CNN

March 27, 2017

Daughter of ex-Scientologist objects to wrong impression left by CNN Aslan show

Had you a sincere interest in what happened in connection with my father and me, you could have reached out to me and I would have informed you of the facts. To my mind, this is just another ethical departure from the truth by another of today’s media outlets.

Executive Producers CNN’s Believer Series
One CNN Center
Atlanta, GA 30303

Dear Executive Producers:

My name is Hayley Savage (née Swanson). I am a Scientologist and the daughter of Tim Swanson, who Reza Aslan interviewed on CNN’s Believer show that claimed to be about Scientology.

Your interview of my father leaves an incorrect impression of my relationship with him. This is not surprising, because you never tried to contact me to at least get my information before broadcast.

For your understanding, my father and mother divorced when I was about one year old. My mother had sole physical custody of me. While I was too young to really understand what was going on, my mother did tell me a few times during my upbringing that my father failed to pay child support, and this caused her difficulty.

As I grew older, age of 9 to 14, I spent certain weekends with my father, and some Christmases and birthdays. I worked hard to keep our relationship as father and daughter alive in spite of not seeing him often.

When in 2010 my father joined people who fought against my religion, we drifted apart, understandably. The communication between us, which by this time had become infrequent, fizzled. I think my father understood that our interests had become so divergent there was little common ground between us, and thus little reason to continue.

My dad said in the Reza Aslan show that he introduced me to Scientology. This was misleading. I lived with my mother who was an active Scientologist and who encouraged me in any activity I chose, including Scientology.

My father had little involvement with Scientology after 1993. That was of his choosing and we respected it. We continued to converse, write, meet and enjoy outings together. His partnership with those who attack Scientology is what set us on different courses and our relationship simply fell away due to there being no common ground between us.

Had you a sincere interest in what happened in connection with my father and me, you could have reached out to me and I would have informed you of the facts. To my mind, this is just another ethical departure from the truth by another of today’s media outlets.

Sincerely,
Hayley
Los Angeles, Calif.

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