Youth for Human Rights International
Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is a non-profit organization based at 1954 Hillhurst Ave. # 416 in
Los Angeles, California. Founded and largely staffed and financed by Scientologists, its stated mission is "To teach youth around the globe about human rights, thus helping them to become valuable advocates for the promotion of tolerance and peace."
The organization promotes [ [http://youthforhumanrights.org/campaigns/2005/2005_humanitarians.html International Youth Movement Turns To 20th Century Humanitarians for Inspiration] , youthforhumanrights.org]
Scientologyfounder L. Ron Hubbard's writings on human rights and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by sponsoring essay and art contests and by providing materials for students and teaching guides for schools. [(n.d.) [http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/about/index.html About YHRI] ]
According to the
Church of Scientology International, Scientologist Mary Shuttleworth founded the organization in August 2001 "in coordination with the Church of Scientology International's Human Rights Office". [cite web|url=http://www.theta.com/youth-issues/index.php|title=Youth Issues - Human Rights - Church of Scientology International|publisher=www.theta.com|accessdate=2008-06-11|last= Church of Scientology International] Scientology's website states that by 2004 it had established activities in more than 26 countries, including Mexico, the United States and Sweden. [cite web|url=http://www.scientology.org/humanrights/photo/youth-human-rights/index.htm|title=Youth for Human Rights International - Church of Scientology Human Rights Department|publisher=www.scientology.org|accessdate=2008-06-11|last= Church of Scientology International]
Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI)
YHRI is a non-profit organization that is based in
Los Angeles, Californiaon Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA.
Youth for Human Rights U.K.
YHRUK is based in East Grinstead, West Sussex, in the United Kingdom.
Youth for Human Rights Canada (YHRC)
YHRC is based in Toronto, Ontario at #40567-5230 Dundas St. West
Youth for Human Rights Australia (YHRA)
YHRA is part of Human Rights and Responsibilities Australia Inc., a registered Australian non-profit association formed in 2004 by Colston Vowles (President) and Cecile Vowles (Vice President).
Chapters of YHRA have been established in
Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. YHRA is a member of the Global Filipino, and the Philippines Community Council.
The organization is actively engaged in raising public awareness of human rights and encourages individuals to get active in the human rights campaign. Initiatives include starting a youth for human rights club, distributing and broadcasting public/community service announcements, becoming a member, signing the petition among others.
YHRI's president and founder is
Mary Shuttleworth(formerly Mary Untiedt), former president of YHRI's parent organization International Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance. She also founded the Applied Scholasticsschools "Shuttleworth Academy" and "Mary's Schoolhouse." [(n.d.) [http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/about/meetpres.html About Mary Shuttleworth] ] [ [http://www.essentialtraining.org/page5.htm Meet Education in Scientology] ] Shuttleworth holds an executive position at TXL Films[(n.d.) [http://www.txlfilms.com/maryshuttleworth.html Mary Shuttleworth] ] , the company that created the music video "UNITED" with YHRI. [(n.d.) [http://www.txlfilms.com/films/united_index.html About United] ] She is a Scientologist. [ [http://myreligion.scientologist.net/maryuntiedt/ Meet Scientologists On-line] ]
According to the newsletter "Church of Scientology International", the executive director of YHRI is
Tim Bowles[ [http://www.scientology.org/Humanrights/news/2005/051107.htm International Youth Delegates Spark Human Rights Initiative at David Starr Jordan High School] , "Church of Scientology International", Human Rights News, October 7, 2005] [ [http://www.theta.com/youth-issues/20060603_yi_1.php Youth For Human Rights International - Ghana Human Rights Tour] , "Church of Scientology International", Human Rights News Forum, June 3, 2006] , former law partner of Bowles & Moxon, serving as general legal council for the Church of Scientology. Bowles also acts as an advisor to Scientology's Citizens Commission on Human Rights. [(n.d.) [http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/about/meetdir.html About Tim Bowles] ] Lynsey Bartilson, who appears on the television series " Grounded for Life," is a prominent YHRI spokesperson. She was raised and remains a Scientologist, and her mother Laurie Bartilson was a former law partner at Moxon & Bartilson. In her online biography, she states that she worked as creative director and choreographer for the Scientology Celebrity Center’s “Kids on Stage for A Better World.” [ [http://www.lynseybartilson.com/ Lynsey Bartilson's official home page] ]
YHRI has teamed with TXL Films (founded by Taron Lexton, son of YHRI founder Mary Shuttleworth [ [http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/1/prweb336245.htm Pepsi Honors Mother and Son as Everyday Freedom Heroes] , Press Release, January 23, 2006] ) to create the award-winning music video, "UNITED." [(n.d.) [http://www.txlfilms.com/films/united_index.html About "United"] ] In June 2006, they released 30 public service announcements for TV, illustrating each of the 30 rights in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [(n.d.) [http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/watchads/index.html Watch Ads] ] , which were created by the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International for YHRI. [http://www.theta.com/human-rights-education/20070314_hre_1.php Human Rights Message Reaches 130,000 Viewers - Church of Scientology International ] ]
Activities & Events
YHRI distributes materials related to its interpretation of the
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rightsand YHRI programs, to schoolchildren in a variety of developed nations, such as the United States [St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri), September 15, 2006, Title: Hoech sixth-grader attended U.N. human rights meeting] , Australia, [The Analyst, May 31, 2006, Title: YHRI Holds Aids Awareness in Paynesville,] the United Kingdom [Cornish Guardian, September 1, 2005, Title: Cornwall plays host to human rights festival] and the Czech Republic. [Czech News Agency CTK, December 9, 2006, SCHEDULE OF CTK GENERAL NEWS IN ENGLISH, DECEMBER 10,] YHRI is also active in Germany. In Belgium, it handed out a prize, and also held an awards ceremony in Bulgaria for the same prize. [New Vision, June 14, 2006, Title: Mande Wins Rights Award] YHRI awarded one prize to a Chinese actress, who promoted the group's views on her web site, [South China Morning Post, August 31, 2006, Title: Crusading for human rights] and another to a young Israeli Scientologist who screened the film, "UNITED", and distributed YHRI materials in his school. [The Jerusalem Post, June 23, 2006, Friday, Title: Haifa boy receives European Human Rights Award. Scientology-linked group rewards Scientologist's project] It held a conference in Zurich. [Hindustan Times, March 8, 2006, Title: Human rights is everyone's business] It discussed plans to lecture and distribute its materials to schoolchildren in Ghana and Liberia. [Public Agenda, May 29, 2006, Title: Human Rights Education Ventures to Be Established in Schools] [Accra Mail (Ghana) - AAGM, November 6, 2006 Monday, Title: INCULCATE HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION INTO SCHOOL CURRICULUM] [The Analyst, June 7, 2006, Title: Youth Activist Suggests Edu Rights Ventures, ] [Africa News, December 7, 2005, Title: Liberia; Take a Fresh Look At Liberia, Says Journalist, Activist ] It advocated lower school fees in Uganda, [The Monitor, February 27, 2007, Title: Youth Want Govt to Abolish School Fees, ] and held a peace rally in Nigeria. [Africa News, March 21, 2007, Title: Human Rights Group Organises Peace Rally] In South Africa, Mary Shuttleworth's country of origin, it is pushing for a "human rights month." [BuaNews, February 7, 2007, Title: Youth Group Urges South Africans to Celebrate Human Rights Month, ] The organization's work is supported by the actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise[SUNDAY HERALD SUN, January 1, 2006, Title: Tom and Katie's gift of rights, ] and cooperates with human rights organizations, such as local chapters of Amnesty International. [ [http://youthforhumanrights.org/about/collaborators.html YHRI Collaborators] ] According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, neither Amnesty in Berlin nor Amnesty International headquarters in London had knowledge of any such collaboration. [cite web | url = http://www.faz.net/s/RubCD175863466D41BB9A6A93D460B81174/Doc~E7F2992B4A0D24CE8890BDC4519FA8E74~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html | title =de icon The Scientology System | author = Florentine Fritzen | date = 2006-0828 | publisher = Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung]
In 2005, Youth for Human Rights International organized a conference at a Los Angeles High School. Stephen Strachan, principal of Jordan High School, said that although he knew some of the organizers were Scientologists, he did not know of YHRI's relationship to the church until the Church of Scientology was listed on publicity materials as a co-sponsor. After learning of the connection, an agreement was negotiated to remove any mention of the Church of Scientology from literature, and letters were sent to parents saying students would need permission to attend the event. [cite news | title = Scientology group sponsors school event | url = http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-9663283_ITM | date =
2005-10-01| publisher = UPI Newstrack]
In 2007, YHRI led a pilot human rights course in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, at which it distributed L. Ron Hubbard's tract "The Way to Happiness" to students ranging from 12 to 17 years old, and taught them Scientology jargon like the
tone scale, while trying to enroll them in Drug Free Marshalls, a Scientology organization like Narconon. An official in the provincial government said he hoped to bring it to the province's 4.4 million children. [cite news | title = Ndebele flirts with Scientology | url = http://www.mg.co.za/articledirect.aspx?articleid=310747 | date = 2007-06-10| publisher = Mail & Guardian]
In 2007, at a human rights youth forum organized by YHRI, in
Sydney, Australia, three students from Canterbury Girls High School expressed concern at overt references to Scientology in the promotional materials. One said she felt "exploited." The Department of Education is looking into the students' complaints. However, David Clarke, Liberal member of Parliament and a member of the Catholic group Opus Dei, said that he had also been unaware of any strong links between the youth forum and the Church of Scientology. But, Clarke added, "I'm a practicing Catholic. There was no pushing as far as I could see of Scientology." cite web | url = http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/unwitting-highschoolers-lured-to-forum-run-by-scientologists/2007/03/27/1174761471748.html | title = Unwitting highschoolers lured to forum by Scientologists| publisher = The Sydney Morning Herald| date = 2007-03-27| accessdate = 2007-03-28 ]
A German journalist has accused Scientology of
false advertisingthrough YHRI, recruiting members indirectly, and government officials in Germany have said YHRI serves as a cover-up tactic for Scientology. cite web | url = http://www.welt.de/print-welt/article707504/Form_des_politischen_Extremismus.html | title =de icon A form of political extremism | | accessdate = 2007-04-17 | author = Thomas Klatt | date = 2007-01-09| publisher = Die Welt] [ cite web | url = http://www.faz.net/s/RubCD175863466D41BB9A6A93D460B81174/Doc~E7F2992B4A0D24CE8890BDC4519FA8E74~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html | title =de icon The Scientology System | author = Florentine Fritzen | date = 2006-0828 | publisher = Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung]
The Florida Holocaust Museum complained that YHRI's connection to Scientology was not disclosed when they worked with them to organize at a human rights march in
St. Petersburg, Floridain March 2007. [cite web | url = http://www.sptimes.com/2007/04/07/Southpinellas/Tie_to_rights_march_w.shtml | title = Tie to rights march wasn't revealed | accessdate = 2007-04-14 | author = Meg Laughlin | coauthors = Rob Farley | date = 2007-04-07| publisher = St. Petersburg Times]
In each of the above cases the YHRI organizer responded that, while the Church of Scientology supported their group, it was a YHRI event, not a Church event and the message was human rights, not Scientology. However, the Herald reported that, on the materials handed out at the event in Australia, L.Ron Hubbard's image and quotes figured more prominently than those of such activists as Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.
Ursula Caberta, the Commissioner for the Scientology Task Force of the Hamburg Interior Authority, a Scientology watchdog group, stated the YHRI is one of a number of Scientology-linked groups that mask their connection to the church and seek to attract and recruit the young. cite web | url = http://www.welt.de/print-welt/article707504/Form_des_politischen_Extremismus.html | title = A form of political extremism | | accessdate = 2007-04-17 | author = Thomas Klatt | date = 2007-01-09| publisher = Die Welt] de icon
In 1995, the Hamburg Senate released a report on Scientology, describing its structure and the dangers it presented to individuals and society. One passage, citing Scientology documents, clarified the role of all organizations, which, like YHRI, are linked to the church.
"In an internal memo, Scientology described the function of affiliate organizations:
'All organizations and groups form a global network. Each one has its own individual role and responsibilities. But all service organizations have the goal to draw attention to L.Ron Hubbard's technology and deliver it to the public.'
Thus, each activity, however distantly it is related to Scientology, fits into a long-term strategic plan, which is ultimately steered by the highest management." [ cite web | url = http://fhh.hamburg.de/stadt/Aktuell/behoerden/inneres/arbeitsgruppe-scientology/publikationen/senatsmitteilung-1995-09-26-pdf,property=source.pdf | title = Senate report to the citizenry: Scientology | date = 1995-09-26 | publisher = The Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg| accessdate = 2007-05-18 ] de icon
cientology, YHRI And Human Rights In Europe
According to the official Scientology website, YHRI is part of its overall campaign. CoS Human Rights web site: Actions for Human Rights in Washington, D.C. http://www.scientology.org/humanrights/photo/washington-dc/index.htm ] YHRI, known in German as "Jugend für Menschenrechte," is active in both Switzerland and Germany, organizing human rights conferences for youth to promote religious tolerance.cite web | first = Hugo | last = Stamm | title = Scientologists tempt the young | url = http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/dyn/news/zuerich/600104.html | publisher = Tages Anzeiger] Referring to the campaign, Antje Blumenthal, a member of the German parliament, expressed concern that the good intentions of the young were being misused.
The governments of Francecite news | last = Fenech | first = Georges | coauthors = Philippe Vuilque | year = 2006 | title = Investigative commission on the influence of sects and the consequences of their practices on the mental and physical health of children | url = http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/12/pdf/rap-enq/r3507-rapport.pdf | accessdate = 2007-04-16 ] and Germany [ cite web | url = http://www.germany.info/relaunch/info/archives/background/scientology.html | title = German Embassy statement on Scientology ] [cite web | url = http://www.verfassungsschutz-bw.de/so/so_grunde.htm | title = Baden-Wuerttemberg Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Scientology ] have investigated Scientology in regard to human rights violations, investigations the Scientology organization calls discriminatory. [CoS HR Dept: Documenting and Exposing Government Discrimination http://www.scientology.org/humanrights/photo/government-discrimination/index.htm] It has responded with an opposing campaign through the Church of Scientology International European Office for Public Affairs and Human Rights, using public service announcements issued by YHRI, [Church of Scientology International European Office for Public Affairs and Human Rights, News http://www.scientology-europe.org/] and created by the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International.
* [http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/index.htm Youth For Human Rights] - Official website
* [http://www.scientologytoday.org/press/611201857151_scn-int.html ScientologyToday.org: Youth For Human Rights]
* [http://myreligion.scientologist.net/maryuntiedt/ Mary Shuttleworth nee Untiedt's statement of faith]
* [http://www.lynseybartilson.com/ Lynsey Bartilson's official home page]
* [http://www.humanrightsandtolerance.org/ The International Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance]
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