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Scientology Abuse Claims Investigated by CNN, AP

The Church of Scientology is getting more unwanted publicity this week, as reporters look into claims made by former members accusing high-ranking officials — including church leader David Miscavige, who also served as best man in Tom Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes — of physical and psychological abuse.

From the Associated Press:

The church says its 5,000 so-called Sea Organization members are religious devotees akin to monks who are exempt from wage requirements and overtime. But two lawsuits filed by two former Sea Org members, as they are known, allege the workers are little more than slave laborers, forced to work 100-hour weeks for pennies and threatened with manual labor if they cause trouble.


Along with the AP story and other continuing press coverage, you can tune into CNN this week to see Anderson Cooper’s four-part investigation into the ex-Scientologist abuse allegations. (Before the series began last night, Cooper said he had received what appeared to be the result of an organized email campaign against the coverage — not surprising, given the church’s recent campaign against the St. Petersburg Times.)


I caught the first part of the AC360 series last night, which looks to be quite thorough, except that Miscavige sent over a church spokesman instead of agreeing to be interviewed personally. (The piece also aired a bit later than expected, because Cooper had to cut to the breaking news about the arrests of the Hutaree Christian militia members allegedly plotting to kill police officers.) Anyone else checking it out? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below. 

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Comments read comments(5)
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Antonius Magnus

posted March 31, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I wouldn’t think that CNN would be too reliable on their “360 investigation” on the abuses of Scientology, since you can go to their website and see an advertisement for the Scientology website.

report abuse

bob dobbs

posted March 31, 2010 at 8:26 pm

@Antonius Magnus
Webmasters who’ve wanted to block these ads from their sites have complained it’s impossible, it was a story a few months back. Don’t blame CNN for hypocrisy, blame GoogleAds.

report abuse

GB Randolph

posted April 1, 2010 at 5:10 am

Ho hum. Another forthright media expose on the scandalous Church of Scientology. What is the anti-Scientology media trying to prove? They’ve been attacking the Church since the ’50’s and yet the religion continues to grow. If Scientology is as bad as its critics claim it is, why hasn’t it folded after all this time. Could it be, a more horrible truth absolutely unbearable to its critics and detractors, that there might be something actually GOOD about it? All this so-called controversy about Scientology in the media — does it really have anything to do with what Scientology ACTUALLY is? Or are there other reasons for it? The logical answer is to 1st find out what Scientology is at it its source. Go to a Church and find out FOR YOURSELF! Read a book and ask questions. Then you can intelligently make up your mind about all this controversy. Otherwise you’re just relying on second-hand allegations and opinions.

report abuse


posted April 27, 2010 at 11:25 pm

I have been involved with Scientology on and off since 1987. I have received and given auditing, been on voluntary staff, been in good standing and not-so good standing. And the most important thing I have to say about Scientology is this: The Scientology technology is great. It works. It makes you feel good, it makes you more moral, it makes you more intelligent and all of the TECHNOLOGY developed by L Ron Hubbard is accurate and true to the extent that I have studied it. That being said, the organization itself has a lot of catching up to do with how good and wonderful the technology is. I have been asked at 8pm on Wednesday night to run to my apartment to get the last few hundred dollars I have to my name to start and complete a course that night so that the organization can get a completion before the Thursday at 2pm deadline. I have maxed out my credit cards and even my parent’s (I had a card on their account but in my name) to pay for services. I was once “coached” to talk my parents out of reversing the charges so I can do Scientology services that cost $4500. I personally know (and was once even married to) former Sea Org members who were worked to death for $50/week and if they did not produce up to par were ridiculed and punished for it. And if those members were thrown out or wanted to leave, they had to pay for all the staff training they received. We are talking tens of thousands of dollars here. And lastly, despite all the training I got and all the volunteering I did for the Church I could only receive a minimum amount of services because of psychiatric institutionalization and drugs I had as a teen. The Church was more than happy to take every cent I had and every ounce of work it could from me anyway. I did have an eventual falling out with the Church, which was inevitable, and I was even told I was not allowed to even set foot on the Flag Land Base, The Tech Mecca in Clearwater, FL, yet I still get junk mail every day asking me to do some service there and even get telemarketing calls to come to events. No wonder the Church is so controversial. I believe that it is a good thing in not necessarily completely good hands. Oh, and don’t even get me started on how they re-did all of Hubbard’s books a few years ago and burned the old editions. Even the most die-hard Scientologist cannot deny the veracity of my claims.

report abuse

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