Making Human Rights a Fact
Community Affairs Director
Church of Scientology Los Angeles
With a city as diverse as Los Angeles, in a post 9/11 world and war now a foregone reality, no message could be more relevant than “Peace through human rights,” the theme of a county-wide event which breathed new life into an historic but highly relevant human rights declaration — the 54-year-old “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
The five-day celebration of that historic document involved thousands of Angelenos from all walks of life and covered 250 miles. Called the “LA Multathlon,” its purpose was to unite all of greater Los Angeles for human rights. In this edition of LA Freedom we share with you those event-filled few days and what people from throughout LA are doing to make tolerance and respect for human rights a fact.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, is arguably one of the most powerful tools for peace ever bestowed on mankind. Created at the end of World War II, it was conceived at a crucial moment when member UN governments sensed their vulnerability in the face of an uncertain future. Behind them was one of the most gruesome displays of intolerance in history and ahead was an even more daunting threat of thermonuclear obliteration.
Twenty-one years later, L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion, referred to this document in a 1969 essay: “The United Nations came up with the answer. An absence of human rights stained the hands of governments and threatened their rules.” He urged all governments to comply with — and advance — the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because, as he put it, “their very survival depends utterly upon adopting such reforms and thus giving their peoples a cause, a civilization worth supporting, worth their patriotism.”
That same year, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) was formed to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights and to reform the mental health field. Our cover article spotlights those who are championing a human rights cause very close to home, one that has made its way to legislative chambers in 12 states so far this year: the psychiatric drugging of school children. The individuals inspiring such legislation — parents, medical and mental healing professionals, media commentators and celebrities — were acknowledged for their initiatives by CCHR International at its 34th Anniversary celebration here in Los Angeles.
There is no more laudable an activity than to validate and enhance the dignity of each man, woman and child. It is in recognition of that inherent dignity that our most enduring solutions to human dilemma rests. And it is that recognition to which LA Freedom is dedicated.
As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.