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Letter: Scientology explained

Title: Letter: Scientology explained
Date: Wednesday, 19 October 1994
Publisher: Metro Times (Detroit, Michigan)
Main source: link (263 KiB)

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The article that appeared in the Metro Times Sept. 21-27 issue is a perfect example of how the media believe they need "controversy" in order to thrive. A group of people practicing their religion, thriving and learning isn't controvetsial enough, so things get added which are intended to stop any new idea from growing.

Scientology is a people's activity, a grass-roots movement, and is taken up and used by individuals who then apply it to their lives. The understanding that they gain is their own, and not dictated to them by any dogma. They grasp it according to their own ability to understand. And while Scientology can improve a person's ability to understand, they must approach it with a willingness to learn in order to benefit.

No one can learn when they already believe they know everything. Likewise, no one can benefit from something he is secretly seeking to harm. And this is where the individuals mentioned in the article fall down.

Constance Cumbey is an attorney closely connected with Cult Awareness Network, a group of brainwashers and kidnappers (in the words of Alexander Cockburn, quoted in the Nation, Dec. 7, 1 992).

CAN has a record of attacking any religion they think they can get away with, having kidnapped Mennonites, Catholic nuns, Jews, members of the Way, Int'l., among others. Ms. Cumbey has written two books attacking religions. Her statement about those at the top getting rich is an outright lie, proven so by public documents filed as part of the church's exemption application.

The Cult Awareness Network makes a living out of trying to ruin other people's families, forcibly corrupting their religious beliefs and performing criminal kidnappings for hire on behalf of deluded family members who have been coerced into giving CAN their life savings to do so.

And the results of these activities have been families led into unnecessary conflicts, and of course, their kidnappers sent to prison, like admitted kidnapper Galen Kelly, CAN's former security chief.

Scientology's creed states that we believe: "That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others." We can help anyone sort out what data is believable and what is motivated by greed and thoughtless malice. But even without that assistance, there is a rule of thumb that can be applied here: Consider the source!

[?] in 1990, the year before the attack on Scientology.

The church has earned enormous recognition and respect for exposing Time's connections to Eli Lilly & Co. No one else has dared stand up to Time and its hidden and primarily money motivated agenda.

In your article, there is reference to the size of the church's assets. That is irrelevant. Many churches are far, far wealthier than the relatively young Church of Scientology. The wealth of the Catholic Church has been estimated as $85 billion to $102 billion. It is not how many assets a church has, but how its money is spent. In Scientology, it is used for dissemination of the religion and the betterment of individuals.

When one undertakes to receive training in return for time spent using that training sufficient to repay the investment, that is a very easy way of getting access to new skills that one otherwise might not be able to learn. However, we don't want people to work for us who don't want to be there. If they leave, the only restriction is that they cannot take further services from the Church of Scientology until they have paid for the ones they have already received, either by fulfilling their staff contract, or by paying the invoice charge. No condition of this is a surprise to any staff member, who has it all explained to him—and put in writing—before he [?]

[?] result, Scientology churches need more staff than other churches do. A single minister in another faith can easily deliver a sermon to 1,000 people daily, it would require 650 ministers to just audit the same number of Scientologists.

But what do other churches provide in return for their donations?

Mormons tithe 10 percent of their income, from the day they are old enough to earn an allowance. In exchange, the person receives the right to enter the Mormon temple and participate in services. A person who doesn't tithe cannot enter the temple.

Jews donate for synagogue seats on High Holy Days and synagogues have membership fees. To be a member of the temple, a Jew must pay a membership fee. This allows him to attend services, usually one day a week for an hour or two.

Scientology training is likewise not expensive. Advanced courses, such as the Briefing Course, equivalent to a four-year college education, costs only $10,000, in comparison to $90,000 or more to attend a top university for four years.

The church's hard won tax exemption would not have been granted unless it had been proven that the church and its related charitable and educational institutions are operated exclusively for recognized religious purposes. Further, no part of the net earnings of these churches and their related charitable and educational institutions [?] for the benefit of any individual or non-charitable entity.

All churches of Scientology and their related charitable and educational institutions operate for the benefit of the public interest rather than for the interest of private individuals. Scientology works to build "A world without insanity, without criminals and without war." These are some of the facts left out of your article about Scientology.

Wendy Bellinger
Director of Special Affairs
Church of Scientology of Michigan

I would like an opportunity to correct information given in the recent article regarding Scientology. Both my name and our school's name was mentioned in the article without contacting myself or the school.

The Recording Institute of Detroit uses the "Basic Study Manual" by L. Ron Hubbard as part of its approved curriculum to enhance students' study techniques the training students receive is on how to study effectively, not about Scientology.

A Scientology course has never been a prerequisite for any student receiving any kind of training at the Recording Institute of Detroit.

Robert Dennis
Recording Institute of Detroit