Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Russ Baker

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Esquire (2001): More than the usual Hollywood Fodder - Hidden Reasons Behind The Cruise-Kidman Split?

«One reason some dismiss the “busy careers” theory is that Scientology offers (and touts highly) its training to deal with such common relationship challenges.  Members with troubled unions go through a specific regimen, directed toward finding the source of their problems  – and correcting them. In theory, since Cruise has attained an extremely high level of personal perfection based on an internal Scientology scale – he is an “Operating Thetan” in the group’s lingo – he should be able to easily resolve any such problems. (However, it must be noted that celebrity Scientologists – and ordinary ones, for that matter – seem to have as many failed marriages as anyone else – with Lisa Marie Presley and her two divorces being just one such example.)»

George Magazine (1997): The War Between Scientology and Germany

«Many of Scientology’s legal tussles have also involved the media. Since 1991 alone the organization has sued Time, Reader’s Digest and the Washington Post over critical articles—most of the suits were unsuccessful but cost the publications a fortune in legal fees. Overall, the growing visibility of Scientology, thanks to its celebrity members, combined with a fear of the group’s litigiousness, has helped blunt criticism and press coverage. (During the reporting of this article, George was bombarded with letters and phone calls from Scientologists expressing concern about the direction the story might take. At one point, the president of the Church of Scientology International, Heber C. Jentzsch, accused me of having fraternized with people who believe the Holocaust never happened—a difficult argument to make, since my own mother escaped from Nazi-occupied Europe and some of my relatives died in concentration camps.

Village Voice (1991): Putting the CULT back in Culture

«The counterpoint to its penchant for promotion is its combativeness toward critics. Although the church complains of opponents' "Nazi-like" tactics, it is widely known for engaging in its own psychological version of the Inquisition, relying on a network of private eyes, lawyers, and infiltrators. In the early '80's, Hubbard's wife and ten other church members were imprisoned for burglarizing, wiretapping, or otherwise infiltrating more than a hundred public and private agencies. several former members and other critics who have come forward have fallen victim to efforts to destroy their reputations, and to dirty tricks ranging from altering their credit records to, in one case, setting up a false hit and run accident. Church documents, released by a federal court, reveal that 15 years ago, a Scientologist gained employment at the Clearwater Sun in order to spy on the paper's reporters who covered the church. Early on, founder L. Ron Hubbard set the tone for reprisals, writing: "Don't ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way." Not much has changed since his death.»

About Russ Baker

«Russ Baker is an old-fashioned muckraking journalist and pamphleteer using the newest technologies. In his reporting and writing he brings  the best of mainstream methods (balance and rigor) to the alternative media, and the best of the alternative media (passion for the truth and the larger story) to the mainstream. He focuses on getting past the rhetoric to expose the hidden levers and machinations that shape our world. Baker’s investigative reporting, analysis pieces, features, and essays on politics, power, and perceptions have appeared in many of the world’s finest publications.»

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