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Actor Steve Allen's Open Letter to Heber Jentzsch
Open Letter from Steve Allen to Heber
Church of Scientology.
May 11, 1995. When I ran into you at an airport a few weeks ago, there was no opportunity to have a talk, but since I have about 49 seconds free between appointments at this office this morning is occurs to me that you might be interested in an idea that I have suggested to you and other Scientologists before.
When I spoke at a convention in the East quite a few months ago, a convention at which a dozen or so Scientologists were in attendance, I said something to them along the following lines.
"If I may make a suggestion to you folks, whatever your purly religious views are, you're entitled to them and they are more or less in the category of not anyone else's business.
"But I also suggest that it is not because of those views that your group doesn't have a very good reputation. There are other churches that, in the opinion of non-members, have some truly bizarre beliefs but no one dislikes the individual members as a result of those beliefs.
"The Mormons are a perfect example. No non-Mormon on Earth accepts a word of Mormon assertions about the experiences of Joseph Smith, visits with angels, golden plates, etc. But despite that fact the Mormons have a very good social reputation. A number of my personal friends are Mormons and they are for the most part lovely and socially decent people.
"But — again — the same cannot be said of Scientologists. And if I were you it would occur to me to wonder why. So, to save you a little wondering time, I'll tell you why right now. You have the reputation as just about the worst bullies this side of the National Rifle Association. I've talked this over with some of you and you've said that the terrible harassments and crimes are a thing of the past. that you've learned from your earlier mistakes, etc. That may be true and I certainly hope that it is, not only for your sake but for the sake of everyone else concerned. But to be honest, many people doubt that Scientology has reform itself in this particular regard."
As I say, Heber, those couldn't possibly have been my actual words but they do represent the point I was making at the convention. Really shameful harassments, telephone threats, and similar offenses are continuing to be perpetrated by individual Scientologists. Now it is theoretically possible that you personally don't know about the above incidents. It may even be that you have advised your fellow-believers to cease that sort of harassment, either because you are a marvelous fellow and recognize the evil for what it is, or because you've realized — purly out of the church's self-interest — that that kind of conduct is precisely the sort of "public relations" which has gotten the Church of Scientology into such a bad odor in the first place.
If you are simply being devious and dishonest yourself and are perfectly aware of the kind of harassment which has been for a good many years typical of Scientology's response to perfectly fair criticism, then I don't really know what I have to say to you except to implore you to consider the possibility of reforming yourself individually and then trying to spread the good word to your fellow believers. Hey, maybe you should just walk away from Scientology and go back to the Mormon fold.
— Steve Allen Van Nuys, California.
The Skeptics Society
26/May/00 Note by Fredric L. Rice:
Most will recognize Mr. Steve Allen as a well-known actor who may also be widely recognized for having performed outside of comedy in the old "Chock Full of Nuts" coffee commercials which once aired on commercial television.
Mr. Steve Allen, however, is also a skeptic, a Humanist,
This open letter appears to have been written before Mr. Heber Jentzsch and 68 other Scientology officials and fall-guys were arrested in Madrid, Spain, for exactly the type of offenses which Mr. Allen underscores in his open letter. And it appears as though Mr. Allen isn't aware of Heber's history inside of the Scientology organization, or of the way that Heber Jentzsch acquired the mock title of "International President" of the criminal organization. Other than those areas, it does appear as though Mr. Steve Allen is fully up on what Scientology is.