The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 13: Janet Reitman

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On August 5, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. Some of that was self-inflicted, and some of it has come from outside. Join us now as we continue on our investigation of those people most responsible...




The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology

#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)


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Reitman
Janet Reitman didn't set out to cripple Scientology. She wanted to give it a fair shake. As she's made clear in interviews with the Voice and many other publications, she took on the assignment of learning about Scientology with more than an open mind: she was determined to see things from the church's perspective. So she walked into the New York org one day after her editors at Rolling Stone asked her to learn about it, and that first day, she wondered what all the fuss was about. These seemed like normal folks who wanted to help.

As her investigations guided her first to a Rolling Stone piece in 2006 and then, earlier this year, her book Inside Scientology, Reitman examined the controversies surrounding L. Ron Hubbard and his church, but she repeatedly looked for opportunities to show how things looked from inside the organization. She wanted her book to be the first comprehensive and really objective narration of Scientology history written by a journalist.

She succeeded beautifully. A bestseller, Inside Scientology is a compelling introduction to the unusual church, something the field of Scientology watching has desperately needed for a long time. It could be argued that no journalist has given Scientology a better portrayal, has so generously praised Hubbard for his charisma and skills as a master planner, and has worked so hard to understand young church members who are optimistic about Scientology's future.

So, naturally, Scientology has celebrated this thoroughly balanced examination of its roots and current state, right? Well, no. With complete predictability, Scientology has attacked Reitman and her book with half-truths and exaggerations.

Scientology seems utterly incapable of understanding a journalist like Reitman, who weighs all kinds of evidence in order to come up with a rounded portrait of something as complex as Scientology. But then, historically, Scientology has had only the most contentious relationships with journalists -- some of whom have experienced stunning acts of retaliation by the church and its agents. We're listing some of them here, writers from the past and present who, like Janet, have labored to understand Hubbard and his creation, even as the church fights every attempt to learn even its most basic facts. In the end, Scientology has crippled itself as it treats every new journalist as an outright enemy.


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Cooper
Paulette Cooper was one of the first, and certainly no one has suffered anything near what she did. In revenge for her 1971 book, The Scandal of Scientology, the church filed more than a dozen lawsuits against her into the 1980s, and its Guardian's Office -- the GO was its covert operations wing, replaced later by the Office of Special Affairs -- carried out or planned operations against her intended to get her imprisoned or institutionalized. GO operatives stole her stationery and then mailed bomb threats on it that included her fingerprints. In "Operation Freakout" the GO was planning even more severe schemes, including getting Cooper indicted for threatening Arab Consulates and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Finally, in the 1977 FBI raids that ended a massive federal government infiltration by Scientology, documents laying out Operation Freakout were discovered and made public, showing how Cooper had been framed. And all that for writing a book.


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Sweeney
John Sweeney may have become world famous for blowing his top, egged on by Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis, but Sweeney's BBC specials are among the most thorough and well done television exposes of Scientology ever produced. It was especially satisfying to see him joust with chief church spokesman Mike Rinder in his 2007 special, "Scientology and Me," and then, last year in "The Secrets of Scientology," sit down with the now defected Rinder, who confirmed all of his suspicions about being followed and harassed in the previous film.


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Seymour
Bryan Seymour has been extremely busy breaking one story after another on the "Today Tonight" show as Scientology in Australia has turned into a massive shitshow. Among his hard-hitting programs include segments on Sen. Nick Xenophon's stunning parliamentary allegations; Mike Rinder's first television interview following his defection; L. Ron Hubbard's audio recording describing galactic overlord Xenu; Scientology's retaliation against Xenophon; exclusive interviews with Nancy Cartwright, Anne Archer, and her son Tommy Davis; exposing how Scientology uses Australia to avoid paying taxes in the UK; and many more. Sweeney and Seymour put this country's national television journalists so much to shame, we're very consciously including none of them in this countdown -- with one local exception, which you'll see below. (And yes, we're sure we'll hear about that in the comments.)


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Leiby
Washington Post reporter Richard Leiby was for decades the gold standard of print journalists writing about Scientology. Leiby was usually first and always a compelling read, from his days at the Clearwater Sun, where he first publicly revealed the Xenu story in 1981, to his years at the Post, where just a few years ago he was uncovering bizarre details about a New Mexico underground vault where Scientology stores L. Ron Hubbard's written works, engraved on stainless steel tablets and encased in titanium capsules. For his efforts, we learned recently in documents made public by Marty Rathbun, Leiby was the subject of a Scientology operation in 2006 that tried to silence him by investigating his divorce.



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Wright
Lawrence Wright is an author, a playwright, a screenwriter and a staff writer at The New Yorker who dropped a megaton bomb on the field of Scientology watching earlier this year with his 24,000-word profile of director Paul Haggis. In 2009, the Crash director had revealed that he was leaving Scientology after he learned that one California branch of the church had endorsed the anti-gay-marriage ballot proposal, Proposition 8. Wright's story takes us not only into the turmoil in Haggis's life over his increasing doubts about Scientology, but also narrates the church's entire history in a way that captivated the country. Wright is working on a book from the same material, and we expect another megaton explosion when it comes out.


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Jacobsen
Jonny Jacobsen is a British-trained journalist living in Paris. He operates a blog, "Infinite Complacency," that is murderously rigorous and detailed. Jacobsen writes widely about Scientology, but he is especially focused on legal matters, in particular his massive coverage of Scientology's French fraud trial and developments in Australia.



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Cook
John Cook uncorked a lengthy profile of Scientology and the challenge it faced from the Anonymous movement for the now-defunct Radar magazine in 2008. He's now in his second stint at Gawker, where he occasionally, and mercilessly, takes a dig at Scientology. In particular, he recently ran with a revelation from Marty Rathbun about Cook's former Radar colleague John Connolly, who Rathbun and Mike Rinder claim was for years a paid Scientology informant. That story was so hot, even Gawker wouldn't run it, and Cook instead placed it at the New York Observer.


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Ebner
Mark Ebner has done many good pieces about Scientology, but as far as I'm concerned, he's the author of one of the best pieces ever written about the church: in 1996, Ebner experienced Scientology from the inside, signing up to be audited and purified. In a brilliant stroke, he opened his Spy magazine piece by dead agenting himself -- anticipating the blowback he'd get from Scientology, he started out by listing his own shortcomings and run ins with the law. Inspired. And so Ebner. Watch him describe to Mark Bunker the stunt he pulled with a disguised script of Hubbard's Battlefield Earth.


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Friedman
Roger Friedman is a celebrity and entertainment reporter who isn't afraid to tangle with the stars he covers. In particular, he's written great Scientology-celebrity scoops for Foxnews.com and now on Showbiz 411. I loved his recent column calling bullshit on the puff piece written about Kelly Preston and how Scientology helped her get through her son Jett's death -- when it was Scientology that prevented her from dealing with her son's autism to begin with.





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Baca
One of the reasons you place the worldwide headquarters of a secretive organization on a 700-acre compound in the middle of the Southern California desert is so that you can keep what you're doing away from the prying eyes of major media. Scientology has always counted on sleepy Riverside County leaving it alone as it goes about its bizarre business at its "Int" or "Gold Base" near Hemet. But Scientology didn't count on Nathan Baca, an aggressive and persistent television reporter working for little KESQ, the ABC affiliate in Palm Springs. Baca punched several classes above his station's weight as he put spokesman Tommy Davis on the spot, got him to seemingly confirm the Hubbard OT III materials, and otherwise exposed the Gold Base in ways that hadn't been accomplished before. Alas, here's the sad coda to this story: Baca moved to the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas -- seemingly a smart career move -- but his old station recently pulled all of his Scientology segments from its website. (The general manager insisted to me that Scientology itself had nothing to do with it.)


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Russell Miller, a British journalist, worked with ex-Scientologist Gerry Armstrong and his trove of original documentation to put together a biography of L. Ron Hubbard in 1987, just after the Scientology founder's death. Still an excellent source for information on Hubbard's entire life, from childhood to church leader, it exploded Hubbard's many myths about himself. It also faced fierce legal opposition from Scientology itself, which sued its publishers in multiple countries.






RichardBehar.jpg
Behar
In 1991, Richard Behar ripped Scientology apart in Time magazine, which splashed the words "The Cult of Greed" across its cover. Yowza. The church hit back with a $416 million libel suit against Time Warner and Behar, which was eventually dismissed, but not before costing the company millions to fight. Even before publication of the story, Behar was investigated and harassed by Scientology's attorneys and private eyes. Some argue that Scientology's legal onslaught made other major media gun-shy about investigating the church for years afterwards. On the other hand, Scientology also seemed to have less appetite to sue publications following this debacle (except for a dumb and short-lived 1995 lawsuit against the Washington Post and Richard Leiby). But this story had another legacy: another lawsuit that grew out of Behar's article resulted in the Fishman Affidavit being produced, which put evidence of Scientology's secret upper level materials into a court record, which were ultimately posted to the Usenet, starting Scientology's online nightmare in earnest. With one 8-page story, Behar really erupted a journalistic and legal volcano.


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Welkos (left) and Sappell
Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos, in 1990, put together a truly epic series, five years in the making, about Scientology for the Los Angeles Times. Not only for many of us was it our first lengthy, inside account of just about every aspect of L. Ron Hubbard's organization, it came out right under the noses of Scientology's executive ranks in southern California. Sappell and Welkos, meanwhile, were subject to extreme interference and harassment -- Sappell believed that his dog was poisoned in retaliation for one of their stories. The two journalists are no longer with the Times today, and except for an occasional good piece (like a terrific 2005 series on Gold Base), the Times has largely ceded whatever claim Sappell and Welkos once gave it as the premier journalistic observer of Scientology. That's really a shame, considering that it's sitting in the belly of the beast. Instead, the Times lost that role to a newspaper in Florida, about which we will have more to say later.

Finally, we want to say that a new generation of younger reporters is making an impact as Scientology goes into perhaps its most newsworthy phase. We're referring to the hard work being done by Mark Collette at the Corpus Christ Caller-Times, Mitch Perry at Creative Loafing Tampa (whose landlord is now, gulp, Scientology), Daniel Miller at The Hollywood Reporter, and The Daily's Hunter Walker. As usual, we expect that our readers will have their own favorites that they will chastise us for overlooking. Have at it!


UPDATE...

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Credit: Chris Hardy
Asimov
Nanette Asimov, niece of famed sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov, wrote about Scientology for only about a year, starting in June 2004, but her impact was immediately felt, and ultimately crushed Scientology's attempts to impose a Narconon program on California school children. Only one day after her initial lengthy article showed that school children were being instructed in medically inaccurate, pseudoscientific instruction functionally identical to Scientology teachings, the San Francisco school district sent a letter to Narconon asking them to fix the inaccuracies identified in Asimov's article. A week later, a state-wide probe was ordered by California's Department of Education. When Scientology, er... Narconon was unable or unwilling to "alter the tech," and after numerous medical experts had savaged Narconon's scientific accuracy in a state-funded report, State Superintendent Jack O'Connell urged all California Schools to drop Narconon from its curriculums. All of Asimov's artilces on Narconon are linked here on a page hosted by David Touretzky.



The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#1: L. Ron Hubbard
#2: David Miscavige
#3: Marty Rathbun
#4: Tom Cruise
#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin
#6: Anonymous
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology] | [Commenters of the Week]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]

My Voice Nation Help
246 comments
Arielle
Arielle

Bryan Seymour is hot! Doesn't he ever visit New York? Can't we invite him to some SP party or something?

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Just wanted to let everyone know that despite KESQ taking down Baca's original shows, one can find at Youtube all the videos of TheArmad  on the Nathan Baca Scientology Report

starting at the 3 min mark is the one with Baca asking why they have the spikes facing in at Gold Base instead of all facing out to prevent intruders. As well here you will find Baca reading OT III to Tommy Davis, lol  http://youtu.be/xpYT23tHm2k

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Thanks for adding Annette Asimov, whose work continues to be used to curtail Narconon's 'drug education' program from entering schools across the nation.

As well, here is a list of a few of my favorite brave journalists and investigative authors, who I think deserve recognition for their excellent work on the subject of Scientology  written in spite of the church's fair game harrassment to try and stop them.

Writers & Authors

Stewart Lamont book RELIGION, INCCyril Vosper book THE MIND BENDERS Roy Wallis book THE ROASD TO TOTAL FREEDOMRobert Kaufman book INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY George Malko book SCIENTOLOGY: THE NOW RELIGION Journalists

DAWN OLSEN at Technorati and Glosslip.com - beginning in 2008 spotlighting the protests, the issues, the critics and Anonymous against Scientology, Dawn's work is one of the earliest and most read sources giving a continuing platform for critics to comment on her reports about Scientology in Hollywood.

PAUL BRACCHI, UK Journalist, The Argus & Daily MailMay 24,  2007  Scientology is not a church or charity. It is, in fact, a cult — The Argus (UK)May 19,  2007  'Tom Cruise's Church of hate tried to destroy me' — Daily Mail (UK)Apr 4,    1995  Secret behind cult's anti-Nazi campaign — The Argus (UK)Aug 1,   1994  Press watchdog backs Argus  The Argus (UK)Jun 13, 1994  Scientology: the inside story — Secret of a drugs 'cure' — The Argus (UK)Jun 10, 1994  Scientology: the inside story --- The missing word — The Argus (UK)Mar 30, 1994  Scientology: the inside story — How a church aimed to sell itself — The Argus (UK)Mar 29, 1994  Scientology: the inside story — Just the worst two years of my life — The Argus (UK)Mar 28, 1994  Scientology: the inside story — Secrets of Saint Hill The Argus (UK)

ROBERT RADWITCH & ROBERT GILLETTE of the Los Angeles Times on their Aug 1978 series of articles on the controversial church.

ALISON BRAUND, producer CLAUDIA MILNE, and TWENTY TWENTY Television UK.Braund went undercover and enrolled for scientology courses in order to film for the programme, entitled Inside the Cult and the church lost in a London court in its attempt to ban the programme

JOSEPH MALLIA  Boston Herald Boston Herald Special Report

Mar 19, 1998  Church of Scientology probes Herald reporter - Investigation follows pattern of harassment — Boston HeraldMar 5, 1998  Scientology group reaches kids through PBS videos — Boston HeraldMar 4, 1998  Battle sites in the Web war — Boston HeraldMar 4, 1998  Church, enemies wage war on Internet battlefield — Boston HeraldMar 3, 1998  Scientology reaches into schools through Narconon — Boston HeraldMar 2, 1998  Church keys programs to recruit blacks — Boston HeraldMar 2, 1998  Milton school shades ties to Scientology — Boston HeraldMar 1, 1998  Judge Found Hubbard lied about achievements — Boston HeraldMar 1, 1998  Powerful church targets fortunes, souls of recruits — Boston Herald I think this sums up what these people on this # 13 have had to contend with:

Church of Scientology probes Herald reporter - Investigation follows pattern of harassment By Jim MacLaughlin & Andrew Gully Boston Herald 1998[..] The Church of Scientology is the only religious organization in the U.S. that uses private investigators to look into the private lives of reporters, several academic experts said. "The question is not 'Do they investigate,' the question should be 'Do they harass?' " said the Rev. Robert W. Thornburg, dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University and a recognized expert on destructive religious practices. "And Scientology is far and away the most notable in that. "No one I know goes so far as to hire outsiders to harass or try to get intimidating data on critics," said Thornburg. "Scientology is the only crowd that does that." The Rev. Richard L. Dowhower, a Lutheran minister and an adviser on cult activity at the University of Maryland, College Park, said, "I've been in the cult-watching business since the early '70s and I don't know of any other group, other than Scientology, that targets journalists." And Hal Reynolds, student affairs officer at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the campus Cult Education Center, also said Scientology investigates journalists. "I've been collecting files on these groups for 10 years, and I have not heard of that for any other group," Reynolds said.[..]

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Good for adding Annette Asimov, whose work continues to be used to curtail Narconon's 'drug education' program from entering schools across the nation.

As well, here is a list of a few of my favorite brave journalists and investigative authors, who I think deserve recognition for their excellent work on the subject of Scientology  written in spite of the church's fair game harrassment to try and stop them.

Writers & Authors

Stewart Lamont book RELIGION, INCCyril Vosper book THE MIND BENDERS Roy Wallis book THE ROASD TO TOTAL FREEDOMRobert Kaufman book INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY George Malko book SCIENTOLOGY: THE NOW RELIGION

Journalists

DAWN OLSEN at Technorati and Glosslip.com - beginning in 2008 spotlighting the protests, the issues, the critics and Anonymous against Scientology, Dawn's work is one of the earliest and most read sources giving a continuing platform for critics to comment on her reports about Scientology in Hollywood.

PAUL BRACCHI, UK Journalist, The Argus & Daily Mail

May 24,  2007  Scientology is not a church or charity. It is, in fact, a cult — The Argus (UK)May 19,  2007  'Tom Cruise's Church of hate tried to destroy me' — Daily Mail (UK)Apr 4,    1995  Secret behind cult's anti-Nazi campaign — The Argus (UK)Aug 1,   1994  Press watchdog backs Argus  The Argus (UK)Jun 13, 1994  Scientology: the inside story — Secret of a drugs 'cure' — The Argus (UK)Jun 10, 1994  Scientology: the inside story --- The missing word — The Argus (UK)Mar 30, 1994  Scientology: the inside story — How a church aimed to sell itself — The Argus (UK)Mar 29, 1994  Scientology: the inside story — Just the worst two years of my life — The Argus (UK)Mar 28, 1994  Scientology: the inside story — Secrets of Saint Hill The Argus (UK)

ROBERT RADWITCH & ROBERT GILLETTE of the Los Angeles Times on their Aug 1978 series of articles on the controversial church. ALISON BRAUND, producer CLAUDIA MILNE, and TWENTY TWENTY Television UK.Braund went undercover and enrolled for scientology courses in order to film for the programme, entitled Inside the Cult and the church lost in a London court in its attempt to ban the programme

JOSEPH MALLIA  Boston Herald Boston Herald Special ReportMar 19, 1998  Church of Scientology probes Herald reporter - Investigation follows pattern of harassment — Boston HeraldMar 5, 1998  Scientology group reaches kids through PBS videos — Boston HeraldMar 4, 1998  Battle sites in the Web war — Boston HeraldMar 4, 1998  Church, enemies wage war on Internet battlefield — Boston HeraldMar 3, 1998  Scientology reaches into schools through Narconon — Boston HeraldMar 2, 1998  Church keys programs to recruit blacks — Boston HeraldMar 2, 1998  Milton school shades ties to Scientology — Boston HeraldMar 1, 1998  Judge Found Hubbard lied about achievements — Boston HeraldMar 1, 1998  Powerful church targets fortunes, souls of recruits — Boston Herald Church of Scientology probes Herald reporter - Investigation follows pattern of harassment By Jim MacLaughlin & Andrew Gully Boston Herald 1998

[..] The Church of Scientology is the only religious organization in the U.S. that uses private investigators to look into the private lives of reporters, several academic experts said. "The question is not 'Do they investigate,' the question should be 'Do they harass?' " said the Rev. Robert W. Thornburg, dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University and a recognized expert on destructive religious practices. "And Scientology is far and away the most notable in that.

"No one I know goes so far as to hire outsiders to harass or try to get intimidating data on critics," said Thornburg. "Scientology is the only crowd that does that."

The Rev. Richard L. Dowhower, a Lutheran minister and an adviser on cult activity at the University of Maryland, College Park, said, "I've been in the cult-watching business since the early '70s and I don't know of any other group, other than Scientology, that targets journalists." And Hal Reynolds, student affairs officer at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the campus Cult Education Center, also said Scientology investigates journalists. "I've been collecting files on these groups for 10 years, and I have not heard of that for any other group," Reynolds said.[..]

robert
robert

Looks like Marcotai couldn't take the heat on this article and ran off to another.But just a warning, trying to defend Tommy Davis and other hapless Sci officials is not a better position for you to be in than you were on this article.

Good Luck!

Wholigan
Wholigan

   Just bought Janet's Book!

bulldog
bulldog

Robert, LOL! Thanks for the info, I'll check it out. Hope I didn't sound to paranoid in my original post *turning Red* It's just...I have been reading about the horrible vindictive things they do to people, not all Scientologists but management and OSA. Kinda gives me the willys! :-D

robert
robert

They have done all those horrible vindictive things.And it is always good to be cautious.

However, don't be overly concerned, as right now they are so busy with so many other problems and they have so few people to deal with said problems that someone just buying books is not even on the priority scale.

If they were to pursue everyone who bought the books, they'd have to be pursuing an awful lot of folks given that Janet's book remains on the best seller lists.

They can't even effectively handle us here-they have to send Marcotai, who is something of the court of last resort in Sci-land comment fighters.  It basically means they have conceded this front.  

So no worries Bulldog, enjoy the entertainment. :P

bulldog
bulldog

Robert, thank you! I love it here! I may not be the brightest bulb on this site, lol! All of you express yourselves so well and are very articulate. The pen is mighter than the sword!

Well, I'm going to head over to Operation ClamBake. There is so much to learn, it's exciting...it's a revolution!

robert
robert

Lol, you seem to be doing fine!

A lot of us have been around the subject a while so we do know how to spout off!

Janet's book lays an excellent framework, but there is so much more!  And Clambake contains a lot of it.  Lol, just make sure you do get out and go to the beach.  

bulldog
bulldog

I think my local Barnes & Noble employees are Scientologists. I went to buy "Inside Scientology" today and the employee tried to convince me that, I'd be much happier reading a book (can't recall the title) about some Mormon Massacre. I declined and got the last copy of Janet's book.

Maybe I am wearing my tin foil hat to tight, LOL! There was no other books about Scientology except "Dianetics." Then what was really weird, I asked, if they could order "Abuse At The Top" and "Blown For Good" But, before looking those up he made a call on the store phone and two more employees showed up and just stood there looking at me. Eventually, I was informed they couldn't back order those books. I left to purchase my book and was followed down stairs to the checkout. Maybe all of this was just a coincidence, who knows?

Anyway, I hope to get my book autographed because I really admire Janet Rietman.

robert
robert

Well, check out her website and you can find where she will be appearing for book readings/signings.  

Probably tinfoil, lol.  But you never know. 

Wholigan
Wholigan

    LOL, He/She is unaware of her fail. How can he/she be? This is what happens to one when stuck inside the Truman Show.    I'll say this for him/her, Marco's posts only seem to drive the comments here....More traffic, more hits, more OMFG did you really say  that, the  more people being educated on the sinister cult of Scientology. After all, Google is pretty gai about web hits. :)     This is the conundrum the COS now faces, ANY attempt at PR only serves to lend yet another opportunity to educate the public. PR is dependent on the media, the media is driven by the internet.              The war is largely over. We won. We run this shit.

Marcotai
Marcotai

"We run this shit".

No one disagrees.

Wholigan
Wholigan

   Your lack of "likes" would indicate otherwise. Do you like talking to yourself? LOL.     Your copy/pasta fail says it all.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

You raise up your headAnd you ask, “Is this where it is?”

And somebody points to you and says“It’s his”

And you say, “What’s mine?”

And somebody else says, “Where what is?”

And you say, “Oh my GodAm I here all alone?

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

Yes, Robin.  Something is happening, and he don't know what it is.

Marcotai
Marcotai

"...THE OTHER TRUE FACE OF THE COINS" #13 -Greedy and Corrupted Journalists.

I might have started to read Janet Reitman's book if she at least would have got her book's subtitle right. How hell Scientology be “The most secretive religion” when in fact it is one of the most open religion on Earth?I understand her needs to get her book look interesting to the masses in order to financially profit out of it, but that is not  professional journalism. She claims to have spent five years “investigating” the subject? What a idiocy! Even a teenager could have  wrote that book after just a couple of days of “investigation” on the Internet. LOLWhat Janet really sells, is actually a re-packaged version of the same boring bullshits, the so self-proclaimed “critics” of SCN have  been manufacturing and vomiting for years.The only positive reviews  of Reitman's book are coming from peers who have never got something  right themselves about Scientology.Again, Janet Reitman has thus embarrassed ,once more, real professional journalism and downgraded herself to the status of a greedy tabloid amateur.

While more professional schools and universities are including British journalists like JOHN SWEENEY ( a journalist who lost his membership in the prestigious Frontline Club after his bullshit documentary on SCN, was exposed by Freedom Magazine) as worst-case scenario examples to be avoided in investigative reporting, some other “old-guards” journalists seems to be sinking down the corrupted path of greed, personal agenda, hatred,  bigotry and “aces to grind”.See the last four editions of Freedom Mag on SP Time's bunch of bigots, JOHN SWEENEY, ANDERSON COOPER and LAWRENCE WRIGHT. What those disgraced “journalists” have in common? Simple and simply the same  disgraced “sources” for their “investigative”(LOL) reports. Nothing else.Not to mention the Australian TV reporter who is more known as “the Senator's puppet”(or the Senator's Tool) than by his own name.  Probably one of the most corrupted journalist in Australia.So...Why the Media is generally not trusted by public opinion? The answer may be well stated as:“because of the unethical behavior of many “journalists” some of which are listed on thisTony Ortega's list, on which Tony himself should have been appeared.

robert
robert

OMG, babe, you're losing it, you're starting to repeat yourself.You cut and pasted this earlier, dear.Get a grip.

Marcotai
Marcotai

Yes. you are right. but this time i pasted correctly.

mcode8
mcode8

I assume you are speaking of Bryon Seymour(most corrupt journalist in Australia),all Bryon is guilty of is exposing the lies of a greedy,dangerous cult.Did you mention that Co$ paid a camera crew to follow him around while he was doing a story(video can be found on youtube)With men like him and Senator Xenephon Australia should be the first country to be CLEAR of Scientology. 

Marcotai
Marcotai

Who the hell is Bryon?

mcode8
mcode8

Look him up on google/youtube(unless you have a net nanny)he's the guy thats run about 40 stories on Co$ abuses,greed and corruption.He has helped decimate the number of fresh meat and scilons in Australia.Perth org empty as is Adelaide and Canberra,Brisbane has moved to a house in the suburbs,Melbourne has ground to a halt.Co$ is a running joke in my country.

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Since it’s clear that OSA is reading this comment thread, I thought I’d toss something out there that might give some food for thought.

As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I’m just a regular American suburbanite, with a passing interest in Scientology due to having run across it briefly many years ago. I probably know more about it than most, only because of that early encounter and all of the reading I have since done on it. I live in a typical American community, and have lots of middle-class friends and associates.

While I was reading Janet Reitman’s book, out of curiosity I started asking all the people Iknow what they think about Scientology. I asked family, friends, neighbors, co-workers. I also asked some of my children’s teenage friends, such as on rides to the movies, or while chauffeuring to sports. I even asked some strangers, usually because I happened to be reading the book somewhere public (on an airplane, waiting in a line) and I’d get into a conversation with someone, and we’d talk about what each of us was reading.

To a one, every single person I talked to considered Scientology to be a total joke. Just bringing up the word would usually elicit a laugh. Many only had limited actual knowledge about it, although most of them cited the Tom Cruise craziness, and a surprising number of them knew about Xenu. The overall perception ran about 50-50: half thought of it as a nutty but relatively harmless cult, the other half (generally those who knew more about it) considered it a dangerous organization with a well-documented history of crimes and human-rights abuses. Quite a few had encountered some form of recruitment effort – a person on the street, a phone call, or a television ad.

But the most important piece of information gleaned from my informal survey was that, among thisdiverse group of “regular” Americans, not a single one would ever get involved in Scientology. Not one. Even the teenagers all knew about it – in fact, they often knew way more about it than the adults! Most of them had at the very least seen the South Park Xenu episode. If they encountered a person on the street trying to get them to come in to take a personality test, they would laugh themselves silly.

Contrast this with the early days of Scientology, when there were so many spiritual seekers, new-age belief systems, cast-adrift youth exploring fresh paths to enlightenment. Even in middle-class suburbia, exploration of new-thought was common. Scientology was just one of many exotic new philosophies of the time.

It’s a different world now, and the cat is simply too far and too long out of the bag. It’s part of pop culture now. The only way a normal American today wouldn’t have a preconceived notion about Scientology is if they’ve been living under a rock. Oh, there may be some communities in America that haven’t heard of it – but they would have to be very sheltered from the media and pop culture…say, the Amish, or very poor mountain towns in Appalachia, or heavily immigrant communities. However, none of those groups of people would make very good targets for Scientology. They certainly aren’t going to recruit any Amish! And the others tend to not have much money, so they wouldn’t be able to afford even the lowest levels.

So what will Scientology do? Where will they find new recruits?

I’ve read that some inroads have been made in third-world countries – but I find that surprising.  I mean, what good does that do Scientology, when those populations barely have enough money to eat, much less pay for expensive auditing?

Even without Miscavige’s horrendous mismanagement, to this outsider it appears that Scientology’s basic framework leaves it fated to die a natural death. It cannot survive without new recruits – and not just any recruits, it must have recruits that have MONEY. But there are so few of them to be found. The genie is out of the bottle, and cannot be re-corked.

The point that any OSA readers should take here is, you’re wasting your time by jumpinginto these threads. Who is your audience? Who’s reading your comments? Anybody who has read a single one of these articles already thinks you guys are either froot loops or criminals. So why bother?

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Since it's clear that OSA is reading this thread, there's something you should know. You probably caught wind of a call from Clearwater a few months ago to what you assumed would be a mark where the man on the other end of the line went totally OTT on the caller from Clearwater. I recall saying repeatedly that I'm the last person Scientology wants to call.

I'm OT 64, you don't mess with me.

If it wasn't for your fucking organization attempting one last time to pry money out of some poor schmucks hands, I wouldn't have made over 200 posts in the last week to this blog, mainly to blast away at Marcotai.

You enturbulated me. I won't be satisfied until I see David Miscavige in jail.

I may not be the last person Scientology wants to call but I consider any phone call from Scientology harassment and any response I give them if they call me Fair Game™. You call me and I'll scream your ear off, you will spend 15 minutes on the phone with me and you will hate it. I consider you a criminal enterprise and your call a criminal act.

Marcotai
Marcotai

And you consider that "food for thought"?

it looks to me more like "excrements for flies" :-p

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Weak response—consider the depths of potential scatological outpourings you could have spewed into the noosphere, save that you are limited by your ninth-grade education.

Just like your boss, David Miscavige.

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

Marcotai - are you in junior school?

Also - if Scientology works how come there are no success stories? How come Heber Jentzsch is still locked away? How come all the orgs are empty? How come David Miscavige has to send out Squirrel Busters and spend a ton of cash money just to harass ONE former member?

How come LRH did not have a happy and successful family life? How come his OWN SON killed himself and the other went on TV to call him a liar? How can the tech work if he couldn't even apply the basics to his own life?

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Once more from the top:

Proverbs for paranoids #3:

If they've got you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.

And the right question is "Why isn't David Miscavige in jail right now?"

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

Great questions, Shelly!  If even one of them gets traction in the brain-dead zombie's head, eventually the contradictions between reality and tek force the person back to reality.  Thanks for speaking out so eloquently.

robert
robert

Why can't you answer any of them?

And my question was why do you tell public that they can continue to be members of other religions and Scientologists, when you know that all religions are implants? You are committing a fraud, in addition to lying.

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

I know, hon... the truth hurts, doesn't it? I'm so sad for you. I hope you find your way out.

Marcotai
Marcotai

HOW COME YOU DIDN'T GET A SINGLE QUESTION RIGHT?

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Of course you do. You have no choice. You are told what to think. In fact I doubt you even read it, because there might be entheta in there. Fascinating!

Wholigan
Wholigan

   Conspiracy? LOL...Ok, I'm now convinced you are just a lulz troll. Nothing wrong with that.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Xeno sez: Smoooooooooooooth.

Like a needle flatlinin'!

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

It feels enturbulatin', like all over!

Xeno sez: Use the Church of Subgenius post-Brainwash-Wash. Gets rid of all them nasty clouds of ill-and dee-lusion that deposits of CO$ always LEAVE BEHIND behind, behinds, behind . . . 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Ok, now you're getting somewhere. This is a Philip K. Dick level of revealing to oneself the denial and lack of self-awareness coupled to that weird flat affect that culties so often suffer from.

So it sounds like you might be waking up.

Once again, good luck.

Wholigan
Wholigan

  Lady-Boy, what you are unable to see is, you cannot think for yourself. You spend your life thinking, what did LRH say about this situation? What TECH should I employ to handle this. You are too far gone to even see this.

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

OMFG!  How being a braindead zombie feels like, Marco?

robert
robert

Explain more, I'm fascinated to hear this. So all these things over the last thirty or so years are the result of a conspiracy?  

Are you saying Scientology can't keep bad people out of its organization and they keep doing bad things?  Or are you saying that the various governments are somehow able to continually suppress Sci for thepast thirty years? Either or both would seem to suggest that Scientology is at effect.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.

But perhaps you can help me and explain this. 

robert
robert

Oh and of course, let's not forget the infamous Sci who covered up or committed sexual assaults against children--Ben Kasle, convicted, had sex with a 14 year old girl in the org in Cinncinati-Donald Strawn, guilty of assaulting his step daughters, mother is asked by Sci to not report it to authorities-Jan Eastgate, arrested in a similar case to the Strawn case.

Why is this a continual problem?  Because Scientologists are told that legal things should be dealt with internally and not reported to the wog world.

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Okay, but shouldn't someone at such UPPER LEVELS of Sci have been able to thwart such dastardly doings by shadowy baddies? Where's the superpowers that Operating Thetans are supposed to have? Why couldn't LRH even keep is WIFE out of prison? Can you answer that?

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

" i have no choice because my free-will is predetermined and programmed by Scientology leaders. They actually installed in my mind an anti-entheta software that prevents me looking at the "facts"."

YES! Now you're actually saying something correct! Yes, you are right - you have no choice because your free-will is predetermined and programmed by Scientology leaders. You have been subjected to such a mind fucking that you do not have the ability to recognize facts. Your mind simply does a little shudder and rejects anything that doesn't fit within the framework of fiction that has been fed you for so many years.

I'm so sad for you, and I really do hope you find your way back to the real world. Free will actually does exist out here. You can choose what to eat, when to sleep, what schooling to take, what to do for a job, where to live, who to love, whether or not to have children, what to believe. None of that is forced upon you...in the real world.

robert
robert

You should answer your own question.  How do you explain:-Hubbard convicted of fraud in 1978.  He ran and couldn't even confront and so avodied serving time.-Sci convicted of espionage in the US-Sci convicted of breach of the public trust in the 1990s in Canada.-Sci convicted of fraud in France in October 2009-Sci convicted and thrown out of the country in Greece  etc etc etc...

Marcotai
Marcotai

Holy Shit! How working with convicted criminals feels like?

If Steven Hassan would only approach me with " you are brainwashed, and I want to re-programm you," be certain that he is going to spend the rest of his life in a life supporting machine.

dennis l erlich
dennis l erlich

Marco, I've worked with and been friends with both Steve and Rick.  I can assure you that neither of them ever drugged or kidnapped anyone.  And if you need someone to help you blow the Mindfuck Elrong installed, give me a call.  I'm in the book.

robert
robert

Please explain Maggie Kittinger's letter.  Let's see if you even read that, Ms. Free Choice.

Marcotai
Marcotai

Jeezz...you got it right. i have no choice because my free-will is predetermined and programmed by Scientology leaders. They actually installed in my mind an anti-entheta software that prevents me looking at the "facts". Is there a de-programmer willing to default my power of choice?Please no kidnapping and drugs treatments alla Steven Hassan and Rick Ross fashion.

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