October 22, 2020

STAND to the Daily Beast’s Sandy Boone: Respect Others’ Freedoms, Too

Do not promote destructive tropes and antireligious bigotry.

October 21, 2020

Sandy Boone
The Daily Beast

Dear Ms. Boone,

I would tell you that it is a free country and you and all other supporters and members of the Church of the Subgenius are entitled to a sense of humor, but you already know that and are already exercising those rights and freedoms.

What you are failing to exercise is respect for the rights and freedoms of others. When you convert an elaborate joke designed to ridicule religion into an excuse to defame Scientology and its members, you are engaging in something else, and at that point, we must request you stop.

Scientology is a religion recognized by governments the world over. It is so open its beliefs, practices, structure and membership are proudly exhibited for the world to see 24/7 on DirecTV Channel 320 and scientology.tv. Our core scriptures are translated into dozens of languages, readable in virtually every library on Earth, and purchasable in outlets from Barnes & Noble to Amazon. The doors of our Churches—home to expansive Public Information Centers offering more than 500 videos on Scientology beliefs, practices and humanitarian programs—are open to all. Scientologists themselves are visual effects producers, doctors, lawyers, taxi drivers, hairdressers and everything in between. They might even be neighbors of yours, or someone who was once so kind you still think of what they did or said.

Scientology is not, by any definition, the word you used to describe it. Institutions from the United States Executive Branch to the High Court of Australia to the National Judicial Board in Sweden to the South African Revenue Service and Italian Supreme Court found Scientology to be the opposite—an open, charitable religion in the truest sense of the word, dedicated to uplifting individuals. (If you are convinced you smugly know more than hundreds of judiciaries and officials across the globe, I’m afraid we have a different problem entirely.)

Do not promote destructive tropes and antireligious bigotry, Ms. Boone. In doing so—while implicitly promoting your openness and transcendent intellect, the one that lifts you so high above all others you can afford to look down on anyone silly enough to buy into what you characterize as the con job of spiritual pursuits—you broadcast your insistence on keeping your eyes clenched shut in ignorance, or simply an intention to actively mislead or harm.

In summary, no group or individual has a monopoly on knowledge and truth, or the right to lie or pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.

I believe that is the point you and the Church of the Subgenius are trying to make anyway.


Bari Berger

National STAND Director

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