I am concerned about the article, “Scientologists—Our New
Neighbors,” in the October 29 issue. It appears that this
article depended only on Scientology sources for its information.
At the very least, this ignores the very real controversy
that has surrounded Scientology for many years.
I have no personal experience with Scientology, so I can
only comment on what has been in the media.
For example, in 1980 the St. Petersberg (Florida) Times won
a Pulitzer prize for its expose of Scientology. (Full text
available at http://www.lermanet.com/scientologynews/sptimes/spt-series-intro.htm?FACTNet
The Los Angeles Times published a similar series in
its June 24-29, 1990 issue (full text available at http://www.xenutv.com/print/LATimes.htm),
that said (June 25): “Church Markets its Gospel with High-Pressure
Sales” and “Behind the religious trappings, the Church of
Scientology is run like a lean, no-nonsense business in which
potential members are called ‘prospects,’ ‘raw meat’ and ‘bodies
in the shop.’ ”
In1991, Time Magazine called Scientology “The thriving cult
of greed and power . . . poses as a religion but really is
a ruthless global scam.” (full text available at http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Fishman/time-behar.html.
There are numerous other examples on the Web and in print.
The Kalamalama article states that “the church offers members
free personal counseling (called ‘auditing’) and . . . free
personality tests. . . “Those who are considering the tests,
which are often the first introduction to Scientology, should
inquire about their independent scientific validation. Those
considering counseling through the church should read the
articles cited above, which allege that counseling can become
very expensive very quickly, and should inquire about the
qualifications of their counselors.
/s/ (anonymous faculty member)