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Scientology Getting It From All Sides: The Tampa Bay Times Looks at 2010 FBI Investigation

The Tampa Bay Times has published the first half of a two-part series on what happened to the 2010 FBI investigation into Scientology.

We wrote our own story about that in March 2012. We found that despite talking to many ex-church members who alleged human trafficking abuses, the FBI lost steam and its investigation resulted in no charges being filed. (More recently, we broke the news that the Department of Homeland Security took up where the FBI left off, but also seems to be having issues with its investigation.)

The Times also put together this great 19-minute video about Scientology’s bizarre office-prison for executives, called “The Hole,” and it features interviews with former church spokesman Mike Rinder and former Sea Org worker John Brousseau.

Wow, the Church of Scientology just cannot catch a break this month. Seems like we’ve been dealing with big breaking stories nearly every day in 2013, and there’s so much more to come.

On Monday, the Tampa Bay Times will publish the second part of its series, and we have a feeling we’ll learn a lot more about why the FBI’s investigation didn’t turn into a prosecution by the Justice Department or US Attorney’s Office.

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On Wednesday, the Nancy Many docudrama will air on Investigation Discovery network at 10 pm.

On Thursday, Lawrence Wright’s book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief comes out, and will be accompanied by a slew of media features and reviews.

And let’s not forget our Sunday Funnies, which we love to put up each week after collecting the latest Scientology mailers from our tipsters.

Hey, it’s Sunday! Let’s have some Funnies!

This first item is pretty cheeky, as we learn that Scientologists are encouraged to make daily visits to Amazon.com and other sites and post positive reviews about L. Ron Hubbard books, or go to Google maps and leave glowing accounts about Scientology facilities. Hey, that’s cheating!

Hochman

 
With its drug rehab program mired in controversy, perhaps it makes sense that Scientology is placing more and more emphasis these days on its vague support for “human rights”…

CoS_Human_Rights

 
We love the very idea of solo auditing. Just think about it: You pay Scientology tens of thousands of dollars to take home some materials and then quiz yourself on the e-meter. It’s got to be worth it!

AOSHUK

 
Nothing beats the excitement of an OT VIII on a world tour, does it?

Michael_Chan

 
AS WE SAID, NOTHING BEATS THE EXCITEMENT OF AN OT VIII ON A WORLD TOUR, RIGHT?

Flag_World_Tour

 
The latest in this inspiring series of ads that no doubt is leading to a rush of new staff members…

Rumaldo

 
And finally, we have some news from Los Angeles. Earlier today, this man, Jim Lynch, showed up at the house of former church member Karen de la Carriere.

Jim_Lynch

Lynch is an ex-journalist who now works for Scientology’s propaganda magazine, Freedom. He’s a blunt instrument that the church sends out when it wants to bludgeon people with inane questions.

Today, he was asking for an opinion about the way we characterized Marty Rathbun’s home as a “halfway house” for independent Scientologists. That isn’t quite what we said (we said the independent movement itself was a sort of halfway house, meaning a halfway step on the way out of Scientology altogether for some people), but we feel for Jim, being sent out to ask lame questions when the real story is that his boss, David Miscavige, isn’t faring very well in major exposes exploding in the nation’s press.

If you see Jim, please let him know what’s really going on.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on January 13, 2013 at 00:00

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