Portlander, and former Scientologist Susan Lentsch, is submitting an open letter to the head of communications for the Church Of Scientology asking why her daughter, Katherine, cannot be allowed home for a vacation from the church's elite management organization.
You may remember in last month's feature, Selling Scientology, which focused on the marketing of the church in the 1980s, allegations were made about difficult conditions inside the so-called "Sea Organization." The church's head of communications, Karin Pouw, accused the Mercury of furthering an agenda of religious hatred by printing the allegations.
Now, Lentsch is asking Pouw to answer her allegations that since she allowed her daughter to join the Sea Org in 1993, Katherine was promised three weeks vacation a year. But this has never happened...
You want to know what my main criticism of the Church of Scientology is? That they have isolated me from my own daughter and made it impossible for me to maintain the close and loving relationship that both Katherine and I desire. That is my objection. How can I be "handled" on this objection? Easy.
Grant Katherine her well-earned three week leave to see her family. Is that so hard?
I never, ever thought I would have to sacrifice my relationship with my daughter over religious differences. Many, many families across the world have differences with their choices of religions and political ideologies. A loving family does not let these differences impede their relationships with each other.
You, yourself, have denied publicly that Scientology disconnects families. In your press release of 14 January of this year, you stated that "...most family members of Scientologists are themselves not Scientologists. And yet, as any one of millions of Scientologists would have told Morton if he had asked, they maintain a loving relationship with their families. Indeed, the Church always counsels to mend any and every familial upset - whether between Scientologists or those of another faith."
Nice words. A wonderful, politically correct sentiment. But the question is, Ms. Pouw, are you actually willing to stand by those words? Are you willing to put them into action? Are you, as a Scientologist, willing to factually practice what you so eloquently preach?
I am still waiting for my daughter's arrival in Portland for the vacation that she and I have been promised.
Something tells me it might be a long time. Download the full letter here.