All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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Two UCLA extension students in the Church of Scientology have filed suit against UCLA professor Louis Jolyon West, the Board of Regents and Chancellor Charles Young for allegedly using taxpayer money to fund anti-religious activities.
John Van Dyke and Mario Majorski charge that, while on the University of California payroll, West used his position to organize anti-religious seminars and two groups that target minority religions — Cult Awareness Network and American Family Foundation.
But West counters that the church practices a severe form of mind control, drawing up contracts for members to work for the church in this life — and often in their afterlife.
He also says the church uses amateur psychotherapy that has left its members physically and mentally damaged.
The charges include that UCLA co-sponsored conferences that allegedly attack Scientology, that West made derogatory remarks about Scientology at a Washington, D.C. conference and that he violated the California Education Code.
West, 68, a doctor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has spent 43 years studying the church. He said that because taxpayers pay his salary, any work that he does is underwritten by taxpayers.
The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 on the teachings of the late science fiction writer and author of Dianetics, L. Ron Hubbard.
However, West says their form of drug rehabilitation, called "Purif" for purification, entails making the addict sit in daily saunas for extended periods of time while taking vitamins that leave the patient chemically imbalanced.
"I'm a person who has spent most of his life trying to help people and I don't like being represented as a person of ill will," he added. "I would never try to deprive someone of his or her religion, but when people claim a religious rationale for doing evil things, then that's not a bona fide religion."
The first case was dismissed in March because the students did not have the grounds as taxpayers to sue West, and did not provide facts suggesting that the university's subsidization of West's activities were malicious.
"We thought the case was without merit and should be vigorously fought," campus attorney Ruth Simon said. "The judge agreed with us and the case was dismissed."
"I have no quarrel with the members of the Church of Scientology," West said. "I feel sorry for them. I see their members as being victims, subject to deceit and being ripped off in many ways."