January 5, 2017

Deeply saddened to hear of new 20/20 show

I am not sure who your reporters have been talking to, but clearly it has not been myself, my wife or any of our many Scientologist friends with bright, beautiful, amazing children who have only benefited from Scientology.

January 5, 2017

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

Dear Mr. Harris,

I am deeply saddened to hear that ABC and 20/20 is preparing a report focused on how children are supposedly harmed by Scientology. I am not sure who your reporters have been talking to, but clearly it has not been myself, my wife or any of our many Scientologist friends with bright, beautiful, amazing children who have only benefited from Scientology.

A word about my wife and I. We are Jewish Scientologists, who have been using Scientology to improve our lives and our family for over 30 years. I am originally from South Africa, my wife from Israel. We are a traditional Jewish family who honor the deep history and tradition of our Jewish religion, and yet have been able to gain great insight, wisdom and spirituality by applying the Scientology technology.

Our son, Adam, is a sweet, conscientious, well mannered boy who will be having his Bar Mitzvah in June of 2017, and is studying his Torah portion very hard at the moment. Our daughter, Maya, is a wonderful, vivacious, bubbly 14-year-old, who is ready to go out and change the world.

Many of our friends who are not Scientologists comment on just how well-adjusted, happy and respectful our kids are. I can tell you that they have done numerous Scientology courses as well as spiritual counseling, and they have never been exposed to any sexual content or inappropriate material.

In fact, the main places we have to worry about inappropriate content is every time they pick up their Iphones and get barraged by shows, movies, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat feeds full of explicit content, hate and morally questionable behavior. (By the way, my wife and I happen to be huge fans of Modern Family… love the show).

If I had even an inkling of concern that our kids were being exposed to anything inappropriate I would have them out the door in a second. But it’s the most preposterous statement ever, especially considering how much we have to protect our kids from the constant stream of inappropriate material on the internet and on the airwaves. In comparison, I find only the strictest moral standards when we take our kids (or ourselves) into a Scientology organization.

To take a few examples from people who obviously have an axe to grind with Scientology and then somehow paint all of Scientology as bad for children is a perfect case of one-sided journalism. I know at least a hundred Scientologists with kids, and the vast majority of them have amazing children who have only seen positivity from using Scientology.

I am sure you are quite aware that Scientologists are strongly against any form of drug abuse, insist on a high moral standard for our children, highly value education and understanding, and consider open communication a key to good familial relations. Please explain how that is bad for children?

So how come we or any of our friends have not been interviewed for your "un-biased" report? I welcome the opportunity to meet with you and let you see a different side of the so-called "dangerous" Scientology religion.

Feel free to reach out to us at any time, and you can come and meet us and our kids. We live in Granada Hills, so it shouldn't be difficult. (Although why do I get the feeling that your reporters already have decided how they want the show to go).

On a side note, while you have spent much time on the horrible dangers of Scientology for children, are you aware of all the kids being forcibly held and drugged at UHS psychiatric facilities, some as young as 6 years old. Now that sounds pretty hardcore in terms of what is bad for kids.

Best regards,
Avi and Shiri Lonstein
Granada Hills, Calif.

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