The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin

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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

#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin


JoeChilds.JPG
Childs
I don't know Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin. I have never spoken with them. I sent them each an e-mail a while ago. I heard nothing back. What little I know about each of these members of the St. Petersburg Times staff is what I've read in their stories, and by talking with Mike Rinder and other sources who have spoken with them.

I do know enough about them to be pretty certain that they will not be happy at all to be included in this list.

Childs and Tobin are the Mantle and Mays of Scientology reporting. They have produced devastating exposes of the church, one after the other, for many years. Another epic series, I hear, may be imminent.

It will no doubt land with the force of an H-bomb on the world of Scientology watching.

TomTobin.JPG
Tobin
We're still reeling over the last major blast from the duo. Their 2009 series, "The Truth Rundown" changed entirely the way Scientology was talked about in the media. Suddenly, a secretive church with celebrities became a toxic, ailing organization with a strange little man in charge who, his former employees said, regularly beat on his subordinates in frequent rages.

For that series, Tobin and Childs convinced several high-ranking Scientologists who had defected in recent years to speak out for the first time. These were not low-level grunts in a church that places huge emphasis on rank and power; these were men like Marty Rathbun, formerly the second-highest ranking executive in Scientology, and Mike Rinder, the man who ran the Office of Special Affairs -- the church's spy wing.

Only two years later, with Rathbun speaking out at his blog, with Janet Reitman's book on Scientology rightly getting a lot of attention, and with many other ex-Scientologists coming forward, it may be a little hard to remember how much impact that 2009 series had.

Thankfully, I'm on record for saying, at the time, that the series deserved a Pulitzer. (An overused refrain from some, perhaps, but I've never said that publicly about any other piece of journalism.)

With my own toe in the pool of Scientology reporting, I know how much research goes into Tobin and Childs articles, how thorough they are, how often they form the bedrock of research that so much other writing on Scientology is built up from.

So if that's the case, if they're so good that they deserve to be number 5 on this list, why do I say that they would rather not be recognized here?

Unlike your narrator, who likes to joke around and have some fun, Tobin and Childs do their jobs with deadly seriousness. Scientology would love to say that they are part of some secret-handshake journalism buddy system team-tagging the church. In fact, they are scrupulously fair, bending over backwards to provide balance, to push for Scientology's side of things, and to avoid any appearance that they have an interest in the fortunes of the church, one way or the other.

The last thing they need is some joker patting them on the back for "crippling" Scientology.

Sorry, fellows, but there's no mistaking it: reporter Tom Tobin and editor Joe Childs have paired up to uncover gem after gem about Scientology, providing the basic content that so many arguments and protests and investigations are built upon. They have made the St. Petersburg Times the paper of record on Scientology. And for that, they rank very high on this list.

But what is it like to be interviewed by them? I asked that of Rinder, who only reluctantly agreed to help them out (at first, anyway) with "The Truth Rundown."

"If there's anyone I know who is well versed in the subject of Scientology, it's those guys. Because they've been doing it for so long, and they've talked to so many people. So they have a very good ability to sort the wheat from the chaff. And there is a lot of chaff when it comes to Scientology," Rinder told me.

"Joe has a little more of a hard edge to him than Tom does. He's just a bit more the cynical newspaper editor, and Tom is just a nice guy -- I don't know how else to describe Tom Tobin. He is so inoffensive, it kind of blows me away the way Tommy Davis treated them, yelling at them. They're the last people anyone would want to yell at. Joe and Tom are not provocative. They are inquisitive, but not provocative."

Rinder paid them another compliment, of sorts: "The usual handling for reporters is taking them on tours of the facilities and showing them videos. But the church doesn't even bother with that with Tom and Joe," he says. Tobin and Childs already know all the facilities too well. "They've given up giving those guys tours.

"They have the luxury that virtually nobody else has, which is working for the SP Times. So they can spend an inordinate amount of time putting together stories. Nobody else really has that," he noted.

After dealing with them as the spokesman for the church, Rinder remembers meeting them for the first time after he'd left Scientology.

"They came to Denver. I went and picked them up at the airport. It was like picking up an old buddy you haven't seen for a long time. It was very friendly right from the outset. At that time, I was not willing to be on the record with them. They knew that, and they weren't very happy about it. Joe must have asked about 30 times. 'Sure you don't want to be quoted about this?' But it was somewhat cathartic, for both sides, and a bit like the Caberta visit for Marty and Ursula," he said, referring to Marty Rathbun's recent trip to Germany.

If Tobin and Childs have worked on major series for the paper, other Scientology stories have appeared in recent years at the St. Pete Times under the bylines of writers like Jonathan Abel, Barbara Behrendt, Mike Brassfield, Mike Donilla, Robert Farley, and Rita Farlow. This is a newspaper on a mission -- to watch closely the odd religious movement that took over a town in its coverage area.

When that happened, in the mid-1970s, the Times had reporters named Bette Orsini and Charles Stafford who watched that story like a hawk. For their efforts, they won a Pulitzer in 1980. Orsini also was the target of harassment. Here's what the Times obit of Orsini said about that when she died this March at the age of 85:

With Mrs. Orsini as the prime source of stories about Scientology's financial and social structure, the church tried repeatedly to get her fired. Around the same time, an anonymous letter accused her husband, Andrew, of tax malfeasance in his role as head of the Pinellas County Easter Seals Foundation. The late payment, the result of a wrong billing address, was soon paid.

A group calling itself the Guardians of Scientology called their plan to "restrain Orsini" Operation Bunny Bust.

"When she got on the story, she could not be shaken off of it by pressure or complaint or difficulty," said Eugene Patterson, former editor of the Times. "She stayed with it. Of course, Scientology tested her to the max."

Her family felt the strain.

"It was definitely a difficult set of circumstances," said Candi Orsini, her daughter. "The closeness of the family and the strength of the family got us through those times."

I asked Mark Bunker for his own memories of St. Pete Times coverage when he lived in Florida during another crucial period of Scientology coverage -- the Lisa McPherson debacle.

When I lived in Clearwater back in 2000 and 2001, the St. Pete Times would frequently write stories about Scientology and the Lisa McPherson Trust. Deborah O'Neil or Tom Tobin were most likely to be the reporters on the beat. Both seemed incredibly nice and both were always very fair in their reporting. I had read their stories before moving to town. It was through their reports that I almost felt like a resident before I even moved to Clearwater.

One of the byproducts of us opening up shop right next to Scientology's Office of Special Affairs is that we created a lot of Scientology related news. When Bob Minton and Stacy Brooks met with city manager Mike Roberto about what we were trying to accomplish in Clearwater, he told them point blank that he had tried very hard to keep Scientology off the front page of the St. Pete Times and with our arrival they were right back there in big, bold headlines. He wasn't at all happy about that. It's not like we were trying to generate stories but Scientology's attacks on us just made for interesting reading. There was the time Jeff Jacobsen and I were banned from a Scientologist-owned restaurant.

Or when a group composed largely of Scientologists who were redesigning a small alley next to a Scientology building refused to sell Jeff a brick in memory of Lisa McPherson.

Or when Scientology set up Jesse Prince on marijuana charges.

It was after Jesse's trial that the St. Pete Times published one of their most memorable editorials on Scientology, saying it was "not like any church we know."

What was most frustrating about the St. Pete Times is that they knew the lengths to which Scientology would go but even after publishing damning editorials about them, they would then publish what many would consider puff pieces about the group. They knew how Scientology behaved. They knew what they were capable of. Why not expose the abuses going on just a couple blocks away from the newspaper's offices? With the string of amazing articles in recent years by Tobin and Childs, they're once again doing just that and they're jaw-droppingly good at it.

OK, Joe and Tom, we're braced for the next bombshell. Let's have it!



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]

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144 comments
Mike Henderson
Mike Henderson

Joe Childs and Tom Tobin are great guys. I know, I have spent many hours with both of them. I wish them the best in their continuing expose of Scientology. I think they would be proud to make number 5 on the list. Mike Henderson

obamanon
obamanon

Help end the cult by signing the White House Petition to Investigate the "Church" of Scientology

http://wh (dot) gov/40s

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Very well deserved. Their predecessors paved the way, for sure. One thing, though, you forgot about Bette Orsini's cohort, Charles Stafford! They both won the Pulitzer prize :)

St Petersburg Times: 1980 Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles about Scientology in the St. Pete Times by Charles Stafford and Bette Orsini

"This is a 14-part series by Charles Stafford, originally published in The St. Petersburg Times. Together with two articles by Bette Orsini, it won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting."w w w (dot)lermanet(dot)com/scientologynews/sptimes/spt-series-index(dot)htm

R.I.P. Bette and Charles.....

MissCabbage
MissCabbage

Has anyone else noticed this?  It seems as if the number of posts attacking Tony or the groups / individuals listed on the countdown has decreased as the series progressed.  The few that DO post use the standard "Attack, Never Defend" directive.  Where are they?  RPF? Give up?  Not allowed to read the posts?  Just an observation.

skeptimal
skeptimal

Shoot. Can I re-vote in the reader survey?  How could I let these guys slip my mind?

Old OT7
Old OT7

Yep, once again a great pick, Tony!  When the "Truth Rundown" came out it was a blockbuster of revelations.  Sea Org staff were FORBIDDEN from reading the St. Pete Times on Sunday, Monday & Tuesday.  This is a great addition  to the list!

MarkStark
MarkStark

Tobin and Childs' THE TRUTH RUNDOWN series was seminal, not only because it was thorough and exposed the story of Miscavige's violence, but because it laid bare the myth that apostates are "psychotic liars."

The public can see, that as crazy as Scientology is, if these people experience one period of clarity or rationality, it is went they get out of the cult, not when they reach "clear" or "go OT."

Every one of their testimonies, and in particular that of Amy Scobee, came off as authentic, not the lying that is done by people like Kirstie Alley or Anne Archer (or her son) when they go into Xenu denial. We know just from hearing Scientologists talk that they are under so many limitations in what they are allowed to say,  you can just tell when ex-members are coming clean about something, free from the pressures of having kept those secrets.

Jim
Jim

Looks like there is a newcomer to the list: Chris Guider, former rugby star, in news reports today stating Miscavige ordered him to beat people with a stick.  He was sent to the RPF for refusing. 

House of cards!

Torychristman
Torychristman

Ok, My predictions for the last 4-1:

1. L. Ron Hubbard (and he who exposed him 1st: Gerry Armstrong)2. David Miscavige (and Tom Cruise)3. Anonymous4. Marty Rathbun

Torychristman
Torychristman

I'm so happy to see Tom Tobin and Joe Childs as # 5. The St. Pete Times has been on the cutting edge of exposing Scientology for what it is, and what it is not, and Tom and Joe have been excellent at doing so. Also, an earlier reporter (for the Clearwater Sun, later bought by St Pete Times) was Richard Libey--who did *tons* of work, exposing C of $'s lies. I think he should get at least an honorable mention, as he was there back when few would speak out about Scientology, in 1979 when I was there. Great job, Tony! Thank you, once again, for your courage in Journalism! Love to all :) Tory/Magoo

Stat
Stat

A Scientologist has to loose at least on of their testicles, by the big rusty saw (most of the time - figuratively speaking, thank god), in order TO WAKE THE FUCK UP. Sometimes, it takes more. But that's what it may take. Why? Because the church is pretty sinister and manipulative, while appearing to be so very logical, promising, intricate, convincing, "theta". And most members are true BELIEVERS indeed. "So many things "just make sense": - looking up words and their derivations in dictionaries, being able to comfortably face a fellow human being, asking another the right questions to help them to understand something and feel/live better life, list goes on. It's a new breed of con/scam, where truth and lie are targeting "terra nova" - the mind, soul, body, (every aspect of life described thoroughly) on a whole new level. Because a lot of it works/helps, it makes sense and it's coming from LRH!  A combination of above and more. Hubbard was very prolific writer (and speaker) after all. The lower "Bridge" can be beneficial for many, in some ways. So as some of the "basics", with all the common sense ideas, presented by LRH in such an entertaining way as his own "discoveries" in his books and lectures. And some of them WERE his. Add all his true and imaginary achievements in large number of key fields and it's all set. Hubbard was more then a con artist, he was interested in philosophy and all the deep questions. He WAS a brilliant man. But it all went awry, for a number of reasons. Including his own imperfections. And this is why I think he succeeded for some time and why we still talk and act about it. But in a whole different realm now. And I think this is why he is/will be #1 on the list of people crippling Scientology. LRH was too human. He was many things. Good and ugly. Clear and OT were not part of this in real life. LRH -  A Wonderful Dreamer/Discoverer - Indeed. R.I.P. Life goes on.

StatAndrew/Andrey Organ

red_zone
red_zone

Tobin and Childs really shouldn't be surprised that they are mentioned and credited for their involvement and aid in helping to bring down Scientology. They have delivered some fabulous articles and have held fast in the face of the COS's most underhanded tactics.

And such tactics have come to naught. people are now fully aware of how far they will go to stop the truth from being spoken. And these two gentleman are among many who can be thanked for that.

Kris
Kris

When the Truth Rundown series came out, I had been out of the Sea Org for 5 years, I saw some stuff as a SO member, not nearly as bad as any Int folks, but enough to want to make me run. Thinking that being a public would be better, I flirted with going back in, and I had gone to events, even donated money to various things in the Church(Ideal Orgs, IAS, library donations, freeloader debt) and bought books. I was still at odds with Scientology, as I did see bad stuff in the Sea Org, and also I had recently been stuck in a room with 6 high Scientology Execs literally demanding that I pay 75K to get my patron in the IAS(they only got 1200 as I played the I'm very poor card). I was getting very disenchanted with Scientology, as it seems like every call I would get would be for money, but still had a purpose for wanting to go up the bridge and continuing in Scientology. Something wasn't right and I couldn't put my finger on it. Then I remember one morning, reading a headline on Yahoo, that says something of the sort"Mike Rinder confirms beatings occur in Scientology". It referenced to the SP times, on where I found the videos of former members, and all my suspicions had been confirmed. It was after reading and watching the Truth Rundown, that I made the choice never to walk into a Church of Scientology ever again.

bulldogSP
bulldogSP

Ya know what's really killing Scientology, David Miscavige. Everyone is talking about it in my town. Why is he hiding? He's not COB enough to speak on behalf of his religion. This is a hot topic at the local country club. So is kooky Tom Cruise and poor John Travolta. This is ruining their careers.

They can't hide.. I don't think this will blow over. To many people are following this story.

Yeppir
Yeppir

Question for all: who will bring down COS first? Wogs or EX-Scios?

Blowme
Blowme

DM number one!!!

Peter
Peter

Life is so ironic:

SP Times - Suppressive Person

Senator Xenophon - Xenu

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

Fantastic!  I hope they don't mind all the people who love seeing them high on this list.  ;)  Good fortune and good health to them both!

sizzle8
sizzle8

"The Truth Rundown" became the moment when I realized the battle would inevitably be won.

The exposure of Miscavige's violence and corruption and the levels that human rights abuses had reached internally started the new exodus.

Mad Dog
Mad Dog

As an update, Tony, I think you should mention other journalists who have helped bring this evil into the light, INCLUDING yourself!  As far as the debate between Revolta and Tom(Thumb) Cruise, all celebrity footbullets should be lumped together, as it takes a Hollywood village to make a CO$ idiot.  Now I shall enjoy my popcorn while waiting for a heaping pile of marcotai's  copypasta on a shingle...

Marcotai
Marcotai

Joe Childs and Tom Tobin are an example of journalists with an hate agenda. Again we are witnessing at how far corrupted journalism can go.

In recent years, the S.P. Times has worked hard to present a more honest and credible image to the public, attempting to shed its reputation for biased reporting. The newspaper’s recent “special” report exposed the facade: At its core, the S.P. Times has not changed. It is an organization that twists the news to incite hatred against Scientologists and stops at nothing to paint a false picture of the Scientology religion and the Church.

Recounting its long record of bigotry toward the Church of Scientology, its members, staff and leaders is unnecessary. That is something with which most Tampa Bay residents are all too familiar, including thousands of non-Scientologists appalled at the Times’ attempts to unfairly stigmatize Scientologists who are their friends.But if the Times has not changed, the articles in this magazine detailing Scientology’s explosive expansion in both Clearwater and around the world show how Scientology has continued to grow. As the Church has gained greater local prominence, thousands of Scientologists have contributed to improving their community through charities and civic groups.Juxtaposed with the day-to-day reality of friends, neighbors and workmates who are Scientologists, the hysteria of the Times’ stereotypes has become self-evident.Scientologists work alongside friends and neighbors on civic and cultural boards, in sports and arts societies and in numerous social partnerships. The newly restored Fort Harrison regularly hosts functions for other charitable organizations; public are welcomed for tours and Church staff work hard to invite questions and provide an open response. Juxtaposed with the day-to-day reality of friends, neighbors and workmates who are Scientologists, the hysteria of the Times’ stereotypes has become self-evident.A full and objective review of the recent allegations the Times presented to the Church from four ex-Scientologists evidences both the lack of credibility and sinister motives of these sources—people who will say anything to attack their former faith.The same false allegations have been posted on the “grassy knoll” of the Internet by avowed Scientologist-haters for years.Even though first-person accounts from dozens of eyewitnesses demolished the fabrications presented by the Times’ sources, reporters Joe Childs and Tom Tobin refused to hear from those eyewitnesses.The Church provided an unprecedented amount of documented evidence and detailed accounts proving the sources had lied.The Church also provided detailed evidence regarding the motives of these four apostates to lie about the religion and its leader: delusionary ideas of “taking over” the Church, resentment over their removal from posts and money.In the most offensive gesture of all, the S.P. Times refused to accept an offer of an in-person interview with Mr. David Miscavige, the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion.

The interview would have been his first in 11 years and only the third in his 25-year career as the Church’s leader. Despite purporting to seek this interview, to which Mr. Miscavige had immediately agreed, the newspaper abandoned its facade of objectivity, cancelled the interview and rushed to print. The Times reporters and their bosses knew the scheduled interview with Mr. Miscavige was absolutely essential under fundamental journalistic standards and ethics. When they turned their backs on that interview, the reporters made a conscious decision to turn their backs on the truth. After all, they knew a response would further annihilate the credibility of their sources, rendering their false story fatal.

The Church offered the reporters full and unfettered access to the Church and all facilities. Tobin and Childs refused to accept the offer. The Times decided this information “wasn’t relevant” to their story, that somehow an interview with the Church’s ecclesiastical leader was unnecessary even for a three-part series on the man.

So, in response to the Times exhibition of unprovoked malice and shredding of the truth, here you can find  the real story of both the Church … and the so-called journalism practiced by the S.P. Times:tinyurl DoT com/3c9s5fj

A MUST READ for people who are interested on what real and professional journalists SHOULD not do!

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

Thanks, Mary. Added him to the post.

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

Public scilons went around Clearwater and snagged up every copy of that Sunday's SP Times that they could lay their hands on.  Oh. My. God.  Can you imagine?  What must they have been thinking while they were running around frantically gathering and then destroying all those newspapers?  I can.  I've been there and know only too well how "sure" I was that $cientology was RIGHT and everyone/everything else was WRONG.  It's truly terrifying to feel so attacked.  And the impulse, of course, is to strike back.My husband and I had just departed the "church" and had had conversations with former Int execs, so we knew what was coming.  But still.  What a lightening bolt -- from the beginning to the end of that series.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Yes, this new Lateline (Australian news program) interview with Chris Guider is scathing.  Guider saw Miscavige beat Mark Fisher, and Sciloontology has responded:

The Church describes them as a "posse of lunatics" led by a media whore.

They show a clip from Mark Fisher's interview with the St. Pete Times.

Guider was sent to the RPF for two years, for not beating a video editor with a stick on Miscavige's orders. Sciloontology says he was RPF'd for violation of Church scriptures...ecclesiastical blah blah blah.

One name we can't call David Miscavige is "media whore," since he's appeared in a TV interview only once in 25 years. Instead, he got Tom Cruise to whore for him, and we know how well that worked out.

Old OT7
Old OT7

I think Anonymous was  number 6 already.

scilonschools
scilonschools

"2. David Miscavige (and Tom Cruise)"

Is that together as a 'Pantomine Horse'? (I can guess who would play the rear end!!!:)-

scilonschools
scilonschools

Tony O hasn't put himself on the list yet? Modest?, I think Anonymous got a mention at #6 , but another mention wouldn't go amiss!!!!

skeptimal
skeptimal

"Like" if you take comfort from knowing the world  has people like Tory Christman in it.

HildeB
HildeB

Would you say his most brilliant work was "Axioms and Logics?"

SFF
SFF

Any journalist who writes objectively about Scientology is inherently going to print things that make Scientology look bad and therefore probably belongs on this list.

Old OT7
Old OT7

I'm glad your out, Kris!  Please posting your story of when you were in.  I wish you much success & happiness from now on.

TheGuest
TheGuest

In addition to educating public so they won't get near the mind trap, your story is the other reason why Tobin and Childs earned their place on this list.  By the way,  more and more are demanding refunds and repayments.  Promise them if they act fast, you might not sue them for coercion and whatever other illegal tactic was used.

The two have always impressed me with their thoroughness, as well as persistence.  There was a time that there may have been one PR nightmare in a given year that OSA had to scramble to either smother or camouflage for non-sci public and for sci public.Now it's every month.  Also OSA's got left is a stray Marcotai here and there, like slapping a bandaid on cardiac arrest.

red_zone
red_zone

Way to go, Kris. No question had you stayed it would have gotten MUCH WORSE.

bulldogSP
bulldogSP

Oops, heart ache = heartache. Sorry, I am really bad at spelling. :-(

bulldogSP
bulldogSP

Kris, good for you. In the long run it will save you a lot of money and heart ache.

Thanks for sharing your story. Wishing you nothing but the best. ;-)

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Neither - I predict it will implode from the inside, at the International Executive level. Somebody will crack from the pressure and inherent insanity, then go postal in some extremist way. That will in turn bring the authorities in unexpectedly, and the final unraveling will happen in the biggest Scientology scandal since the FBI raids.

Its just a matter of time, assuming the wogs & exes keep the fire burning under the Int base pressure cooker until said implosion finally happens.

And here's hoping its not a fatal implosion - there's been enough lives destroyed in the upper ranks of the Sea Org as is.

Lonnie
Lonnie

My impression is that nothing started moving forward until the Exes started exerting their power.  Wogs have done a good job, with the help of the internet, to make alternative streams of information (truth) available to the $cilons, and the ones that can read that and make a cognition that they have been tricked and lied to, by their church... those are the nails in the coffin of scamatology.   That said, Rathburn is doing a lot of damage too.  Unfortunately, he still believes in the psychopath. 

bulldogSP
bulldogSP

Ha! Peter, I was thinking the same thing. It's karma. SP and Xenu payback. LOL

Peter
Peter

I kind of spiritually vomited when I read it. It was like the end of The Exorcist and I was Linda Blair.

AquaClara
AquaClara

Marcotai shrieked "thousands of non-Scientologists appalled at the Times’ attempts to unfairly stigmatize Scientologists who are their friends"

These appalled persons, where are they?  I mean if they were so appalled, they've had plenty of time to speak up.  It's not as if the S.P Times is going to Fair Game them or anything.

I've yet to see a single response to these stories from an appalled non-scientologist anywhere except from those Tampa Bay residents that were appalled by scientology's efforts to buy up and/or steal as many hard copies of these editions as possible so that they could be destroyed before being seen and read.

TheEvilofScientology
TheEvilofScientology

BAWWWWWW!

You are the very definition of futile, Marco! :)

Lots of support again I see!

Blubbard
Blubbard

nobody falls for the scientology baloney anymore. we are not "raw meat" anymore, we have the internet and can verify information now. we have read about the silliness of OT III/Xenu?wall of fire and all of the other Blabberings of Blubbard and are not amused.We post on this site for comic relief, as you do for the brainwashing exercise. But, at the end of the day, only the weak and stupid will fall for the scientology BS, so, I guess, that is you, Marcotai

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Marcotai is a fine example of how CO$ makes its patrons stupid.

Stellarlogic
Stellarlogic

blah blah blah, one wonders if you are as tired of the flimsy rhetoric as others' are. 

Shawn
Shawn

Do you have no thoughts of your own Marcotai?  Read the article and add your comments as this copy paste crap is really boring.

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

Lies.

They report on the abuses of the cult of $cientology.

The cult is shrinking.

Violent cult leader David Miscavige refused to be interviewed.

Cult documentation was proven to be false and falsified.

Tobin and Childs have already had tours of the cult facilities. It is time for LAW ENFORCEMENT to tour the facilities.

Sid
Sid

"The interview would have been his first in 11 years and only the third in his 25-year career as the Church’s leader."

Marco that is an excellent point and very well made, thank you!!!

Why has the leader of Scientology only taken part in two interviews in his 25 year reign?

He's obviously not shy! He LOVES speaking at international Scientology events. He ADORES opening Idle Orgs. He simply BASKS in the glow of his pre-prepared speeches.

Surely with the reputation of the CoS in tatters he must be DESPERATE to speak publicly about the awful allegations that have been made, even some against him personally.

Why, with a quick media interview with a respected global news organization he could surely clear up the misunderstanding, he could explain IN PERSON how straight up and vertical the expansion of his church has been, and put to bed the thousands of complaints.

Unless of course he's got some things to hide. Some awful, terrible things that he knows he could never take questions on.

Thanks Marco! There may have been some still-in Scientology lurkers who had not considered that fact before, but now have.

Well done, please come back and post more anti-Miscavige statistics soon!

Arielle
Arielle

Hey OSA, can you please bring Louanne back ? At least she could speak English and we could understand what she was saying. It was stupid, but still grammatically correct. Your recent clowns Marcotai and Mark Miglio can't even speak English. Are you that short-staffed that you can't find a native English speaker to post your copy pasta? Hire an intern or something.

Guest
Guest

This quote from the thought-provoking Adam Sandler magnum opus entitled Billy Madison sums up my feelings on Marcotai's comment quite well:

"Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. "

Mad Dog
Mad Dog

Same scientology, different hour.  Marcomaitai posted -sorry,copy pasta-ed, the same thing not one hour ago on the Topix forum.  Poor little thing must be out of breath trying to put out all the wildfires!  Oh, well....looking forward to when we get to Slappy Squirrel and LRon Sluggard.

Old Timer
Old Timer

Question, Marcotai: Why is it that Freedom Magazine doesn't allow freedom of speech on its web site like the Village Voice?

Old Timer
Old Timer

You're out of valence, "Marcotai". You're HIDING behind a false identity. Hiding is -6.0 on Hubbard's Tone Scale. Why are you HIDING?

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

This is a petty comment, but I'm just so sick of seeing this word that I have to say something.  "Bigotry" is such a dated word.  It's a 1950s word.  No one says this word anymore.  People today say "prejudice", "bias", "intolerance", "discrimination", etc.  My entire point is basically to say that the vast repeated usage of this word by Scientologists just proves that they are taught or commanded to use it, and given rote responses and prescribed reactions they must cart out for any given situation.  It is a key word, a go-to word.  It just exposes their programming.  Just once I would like to hear a diatribe from a Scn that sounds like it came out of an individual's current unique and thoughtful perspective or personal experience, and not from out of a performance manual written by a dead man from another era.  

This is a minuscule issue, a non-issue, I know, but from a cultural perspective, things like choice of language gives people additional information and impressions that even though they are sometimes subconscious, they do affect how groups and individuals are reacted to or perceived.  Again and again, Scientology just doesn't jive with the rest of the world.  Imo.  Not that they or anyone has to.  I'm just saying.This of course doesn't even broach the fact that I've yet to see an actual bigot protest CoS.  Synonyms for "bigot" are:  dogmatist, extremist, puritan, fanatic, partisan, zealot. Antonyms are:  humanitarian, liberal.  I think most would agree that if any of us are zealots about anything, it's freedom; personal freedom, freedom of information, freedom of speech, as well as freedom of religion - as long as it is practiced without extreme detriment to its parishioners, crimes against governments, and abuse of the court systems.  

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Hmmm...your grammar has improved, Marco. Although your cutting-and-pasting from another source has not. Curious to know who in OSA actually wrote this for you...or was it a group effort?

Either way, it's clearly a load of horse-pucky, and every single person reading this series knows it. LOL! I wonder why you and your OSA co-horts bother. Nobody is listening. We've all been infected with the truth, so your pathetic smear tactics filled with lies only appear as just that - pathetic smear tactics filled with lies.

Guest
Guest

Why don't you and your ecclesiastical leader go and get a G.E.D. and maybe even attend a little college.  It might make you smarter and more convincing.  Not Pulitzer-level convincing, like the SPT.   

Just a hint - people might get further through your post if you saved the blatant lies for later on, instead of the first sentence. I'm not even convinced you read Tony's article above.  

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

Just curious, who exactly do you think is listening to you?   It's obvious that no one reading Tony's posts is even remotely persuaded by your comments (at least, no one who is commenting is persuaded).  I'm sorry to say this, but you look like a fool.  Are you aware of that?  If it's true that you work for OSA and that your job is to refute what is written or to misdirect people's attention, it's simply not working.  All that is happening is that you are being made fun of.  Is that what you want?  Does that accomplish something for you or for scientology?  You deserve better.

Xenu
Xenu

Scientology's integrity, rationality, and famous communications tech undoubtedly explain why Freedom Magazine has won several Pulitzer Prizes and numerous other awards, while the SP Times can only be a hate rag that is the laughing stock of journalism.

Oh wait, I got that backwards.

candace6
candace6

Say marco, whatever happened to that "investigation" of Tobin/Childs funded by your "church"?  Why did you refuse to release the findings?

Why was your "leader" David Miscavige too cowardly to speak with Tobin/Childs for the "Truth Rundown" piece?  Where is his confront, marco? 

Old OT7
Old OT7

Hey Martha, remember when the St. Pete Times was going to run OT3 in their paper?  Staff was ordered to go out and steal every single paper they could.  Even from private property, so there would not be mass deaths from wogs reading this "technology" before they were ready!  My buddy, Gary Weber (now out) was part of that.  Since Hubbard said anyone reading OT3 before they were ready (read until they had handed over several hundred thousand dollars), would get pneumonia and die, they thought they were doing the community a favor!  What a hoot!  You just can't make this shit up!  Oh, wait!  My bad!  Hubbard did, in fact, make that shit up! 

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

Here's a link for that Late Line piece.  Thanks for the heads up!  

abc (dot) net (dot) au/ lateline/ content/2011/s3323979  (dot) htm

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Probably a bit more like the "Goofy Gopher" series of Loony Tunes—"Indubitably!", "You first, my dear," "But, no, no, no. It must be you who goes first!" 

TheGuest
TheGuest

"Also OSa's got" should read "All OSA's got"

Yeppir
Yeppir

Thanks Lonnie - excellent response. So where I guess that takes me next is ...does the chyrch collaspse because all the sciolos flee? Or does the church collapse because non-flavoraide drinkers (wogs) finally speak up... sadly, I think wog world buys into the "apostate" label easily. E.g., "Not my battle... " And you know what? Times are tough, I get it. But every time a little bit of info reaches the [wog] "world" [wide web] at large, another "wog" wakens...and people DO start to listen.

End of ramble..

hgc
hgc

Not a chance. He's at effect. 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

"It is time for LAW ENFORCEMENT to tour the facilities."

With warrants.

Old OT7
Old OT7

Nice!!!  Great post, Arielle!

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

They can't FIND anyone who speaks English. Remember, the vast majority of the English-speaking world has already been inoculated against ever getting involved with this batshit-crazy cult. The only place they can go for fresh meat these days is third world countries -- and this is what they're gonna find.

Stellarlogic
Stellarlogic

Like I said above, s/he is full of blah blah blah.

tamsonsbairn
tamsonsbairn

LeeAnne Clark, the source comes from the freedumb magazine. I've seen that article quoted so many times by scion's it's unbelieveable, you don't expect marco to write something himself do you, he always copes and pastes articles from one or another scientology source

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Of course he didn't read it. He's just following his orders to copypasta an OSA-drafted response...after cramming down his meager meal of rice and beans in the 5 minutes allotted to him for eating. I doubt he even read what HE posted, much less the actual article! ;-)

Marcotai
Marcotai

Yes I'm aware of that, but my posts are not directed at hate mongers.Don't worry, also rational and honest people may read this forum, even if they will come here and leave right away after realizing what kind of people are actually commenting in here,And like usually I'm just doing a simple task which is "Getting Things Straight".It happens that i have some time to waste and i just like to spend it in putting some truth in an ocean of lies.

Clarkle
Clarkle

I can't even get through the first paragraph of his nonsensical ramblings. 

Old OT7
Old OT7

LOL!!!  Great post!  Sadly, way, way too true...

Xenu
Xenu

Along the lines of "if you can remember the '60s, you weren't really there,"

If you were never instructed to lie or steal, you weren't really a Scientologist.

Lonnie
Lonnie

I don't know, Yeppir, but you are asking the right questions!  My prediction is that the smart ones continue to flee (as they are already doing) but that might leave a lot of children as victims of the cult. 

Old OT7
Old OT7

"It's time for LAW ENFORCEMENT to tour the facilities."

With Warrants

And...with a SWAT team.

Warrior
Warrior

LeeAnne - Your comment about education made me think of an internal document that was part of my Sea Org "Parents Hat Pack". A Sea Org member named Larry Price wrote the following in Aides Order 203-71 titled Cadet Org/Cadet Estates Org Establishment Eval:

“Quite a number of children [of Scientology Sea Organization staff] are behind their grade level on studies in the public school system (which is absurd since we have study tech and wogs don’t).”

Jose
Jose

Exactly!  That tuition is better spent clearing up alien soul infestations!!  But on a sober level, a ministerial relationship should NOT permit scientology to recommend against education so they can reap the tuition as a windfall real estate profit, of which they are experts. Sad, but true.  

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Well alrighty then! That explains the relative good grammar...I say relative, because it's still a horribly written piece, and if it was any magazine other than a Scientology one I would be surprised that it actually appeared in print.

But then we all know what Scilons think about higher education (or, really, any education at all).

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

@Marcotai; I don't find any of the Runnin' Scared articles or comments on these articles "hateful."

Many of the posters to the comment threads on this blog appear to me to hold many of the practices and policies of the cult of $cientology in contempt. I know I do. They probably do this because the abuse, the corruption, the destructiveness, the fraud, the cowardice and the lies of the cult are contemptible.

I don't believe that any one of these posters hate $cientologists. I believe that perhaps they are, like me, disgusted by the appalling practices and policies of the cult.

I believe your belief system is science-fiction, but you are welcome to believe whatever you want, homo-novis, teegeeack and body thetans included.

You are not welcome to inflict rigidly dogmatic, abusive, hurtful and destructive behavior and policy on other human beings.

You are not welcome to indulge in medical malpractice and claim it is some kind of esoteric "religious" ceremony.

You are not welcome to cloak your corrupt corporation in bogus "religious" trappings and avoid paying taxes on all the money the cult takes in.

We laugh with contempt at the flaccid, weasel worded attempts $cientologists like you make to deflect the criticism and contempt we have for the cult, but speaking for myself, I don't hate you.

I don't hate anybody. I may be indifferent to some people, people who might in fact practice $cientology, but I never hate them.

Hate and resentment are when we swallow poison and expect someone else to die.

What an incredibly stupid thing to do! So stupid that it appears to me to be part of the ideology of that moonbat cult known as $cientology.

Care to comment?

Old OT7
Old OT7

The Church of Crime, Inc.

TheEvilofScientology
TheEvilofScientology

"Nah. Nobody believes 'em. ;-) Well, nobody who isn't a delusional cult-bot!"

LOL! BUT.. Marco is saving the planet!

TheEvilofScientology
TheEvilofScientology

"rational and honest people may read this forum"

So no CoS Scientologists here then? :)

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

The contortions of your grammar indicate that you are incapable of "Getting Things Straight."

Weak, incoherent attempts at defending CO$ like Marcotai's are one of the leading indicators that the House of Hubbard is falling.

Stellarlogic
Stellarlogic

And for whose benefit do you invoke typical tired-out phraseology like "hate-monger" (we should all word check that one out!) and even more Orwellian "getting things straight"?

Please explain the double-speak for those of us who are to "benefit," if you can!

veritas
veritas

I've said it before Marcota-Scientology has left you with no ability to think for yourself -Getting Things Straight for healthy individuals means taking an HONEST look at a situation.They have taken your imagination, your critical thinking skills AND ALL OF YOUR MONEY!!!

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

Nah. Nobody believes 'em. ;-) Well, nobody who isn't a delusional cult-bot!

William Burke
William Burke

 marcotai: "Yes I'm aware of that, but my posts are not directed at hate mongers. Don't worry, also rational and honest people may read this forum, even if they will come here and leave right away after realizing what kind of people are actually commenting in here,"

Yes, I've seen that.  Rational and honest people respond to your lies and slander rather consistently here and on other forums.  That DOES make it hard for you, doesn't it?

Well, keep trying.  Keep posting your lies, I'm sure SOMEONE will believe them.

LeeAnneClark
LeeAnneClark

You just keep telling yourself that. You're so self-deluded about everything else...might as well delude yourself into believing that your rambling nonsense is being read by anyone who doesn't see it as a shitload of smarmy lies posted by a delusional cult-bot.

And speaking of all that time on your hands - so HOW much time do they give you to eat your dinner?

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

Do you think some Vistaril will help your delusions? LRH took it when he though Body Thetans were crawling all over him.

MarthaWiggins
MarthaWiggins

Well, thanks for that.  Personally, I find Tom Tobin and Joe Childs to be men of integrity and great spirit.  I truly empathize with you:  I've been there, believing that everything bad that was said about my "church" was a lie and that nobody was getting the true picture.  It is my hope that a day will come when you want to breathe fresh air and be completely free -- we'll be here.  There are many people who will help you when that day comes.All the best,Martha

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