We have another exclusive from our man in Paris, British journalist Jonny Jacobsen, who filed this report today…
Two Swiss politicians are suing Scientology in the latest twist of a long-running battle to expose the movement’s links to an anti-drugs group there.
They filed their case in response to a Scientology spokeswoman’s comments dismissing their efforts to get the drugs group to come clean about the connection.
Continue reading Swiss politicians sue Scientology for libel in battle over anti-drug front group
See also: What’s in that ‘world exclusive’ in the National Enquirer?
City Councilman Dan Halloran (center), in 2013 with Bernard and Meghan Fialkoff
Back in March of 2013, we told you about a sneaky Scientology infiltration of New York City schools. In a place like New York, Scientology doesn’t do very well — residents here are on to L. Ron Hubbard and his wacky organization, and this city has never had the kind of Scientology presence you see in places like California and Florida.
So that means Scientology has to try harder, and play things a little more under the radar. But thanks to our tipsters, we caught on to the sneaky attempts to get L. Ron Hubbard into the local schools through the efforts of a wealthy Queens dentist and his energetic daughter.
Continue reading Did a fashion website give a big boost to a Scientology infiltrator of NYC schools?
We couldn’t help being intrigued when the National Enquirer claimed that it had “bombshell” documents which were the “FBI’s secret Scientology files” and that they described what John Travolta and Tom Cruise were “hiding.”
Scientology watchers know that thousands of pages of FBI files about L. Ron Hubbard and the church with information going back to the 1940s have been freely available on the Internet for a long time, and that most of what they describe has already been thoroughly hashed over in books by Russell Miller, Jon Atack, Bent Corydon, Janet Reitman, and Lawrence Wright, not to mention in many websites such as Operation Clambake and the archives of Caroline Letkeman.
But the Enquirer seemed to claim that it had something new. Here’s how they describe it:
Continue reading What’s in that National Enquirer ‘World Exclusive’ about Scientology?
Finally, we have a new trial date in Laura DeCrescenzo’s forced abortion lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. Filed in 2009, the lawsuit has had a very complex history as the church challenged it on statute of limitation grounds, resulting in the suit’s dismissal. But an appeals court revived it, Laura then fought all the way to the US Supreme Court to get key records of her own confessional auditing sessions, and then she survived Scientology’s motion for summary judgment — a dramatic day in court we were present for.
Continue reading Pearl Harbor Day 2015 — Mark your calendar for a day that will live in Scientology infamy
Over the past week we’ve made a couple of interesting dives into L. Ron Hubbard’s past, and it’s prompted tipsters to send us some really great items.
Today, we have another key document from Hubbard’s life, and we believe it’s the first time an image of the document itself has been posted online.
It’s an affidavit that Hubbard’s first wife, Margaret Louise “Polly” Grubb, filed after Hubbard failed to pay child support.
Continue reading L. Ron Hubbard, deadbeat dad ALSO: Former members of Scientology show off their stuff
Former Gawker writer Adrian Chen has a long and contentious history with the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous. We’re not really very interested in that backstory (though a recent article shows that it’s pretty juicy). And we’re also not all that interested in the drubbing that Chen gave last week to McGill University professor Gabriella Coleman’s new book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous.
We found Coleman’s book to be pretty useful and fascinating, but Chen accused her of being too embedded with Anonymous so that she tended to overlook some of its faults. For an interesting counterpoint to Chen’s piece in the Nation, we recommend David Auerbach’s response in Slate.
Continue reading What Adrian Chen got wrong about Anonymous and Scientology
We have a follow-up to our story Wednesday about Scientology doing what it can to erase L. Ron Hubbard’s second wife, Sara Northrup, from the historical record.
We had some help from Lauren Wolf, who worked as research assistant to author and New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright on his 2013 book, Going Clear. It was Lauren who had spotted a photograph in a Scientology publication that erased Sara Northrup from a 1946 photo with Hubbard. She told us she had found it too late for Wright’s book, and we were grateful that she brought it to the Underground Bunker.
Continue reading More L. Ron Hubbard history that Scientology has done its best to disappear
We have another fun set of Sunday Funnies for you this week, where we reveal to you the best Scientology mailers that have been sent to us during the week.
And this time, we get to start off with a couple of new videos. This first one, from the Austin org, is really a treat.
Now, we’ve only been to Austin a couple of times, but we enjoyed how seriously the town takes its fun, and in particular its music.
Continue reading Sunday Funnies: Get yer boots on for some Scientology line dancing in Austin!
Judge James D. Whittemore
Here’s a little bit of a surprise. We had expected that Tampa federal District Judge James D. Whittemore would be nearing a decision on the Church of Scientology’s motion to compel Luis and Rocio Garcia to submit to internal church arbitration and dismiss their fraud lawsuit.
Instead, he’s called for an evidentiary hearing on February 18.
It will be a sort of mini-trial, which will not be the first in this lawsuit since it was filed by the Garcias in January 2013. We were present for the first one, a courtroom battle over a Scientology motion to have the attorneys for the Garcias disqualified. Whittemore denied that motion.
Continue reading Judge calls for February mini-trial in Garcia case, and we have text of the Lemberger lawsuit
Wasn’t it just yesterday we made the point that Scientology is incapable of evolving into a more benign form?
For you connoisseurs of classic Scientology legal chicanery, you’re going to love the full body and complex flavors of this vintage.
Continue reading Classic Scientology shenanigans as class action lawsuit is filed against legal opponent NAFC