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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2342

Scientologists came to help, not to preach

As a graduate of one of the USA's top journalism universities and a professional writer, I was appalled by your coverage of attempted religious conversions of tsunami victims.

I cannot confirm or dispute statements that some religions may have attempted conversions among tsunami victims. But I know from [u][i]personally [/i][/u]speaking with--and reading accounts written by--many Scientology Volunteer Ministers, that your reporter Christian Eckert's slurs are, in the case of Scientology, completely false.

Please see the chapter titled "Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others" in the non-religious book, [i]The Way to Happiness[/i] by L. Ron Hubbard.

Scientology Volunteer Ministers--who spent their own money and took time from work and family to help tsunami victims--were extremely careful NOT to add religion into their ministrations of help. They were instructed in what they could and could not say, so their help would in no way offend local Muslims. [u][i]If [/i][/u]there was any [u][i]individual [/i][/u]exception, that person was disobeying very clear rules.

Help was the purpose of every Scientology Volunteer Minister there, and trying to change others' centuries-old, deeply held religious beliefs would have hampered and diluted efforts to restore tsunami victims to the industrious, self-sufficient lives they've traditionally led. Our volunteers' help was graciously accepted and many made good friends there--at least partially because we did not meddle in religion.

As to Eckert, his grammar and sentence construction are laughable. His education in journalism nonexistent. Accordingly, his allegations are equally careless and uneducated. For instance, he mentions Scientology "Bible Readings," but there are no such things. As we are a new religion, we are not Bible-based.

Eckert covertly tries to hoodwink Asian Tribune and readers. Since he posted from Germany, Christian Eckert knows his statements about the German government's treatment of Scientology are false by a decade. True, Nazi-like anti-Scientology oppression was instituted by the corrupt and deposed government of Helmut Kohl. But Eckert knows that German court after court reversed all that. In fact, in 2003, Germany granted Scientology tax-free status with other religions.

I have invited Asian Tribune to write me in the future to verify any allegations about Scientology. I will provide facts and documents.

Anyone curious about how Scientology can help their lives may visit: http://www.Scientology.net. To ask for the help of our Volunteer Ministers, visit: http://www.volunteerministers.org/ .

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