Beliefs About Believing

Religious Literacy

January 11, 2018

Beliefs About Believing

You won’t find anyone whose pupils contract that doesn’t believe something. From the time we are born, we “believe”...

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People Who “Discriminate” Can’t Discriminate

Tolerance

January 10, 2018

People Who “Discriminate” Can’t Discriminate

Real, careful discrimination takes accurate observation, knowledge of the subject at hand, and fine judgment. That takes some...

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What is “Reality” Anyway?

Tolerance

January 10, 2018

What is “Reality” Anyway?

I took a university philosophy class one time and the part about the nature of reality almost killed me. Aristotle wrote 12...

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It’s Time to Shed the Stigma of “Organized Religion”

Religious Literacy

January 10, 2018

It’s Time to Shed the Stigma of “Organized Religion”

I’ve heard people speak of organized religion rather distastefully. Organized government takeover or organized guerrilla...

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The Insidious Government Suppression of Religion

Religious Freedom

January 2, 2018

The Insidious Government Suppression of Religion

This situation has gotten so bad that there are now law firms that specialize in defending churches’ rights against suppressive...

READ MORE
The Truth—and Lies—About Scientology

Scientology Religion

January 2, 2018

The Truth—and Lies—About Scientology

When I was eighteen, I was working the cash register of the family grocery store when a gentleman walked in holding a brown...

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What I Tell My Friends When Scientology Is Libeled

Scientology Religion

January 2, 2018

What I Tell My Friends When Scientology Is Libeled

In 1633, Galileo was tried and found guilty of heresy and confined to house arrest for the remainder of his life for correctly...

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Breaking News: Scientologists Eat Salad!

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 31, 2017

Breaking News: Scientologists Eat Salad!

How well I remember that morning in 1985 when I awoke to see a piece produced by a local Portland, Oregon TV news show marveling...

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What It’s Like Being a Scientology Dad

Scientology Religion

December 30, 2017

What It’s Like Being a Scientology Dad

I have the most awesome kid in the world. I know every parent thinks that, but in my case I have empirical evidence to support...

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The Little Boy Who Survived the Sutherland Springs Shooting

Religious Freedom

December 29, 2017

The Little Boy Who Survived the Sutherland Springs Shooting

He was shot five times—twice in the stomach, twice in the leg and once in the elbow. He wasn’t a Marine and he wasn’t...

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What We Scientologists Wish You Knew About Us

Scientology Religion

December 29, 2017

What We Scientologists Wish You Knew About Us

I am a Scientologist of over 35 years, and my friends and I are here to tell you that we are no different from you.

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A Jewish Scientologist’s Reflections on Hanukkah and Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

December 27, 2017

A Jewish Scientologist’s Reflections on Hanukkah and Religious Freedom

This year, on the last night of the holiday, as the candles in our menorah flickered out with puffs of smoke, I thought of...

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How to Get Others to Change Their Minds

Tolerance

December 27, 2017

How to Get Others to Change Their Minds

How many times have you tried to change someone’s mind about something by indicating where they were wrong? Did that work...

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Can Plastic Reindeer Ensure Separation of Church and State?

Tolerance

December 26, 2017

Can Plastic Reindeer Ensure Separation of Church and State?

In my last post, I made the point that the Founders’ purpose in providing for free exercise of religion and prohibiting...

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A Christmas Poem

Religious Literacy

December 25, 2017

A Christmas Poem

For surely all of us should know acceptance is the way to go, that people differ, east to west, and one man’s faith is not...

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Why I Love Christmas

Tolerance

December 25, 2017

Why I Love Christmas

I enjoy the lights, the decorations, the carolers, the smell of Christmas trees everywhere and most of all I love that people,...

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About Saving the World and Those Who Discourage It

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 19, 2017

About Saving the World and Those Who Discourage It

By the time I was 13 years old, if someone asked me what I wanted to be or do when I grew up, I would’ve told them: “I...

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Do Scientologists Believe in Aliens?

Tolerance

December 19, 2017

Do Scientologists Believe in Aliens?

For the record, I’ve been a Scientologist for over thirty years, and so far no one in the church has ever inquired about...

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Scientologists DO Have An Agenda!

Scientology Religion

December 19, 2017

Scientologists DO Have An Agenda!

I’ve been in Scientology since 1975. For 32 of those years I worked in a Church of Scientology as a staff member. For 19...

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Was Jewish “Blood Libel” the First Fake News?

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 18, 2017

Was Jewish “Blood Libel” the First Fake News?

Libel means false accusation. For centuries, a particularly vicious libel has been leveled at Jews: that they sacrificed Christian...

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STAND’s Annual Year-End Reception: A Meeting of Minds

Scientology Religion

December 17, 2017

STAND’s Annual Year-End Reception: A Meeting of Minds

Once I began to study Scientology, one of the things that kept me coming back was the people I’ve been privileged to associate...

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Taking a STAND Against Discrimination: Nelson Mandela

Tolerance

December 17, 2017

Taking a STAND Against Discrimination: Nelson Mandela

His English name was Nelson Mandela, but at birth his mother had named him Rolihlahla, which meant “troublemaker” in his...

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What Human Rights Day Means to Me

Tolerance

December 13, 2017

What Human Rights Day Means to Me

I’m about to board a flight back to the U.S. after spending two weeks delivering human rights lectures and musical performances...

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The Single Source of Conflict

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 13, 2017

The Single Source of Conflict

Who doesn't love a good fight? I still remember junior-high cries of "Fight! Fight!" as kids rushed to circle two combatants....

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The Trouble With the Media’s Frantic Pace

Media & Ethics

December 13, 2017

The Trouble With the Media’s Frantic Pace

Tom Petty died. Except it wasn’t when we were told he was dead. You see, some news agencies with more of a desire to “get...

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The Worsening Attacks on International Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

December 13, 2017

The Worsening Attacks on International Religious Freedom

Whatever your religious beliefs may be, it is likely that others who share them are being attacked in some corner of the world....

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What is “Separation of Church and State” About Anyway?

Religious Freedom

December 12, 2017

What is “Separation of Church and State” About Anyway?

I recently read an article in which the author asserted that the purpose of freedom of religion and “separation of church...

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Guilt by Association: Making Good People and Their Religions Look Bad

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 12, 2017

Guilt by Association: Making Good People and Their Religions Look Bad

The prophets wanted their followers to believe in God and follow His Word. It’s true that some adherents to these religions...

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Religion: What’s the Point?

Religious Literacy

December 12, 2017

Religion: What’s the Point?

Religion is like marriage: there’s so much to criticize about it, yet people still want to tie the knot. Marriage is designed...

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A Brief Analysis of the Free Speech vs. Hate Speech Debate

Tolerance

December 11, 2017

A Brief Analysis of the Free Speech vs. Hate Speech Debate

In one of his many letters stressing the importance of education, Thomas Jefferson wrote that, “as long as we may think...

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Why Is Scientology Treated “Unfairly?”

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 11, 2017

Why Is Scientology Treated “Unfairly?”

Cultures change slowly. I was born in 1945. When I was growing up in Washington, D.C., discrimination against African Americans,...

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On Respecting Religion, Church and State

Tolerance

December 10, 2017

On Respecting Religion, Church and State

We’re living at a time when it seems that to believe in something means you have to do whatever you can to force everyone...

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Digitizing God—Anthony Levandowski’s “Way of the Future”

Religious Literacy

December 5, 2017

Digitizing God—Anthony Levandowski’s “Way of the Future”

Multimillionaire and Silicon Valley whiz kid Anthony Levandowski is obviously no dummy. So I can only conclude that he missed...

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Is Technology the Greatest Hope for Humanity?

Tolerance

December 5, 2017

Is Technology the Greatest Hope for Humanity?

In 1997, a computer defeated Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess champion that ever lived. Deep Blue was a $10-million-dollar...

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Reader Beware: Fake News Is Cheap and Easy

Media & Ethics

December 5, 2017

Reader Beware: Fake News Is Cheap and Easy

The data is fascinating and rather unnerving at the same time. In about an hour’s time, Mr. King created a fake news website,...

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Thomas Jefferson and the True Spirit of Scientology

Thomas Jefferson and the True Spirit of Scientology

As a 7th grader, I visited the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. The quote in HUGE letters around the inner dome reads:...

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“FaithLeaks” and the New Deprogrammers

“FaithLeaks” and the New Deprogrammers

The supposed purpose of FaithLeaks is to get anonymous tips of wrongdoing within churches and religions, “expose” them...

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Increased Tolerance: The Apple Pie Method

Tolerance

December 3, 2017

Increased Tolerance: The Apple Pie Method

One day when I was a kid, my mom brought an apple pie home from the bakery. This was a rare occurrence in our sugar-rationed...

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Scientology: The Genie is Out of the Bottle

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 30, 2017

Scientology: The Genie is Out of the Bottle

The frustration level of those desperately trying to shove the Scientology “genie” back in the bottle seems to be at an...

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Why Does It Have to Be “Science vs. Religion?”

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 30, 2017

Why Does It Have to Be “Science vs. Religion?”

Debates that pit science versus religion don’t usually end well. They can devolve into name-calling, sometimes on a national...

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Too Much Evil in the World? Look Again.

Tolerance

November 29, 2017

Too Much Evil in the World? Look Again.

As I continued on the last leg of my trip, I mulled over my encounters with these two men from very different demographics—two...

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Will You Be the Journalist Who Covers Scientology Right?

Media & Ethics

November 29, 2017

Will You Be the Journalist Who Covers Scientology Right?

Whether you are an amateur blogger, the curator of a Facebook page, or a content creator for a prestigious international news...

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What Does it Take to Maintain Freedom of Religion Against Hatred and Intolerance?

Tolerance

November 28, 2017

What Does it Take to Maintain Freedom of Religion Against Hatred and Intolerance?

I was 28 when I met Gunnar and Lois and their son Anders. When they asked me what I thought about Nixon and Watergate, I had...

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Why It’s Cool to Be “Uncool”

Tolerance

November 28, 2017

Why It’s Cool to Be “Uncool”

I was never one of the “cool” crowd. I had lots of friends from every one of the defined social groups in high school,...

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Does One Have to Believe in God To Be Moral?

Religious Literacy

November 27, 2017

Does One Have to Believe in God To Be Moral?

We know from experience in the workplace that there are those employees who need constant supervision to maintain productivity...

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Giving Thanks Grateful to be a Scientologist

Scientology Religion

November 22, 2017

Giving Thanks Grateful to be a Scientologist

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Some of my earliest memories are of my extended family gathering...

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Why Is a Texas School Being Bullied by the Freedom From Religion Foundation?

Religious Freedom

November 21, 2017

Why Is a Texas School Being Bullied by the Freedom From Religion Foundation?

This is not free thinking. This is hostile to religion and to an individual’s freedom of religious choice, as outlined explicitly...

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America’s Most Dangerous Cult

Media & Ethics

November 21, 2017

America’s Most Dangerous Cult

“Everybody knows” what a cult is. “Cult” is one of those words promoted by the media. Yet if you question anyone using...

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Seeing Hamilton—And Why We Just Won’t Shut Up

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 21, 2017

Seeing Hamilton—And Why We Just Won’t Shut Up

When I was visiting New York last month, I got to see the Broadway phenomenon that has everyone talking: Hamilton. And I have...

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Ending Nuclear War—A Small Group With a Big Idea

Tolerance

November 20, 2017

Ending Nuclear War—A Small Group With a Big Idea

Last month, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a Geneva-based coalition...

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How Eric Idle Dropped Me as His Biggest Fan Because I’m a Scientologist

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 20, 2017

How Eric Idle Dropped Me as His Biggest Fan Because I’m a Scientologist

I’d like to share what it’s like to have a celebrity—someone you have admired and been a fan of your whole life—suddenly...

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What My Trip to Idaho for the Eclipse Taught Me About Prejudice

Tolerance

November 17, 2017

What My Trip to Idaho for the Eclipse Taught Me About Prejudice

We were either going to see a magnificent astronomical event or—more likely—we were going to end up as bloody roadkill...

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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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No, Laura Loomer: Jews Aren’t Bigots

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 13, 2017

No, Laura Loomer: Jews Aren’t Bigots

It seems like religion is always at the forefront of so many unnecessary upsets, especially on social media. Recently, New...

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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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What Cops and Scientologists Have in Common

What Cops and Scientologists Have in Common

A very good friend of mine is a police officer. She and I recently took a lovely vacation to Scotland and Ireland. Man, did...

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It’s Easy to Knock Religion

It’s Easy to Knock Religion

I recently came across this piece and found it to be a beautiful, uplifting and timely response by Rabbi Marc Gellman to a...

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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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When “the Victim” is the Bully

When “the Victim” is the Bully

I’m “a big kid.” That is to say, I’m an adult. I’m well-educated, reasonably affluent, and able to hold my own in...

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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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To Those Working to Eradicate Religion: What About Helping People Instead?

To Those Working to Eradicate Religion: What About Helping People Instead?

When I look at the state of the world today—what with some 25 million individuals being human trafficked, two people dying...

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Smart Companies Don’t Pay for Hate

Smart Companies Don’t Pay for Hate

Why on earth would any company support, with add dollars, any program deliberately created to alienate a particular group...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Where God & Religion Have Gone

Where God & Religion Have Gone

I think it was at that point that church attendance started to drop and MTV took over for parents and my generation began...

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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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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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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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What “Everybody Knows” Actually Isn’t True

What “Everybody Knows” Actually Isn’t True

If even I, a young child, could tell that these things that “everybody knew” were simple and obvious lies, how could grown-ups...

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A&E Attacks Religions. Yours Could Be Next.

A&E Attacks Religions. Yours Could Be Next.

Where does A&E CEO Nancy Dubuc draw the line for hate-based propaganda on their network? Apparently nowhere. The financial...

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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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Of Bigots and Bullies

Of Bigots and Bullies

It’s bad enough when adults turn a blind eye to bullying, it’s disgraceful when they encourage it, and it’s criminal...

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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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Who You Callin’ a Spigot?

Who You Callin’ a Spigot?

I propose a word that would serve to make a distinction between common, garden-variety bigots and those who are prejudiced...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Beliefs About Believing

Religious Literacy

January 11, 2018

Beliefs About Believing

You won’t find anyone whose pupils contract that doesn’t believe something. From the time we are born, we “believe”...

READ MORE
People Who “Discriminate” Can’t Discriminate

Tolerance

January 10, 2018

People Who “Discriminate” Can’t Discriminate

Real, careful discrimination takes accurate observation, knowledge of the subject at hand, and fine judgment. That takes some...

READ MORE
What is “Reality” Anyway?

Tolerance

January 10, 2018

What is “Reality” Anyway?

I took a university philosophy class one time and the part about the nature of reality almost killed me. Aristotle wrote 12...

READ MORE
It’s Time to Shed the Stigma of “Organized Religion”

Religious Literacy

January 10, 2018

It’s Time to Shed the Stigma of “Organized Religion”

I’ve heard people speak of organized religion rather distastefully. Organized government takeover or organized guerrilla...

READ MORE
The Insidious Government Suppression of Religion

Religious Freedom

January 2, 2018

The Insidious Government Suppression of Religion

This situation has gotten so bad that there are now law firms that specialize in defending churches’ rights against suppressive...

READ MORE
The Truth—and Lies—About Scientology

Scientology Religion

January 2, 2018

The Truth—and Lies—About Scientology

When I was eighteen, I was working the cash register of the family grocery store when a gentleman walked in holding a brown...

READ MORE
What I Tell My Friends When Scientology Is Libeled

Scientology Religion

January 2, 2018

What I Tell My Friends When Scientology Is Libeled

In 1633, Galileo was tried and found guilty of heresy and confined to house arrest for the remainder of his life for correctly...

READ MORE
Breaking News: Scientologists Eat Salad!

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 31, 2017

Breaking News: Scientologists Eat Salad!

How well I remember that morning in 1985 when I awoke to see a piece produced by a local Portland, Oregon TV news show marveling...

READ MORE
What It’s Like Being a Scientology Dad

Scientology Religion

December 30, 2017

What It’s Like Being a Scientology Dad

I have the most awesome kid in the world. I know every parent thinks that, but in my case I have empirical evidence to support...

READ MORE
The Little Boy Who Survived the Sutherland Springs Shooting

Religious Freedom

December 29, 2017

The Little Boy Who Survived the Sutherland Springs Shooting

He was shot five times—twice in the stomach, twice in the leg and once in the elbow. He wasn’t a Marine and he wasn’t...

READ MORE
What We Scientologists Wish You Knew About Us

Scientology Religion

December 29, 2017

What We Scientologists Wish You Knew About Us

I am a Scientologist of over 35 years, and my friends and I are here to tell you that we are no different from you.

READ MORE
A Jewish Scientologist’s Reflections on Hanukkah and Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

December 27, 2017

A Jewish Scientologist’s Reflections on Hanukkah and Religious Freedom

This year, on the last night of the holiday, as the candles in our menorah flickered out with puffs of smoke, I thought of...

READ MORE
How to Get Others to Change Their Minds

Tolerance

December 27, 2017

How to Get Others to Change Their Minds

How many times have you tried to change someone’s mind about something by indicating where they were wrong? Did that work...

READ MORE
Can Plastic Reindeer Ensure Separation of Church and State?

Tolerance

December 26, 2017

Can Plastic Reindeer Ensure Separation of Church and State?

In my last post, I made the point that the Founders’ purpose in providing for free exercise of religion and prohibiting...

READ MORE
A Christmas Poem

Religious Literacy

December 25, 2017

A Christmas Poem

For surely all of us should know acceptance is the way to go, that people differ, east to west, and one man’s faith is not...

READ MORE
Why I Love Christmas

Tolerance

December 25, 2017

Why I Love Christmas

I enjoy the lights, the decorations, the carolers, the smell of Christmas trees everywhere and most of all I love that people,...

READ MORE
About Saving the World and Those Who Discourage It

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 19, 2017

About Saving the World and Those Who Discourage It

By the time I was 13 years old, if someone asked me what I wanted to be or do when I grew up, I would’ve told them: “I...

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Do Scientologists Believe in Aliens?

Tolerance

December 19, 2017

Do Scientologists Believe in Aliens?

For the record, I’ve been a Scientologist for over thirty years, and so far no one in the church has ever inquired about...

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STAND’s Annual Year-End Reception: A Meeting of Minds

Scientology Religion

December 17, 2017

STAND’s Annual Year-End Reception: A Meeting of Minds

Once I began to study Scientology, one of the things that kept me coming back was the people I’ve been privileged to associate...

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Taking a STAND Against Discrimination: Nelson Mandela

Tolerance

December 17, 2017

Taking a STAND Against Discrimination: Nelson Mandela

His English name was Nelson Mandela, but at birth his mother had named him Rolihlahla, which meant “troublemaker” in his...

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What Human Rights Day Means to Me

Tolerance

December 13, 2017

What Human Rights Day Means to Me

I’m about to board a flight back to the U.S. after spending two weeks delivering human rights lectures and musical performances...

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The Trouble With the Media’s Frantic Pace

Media & Ethics

December 13, 2017

The Trouble With the Media’s Frantic Pace

Tom Petty died. Except it wasn’t when we were told he was dead. You see, some news agencies with more of a desire to “get...

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The Worsening Attacks on International Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom

December 13, 2017

The Worsening Attacks on International Religious Freedom

Whatever your religious beliefs may be, it is likely that others who share them are being attacked in some corner of the world....

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What is “Separation of Church and State” About Anyway?

Religious Freedom

December 12, 2017

What is “Separation of Church and State” About Anyway?

I recently read an article in which the author asserted that the purpose of freedom of religion and “separation of church...

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Guilt by Association: Making Good People and Their Religions Look Bad

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 12, 2017

Guilt by Association: Making Good People and Their Religions Look Bad

The prophets wanted their followers to believe in God and follow His Word. It’s true that some adherents to these religions...

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A Brief Analysis of the Free Speech vs. Hate Speech Debate

Tolerance

December 11, 2017

A Brief Analysis of the Free Speech vs. Hate Speech Debate

In one of his many letters stressing the importance of education, Thomas Jefferson wrote that, “as long as we may think...

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Why Is Scientology Treated “Unfairly?”

Combating Bigotry & Hate

December 11, 2017

Why Is Scientology Treated “Unfairly?”

Cultures change slowly. I was born in 1945. When I was growing up in Washington, D.C., discrimination against African Americans,...

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On Respecting Religion, Church and State

Tolerance

December 10, 2017

On Respecting Religion, Church and State

We’re living at a time when it seems that to believe in something means you have to do whatever you can to force everyone...

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Digitizing God—Anthony Levandowski’s “Way of the Future”

Religious Literacy

December 5, 2017

Digitizing God—Anthony Levandowski’s “Way of the Future”

Multimillionaire and Silicon Valley whiz kid Anthony Levandowski is obviously no dummy. So I can only conclude that he missed...

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Is Technology the Greatest Hope for Humanity?

Tolerance

December 5, 2017

Is Technology the Greatest Hope for Humanity?

In 1997, a computer defeated Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess champion that ever lived. Deep Blue was a $10-million-dollar...

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Reader Beware: Fake News Is Cheap and Easy

Media & Ethics

December 5, 2017

Reader Beware: Fake News Is Cheap and Easy

The data is fascinating and rather unnerving at the same time. In about an hour’s time, Mr. King created a fake news website,...

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Thomas Jefferson and the True Spirit of Scientology

Thomas Jefferson and the True Spirit of Scientology

As a 7th grader, I visited the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. The quote in HUGE letters around the inner dome reads:...

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“FaithLeaks” and the New Deprogrammers

“FaithLeaks” and the New Deprogrammers

The supposed purpose of FaithLeaks is to get anonymous tips of wrongdoing within churches and religions, “expose” them...

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Increased Tolerance: The Apple Pie Method

Tolerance

December 3, 2017

Increased Tolerance: The Apple Pie Method

One day when I was a kid, my mom brought an apple pie home from the bakery. This was a rare occurrence in our sugar-rationed...

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Why Does It Have to Be “Science vs. Religion?”

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 30, 2017

Why Does It Have to Be “Science vs. Religion?”

Debates that pit science versus religion don’t usually end well. They can devolve into name-calling, sometimes on a national...

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Too Much Evil in the World? Look Again.

Tolerance

November 29, 2017

Too Much Evil in the World? Look Again.

As I continued on the last leg of my trip, I mulled over my encounters with these two men from very different demographics—two...

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Will You Be the Journalist Who Covers Scientology Right?

Media & Ethics

November 29, 2017

Will You Be the Journalist Who Covers Scientology Right?

Whether you are an amateur blogger, the curator of a Facebook page, or a content creator for a prestigious international news...

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What Does it Take to Maintain Freedom of Religion Against Hatred and Intolerance?

Tolerance

November 28, 2017

What Does it Take to Maintain Freedom of Religion Against Hatred and Intolerance?

I was 28 when I met Gunnar and Lois and their son Anders. When they asked me what I thought about Nixon and Watergate, I had...

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Why It’s Cool to Be “Uncool”

Tolerance

November 28, 2017

Why It’s Cool to Be “Uncool”

I was never one of the “cool” crowd. I had lots of friends from every one of the defined social groups in high school,...

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Does One Have to Believe in God To Be Moral?

Religious Literacy

November 27, 2017

Does One Have to Believe in God To Be Moral?

We know from experience in the workplace that there are those employees who need constant supervision to maintain productivity...

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Giving Thanks Grateful to be a Scientologist

Scientology Religion

November 22, 2017

Giving Thanks Grateful to be a Scientologist

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Some of my earliest memories are of my extended family gathering...

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Why Is a Texas School Being Bullied by the Freedom From Religion Foundation?

Religious Freedom

November 21, 2017

Why Is a Texas School Being Bullied by the Freedom From Religion Foundation?

This is not free thinking. This is hostile to religion and to an individual’s freedom of religious choice, as outlined explicitly...

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America’s Most Dangerous Cult

Media & Ethics

November 21, 2017

America’s Most Dangerous Cult

“Everybody knows” what a cult is. “Cult” is one of those words promoted by the media. Yet if you question anyone using...

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Ending Nuclear War—A Small Group With a Big Idea

Tolerance

November 20, 2017

Ending Nuclear War—A Small Group With a Big Idea

Last month, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a Geneva-based coalition...

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How Eric Idle Dropped Me as His Biggest Fan Because I’m a Scientologist

Combating Bigotry & Hate

November 20, 2017

How Eric Idle Dropped Me as His Biggest Fan Because I’m a Scientologist

I’d like to share what it’s like to have a celebrity—someone you have admired and been a fan of your whole life—suddenly...

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What My Trip to Idaho for the Eclipse Taught Me About Prejudice

Tolerance

November 17, 2017

What My Trip to Idaho for the Eclipse Taught Me About Prejudice

We were either going to see a magnificent astronomical event or—more likely—we were going to end up as bloody roadkill...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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