Q: Tucker, your flippant dismissal and ridicule of the religion I share with Tom Cruise was extremely offensive. I challenge you to find out why Tom and Katie's child will have a silent birth, whether you come to believe the reasons or not. The next time you have occasion to report on the subject, do it with respect.
—John C. Scott
A: Dear John, here's how "silent birth" is described on Scientology's web site: "In the book, Dianetics, L. Ron Hubbard writes that for the benefit of the mother and child, silence should be maintained during childbirth. This is because any words spoken are recorded in the reactive mind and can have an aberrative effect on the mother and the child."
Where to begin? There is no such thing as the "reactive mind." "Aberrative" is not a real word. Talking during childbirth doesn't hurt the child; not talking can. Doctors and nurses in the birthing room need to communicate with one other, and with the mother in labor. Silence during birth is dangerous. I could go on.
The point is, Scientology may be a "religion" (the IRS has concluded it is), but it is not a branch of science, and I don't plan to treat it as such, no matter what Tom Cruise says on the Today show. And speaking of Cruise, you ought to ditch him as a spokesman as soon as possible. He makes you all look bananas.