New Times L.A. Letters - R. Lopez Story - Separating a man from his money
11 Jan 2001
Week of January 11, 2001
Separating a man from his money
Scientology's treatment of Raul Lopez is outrageous: New Times is to be commended for its courage in publishing Ron Russell's article about how a disabled adult was taken advantage of by a litigious cult masquerading as a church ["Brained," cover story, December 21-27]. The analogy likening this young man to a girl being passed around at a Hell's Angels party is very accurate. I encountered this story a while ago while researching Scientology for a Web site animation.
Scientology has gotten away with this type of behavior for too long. They have influenced public officials who are too lazy to research the cult's long history of abuses. They have avoided responsibility for their actions by screaming "religious intolerance" and calling anyone who protests them bigots. I would like to know what kind of religion includes taking advantage of the disabled as a religious tenet and right!
You can expect to receive a flood of letters from Scientologists whining about the persecution of their "church," but these will mostly be low-level members who have not a clue as to what the upper echelon is really doing, as they're not allowed to look at materials critical of the group.
This Lopez article is important. It shows Scientology for what it truly is -- as Time magazine called it, "The Cult of Greed and Power." It will be very hard for them to put a positive, happy face on their actions in this case. I note that the Scientology lawyers are already trying to put the blame elsewhere, this time upon Lopez's mother! And, of course, they imply that they are the victims of a pair of lawyers representing Lopez by denigrating them as self-proclaimed "cult busters."
How dare you compare us motorcycle gangsters to Scientologists! As an ex-member of El Paso, Texas' Thunderclouds (a motorcycle gang that ruled the streets way back in the late 1970s), I emphatically object to your paper likening Scientology to a motorcycle gang. No "motorcycle gang" (we call them "bike clubs" now) would have treated Raul Lopez as badly as those Scientologists did!
Motorcycle gang members follow a code of honor that requires aggressive defense of people who are mentally disabled or "slow." We protect such people like brothers or sisters. Ninety-nine percent of motorcycle gang members would be livid with rage if they saw what those Scientologists have done to Raul Lopez. Comparing Scientology to a motorcycle gang is a gross, unpardonable insult to bikers everywhere. Even at our worst, we are never as bad as Scientology.
Name withheld upon request
For more horror stories, click here: The story of Raul Lopez is sad, and to be exploited by a "church" is the zenith of tragedy. Scientology is proving itself, over and over again, with an ever swelling number of testimonials on the Internet (search for "Xenu") of people who have abandoned the church after suffering its abuses, that it is truly the evil empire of this century.
It doesn't seem like it at first. Oh, they are very, very clever. But one day, you realize you have spent thousands for nothing; you've been hoodwinked. They have an "ethics" department, yet when called upon to do the right thing, such as refund Lopez's money, they scoff.
And if you printed all of the Web pages on similar church abuses, it would rise from the floor to the ceiling.
The world must find out about this most insidious "church," before it claims another victim. Visit alt.religion.scientology for more info on the anti-Scientology movement.
Name withheld upon request
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