AMER Graphic


AMER PRESENTS:

EXERCISING YOUR WRITES

WHAT WAS A.M.E.R.?

The Alliance for Magical and Earth Religions (AMER) was a St. Louis-based organization made up of members of several distinct magical and/or Earth-centered religious traditions. [It's members had only one thing in common: all felt that they had been unfairly blamed by some in the media and in law enforcement for many of the problems of today's society.] Our members included witches, neo-pagans, Satanists, and Christians, working together for freedom of religion for all Americans.

AMER was a civil rights organization. They were *not* a "connections" group, and did not provide doctrinal information on any religion, nor locate a religious group for individuals to join.

AMER STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

1) AMER would defend the right of every American to practice his or her own religion, insofar as that religion's practices do not directly harm anyone. In particular, AMER actively campaigned for tolerance for magical and Earth-Centered religions.

2) AMER worked to promote a positive image for magical and Earth-centered religions, and to counter negative propaganda about such groups.

3) AMER promoted cooperation among the various magical and Earth-centered religious groups.

4) AMER served as a source of accurate information on magical and Earth-centered religions and practices.

DEFINITIONS

Magical Religion: any religious belief or practices which includes, as an aspect of its faith or an element in its ritual, the practice of what they call magic or the use of psychic powers.

Earth Religion: any religious belief or practice which holds as a tenet a reverence for the Earth.

WHY DOES AMER WANT ME TO WRITE LETTERS?:

As may right-wing and fundamentalist Christian groups have learned, a letter-writing campaign is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to attract attention. Since our organization is in its infancy, we aren't well known, and therefore not as effective, as we would like to be. We would like you to help spread our message by writing to a local or national newspaper or magazine.

WHAT SHOULD I WRITE?:

If your local media have recently covered a story which, in your mind, cast an unfair light on a member or members of a magical or Earth-centered religion, that would make an excellent "target" for your letter. Point out any inaccuracies in their coverage. Let them know exactly why you think this coverage was unfair. Most importantly, remind them that the First Amendment of the Constitution protects the participants in this case. It is even more important for you to write if you have seen an outstanding example of media coverage which was balanced or favorable to the community we serve. If there is no such case in your area, just tell the newspaper's readers about AMER. Give them our address and let them know that we are available to answer questions and provide accurate information about the occult in general. You might also wish to say that our pamphlets, "What (Is) Was AMER?", "Dream No Small Dreams." "The Truth About Human Sacrifice," and "The Truth About Ritualized Child Abuse" are available for the asking..

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WRITE?:

If you want our letter-writing campaign to be successful, you shouldn't just stop after writing one letter. We don't ask that you spend all your free time writing these letters, just a little of it. We would like to see you write to your local papers or to a national publication whenever you feel that their coverage deserves either praise or blame. If you like, send us a copy for your archives.

I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START:

The best way to write a letter of this kind is to get mad as hell! Reread the offending newspaper or magazine coverage, replay that videotape of a local news program or a national talk show until smoke comes out of your ears, then reach for your keyboard or pencil. Vent all of your anger on the page, do a good solid rant, then put it all away for a day and don't think about it. Then go back and edit your letter into a calm, grammatical and well-reasoned argument.

HOW DO I MAKE IT LOOK GOOD?:

If you have something to write about but are afraid that your letter will have little impact, you might want to give a little thought to its appearance. If you want a newspaper to print your letter, it should be neat, legible, and use good grammar and spelling. If you do not own a personal computer with a spell-checker, use a typewriter and a dictionary! Standard white typing paper will probably be more effective than personal stationary or a card. You must include your name and address. Some newspapers also ask for your telephone number. You may ask that this information be withheld from the letter when published.

WHERE SHOULD I SEND MY LETTERS?:

Any national or local newspaper or magazine can be an appropriate "target" for your letters. If the publication targets a specific audience, then your letter should address the concerns of that audience. A good source of addresses is the Gale Directory Of Publications, which is available in many libraries.

THANK YOU!:

THANK YOU, AND HERE IS OUR ADDRESS!

AMER,
P.O. Box #####,
Clayton, MO, 32105 USA
Phone: (314)-###-####.

EDITOR'S NOTE: ALL CONTACT INFORMATION FOR AMER IS NO LONGER VALID AND SHOULD NOT BE USED. NO ONE AT AMER WILL RESPOND TO WRITTEN OR TELEPHONIC REQUESTS, AS AMER IS DEFUNCT - NO LONGER IN EXISTENCE.

Please feel free to send us your questions, membership inquiries, instances of both balanced and unfair media coverage in your area (with copies) and copies of your letters.

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Copyright 1987 by AMER.


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