Bogus Scientology pamphlets irk Dallas mayor

Booklets with Scientology writings have false endorsement

Dallas Morning News/October 12, 2007

No, Mayor Tom Leppert hasn't made the leap from public servant to spiritual healer.

And despite the claims of a booklet that landed on his desk at City Hall this week, he isn't endorsing The Way to Happiness.

The booklet, so titled and featuring the writings of Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, was sent to the mayor's office complete with the city of Dallas seal and a ringing endorsement purportedly from Mr. Leppert.

The front cover features a painting of a grassy field sweeping toward the Dallas skyline with the city's official "D" symbol hovering in the foreground.

"Presented by Office of the Mayor," it states.

But the booklet didn't come from the mayor, and no one at the city has anything to do with it.

"Clearly we were not very comfortable and did not think it was appropriate to use the seal of the city of Dallas, the mayor's logo or my name on something we were not aware of," Mr. Leppert said in a phone interview.

Inside the booklet, readers can find pacifying bromides like "Be Worthy of Trust" and "Take Care of Yourself."

On the back cover is a smiling portrait of the mayor, apparently lifted from the city's Web site.

"I am happy to be able to offer this book as a helpful guide for every member of this community," the booklet states below the mayor's picture.

The city attorney's office is reviewing its options, the mayor said.

The booklet states it was distributed by a group called the Way to Happiness Foundation of Glendale, Calif.

In a letter that arrived with the booklets, the city is asked to purchase bundles of the books for distribution around town.

From the reaction of city officials, the people sending out the booklets shouldn't hold their breath.

Several calls and an e-mail to the Way to Happiness Foundation were not immediately responded to Thursday.

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