Blog

A Glimpse of Peace in the Middle East

Tolerance

February 10, 2019

A Glimpse of Peace in the Middle East

I spent three days living as though in the future—where we can live our own faith, and respectfully allow others the same...

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Fake It Till You Make It: How Mass Media Manipulates

Media & Ethics

February 9, 2019

Fake It Till You Make It: How Mass Media Manipulates

Fake News has become a staggering problem. Public trust in media institutions has declined sharply in the wake of numerous...

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Where Do Americans Find Meaning in Life?

Religious Literacy

February 7, 2019

Where Do Americans Find Meaning in Life?

In 2017, the Pew Research Center surveyed Americans to find out what it is that makes their lives meaningful. Not surprisingly,...

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Religious Status Is for Those Who Help

Religious Freedom

February 6, 2019

Religious Status Is for Those Who Help

Reading this recent article about a jailed neo-Nazi trying to hide behind “religious freedom” to protect his hate speech...

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Religion Is Man’s Salvation

Religious Literacy

February 5, 2019

Religion Is Man’s Salvation

Though it is up to each of us to choose which religious path to follow, religion, period, is worth it. Beyond individual improvement,...

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The Greatest Tradition

Religious Freedom

February 4, 2019

The Greatest Tradition

Somewhere, thousands of years before Christ, deep in China, a spark was lit. We don’t know if it was a man or a woman but...

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Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Media & Ethics

February 4, 2019

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Ever seen a news story of how crazy everything is “over there” and then you go “over there” or actually look into...

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Where Propaganda Leads: Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019

Where Propaganda Leads: Holocaust Remembrance Day 2019

I was born April 19, 1945, the same day that, British soldiers in Germany pushed 13,000 decaying bodies into trenches with...

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The Scientology “Mystery” Solved

Scientology Religion

January 27, 2019

The Scientology “Mystery” Solved

I have often seen confusion arise in the minds of people who hear snippets of the theatrical, artificial media version of...

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Religious Tolerance: How You Can Earn Peace

Tolerance

January 22, 2019

Religious Tolerance: How You Can Earn Peace

A society worth living in is one in which religious tolerance is alive and well. Let us then make conscious efforts to be...

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Shape-Shifting Lizards From Outer Space!

Tolerance

January 22, 2019

Shape-Shifting Lizards From Outer Space!

Astounding but true! According to multiple studies, upwards of 12 million Americans, or 4 percent of the population, believe...

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City in Washington Prevents Minister from Helping Homeless

Religious Freedom

January 20, 2019

City in Washington Prevents Minister from Helping Homeless

Probably everyone reading this post has personally observed the large and growing problem of homelessness in the United States....

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Religious Freedom–A Dream Worth Fighting For

Religious Freedom

January 18, 2019

Religious Freedom–A Dream Worth Fighting For

Somehow religion and government, these two important arenas of human interaction, must come to terms with one another and...

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What’s the Magic Word?

Tolerance

January 18, 2019

What’s the Magic Word?

There’s a beautiful word that represents a concept, a viewpoint, a way of looking at things. I’ve been growing grey waiting...

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Communication Is the Key

Religious Literacy

January 15, 2019

Communication Is the Key

One Catholic priest known to me only as Father Donovan, whom my parents had befriended, attended many of our family picnics,...

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What’s the Deal With Scientology and Psychiatry?

Scientology Religion

January 15, 2019

What’s the Deal With Scientology and Psychiatry?

I thought back to close family members and friends who had spent time taking antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs...

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The Type That Rages Against Scientology

Scientology Religion

January 15, 2019

The Type That Rages Against Scientology

“This is classic,” I thought. This guy was the poster child for the usual type of person who rages against Scientology....

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Media Ethics: Read It and Weep

Media & Ethics

January 9, 2019

Media Ethics: Read It and Weep

Left, Right, or Center, the editorial boards all have an agenda. They’re all preaching to their own choir, which also happens...

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Religious Freedom—The History You Don’t Know

Religious Freedom

January 8, 2019

Religious Freedom—The History You Don’t Know

Until the mid-1300s, witchcraft and magic had been quietly accepted as part of the mystic melting pot that was Europe. That...

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Church Is a Haven: No Touchy!

Religious Freedom

January 8, 2019

Church Is a Haven: No Touchy!

Isn’t that one of the key reasons religion exists? Besides recognizing and enhancing the spiritual aspect of humankind,...

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Anti-Semitism 101, Part 1: The Roots of the Movement

Anti-Semitism 101, Part 1: The Roots of the Movement

The Jews, then, were set apart in the ancient world, a factor that worked both for them—preserving a unique and imperishable...

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How the Right to Education Can Answer Our Troubles

Tolerance

January 7, 2019

How the Right to Education Can Answer Our Troubles

Why do we still see war, poverty, religious intolerance, persecution, political upheaval, civil conflict, human trafficking,...

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The Price of Freedom

Religious Freedom

January 2, 2019

The Price of Freedom

Some people see freedom as dangerous. They see people who cannot be enslaved as dangerous. They are the type who think that...

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Miscast as a Cult Member

Tolerance

January 1, 2019

Miscast as a Cult Member

One would think, in this new epoch of hyper-sensitivity, that casual slurs about a stranger’s religion would be “so last...

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Hate, Inc.: The Marketing of Bigotry for Profit

Hate, Inc.: The Marketing of Bigotry for Profit

Bricks through windows, swastikas scrawled on synagogues, charred African-American churches, knocked-over tombstones in Jewish...

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We Are Religion

Religious Literacy

January 1, 2019

We Are Religion

Cultures rise and fall, governments come and go, but religion remains a constant influence. Under all the verbiage of such...

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American Media: Stop Sensationalizing Religion

Media & Ethics

December 31, 2018

American Media: Stop Sensationalizing Religion

When a reporter takes on the subject of (someone else’s) religion, he or she does not usually understand what he or she...

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Peace on Earth, Protecting Goodwill for All

Scientology Religion

December 30, 2018

Peace on Earth, Protecting Goodwill for All

The day after Thanksgiving 2018, I suffered a heart attack and was rushed through triple bypass surgery. My wife is helping...

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Galileo’s Middle Finger

Tolerance

December 27, 2018

Galileo’s Middle Finger

In the Galileo museum in Florence, Italy, carefully and lovingly preserved by his admirers in an ornate and gilded glass bubble,...

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The Menacing Horrorshow of Media and Its “Objectivity”

Media & Ethics

December 26, 2018

The Menacing Horrorshow of Media and Its “Objectivity”

To say there’s been significant recent debate about the media, its role and its reliability is probably an understatement....

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Our Florida Winter Wonderland

Tolerance

December 22, 2018

Our Florida Winter Wonderland

For me, this is the spirit of Christmas. It was how I was raised. Giving help to those less fortunate. Brightening the days...

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Christmas and Our Common Humanity

Tolerance

December 21, 2018

Christmas and Our Common Humanity

The Winter Solstice itself is something that nearly all humanity and all life on this planet has in common. The point of renewal....

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The Meaning of Christmas

Tolerance

December 20, 2018

The Meaning of Christmas

In my world, Christmas is a time for communication, for acceptance, for understanding, for reconciliation; a time for saying...

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Leah Remini vs. Everyone: Welcome to the Dark Ages

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 19, 2018

Leah Remini vs. Everyone: Welcome to the Dark Ages

A recent spate of hate-inspired fires in five Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Halls brings up a pointed question: Is Leah Remini...

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Bloggers of the Roundtable

Religious Freedom

December 13, 2018

Bloggers of the Roundtable

These “Bloggers of the Round Table” are an eclectic bunch: musicians, writers, lawyers, pilots, business owners, clergy…...

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Human Rights: There Is No “Them,” Only “Us”

Tolerance

December 7, 2018

Human Rights: There Is No “Them,” Only “Us”

Enough people got so tired of living in a country that treated them like prisoners, and the system became so unworkable, that...

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Lessons I Learned Growing Up Mormon

Religious Literacy

December 6, 2018

Lessons I Learned Growing Up Mormon

I grew up in the south, where hair is big and religion is bigger: mega-church big. Mormons were different. Not the wearing-black-and-avoiding-ornament...

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“Not in Our Town”—The Miracle of Magic City

“Not in Our Town”—The Miracle of Magic City

That night, six more homes with menorahs, along with a Methodist church donning the same, were vandalized. But more menorahs...

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How Science Helped Me Find More Religion

Religious Literacy

December 4, 2018

How Science Helped Me Find More Religion

“How can genetic testing tell you your religion, anyway?” you might ask. 23andMe can’t tell that I’m a Scientologist....

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A New Years’ Ode to Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

December 3, 2018

A New Years’ Ode to Religious Freedom

One of my personal goals in 2018 has been to speak out, loudly and as often as necessary, to protect my religion, Scientology,...

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And That is Respect

Tolerance

November 28, 2018

And That is Respect

We would have dinner and spend the rest of the night talking till the wee hours about religion—he from his perspective and...

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The “Church” of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its Debt to the Quakers

Tolerance

November 27, 2018

The “Church” of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its Debt to the Quakers

Imagine yourself at your local DMV office renewing your driver’s license. You’ve spent several hours filling out forms,...

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What You Can Do About Ignorance and Hate

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 26, 2018

What You Can Do About Ignorance and Hate

We do not have to hate each other, we do not have to fight, we do not have to natter and criticize and we do not have to be...

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Thanksgiving—And Why I’m Grateful for the Chance to Help

Tolerance

November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving—And Why I’m Grateful for the Chance to Help

When we care for and nurture others, when we know that life is about what we DO not what we own, and when we can care more...

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The Space Between Us

Tolerance

November 18, 2018

The Space Between Us

So you were right all along. All that “no man is an island” stuff is true, after all. You bother me or yell at me or snub...

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Big Bigotry Goes Mainstream: Remini & Disney Attack Jehovah’s Witnesses

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 15, 2018

Big Bigotry Goes Mainstream: Remini & Disney Attack Jehovah’s Witnesses

How exactly do you ask, in politically correct terms: “What religious group can we profit from the most by misrepresenting...

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Men of Goodwill

Tolerance

October 29, 2018

Men of Goodwill

The world can be very cruel. Certainly if you sit back and let mass media and pop culture swamp you, it can seem that way....

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How Hateful Lies Can Destroy Others’ Lives

Tolerance

October 29, 2018

How Hateful Lies Can Destroy Others’ Lives

We must all be vigilant for the fabricated, evil and false accusations that can hurt both individuals and communities.

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The Smear

Media & Ethics

October 26, 2018

The Smear

Through this book, one comes to realize that mainstream news is simply what someone has paid to get placed in front of you.

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Carpool of DEATH!!

Tolerance

October 25, 2018

Carpool of DEATH!!

In truth, you have FAR more reason to be terrified of death by carpool. The odds are way higher that you’ll be a carpool...

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Hang Together or we Shall All Hang Separately

Hang Together or we Shall All Hang Separately

We find that religion in general is under increased attack by the media, but mainstream religion still enjoys a certain level...

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The Unity That Disaster Handling Brings

Religious Literacy

October 21, 2018

The Unity That Disaster Handling Brings

I don’t think that there could have been a more appropriate song for us to sing that morning, for truly, it was amazing...

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The Media: “We Have Met The Enemy And It Is Us”

Media & Ethics

October 17, 2018

The Media: “We Have Met The Enemy And It Is Us”

Every time you share a meme or a column or a podcast or a video that you like or agree with, YOU become media.

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Walt Disney Would be Appalled that the Company he Founded is Inciting Religious Hate

Media & Ethics

October 17, 2018

Walt Disney Would be Appalled that the Company he Founded is Inciting Religious Hate

If Walt were alive today there’s no question Remini’s show would never exist on one of his networks.

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How to Fight Fake News in the Post-Journalism Era

How to Fight Fake News in the Post-Journalism Era

There are still plenty of problems to fix in the world, but stupefying viewers with incessant catastrophes on a 24-hour news...

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Leah Remini—the TV Personality Who Makes Disney’s Biggest Villains Look Like Tinkerbell!

Leah Remini—the TV Personality Who Makes Disney’s Biggest Villains Look Like Tinkerbell!

Just like in any Disney movie, the villain always loses in the end, winding up with egg on his or her face. Visibly, this...

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The Not-So-Magical Magic Kingdom

Media & Ethics

October 10, 2018

The Not-So-Magical Magic Kingdom

Why “family friendly” Disney would risk its reputation by sponsoring a hate show against a religious group begins to make...

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Fake News Isn’t News and It Isn’t New

Media & Ethics

October 2, 2018

Fake News Isn’t News and It Isn’t New

Some years ago, my local Church of Scientology was in a legal battle with an individual who was violating the law. We took...

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Disney Has a Problem

Media & Ethics

September 30, 2018

Disney Has a Problem

As a sad testimony to the bloodthirstiness of a portion of America’s viewing public, Remini’s show had a few people watching...

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Desensitizing Hate: A Scientologist’s Perspective

Tolerance

September 29, 2018

Desensitizing Hate: A Scientologist’s Perspective

But rather than focusing on what we don’t like about others, we should look for ways to accept—even admire—our differences.

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If Even Saints are Smeared by the Media, Can We Believe What We Read?

Media & Ethics

September 28, 2018

If Even Saints are Smeared by the Media, Can We Believe What We Read?

Surely Mother Teresa, who received the Nobel Prize in 1979 and was made a saint in 2016 would be a perfect candidate. To my...

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How Young Is Too Young to Learn About Bigotry?

Tolerance

September 21, 2018

How Young Is Too Young to Learn About Bigotry?

I was moved by a recent articulate, thoughtful article about how to prepare your children for the evil that exists in the...

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LAist Breakfast: Journalism With a Side of the Same Old Diatribe

Media & Ethics

September 21, 2018

LAist Breakfast: Journalism With a Side of the Same Old Diatribe

If Sofia Kercher had decided to be honest with Scientology Celebrity Center International about her intentions during her...

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A Word of Advice From Someone Who Used to Love Disney

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 20, 2018

A Word of Advice From Someone Who Used to Love Disney

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of Disney, I am sure you have seen the stats in Hollywood. People are tuning out in droves. Hollywood...

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How Religion Improves Lives and Why Bigots Oppose It

Religious Freedom

September 20, 2018

How Religion Improves Lives and Why Bigots Oppose It

Growing up as an agnostic, John did not give religious matters too much thought. Nor did he assess his actions against any...

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Race, Religion & Bridges to Understanding

Tolerance

September 20, 2018

Race, Religion & Bridges to Understanding

A group of almost 600 people, mostly African-Americans, gather on a road leading east out of a small southern town. They begin...

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Why Tolerance Is Not Enough. #respectfaith

Tolerance

September 20, 2018

Why Tolerance Is Not Enough. #respectfaith

When I was a child in France, the word “culte” just meant “worship.” Still does. In fact, when intolerant types there...

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Disney & Remini: You Picked a Bad Time to Be Haters

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 14, 2018

Disney & Remini: You Picked a Bad Time to Be Haters

Out of touch. That’s how haters like Leah Remini can be described. Like all bigots and bullies, she is even proud of being...

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One Thing You (Few) Haters Don’t Know About Us

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 13, 2018

One Thing You (Few) Haters Don’t Know About Us

Hey haters! I know you tend to think you’re pretty sharp. That you know everything we’ll say and do before we say and...

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The Definition of Hate

Tolerance

September 13, 2018

The Definition of Hate

Just as the only thing we need to fear is Fear itself, so the only thing truly worth hating is Hate. And since Hate equals...

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Finding Solace in the Tajikistan Bicycle Attack

Tolerance

September 12, 2018

Finding Solace in the Tajikistan Bicycle Attack

While this world has a history of vicious intolerance—one it sometimes appears may continue forever—I see signs that there...

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Religious Tolerance and Growing up in Brooklyn

Tolerance

September 12, 2018

Religious Tolerance and Growing up in Brooklyn

The question becomes: how can we maintain and express our deep-seated religious beliefs and practices without becoming intolerant...

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Cyrus the Great and the Roots of Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

September 12, 2018

Cyrus the Great and the Roots of Religious Freedom

You’ve probably never heard of Cyrus the Great, but if you admire and enjoy freedom of religion, freedom from slavery, and...

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Our Outraged Society

Tolerance

September 10, 2018

Our Outraged Society

We are supposed to be living in an enlightened age, but instead we seem to be devolving into a society of bullies who, ironically,...

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An Open Letter to the Executives of Disney and A&E

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 5, 2018

An Open Letter to the Executives of Disney and A&E

I have been a structural and specialty contractor for almost half a century and have helped build several of the very Disney...

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Why I Know Walt Disney Would Be Ashamed

Combating Bigotry & Hate

September 5, 2018

Why I Know Walt Disney Would Be Ashamed

I remember two things about Walt: one was that he was really tall and the other was that he was the kindest man I had ever...

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What Do You Mean by “God?”

Tolerance

September 3, 2018

What Do You Mean by “God?”

Man’s entire history has, to a large degree, centered on the question of God. Wars have been fought, families torn apart,...

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