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Texas city's proclamation lauds Dianetics

Title: Texas city's proclamation lauds Dianetics
Date: Saturday, 8 May 1982
Publisher: St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Author: Peggy Vlerebome
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AUSTIN, Texas — Austin has a reputation for being easygoing, tolerant of different lifestyles and friendly to just about anybody who likes beanless chili, ribs and beer in longneck bottles.

So hardly an eyebrow was raised when Austin Mayor Carole McClellan signed an official proclamation designating this week as Dianetics Week in Austin, in honor of the 32nd anniversary of the publishing of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

The proclamation is short and never mentions the Church of Scientology, which has a Texas office on the main street of the University of Texas campus a few blocks north of downtown. The church has not been controversial in Austin as it has been in Clearwater and other parts of the country.

IN OBSERVANCE of the anniversary, the Church of Scientology had a Dianetics demonstration and information seminar Friday in a downtown Austin hotel.

McClellan's proclamation, which was signed and presented to a Scientology representative at the Austin City Council meeting April 29, reads in part: "(I) call on every citizen to join me in recognizing the Dianetics demonstration and information seminar for its fine effort to inform us of the benefits of Dianetics, and for scheduling this demonstration and seminar while celebrating the 32nd anniversary of this book."

One clause in the proclamation says that "millions of people have found Dianetics to be a source of strength for a variety of conditions."

PROCLAMATION issuing is a routine duty the mayor performs for hundreds of organizations and causes each year. The city's public information office screens requests for proclamations and weeds out ones for commercial businesses.

The mayor's office approves the proclamations, but McClellan has said that sometimes she doesn't see them before she reads them aloud in the council chambers. The other four council members rarely attend proclamation presentations, which are done before council meetings begin.

McClellan also earlier said that sometimes she agrees with the philosophy of the group she is issuing the proclamation for, and sometimes she doesn't. She couldn't be reached Friday to comment on how she felt about the Scientologists' proclamation.

IN A PRESS release April 27 announcing the information seminar, the Church of Scientology said that McClellan was issuing the proclamation in honor of the results being achieved by Dianetics toward the goal of a peaceful, healthy and constructive civilization by eliminating the source of irrational and violent behavior."

But the proclamation did not actually say that, and, in issuing it, the mayor did not single out the church for kudos.

The same day that she proclaimed Dianetics Week, McClellan also proclaimed Daughters of the Republic of Texas Month, Mothers of Twins Day (the mayor herself is a mother of twins), Hadassah Day, Austin Ballet Theatre Week, Cinco de Mayo Week and Consumers Week.