Letters From the Edge
Our December/January issue was responsible for evoking some very
passionate letters in response to our Scientology article, "A Church's
Lethal Contract," by Dr. David S. Touretzky and Peter Alexander. Here
is a compendium of those received on both sides of the debate.
Dear Mr. Knight, A moment ago, I logged onto your website
and saw the highly offensive promotion for the story. Until we connect
with each other by phone, I strongly urge you to remove it from your
site. I can only assume you do not know the persons who authored the
story, nor what their actual agenda is, nor how inaccurate and slanted
the story is.
A Question of Agenda
Linda Simmons Hight
Church of Scientology
I was a bit taken aback when I read
Lloyd Grove's column [in the New York Daily News] this morning and saw
the letter to you from Scientology spokeswoman Linda Simmons Hight. I
was shocked simply by the sheer hypocrisy that it contained in
reference to your sources: "I can only assume you do not know the
persons who authored the story, nor what their actual agenda is, nor
how inaccurate and slanted the story is."
Coming from an organization that seems to lack even a gesture of
transparency, I am surprised that Ms. Hight would dare to broach the
subject of an "agenda."
Listen to Me
As a 30-year Scientologist, I am shocked by your magazine's willingness
to ignore truth. Touretzky and Alexander are well-known anti-religious
zealots, yet you give them a forum apparently free of any
responsibility to adhere to fact.
I am one of the millions whose lives were saved by Scientology. I have
a story to tell. Unlike the one published by your magazine, mine is
Scientology Parishioners League
I Didn't Need to Read the Whole Thing
I read the first few paragraphs of your Scientology article and found it to be a very misleading piece of journalism.
I have been a Scientologist for over 25 years and have noted that
several times exploitative journalists have unsuccessfully attempted to
cast a bad impression of what Scientology is or has done. The facts
are, Scientology and its social betterment programs have helped improve
the lives of many, many people, including myself. I make everyday use
of the brilliant discoveries of the founder. You have done a great
disservice to your magazine and your readers.
Valley Village, CA
I am extremely disappointed that you published the anti-Scientology
article, "A Church's Lethal Contract," by Touretzky and Alexander. I do
not know who is responsible for checking the credentials of your
writers and verifying the so-called "facts," but whoever it is did a
terrible disservice, not only to you, but to your readers. In the end,
I hold you responsible for letting this trash be published in the name
I have been a Scientologist for 36 years and have observed most of the
attacks on my religion. As in any group, religious or otherwise, there
are people who do not live up to the standards of the group to which
they belong. In the case of Scientology, many, if not all the
attackers/writers, use "facts" from members of the Church who have been
excommunicated because of their unethical activities as their source
material, either against other nonmembers or against the Church itself.
By default, those journalists who use these people as "sources" end up
in the same dilemma as the "sources." Of course, many of the writers
have their own agenda which may be to write a derogatory article no
matter what the facts. This certainly was the case with Touretzky and
Alexander. Both are notoriously well-known anti-cultists with an even
more colorful and checkered background than all the so-called terrible
things about Scientology. An article written about these two characters
would be of real interest, not only to you, but to your readers.
A funny thing about such articles - historically, whenever they get
published, a huge influx of new people come to our Churches to find out
why we create such controversy. Many become members. I can only wonder
how many more new members we would have if you published a positive,
truthful article. Marshall Swerman
Got Out Just in Time
I happened to come across your magazine today and found your article on Scientology.
Two years ago, not knowing what Scientology was, I was lured into
taking their Stress Test, and then I paid $200 for six hours of
auditing. I also had experience with the E-meter and other scary
control tactics. When I brought a bottle of water into the room, they
asked me to leave it at the door. I was pressured to not even get up
and get a drink during the session. Lisa McPherson died of illness
caused by dehydration. Part of their control and brainwashing is using
social pressure from the very beginning to reinforce behavior.
Three months later, I finally grew disgusted with the Scientologists
trying to control my actions and pressuring me into therapy in order to
extract my money. After I left, I received four phone calls and two
letters asking that I return. I did not.
I would like you to know that I was surprised to see your article, and
am relieved and grateful that someone had the guts to speak up about
Scientology's horrible practices.
Hopefully they will fall before more people are killed in their hands.
Heather J. Nordstrom
Las Vegas, NV
The Power of Decision
A friend of mine recently gave me a copy of a very disturbing article
from your magazine called, "A Church's Lethal Contract." As a life-long
Scientologist, I felt it was my responsibility to dispute the
outrageous claims made by Touretzky and Alexander. First of all, I have
grown up as a Scientologist. My parents are both Scientologists, as are
my brother, his wife, my sister and her husband. We are all active in
our communities and open about our religion.
I have seen the evolution of this religion and at times experienced
firsthand the prejudice of being part of it. This is a religion based
on the freedom of choice. If someone doesn't want to be a
Scientologist, so be it. It's not for everyone, but you can bet your
last dollar that we will protect it against anyone who seeks to weaken
or oppress our right to practice our religion.
The key to Scientology, however, is not so much about contracts or
agreements or what we "charge" (which by the way is a ridiculous
statement, since our donations cover the expenses of building rental,
furniture, paper and office supplies that every other religion has,
plus the spiritual counseling and training that is the core of our
religion), the key to Scientology is choice.
Mr. Hubbard sums it up best with this statement: "Choice is the keynote
of self-determinism. To determine anything, you must have the choice to
determine. Choice to determine means that you must have the power of
Those of us who have chosen Scientology as our religion, did so by our
own CHOICE. Not even when growing up in a Scientology family was that
choice EVER taken away from me, it was in fact encouraged that I
discover for myself what religion, if any, would best fit my life. And
after studying most of the world's major religions, including
Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Russian
and Greek Orthodox, Mormonism, and last, Scientology, I CHOSE
Scientology because it has always worked for me. That was my God-given
freedom of choice and every day I know that my choice was indeed
Money & Power
Thank you very much for your article exposing another facet of the
secretive "Church" of Scientology! It is important in these times to
strip away the faade of religiosity that this predatory cult lurks
behind, while they scramble to acquire public funding for many of their
phony and useless front groups.
Scientologist Tom Cruise has reportedly been schmoozing with the Bush
administration to obtain federal support for their "study tech," which
would introduce children to L. Ron Hubbard's junk science in public
schools. Cruise is also pushing the potentially health-threatening
"purification rundown" to New York firefighters, and the cult's useless
"drug rehab" front group, Narconon is being promoted to various state
assemblies as a viable treatment for prisoners. Twenty-six years after
the Jonestown massacre, it is vital to remember that there are still
destructive, predatory cults out there seeking the vulnerable, innocent
and gullible. It is especially important for elected officials to
realize that when you lie down with the wealthy Scientology
organization, you get up covered in imaginary space cooties. There is a
saying amongst critics of Scientology, "It really is worse than you can
imagine." This is quite true, as a little online research will reveal.
You will undoubtedly be deluged by a flood of nearly identical letters
from "individual" Scientologists, all whining about religious bigotry
and intolerance. Let me state this clearly; critics of Scientology do
not object to the beliefs of Scientology, silly as they are. We object
to the actions of the organization; unnecessary early death from
treatable illness; the abuse of members and those who speak out against
this treatment; the destruction of families and life savings; the
suicides and fraudulent practices.
Scientology has a 50-year history of antisocial behavior that has
nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with money and power.
How many churches have armed compounds such as Gold Base in Hemet,
California? How many churches have slimed into a community under a
false identity like Scientology did in Clearwater, Florida? How many
churches have prison camps and paramilitary forces, like Scientology's
Rehabilitation Project Force and their toy Navy, the Sea Organization?
Dr. Dave Touretzky has put up an excellent website outlining the Study
Tech at Studytech.org. Historian Chris Owen's sites address L. Ron
Hubbard's true Navy record at Ronthewarhero.org and also their
dangerously useless drug rehab program at Narconon-exposed.org.
For an overview of the Scientology organization, Xenu.net is an
excellent start. Of course, the curious should also visit Scientology's
own websites for a comparison. Scientology.org is their main site, but
the site they maintain on their "enemies," such as myself and Dr.
Touretzky, is most revealing and can be viewed at
I have purchased several copies of this month's issue, and intend to
spread them around where they'll do the most good. Thank you for your
courage in publishing this article. You follow in the footsteps of
other brave publishers and writers, such as Paulette Cooper and Time
magazine, who have dared to take on this totalitarian monolith. Both
wrote exposŽs of the Scientology organization, and suffered the
Back before the Internet, critics were more easily intimidated and
silenced. Today, the world watches Scientology's every move.
Congratulations on an excellent article, and your courage in printing
Here to Help
This afternoon, I read Razor's article concerning Scientology Inc. Since
1996, I have been a human rights activist who has studied Scientology,
and I am considered by my peers to be highly knowledgeable on the
I have found Razor's article to be completely accurate and easily
supported by the evidence. Human rights activists throughout the world
consider Scientology to be nothing more than organized crime; so do
several governments throughout the world (such as Spain, Greece,
Germany, Belgium and others). If your readers wish an excellent
examination of Scientology and its sinister behavior, they may read
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi's (of the University of Haifa) very
well-researched essay, titled Scientology: Religion or Racket? at:
If anyone wants documentation that supports anything contended in the
article, I will merrily provide it. I have read elsewhere via the
Internet that Scientologists have "asked" Razor to cease advertising
the issue on Razor's website, and the Scientology spokesperson has
claimed that the authors have an unrevealed "agenda." And yet nowhere
in the article have I seen anything that suggests any "agenda" other
than warning potential victims that Scientology is dangerous (which it
clearly is). Dr. David S. Touretzky and Peter Alexander have done a
very fine job at presenting the facts about Scientology and the
business that sells Scientology to its victims.
Dana Point, CA
Shame on You
I investigate psychiatric atrocities, like tying a young man to a bed
and letting him die from breathing in his own vomit (happened last
month), a child of 12 being shot up with brain-damaging drugs that
knock her out in order to "change her behavior" (this is going on right
now), etc. Just talk with people whose kids are in foster care and find
out how many drugs they are on - sometimes practically lethal doses.
How about electroshock on elderly women against their will? Pays big
bucks from MediCare and reduces their life expectancy. Euthanasia for
profit. Scientologists have the guts to clean up the criminal field of
"mental health" as it now exists.
The daily horrors that people in psychiatric institutions STILL
experience are chronicled in Mad in America, written by a
nationally-known investigative reporter. You can get it at any
bookstore or order it from MindFreedom.org (not connected with
Scientology). After you read it, think again about being connected with
a group that would move Heaven and Earth to get you out of one of those
Perhaps you should work on exposing people who are doing real damage,
instead of attacking a major force working to clean that area up.
Thousand Oaks, CA