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Letters // Debate over Scientology continues

Title: Letters // Debate over Scientology continues
Date: Wednesday, 17 November 1993
Publisher: St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Main source: link (96 KiB)

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Editor: The much publicized IRS rulings do not bestow credibility or legitimacy to Scientology. The IRS rulings cannot rewrite history or wipe the slate clean for this most destructive cult.

Never forget that this cult committed what is, in my opinion, the greatest conspiracy against the government — crimes for which its top leadership went to jail. Never forget that this cult occupied Clearwater with secret military-style orders. And never forget the cult's infamous "fair game" policy, which says anyone declared to be their enemy may be tricked, sued, lied to or destroyed.

The May 6, 1991, issue of Time magazine, in the cover story entitled "Scientology, the Cult of Greed," reported that it spends about $20-million annually on litigation, employing 100 lawyers with 71 active suits against the IRS alone.

I believe that a suit by Scientologists charging me with violating the Florida hate crime statutes was a political action designed to discredit me and defeat me in my campaign for public office. Last September, the district court of appeals affirmed a lower court ruling granting a motion to strike an amended complaint as a sham pleading. I am unaware of any media reporting of this ruling.

It is time to ask the Scientologists for their master plan. I am alarmed by comments that the IRS rulings now make it possible to expand. We must insist on a Development of Regional Impact study before plans for the new facilities on N Fort Harrison Avenue are approved.

The Clearwater City Commission should be commended for its courageous decision to appeal the court ruling on the charitable solicitations ordinance. Our city officials need your strong support. Let them know how you feel about what has happened to Clearwater and our quality of life.

Gabe Cazares

* * *

Editor: For the life of me, I cannot understand why people (including the media) continue to pick on the Scientologists. Admittedly, their lifestyle is, to say the least, odd and bizarre, but I can think of half a dozen religious organizations and religious cults that are even more bizarre than Scientology.

One of the largest of these puts on a ceremony that only Hollywood can equal or surpass, where strange men in red dresses swing smoking lamps, place pieces of bread on worshipers' tongues and once a year daub ashes on their worshipers' fore-heads. Yet, no one picks on them.

This is supposed to be normal?

By comparison, Scientologists, in their smart summer uniforms and military haircuts, look like knights in shining armor and much saner. If we have to live with wacky religions, why differentiate? Why single out Scientology for attack?

Why not take them all to task?

Victor St. John