January 4, 2017

Proposed show on Scientology

It is reprehensible that children be used by the media or anti-Scientology zealots in some campaign against the Church.

January 4, 2017

ABC 20/20
New York, N.Y., 10023

Dear Mr. Harris,

I am writing to you as the proud parent of three grown children. All of my children were raised in and with Scientology. All three of them on their own became Scientologists as teenagers. Although they were always involved in the Church, they had to make their own decisions to be Scientologists. My son spent a couple of years saying he was not a Scientologist and realized how unhappy he was not being a member and being involved in the Church and came to us and asked us if he could get some church counseling and he has never looked back since then.

For several years my kids went to a school that was organized and operated by Scientologists, which included doing communication drills. They thrived.

Two of my kids decided they wanted to go to public school to get into sports more actively and have a broader range of friends. They did well in public school, largely because of their Scientology training and experience. They both were extremely active in school and had many friends—almost all of them not Scientologists. They did have to handle some discrimination and negative comments about Scientology from friends who really had no clue but had read something negative. They were not happy with having to deal with some comments and discrimination but defended the Church and their beliefs when it came up. It rarely came up and they continued to do well and thrive. Again, both of the kids said their having done the communications course helped them survive the turbulent teenage years and high school.

When on course or active at the Church they never experienced or told me about ANY negative situations or anything inappropriate happening. They were happy and enjoying time at the Church doing courses with friends.

My youngest daughter elected to go to a private school run with Scientology study technology and ideas. She really thrived, reading Plato and classic literature at 14 years old and merrily telling us about college-level concepts and studies she was doing. She later went on to college and is now happily working for the Church in Los Angeles.

My son owned and ran a successful internet website design and search engine optimization company for several years before selling it and starting another new business. He has two wonderful children, the oldest of whom has studied and done really well with Scientology as well as her regular school studies. The youngest is too young for studying.

My older daughter also loved her Scientology studies and training. She is a successful businesswoman with her own small company as well as three children of her own. Her oldest son is disabled and has benefited from Scientology counseling to assist him emotionally with physical challenges. The other two are doing well but too young to do courses. She is a great mother and uses Scientology concepts in raising three very happy and active boys!

Any show alleging (utterly false and ridiculous) that children raised in and with Scientology concepts are in any way disadvantaged is ridiculous! My children are glowing examples of successful adults, brought up in the Church’s environment. We lived in the suburbs and most of their friends were not Scientologists, although several of my daughter’s friends ended up becoming Scientologists as young adults due to the example of my kids and how balanced and happy they were in life. Plenty of times their young friends would come to me and say they didn’t understand how to talk to their parents and they admired and loved how Jason and Gwen were able to talk to me about anything. Our home was the home that many neighborhood kids hung out at and enjoyed their time. It was free of drugs or violence and always loving and welcome to anyone.

My concern with having a show air that portrays kids in Scientology families as either victims or in any way strange is that this WILL create much more and worse discrimination and bullying against them in school—as I mentioned my kids occasionally endured. It is reprehensible that children be used by the media or anti-Scientology zealots in some campaign against the Church. It is absolutely unfair to those kids and their parents to put them into the bullseye and stand back and watch.

Sincerely,
Sylvia Stanard
Washington D.C. Branch Coordinator STAND
and Deputy Director, National Affairs Office Washington, D.C.

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