The Church of Scientology would like to share some of its own thoughts and concerns regarding the group called "Anonymous" ("Serious Business," Feature, April 2).
We want those who have been interested in Anonymous to understand that there are illegal acts being committed by individuals who say they are part of, or leaders of, Anonymous. The video posted at www.Anonymous-exposed.org details some of the illegal actions by this group--bomb threats, death threats, simulated anthrax attacks, the denial of service attacks, vandalism at church facilities, and pornographic and racist communications sent daily to our churches. All are illegal acts done in the name of Anonymous.
Members of Anonymous who commit these illegal acts believe they will not be punished because they cannot be identified. They also do not care if innocent members of Anonymous (who believe they are simply expressing their free-speech rights) risk being knowing or unknowing accessories to these criminal acts.
Certain self-described leaders of Anonymous have made statements denying that illegal acts are being committed by Anonymous. This is untrue. All of the above threats are from people saying they are from Anonymous.
We hope that those who are peaceful individuals will understand the scope of the hate campaign that has been waged against Scientology and that they will renounce violence and think twice about whether they truly want to be associated with a group that engages in these kinds of activities.
We urge those following these activities to promote tolerance and visit a church or www.scientology.org to find out about Scientology for themselves before joining any future "raid" on the church or other group.
The church respects the rights of all individuals to speak freely and to worship freely. We ask only that the church and its parishioners be afforded the same respect.
Rev. Susan Taylor
President, Church of Scientology of Washington D.C.
Ask Questions First, Shoot Later
I read with interest your Murder Ink column every week. This week (April 2) the description of the sixth police-involved fatal shooting leads me to express what I hope is a shared vision for preferable policing policies.
I want law-enforcement officers in my community to have a broader understanding of human behavior so that they can de-escalate situations rather than inflame them. I want the police in my community capable of the kind of on-the-spot critical thinking that can figure out in the moment that the person with the gun (the police officer) is more heavily armed than the person with the knife--thus requiring less-than-lethal force to disarm the situation. I want the police in my community to be trained in alternative conflict-resolution techniques because, in most cases, peace protects us better than violence.
I know that the police have a tough job. I know that they face danger every day. But, technically, it's the same kind of danger we all face. The criminals aren't usually targeting the police; they are targeting the rest of us. Lethal force isn't sanctioned in the general community--why is it sanctioned for the police?
Let us rethink and reform policing in our community.
It's The Economy, Stupid
Brian Morton's column "We'll Never Know" (Political Animal, March 26) was excellent. I can't say that the millions of e-mails that the Bush administration squashed or destroyed with a clear and intended purpose have bothered most Americans. I am angry that the criminal offenses have been violated without charge against anyone in the Bush administration. Time and time again, I am seeing rich, white men do criminal deeds on the job and do no prison time because their wealthy white lawyers can make a crime a legitimate reason for a criminal deed not to conform to a strict adherence of the law.
From the Baltimore County Public Library bookmobile, I found two books worth reading; the Bush administration is hoping all Americans will not read these books: The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, by Lawrence Wright, and Bill of Wrongs, by the late Molly Ivins.
We are afraid to speak up about the illegality of our American government or world governments using the propaganda of Muslim terrorists who desire to kill Americans and destroy our country. The approaching recession is doing that already.
Heck, before the Muslim terrorists get to my community, it might be difficult to find our location. The BGE rate for poor folks is already going to leave a lot of families in the dark by the summer.
Growing oil prices mean that I might not find but 10 jugs of milk in a food store at $6 each. Truckers want more money. Companies that own trucks are paying higher prices for fuel. No trucks on the road means no food on the table. At the rate this economy is declining, who will be here for the terrorists to kill? Will we Americans have the strength to fight any enemies with weak bodies?
I hope I'll have enough strength to go to the bookmobile to get Robert Harris' The Ghost before I starve to death and become a ghost.
Larnell Custis Butler
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201