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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dan Burton, Lobbyist

Former Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) is now officially a lobbyist, having filed to lobby on behalf of a group founded by the Church of Scientology.
Burton, through his firm Dan Burton International LLC, registered as a lobbyist for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, an organization established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 that advocates against psychiatry and psychiatric medicine. Burton's filing indicates he is representing CCHR's position on issues related to "psychiatric treatments including drugs and brain devices" in the 21st Century Cures Act, which has passed the House and as of yet has no counterpart in the Senate.
This lobbying role is not Burton's first encounter with Scientology. While not a member of the Church, Burton attended the opening of the Church's national office in 2012 and commended the CCHR for its work and the opening of their National Public Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. a few months prior.
Burton and Church officials are also allied in their skepticism of the Food and Drug Administration. Scientology has been in an ongoing battle with the agency for decades. Meanwhile, Burton has criticized the agency on a number of fronts, such as his belief that an FDA-approved vaccine caused autism in his grandson. The FDA and other government agencies reject the theory.

A former committee staffer of Burton's, Beth Clay, who has fought with the FDA on alternative medicines and other matters, has served as a board member on the CCHR.
Burton began service in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. He was perhaps best known for his investigations into President Clinton's fundraising practices and the death of White House counsel Vince Foster. He retired in 2013 citing family health issues.
From a March 11, 2007 post at Left Brain/Right Brain:
We now have several DAN! doctors who are scientologists, several thiomersal/autism lawyers who are scientologists, a ‘cured’ child who was diagnosed (partly), treated and ‘cured’ by scientologists and now one Congressman who’s [sic] advisor is a scientologist. We also have one indirect link from scientology to Generation Rescue (in the shape of Julia Berle, founding parent of that organisation and mother to the ‘cured’ child described above) and one direct link from scientology to SafeMinds in the shape of Beth Clay.