with people about why it is important to “Honor and Help Your Parents,” as one of the precepts in the booklet mandates. Then, members took another message to Parent University, an event organized by Metro Nashville Public Schools, where they shared the need to “Love and Help Children.”

For International Friendship Day, TWTH-TN worked with the Nashville Church of Scientology to organize a large event to bring people together. Members of the Sikh, Jewish, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Muslim and Scientologist communities joined together to learn about one another and forge true friendships by taking part in guided dialogue using the precepts of The Way to Happiness booklet. Pastor of the Church, Rev. Brian Fesler, said, “We brought people together for the event, but it’s not going to end today. Many of them plan to stay in touch and keep getting together over the next few months to continue a journey to friendship.”

In September, a Tennessee volunteer had a trip scheduled to visit the Honduras to complete construction on a house for missionaries, doctors and advisors. While he was there, he wanted to do even more good and distributed copies of The Way to Happiness booklet. While handing out booklets, he ran into many who could not read. So he took things a step further by setting up a small group where precepts were read aloud. The group then discussed them, so all could achieve full understanding of what they contain.

By Fall, TWTH-TN volunteers wanted to step things up even further so began a series of weekly booklet distribution events in neighborhoods with higher crime rates.

In October, a volunteer was welcomed to the nineteenth annual Intertribal Powwow hosted each year by the Native Cultural Circle (NCC) of Clarksville. There, she distributed more than two hundred booklets to Native Americans and others attending.

TWTH-TN is making a true impact across Tennessee and reaching other parts of the world. To learn more about the program, or to order copies of The Way to Happiness booklet, visit

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Year in Review - Religion Communicators Council Spreading the Good Word

The Religion Communicators Council is an interfaith communications organization working to promote peace and fellowship while spreading the good news.

The longest running interfaith communications organization in the United States, the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), has chapters across the country that meet regularly and promote “excellence in the communication of religious faith and values in the public arena and encourage understanding among religious and faith groups,” according to the RCC website.

In Nashville, the RCC Chapter meets every other month to promote its ideals through conversations about what is in the news and how to spread more religious messages – the good news—a tradition that began in 2015.

“People of faith have influence,” says president of the Nashville Chapter, Rev. Brian Fesler, who also pastors the Church of Scientology, “We all need to step out and speak up because the good news, of which there is an abundance, tends to be overshadowed.”

The chapter began the year with a visit to the Nashville Church of Scientology. The hot news of the day had the group looking at an issue where a denomination that earlier supported the right to choice is now seeking an end to legal abortion. Members had to answer the question: how can it be that a denomination can turn 180 degrees on such a basic issue?

The next meeting took place at the Baha'i Faith Community Center where RCC members took a look at the role of women in religion. Each person discussed how their faith tradition has honored women or spoke of the women of great influence on their faith, then went further into discussing women of influence in other faith traditions that were not represented, such as women founders of more modern religions.

In July, the chapter met at the Islamic Center of Tennessee. The recent news of violence in the United States began the conversation for this meeting, but as each person put their deep-seated beliefs on the table, hope became the keyword.

In September, the group met for breakfast at Weigh Down Ministries, the church offices for the Remnant Fellowship Church in Franklin, TN.  According to its website,, it is “an international community of people who are finding renewed hope, profound love and deep purpose by putting the undiluted teachings of Jesus Christ into practice…” During the meeting President Fesler had attendees discuss this year’s presidential candidates, however, required them to find something good to say about each. They next discussed how to spread these good messages further out into the community by setting a good example.

To finish out the year, the chapter met at United Methodist Communications where they discussed the election and where the religious community will go from there into 2017.

RCC is open to members from all denominations, and the Nashville group includes Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, Hindus and more.  For more information about the RCC or their next meeting, visit 

2016 Year in Review -- Drug-Free Tennessee

2016 saw the expansion of Drug-Free Tennessee, carrying out the work of the international organization the Foundation for a Drug-Free World in the Southeast United States.

To start off the year, Drug-Free Tennessee (DFT) held a booklet distribution event in downtown Nashville near the Cumberland River where volunteers managed to pass out hundreds of The Truth About Drugs booklets in just a few short hours.

Next, volunteers headed to the CMA music festival where they distributed over 1,000 booklets to music lovers. And just a short time after, DFT went out in full force to the Edgehill neighborhood to get copies of the booklet to hundreds of residents.

Following these outreach efforts, the Regional Coordinator of Drug-Free Tennessee, Rev. Brian Fesler, called together a round table discussion of community leaders, pastors, and police officers to dive into the topic and find out how all of us might work together to end the drug epidemic afflicting Tennessee neighborhoods. The round table discussion took place in honor of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Community leaders attending were inspired by the materials presented by DFT and immediately set up further meetings to implement the program materials in their own areas.

Next, DFT volunteers participated at National Night Out Against Crime in the Edgehill neighborhood. First, leaders were asked to speak about the program to residents, non-profits and police officers, then, they went straight to work getting the booklets out to everyone who attended the Night Out celebration.

Rev. Fesler had this to say about 2016, “We have had a good year, but drugs are still a problem in this state. We have big plans for 2017 and are ready to help anyone in the state who is trying to address this issue.”

Drug-Free Tennessee distributes the Truth About Drugs booklet, which cover all basic side effects of drugs, common street names, and how to recognize when you are being persuaded by a dealer. To learn more or to order booklets, visit