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Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

Discussion in 'Translation and Text Composition Projects' started by Consensus, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Consensus Member

    Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Let's try to get this one out while the story's hot!
    We want a thorough 'just the facts' explanation of what's going on, along with a little bit of speculation on how it will hurt the cult.


    Just scraps right now, but here's what I've gathered. Got a couple sources. It'd be nice if we had a way to link to the article directly, but it's not online (yet).

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    April 29, 2008

    The Daily Herald, a daily newspaper in Sint Maarten (a city in the country of Netherlands Antilles in the West Indies) reported today that

    Tico Ras, the head of the local Health Department


    It is known that all Scientology Members who have reached level OT-(?) have spent some time on yacht, and have thus been exposed to the carcinogen. An affidavit filed in 2001 by Lawrence Woodcraft, a former Scientologist and trained Architect, claims that Woodcraft encountered the chemical while working on the ship in 1987, and promptly informed Scientology leaders[2]. Given that Scientology has knowingly exposed passengers to blue asbestos for over 21 years, it's reasonable to assume a class action lawsuit will be in the works soon.

    [1]http://glosslip.com/2008/04/29/glosslip-exclusive-scientology-cruise-ship-freewinds-hides-asbestos-danger/
    [2]http://www.lermanet.com/scientology/LawrenceWoodcraftAsbestos.htm
    [3]http://www.thedailyherald.com/
  2. Consensus Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    It would be nice if we could have advice for anyone who thinks they've been exposed to asbestos on the freewinds. Should they contact their doctor? Their lawyer? A specific lawyer? A specific website?
  3. XenuLovesU Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    It might be worth mentioning that even though Woodcraft's declaration was made in 2001, the *discovery* of asbestos was made in 1987. That's 21 years of sailing around knowing this crap is on board their ship.
  4. Consensus Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    great point, I'd missed that fact. Updated
  5. Consensus Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    useful stuff from the thread
  6. Anon123456 Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    what did Tico Ras do? or am i misreading that? i just kinda trails off.
  7. Consensus Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Yeah, I didn't finish the sentence 'cause I couldn't find more info. He's the head of the 'health department' - but I don't nkow if that's the city, region, country, or what. Google gave me nothing. If info turns up, we should fill that sentence in... if it doesn't, we'll just hafta drop it. I want to give press some idea of who to contact for independent confirmation.
  8. felinonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Consensus- For people who have been, or may have been exposed:

    Go to your family MD and tell them that you know that you have been exposed to blue asbestos. At a minimum, a lung series is in order. In general, anyone exposed is now in the high risk group for cancer. Best protection is to see it early.

    Support for Mesothelioma Patients

    Support for people with Mesothelioma and links to other information.
  9. exOT8Michael Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    I spent several months on the Freewinds.
    Open to participating in a class action lawsuit if such is seen to be genuinely viable.
  10. Consensus Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Inquiries should be direct to Majestic Cruise Lines of The Church of Scientology, the owner of the ship's title.

    Anonymous, the international movement to oppose the Church of Scientology's abuses, issued the following statement:
    "While we believe every person has the right to hold whatever beliefs they prefer, that right does not grant Scientology freedom to knowingly expose thousands of people to extremely dangerous substances without informing them of the danger."
  11. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    NM. I was going to post that I couldn't find the story on the paper's website, but have found another source.
  12. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    Allegations are flying that the Church of Scientology may have knowingly exposed thousands of people to asbestos, a known carcinogen, over the past 21 years.

    Scientology's "cruise ship", the Freewinds has been sealed and docked by officials in Curacao due to asbestos on the ship. It is known that all Scientology members who have reached higher OT levels have spent some time on the yacht, and have thus been exposed to the carcinogen. Both local and Nederlands-based investigators and government officials are investigating.

    An affidavit filed in 2001 by Lawrence Woodcraft, a former Scientologist and trained architect, claims that Woodcraft encountered the fibrous minerals while working on the ship in 1987, and promptly informed Scientology leaders. For over 21 years, Scientology has knowingly exposed passengers to what is generally considered the most lethal form of asbestos. The National Toxicology Program classifies asbestos as a known human carcinogen. The EPA has also classified asbestos as a human carcinogen. The use of asbestos in new construction projects has been banned for health and safety reasons in many developed countries, including all 27 member states of the European Union, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.

    The Daily Herald, which is based in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, reports:

    "During refurbishing and reparatory work, which involved removing the ceiling and panelling on cruise ship Freewinds, blue asbestos was released and ended up in the ventilation system. Freewinds' captain did not report this when it's own personnel were working on the ship on the Mathey warf in Otrobanda. The Curacao Drydock Company (CDM), where the ship was taken for reparatory work on the hull, heard from the surveyor that there may be asbestos on the ship. The captain acknowledged the incident and said that after the incident Freewinds had some investigation done. Keeping the incident quiet became more noticeable when it turned out that the 40-year-old ship contatined blue asbestos.

    The question is whether or not the blue asbestos dust, which can cause cancer, can be removed from the ship. The CDM has stopped all work on the ship. The ship was sealed and isolated and experts will investigate and measure the presence of asbestos dust in the hull and surrounding areas. Commissioners Eugene Rhuggenaath (Economic Affairs) and Humphrey Davelaar (Public Health) said on Friday.

    CDM interim director Frank Esser, deputy head of the Department of Labour Affairs Christiene van der Biezen were accompanied by two inspectors and head of the health Department Tico Ras. Samples taken from the panelling last week by inspectors that were sent to the Netherlands showed that they contained significant amounts of blue asbestos. After an extraordinary meeting, the Executive Council decided to inform the public in general about the incident to avoid remours [sic] and panic.
    The CDM personnel were also informed via the media because it was impossible to gather all the workers Friday evening to personally give them the information."

    If you have been exposed, go to your family MD and tell them that you know that you have been exposed to blue asbestos. At a minimum, a lung series is in order. In general, anyone exposed is now in the high risk group for cancer. In the US, the American Cancer Society also performs screening tests. More information can be found at American Cancer Society :: Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Prostate, Lung and Other Forms. Support and resources for those diagnosed can be found here: Support for Mesothelioma Patients.

    For the past three months, Scientology's long-time critics, including Mr. Woodcraft, have been joined by the loosely-affiliated group of internet activists known as Anonymous. While Anonymous has no spokespersons, one person confirmed to be part of the "group" had the following to say in response to this news:

    "While we believe every person has the right to hold whatever beliefs they prefer, that right does not grant Scientology freedom to knowingly expose thousands of people to extremely dangerous substances without informing them of the danger."

    Thousands world-wide have taken their protests to the street on a monthly basis. The next protest is scheduled for May 10.
  13. rof Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    The ship is in Curacao not St. Maarten. Different island, also Dutch territory.

    Both local and Nederlands based investigators and govt officials are investigating.

    The Daily Herald is based in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, not Willemstadt, Curacao.

    That story had a byline of Willemstadt since that is where the ship is held.
  14. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    thx. fixed
  15. ChuckyLarms Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    I don't believe Asbestos is a chemical...
    It is a mineral. Just for reference:
    Asbestos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    common problems are Mesothelioma and asbestosis.
    I don't think it technically qualifies as a carcinogen either.

    If this is true, you may want to re-word this release.
  16. Anon Char Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release


    It is a mineral, true. Soemtimes found in the mineral type "Muscovite"
    It is a building material that was used for its fire resistant properties and had many applications (among them sound insulation) *on Freewinds, no one can hear you OT*
  17. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    You're right; asbestos is a fibrous mineral, not a chemical. It is classified as a known human carcinogen by several agencies; I've now listed two for refrence.

    Thx. Please see edited PR.
  18. Anon23517 Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    In the US:
    I'd suggest the Cancer Association for a cancer screening test. Let me look that up. Here you go: American Cancer Society :: Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Prostate, Lung and Other Forms

    Where to find your local Cancer Assoc: ACS :: My Local ACS Office

    What test to get to determine asbestos poisoning/mesothelioma: ACS :: How Is Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

    If you need more information, a friend worked in cancer research, I can get some info from her if needed. Just pm me.
  19. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    That's great info, 23517. I'm afraid that if we put too much info regarding cancer, etc. in there, it will change the focus, though. Did edit to include the ACS website, thx.

    BTW. this is concurrently being edited as an i-report. As soon as we have a "go", I'll hit "send".
  20. ChuckyLarms Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Looks spot on to me.
  21. exOT8Michael Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    tl;dr Press Release
  22. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    It's 647 words, Michael. Does Scientology affect one's attention span? :wink: :lol:
  23. exOT8Michael Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    OMG attention span sounds like a psychology term! aAAaaaaaargh!!
  24. Consensus Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Love it, CVA! You're fantastic.

    Would it be appropriate to have a brief, sensationalists summary at the top to grab the attention of the reader? What we have is very thorough, step-by-step stuff. I don't work with press releases professionally, so please tell me if that's a bad idea.

    And would it be wise to have citations with external links in plaintext below? That's how we've done them in the past, but I don't actually know what editors would prefer.
  25. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    I already posted it to i-reports, but something about "Thousands Exposed to Asbestos; Scientology Officials Knew!" would be lulzy.

    Editors just want somthing they can publish. Footnotes belong in class, lol. If anyone wants/needs confirmation of a fact, they contact the writer.

    I-Report link: Scientology Yacht Sealed and Docked in Curacao - iReport.com
  26. Consensus Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    That's cool.

    I still wanna polish it a little for the 'press room' page. You mention 'the carcinogen' in the first paragraph, but don't mention asbestos by name until the middle of the second paragraph.

    Would it be out of line to put an intro paragraph like
    "Allegations are flying that the Church of Scientology may have knowingly exposed thousands of people to asbestos, a known carcinogen, over the past 21 years."
    ?

    A one-line summary of what the press release says, basically. I just don't wanna say it in a way that would appear libelous.
  27. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Aaarrgh - I thought I said "the carcinogen asbestos". Rats.

    "Allegations are flying that the Church of Scientology may have knowingly exposed thousands of people to asbestos, a known carcinogen, over the past 21 years."

    That's good. Editing it in.
  28. Kluu Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Uuh ... Abestos in only dangerous, when it's dust is flying around ... so basicly, only when people build stuff with it or tear it down.
    Once it's solid (and/or covered by sth), there's no risk from it anymore (which btw can easily be avoided by wearing a mask anyhow), which is why I think this thread and news is fail. It's all about sensationalism right now, amirite?
  29. musketeerwang Member

  30. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Did you even read the article? "During refurbishing and reparatory work, which involved removing the ceiling and panelling on cruise ship Freewinds, blue asbestos was released and ended up in the ventilation system " - First sentence of the newspapr article. Which means it was released. Into the ventilation system. And the staff wasn't told. And they covered up the fact that the asbestos had been released.

    Sensationalism? Umm...no.
  31. AnonKiwi Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Ok, here's my effort. Based on CV's

    _____________________________________________

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


    SCIENTOLOGY'S CRUISE SHIP SEALED DUE TO ASBESTOS DANGER

    According to The Daily Herald of Philipsburg, St. Maarten, officials in Curacao have sealed and cordoned off the Freewinds, Scientology's flag ship, after dock workers found dangerous levels of blue asbestos during routine repairs.

    Curacao Dry dock Company (CDM) workers discovered the blue asbestos during routine repair and renovation work while the ship was in dry dock in Otrobanda, Curacao. After an extraordinary meeting, alarmed Government officials ordered the ship sealed off and decided to inform the public of their actions in order to avoid rumour and panic among dock workers.

    Reportedly, the 40 year old ship is extensively contaminated with blue asbestos, the most dangerous form of the carcinogenic mineral. Studies have shown that there are no safe levels of exposure to asbestos and a single microscopic particle could remain lodged in the lungs for years and in the right conditions, cause lung cancer. Decontamination, if it is even possible, is likely to cost tens of millions of dollars and would result in the ship being in dry dock for many months.

    Alarm was raised amongst Government officials after it was revealed that the captain of the Freewinds took no action to alert the crew after CDM workers accidentally released the asbestos dust into the ventilation system. Despite being informed of the accident, and the danger, the captain chose to keep the incident secret.

    Members of the public have noted with concern that the Church of Scientology appears to have been aware of the asbestos problem for 21 years and has chosen not to address it, despite being informed of the health risks. In a 2001 affidavit Freewinds' architect Lawrence Woodcraft states that after the purchase of the Freewinds in 1987 he went aboard to supervise the renovation and refitting of the old cruise liner. During the renovations blue asbestos was discovered in the engine room and then throughout the ship. He immediately informed senior Scientology management of the discovery and of its health risk to passengers and the ships Scientologist refit workers. Scientology chose to take no action, stating that since L Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder, had never said that asbestos was dangerous there was no risk.

    Woodcraft reported that as the renovations fell behind schedule an independent non-Scientologist company was brought in to assist, but left in fear for the safety of the refurbishment crew after a few weeks. Renovations continued regardless, this time with dozens of contracted Scientologists protected only by dust masks.

    Since 1987 thousands of passengers have travelled on the Freewinds, both for Scientology's advanced courses as well as for conferences and other events. Many, if not all passengers and crew may have been exposed to asbestos dust churned up by the movement of the ship and standard maintenance work. Medical advice for dealing with asbestos recommends ongoing monitoring for lung cancer is required for anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the carcinogen.

    The Daily Herald, Philipsburg, St. Maarten: St. Maarten News - The Daily Herald Newspaper Online | St. Maarten-St. Martin | West Indies - Caribbean News
    Woodcraft affidavit: Lawrence Woodcraft Affidavit about Asbestos on the Freewinds - January 24, 2001
    Asbestos and Mesothelioma, effect on health: Abestos and Mesothelioma: Asbestos' Effects on Health
  32. rasputin Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    it got into the ventilation system. which, from my admittedly non-expert POV, sounds like all kinds of bad.

    also, environmental health laws.
  33. Ten Tigers Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Oh yeah.... The EPA and NOAA would probably be verrrrrrrry interested.
  34. Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    I like AnonKiwi's version. It reads well. In the last paragraph though, I think the phrase 'likely exposed to' is too strong a claim. May/potentially I think are more appropriate.
  35. AnonKiwi Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    ^ thanks. Have edited to 'may' as suggested.

    Anyone got the name, loc and possibly a link to the original paper? I couldn't work it out. And any scanned image of the page itself would be awesome.
  36. 423 Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Excellent job on the press release. Remember to put the most important facts and data in the first paragraph (that is the attention getter). I had written way too many press releases years ago. Plus add ### at the very bottom which also signifies immediate release (I don't know if it is an inside thing-but that is what I used to do).

    Found some other great resources on asbestos dangers--not only lung but also abdominal lining, and voice box. A dear friend died from asbestositit and there was nothing the doctors could do. He could hardly breathe some days. So sad.

    Some cancer risks drop after asbestos exposure ends - ASCO
    Asbestos-related malignant mesothelioma in Japan. - ASCO

    The second article mentions how important for all those who visited the Freewinds to monitor for cancer early since it may extend your life from 5 months in Stage 4 for 17 months in stage 1 & 2.

    MSDS on blue asbestos (asbestiform riebeckite)
    https://srmors.nist.gov/msds/1866b-...5DC1E06F475F2&jsessionid=b43078aaec984c687554

    It appears that the church is trying to hide this information from its people.
  37. Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Good job you all, jumping on this with a very timely and very appropriate response. The quicker you get it out, the less chance of bogging down in consultation (I cannot believe I just said that).

    ...good strategy to keep in mind for each future scifootbullet, esp now that the media is becoming more mainstream, get out ahead of the pack, then anonymous will always be part of the story...

    and I'm with CVAnonymous...what is it with scientologists and short attention spans? :)

    and if the truth be known, my observation is that the pendulum swings between that and 'there-aren't-enough-words-to-tell-this-story' tl;dr sorta deal...amirite?...btw just TEASING Mr.-pot-calling-the-kettle-black OGMichael... :)
  38. XenuLovesU Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    I like it, though unless the ship has actually been "seized" (which I haven't seen any report of) the opening language should be that the ship was "sealed" (as reported in The Daily Herald). Big difference between the two terms... and we want to keep these releases completely factual so they remain credible.
  39. Consensus Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    Can we choose which draft we'll use and finalize it within the next hour? It's 3:45 eastern daylight time right now.

    I'm honestly fine with either version, but AnonKiki's needs the bracket information filled in and should make the 'seized/sealed' switch.

    Preferences?
  40. CVAnonymous Member

    Re: Freewinds Asbestos Press Release

    I like KiwiAnon's. BTW, the story is already up on Gawker: Tom Cruise - Gawker. I received an email from a CNN reporter asking for some personal details, etc., so I think CNN.com may actually run with the story.

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