In these days of deficits it’s nice to know the federal government helping to grow something besides debt.

In “Vedic City,” Iowa, the creation of purported “cult leader” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay one fourth of the cost to install wind turbines to generate electrical power for the guru’s new greenhouse.

That’s right, $23,215 has been granted to the guru to help him grow vegetables, courtesy of the American taxpayer reports the Des Moines Register.

The bulk of the money for the overall vegetable venture will come from bonds sold by Vedic City; more than $3 million dollars is budgeted.

But the mayor of what increasingly appears to be Maharishi Midwest Inc. wants you to know that this is really all part of a program to promote world peace.


“Studies have shown that if 8,000 people use transcendental meditation in the same place, they can create a source of energy for positive change in the world that can lead to world peace,” the mayor claims.

Will Maharishi’s followers meditate while they work in their guru’s greenhouse?

So far only 200 or so workers are scheduled for the project.

But don’t be surprised if the Maharishi and his devotees come up with other projects for government grants and to justify further bond sales.

This guru has made meditation a very lucrative business.

N. Eldon Tanner a past member of the Mormon First Presidency said before his death in 1983 that downtown Salt Lake City (SLC) is “the Mormon Church’s living room” reports the Salt Lake City Tribune.

And they have their own interior design plans too.

The Mormon Church (LDS) has decided how downtown Salt Lake will be developed in some detail.

LDS unveiled its plan earlier this month, right down to allotted parking.

The church owns related shopping malls and bought up other nearby property through one of its holding corporations.

LDS will apparently dictate what stores; restaurants and drinking will be allowed.

Mayor Rocky Anderson called the plan “fantastic” reports the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Anderson learned the hard way not to oppose the church, through its heavy-handed effort to halt free speech around its historic downtown temple.

A former SLC mayor said LDS must “keep its living room clean [and] attractive.”

But at least half of the city’s residents are not practicing Mormons. Isn’t downtown also their living room?

Never mind.

The best non-Mormons can expect to decide upon is maybe a recreation room in the suburbs, while their supposedly representative government, meets in the dining room to eat whatever LDS serves.

Rev. Moon founder of the Unification Church, which is often called a “cult,” is certainly getting quite a bang for his buck these days at United Press International.

The self-proclaimed proclaimed “messiah” may not garner much attention at Associated Press, but he can always count on UPI.

And why not? After all he owns it.

Moon to Peace Council: Remove boundaries,” dutifully announces one UPI correspondent.

Religious council pushing for UN presence,” reports another.

Not to be left out the Washington Times, also controlled by Moon, chimed in “Clerics rally for peace at the UN.”

And so early this month Moon presided over a gathering at the New Yorker Hotel, another one of his acquisitions.

This included “a dozen former heads of state” at a ballroom bash.

Moon historically has paid huge honorariums for big names to show up at staged events, such as former President George H. Bush.

Besides indulging Moon’s penchant for speaking endlessly, one speech he gave lasted 16 hours; the “cult leader” announced that he wants a religious organization he controls to have full United Nations status.

Moon has his very own UN NGO (non-government organization) called the “Interreligious International Foundation for World Peace” (IIFWP), that he started with his wife in 1999.

But that’s apparently not enough for the would-be “messiah.” He now wants it recognized as an “official organ of the United Nations.”

Moon says his organization’s agenda is about achieving world peace by erasing national boundaries.

However, it seems that like virtually all Moon’s other grandiose ideas this one serves to feed its originator’s apparent megalomania.

“Your mission now is to engrave into your memory the meaning of my declaration today regarding ‘The New Elimination of Boundaries and World Peace,’ Return to your communities…for [the] purpose of building the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and in Heaven… this is my direction, my order…”

When Moon talks about a “Kingdom of Heaven on Earth” imagine a one-world government run under his “direction,” set up as a dictatorship much like the “cult” he rules.

But is all this maybe Moon’s last hurrah?

Some sources say that the 83-year-old “messiah” is eyeing a potential spot to “spend his remaining years” reported the Joong Ang Daily.

However, would Moon be satisfied preaching to tourists at his resort? And unless it was inhabited as an exclusive “Moonie” retreat, would vacationers gladly endure his endless rants?

The answer to both questions is probably no.

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.

Today news about a Scientology-based program offered to New York City firefighters finally made it into a NYC newspaper.

CultNews has repeatedly reported about a specious “clinic” in downtown Manhattan that offers a controversial “detoxification” program, conceived by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Just yesterday CultNews revealed a fundraising connection between the clinic and actor Tim Robbins.

Today the New York Times broke the story in a report titled “Scientologist’s Treatments Lure Firefighters,”

The controversial treatment used by Scientologists for detoxification is commonly called the “purification rundown” and is also featured within another Scientology spin-off called Narconon, for the rehabilitation of drug users.

Hubbard’s detox supposedly purges poisons. Firefighters exposed to toxins at Ground Zero are not charged for treatment at the clinic, which is called “Downtown Medical.”

However, according to the NY Times Scientologist Tom Cruise paid for “quite a bit” of the treatments for rescue workers, estimated “to cost $5,000 to $6,000 apiece.”

CultNews reported that Cruise is the co-founder of a closely related project that supports the clinic.

140 firefighters and 15 emergency medical workers have reportedly undergone the treatment program.

But NYC Fire Department officials appear to be upset. They say “the clinic’s detoxification program requires firefighters to stop using inhalers meant to help with their breathing and any medications they may be taking, like antidepressants or blood pressure pills.”

Scientology is vehemently opposed to any medication prescribed by psychiatrists.

David Prezant, deputy chief medical officer for the NY Fire Department said, “It’s risky for anybody to stop any type of medication without guidance and a plan from their own treating physician.” The doctor also observed, “there’s no proven evidence [the clinic program] works.”

A NYC Fire Department Deputy Commissioner advised, “While we are aware some members of the department have availed themselves of the program, we in no way endorse it.”

Influential figures respected by NYC firefighters are nevertheless personally promoting the controversial program.

Joseph Higgins, a prominent retired firefighter is a paid member of the controversial clinic’s advisory board.

Higgins said, “It’s actually a pretty awesome program.” And he is a former fire academy drill instructor who claims to have trained over half the city’s firefighters.

Another advisory board member is Israel Miranda, the president of the union that represents emergency medical workers. Like Higgins Miranda has considerable influence and he is a current instructor at the emergency medical worker’s academy.

Stephen J. Cassidy, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, appears to have served as a promotional tool too.

A letter from Cassidy is posted on the clinic’s website. It reads, “The statements I have heard from firefighters who have completed the program are truly remarkable… [and] the work you are doing in this regard is unique in the city, and is very welcome.”

However, a toxicology expert quoted by the NY Times stated the clinic’s program is an “unproven, scientifically bereft notion.”

In a 1988 report the same expert stated 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.”

It seems like Scientology’s apparent effort to manipulate NYC firemen in an attempt to promote the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard has finally been widely exposed.

Hopefully, with this story reported within the pages of NY Times, further efforts by Scientologists to use the NYC Fire Department, its firefighters and the 9-11 tragedy for what looks like self-promotion and proselytizing will end.

Actors and domestic partners Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon are known for their social activism. But it looks like Robbins has become the unwitting pawn of Scientology.

Members of Tim Robbins’ company Actors Gang put on the play The Guys, which was the centerpiece for a Vail fundraiser staged by an organization called the “New York Workers Detoxification Project.”

Co-founder of that project is devout Scientologist Tom Cruise.

Even though Robbins lives in Manhattan instead of Hollywood, home to many Scientology celebrities, he should know that when Cruise supports something there is often a Scientology hook.

Cruise’s latest project is touting that “one method for reducing body levels of toxic chemicals has been widely implemented, studied and demonstrated to be safe and effective the detoxification program developed by L. Ron Hubbard.”

Or so says the project’s website.

L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of Scientology.

The “method” developed by Hubbard is commonly called the “purification rundown,” which the project claims is “a precise regimen that includes exercise, sauna bathing, and vitamin, mineral and oil supplements.”

Scientology uses it to purge everything from illicit drugs to carpet cleaner.

At the project’s website you can see New York City firemen supposedly sweating out toxins in all the colors of the rainbow.

But as CultNews reported this summer during July and August the bizarre claims made by Scientology about its “rundown” are not well-supported by peer reviewed scientific studies published in medical journals.

A Swedish medical expert concluded, “There is no documentation to show that the Hubbard method of detoxification…conforms to scientific standards and medical experience.” And that “the risks and side effects of the treatment method have also not been evaluated in a serious way.”

Doesn’t anyone care about the “risks” to NYC firemen?

All this information is readily accessible through the Internet and the project’s own website.

Don’t Robbins and his partner Sarandon research projects before becoming personally or professionally involved?

Hey Tim and Susan, try surfing the net!

Robbins may mean well, but it appears that he and the NYC Fire Department are little more than props being used by Scientology in its own production.