updated 07/04/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/04/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Not only will I carry the story of Tony Perkins (PEOPLE, June 13) to the movie theater when I go to see Psycho II, I will also carry it around in my heart and go over it in my mind for a long time. I compliment the man for sharing his life story with us.
Patricia M. Ringler
For many moviegoers, Tony Perkins became a star 26 years ago with his white-knuckled portrayal of Jim Pier-sail in Fear Strikes Out. A psychologically disturbed major league baseball player was a real box office gamble in those days. Your cover story made me realize, in retrospect, the degree to which the agony portrayed in Fear was drawn from Perkins' own tortured psyche.
Why was it necessary to reveal the sad details of Tony Perkins' life? Was it a publicity gimmick to arouse the public to see Psycho II? Personally, I didn't need it.
Rae Miller Heneson
Why is it "cradle-robbing" when Britt Ekland, 40, plans to marry Slim Jim Phantom, 21, but wasn't when a 41-year-old Tony Perkins married 25-year-old Berry Berenson?
New York City
We have had a son in the Alamo group for the past 10 years. All communication was severed in July 1974. In 1976 we went through the courts in California to try to protect his property and failed. In 1977, another attempt in Arkansas courts, another failure. Money and power have proven to be our enemies. The only way these cults can be destroyed is through the efforts of the media. Your correspondent has written the truth about the nightmare that parents like ourselves have shared.
New York City
I visited the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation in Alma, Ark., and I have never found a healthier or happier group of people. I have two sons, two daughters and seven grandchildren at the Foundation. One daughter married a fine young man there, and I do not think any father could want a better husband for his daughter. My grandchildren are being educated well and brought up in a Christian environment. I had read stories about the Foundation, and I did not know what to expect. My daughter gave me a tour of the place so that I would be better able to find my way around. From that time I was free to come and go as I pleased. I sleep well at night knowing where my children and grandchildren are.
Leon H. Willis
As a person who has lived in Alma all my life, I would like to congratulate you on your article about Tony Alamo. You have given the most accurate overview of the situation I have read. My only hope is that your readers will not judge our town or our state by this bunch of loonies. Though Tony himself is a laughingstock around here, what is not funny is the autocratic control he has over the hundreds of zombies who belong to the Foundation.
Thank you for the story on Lt. Comdr. Albert Schaufelberger, who was murdered in El Salvador. Military men have families and normal lives. They are not warmongers, nor are they soldierlike robots. They have morals and convictions and a desire to serve their country. I'm proud that my father is a career military officer, and the Schaufelberger family has the right to be very proud of their son and brother.
Leslie C. Hansen
Indian Hills, Colo.
Connie Chung is one of the fortunate women who have been able to build a good career in TV broadcasting. I feel that she insulted thousands of women when she said that she has no ambition to be "the type who can work, run a household, do charity work, sew, iron and make pasta with every hair in place. I think that is nauseating." If Connie ever considers marriage, she had better make sure that she is willing to do the "nauseating" things that have to be done.
Connie Chung replies: "Please, you misunderstood! I was weary of reading about women who claim they are superwomen. They are nauseating because they boast about being able to do it all. Actually, I'm a little jealous of women who can do everything, because I can't."
I was sickened to read in your story on surrogate mothers the comment that many couples who want to adopt balk at the "shortage of newborn Caucasions." What a sick, selfish mentality! It is the height of irresponsibility to seek to bring more children into the world when thousands of children go unadopted because they are too old or the "wrong" color.
I wanted to scream when I saw the picture of the women sitting on the floor in front of the two men formally conducting the meeting. I wonder at the mentality of a woman who would allow herself to be pictured in a subservient position, and wonder how closely that is related to her choice to be a surrogate mother.
I would like to thank Phoebe Snow for coming out with her story. Our family also has a multihandicapped child. We have gone through the same frustrations—the tests and the questions that doctors cannot answer. I congratulate Ms. Snow for keeping her daughter. Sure, it takes work and patience, but in the end it's worth it all because you will have a special baby with a special spirit inside her.