November 28, 1979
Editorial: If good men do nothing
"All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do
The above saying comes to mind when we review the track record of
most local government officials with regard to their position on the
cult of Scientology.
In the four years that Scientology has been a force in Clearwater,
precious few public figures have stood up on their hind legs in the
open air and announced what they feel about the actions, motives and
goals of the Scientologists.
For a time, their silence was understandable.
Any person of good will wants to give a new organization the
benefit of the doubt, at least initially.
But it seems to us the time is past when any doubt can remain in
the minds of thinking, observing Clearwater residents about the cult
Each day, new stories come out of Washington telling of what the
Scientologists planned and did to discredit their enemies and to
further the cult's aims.
(By the way, we hope our readers are clipping and saving all the
news stories about the Scientologists. The day is coming when every
citizen of Clearwater will want to have on hand a ready response to
the questions, "What's so bad about the Scientologists? Why is
everyone against them?" Newspaper clippings will make excellent
ammunition for the battles ahead.)
In Tuesday's Sun, for example, we described how local
Scientologists planned and carried out a smear campaign against former
Clearwater mayor Gabe Cazares during his 1976 campaign for Congress.
Documents released in Washington show that Tom Reitze (husband of
local Scientology leader Nancy Reitze) and two other cult members saw
to it that false rumors were spread about Cazares in an attempt to
When Cazares was defeated for the congressional post, a Scientology
memo boasted of how the cult's actions had contributed to his loss.
The memo exulted, "Yeah!!!!!"
When he was mayor and since then, Gabe Cazares has not hesitated to
speak out against the Scientologists.
Where are the other public figures with the courage to openly take
A few exist, but not many. This is a shame. Now, in the light of
the Washington documents, further silence will approach the borders of
cowardice and scandal.
The day has arrived for all persons in public life to make known
their position on the question of Scientology's presence in
Clearwater, and its existence anywhere in our land.
If these officials have not already formed an opinion, it is time
Henceforth, the Sun will be especially interested in the
Scientology stance of any candidate for local office.
We urge our readers to write their city commissioners and their
elected officials in Congress. Ask them what they think of
Scientology. Tell them what YOU think.
If you feel timid about doing this, please re-read the quotation at
the top of this editorial. Think about it. Think about it hard.
[list of addresses of politicians' offices follows]