Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Pamela Gorman edits her own Wikipedia entry?

Former Arizona state legislator Pamela Gorman, or someone claiming to be her, took issue with the following passage in her Wikipedia entry:
Also in 2005, Gorman was one of several Arizona legislators who supported parental rights legislation which was also supported by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. She attended the grand opening of the Church of Scientology's "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" exhibition in Los Angeles in December 2005 at the request of Robin Read, President of the National Federation for Women Legislators.
The edit, which was described as "clarification of falsehoods entered about me and other organizations" and came from Cox Communications Phoenix IP, added the following right after that text:
It was a quick visit which did not include any meals or other "fluff." The goal of the trip was to determine what the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights was about, as they were becoming heavily involved in NFWL. The cost of the roundtrip flight for the small group to tour the museum was reported by CCHR, according to Arizona disclosure laws. Gorman's political enemies have tried for years to make a leap from her touring a museum as a favor to the president of her professional organization to her actually being a Scientologist. Further attempts to alter this page with falsehoods of this nature may be met with legal action.
I'm not aware of any online claims that Gorman, who is an evangelical Christian, is a Scientologist, only that she was one of several Arizona legislators who sponsored legislation on behalf of a Scientology front group and accepted gifts from the Church of Scientology.

It's good that Gorman was willing to give a bit more context, but it should be noted that this was not simple "parental rights legislation which was also supported by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights," it was a bill that was at least partly written by CCHR. As the Arizona Republic reported at the time, the original text required not only parental consent before mental health evaluations by schools, it required that parents read CCHR anti-psychiatry propaganda before signing a consent form:
Another bill introduced this year would have required written consent from parents for any mental-health screenings in schools. The bill was similar to other measures passed in previous years and vetoed by the governor. Sponsored by Sen. Karen Johnson, a member of the commission's international advisory group, the bill had a bipartisan group of 36 co-sponsors. Still, it failed by a tie vote in the Education Committee, in part because of testimony of mental-health advocates.

The original text of the bill would have required parents to sign a lengthy consent form that contained paragraph after paragraph of negative information about psychiatric practices.
Information about CCHR is easy to come by on the Internet (e.g., at Wikipedia or, so it's unclear why Gorman needed to accept a round trip flight to Los Angeles on the CCHR's dime to find out "what the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights was about," or why she sponsored their bill.

No comments: