The NRA Of Cults Strikes Yet Again - 2007-04-27
This was a bit like a special interest group coming out in Old Yelleresque, foaming-at-the-mouth opposition to the Bald Eagle, Betty Ford and the Gerber Baby.
But there he was, a chap by the name of Ken Kramer, growing more apoplectic than Alec Baldwin getting ready for visitation day at the prospect the Florida Legislature might create something called the Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention, charged with - well, you know, preventing suicide.
Kramer attempted to organize a letter-writing campaign, encouraging his fellow travelers from the Planet Kalignoid 5 to doom the bill creating the Office for Suicide Prevention, which would operate out of the Office of Drug Control.
He never mentions it in his e-mail titled 'Funding For Bogus Suicide Programs,' but Kramer is associated with the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which sounds all warm and fuzzy but in reality serves as a front shilling for the Scientology sect.
Well, he probably just forgot the full disclosure, being caught up in the frenzy to discredit the suicide prevention program.
Think of those zany, cuckoo, wacky Scientologists as sort of the National Rifle Association of cults.
So they can get plenty fired up over the vaguest prospect of a psychologist or psychiatrist getting anywhere remotely near someone who might be contemplating a crisis in their lives.
To folks like Kramer, this isn't an issue about public health. It's competition for customers.
Kramer cryptically suggested sinister motives behind the creation of the Statewide Office for Suicide Prevention, noting 'an item has recently appeared mysteriously in Senate budget Bill 2800, $400,000 tucked away on Page 81 of the 401-page budget.'
'Mysteriously'? 'Tucked away'? Oh really? The item appears on Page 80 of the budget bill, readily available to anyone to read in a public document.
As well, the bill, a public record, creating the suicide office was originally filed in December; 'The Da Vinci Code' meets Skull & Bones this was not.
A few days ago, a joint Senate-House conference committee approved a $200,000 seed money appropriation to create the Statewide Suicide Prevention Program, which will be used to develop a comprehensive effort for consideration during next year's legislative session.
The program would involve local suicide prevention agencies, faith-based groups, law enforcement, emergency response professionals, schools, universities, substance abuse treatment organizations and, yes, cue the 'Running with Scissors' theme - mental health experts.
Now there's a recipe for subversion - potentially suicidal people getting help from people who know what they are doing.
Kramer did not respond to questions submitted through the Citizens Commission on Human Rights about his opposition to the bill.
But Dennis Ross, the executive director of the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, who lobbied on behalf of the suicide prevention office, dismissed Kramer's letter-writing campaign.
'They've quite literally gotten to the point where they CCHR don't have a lot of credibility,' Ross said. 'Everyone's in favor of suicide prevention.
'These people are despicable.'