Reprinted from www.theStraights.com 2000
It is not unusual for humanitarians such as Straight cofounder Betty Sembler and Scientology® founder L. Ron Hubbard to have a day named in their honor. March 13 has been declared L. Ron Hubbard Day in 150 American cities by mayors impressed with Hubbard's work in areas like drug rehabilitation, education and reform of criminals. The Los Angeles city council was so impressed with Hubbard's life work that they named a street after him: L. Ron Hubbard Way. Take Betty Dederich, a former prostitute who became the wife of Synanon Church founder Chuck Dederich. Sometime around May 1977 Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Betty Dederich Day in honor of her humanitarian work at Synanon. Synanon perfected the treatment method that is employed at Straights. Reverend Jim Jones of The Peoples Temple is another award winner who, among other achievements, treated heroin addicts. When Jimmy Carter campaigned in San Francisco parishoners from The People's Temple helped form large crowds of cheering supporters. This gave Jones a private audience with Rosalyn Carter. Of course later Reverend Jones moved his flock to Guyana where he and almost all of his 900 disciples committed suicide in mass--men, women and children.
In October 1994 President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill that makes the fourth Sunday of every July National Parents Day. There's an interesting story on that bill that was first introduced by Congressmen Dan Burton (R.-Ind) and Rep. Floyd Flake (D-N.Y.) earlier in the year. According to an article in the Washington City Paper, the date is tied to a religious holiday celebrated by the Moonies in honor of their founder Reverend Sun Myung Moon and his wife Hak Ja Han Moon. According to that article the Moonies believe Reverend Moon is the third Adam and his wife is the True Eve. That when the Moons' first biological child was born, Mrs. Moon's "breast milk was cut with cow's milk and ceremonially served to Church members." In 1960, according to the article, the couple declared themselves the True Parents of all mankind. They proclaimed True Parents Day, a church holiday to be celebrated variously in March and April. In 1993 Ms. Moon toured America on a "True Parents' Tour America." She ended her whirlwind tour at the US Senate's Dirksen Office Building on the evening of July 28 when she spoke to the Women's Federation for World Peace, an organization she founded and an organization which has paid both George W. and Barbara Bush handsomely for giving speeches at its functions. The day before Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss) had addressed the Senate urging his fellow senators to support True Parents' Day by attending the WFWP meeting the next evening. Next night Ms. Moon was introduced at the meeting by Senator Orim Hatch (R-Utah). You can this fascinating story here, but the ultimate outcome of it all, according to this article, is what American's now celebrate, along with Mother's Day and Father's Day, as National Parents Day.
So it is not unusual for Republican politicians to award special favors to cult founders who have donated large amounts of money to their campaigns. According to this Drug Free America Foundation press release dated August 7, 2000 and to this announcement in the Saint Petersburg Times, Florida's governor Jeb Bush declared August 8, 2000 Betty Sembler Day in honor of the matron from Saint Petersburg, Florida who has done so much to affect drug policy in America [DFAF was formerly Straight, Inc.]. From the press release it is noted that Mrs. Sembler was "one of the 10 founding members of Straight, Inc." Also noted is that she is vice-chairperson of DARE International and that she formed a DARE Foundation in Australia when her husband Melvin Sembler was ambassador to that country.
In 1989 President George H. W. Bush made a TV commercial for Straight out of the Oval Office. He also appointed Straight founder Mel Sembler ambassador to Australia and founder Joe Zappala ambassador to Spain. The fact that each had contributed over $100,000 to his campaign (and that other Straight officials had also made substantial contributions) had noting to do with it. In 2001 President George W. Bush appointed Mel Sembler to be our ambassador to Italy. The fact that Sembler Company contributed $100,000 to the Bush-Cheney Inauguration Committee had nothing to do with that. President Bush's brother Jeb, who is governor of Florida, has written a letter of support of Straight legacy program SAFE, has joined DFAF's advisory board, and has declared August 8, 2000 Betty Sembler Day. The fact that she was his finance co-chair has nothing to do with that either.