From the Directors

Experience has shown that the text of talks and addresses delivered by Christian Scientists at membership meetings, committee meetings, or at any other meetings held in the interest of dedication or other church activities, should not be made available otherwise than by their oral delivery to the audiences invited to listen to them, unless they are published and circulated through the regular and authorized channels for the dissemination of Christian Science literature. While these talks which are prepared for oral delivery on specific occasions are undoubtedly helpful to those who hear them, to make and distribute copies is inadvisable and objectionable. Therefore, no attempt should be made to take shorthand or other voluminous notes of addresses, talks, or Christian Science lectures, and unauthorized copies of them or parts of them should not be made and passed around.

Considering all that has been published in these columns relative to the passing about of papers alleged or purported to be copies of letters, articles, addresses, and talks by Christian Scientists, or excerpts from them, it seems strange that the objectionable practice should still persist. Even Christian Scientists who are otherwise loyal and alert need to beware of subtle arguments which would lead them to disregard the warnings repeatedly given on this subject. Care needs to be taken to preserve the purity of the teachings of Christian Science and the integrity of the literature which disseminates these teachings. It is essential, therefore, that Christian Scientists carefully avoid encouraging the circulation of unauthorized copies of statements on Christian Science. The Manual of The Mother Church (Art. I, Sect. 7, Art. VIII, Sect. 11, Art. XXI. Sect. 3) gives definite instruction in this connection.

Many of the copies being passed about are circulated in violation of the legal rights of the authors, and some copies contain errors or omissions which so change the original statements as to misrepresent their authors and pervert the meaning and purpose of the statements when made. Sometimes copies or notes that have been written for personal use inadvertently fall into other hands and get into circulation. The copies have usually been made and given out without the consent of and contrary to the wishes of the author or of the one who made the notes, and in violation of the rights of the author or compiler, and this harmful practice ought not to continue. The reading of unauthorized copies has a tendency to take the time and attention of students from the study of the writings of our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, and from the reading of the Christian Science periodicals, which she established.

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Church Services and Reading Rooms
April 4, 1942

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