Tampa Tribune ~ Letters to the Editor

September 4, 1995 under World Literacy Crusade

Letters to the Editor

This is in reference to Darlene McCormick’s article “Issac Hayes plugs course on literacy” (Florida/Metro, Aug. 10). I teach high school in the Clearwater area and my wife teaches first grade. We’ve become very interested in what Applied Scholastics International and The World Literacy Crusade are offering as a solution. Good for them. They’re doing something to handle the reading and comprehension ability of many of our children and adults. This is very much needed. I don’t think anyone will tell you it’s a cure-all, but I understand it is getting great results.

However, as I read this article, I was jarred by the sudden, inapplicable inclusion of all kinds of “crap” about the Church of Scientology. Your article states that The World Literacy Crusade was founded by two Baptist Ministers, the Rev. Alfreddie Johnson and the Rev. Fred Shaw. I understand that they are using a study technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology. But all parties seem to agree that the purpose is strictly the enhancement of literacy in the community. Fronting for another religion doesn’t fit the description of any Baptist minister I’ve ever known.

So why the mixed message and culpable innuendo? Perhaps you dipped this “crap” out of the “CAN,” aka the Cult Awareness Network. There is nothing as fragile as one’s integrity and one’s credibility. I would be very careful to evaluate your sources. CAN may be a good source for a lime pit recipe but not for anything the rest of us would want jammed down our throats.

The Tampa Tribune has had a reputation for well-written, honest and thoughtful articles. I like reading your paper enough to bother writing this letter. Perhaps The World Literacy Crusade’s success in increasing literacy will assure the ultimate survival of a paper with enough integrity and wisdom to support it.


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