Scientology's Accusations Are Unfounded: Letters

Source: St. Petersburg Times
Date: January 21, 1993

Cult Awareness Network, Cynthia Kisser

Editor: Re: Jan. 5 letter from the Church of Scientology's Richard Haworth, "Thoughts on Editor's Note, Scientology."

I was not surprised to read accusations by Richard Haworth that the federal indictment of Mr. Galen Kelly on charges of conspiracy to kidnap has, as he says, "blown the lid off CAN's attempts to hide its links with professional criminals."

Nor was I surprised that he did not mention that on Dec. 31, 1992, that same Mr. Kelly was acquitted of such charges. At this point, based on the acquittal, I do not think that Mr. Kelly would qualify as a "professional criminal" even if the Cult Awareness Network should have links with him.

What your readers may not know, and what Mr. Haworth would surely not say even if he knew, is that the informant the federal authorities relied on to build the conspiracy case admitted during testimony that at the same time he gave information he obtained from another defendant in the case, Don Moore, to the FBI. The informant also testified that he received money from the LaRouche organization and gave information from Moore to the organization as well.

LaRouche and Scientology have a common hatred for CAN, which handles complaints from and offers support to people who claim to have been victimized by the two organizations. They both level charges regularly to anyone who will listen that CAN is tied to criminal activities.

Is it any surprise that someone taking money from LaRouche at the same time that he is giving information to the FBI would throw in false claims about CAN?

CAN was never named as a co-conspirator in this Kelly case. No CAN official or employee has ever been charged, let alone convicted, for crimes committed in their capacity as CAN officials or employees.

Please set the record straight for your readers.

After monitoring CAN for more than a decade, Scientology has been able to find nothing that holds up under scrutiny on CAN's supposed criminality.

If it had been paying a little less attention to the cult awareness movement and a little more attention to its own organization, maybe the Church of Scientology of Toronto and its officials would not have been found guilty of spying on government agencies up there. Maybe Mary Sue Hubbard, wife of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and several other top Scientology officials wouldn't have gone to prison for felony convictions here in the United States.

Cynthia S. Kisser, executive director, Cult Awareness Network, Chicago

Questions of Religious Freedom

Editor: It's a new year, time for another go at the Scientologists! Or, conversely, time for Scientologists to discover another crop of suckers for their pseudoscientific nonsense.

Let's start with Richard Haworth's description of L. Ron Hubbard as "one of the most widely acclaimed authors of all time." Talk about misrepresentation; declaimed would be more accurate.

I know of no reputable literary publication that has ever mentioned Hubbard as a credible author. Even his science fiction is considered average. And the followers of Scientology are the only ones giving "acclaim" to that gobbledygook he calls Dianetics.

If the statistical credibility of his claims for "reduced juvenile recidivism" and rehabilitation of prisoners is equivalent to the scientific credibility of Hubbard's work, then his claims are mere puffery.

Of course, that's typical of a religion. (Letter writer) Mrs. D.S. Abelio wants Haworth & Co. to do more to endear themselves to the community, like pay taxes. Funny how she never mentions any of the other churches in town, or how much more money would flow into the public coffers if, say, the Catholics were to pay taxes, too.

I also wonder about her references to soup kitchens, etc., that help feed the poor and homeless. Does she ever wonder why so many fall into this category?

I have one answer. In another section of today's paper (Jan. 5), it stated that 43.91 percent of Florida elementary students are eligible for free or reduced lunches. Obviously, too many people who can't afford kids are having them anyway.

Does it occur to anyone that crusades against sex/birth control information and abortion, led by various non-Scientology religious groups, might have something to do with this? Why should Scientology be expected to solve problems other churches create?

Personally, I could do without any religious organization, and think we'd all be better off without them. However, everyone has the right to their religion if they want one, even Scientologists.

Deprogramers, unfortunately, seldom free someone from religion; they merely substitute a new one.

Brent Yaciw, Seminole

Church Doctrine

Editor: In a recent publication put out by the Church of Scientology, a printed message told that this work "is not a part of a religious doctrine." If this is true, why do they call themselves the "Church" of Scientology?

Also, Marsha Friedman of the "church" wrote to thank everyone for helping with their fourth annual Christmas party. She mentions all the food and goodies donated by others. Fine, but what did the Scientologists donate?

Also, you people don't need to bring in snow and have fireworks displays. You're not doing that for anyone's benefit but your own. All you have to do is pay your just taxes!

Mary Johnson, Clearwater

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