Rummaging through a box of old audio cassettes the other day, I came across one that refreshed some memories. It's a pre-recorded tape by bluegrass artist Claire Lynch; on its label is hand-written: "To The World's Greatest Dad." That's your writing, Amanda. I remember when you gave me that tape.
It was during one of your many long summer visits, probably about ten years ago. You, your brother Ben, and I had gone to southern Wyoming with some friends to attend a bluegrass concert of several days' duration. The area was beautiful: high, flat, and open, it had patches of Ponderosa woods and large granite boulders. We were camping, in tents. We passed our time attending performances, walking among the trees, playing on the rocks, visiting, and generally enjoying ourselves in the crisp, dry, clear Wyoming air.
I don't remember who the various artists were, but I recall being especially taken with the beautiful voice of Claire Lynch, and I remember how surprised and happy I was when you gave me that tape.
I was particularly pleased by the inscription. I was "The World's Greatest Dad," and we knew that. Of course, fulfilling that role was easy in the company of The World's Greatest Kids: you and Ben.
How wonderful our shared times were! We were a temporary family of three, and we were free to celebrate our love for each other.
Scroll forward to December of 1998, when you sent me a letter saying you no longer desired to communicate with me in any way. How could your love for me have changed so profoundly?
The answers to that question are intricate and fascinating. They tell a tale of deceit, treachery, and manipulation. They tell a tale about the "church" of Scientology. It's a tale I need to relate.
This is my version of that story. It is also my gift to you for your eighteenth birthday. It is the truth, as I perceive it; as such, it is the most loving gift I can offer.
You see, dear daughter, for all we've been through, I do love you, very much. I miss you terribly.
What follows is my personal history of my relationship with my youngest daughter. It is a history of growth, of love, of loss. It is a history deeply influenced by evil.
It is also a recounting of my journey of discovery, an attempt to recall the many steps in the process by which I came to recognize and understand the evil that so altered my life and those of my two youngest children.
In the pages that follow, I relate what assumptions I was making about my daughter’s well-being and what evidence I encountered that caused me to doubt those assumptions. I relate what caused me to begin to ask questions, what those questions were, how I sought answers, what answers I found, and how they fit into the pattern that emerged. I relate what steps I took to try to remove my children from the influence of evil, how and why I failed to do so, and how they were plucked from my life because of my efforts.
This is a document I wish had been available to me many years ago.
I offer it to you now, in the hope that you will find it informative, even useful. I offer it in a spirit of helpfulness and hope for a better world.
Use it well.
P.S. As I make this document available, I am departing for Mexico, where I expect to remain until the middle of April. I will be able to receive e-mail there.
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Last updated January 10, 2000