Religion: Attack on Mother Church

Last December a curious nine-page letter landed in the mailboxes of Christian Science practitioners and local church leaders. It warned that the faith's Boston headquarters was rife with "gross mismanagement, inexperience and lack of Christian ethics." Unless "the Field" demanded a housecleaning, the letter said, the religion could virtually disappear within a decade.

In the serenely authoritarian world of Christian Science, rarely had such a challenge been issued against officials of the Mother Church. Its author is Reginald G. Kerry, 62, a straitlaced former restaurateur and police-and fire-commission member in Santa Barbara, Calif, and devout Scientist for 40 years. In 1973, Kerry...

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