... There's evidence that they are, but they seem unwilling to provide evidence that they're not.
This is a letter I wrote to bring with me to my
May 1 picket
. I asked two Scientologists if I could give it to them, and they both declined. At my
May 6 picket
, another Scientologist also declined to take my letter - and he said he'd read it already, so he must have known it was simply a request for information.
On May 5, I mailed it to five Scientology orgs.
I have gotten a partial response from Darlene at the San Jose church, who tells me that the Executive Directors of the four main Bay Area churches (San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and San Francisco) are women. I've also gotten reports from a handful of Scientologists (fewer than 10, maybe fewer than 5) that they have not experienced anti-feminist or gender-biased behavior within Scientology.
I am, however, still hoping for a more detailed, more official response.
As of May 30, 1998, I'm still waiting.
April 30, 1998
To: Any Executive-Level Scientologist
I have recently been picketing Scientology with the intention of raising public awareness about the negative side of Scientology and with the hope of encouraging the organization to begin abiding by the law and conforming to the ethical standards our society places on all of its members.
Among other things, I have been stating that Scientology is anti-feminist. I based this assertion on statements in L. Ron Hubbard's
In conversations with individual Scientologists, whose full names and positions I do not know, I have become aware that the Scientology organization does not appear to be heeding the anti-feminist pronouncements I found. I have begun to believe that Scientology might NOT, in fact, be anti-feminist.
I would appreciate your help in clarifying this matter. Specifically, I'm requesting a written statement, on Scientology letterhead, signed by an executive-level Scientologist, that includes the following:
a statement that Scientology is an equal-opportunity employer
a statement that Scientology does not consider gender when evaluating job candidates, especially candidates for executive-level positions
some data to back up that statement - for example, the number of men and the number of women filling executive-level positions at major Scientology divisions, or major Scientology orgs (such as Clearwater and Los Angeles), or several (at least 10) orgs in major cities
information on how I might independently verify the above numbers
a statement that Scientology publicly and internally repudiates all teachings that prescribe gender-based differences in labor, housework, family life, individual rights, status, and all other areas of religious and secular life, and specifically repudiates Hubbard's gender-based pronouncements in
evidence of this repudiation - for example, articles from Scientology publications, texts of Scientology sermons, or official memos that were widely distributed to both staff and public members; I would prefer evidence from the past 5 or 10 years
permission to reprint your letter of response, including publishing it to the Internet via the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup and via any web sites that wish to host it (I will probably post my letter to you on the Internet as well)
Please note that this is a request, not a demand nor an ultimatum. I am simply asking for additional information, and you are welcome to ignore or refuse my request. However, I do not wish to rely solely on the information I've received in conversation, so I am requesting this written verification. It seems likely that Scientology can satisfactorily address this request without resorting to exaggeration or false information. However, since I have seen evidence that Scientology frequently misrepresents information about the organization (such as the number of members), I feel it is fair to let you know that if I encounter any evidence of falsified data, I will not hesitate to publish that evidence as widely as I can.
I am dismayed that relations between Scientology and its critics result in so little constructive communication. I am submitting this request out of a genuine desire for dialog and a sincere wish to avoid criticizing Scientology on issues where criticism is not deserved.
Unfortunately, Scientology's history of attacking its critics has made me choose to remain anonymous at this time. As a result, I do not feel comfortable giving you my real name, phone number, or address. However, if you wish to respond to this request, whether or not you decide to comply with it, you may reach me via email at email@example.com; you may send me a public message by posting to alt. religion.scientology; or you may present me with a written statement (or engage me in calm conversation) when I picket in the future.
Thank you for your attention to this request.
Jour (my alias)
This page was last updated on May 8, 1999.