Monserrate Defends Detox Program

 Monserrate Defends Detox Program

Yesterday, I caught up with Councilman Hiram Monserrate, who has come under fire for supporting a Sept. 11 first-responder detoxification program associated with the Church of Scientology.

Scientology’s most famous booster, Tom Cruise, held a fund-raiser last night for the program.

Monserrate, a former cop, told me he spoke with Sept. 11 rescue workers who have benefited from the program, and said that critics are motivated by their own agendas.

“The bottom line is the program provided a better quality of life for hundreds of rescue workers that have taken the program,” he said. “I myself personally have spoken to dozens of them who’ve had serious ailments, problems with upper respiratory infections, breathing problems.”

He added, “I think it’s unfortunate that some of the pundits, some of the pro scientists, some of the industries, who have their own reasons for having their own opinions clearly — right, the pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession in particular — question an alternative means of providing health care.

“This is the same type of thing they said about chiropractors twenty years ago. The same arguments that they’re using here.”

I asked Monserrate, who introduced a Council proclamation to declare last Thursday L. Ron Hubbard day, in honor of the science fiction author who created Scientology, if he would ever consider becoming a Scientologist.

“No,” he said. “Councilman Hiram Monserrate is Christian, who was raised as Evangelical Christian. That’s my faith. That’s not on the table. This has zero to do with Scientology. The program has zero to do with Scientology. They don’t espouse it. They don’t promote it.”