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Ex-Members, Bigotry and Lazy Journalism

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 19, 2017

Ex-Members, Bigotry and Lazy Journalism

I have no doubt that in some cases the alleged negative experiences of ex-members are at least partially true. But what about...

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Religious Unity in the Wake of Disaster—Will it Prevail?

Tolerance

September 19, 2017

Religious Unity in the Wake of Disaster—Will it Prevail?

Religious freedom is quite literally the bedrock value on which the United States was founded and I argue it is in no small...

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Cassini—How a Mission to Saturn Became a Triumph Over Evil

Tolerance

September 18, 2017

Cassini—How a Mission to Saturn Became a Triumph Over Evil

On October 15, 1997, NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency together launched the Cassini-Huygens probe...

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Surviving Irma Together­—A Scientologist’s View from the Ground

Scientology Religion

September 18, 2017

Surviving Irma Together­—A Scientologist’s View from the Ground

While that contribution ended up playing out in the media, the behind-the-scenes I saw was more personal. It was the way the...

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A Scientologist’s Response to “Critics”

Scientology Religion

September 17, 2017

A Scientologist’s Response to “Critics”

Journalists always seem to get their panties in a wad, downright insulted that Scientologists, when asked to “respond to...

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Whatever Makes You Happy

Tolerance

September 17, 2017

Whatever Makes You Happy

I’ve gotten that response several times over the past year when I tell people I’m a Scientologist after they’ve spewed...

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Overcoming Discrimination—the ’69 World Series and Hurricanes Today

Tolerance

September 16, 2017

Overcoming Discrimination—the ’69 World Series and Hurricanes Today

In the late summer and fall of 1969 there was a great deal of hostility and discrimination between the Black and White communities...

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What Scientology Is, to Me

Scientology Religion

September 14, 2017

What Scientology Is, to Me

For me, Scientology is about endless possibility and hope. It’s about daring to aim for the top of the mountain and the...

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Adams, Jefferson, Religion & Freedom

Religious Freedom

September 13, 2017

Adams, Jefferson, Religion & Freedom

A while ago I wrote a post about a squabble in Arizona over whether a humanist could give a benediction to the state legislature...

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Scientology and the War of Two Worlds

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 13, 2017

Scientology and the War of Two Worlds

It was 1938. Adolph Hitler (Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year”) had begun dropping in on his neighbors without an invitation....

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The Rise of Hate in America

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 13, 2017

The Rise of Hate in America

We as Scientologists have worked hard to demonstrate our values to the world. We help. We are first responders to world disasters....

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UN Youth Summit Inspires Human Rights Advocates Worldwide

Religious Freedom

September 9, 2017

UN Youth Summit Inspires Human Rights Advocates Worldwide

I met Christians, Buddhists, Bahá’ís, Sikhs and Muslims. They were all united in their belief that fundamental human rights...

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Bigotry 101: Beware of Dragons

Religious Freedom

August 28, 2017

Bigotry 101: Beware of Dragons

“Stay away from that,” warned my history professor, glaring at the book in my bag. “I’m serious.” “It’s… dangerous!”...

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STAND Member Reflects on Visit to Iconic Religious Freedom Site

Religious Freedom

August 23, 2017

STAND Member Reflects on Visit to Iconic Religious Freedom Site

Under cover of a January blizzard, Roger Williams left his wife and children, slipping away to avoid the men sent to arrest...

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Apostates: My Personal Encounters

Apostates: My Personal Encounters

Using apostates to spread religious intolerance is not a new tactic, but in the age of the internet and life-as-entertainment,...

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The Importance of Religious Liberty, a Scientologist’s view

Religious Freedom

August 12, 2017

The Importance of Religious Liberty, a Scientologist’s view

During the modern age, regardless of how that is defined, unquestionably few groups have done more to advance the cause of...

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The “Haunted” Inn and a Lesson on Perspective

Religious Freedom

August 11, 2017

The “Haunted” Inn and a Lesson on Perspective

Recently, I flew back to my home town for a high school reunion. I rented a car and drove to the Historic Brook Forest Inn,...

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Church of Scientology Mission of Baton Rouge—Beacon of Light and Hope on the Mississippi

Scientology Religion

August 8, 2017

Church of Scientology Mission of Baton Rouge—Beacon of Light and Hope on the Mississippi

This building of this Mission represents years of dedication by me and many others. It is an aesthetic space worthy of the...

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Scientologist’s Commencement Advice: How to Make This the Best of Times

Tolerance

August 2, 2017

Scientologist’s Commencement Advice: How to Make This the Best of Times

It was the best of times. I was on YouTube the other day and began watching some great commencement speeches, including one...

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Scientology and Responsibility

Scientology and Responsibility

If you have the impression that Scientologists never examine Scientology, you would be wrong. The simple practice of Scientology...

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What I’ve Learned About Bigotry as an Arab-American Scientologist

What I’ve Learned About Bigotry as an Arab-American Scientologist

As an Arab-American Scientologist, I’m familiar with bigotry. My family emigrated to the United States from Palestine when...

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A Case of Medical Discrimination

Religious Freedom

July 20, 2017

A Case of Medical Discrimination

I took a survey yesterday about my recent experience in the hospital. I was there for a C-section for my third baby. One of...

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Faith, Freedom and One’s Fellow Man

Religious Freedom

July 19, 2017

Faith, Freedom and One’s Fellow Man

After seven hours of a passionate but civil public dialogue, more than 170 Americans came together to decide the future of...

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Psychiatrists Say “Journalism” is a Mental Illness

Psychiatrists Say “Journalism” is a Mental Illness

So there I was minding my own business, having a little fun scrolling through what passes for “the news” when I spy this...

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A Scientologist’s Great-Grandmother’s Poem

Religious Freedom

July 12, 2017

A Scientologist’s Great-Grandmother’s Poem

I was fortunate enough to know, and have wonderful conversations, with a truly fascinating woman—my great grandmother. Just...

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A Solution to Jellyfish Stings

Tolerance

July 5, 2017

A Solution to Jellyfish Stings

I was on vacation on the East Coast of Spain at the age of 21 when I went swimming with a friend in a secluded cove. An idyllic...

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Don’t Tell Me. SHOW Me.

Tolerance

July 4, 2017

Don’t Tell Me. SHOW Me.

My father was a brilliant man. He held a doctorate in law, was literate in both Spanish and English and, after 20 years as...

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Lessons in Tolerance from South Africa

Tolerance

July 4, 2017

Lessons in Tolerance from South Africa

I guess there is bigotry everywhere, but—oddly enough—I don’t experience too much of that here in South Africa. If you...

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The Truth (Not the Press) about Religion

Tolerance

July 1, 2017

The Truth (Not the Press) about Religion

I’ve heard plenty of people ask, “If Islam is a religion of peace, why aren’t they speaking out against terrorism?”...

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Did the Supreme Court Just Strengthen or Weaken Religious Freedom?

Religious Freedom

June 30, 2017

Did the Supreme Court Just Strengthen or Weaken Religious Freedom?

Many generations of Supreme Court Justices have tried to define the correct balance of church and state.

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Football, Faith and Freedom

Religious Freedom

June 28, 2017

Football, Faith and Freedom

We LOVE football in our house. Everybody has a different favorite team they’re passionate about which makes holiday shopping...

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Tim Tebow’s Religion, America’s Favorite Pastime

Tim Tebow’s Religion, America’s Favorite Pastime

What’s the saying? “It’s as American as baseball and apple pie?” Football gets a lot of the love these days but whenever...

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Debunking the “Atheists are Smarter” Myth

Religious Freedom

June 26, 2017

Debunking the “Atheists are Smarter” Myth

Several researchers in the field of psychology descended from the ultra-recirculated, purified air of academia to address...

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One Senator’s “Religious Test” and the Antidote to Our Side-Taking Culture

Tolerance

June 25, 2017

One Senator’s “Religious Test” and the Antidote to Our Side-Taking Culture

At the beginning of June, a U.S. senator grilled an appointee to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The...

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A Town in New Jersey is Getting a New Mosque—and Why it Matters

Tolerance

June 23, 2017

A Town in New Jersey is Getting a New Mosque—and Why it Matters

The story of how a new mosque was approved for construction in Bernard Township, New Jersey is a classic case of good news...

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On Religion & Politics, or What Not to Discuss at a Dinner Party

Tolerance

June 20, 2017

On Religion & Politics, or What Not to Discuss at a Dinner Party

“Nothing ruins a dinner party faster than religion or politics.” It’s the unspoken agreement of a polite dinner host...

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Freedom in Prison

Religious Freedom

June 16, 2017

Freedom in Prison

If a man breaks the law, does he then lose his right to be treated as a human being? It’s got to be said that here we’re...

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The Only “Story” That Matters About the Portland Stabbing

The Only “Story” That Matters About the Portland Stabbing

I’ve been reading about the train stabbing incident in Portland with a heavy heart. Like so many others, I’ve been trying...

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The Biggest Secret About Scientology

The Biggest Secret About Scientology

I won't get into how it was, but one day I was sitting in a hotel in Siberia, downing a few vodka shots with Misha, the owner....

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Intolerance Takes Center Stage in Austria

Religious Freedom

June 12, 2017

Intolerance Takes Center Stage in Austria

The Austrian Parliament recently passed a law banning women from wearing garments that cover their face s. As is the norm...

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It’s Your Right, But Is It Right?

Religious Freedom

June 8, 2017

It’s Your Right, But Is It Right?

I believe in the power of speech. I believe in freedom of speech. I believe in my First Amendment rights. I believe in our...

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Pray-o-mat: Humble Photo Booth Becomes a Place of Worship

Religious Freedom

June 7, 2017

Pray-o-mat: Humble Photo Booth Becomes a Place of Worship

So now you can sit in a booth at Stuttgart airport and access 300 audio prayers from a variety of world religions. The seed...

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President Trump’s Trip

President Trump’s Trip

I’ve been following the President’s current overseas trip with interest. Whatever people think of the man (and I haven’t...

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Humanity vs. a Higher Power and the Arizona Invocation

Religious Freedom

June 3, 2017

Humanity vs. a Higher Power and the Arizona Invocation

An atheist member of the Arizona legislature caused a small stir recently when she offered up a humanist invocation calling...

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A Story about Rocks, Inspired by Rolling Stone

A Story about Rocks, Inspired by Rolling Stone

“The pen is mightier than the sword,” as the saying goes. If you give an idiot a sword he’ll end up hurting innocent...

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Raising Our Voices—What it Means to be a STAND Member

Raising Our Voices—What it Means to be a STAND Member

Scientologists are, almost without exception, really nice people. That’s something you could say of most people and groups...

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A Different Perspective on “Cults”

A Different Perspective on “Cults”

All new religions before being “established” are or were considered “cults” (definition 3). That would include Christianity...

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That Joke Ain’t Funny

Religious Freedom

May 22, 2017

That Joke Ain’t Funny

There are times I feel like complaining and this is one of those times. I was looking through Facebook the other day and saw...

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Freedom of Thought: Infinitely Valuable and Incessantly Attacked

Freedom of Thought: Infinitely Valuable and Incessantly Attacked

In the wake of the 1960’s, my father and mother began studying Dianetics and Scientology in New York and San Francisco....

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The Only Ones That Can Save Us

Religious Freedom

May 20, 2017

The Only Ones That Can Save Us

Time and again, whole peoples have put their trust and hope in their leaders, to their lasting regret. An individual from...

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Tell Someone. And Get Them to Tell Someone Else.

Religious Freedom

May 17, 2017

Tell Someone. And Get Them to Tell Someone Else.

It has been said that if one person told someone about something, and then the next day that second person told someone else,...

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Why Tolerance Works

Tolerance

May 16, 2017

Why Tolerance Works

When I was in my teens I could cruise any major street in Southern California and stop for a hamburger. Now I can stop for...

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If Religion is All Greek to You

Tolerance

May 15, 2017

If Religion is All Greek to You

I was raised Jewish, and I remember going to temple and reading from the Torah when I was 11. Unfortunately, I could read...

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The Good, the Bad and the Judgment

Religious Freedom

May 11, 2017

The Good, the Bad and the Judgment

I was told many times growing up that I needed to use a little judgment. This was usually after I had brought about a disaster...

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Know What You’re Objecting To

Know What You’re Objecting To

It’s fine if you object, but at least know what it is you’re objecting to. As a Scientologist of 36 years, I’ve read...

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One of Those Scientologists

One of Those Scientologists

A few years back my husband and I took in a family member who was having a rough time. She’d been on and off drugs for decades—yes...

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I’m “Secretive” About My Religion?

I’m “Secretive” About My Religion?

My religion has a lot that gets said about it in the media. But one of the most laughable and irksome myths about Scientology...

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Remembering the Holocaust, and a Remarkable Story of Survival

Religious Freedom

April 27, 2017

Remembering the Holocaust, and a Remarkable Story of Survival

Joe was a brilliant, hard-working man who, because he was Jewish, found himself a prisoner in a concentration camp in Poland...

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What the News Media Will Never Tell You About Scientology

Religious Freedom

April 27, 2017

What the News Media Will Never Tell You About Scientology

I have been in Scientology since 1980. At the age of 24 my life had become consumed by alcohol and drug abuse. I was on the...

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To Share or Not to Share, That is the Question

Scientology Religion

April 26, 2017

To Share or Not to Share, That is the Question

When my husband and I eloped nearly 28 years ago, we had no idea what we were doing. But we were so distracted by the butterflies...

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