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Monday, December 6, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Letters To The Editor

Scientology -- News Article Omits Reason Church Has Been Targeted

Your Nov. 15 article about Scientologists in a case in Marseille, France ("Former Scientology leader guilty of fraud in France," World digest), omits the larger picture, which includes why Scientologists have been targeted.

The article also did not mention the disappearance of the court files in this trial. Documents critical to the defense were among the files destroyed, and the president of the Marseille court admitted that court personnel were responsible for it.

There is also no question about Scientology's religiosity since courts, governments and administrative bodies of over 70 countries have recognized it.

In recent years, the French government has come under severe criticism from the U.S. State Department, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights and other organizations for abuses against religious minorities. A French Parliamentary Commission has blacklisted 173 different religious organizations, including members of the Baptist faith.

Scientologists are dedicated in word and deed to the protection of human rights throughout the world. Simply stated, there is a price to pay for leading the way.

Further, as to the article itself, defendant Xavier Delamare was a local missionary, not a "regional Scientology leader" and he has held no position at all since 1990.

Also mentioned was the purification program - a very successful regimen of sauna, aerobic exercise and vitamins that helps people clear away the adverse spiritual effect of residual drugs and toxins in the body. While it is directed at spiritual betterment, it is only embarked upon with a doctor's approval.

Rev. Ann Pearce Corporate Director, Church of Scientology Washington state

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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