Cat Sanctuary Attacked by Scientologists
Yikes. Looks like Scientologists are feeding into people’s trendy, albeit tiresome and stupid, perceptions that anyone housing more than one cat is a hoarder and some kind of threat to society. According to Stacy Young:
Scientology is going after our cats again.
Last night we heard that David Lee was going door to door in our old neighborhood in West Seattle. David Lee is the Scientology private investigator who tried to have our cats confiscated and killed last fall. Everyone on a.r.s. knows that Bob Minton saved the cats by providing a sanctuary for them on Vashon Island. Now Scientology has escalated its attack, accusing us of harboring cats with AIDS and spreading the rumor that people are catching AIDS from our cats. (This is medically and biologically impossible, but hey, Scientology has never been a stickler for facts).
This morning I went to the mailbox and found the following anonymous letter. Like the one they distributed in West Seattle, it purports to be from a “concerned neighbor.” (I will leave in all the typos, misspellings and grammatical mistakes):
Dear Fellow Neighbors,
It has been brought to my attention that our new neighbors Vaughn and Stacy Young are operating an illegal cat kennel out of their house. I learned about this activity and the incredible number of cats from a friend that is part of an animal organization located here on the island. The number is hard to tally because of the deaths and births that occur however, we estimate between 200-300 cats. They have 10 or more violations for the exact same illegal actions in West Seattle. I contacted neighbors at their old residence and each were greatly relieved to have this problem located somewhere else. The neighbors in West Seattle finally had, had enough. They neighbors banded together and contacted the proper authorities and got rid of the problems. Now the problem is here, and we must notify the authorities that the Youngs are harboring very sick cats with communicable diseases here and we don’t want this problem over on our beautiful island. They claim they are rescueing cats but in fact they are conducting illegal activities for the sake of selling cats for money to live on. The Youngs don’t have a kennel license or any sort of permit to conduct this sort of illegal Catery. I would have liked to have been contacted before these people moved in. The Youngs just decided that it’s Ok and we would not mind the diseases over here. I am a cat owner this is why I am so concerned. Two to three cats is ok, but 200-300 diseased infected animals is not acceptable in our peaceful neighborhood. By contacting animal control and the Dept of Zoning this will eliminate our problems.
Signed a Concerned Neighbor
Robert and Stacy Young
end of letter
About 10 minutes after I picked up this letter, a representative of Vashon’s local animal rescue group arrived at our house. One of our neighbors had given it to her and she was very concerned that someone is spreading these lies about us. She knew they were lies because she (and others) had already been to our house and met all of our beautiful cats and knows they are given the best possible care in the world. She also knows that we have nowhere near “200-300” cats and that the only births we ever have here are from strays who arrive already pregnant, since any cat that arrives at our sanctuary is always spayed or neutered.
Her main concern was that someone on the island was conducting this hate campaign. We assured her that it is definitely coming from off the island and gave her a full briefing about how Scientology harasses anyone who tries to tell people the truth about them. We told her they attacked our cats last fall because I was on “60 Minutes” talking about how Scientology destroyed a group whose purpose was to educate people about cults like Scientology, and because we have been helping on the Lisa McPherson case in Florida. She was horrified that Scientology would try to hurt innocent animals just to silence the truth and said she was going to spread the word that Scientology is behind this attack on us. We said we would be glad to provide her with copies of the “60 Minutes” tape as well as “Public Eye,” the Channel 4 show in England, several other upcoming national shows about Scientology, and lots and lots of press articles including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, St. Pete Times, and many many others.
Vaughn went out to meet with our neighbors about the letter and found that no one believes what the letter says, because it is anonymous and people on Vashon don’t believe anything written anonymously. Several made this point, that they threw it away as soon as they saw it was anonymous.
Lee also hired some kids to hand out another sheet headlined “Public Health Notice” in front of the two grocery stores in town this morning until the store owners kicked them off the premises. Here is what the notice said (again, I am replicating all typos, misspellings and grammatical mistakes):
Public Health Notice
This is a public health warning informing all residents of Vashon Island that Robert and Stacy Young are operating an illegal and diseased cat kennel out of the residence that is located at [address deleted] behind the Dental office. We learned about this activity and the outrageous number of cats from a person that is part of an animal protection organization located here on our island. The number of cats is hard to tally because of all the births and deaths from disease but we estimate between 200-300 cats.
The cats are responsible for the spreading of Ring Worm and other communicable diseases to humans which the Youngs are aware of. This is a direct violation of Title 16 RCW Chapter 16.70. The Youngs are also in violation of Title 70 Chapter 70.95 which is the improper handling of Biomedical Waste.
The cats also carry the disease FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) which is the also known as AIDS. If you have any animals on Vashon Island especially cats you must get yourself and your pets tested by a veterinarian or physician as soon as possible.
The Youngs have been cited with at least 10 violations while living at the West Seattle residence for the same illegal actions. The Public Health and Safety office found out that the West Seattle neighbors had banded together and contacted the proper authorities to force the Youngs to comply to the law, but the Youngs decided to move away and bring their illegal and diseased cat kennel operation to Vashon Island. Now the problem is here and we must notify the authorities.
The Youngs have no kennel license or any sort of permit to conduct this sort of illegal and diseased cat kennel. They did not contact any of us, they just decided to bring their problems over here. We all have cats and other animals but 200-300 disease infected animals is not acceptable in our peaceful neighborhood. By contacting the authorities we can eliminate this problem.
Animal control: 386-4254
Health Services: 296-4774
Hazardous Waste: 296-2712
Land use permits: 296-6640
end of anonymous text
Again, representatives of Vashon’s long-established pet protection organization have visited our facility and know this is completely scurrilous. They are fully supportive of our work.
First of all, ringworm is a very common skin fungus amongst homeless, rescued cats and kittens. It is a fungus similar to athlete’s foot. It is not serious. Little kittens — especially if they are stray kittens that were born outside — often have ringworm when they come into a shelter because their immune systems aren’t very strong yet. It is treatable with shots, oral medication, a fungal shampoo and topical ointment. I have found that putting them on extremely high quality, healthy food (which is the kind we give our cats — Precise is the name of it, both dry and wet) is the best treatment of all because it strengthens their immune system. Yes, humans can catch ringworm from a cat. Anyone who has ever worked at a shelter can tell you that. I have had it myself. I treated it with topical ointment and it went away. That was the end of that.
FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) has nothing whatsoever to do with AIDS. There is an illness known as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or FIV. It affects the immune system of a cat similar to the way HIV affects the immune system of a human. If a person is HIV positive it does not mean they have AIDS. If a cat is FIV positive it does not mean anything more than that their immune system has been weakened by this virus. We have rescued cats who tested positive for FIV. It is transmitted between cats in the same ways that HIV is transmitted between humans. FIV is not in any way communicable to humans.
Now let me say something here.
I think Scientology thinks that this is going to frighten me so badly that I will convince Vaughn we should stop helping people understand the true nature of Scientology. They think this will get me to tell Vaughn that we should stop talking to the media about Scientology; we should stop helping Ken Dandar on the Lisa McPherson case; we should stop inviting former Scientologists to our house. They think this will get me to stop talking to people just coming out of Scientology who need help.
But Scientology is wrong. Dead wrong.
First of all Scientology needs to know that the population of Vashon Island is disgusted and outraged at this unfounded, vicious attack on the animals. This is a small island and many residents have already visited our sanctuary and met our cats. They know that these allegations are malicious lies, and soon everyone on the island will know that these lies are coming from Scientology.
And since we all know that Scientology now equals David Miscavige,and that DM has ordered this latest attack on us, let me speak directly to you, DM. If you think this latest outrageous attack on innocent animals is going to intimidate me or frighten me in any way you are dead wrong. You are all such cowards that you have to pass out anonymous lies about me. If you are telling the truth about me why don’t you have the courage to sign these letters? But you would never do that because it is a lie and you don’t want people to know that Scientology is behind this character assassination. You want people to believe that you are there to help people, that you want to make the world a better place. You don’t want anyone to know that you are vicious, amoral, ruthless and remorseless in your determination to take over the world. You don’t want anyone to know that you will stop at nothing — including threatening innocent animals — to silence anyone who criticizes you.
But I am going to tell the truth about you far and wide, as broadly as I possibly can. You are coming after Vaughn and me because I appeared on “60 Minutes,” because Vaughn appeared on UK Channel 4 Secret Lives, because he has been asked to testify about Scientology by the federal government in Germany, because I offered sanctuary to Sea Org members with nowhere else to go, and because you know that I know firsthand how Lisa McPherson was killed by “standard tech.” You’re furious because Bob Minton had the audacity to thwart your earlier attempt to silence us, and now you think you’re going to launch an attack on us so terrible that no one can save us.
Well let me tell you something, DM. We worked together; you know me. And you know what I think of you and your bully tactics. I saw you force staff to stay up for three and four days at a time until they were nearly delirious and then scream at them until they broke. I saw you gang-bang sec check a staff member for hours, you and your two lieutenants screaming accusations at him until he was shaking and sobbing hysterically. I saw how you delighted in degrading people, like the time you punished a staff member by forcing him to his knees and making him push a pencil all the way down the hall with his nose. He was crying while you stood there laughing at him. I couldn’t do anything about your brutality when I was your junior, but I can do something about it now. You’ve done a really stupid thing, DM. You’ve gone too far with your attack on these cats. You’ve made me see with crystal clarity that you cannot be allowed to continue destroying people’s lives like this, and I now assume full responsibility for seeing that you are stopped. The more you attack our cats, the more it will convince me that your true face must be exposed — in the media, in the courts, in legislatures, in every country, all over the world.
And again I make my offer to Sea Org members: if you want to escape from the nightmare but have nowhere to go, call me. My number is [phone number deleted -ed.K]. Call me any time of the day or night. You don’t have to be afraid of DM and his CMO thugs. There are many many people out here — kind people — who will help you. What DM and his people are telling you about us is false. You have to trust me on that. But here is a promise: I’ll let you get some sleep, I won’t scream obscenities at you, and I’ll let you say what you’re really thinking without putting you in lower conditions or sending you to the RPF. Then I’ll help you get a life. I promise you that. Please call me. [phone number deleted -ed.K]. Or e-mail me: email@example.com.
Sick. Very, very sick.