Blog

Groping for Clarity in This High-Speed, High-Stakes World

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 17, 2017

Groping for Clarity in This High-Speed, High-Stakes World

With trending, “hashtaggy” topics now an easy way to measure public mood, product sponsors, employers and others hyper-sensitive...

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Bullying By Any Other Name… Is Still Bullying

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 16, 2017

Bullying By Any Other Name… Is Still Bullying

So November is right around the corner and with it… one of my least favorites days… the annual Kick a Ginger Day. Now,...

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Scientology, “Critics” and Critical Mass

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 15, 2017

Scientology, “Critics” and Critical Mass

Just start pounding an idea enough times into enough people until, hypnotically, they begin to believe it. Critical mass is...

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One Way to Give Peace a Chance, Among Religions

Religious Literacy

November 13, 2017

One Way to Give Peace a Chance, Among Religions

As a child, I vaguely remember listening to adults talk and sometimes argue about whose religion was the “true religion.”...

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Why My Staff Don’t Believe I’m a Scientologist

Scientology Religion

November 12, 2017

Why My Staff Don’t Believe I’m a Scientologist

When asked, or if it just comes up, I tell all my co-workers and associates I am a Scientologist. The funny thing is, they...

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“LGBTQ vs. Religious Freedom”—No One Has a Monopoly on Right and Wrong

Tolerance

November 4, 2017

“LGBTQ vs. Religious Freedom”—No One Has a Monopoly on Right and Wrong

How do we reconcile the fact that religious freedom for one person could violate the basic human rights of another? If someone...

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“Innocents Abroad” and What Mark Twain Can Teach Us About Faith

Tolerance

November 3, 2017

“Innocents Abroad” and What Mark Twain Can Teach Us About Faith

Faith is spiritual, not physical. Faith exists in the minds, hearts and souls of those who embrace it. So physical proof of...

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How Scientology Saved My Life

Scientology Religion

November 1, 2017

How Scientology Saved My Life

It was July 1977. Gold was selling for $161.10 per ounce, Dodgers players Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke had just invented the...

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The Work of Good People: The Real Breaking News

Media & Ethics

November 1, 2017

The Work of Good People: The Real Breaking News

Perhaps it is time to replace the righteous indignation in our hearts with the swell of love and compassion we feel when we...

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Taking Action Against Discrimination: Harry Truman

Taking Action Against Discrimination: Harry Truman

“For these compelling reasons, we can no longer afford the luxury of a leisurely attack upon prejudice and discrimination.”

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Why Scientologists Oppose Psychiatry

Scientology Religion

October 30, 2017

Why Scientologists Oppose Psychiatry

In 1975, just as Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was filmed at Oregon State Hospital, I became...

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A Very Satanic Xmas: Freedom of Speech or Just Plain Provocation?

Religious Freedom

October 25, 2017

A Very Satanic Xmas: Freedom of Speech or Just Plain Provocation?

Over the 2016 Christmas period, Boca Raton’s traditional Christian Nativity scene gained an unlikely neighbor: a satanic...

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Backsliding into Bigotry: America’s Addiction to Intolerance

Backsliding into Bigotry: America’s Addiction to Intolerance

Religion, once a cornerstone of society in virtually every culture, is being eroded in modern times. Attacks on religious...

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The Difference Between Haters and Heroes

The Difference Between Haters and Heroes

How many years has it been since a madman, under the guise of ridding the world of “undesirables” created a war that destroyed...

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Malaysia: A Step Toward Tolerance

Tolerance

October 20, 2017

Malaysia: A Step Toward Tolerance

In Malaysia this week the heads of its different states (collectively called “the Rulers”) issued a joint statement calling...

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Where Is God in Our Violent, Unpredictable World?

Where Is God in Our Violent, Unpredictable World?

The question of how an all-loving and all-powerful God could allow things like this shooting to happen is one of the fundamental...

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What is an “Agenda?”—A Classroom Play

Media & Ethics

October 19, 2017

What is an “Agenda?”—A Classroom Play

A junior high school teacher to her class: Today we are going to discuss the word “agenda.” Agenda means the underlying...

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The Things I Care About

Tolerance

October 19, 2017

The Things I Care About

I don’t really care what you think of my husband. Although he has passed on, I loved him. We got along great and laughed...

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If You’re Trying to Get Rid of Religion, It’s Gonna’ Be a Long Haul

If You’re Trying to Get Rid of Religion, It’s Gonna’ Be a Long Haul

When the “ Freedom From Religion Foundation” and other atheist crusaders put on their big-boy pants and go after religious...

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Religion in Schools: Does it Work?

Religious Freedom

October 17, 2017

Religion in Schools: Does it Work?

“Religious studies” should, in my view, be just that—a comparative study of a whole array of religions, giving an overview...

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Life After Death—What Scientology Did for Me

Scientology Religion

October 16, 2017

Life After Death—What Scientology Did for Me

It became apparent she was fighting for life, not for herself, but so her family would not have to suffer her death. Realizing...

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Who’s Next in the Crosshairs of Discrimination?

Who’s Next in the Crosshairs of Discrimination?

Understand, that if one innocent person or group is not safe among us—if one person or group is denied the freedoms that...

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Why Religion Matters Now More Than Ever

Religious Freedom

October 13, 2017

Why Religion Matters Now More Than Ever

More than ever in these tumultuous times, Man needs knowledge of his own spirituality and a higher state to reach for as a...

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Have the Trolls Really Won the Internet?—A Story of Good vs. Evil

Have the Trolls Really Won the Internet?—A Story of Good vs. Evil

A handful of people covertly create an illusion of “millions.” Their aim is to create a snowball of negativity that takes...

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Passion Without Compassion is Oppression

Tolerance

October 11, 2017

Passion Without Compassion is Oppression

If you make an enemy of those whose ideas are not the same as yours, they will do everything they can to stop you. I can guarantee...

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Why I’m a Scientologist

Tolerance

October 9, 2017

Why I’m a Scientologist

Every so often, I experience something odd. Someone will come along and insist that I defend my beliefs. They usually have...

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“We Stand Together” Manchester

Tolerance

October 8, 2017

“We Stand Together” Manchester

The message was not one of anger or hatred, nor did it call for vengeance or retribution. The message did not exclude or label...

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Scientology and Conspiracy: The Real Story

Scientology and Conspiracy: The Real Story

Perhaps you’ve come across “the real story” about Scientology on your Facebook feed, television screen or on some tabloid...

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We Scientologists Aren’t Biting the Hate-Bait

We Scientologists Aren’t Biting the Hate-Bait

How does a person communicate with others? What are his actions, attitudes, and accomplishments? These are what a Scientologist...

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Why Religious Freedom is Under Attack

Religious Freedom

October 6, 2017

Why Religious Freedom is Under Attack

Most world religions share a common purpose, whether it’s acknowledging spirituality, encouraging humanitarianism or preaching...

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The Rohingya and Ethnic Cleansing—What Do They Say About Us?

Tolerance

October 5, 2017

The Rohingya and Ethnic Cleansing—What Do They Say About Us?

The sad truth is that racial, religious and ethnic hatreds are alive and well in the 21st century and many new crimes are...

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Hate Speech: Why More Communication—Not Less—Is the Answer

Tolerance

October 1, 2017

Hate Speech: Why More Communication—Not Less—Is the Answer

I agree that hate speech has no place in civil discourse, but when people are afraid to communicate at all about entire subjects...

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My Scientology Mom, Who Talks to Strangers and Helps Indiscriminately

Scientology Religion

September 30, 2017

My Scientology Mom, Who Talks to Strangers and Helps Indiscriminately

I honestly don’t know how she does it. It takes commitment to be on call the way she is. It takes commitment to travel away...

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Why “Sticks and Stones” Should Be the New College Creed

Tolerance

September 30, 2017

Why “Sticks and Stones” Should Be the New College Creed

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” has fallen on hard times in American...

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The Truth About Islam, and Why What Your Book of Worship Is Doesn’t Matter to Me

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 29, 2017

The Truth About Islam, and Why What Your Book of Worship Is Doesn’t Matter to Me

When one has traveled and mingled with the peoples of Earth, one quickly realizes that just about anyone—no matter his or...

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An Open Letter from a Scientologist & Black Man to Tampa Bay Times Bigots

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 28, 2017

An Open Letter from a Scientologist & Black Man to Tampa Bay Times Bigots

You see, I understand I am just another “nigger,” and you know what is best for me. You deem yourself my Master. You are...

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How One Spiritual Outlook Could Solve the Planet’s Worst Problems

Tolerance

September 28, 2017

How One Spiritual Outlook Could Solve the Planet’s Worst Problems

Even if it’s not true—and I believe it is—wouldn’t it make a better world?

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Something’s Being Done About Hate Speech on Reddit

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 26, 2017

Something’s Being Done About Hate Speech on Reddit

In an experiment designed to combat hate, Reddit shut down some of their more hateful “subreddits,” or forums dedicated...

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The “Secret” Practice of Scientology

Scientology Religion

September 26, 2017

The “Secret” Practice of Scientology

He was hoping for some weird, juicy secret stuff from an insider but I had to disappoint him. Nothing there to tell. After...

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Bigotry—I Just Won’t Do That Anymore

Tolerance

September 25, 2017

Bigotry—I Just Won’t Do That Anymore

That’s the importance of religion, to me. And I know it’s true because I experienced it at that interfaith meeting. And...

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Should Religion Be Taught in Schools?

Religious Literacy

September 22, 2017

Should Religion Be Taught in Schools?

We have all seen headlines of angry parents storming school board meetings protesting that their little Johnny was being illegally...

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Why Religious Freedom and Equality Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

Tolerance

September 22, 2017

Why Religious Freedom and Equality Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

The Justice Department has waded into a Supreme Court case involving a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake...

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

Tolerance

September 21, 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 20, 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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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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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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