Patrick Vincent

Thanks for taking the time and courage to write the story on the Church of Scientology and Jeff Jacobsen, who has taken an awful lot of abuse.

I am hoping you won't get much flak from the Church of Scientology, as their resources are rather stretched now by so many lawsuits and critics, and with the Internet and the current availability of so many people being able to hear about harassment almost immediately.

I know that I, as well as others who are afraid not only to speak openly but even speak or write privately, appreciate it when a journalist walks up to the plate and doesn't fear hitting the ball.

Beverly Rice
via Internet

Congratulations on Tony Ortega's riveting expose of the Scientologists and their hateful response to outside criticism.

I've always thought that the so-called "church" founded by L. Ron Hubbard was nothing more than an elaborate metaphysical pyramid scheme turned "religious" in order to gain the advantages of a tax-free status. If they want the benefits of special tax-free business considerations, then all religious institutions should have to avail themselves and their practices to public scrutiny.

The last paragraph of the article is what infuriated me, when Mesa Reverend Durhman said: "Jacobsen and his picketer pals are the ones harassing our church and spreading lies about us. What he does to our religion is no different than someone painting a swastika on a synagogue or burning a cross in a black family's yard--no different whatsoever."

How dare the so-called reverend make the comparison that people lawfully exercising their constitutionally protected freedom of speech is the same as painting a swastika onto temple walls of a Jewish synagogue, or a cross burning. The acts of violence described are crimes: hate crimes, to be precise. Free speech in this country is not a crime. Perhaps the Scientologists should exorcise with some introspection, specifically the apparent lies that are the foundation of their faith.

Further, I find it very difficult to believe that any person could become a priest or minister of a religion that keeps its teachings so secretive, such as the OT-III revelation: ". . . thetans are space aliens exiled to Earth 75 million years ago by Xenu, an evil galactic overlord." Puhleeese!

Jeff Ofstedahl

I just read your article about Jeff Jacobsen and his fight against Scientology. I'd like to congratulate and thank you for publishing such an accurate account of who Jeff Jacobsen is and what his crusade is really about. I, like Jeff, have encountered harassment by Scientology simply because I dared to bring attention to its unethical and dangerous practices. As a result of your story, no doubt your newspaper and the reporter who worked on the story will also get a taste of how they work. News organizations throughout the world are well aware of Scientology's penchant for threatening lawsuits and otherwise harassing those who dare to criticize its behavior. Many choose the easy road and remain silent. Congratulations for being courageous enough to take on Scientology.

Patricia Ryan
via Internet

I would like to thank you for writing the article titled "Picket Fencing." Scientology is a very vicious organization that needs to be exposed. As you probably already know, the author and New Times will likely now be a target for attack. It is part of their doctrine.

I met Jeff Jacobsen when I was confronted with a Scientology organization that entered into my business. As a result of the infiltration of the Scientology business management philosophy, I lost a very competent business partner, and the business was all but destroyed.

I can confirm your report that Mr. Jacobsen is "reserved" and "conscientious." As with other aspects of Scientology, labeling Mr. Jacobsen as a bigot while trying to destroy his character for criticizing their organization is blatantly duplicitous if you stop to think about it. Ironically, it is their duplicity that is one of the tools that make Scientology adherents so blindly loyal.

It needs to be known that Scientology does not just target those looking for spiritual enlightenment or personal help; it has programs that permeate business management (as with my experience), education (including public education), drug addiction programs, social welfare programs, and political environments. With all these programs, deception plays a key roll; people are not told what lies behind these efforts. They are simply initially enticed in with reasonable-sounding, common-sense methods of success, then systematically pulled in deeper and deeper until they are willing to accept the most wildly outrageous precepts, some of which your article included. It is most frightening to know that none of us is sufficiently immune to this kind of sophisticated confidence game . . . unless we have been forewarned of what devastation lies beyond the sweet-sounding come-ons. This is why I thank you for your excellent expose.

Tom Dumbauld

Thank you very much for publishing your article on Mr. Jacobsen and his run-ins with Scientology. Mr. Jacobsen is to be commended for exercising his rights of free speech and advocating an ideal in which he strongly believes--truth.

The "church" of Scientology appears to be one of the most profitable nonprofit operations that this country has ever seen. I would wager a guess that it has more attorneys on retainer than any other nonprofit organization, including the ACLU. Isn't it odd behavior for a church to insist that all detractors are criminals (my conviction hasn't arrived in the mail yet), that it is being persecuted like the early Christians (no lions as of yet) and that it is the underprivileged (with all that office space in downtown Hollywood)?

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