A softer version of the New York Times story “Scientologist’s Treatments Lure Firefighters” came out through Associated Press (AP). The AP titled its story “Firefighters seek treatment recommended by Scientologist.”

The “treatment” is provided by Downtown Medical, located in lower Manhattan, which provides Scientology’s “purification rundown” for the detoxification of FDNY firemen and others that worked at Ground Zero.

AP’s report was run virtually verbatim by a local New York news website 1010 Wins.

This Scientology-related program certainly is getting its money’s worth from Joseph Higgins; a retired firefighter who is a paid member of the controversial clinic’s advisory board.

The former fireman certainly kept spinning and plugging away for his benefactor in the AP piece.

“I am obligated to let every firefighter and rescue worker who was exposed to the dust know about the program,” Sounding more like a preacher than a professional Higgins testified it “saved my life.”

But here is what Joe should feel “obligated” to tell “every firefighter and rescue worker,” but if he did his paychecks might be stopped.

When firefighters and rescue workers take treatment at Downtown Medical they are becoming involved with Scientology, albeit through a carefully organized labyrinth of intertwining organizations.

Anyone with access to the Internet can easily find out that the clinic is little more than the latest extension of an ongoing effort emanating from Scientology to promote the controversial teachings and dubious practices proscribed by its founder L. Ron Hubbard.

For those who might be somewhat Internet impaired or inhibited here is a simple guide to obtain background information concerning Scientology’s connections to Downtown Medical and its treatment program.

Interested journalists and curious Netizens should start with an article from the Boston Herald series “Scientology Unmasked” titled “Scientology group reaches kids through PBS videos.”

Point and click here.

In this piece a program called FASE is outlined.

“FASE was originally created to put Scientology covertly into schools and government, to give the Purification Rundown [the treatment used by the Downtown Medical on firemen] an air of respectability,” said a former high-ranking church insider. He added, “they could use it to get in the door.”

Is Scientology now using this strategy to “get in the door” at FDNY and maybe grab some government funding?

The NY Times reported that “the city’s main fire union has pledged its ‘full support’ to the clinic as it seeks government grants and other forms of financing.”

The Boston Herald reported, “Nearly two-thirds of FASE’s $17 million production costs over a six-year period from 1990-1995 were paid for with $12 million-plus in U.S. government grants from the Departments of Justice, Commerce, Energy, Education and Labor; and the National Science Foundation. In its grant applications, FASE did not state that it was linked to the Church of Scientology.”

Incorporation papers filed in 1981 with the Attorney General of California, in Sacramento, show that FASE was created for the explicit purpose of promoting “the works of L. Ron Hubbard.” The papers were later amended to remove Hubbard’s name.

The Herald also reported that the “controversial detox method” is seen as a “preliminary religious ritual that all new members must buy.”

Do FDNY firemen know that they are participating in a “preliminary religious ritual”? Don’t expect Joe Higgins to tell them anytime soon.

So what does FASE have to do with Downtown Medical?

Well, other than the obvious connection that the NY clinic clearly uses the very same Hubbard/Scientology method of treatment commonly called the “purification rundown,” there are other links.

That is, a series of interconnecting hyper links to other Web pages that is literally visible on the Internet.

Go to the official website of FASE and see the top of the column to the left titled “Foundation News.”

Point and click here.

Note the link “New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.”

At this Web page read the definitive promotional pitch for FASE and its self-described role of promoting L. Ron Hubbard’s “detoxification program.”

This includes the following; “Foundation staff and associates have played an ongoing role in the…establishment of the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.”

Point and click here.

The last sentence on this page suggests “click here to learn more about this remarkable humanitarian effort.”

And where does this link take visitors?

Web surfers will then find themselves at the official website of the New York Workers Detoxification Project.

The same project who pays Joseph Higgins as an advisory board member.

Another means of establishing the self-serving, synergistic connections between these organizations, which are so closely associated with the Church of Scientology, is to follow some of the principle players involved.

Specifically, this means noting two names in particular that keep popping up–Jim Woodworth and Dr. David Root.

Woodworth is the executive director of the controversial NY detox clinic.

He is also on the advisory board of the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.

Point and click here.

And Woodworth is also listed as a staff member at the International Academy of Detoxification Specialists, which is also aligned with Scientology.

Point and click here.

Woodworth is likewise executive director at Health Med, yet another organization linked to Scientology.

Point and click here.

Doctors at the California Department of Health Services have accused Health Med of making “false medical claims” and of “taking advantage of the fears of workers and the public about toxic chemicals and their potential health effects.”

Dr. Root likewise wears many hats.

He is Health Med’s medical director.

Again, point and click here.

And Root like his colleague Woodworth sits on the advisory board of the NY Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.

Once again, point and click here.

Root also serves as the senior medical advisor for the International Academy of Detoxification Specialists.

And again, point and click here.

Scientology tacitly reveals these connections on its own official website in an article titled “Purification program saves New York fireman’s lives.”

The article sates; “9/11 left hundreds of members of the New York Fire Department (FDNY) and other rescue workers at the World Trade Center site, severely debilitated from the toxins they were exposed to during the tragedy. To get rid of the toxins a group of the rescue personnel recently began L. Ron Hubbard’s Purification detoxification program at Health Med, a medical clinic that delivers the program.”

Point and click here.

This Scientology page ends with the statement; “To enroll on the Purification Program at the Church of Scientology nearest you, click here.”

This link takes interested visitors directly to a Web page where you can locate the nearest Church of Scientology.

Stephan Hittmann, executive director of the FDNY Office of Fire and Life Safety told the AP, “The program seems to be the real deal.”

However, “the real deal” instead seems to be the connections to Scientology Hittmann should examine more closely.

The AP neglected to include quotes from the toxicology expert interviewed by the NY Times. He stated that the NY clinic’s program is an “unproven, scientifically bereft notion.”

Nor did AP quote the NY Times citation of an official report, which concluded that Hubbard’s purification rundown, was “quackery,” and that “no recognized body of toxicologists, no department of occupational medicine, nor any governmental agencies endorse or recommend such treatment.”

The AP did offer readers the following endnote though; “The Church of Scientology, founded by Hubbard in 1954, teaches that technology can expand the mind and help solve problems.”

However, Time Magazine wasn’t quite so kind. The mega-magazine featured Scientology on its May 6, 1991 cover as “The Cult of Greed.”

The Time cover story further described Scientology as “a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner.”

Point and click here.

That same noted Time Magazine article pointed out Scientology’s connection to Health Med and further stated that it “promotes a grueling and excessive system of saunas, exercise and vitamins designed by Hubbard to purify the body.”

Time also said, “Experts denounce the regime as quackery and potentially harmful, yet Health Med solicits unions and public agencies for contracts.”

Time also reported that “Hubbard’s purification treatments are the mainstay of Narconon, a Scientology-run chain of…alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers.”

Scientology sued Time Magazine regarding its 1991 expose’, but the case was dismissed and never went to trial.

Some say that this litigation created a chill amongst the mainstream media concerning critical coverage about the controversial church.

Is this why some media outlets don’t report the facts regarding Scientology-related programs so clearly in plain view on the Internet?

L. Ron Hubbard’s creation Scientology has grown to become perhaps the most powerful “cult” in America; its only meaningful competitor for that title seems to be Rev. Moon’s Unification Church.

Like Moon’s “cult” empire, which has historically manifested itself through a myriad of front organizations, not to mention Moon-controlled holdings such as the Washington Times and United Press International (historic competitor of AP), Scientology also seems to seep through society in many guises.

Will the NY Times or AP take the time to simply surf the Internet for the facts regarding Scientology’s connections to Downtown Medical?

It seems like this isn’t that difficult.

New York City firefighters and their families have suffered enough and should not be used as pawns or props for some Scientology-related fund-raising, recruitment and/or promotional scheme.


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