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The AFAN Legal Information Committee

 

This document and other AFAN Legal Information Committee materials are made available through the GEnie Astrology RoundTable courtesy of Jayj Jacobs,AFAN LIC Chair, in a cooperative effort to facilitate public information and discussion about these issues of critical importance to modern astrology.

This file may be redistributed, provided it is distributed in its entirety and not altered in any form.


Association For Astrological Networking
Legal Information Committee
Jayj Jacobs, Chair
216 Reed Street
Mill Valley, CA 94941.

ASSOCIATION FOR ASTROLOGICAL NETWORKING LEGAL INFORMATION COMMITTEE

The Legal Information Committee (LIC) strives to protect astrologers from undue governmental infringement of their rights by providing legal information, personal and informational resources, education and instruction, co-ordination, and direction of challenges to existing or proposed legislation, and by working with attorneys on court challenges, and other legal matters.

The Legal Information Committee (LIC) protects the rights of astrologers wherever, and however, they are threatened. There are laws that restrict or ban the practice of astrology in many cities of most states of the USA. The LIC, working with Networkers in the local area, has challenged, altered, or overturned laws against astrology from California to New York and from Washington to Florida. We will continue to lead the fight for equal justice.

The LIC developed and distributes the Legal Information – Legislative Action Kit (LI-LAK), which is the primary tool Networkers and attorneys have used to change the anti-astrology ordinances across the country. The LI-LAK contains a guide to organizing and lobbying, “What to Do in a Legal Crisis;” sample letters to governmental officials; legal briefs, that can be shown to City Attorneys, or filed in court; actual court decisions in astrology’s favor; samples of good and bad laws on astrology, with clear, constitution-based objections to the bad ones; AFANewsletter and newspaper accounts of our efforts to defend liberty and protect our rights to practice astrology; a comprehensive list of additional resources available from the LIC and contact information for legal support. We have recently added a comprehensive synopsis, “The Law and Astrology,” to the LI-LAK.

The LI-LAK is free to astrologers actually facing charges and is available for $25 to those who want to change the laws and prevent prosecution, or who want to be fully informed and prepared. “The Law and Astrology” (with “What to Do in a Legal Crisis), is available for only $2. These costs barely cover copying and distribution costs.

The LIC is building a library of local ordinances and state statutes on astrology. We will use this to select an ordinance to challenge in Federal Court, and in arguing the case. You will greatly aid our efforts on your behalf to legalize astrology by contacting the City Clerk in your city, requesting a copy of the ordinance on “Fortune Telling” or “Occult Arts” and sending it to the LIC Chair. Please send us the ordinances from all the cities near you.

The Steering Committee members (especially those who serve on the LIC) are available to answer your questions on astrology and the law and to support your actions to de-criminalize astrology.


THE AFAN LEGAL INFORMATION / LEGISLATIVE ACTION KIT

The Resource Every Astrology Group and Bookstore Should Own!

The Association for Astrological Networking was born out of a commitment to the rights and responsibilities of astrologers and astrology groups. One of the ways AFAN maintains that commitment is through the activities of our Legal Information Committee and the support of legal action taken by Networkers to defend their right to practice astrology.

Astrology is a crime in most states and many cities in the US. AFAN is committed to changing that. Because, what good are an education, professional standards, or a public outreach program if you can’t practice astrology for pay, or trade, or even fun, without fear of arrest or harassment? Since we can not usually predict when or where legal hassles will occur, we must all be prepared to protect our rights and our profession.

AFAN’s Steering Committee and Legal Information Committee direct and co-ordinate activities across the country to change or repeal archaic laws based on outmoded, and probably never valid, stereotypes. So far, we have been successful in every challenge.

Every successful action we take on a local level becomes a tool we can use elsewhere and on a larger scale. Your actions can make a difference. You can help create the legalization of astrology by challenging the ordinance in your community, working with your City Council and City Attorney to have it removed or remodeled, or you can just send a copy of the current ordinance to the LIC, for our records, and for future planning and action.

In the beginning of the LIC, AFAN raised over $4,000, primarily from astrology business, to defend astrologer Shirley Sunderbruch, arrested and prosecuted for “fortunetelling” in San Jose, CA. We coached the attorney beforehand and three Networkers testified during her trial. After a long battle, fought on other fronts as well, that law was declared unconstitutional and Shirley was exonerated. We are gratefull to Shirley for her bravery and for the incentive she provided to form the LIC.

Next we successfully blocked the reinactment of an ordinance banning “Occult Arts” including astrology, in Los Angeles County. AFAN mobilized the community and presented convincing arguments that the ordinance was unconstitutional, unnecessary, and ill-advised.

Extensive lobbying with the Sheriff’s Department, Municipal Judges, and the Board of Supervisors generated a major legislative victory.

The next victory may be up to you.


AFAN LEGAL INFORMATION / LEGISLATIVE ACTION KIT (LI/LAK)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1. WHAT TO DO IN A LEGAL CRISIS. How to get the facts. How to mobilize the community. What to do – and not do – in order to win.

List of AFAN Coordinators.

2. LEGAL OBJECTIONS TO “FORTUNE-TELLING” ORDINANCES. Points out the legal flaws in different types of legislation. Opinions by City Attorneys against “Fortune-telling” ordinances.

3. LEGAL ALTERNATIVES TO EXISTING OR PROPOSED ORDINANCE. How else to protect the public: Complete repeal, exempt astrology, separate metaphysicians from “fortunetellers,” license astrologers, etc., through various means.

4. SAMPLE ORDINANCES. These illustrate the above alternatives with currently enacted ordinances, and a model proposal. Ready for submission to the City Counsel, City Attorney, etc.

5. CORRESPONDENCE ABOUT ORDINANCES AND OPTIONS. Press releases, handouts, letters and submissions to City Attorneys, City Councils and County Boards. Many that resulted in complete repeal or re-drafting of “Occult Arts” bans.

6. BACKGROUND ON ASTROLOGY. A brief history and explanation, definitions toward credibility. Jayj Jacobs’ “Astrology’s Contribution to Western Civilization,” Sunderbruch trial testimony.

7. ABOUT ASTROLOGY. What astrology is and is for. Horoscope elements. “The Promise of Astrology.” The philosophy and ontology of astrology.

8. CA SENATE HEARING ON LICENSING ASTROLOGERS. Excerpts focusing on definition, nature of astrology, lack of problem with astrologers.

9. THE “AZUSA” DECISION. From the California Supreme Court and the California Appellate Court overturning a ban on “Fortunetelling” on constitutional grounds.

10. CA SUPREME COURT APPEAL BRIEFS. Arguments submitted to the Supreme Court on the appeal of “Azusa” from the Appellate Court.

11. OTHER COURT RULINGS. Federal Court re Highland Hts., OH, overturning a total ban on “The Occult” due to violations of the rights to speech, assembly, and privacy. Also repudiates the  infamous “in re Bartha” standards of “inherently fraudulent” and  “gullible, superstitious and unwary.” Oregon Appellate Court ruling.

12. FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT BRIEF. Prepared for submission against Concord, CA bond requirement resulting in redrafting into a model ordinance. The “purport to influence future events” distinction.

13. LEGAL INFORMATION COMMITTEE REPORTS. AFAN NEWSLETTER and other accounts of AFAN’s legal actions. Supplemental information.

14. NEWSPAPER REPORTS ON FORTUNETELLING ORDINANCES, COURT CASES, etc.

The AFAN Legal Information / Legislative Action Kit is free to astrologers actually facing charges and available for $25 to those who want to change the laws and prevent prosecution, or who want to be fully informed and  prepared. Contact the LIC Chair at the address given above.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

AVAILABLE FROM THE AFAN LEGAL INFORMATION COMMITTEE

How To Talk To The (Skeptical) Public About Astrology Communication and enrollment techniques with counters to the objections to astrology from Jayj’s lecture and debates

CA Senate Hearings on Licensing Astrologers
Complete transcript of ’74 & ’75 hearings.

Evangeline Adams Trial Transcript

Sunderbruch Trial Papers
Demurrer to Complaint, Points and Authorities in support of Declarations and witness statements
Police Crime Report
Additional briefs and writs

Azusa Appeal Papers
Appeal briefs and writs (Apellate Court)
additional CA Supreme Court Appeal Briefs and writs

American Law Reports Annotated Regulating Astrology, Fortunetelling, and the like.
Prior decisions with commentary on points of law, application of decision, etc.

Astrology and The Law by Dr. Walter Coleman
The classic reference volume; selected excerpts available.

Law for Astrologers, (Canadian)

Dictionary of Occupational Titles, U.S. Dept. of Labor
Comparative definitions of Astrologer, Fortuneteller, Counselor, Consultant, etc.

Anti-Astrology laws from cities in CA, FL, NY, OH, MO, WI, etc.

Accounts of the successful processes that changed the anti-astrology Laws in FL, OR, etc., blocked a State Law in WA

An account of cooperative action in Toledo, OH resulting in a metaphysicians license ordinance.

AFA proposal for Legalization by licensing through AFA examinations.

Correspondence with Government officials and attorneys re astrology and the law.

Assorted newspaper clippings, magazine articles favorable to astrology and/or legalization.

Assorted Legal Reference Volumes.

 

For additional information on these and other publications of the AFAN Legal Information Committee, contact: Jayj Jacobs, Chair, AFAN Legal Information Committee, 216 Reed Street, Mill Valley, CA 94941.

* * * * * * * * *


The Association for Astrological Networking (AFAN) is an international, non-profit corporation with membership open to all who are interested in enhancing the professional quality, public image, and legal status of astrology. AFAN has continually taken the lead in ensuring that astrology is portrayed fairly and accurately in the media and is treated equitably by the legal system. In its years of effort, AFAN has never lost a challenge against discriminatory anti-astrology laws. Membership in the organization is $20/year (which includes a quarterly newsletter). Donations are tax-deductible and may be earmarked for specific activities. Contact AFAN,  8306 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 537, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.