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As Madison implied, a knowledgeable and informed citizenry is able to make intelligent decisions regarding its own future. And the Freedom of Information Act is one of the most valuable tools allowing people to learn exactly what their government is doing – and if government agencies have files about them. When one considers that Martin Luther King, Jr., was the subject of tens of thousands of government documents peppered throughout FBI and IRS files, one can see why this is sometimes worth knowing. However, King had no access to a workable Freedom of Information Act at that time.

The concept of freedom of information has not been without opposition. More than a few government agencies have waged pitched court battles to preserve their secrecy.

To help counter these and other attempts to circumvent the law, the Church of Scientology submitted an open letter to Congress on July 4, 1981, signed by 146 organizations opposing an effort at that time to limit the effectiveness of the act.

Widely recognized among public interest groups as a leading expert on freedom of information legislation, the Church of Scientology has also earned a substantial reputation for its role in informing US citizens of their rights under the Freedom of Information Act. Nor have Scientologists limited their energies in these matters to the United States. When freedom of information legislation was passed in France (1978), Canada (1982), Australia (1982), New Zealand (1983), Italy (1991) and Belgium (1991), members of the Church played a decisive role to bring these laws about.


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