Dear Reader,

Thank you for the very powerful and well-documented account of Greg Bashaw’s tragic end [“Death of a Scientologist,” August 16]. I knew him in advertising some years ago, which was also when he first appeared in the news in relation to the CAN suit. It would have been impossible to believe such a likable, ordinary guy was involved in such thuggish activities on behalf of his “church” if the last century hadn’t provided plenty of examples of what ordinary people will do for an ideology or a theology.

Every religion has bad members, and probably every religion has some rot in its structure (as Catholicism has been demonstrating in abundance lately). But there’s surely something telling about a religion’s core ethical values in how Greg was treated when he came to the end of his rope. A Christian bent over backwards to help him and, just as importantly, opened his own wallet to do so, while Scientology, with whom Greg apparently had thousands of dollars on account, shunned him (and kept the change). What more do you need to know about the kind of people such a “religion” attracts–or makes?

Name Withheld