The Magna Carta (Great Charter) became the basis for many legal principles and judicial systems still in place today.
justice system is, of course, only as good and only as just as those who administer it.
In this issue of Freedom, we examine our justice system in America. In doing so, the purpose is to encourage serious examination of the system, its components, and its operations, all with a view toward securing true justice for all.
The Anglo-American tradition of due process of law goes back at least as far as 1215. Englands King John was faced that year with an open rebellion led by barons who felt the King had become too high-handed. As John made plans to muster an army large enough to squelch them, the rebels negotiated with the citizens of London and, on May 17, took over that city.
Realizing that a battle to expel the rebels from London would be too costly, John met with their leaders on June 15 at Runnymede, a meadow beside the River Thames. The result was a document which has come down through history with the name of the Magna Carta, or Great Charter.
Especially significant among its provisions is Chapter 39, which states that no free man can be arrested, imprisoned, deprived of his property, outlawed, exiled or in any way destroyed except by legal judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
In ensuing years, English monarchs were asked time and again to confirm the charter. Indeed, by 1422, roughly 200 years later, it had been confirmed no less than 44 times.
The Great Charter came to stand for the rule of law and for safeguards against potentially oppressive power. Its concepts later traveled to America, where they played a major philosophical role in the conception of the Declaration of Independence and, ultimately, in shaping our Constitution.
While the concept of justice and how to obtain it is an ancient one, the Magna Carta represented a giant step toward making true justice possible through an established system to administer it.
While we have obviously come a long way since the days of King John we no longer test people for guilt or innocence by ordeal, for example few would say there is no room for improvement. Many recognize that improvement is critical to the entire survival of the justice system in the eyes of those it is meant to serve. And, in this spirit, some possible reforms are outlined in this issue.
These include more effective oversight procedures to ensure high ethical standards among judges, the elimination of psychiatric expert testimony and utilization of provenly workable rehabilitation methods instead of merely locking offenders up, which demonstrably does not work.
The part played by psychiatry in our overloaded and disappointing justice system is key. It is the driving force in destroying the concept of individual responsibility.
This concept has long been a cornerstone of our society and a powerful civilization builder.
Under common law, if a man shoots his neighbor, he is held fully responsible for that act.
Psychiatry has pushed society toward a chaos where no one is responsible for anything. A wife can mutilate a husband, sons can kill their parents, a man can shoot the president but because psychiatrists claim the perpetrators are themselves victims, they are not guilty.
One definition of responsible is able to answer for ones conduct and obligations. Another is able to choose for oneself between right and wrong.
If we want a workable justice system, and a civilization of which we can be proud, we need to restore the concept of right and wrong and hold individuals responsible for their actions.
Through the work of Scientologists, government officials and society at large are becoming increasingly aware of the pernicious influence of psychiatry.
It is past time that we eliminated the pseudo-science of psychiatry and its insanity defense from the justice system. This reform alone would do much to rejuvenate the concept of justice for all.
It is also past time to remove psychiatrists from our rehabilitation systems, where they have only made matters worse, and replace their methods with those that are provenly workable, such as the Narconon and Criminon programs, described in this edition.
I encourage you to send your ideas and comments to Freedom.