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Scientology in disguise?


I’ve been a loyal reader of your publication since the early ‘90s back when it was published as Creative Loafing. I’ve always enjoyed your editorials and consider Connect Savannah a terrific resource to find things to do and to read interesting articles and diverse points of view that other area publications (Savannah Morning News et al) wouldn’t dare.

So it is with much dismay that I find myself writing this letter. Fact-checking and follow-ups should be a big part, if not the main part, of any publication that seeks to present itself as a respectable source of reporting or media voice.

In last week’s issue, you published a letter from one Emily Milburn, who espoused how wonderful and transformative the group Narconon was in helping her overcome her drug addiction. A simple Google search will allow one to discover that Narconon is nothing more than a front group for Scientology. While Scientology unfortunately enjoys tax-exempt status here in the states, Germany has the right idea and treats it as what it is: a cult.

I could go on forever about the nefarious actions of this L. Ron Hubbard-devised cult but instead I’ll invite the readers of Connect Savannah to visit to get more information about what Scientology really is.

I would hope that, in the future, Connect Savannah will do better research before publishing a letter like this and/or provide a disclaimer on the same page.

Jason Bacon

Editor’s Note: While it’s true that Scientology is outlawed in Germany, it’s not outlawed here. Therefore, unfortunately or not, they get the same forum that anyone else does, within reason. Besides, if we had run a disclaimer we wouldn’t have received Jason’s great letter.

Horse sense


Thank you for publishing the recent letter voicing concern for the well being of carriage horses in the downtown area.

I wish more people would become active in the well fare of all animals, not just the ones they can see. The writer, however, failed to do their homework before speaking out.

If you take a closer look at the three carriage companies in Savannah, only one is guilty of keeping their horses and drivers out in the hottest hours of the afternoon (which is actually illegal). Most of the carriages in town only do offer early (ending at 1:00 pm) and evening (starting at 6:00 or 7 p.m.) rides, which are adjusted seasonally to accommodate the horses.

Furthermore, most horses (though again, this is sadly on a company-by-company basis) work only 4 or 5 hour shifts and get regular days off. The reason it seems that you see the same horses in the evening as you do at night is because they are almost all black or tawny gelding draft horses. Of course they look like the same horses.

The writer’s concerns, however, were not entirely unfounded. If you, too, share these concerns or similar concerns for other domesticated animals, then don’t be silent!

But please, please, please do your research first! It’s time to learn the difference between a loved and cared for working animal and an abused animal.

Incidentally, the quote attributed to the animal rights pioneer George Bernard Shaw (“You can judge a society by the way it treats its animals”) should actually be credited to Gandhi.

Shaw said: “The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.”


Creative concerns


I was very interested in your recent Editor’s Note titled “Creative before creative was cool.” My wife and I bought a place in Savannah and are slowly making it livable. One of the main reasons we chose Savannah was its creative energy and potential. It’s very obvious that there were a lot of natives that had worked very hard to build a city that is attractive to creative thinkers and doers.

I’m very familiar with the syndrome that leads some business and cultural leaders to discount the achievements and knowledge of local artists and writers in favor of the east or west coast gurus. I grew up in Houston and worked in Dallas and watched that pattern repeat itself, often with disastrous effects. If newcomers partner with local experts, a powerful creative chemistry can really take shape. If not, there will only be estrangement and animosity.

I also agree with your warning that genuine creative energy happens when the caldron contains a lot of ingredients, not just the ones our pallets recognize. My wife and I are moving to Savannah because of its racial diversity and for the energy that provides. I hope your readers pay attention when you state that real creativity grows out of inclusiveness, not exclusiveness.

I wanted you to know that I really appreciated your editorial and hope that you and the rest of the formerly “uncool” continue to work your magic.

John Houchin