onsidering that most adults, and many young people, read a newspaper or hear radio or television news every day, the standards of news journalism are important to everyone.
A great tragedy recently focused public attention on the reprehensible work of the tabloid press and their scavenging paparazzi. But whatever respect the media ever had in its Fleet Street heyday was already lost long ago. And public distrust is not limited merely to the tabloids.
Many surveys published in recent years have shown public faith in what they read in newspapers to be very low. But how bad is it? How do you judge if the press is fair or biased, accurate or intentionally misleading? This becomes easier when you come across an article on a subject about which you are very familiar. Then, what you read can be quite a shock.
You may have noticed that the Church of Scientology has been in the news a lot lately. In itself, that is not surprising. The Church is undoubtedly newsworthy. Just over 40 years after the establishment of the first Church of Scientology, our religion now spans the globe. Today, more than 3,000 churches, missions and related organizations, groups and activities provide services to some 8 million people in 120 countries and in 31 languages. So you may recently have read about the leading role of individual Scientologists in various fields, or about significant legal victories for the Church in France and Italy.
But it has not been an easy road. Despite its immediate public popularity, Scientology met strong opposition from vested interests from the very beginning and has had its share of controversy. But that is a fate that all major religious movements have endured during their formative years. The Church of Scientology long ago proved itself resilient against the efforts of unethical newsmen. And now, more than 43 years after the first Church of Scientology was established, all but the laziest of journalists seem to have tired of simply re-editing rumours from the Middle Ages.
In this issue we include news of Scientologists from around the world working alongside others to achieve shared goals of freedom, human rights for all, and the eradication of the drug problem which underlies so many ills of society today.
But as well as bringing our readers true information about the Scientology religion and the activities of our members, Freedom also features subjects of public interest which are not always covered objectively by the presses of the media barons. In this issue we examine problems within Britain’s established churches, and identify the source of those problems: the insidious influence upon all religions of the godless ideologies of psychiatry and psychology.
You are always welcome to visit any Church of Scientology. And I invite your views and comments on this issue of Freedom. I look forward to hearing from you.