In the brief review of the Church of Scientology web site in your July issue, the reviewer said that "the Scientologists (http://www.scientology.org) are the proud owners of two awards for their site already (since March 17)". As any dedicated Scientology-watcher will tell you, the count is now up to five. There are no links to the award sites, which I thought was a little odd, so I went out in search of them myself. The result of my labours is now at http://daemon.apana.org.au/~fjc/scn/awards.html.
The question is, how seriously should we take these awards? If you received an award from a Dutch vaudeville act called "The Family Jewels", wouldn't you wonder if perhaps they were laughing at you, just a little bit? Does the fact that Brent Luckman is a high-ranking Scientologist make his 5 Star Award less credible? Who is Ravi, and would he know an 'elite' site if it bit him in the bum? When anyone can just publish their bookmarks on the web and call it an award, I would hope that a magazine that cared for its reputation would look at web awards with just a little bit of skepticism.
Your reviewer also said that "this site contains a good deal of informative and thought provoking content". Some of the thought provoked by this site can be found at http://www.empire.net/~sgorton/co$/real_answers.html. Going to your favourite web search engine and searching for "scientology" will reveal a host of pages dedicated to this controversial Church. Oddly enough, none of them are mentioned on the Scientology web site.
Frank Copeland (email@example.com)