An Open Letter to Daily Beast Bigot Marlow Stern

Mr. Stern,

I read with interest your interview with Forest Whitaker. He spoke with passion about how he felt that recognition for Black and Latino actors was finally being realized. As a Black man, I concur and applaud these developments.

However, I found it odd that you would toss in a non sequitur—a bigoted aside regarding Scientology to Mr. Whitaker in an obvious attempt to confirm your own bias. Being a decent human being, he didn’t take the bait.

Sadly this didn’t stop you, as you pressed on with your slanted thesis, apparently needing validation. This is not uncommon.

Equality and diversity
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Let’s start with a dictionary definition:

Bigot - noun: A person who is obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, especially one who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.

So you were exhibiting bigoted behavior toward Scientology and a Scientologist, and were hoping that Mr. Whitaker would join in with you.

This is due to a few factors:

1. The bigot CANNOT assimilate information that is outside of his slanted world view.

You say you’ve “done a lot of reporting” on Scientology. Please don’t nauseate me. I don’t know you, but I’m quite certain that your “reporting” was ONLY with sources that confirmed your bias.

A bigot wants to validate his own world view.

This “reporting” includes the usual motley crew of ne’er-do-wells, has-beens and never-weres who attempt to cobble out a meager living feeding biased content to individuals like yourself.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of Scientologists in the Los Angeles area alone, but you didn’t do any “reporting” with them, because their responses would cause you bigoted cognitive dissonance. Why add balance when you “already know”? I understand in a way. (Why get confused?)

2. The bigot is surprised when others don’t share his bigotry.

A bigot wants to validate his own world view and when his bigotry isn’t validated, he’s surprised, and makes attempts to “educate” others. This is why you continued to badger Mr. Whitaker when he didn’t jump on the idea that he was “roped” into doing a movie by a Scientologist who is universally liked and recognized as a decent human being.

Undoubtedly you were surprised that Mr. Whitaker mentioned this Scientologist was a friend and went on to give his take on some of the issues being grappled with in the film. This is certainly not unusual or uncommon; unless one has some sort of obvious, compulsive axe to grind.

As Mr. Whitaker demonstrated with such eloquence and class, one doesn’t have to be part of a group, religion, race or sexual orientation to have the decency to grant others the right to be who they want and practice what they choose.

You should try it sometime.


Roger Harrison 

Roger Harrison
Roger operates professionally as a jazz piano player, singer, voice-over artist and bandleader. He is passionate about the importance of religious freedom and the dangers of religious bigotry.