Title: HEARING LETTER-want to forward?
Author:
nobody@zeta.org.au (The Galactic Overlord Remailer)
Date: 18 Sep 1997 03:00:35 +1000




Dear Senator,

I understand you may be participating in a hearing on religious
intolerance in Washington tomorrow. Among those scheduled to testify at
the hearing are some representatives of Scientology.

Many of Scientology's critics in the US and abroad are disturbed by the
deeply intolerant policies of Scientology itself. I believe you would
lend much-needed clarification to the hearings if you would consider
raising the following questions during the Scientologists' testimony:

Is it current Scientology policy to follow founder L. Ron Hubbard's
directive to "never fear to hurt another in a just cause?" Can you cite
some examples of this directive in action, perhaps from your own
experience?

Is it current Scientology policy to require members to "disconnect" from
others, including family members, who are critical of Scientology? What
is the nature of "disconnecting"? What types of contact, if any, does it
permit?

Scientologists, including celebrity spokesman John Travolta, have stated
publicly that Scientology is compatible with Christianity. Yet Hubbard
stated that "there was no Christ." Is this a deceptive statement, or can
you explain how the two are compatible?

WHY SCIENTOLOGY IS OFTEN CRITICIZED

Scientology presents itself as the victim of religious intolerance, yet
through their harassment of critics and "disconnect" policies, they
show themselves to be extremely intolerant of differing viewpoints.
Further, many individuals and many governments around the world do not
consider the organization to be a religion. Indeed, when Scientology
entered Greece, the organization specifically represented itself as
non-religious in nature. In a Policy Letter dated 10/29/62, Hubbard
stated that "Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious
organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way
the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for
accountants and solicitors."

Much of the skeptics' concern comes from the great disparities between
Scientology and religions with which we are more familiar. For example:
I do not know of any religion which charges over a quarter of a million
dollars for salvation, as Scientology does.
I do not know of any religion which has a policy of incarcerating its
members in complete silence, as Scientology does (in its Introspection
Rundown, a process that appears to have caused the death of at least one
Scientologist, Lisa McPherson, in Clearwater, FL).
I do not know of any religion which claims to have trade secrets, as
Scientology does.
I do not know of any religion which hides its core beliefs from
prospective members, as Scientology does. (Scientologists believe that a
being from outer space imprisoned our souls in frozen chemicals.
However, Scientologists are actively prevented from learning that core
belief until they have spent thousands of dollars on Scientology
services.)
I do not know of any religion which has developed and carried out
policies of infiltrating government agencies, in the USA and other
countries, as Scientology has.
I do not know of any religion which requires members to sign a contract
promising (repeatedly) not to sue, as Scientology does.
I do not know of any religion which issues policy letters on selling,
and directs that sales conversations be secretly tape recorded, as
Scientology has (in the "Hubbard Professional Salesmanship Course
Checksheet").
I do not know of any religion which keeps written records of
confessional sessions (called "auditing sessions" in Scientology) and
requires a prospective member to relinquish ownership of these records
in a written contract, as Scientology does. (I have heard many
allegations that the contents of these confessions are used to blackmail
those who are considering leaving the organization, but I have not yet
found a policy letter specifically directing members to do so.)
I do not know of any religion which has ever had a policy such as
Scientology's "Fair Game" policy, which stated, "[an enemy of
Scientology] May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any
Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be
tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." (from a Hubbard policy letter
dated 10/18/67) Scientology representatives have stated that this
policy is no longer in effect, but they do not deny that it was once
their policy. Furthermore, critics of the organization have continued to
find themselves sued and lied to (and about) in recent years, which
tends to discredit the organization's claim.

Scientology has a long history of suing and harassing its critics.
Naturally, this is deeply distressing to those who cherish religious
freedom.

Many of Scientology's critics (I cannot speak for all of them) believe
strongly in Scientologists' inalienable right to their beliefs; it is
not their beliefs we protest. Rather, it is their policies of
intimidation, harassment, and silencing of dissent (to the extent of
incarcerating dissenters) and their focus on sales, rather than charity,
that disturb us so greatly that we speak out, even at personal risk.


If you would take the time to raise these concerns during the hearing,
you would be doing a great service to all of us who care so deeply about
religious freedom.


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