USC Dornsife

USC Part 2: Dr. Cecil Murray Did Not Write the Letter to CEO Bob Iger of Disney; Scientology’s Website Disagrees

USC’s Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray speaking at the dedication of
the Church of Scientology Inglewood. Murray has been associated
with the Church of Scientology for 25 years.

As we covered on our previous blog post, the Church of Scientology posted on its STAND League website a letter written by Dr. Cecil Murray on USC letterhead.

The letter is dated December 13, 2018. Dr. Murray’s letter asks Disney CEO Bob Iger to cancel Leah Remini’s show Scientology and the Aftermath. We sent an e-mail to USC Media Rep Ron Mackovich concerning Murray’s letter on January 29, 2019 and received no response.

As covered by Tony Ortega today, the University of Southern California issued a denial that Dr. Cecil Murray wrote the letter of December 13, 2018. The USC denial came about after Robin Athlyn Thompson sent a letter to USC and expressed her concerns. Thompson’s letter was effective because she understands branding and addressed her letter to USC public relations department in charge of trademarks.

Thompson asked if USC would indeed allow its trademark to be used by Dr. Murray to advocate for the censorship of Leah Remini’s television program. Robin’s letter shows the importance of knowing exactly where to focus a letter in a large bureaucracy such as USC. We congratulate Robin for her expert skills in identifying where to send her letter. Our e-mail to USC Media Relations was ineffective.

USC’s VP of PR and Marketing Brenda Maceo responded to Robin Athlyn Thompson:

Dear Ms. Thompson,
I want to personally acknowledge your letter to President Austin, which she has read and shared with me. She has asked me to respond on her behalf.
We strive for accuracy and appropriateness in all of our university communications. Reverend Murray has stated that he was not the author of the letter that was addressed to Mr. Iger on a discontinued letterhead. We are currently looking into the misuse of the university’s trademarks.
Thank you for sharing your concern with us.
Sincerely,
Brenda Maceo
Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing
University of Southern California

USC issued this additional statement:

This is where the Scientology high strangeness begins. Below is the USC letterhead on Murray’s purported letter posted to Scientology’s STAND League website:

Despite USC’s statements, our review today of Scientology’s STAND League website shows the exact same letter from Murray with the USC letterhead removed. In its place is a small letterhead from the First AME Church in Los Angeles where Murray served as senior pastor for 27 years:

Here are the present state of affairs:

1. According to USC’s reply to Robin Athlyn Thompson, Dr. Murray denies that he was the author of the letter on Scientology’s STAND League website.

2. The Church of Scientology has removed the USC logo from the Dr. Murray letter and substituted it with a small First AME logo.

3. While the Church Scientology changed letterheads, Scientology has not removed the Dr. Murray letter from its website; this despite USC’s insistence that Dr. Murray did not author the letter. This creates the appearance that Scientology is digging in its heels and insisting that Dr. Murray did in fact author the letter.

4. Absent an unequivocal denial for Dr. Murray, the presence of his letter on Scientology’s website remains troubling.

Here are an indisputable fact: Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray appeared at the Scientology Interfaith Event held at the Valley Org on the morning of January 22, 2019. The event across from the main gate of Disney Studios was held later in the afternoon and Dr. Murray did not attend. Dr. Murray appears in the Scientology group photo taken that morning at the Scientology Valley Org:

There is a second letter purportedly written by Dr. Murray on Scientology’s STAND League website. second This letter is on First AME letterhead and is incorrectly dated January 28, 2018. The year should be 2019. Nevertheless, this Dr. Murray letter once again asks Disney CEO Bob Iger to engage in censorship by cancelling Leah Remini’s show. USC has neither addressed nor repudiated this second Murray letter:

Even as Dr. Murray’s purported letters to Disney decry violence, the second purported Dr. Murray letter contains an implied threat of violence from the African American community if Disney CEO Iger does not respond to Dr. Murray concerning Scientology and the Aftermath:

When did Scientologists stand beside the African American community during very dark times? This purported letter from Dr. Murray offers no examples. USC needs to be cognizant of this second purported letter from Dr. Murray and repudiate it if Murray did not write it.

As it now stands, USC’s denial seems unconvincing given the presence of the two Dr. Murray letters on Scientology’s website. If the two letters remain on Scientology’s website and both USC and long-time Scientology supporter Dr. Murray do nothing then the conclusion that must be drawn is that Dr. Murray wrote the letters.

On a final note, it is worth pointing out that the Church of Scientology’s Rev. Alfreddie Johnson and Nation of Islam Minister and Scientologist Tony Muhammad have been completely absent from Scientology’s s Interfaith movement. Why have these two clerics who loom so large in Scientology PR been excluded from OSA’s Operation Interfaith?

The answer seems to be that Scientology wants to firewall its bogus interfaith movement from the Anti-Semitism of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. Tony Muhammad on why the Jews control it all:


 

USC Allows Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray to Defend the Church of Scientology by Calling for the Censorship of Leah Remini. #Curious

USC’s Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray speaking at the dedication of
the Church of Scientology Inglewood. Murray has been associated
with the Church of Scientology for 25 years.

The University of Southern California has allowed faculty member and USC Fellow Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray to call for censorship in favor of the Church of Scientology. Murray’s letter went out on USC letterhead to Disney CEO Bob Iger:

Dr. Cecil Murray opens his letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger by stating that Scientology and the Aftermath is one-sided. Murray is badly misinformed: The Aftermath has repeatedly invited the Church of Scientology to have its representatives appear on the show and the Church has repeatedly declined.

Murray’s letter fails to establish a foundation based in facts. Murray does not give any facts as to why the show is hateful as he alleges. Rather, Murray merely acts as an apologist for the Church of Scientology by reiterating its previous allegations that The Aftermath is harmful because Scientology says it is. This is a non-sequitur and very shoddy work for an academic and a USC Fellow.

USC apparently endorses Murray’s baseless rhetoric, use of non-sequitur, and calls for censorship of a television program. We say this as the letter was sent out on USC letterhead. We contacted USC’s Ron Mackovich and asked him about Murray’s letter. He never responded. Thus, we conclude that USC assents to Murray’s call for censorship as opposed to an open public debate in which Murray would be called upon to defend Scientology.

Dr. Murray’s letter fails to address the substantive issues raised by Scientology and the Aftermath:

  • The Use of Child labor in Scientology’s Sea Org
  • Forced abortions in the Sea Org
  • Breaking up families by Disconnection
  • Fair Game
  • Scientology’s use of private investigators to stalk and harass critics
  • Character assassination of critics
  • Scientology’s greed and the resultant financial harm to Scientologists
  • Scientology exploitation of Sea Org members by keeping them in a state of poverty and forcing them to work 100+ hour work weeks

Dr. Murray affirms these inhumane and brutal Scientology practices by default inasmuch he fails to address these practices. Murray does this even as he lectures Mr. Iger about moral accountability. Worse, Dr. Murray refuses to take notice of Scientology’s relationship to the Nation of Islam and Minister Louis Farrakhan’s virulent Anti-Semitism. The lack of cognizance on Murray’s part is appalling given the fact that CEO Bob Iger is Jewish.

That USC’s name is on a letter in which Dr. Murray defends the Church of Scientology, ignores Anti-Semitism, and calls for censorship of a television program is scandalous.

By ignoring the brutality and human rights abuses of the Church of Scientology, Dr. Murray implicates himself in these abuses by his silence on them. Murray then goes a step further in empowering Scientology’s abuses by calling for the censorship of Scientology and the Aftermath.

What Dr. Murray is saying is that Leah Remini must be silenced so that the Church of Scientology will not be held to public accountability for its brutal actions and decades of human rights abuses. The call for censorship, for victims to be silenced, is a betrayal of justice.

Why would Dr. Murray want the victims of depravity and injustice to be silenced? Why would he support Scientology programs of Fair Game? What is Dr. Murray getting from the Church of Scientology in return? These questions arise because the University of Southern California has assented to Dr. Murray’s calls for censorship.

To read the text of Murray’s letter click here. Warning: This link is to a Church of Scientology website that places tracking cookies into your computer. Proceed at your own risk.

To contact USC about Dr. Cecil Murray’s call for censorship on behalf of the Church of Scientology please contact:

Eddie North-Hager, USC Executive Director of Communications
Office: (213) 821-9412
Cell: (213) 220-1806
edwardnh@usc.edu