Times staff writers Bob Sipchen and David Johnston are to be commended for their penetrating and insightful articles on John-Roger ("John-Roger," and "Negativity Shakes the Movement," Aug. 14 and 15).
As a former MSIA initiate and minister, I can testify to the truth of a statement made by one still-devoted follower: Involvement in the Movement did assist people to overcome drug dependencies. What he fails to mention (or probably realize) is that the same people have merely (exchanged) a chemical dependency for a psychological one. For the thousands of people who are still hooked on the "Traveler," the addiction is one that numbs the emotions, stifles the thought process, and retards true spiritual growth.
John-Roger has a New Age empire, all right. But for anyone who bothers to look past the glitzy veneer, the truth is obvious. The emperor has no clothes.