Wednesday, September 2, 2015

End Dangerous Scientology Experiments on Gulf War Vets, Says Center for Inquiry (UPDATED) | Center for Inquiry

The Center for Inquiry today challenged the Department of Defense’s funding of dangerous pseudoscientific experiments on veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome. These experiments involve the Church of Scientology’s “Purif” detoxifications, a sham treatment based on religious tenets, not science. These experiments not only put desperate veterans’ health at risk, but also blatantly violate the separation of church and state. CFI, which advocates for science, reason, and humanist values, will urge the Department to immediately end these experiments and investigate how they were ever approved.
Journalist Brandy Zadrozny revealed on August 12 in The Daily Beast that the Department of Defense has paid $633,677 since 2009 to fund the experimental study of a so-called “Purification Rundown,” or “Purif,” a religiously based “detoxification” regimen invented by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard — a man with no scientific or medical training whatsoever — as a potential treatment for Gulf War Syndrome (GWS). Involving such risky methods as overexposure to saunas and massive doses of vitamins, Purif programs have in the past also been used by the Church as a recruitment tool, with promises to “remove biochemical factors inhibiting your spiritual freedom.” 

The Center for Inquiry expressed its grave concerns about the safety of veterans used in these experiments, and pointed out that government-funded Purif programs violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, being grounded in the religious beliefs of the Church of Scientology. As detailed in the Daily Beast report, CFI is also shocked at how thoroughly riddled the study is with financial and promotional conflicts of interest favoring the Church of Scientology, as well as the obvious vested interest in its outcomes by the study’s own Scientology-advocating co-investigator—a conflict unknown to the study’s own lead investigator until revealed by the Daily Beast journalist.

End Dangerous Scientology Experiments on Gulf War Vets, Says Center for Inquiry (UPDATED) | Center for Inquiry

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