Xenu-phobiaAs others have pointed out, The Varsity is publishing Scientology inserts. I might think this was harmless and good for a laugh, but the Church of Scientology is targeting university students because they recognize this group is particularly susceptible. Unlike others who have written earlier pieces for The Varsity, I’m not concerned about the newspaper becoming ethically compromised by the way it raises money, or about metaphysical debates. I’m more concerned about actual harm done to students.Reverend Al Buttnor, writing in the last issue, alluded vaguely that Scientology is about being exposed to new ideas and making up your own mind. Which is why, of course, they sue anyone who tries to publish the embarassing details of their doctrine, and why they routinely accuse their critics of being pedophiles and murderers. A warning to anyone getting involved with the Church: beneath the guise of new-age spirituality and unconventional psychotherapy, there is an ugly, festering truth you won’t be shown until after they have your money.Others have written better than I could about what’s wrong with Dianetics and the Church of Scientology—how it will take your money, how it will alienate you from your friends and family, how it signs young Scientologists up for a “billion year” term of service in their private navy, how its manipulative “mental science” is based on the revelations of its founder regarding “thetans” killed millions of years ago by the alien overlord Xenu, and how they cling to your body even now, being the source of all irrationality—so I’ll just quote from last week’s insert, wherein L. Ron Hubbard describes the remarkable success of Dianetics:“By early 1950, over two hundred patients had been addressed; of those two hundred people, two hundred recoveries had been obtained.” People who can count will find it amusing. That’s the science of the human mind for you. Perhaps I will be sued for copyright infringement now.For some good information on Scientology and some of its reprehensible behaviour, visit www.xenu.net, the only site, as far as I know, ever to be censored by Google. Or if you want a laugh, if you look around on the Internet you will quickly come across the copyrighted Operating Thetan teachings of Scientology, which, they would argue, it is illegal for you to see. You know, just in case anyone was going to take this stuff seriously.Mike Bailey Board members cry SACrilegeWe are writing to express the concern of a board whose will was usurped and whose constituents were mispresented. The Board of Directors of the Students’ Administrative Council (SAC) voted on September 30 to uphold a decision of the clubs commission—we would give $1,000 to the International Socialists (IS) to fund transportation to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful rally on Palestinian human rights. The IS are a recognized SAC club. In funding this club, SAC did not endorse the Palestinian cause or any sort of violence. Had Hillel (a campus Jewish group) approached SAC for funding, they would have been treated similarly. This money was not an endorsement of any particular Middle Eastern policy.We want to clarify any misinformation regarding the vote and the actions of commissioners attempting to carry out the legal rights of the Board. Actually, when John Lea, SAC vice president-operations, decided not to issue a cheque, he was violating SAC by-laws, his job description, and the votes of thousands of students who elected this board. This is why Ms. Artful-Dodger and Ms. Guiao attempted to enter the business manager’s office: to retrieve a new cheque and legally issue the funds. In conclusion, the SAC board members are writing to say that the motion we passed was fair and apolitical, and ultimately led to a very successful and peaceful rally at which many U of T students were allowed to express their opinions and solidarity for human rights. Most of all, we are writing to condemn the circumvention of democracy that Mr. Lea’s actions expressed, and which Rocco Kusi-Achampong supported as President—a direct violation of Mr. Lea’s duty as Vice President and Mr. Kusi-Achampong’s role as the official representative of the student union. There was an obvious breach of trust produced between these senior executives and the board. We still await their apology—directed to all their constituents.Concerned SAC board members

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