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The Republican Party, cults and their money

Use to be people thought of the Moonies as a cult. But now, thanks, in part, to George and Barbara Bush who get $100K a pop for giving pro Moonie speeches, they are not perceived that way. For starters see GOP and Straight; GOP and Scientology™; FACTNET.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Bushes knew of Straight's brutality but did nothing to stop it

The Bushes knew of Straight's brutality but did nothing to stop it. Instead they continued to take money from Mel Sembler and let him rise to chairman of the finance committee of the national GOP, and appoint him Ambassador to Italy in 2002.

In 1992 while then President George H. W. Bush was campaigning for reelection against Bill Clinton, Tampa Channel 13 News aired a 3-day series on Straight abuses called Straight: Healing or Harming with Kim Keelor reporting. It was a very damaging expose reporting on charges of abuse from Straight centers from all across America. In the segment she asked both President Bush and Ambassador Sembler to comment on the alleged abuses at Straight.

In the first segment Ms. Keelor reported, "We wanted to find out if Mr. Bush knows about Straight's documented abuse and other violations. We sent a sample of cases to the President . Bush's Deputy Press Secretary [Tony Mitchell] said, "...we are not in the position to judge the merits of this program. Based on what we see here, we believe they should be fully investigated..." "

In return for campaign contributions of over $100,000 each President Bush appointed two former Straight presidents to ambassadorships and made a TV commercial for Straight . Joseph Zappala, who did not speak Spanish and had but a high school education, was made ambassador to Spain. Mel Sembler, who answered his Senate questionnaire on languages spoken wrote, "English, fluent," was appointed ambassador to Australia.

In TV 13's second segment Ms. Keelor reported, "We asked both ambassadors about the abuse charges. Zappala didn't respond. Ambassador Sembler didn't answer our questions but did write, "Straight is the most undervalued program in the United States. It is unfortunate that the media has chosen to focus upon unsubstantiated complaints." "

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