Clearwater Sun

If Good Men Do Nothing


November 28, 1979


"All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

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 of Scientology.

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 discredit him.

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 stand? 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 they did.

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 followed]