I am writing to ask you to carefully reconsider your sponsorship of A&E’s Leah Remini show, Scientology and the Aftermath. As a Scientologist of more than forty years, I am deeply offended by it.
June 6, 2018
Dear Mr. Steinert,
I am writing to ask you to carefully reconsider your sponsorship of A&E’s Leah Remini show, Scientology and the Aftermath. As a Scientologist of more than forty years, I am deeply offended by it; but more than that, as an American I am worried and troubled that this program is a manifestation of a social and moral disease of divisiveness that is overtaking our culture and that the continuation of this program—and the continuation of similar programming that attacks other religions—will further divide our society.
As a Scientologist: One can’t ever get the truth from someone who has an ax to grind. Ms. Remini and Mr. Rinder have axes to grind—and grind them they do. The fact that this ax-grinding is so blatantly obvious marks the show as nothing more than a vendetta that would be pitiful if it were not so libelous. But worse than that, it actively promotes antipathy—and that is the last thing any religion, much less my religion, needs in what is becoming an increasingly contentious society and world. Where we need bridges built of the recognition of the similarities among us all, this program digs deep chasms by enforcing differences, distortions, and untruths. I would hope that you would prefer to sponsor programming that seeks to build bridges.
As an American: We are a nation of immigrants, which inevitably makes us a nation of widely different cultures and religions. This is why our American culture is so rich and varied. Unfortunately, a human tendency is to be suspicious of perceived differences in others. This tendency is exploited by people who attempt to spread misunderstanding, distrust, and outright hate—and it is happening far too often and far too flagrantly in our country today.
Every religion that has been persecuted—and every member of a religion who has been personally persecuted—has been thought of and maligned as different and therefore bad. Yet all religions have core beliefs that are remarkably similar, the Golden Rule chief among them. The fact that a relative few (but very loud) people in our society are fanning the flames of hate by doubling down on perceived differences is utterly antithetical to the fundamental beliefs of all religions—including Scientology, which in fact emphasizes at least three direct statements of the Golden Rule in its doctrines and has the broad concept woven through its entire philosophy.
In their divisiveness, Ms. Remini and Mr. Rinder fly in the face of this tradition and reveal their utter lack of even a superficial understanding of the religion they criticize. Their intention to foment confusion and deep discord is unmistakable and unjustifiable. Yes, I am offended by the slander of my religion, but as an American I am more than offended by an attack on any religion—I am deeply worried that hate mongering such as this does not bode well for the long-term health of our society. I would hope that you don’t want to be associated with that.
I ask that you carefully consider the ramifications of sponsorship of Scientology and the Aftermath and other programs like it and redirect your resources toward building bridges, not chasms.