Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: davidb@caen.engin.umich.edu (David Bonnell)
Subject: The Story That Time Couldn't Tell - Article 2 -2
Message-ID: <73f_y!=3D@engin.umich.edu>
Date: Sat, 09 Nov 91 18:34:59 EST
Organization: The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

CHEAP SHOTS. Neither TIME nor Behar could find it within themselves to begrudge anything or anyone associated with the Church the slightest compliment. To avoid that indignity, they even resort to cheap shots. TIME apparently could not even deal with L. Ron Hubbard's success as a writer. Despite the recognition in Lester del Rey's comprehensive history of the science fiction genre that the novel Final Blackout "established Hubbard as a major science fiction writer," Behar, without any know credentials, chose to describe him as "a moderately successful writer of pulp science fiction." Behar also contends that 'critics pan most of Hubbard's books as unreadable." Stephen King disagrees ("L. Ron Hubbard's Fear is one of the few books in the chiller genre which actually merits employment of the overworked adjective 'classic'") as do the dozens of societies around the world who have honored L. Ron Hubbard for his literary accomplishments in both fiction and non-fiction. The public, too disagrees. Over 98 million copies of L. Ron Hubbard's works have been sold. They have been translated into 31 languages and published in 88 countries. Dianetics alone has sold 14 million copies. It would of required nothing more than an acknowledgement of unassialable fact to have reported the truth about L. Ron Hubbard the author. Even that was more than TIME or Behar could bear.

NOT ONE POSITIVE FACT. It is striking that in eight pages of text, there is not one positive fact reported about Scientology. Not one. While that fact came as no surprise to the Church of Scientology - both TIME and Behar have a track record of biased, antagonistic articles against the Church - it is a very revealing point in analyzing the TIME article. TIME and Behar found it impossible to report a single positive fact about a Church that, among other things:

- supports such organizations as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the American Red Cross - supports Narconon International, an organization devoted to rehabilitating alcoholics and chemically dependent persons and restoring them to useful lives - has launched a campaign to eradicate illiteracy - supports local community action groups to improve neighborhoods and fight street crime - supports Criminon, an organization which addresses the problem of criminal recidivism and attempts to rehabilitate imprisoned persons - supports the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a group dedicated to ridding the marketplace of dangerous, mind-altering drugs

No reference whatsoever is made to any positive contribution of the Church or Scientology. What's worse, the TIME article goes so far as to twist positive contributions of the Church to such a degree that it suggests tha support of the Goodwill Games or marketing L. Ron Hubbard's books is somehow sinister and that supporting an organizaion that operates 33 rehabilitation centers in twelve countries is somenow nefarious. The absence of even a single acknowledgement that Scientology and Scientologists make positive contributions to society is an eloquent reminder that TIME and Bebar had no interest whatsoever in impartiality or objectivity. Their failure to anyone who cared to perform even cursory research is a red flag to any reader that what they have published is one-sided for reasons other than the pursuit of fair and balanced news.

BE OFFENDED BY TIME. Factual manipulation, omission of critical and readily available facts, the failure even to acknowledge good works as good works, the need to impart ulterior motive to positive facts - TIME built its entire attack on the religion of Scientology on that very formula. Anyone who reads that article should be offended. But those who decry religious bigotry should be even more offended by the words of Richard Behar in TIME. There is no room for any controversy on one critical point: Scientology is a religion. Critics of Scientology, including the IRS, have challenged the religious status of the Church in court. Every such challenge has failed, without exception. In fact, despite TIME's effort to create the opposite impression, the IRS recognizes more than a dozen Scientology churches as tax exempt. Even TIME's allegation that the IRS "stripped Scientology's mother church of its tax exempt status" is false. The Church in question has not been "Scientology's mother church" for nearly a decade. Anyone who read the article in TIME should be deeply offended by the manner in which Behar and TIME's editors characterize Scientologists and their religion. The following statements are quotations from the TIME article, substituting the name of other religions for "Scientology" and the name of other religions' parishioners for "Scientologist" Imagine the outcry if TIME had written: "...outrage and litigation have failed to squelch Mormonism." "...a public relations company staffed with Methodists." "Other notorious activities by Catholics..." "Islam's critics contend that the U.S. needs to crack down on the church in a major, organized way." "One of Judaism's main strategies is to keep advancing the tired agruement that [it] is being 'persecuted' by anti-religionists"

Had this been any other religion, the outcry would be deafening - as it is now with the millions of Scientologists all over the world.

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