Liberians in U.K. begin Independence Day celebration

Preparations have begun as the Republic of Liberia celebrates its 161st Independence Anniversary this week. For the past three weeks Liberians at home have gone on a shopping spree as the nation heads towards Independence Day ‘08.

On this day, it is customary that families dress up their children in new clothing and purchase toys for them while exchanging gifts with friends as well as organising dances and social gatherings for their entertainment.

This year’s celebration is no exception. Liberians, no matter where they found themselves, are expected to gather together and celebrate in grand style.

During the civil war, it was often reported that warring factions seized hostilities on the 26th of July every year, as their fighters senselessly drank alcohol and even exchange cigarettes and looted goods with their rivals at buffer zones.

During the celebration of July 26th one expects to find some delicious dishes of jollof rice, palm butter, cassava leaf or some finger-licking dishes of fufu, dumboy or Gee Bee; a meal of pounded cassava roots traditionally eaten in the North Eastern region of Liberia, while digesting them with soda pop, palm wine or a cold bottle of the refreshing Liberian Club Beer.

Liberians in various European capitals have also begun celebrating programs leading to Independence Day 2008. Celebrations have already begun in Norway and Finland.

The widely viewed black entertainment channel in the UK, Original Black Entertainment Television (OBE) has selected to run a one-week program focussing on Liberia’s Independence Day celebrations. Programs can be viewed during the week of celebrations.

In the United Kingdom, the calendar of events began on Sunday, 20th of July with a Thanksgiving Service at the Church of Scientology in Central London.

This is not Scientology’s first involvement with Liberia. Earlier this year, a team from Scientology’s front group Youth for Human Rights toured West Africa, including stops in Liberia, Ghana, and Sierra Leone:

The first step on the tour was Liberia, a country founded on human rights principles: to provide a homeland for freed American slaves who had been trafficked from Africa before the American Civil War. However, from 1989 to 2003 the country was wracked by its own civil wars, leaving the nation reeling, with the population subjected to the worst possible human rights violations: the deliberate killing of civilians, torture, the forced recruitment of children and sexual violence including rape. Hundreds of thousands fled the country to escape these threats to their survival.

At peace for the past five years, the government and people of Liberia are determined to rebuild the country and Youth for Human Rights International is proud to contribute to the new Liberia through the leadership program it has just launched. YHRI has formed up a corps of Liberian high school and college students into two teams that will spend the next four months providing education to schools and community centers on human rights issues. The teams are composed of 30 youth from five Liberian schools.

Representatives from Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) trained the students in basic leadership skills, writing, speech presentation, photography and videography, to enable the youth to make the greatest possible impact with their activities.

Students also studied the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights quotations that they can use in their presentations by famous human rights advocates such as Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and L. Ron Hubbard, and educational properties that were developed by YHRI to bring the subject to life for young people. These properties include an award-winning music DVD called UNITED, and a series of 30 video clips that illustrate in one minute or less each of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

(emphasis added)

I can’t help but question what kind of “human rights advocate” would make statements such as the following:

“Perhaps at some distant date only the unaberrated person will be granted civil rights before law. Perhaps the goal will be reached at some future time when only the unaberrated person can attain to and benefit from citizenship. These are desirable goals.”

(Lafayette Ron Hubbard, Dianetics)

The reasonable man quite ordinarily overlooks the fact that people from 2.0 down have no traffic with reason and cannot be reasoned with as one would reason with a 3.0. There are only two answers for the handling of people from 2.0 down on the tone scale, neither one of which has anything to do with reasoning with them or listening to their justification of their acts. The first is to raise them on the tone scale by un-enturbulating some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. The other is to dispose of them quietly and without sorrow.

(Lafayette Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival. Note: 2.0 and below on the Tone Scale – Scientology’s means of measuring someone’s emotional and spiritual state – includes, among others, homosexuals and critics of Scientology.)

Similarly, Scientology’s past in Africa – such as its support for apartheid and Hubbard’s failed attempt to influence the politics of both Morocco and Rhodesia (covered in the apartheid article) – may not be points in its favour.

And as for the celebration of Liberian independence – a nation founded by freed slaves – kicking off in the headquarters of an organisation that still uses its own form of slavery to this day, well…