NY councilman calls for Scientology clinic for Ground Zero workers

City Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Jackson Heights) called on the president to help fund a clinic for Ground Zero workers that many said has cured their Sept. 11-related ailments with a detoxification therapy developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Monserrate tried the therapy himself and called the 4-year-old New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project “a road map toward good health.” About a dozen Ground Zero workers who joined Monserrate at a City Hall news conference Jan. 31 said the detox therapy cured ailments they have suffered from for years since Sept. 11 that other treatments failed to relieve.

It is an intense regimen of physical and psychological exams, daily saunas and exercise, and high doses of vitamin and minerals, particularly niacin, designed to purge toxins from the body. Patients also stop other treatments such as asthma inhalers.

The group’s Fulton Street clinic has seen controversy in the past. A former Manhattan councilwoman who secured city funds for the program took political heat when it was revealed that she also accepted campaign donations from Scientologists.

But Monserrate, who urged President Bush to include money for the program in the $25 million he recently pledged for Sept. 11-related health care, said the Scientology connection should not be an issue.

“There’s a program out there that has restored health and restored the quality of life for hundreds of rescue workers that served during 9/11 that were not made better by other methods,” he said.

“The program doesn’t in any way, shape or form promote any religion, speak about any religion,” said Monserrate.

Jim Woodworth, the president of the clinic, said 760 Ground Zero workers have been treated so far, and 100 police officers alone are on the waiting list. The therapy is offered free to first responders and has so far been funded mostly with private grants.

Consumer Alert: Scientology Quackery

“Scientology is evil; its techniques are evil; its practice is a serious threat to the community, medically, morally, and socially; and its adherents are sadly deluded and often mentally ill… (Scientology is) the world’s largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.”
– Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, quoted atWhat judges have to say about Scientology

He said he has seen the effects firsthand of toxins being purged from workers’ bodies.

“This lieutenant is coughing up concrete dust from the Trade Center five years later,” he said of one client.

Steve Mona, a retired police lieutenant who worked for four months at Ground Zero, entered the program on Sept. 11, 2006. After 26 days, he said, the difference was “like night and day.”

Mona, 47, said the therapy relieved his exhaustion, breathing problems, sleep loss and numbness in his arm – symptoms he attributed to both toxins from the World Trade Center and aging.

“How many of us have to die?” he asked. “How many of us have to get sick, and how many of us will die in 20 years?”

• Original title: Monserrate calls for clinic for Ground Zero workers

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday February 9, 2007.
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