Alum Promotes Christianity, Sexual Purity in Mailing to Lowell House

Residents say letter, brochures were off-target, evangelical

Harvard does not provide enough moral guidance for its students, according to Martin Wishnatsky '66, founder of Good Morals, an organization promoting sexual purity and faith in God.

The Lowell House mailroom recently received numerous copies of a packet detailing Wishnatsky's religious beliefs, including a cover letter from Wishnatsky directed specifically at residents of Lowell House, his residence from 1963 to 1966.

Some Lowell residents said the letter demonstrated Wishnatsky's detachment from Harvard.

"The letter shows he is not aware of the vibrant religious life...that does go on here on campus," said Lowell House resident Rustin C. "Rusty" Silverstein '99, who is also a Crimson columnist.

While at Harvard, Wishnatsky was on the Lowell House Committee for two years. After graduation, he won a traveling fellowship to the London School of Economics. He currently runs Good Morals out of Fargo, N.D. In his letter, Wishnatsky expressed dissatisfaction with his spiritual guidance at Harvard.

"I did not hear at Harvard that there was someone more intelligent than mankind, individually or collectively. That was the Creator of Man," he wrote.

He wrote that his primary concern is the "sexual sin" of Harvard students.

"I imagine the sexual sin party is as strong at Harvard today as it was 35 years ago," Wishnatsky wrote. "Only today it is spiced with a heavy dose of gender confusion as well. You know what I mean."

In an e-mail message regarding the letter, Wishnatsky said the timing of his mailing was not related to the recent appointment of Lowell House Master Diana L. Eck and her long-time partner Dorothy A. Austin.

Along with the letter, Wishnatsky's package included several related items. One, the comic book "Charlie's Ants," uses a boy's relationship with his ants as an allegory for the story of Jesus Christ. On the last page is a pledge for readers to sign, indicating their acceptance of Jesus as their personal savior.

The envelope also featured a "Personal Bible," a leaflet depicting the developmental landmarks of an eight-week-old fetus, and a pamphlet entitled "College Professor's Solution," which describes the triumph of a Christian student over "infidels" in a debate over the Bible.

The mailings were located to the right of the mailboxes, in a row of cubbies that normally house junk mail. Superintendent of Lowell House Jay W. Coveney said it is standard procedure for mass mailings without names to be placed in the cubbies.

Lowell House residents had mixed reactions to Wishnatsky's literature.

Elizabeth W. Donn '99 said she recalled her initial response clearly: laughter.

"For a minute I thought it was a joke," Donn said. "But then I realized it was totally serious."

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