Walgreens: You Support Hate with Your Ad Dollars
I urge you as individuals who care about your families, your friends and your communities to stop contributing to this cesspool of malicious hate designed to benefit a tiny few at the expense of so many good people.
June 16, 2017
Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
1419 Lake Cook Rd. MS #L390
Deerfield, IL 60015
Dear Mr. Holyk,
As Scientologists worldwide and as members of Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) we, the undersigned, are writing about your corporate responsibility in supporting a show airing on A&E attacking our Church while inciting threats and violence.
You should not subsidize hate speech with your advertising dollars. A&E’s show starring actress Leah Remini is dishonest, untrustworthy and wholly lacking in compassion for those who have found themselves threatened, intimidated, shunned and mocked solely for practicing their religious faith.
The initial season alone generated more than 400 incidents of harassment, threats of violence and vandalism against our churches.
In April, our Church in Hollywood received two separate bomb threats.
In Los Angeles, a man pled guilty and spent five months in jail after issuing a death threat against Church leaders, staff and parishioners, telling police he was inspired by Remini, who he referred to as “the King of Queens lady.”
In Minneapolis, a man was just arrested for arson at one of our Churches while parishioners were inside. In one case, a 13-year-old boy posted a death threat online aimed at Church leadership after binge watching the program.
In addition, one of our STAND members reported:
- “I am constantly having to answer questions and concerns my mother has as a result of this show. My sister won’t talk to me and continues to try and persuade my mother that there is something wrong with me if I am doing Scientology even though all of the facts prove otherwise.”
- “Since the airing of this show, my children and I have had to deal with more and more religious discrimination. This prejudice and these verbal attacks on our religion are being instigated by the hateful vendetta of Leah Remini who was provided a platform to promote her bigotry.”
- “Most recently, my girlfriend’s acquaintance and co-worker, having seen A&E’s show, decided to profile me and effectively try to convince my girlfriend that I was somehow a bad person, simply because I am a Scientologist. He passive-aggressively questioned her “life choices” while also banning me from entering his home, simply because I practice Scientology in my daily life.”
Still another one said:
- “I recently had a woman I was talking with notice the Scientology symbol on my jacket and pull her husband away saying, ‘don’t talk to her, she’s a Scientologist.’”
I urge you as individuals who care about your families, your friends and your communities to stop contributing to this cesspool of malicious hate designed to benefit a tiny few at the expense of so many good people. Simply withdrawing your support and putting your investment to work in more worthwhile places will mean so much to the millions of people around the world who have seen what Scientology really is and how it helps people.
It would mean so much to our families and to our children. They deserve to grow up in a world free from those who threaten or mock because of their beliefs. This is an intolerable form of bullying that your advertising dollars should not support.
on behalf of the millions of Scientologists worldwide.