Letters to the Editor -- Scientology fraud in New York terrorist attack

25 Sep 2001

Letters to the Editors: Tragedy counselors were self-serving
St. Petersburg Times,
September 25, 2001


Re: "Mental health' hotline a blind lead, story, Sept. 15.

Fortunately, I have a real church with a real minister who provided much-needed perspective on Sept. 11. The few times I was stuck watching Fox News broadcasts, I had the distinct impression they were journalistically challenged.

Fox displayed a crawl on Sept. 11 with a phone number for counseling without checking what was on the other end -- at best, negligent, at worst, stupid.

Had I called and found on the line a Scientologist, a member of the largest organization in the world whose avowed purpose is to eliminate real mental health care, I could have been scarred.

At that, counseling from a totally inappropriate source like Scientology would have been better than seeking help from Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson.

They are quoted as saying, "The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked . . . . I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen.'"

I point my finger in the faces of Robertson and Falwell and say that at a time when this country most needs sanity and unity and help coping with the worst disaster in our history, you are on national television making self-serving accusations against anyone a half a political step to the left of Osama bin Laden. You push divisiveness and hatred for your own glorification.

To all three of you: Shut up!

-- Norman A. Peterson, Clearwater

Scientology, religious right used disaster for own gain

Re: "Mental health' hotline a blind lead, story, Sept. 15.

I for one was totally outraged and sickened by what I read. Scientologists posing as National Mental Health Assistance offering a toll-free number to their offices is absolutely disgusting and should be investigated for fraud.

Then to hear Falwell and Robertson profess that we asked for these terrorist actions because of our right to choose the way we live is in my opinion anti-American. I would hope that those people who were not already ashamed and embarrassed by the words and actions of these two hypocritical zealots may now see them for what they truly are.

To insinuate that God allowed this tragedy to occur because "we probably deserved it" is not only an affront to those who lost friends and family members in this horrendous attack on America, it is also a very depraved way to garner attention to one's causes.

It is very apparent that Scientology and the religious right are scams that will use a national tragedy to promote their own interests. Imagine that.

-- Don Mott, Largo

Scientology not a church, just a selfish cult

Re: "Mental health' hotline a blind lead, story, Sept. 15.

It seems that I cannot read the Times without being confronted with the unfortunate knowledge that our once fine city of Clearwater does not exist anymore.

According to the Bible, when two or more people are gathered in God's name, that is a church. Scientology does not even pretend to adhere to the Bible nor the teachings of Christ. It is based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer. It espouses Dianetics as an alternative lifestyle, which still does not make it a church.

Here are some of the latest items that are unavoidably in the news in one form or another:

A preacher had to back off a sermon that he had announced on his sign due to Scientologist Pat Harney and the St. Petersburg Times.

Scientologists "advertised" help on a running banner on the Fox television network stating an 800 telephone number to call for mental help -- until, according to Fox, the network realized who had used them. Then, Scientologists were on the streets of Manhattan offering mental help to people in distress. This is the lowest form of society, next to the terrorists, that would take advantage of people in their most extreme time of need.

Then, the extra police to monitor clashes with church critics and the fact that the Scientologist merchants can bar critics from their businesses without being charged with discrimination. I would greatly appreciate a list of businesses owned, operated or affiliated with the Church of Scientology so I will know what to avoid.

This whole affair of many years and the proliferation of this cult is reprehensible. Just look at the monstrosity (being built) across from the Fort Harrison Hotel. And no tax is paid on any of these properties.

God help us all.

-- Schaefer Illingsley, Clearwater

Tapping tragedy to recruit members is a new low

Re: "Mental health' hotline a blind lead, story, Sept. 15.

Just when you think that Scientology can't sink any lower, they outdo themselves. To use our country's worst national crisis and grief for their own recruiting purposes is beyond belief. How can they justify using this horrific time for their own selfish goals?

It only goes to separate the cult from patriotic Americans who don't need another enemy to distract them from their war against terrorism.

-- David Rodman, Dunedin


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