Letters for August 30, 2001

Her agenda isn’t hidden

Re “Scientology Inc.” by Jim Evans (SN&R Cover, August 23):

Thanks for Jim Evans’ excellent story on the hidden Scientology affiliations of Government Technology et al.

Like most Scientologists, Dennis McKenna turns a blind eye to the long history of serious crimes committed by the organization he supports. For decades, Scientologists have infiltrated government agencies, attempted to frame government officials (including judges), sicced private investigators on government employees, and hurled millions of unconstitutional tax-exempt dollars into spurious lawsuits—all in accordance with Scientology policy.

The magazines are certainly trying to surreptitiously promote Scientology’s dubious pet projects and spread anti-psychiatry disinformation; given Scientology’s past and policies, it’s highly likely that e.Republic’s contact with government officials will result in additional infiltration, improper influence, and extortion.

It’s irrelevant whether Scientology holds itself out as a church or a bowling club—its actions are criminal, and its hidden agendas and past attacks on government agencies should be made very public. It’s not about religion—it’s about organized crime.

One small, but important, correction: there are nowhere near “millions” of practicing Scientologists; the most generous estimates put the worldwide total between 200,000 and 500,000. Oh, and the Scientology spies in US government offices didn’t “collect” documents—they stole them. Overall, though, a fine, balanced, important story, and I thank you.

Kristi Wachter

In bad faith

Re “Scientology Inc.” by Jim Evans (SN&R Cover, August 23):

I am not a Scientologist, I’m a Roman Catholic, and I was deeply disturbed by the smug undertone of religious bigotry in your article about e.Republic. Whether someone is a Muslim, Catholic, Baptist, Jew, atheist or, yes, even a Scientologist is simply not relevant to their right to pursue their dreams. Bigotry is destructive and those who give support to bigotry poison our collective soul. The Sacramento News & Review should be ashamed.

John Lovell
via e-mail

I am victimized

Re “Scientology Inc.” by Jim Evans (SN&R Cover, August 23):

I am a Scientologist

I am a Scientologist, scorn me. I am accountable for the actions of those who came 30 years before me.

I am Scientologist, investigate me. My thoughts are dangerous.

I am a Scientologist, grant me no peace. My ideas are harmful to others.

I am Scientologist, ignore me. My good works deserve no attention, my motives are always ulterior.

I am a Scientologist, fear me. Your preconceived ideas may change by communicating with me.

I am a Scientologist, reject me. Any commerce in which I engage to provide for my family is inherently sinister.

I am a Scientologist, deny me. Personal betterment, happiness, and spiritual growth are dead ends.

I am a Scientologist, distrust me. Dining in public, riding a bike, owning a business, going to a movie, plying my trade, enjoying a museum, caring about the plight of mankind, attending a concert, these are my veiled attempts to coerce you.

And please, believe the network news, drool when Pavlov signals, trust the papers, get high or low, take your meds, let the teacher drug your child, but above all, deny your self. Any personal betterment movement is just a clever gimmick to make your life miserable.

Omne ingotum pro magnifico.

Bryan Hall

Hug a tree

Re “Stumped By This Story” by Mick Malaney (SN&R Letters, August 23):

I’m saddened that someone living in Sacramento—the state capitol—has such an uninformed view on trees and the perquisites of power.

I recently finished my course work at UC Davis for an Urban Forestry degree and am a board member for a local tree advocacy group. I’m continuing my education to help ensure all cities have healthy urban forests. That such a university program exists near Sacramento is, in part, a testimony to the excellent work of the urban forestry community in the Sacramento area. Sacramento has the nickname “City of Trees” for a reason and many caring people in the community wish to keep it that way.

The crux of the article was that there are laws on the books against cutting down certain trees and they were broken by someone sworn to enforce these laws. The behavior of certain parties appeared to be an abuse of power; therefore, the story was judged to be worth reporting. The judge’s fine was close to the appraised value of the trees; if that’s excessive compared to the fines levied to drunk drivers, perhaps society needs to reevaluate its priorities.

I have worked on numerous projects gathering data to quantify the benefits of trees. Trees provide shade, cooling [to] buildings and pavement, and reduce energy usage. Trees absorb pollution. Trees store carbon. Trees harbor wildlife. Trees are a connection to nature. Trees slow erosion. And a large shade tree in front of a house raises the property value. Healthy urban forests return far more benefits than their costs, and laws against wanton destruction of trees are one indicator of an enlightened society.

If Mr. Malaney really feels so upset over what we consider news in our cow town, “The City” is just a short drive down the freeway. “The City” has many vacant apartments for him to rent, is brimming with products for him to purchase, and has noticeably fewer cows and trees bothering the sophisticated urbanites. Meanwhile, we’ll watch the watchdogs in the shade of our trees.

Dan Staley

Bites has gone to pot

The ugly tone of your (Capital Bites) piece, “Stirring the Pot” (August 16th), with its disparaging and distorted references to “potheads,” brings to mind literature from the Nazi era, with its very similar types of references to Jews, “non-Aryans,” gypsies and other targeted groups.

Your readers will be interested to know that peer reviewed research clearly shows that cannabis has profound medical applications, including but not limited to, curing or putting into remission two types of “fatal” cancers, slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis, stopping epileptic seizures, relieving asthma attacks, Attention Deficit Disorder and arthritis. Whole cannabis is much more effective than “legal” Marinol, a corporate product made from THC in an oil base, according to peer reviewed research.

Interested readers, should look to the Media Awareness Project www.mapinc.org, www.marijuananews.com and www.pottv.net for accurate information regarding this important issue.

Lee Eisenstein

Sticker shock!

Re “All That Glitters” by Stephen Stralka (SN&R Guest, August 16):

My husband and I found a good use for the blood money Bush is giving away in the form of tax refunds. We can’t undo his illegitimate means of assuming of the Presidency. We can’t undo his undermining the nation’s economy, social security, environmental protection funds, children’s health funds, undoing of anti-discrimination efforts, his ramping up of the nuclear threat, or anything really big like that with our refund.

But we can talk back. And to do that, we’re spending our rebate on 500 anti-Bush bumper stickers. We’ve ordered 250 that say “Impeach Bush and His Oily Friends” and 250 that say “G.O.P. vs. God’s Green Earth.” If you’d like one or the other of them, send $2 (to partially offset printing costs) to: Sheryl Freeman, P.O. Box 72258, Davis, CA 95617.

Sheryl Freeman, Councilwoman

Take the money and run

Re “All That Glitters” by Stephen Stralka (SN&R Guest, August 16):

If this essay had used the name of (insert liberal democrat name here), it would have no doubt been decried as a “letter of hate” or “intolerant” or some such. But let us instead examine the essay itself. I will limit myself to one such example, and then expand.

Mr. Stralka claims that when he pays his taxes each year, he believes that the money is being used to further the common good. If he believes that, and is offended that his tax burden is made lighter (however temporary), why not just don’t cash the check? After all, if it is not cashed in a certain time frame, the check is void and none of the precious dollars are lost from the federal coffers. But he goes on to say that “If Bush doesn’t want to use our money for the common good, we’ll find someone else who will.” Welcome to the other side of the isle, Mr. Stralka. This is the argument against heavy taxation … let the individual decide how best to spend his own money, and in whatever cause so determined to better further his own interests.

It should be obvious to anyone who reads Mr. Stralka’s essay that he does not trust Bush to legislate in his best interest. His distrust should not stop there. No one will support your own self-interest as well as you will. So, Mr. Stralka, use you money to save the earth if you will, and please sir, allow me the same freedom.

Jon Cashe


In our July 19 issue, we mistakenly referred to the restaurant being reviewed as simply Enotria; we compounded the error by getting the address and phone number wrong. Here is the correct information: Enotria Café and Wine Bar, 1431 Del Paso Boulevard (at Arden Way), 922-6792. We regret the error.