updated 01/23/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/23/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

25 Most Intriguing
In your year-end double issue, President Reagan told PEOPLE that he believes we may be living in the time of Armageddon, the final battle between the forces of good and evil. For thousands of years various religious groups have proclaimed the end was near. Such fanaticism has usually been harmless to the rational, real world. But now we have a man, who has lived much of his life in the make-believe cinema world, believing that there is a divine plan to end our world while his finger rests on the nuclear button. This is the greatest danger we have ever encountered.
M.L. Baker
San Jose, Calif.

It sickens me to read continually that Michael Jackson claims to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Mr. Jackson's life-style, actions, comments, attitudes and appearance all demonstrate that he is anything but a Christian Witness of Jehovah. Does he say anything about going door to door witnessing the "good news of the kingdom," helping people in a spiritual way? Does he attend weekly meetings at his local Kingdom Hall?
Jacqueline Montgomery
Huntington, N.Y.

A spokesman for Michael Jackson's congregation confirmed that he is a member in good standing and that he attends most of the meetings. However, the elders of his congregation are concerned about Jackson's public image and performances, including his recent forays into rock video.—ED.

Who cares whether the Moral Majority like Joan Rivers? They think the Osmonds are risqué. I don't even watch the Tonight Show anymore when she isn't hosting. She asks her guests the things we would ask if we ever had the opportunity and the nerve.
Roger Cohen

Studying the picture of Joan Rivers, it was obvious to me that her plastic surgeon started in the wrong place. He should have sewn her mouth shut first.
Ruth Slate
Petersburg, Va.

Richard Chamberlain may have been denied an Emmy for his work in The Thorn Birds, but there's no denying that his performance as Father Ralph will be remembered long after everyone has forgotten who actually did win the Emmy in 1983.
Bonnie Holscher
Santa Ana, Calif.

In case anyone has forgotten, it was Tommy Lee Jones in The Executioner's Song.—ED.

Public Spectacles
In your mocking of the ant-colony project provided by New Jersey's Camden and Woodrow Wilson high schools for the space shuttle, you have insulted a group of students who were, for the first time, motivated to involve themselves in the sciences. The failure of the ants to survive tells us nothing about the real value of the experiment. The true value was that a group of inner-city kids took their dream to outer space. If this is the kind of stellar effort and astronomical achievement that you see fit to shoot down, then it would be more appropriate to give PEOPLE the Wrong Stuff Award.
David and Eric Muller
Cherry Hill, N.J.

Picks & Pans
I've been reading PEOPLE for years, and I've never read a favorable review of any ABBA recording. Now you're blasting ABBA's Agnetha Fältskog's new solo album, Wrap Your Arms Around Me. She sings circles around anyone else in pop music. ABBA seems to shine everywhere but in your reviewer's eyes.
Bill Myers
Marion, Ind.

You were wrong. Carson should worry. Thicke of the Night is fresh, contemporary, exciting and funny. The Tonight Show has gotten itself stuck in a rut. Thanks to Alan Thicke, I now have a choice, and I choose him.
Eric S. Juergensen
Crystal Lake, Ill.

I usually let critics wallow in their own world, but I must respond to your ludicrous criticism of Return of the Jedi. If "the Force petered out like an overused battery," which films did fulfill your standards? Flashdance? Risky Business? If so, then you're choosing juvenile nudity and filthy language over a good, old-fashioned, all-American movie. Should you ever wonder what's happening to people's morals, read your magazine.
Ritalee Heurung
Cold Spring, Minn.

I take serious issue with any insinuation that Judge Burton Katz mishandled the case in which John Sweeney was tried for the murder of actress Dominique Dunne. He assiduously followed the rules of evidence. His remarks at the sentencing echoed feelings he had made known to the lawyers during chamber conferences throughout the trial. In fact, it was the only appropriate time for him to make his view known; at any other time a sitting jury would be irretrievably prejudiced, and the case mistried. The bottom line is this: John Sweeney was convicted of manslaughter, not murder, by 12 fair-minded members of the community, who took 11 painstaking days to analyze the evidence. In my humble opinion, any other result would have been a miscarriage of justice
Michael Adelson
Encino, Calif.

Mr. Adelson was the public defender who represented John Sweeney.—ED.

Marines '83
As the owner of the inn and restaurant where the mother, grandmother and brother of Lance Cpl. Scott L. Schultz work, I was very close to the tragic events as they unfolded. In the bombing in Beirut, the Schultz family lost everything in this world they looked up to—their United States Marine. I think it is most important that these stories be told so that we all realize our freedom does not come cheaply.
Don Benjamin
Plattsburg, N.Y.

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