On 17 December 1996, Lord McNair (right) told the House of Lords:
"My Lords, in asking this question I have to tell the House that I have an interest in it. I am a member of the Church of Scientology."But for more than two years before then, he had effectively acted as Scientology's representative in Parliament. In speeches to the Lords, he:
In addition, he has also asked numerous questions about matters of concern to Scientology - electroconvulsive therapy, psychiatric drugs and Government policy towards cults.
Lord McNair took his seat on 4 April 1990, following the death of his father. He appears to have had a long-standing interest in drug awareness and psychiatry, though whether this came before or after he became a Scientologist is unclear. His first overtly cult-related question was on 7 July 1994; in 1996, he made no less than nine interventions (including two speeches) clearly or possibly linked to Scientology. He does not appear to have made any interventions thus far this year, probably due to the lack of parliamentary business in the run-up to the General Election on 1 May.
In September 1996, Lord McNair formed the "Ad Hoc Committee to Investigate Discrimination Against Religions and Ethnic Minorities in Germany" (clearly nothing to do with the Church of Scientology's bitter quarrel with the German authorities); naturally, he found discrimination in droves. Scientology's house magazine Freedom recently devoted a lengthy article to the Committee's report, which Lord McNair also discussed in an intervention on 28 October 1996.
Deep Sleep Treatment - 16 July 1992 (Written Answer)
New Religious Movements - 7 July 1994 (Written Answer)
Debate on the Address (Second Day) - 17 Nov 1994 (Debate)
Abstract: "In Germany under Chancellor Kohl there are chilling echoes of the Nazi era ... Rather than confront the reality of Germany in the 1990s, the Kohl regime ... lives in a fantasy world."
Drug Misuse: Health Risks - 1 Dec 1994 (Debate)
Abstract: "[I have] worked for some time with former drug addicts at a rehabilitation centre which uses the Narconon programme, developed by the American humanitarian and philosopher Mr. Ron Hubbard."Electroconvulsive Therapy: Related Deaths - 15 Feb 1996 (Written Answer)
Electroconvulsive Therapy: Related Deaths - 8 March 1996 (Written Answer)
Electro-Shock Therapy - 15 April 1996 (Written Answer)
Electro-Shock Therapy - 16 April 1996 (Written Answer)
Human Rights - 15 May 1996 (Written Answer)
Society's Moral and Spiritual Well-being - 5 July 1996 (Debate)
Abstract: "I have here a small booklet which is a commonsense guide to living a better life ... called simply The Way to Happiness ... [its] author, L. Ron Hubbard"Psychotropic Drugs: Effects - 15 Oct 1996 (Written Answer)
Debate on the Address (Third Day) - 28 Oct 1996
Abstract: "The attention devoted by the German state and certain officials to eradicate scientology (in the words of one CDU Young Union official) is extensively documented ... It was suggested to us ... that the state and churches targeted Scientology as a prelude to, and an excuse for, the destruction of religious freedom for all religious and philosophical minorities in Germany."EU: Racial and Religious Discrimination - 3 Dec 1996 (Debate)
Abstract: "But it is not only in Germany that religious intolerance is becoming commonplace ... [I] recall that the hysteria against those who were regarded as witches began in southern France. The European country which seemed to specialise in that was what is now western Germany."
Church of Scientology - 17 Dec 1996 (Oral Questions)
Abstract: "I am a member of the Church of Scientology. If the noble Baroness has any problems or questions about scientology, I should be happy for her to come and ask me"
Alarmed By Intolerance - extracts from Scientology's Freedom magazine, Spring 1997
The lord, the sect and the invasion of the Thetans - London Evening Standard, 14 Jan 1997
Last updated 14 June 1997
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