LOST IN SPACE
A reformed Scientologist weighs in: Great article. I started Scientology in Phoenix in 1975. Wish you'd have done this article back then so I could have saved myself the large detour ("Pain in the Org," Ray Stern, October 13).
But the Scientology people who work in Phoenix were always nice by me. Dianne Koel and her husband, Les, were both at the Phoenix "org" when I went to it as a parishioner in 1975. Late in 1975, I [joined] the lifetime Scientology staffer religious order [called] Sea Org and spent 27 years in it.
New Times feedback
I know and worked as a subordinate to both Linda and Tom Martiniano during their years in the upper echelons of the movement. Glad Tom is so candid about Scientology. Phoenix has several other even more senior ex-Scientology officials.
My thoughts are that official Scientology [should] just listen to these long-term, wise, independent Scientologists! Official Scientology ought to listen and learn something!
I'm a born-again atheist, so Scientology isn't my choice of activity. But I'm hopeful, like the excommunicated Phoenix staff member in the article who said he hopes the movement fixes itself and lets him rejoin. Further, I hope official Scientology reforms and lets all the independent Scientologists rejoin without any fuss — if the independents want!
Official Scientology has an intense organizational structure, all covered in detail by L. Ron Hubbard's staff-policy writings. It'd be nice to see official Scientology lower prices, stop harassment, and stop the nasty disconnections (excommunications).
Chuck Beatty, Pittsburgh
A "just cause" to Scientologists: Lunatic L. Ron Hubbard said, "Never fear to hurt another in a just cause" — and the brainwashed cult members consider their activities a "just cause," even if it means a breach of contract.
John Winter, Phoenix
Apparently, we are clueless and incorrect: If any other business or group had purchased this property, it would not have raised an eyebrow, and this article would not have been written.
Seems like New Slimes is going out of its way to malign a group of people for no reason other than a misguided attempt at "informing" on a subject they are clueless and incorrect about.
I feel sorry for the business owner in the story, but if this article is correct, it sounds like the previous owner was in foreclosure. [Scott Ruth] might have had to move regardless of whomever the new owners were.
John Gota, city unavailable
Take care when dealing with Scientologists: This guy [Scott Ruth] needs to be careful when dealing with Scientologists. There is a reason the group Anonymous protests them, as do many others.
Google the name "Operation Snow White." Under this official program, Scientology operatives committed infiltration and wiretapping. Also [Google] "Fair Game," the Scientology policy detailing how the organization may confront and handle critics and perceived enemies.
Vague ramifications for Scientology protesters: People who protested outside the Mesa Scientology center were followed by private investigators hired by the Scientologists. It got pretty bad for a couple of the protesters.
False pretenses abound: Scientology is science fiction — literally — based on a parlor trick that engages a basic human trait: the propensity of humans to cry, laugh, or feel nervous when presented with a stimulus such as the memory of a past event.
Whether the response (crying, laughing, or nervousness) is actual "healing" of that person's emotional pain from the past event or behavior is not proven by any scientific measure. While it yet may be proven, this response to stimuli is exploited by the originators of the group.
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This group is based on false pretenses. Check out "re-evaluation co-counseling" on the web if you want a safer introduction to the same techniques used in Scientology. Some people find it a helpful counseling option.
A simple taxing solution: Just stop allowing tax deductions for contributions to religious organizations.
And while you are at it, stop giving people tax credits and deductions for having a dozen kids, often because their choice of religion [involves] some guy wearing a funny hat who doesn't think people should stick a condom on their dicks before having sex.
[And deny these credits to] the descendants of a flim-flam artist who started a cult so he could justify a dozen young women having sex with him.