St. Petersburg Times

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2012

    Scientology's Concentration Camp for Its Executives: The Prisoners, Past and Present

    This weekend, we published a two-part story about the rather amazing 32-year Scientology career of John Brousseau, whose adventures included driving for L. Ron Hubbard, spending time in the Sea Org's prison program the RPF, and working in the Cruise household with Tom and Katie Holmes. What seemed ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2012

    Sunday Funnies: LRH Gets an Answer from Tricky Dick!

    We've shuffled up our schedule a bit here in the underground bunker -- it was either that, or the cats would be dining on our corpse with the klaxons going off for weeks before we were discovered. Now that things are a bit more relaxed, we can take in the past week with a Sunday morning warm beverag ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2012

    Scientology's Concentration Camp: Where Can Miscavige Put "The Hole" Now?

    As we wait for the next development in the Church of Scientology's lawsuit against its former employee, Debbie Cook, we continue to think about something the church told ABC for its recent Nightline story on the case... "In a letter to ABC News, a lawyer for the Church of Scientology flat out denie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2012

    Jonny Jacobsen: A Q&A with Europe's Premier Scientology Blogger

    Last month, when a highly complex fraud trial was completing its appeal phase in France -- which considers Scientology a business scam, not a religion -- there was only one place we went for the latest information. In the past, we've described Jonny Jacobsen's blog, Infinite Complacency, as "murder ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2012

    In Clearwater for LRH's 101st Birthday: Tales of Disconnection and Scientology Creepiness

    One of the highlights of a full day here in Clearwater, Florida -- spiritual mecca for the Church of Scientology -- was meeting Darth Xander and watching him chase a Flag bus to inform Sea Org members that they can leave if they want to. In town over the weekend to celebrate L. Ron Hubbard's 101st ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2012

    Nightline's Scientology "Exclusive": What was Exclusive About It, Exactly?

    I had a strange and powerful case of déjà vu last night while watching Nightline's interview with Debbie Cook as she talked about being held in "the Hole" at Scientology's international base in California, where executives who fall out of favor with church leader David Miscavige are sent to rot in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 16, 2012

    Scientology's Secret Ranch: Where LRH Will Reincarnate?

    Last week, we had a bit of fun publishing detailed maps to Scientology's super-secret underground vault locations. The vaults are the project of the Church of Spiritual Technology, a hush-hush entity inside Scientology that owns the trademarks and copyrights to L. Ron Hubbard's works, and that digs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2012

    Scientology's Shocking Treatment of Children Held in a Suburban Labor Camp

    Shocking news this morning from journalist Bryan Seymour in Australia. In a story for the program TodayTonight that took him more than a year to put together, Seymour blows the lid off a re-education camp operated by Scientology in a suburb of Sydney, where children as young as eight years old hav ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2012

    Scientology Dramaturgy: Commenters of the Week!

    Things back at the underground bunker are peaceful and calm -- the cats dig the new scratching post, we hear, and they're finally getting some quiet time while we're on the road frantically trying to keep up with Scientology's ongoing implosion. Things started out quietly enough as we began another ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2012

    Scientology on the High Seas: "You Chilluns Will Get Shoes"

    NOTE: This is our regularly-scheduled Friday morning feature about L. Ron Hubbard aboard the Apollo. Our second day of reporting from the Debbie Cook hearing begins soon. Please check back for that coverage. In November we started a new feature here on Fridays: the Voice has obtained hundreds of c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2012

    5 Biggest Lies in Scientology's 2-Minute TV Ad

    We keep seeing Twitter reactions as people are stunned to see a 2-minute ad for Scientology show up on network television. We've written earlier about the negative reactions the ad is getting as it appeared during NFL playoff games, the Miss America pageant, the Golden Globes, and during such weekly ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2012

    Scientology Jurisprudence: Commenters of the Week!

    The underground bunker might need some new paneling after the way we were bouncing off the walls this week. I mean seriously, how are we going to keep up with all of this Scientology news? It's like this is turning into a real job or something. We started off the week with our regular feature, Sund ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2012

    Scientology Cartoon Tops Reddit: We Talk to its Creator, Abbey Neslen, 18

    A "rage comic" created by an 18-year-old college sophomore in Bozeman, Montana has grabbed the attention of Reddit users tonight. At more than 100,000 views, the cartoon, titled "What the Church of Scientology did to my family" is a quick success, and has generated more than 900 comments at this po ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2012

    Scientology Half-Cocked: Commenters of the Week!

    ​It's been another blast of a week here at the underground bunker, where we keep an eye on all things Scientology related. We started off the week by marveling at the "thrill" of Scientology fundraising in our regular weekend feature, Sunday Funnies. On Monday, we collected a few dozen of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2012

    Scientology vs Marty Rathbun: An Unfair Fight?

    Last summer, we brought you extensive coverage of Scientology's bizarre siege of a South Texas home. A goon squad calling itself the "Squirrel Busters" claimed to be a documentary crew making a film about former high-ranking church executive Marty Rathbun. The intimidation squad even managed to get ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2012

    Scientology Viscosity: Commenters of the Week!

    It was an amazing week here at the underground bunker, where we keep an eye on all things Scientology. Let's take a look back at how the week unfolded before we recognize the work of our illustrious commenting community. We starting things out by having fun with the Tone Scale in our regular weeken ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2012

    Scientology's Goons: Intimidating a 71-Year-Old Missouri Grandmother

    On December 29, the Church of Scientology-Missouri's media relations officer, Ellen Maher-Forney, and another executive, Jill James, drove the 40 minutes it takes to go from the church on Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis to the home of Jim and Meshell Little in Saint Peters, Missouri. When the two wom ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2012

    Scientology's Infinite Pit and Water Wall -- More Crazy Rooms in the Super Power Building!

    We've gone through even more files in the massive leak of plans that describe the soon-to-open "Flag Mecca" in Clearwater, Florida -- otherwise known as Scientology's "Super Power Building" -- and we have more things to show you. In the wild "Perceptics" area on the fifth floor, there's this Heartbe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2012

    Scientology's "Super Power Rundown:" What is it, Anyway?

    Prepare to unleash your super self! Secrets ahead!​On Monday and Tuesday, we released previously unseen renderings and architectural drawings of what Scientology's $100 million "Flag Mecca" -- also known as the "Super Power Building" -- is going to look like when it finally opens. (The buildin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2012

    Scientology and Oiliness: More Renderings from the Super Power Building

    Yesterday, we made public a leak of major proportions: we obtained hundreds of new renderings and architectural drawings of Scientology's $100 million "Super Power Building" -- what the church calls "Flag Mecca" -- in Clearwater, Florida. Of all the "perceptics" installations on the building's "su ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 1, 2012

    Our Scientology Puzzle Solved!

    In yesterday's story celebrating our commenting community at the end of the year, I mentioned that back in the summer, I had planted a puzzle in our very successful series, The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology. Despite the large readership of that series, no one managed to spot the little visua ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 31, 2011

    Scientology Spectacular: Commenters of the Year!

    "M-A-R-C-O-T-A-I. They'll never figure out it's me with this fake Italian accent!"​Here on this final day of 2011, we're replacing our usual Saturday morning celebration of the week's best comments with a special announcement. Our IT department has done the math, we've run those numbers throu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2011

    Scientology Goes Upstat for the Final News Roundup of the Year (And Why We're Grateful)

    Feeling upstat, feeling sexy!​On Thursdays, we like to put together a rundown of stories related to Scientology watching from around the world. We do this on Thursdays, because it's that day when Scientologists rush to turn in their weekly stats. Most of the time, those stories are embarrassi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2011

    Scientology Story of the Year -- The Vote Is In!

    ​As we continue our year-end celebrations, we've come to a big moment. We asked voters to decide which story had the most impact on Scientology watching this year. We chose five finalists that we think had lasting importance as well as immediate punch. There were many other stories worth cove ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2011

    Scientology Shoop of the Year -- The Vote Is In!

    We're continuing our year-end celebrations here at the (newly refurbished and upgraded) underground bunker. Today, we have the voting results for best Photoshopped image as chosen by you, our fellow Scientology watchers. The talented Photoshoppers over at constantly turn out clever ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2011

    Scientology Kids: Fully Indoctrinated by 18

    ​On Sunday, we published a disturbing new document which was produced by Scientology recruiters in Australia. It purports to be the testimony of an 18-year-old named Denny Chang, who extols the virtues of Scientology's most hardcore contingent, the Sea Org, and urges other young church members ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 3, 2011

    Scientology Capsize: Commenters of the Week!

    The scene here in the underground bunker is like the quiet after a major storm. A hurricane blew up out of the Caribbean this week and hit us square on. The place is a mess. The cats are skittish. But the excitement has finally died down a bit, the lights are low, the empty bottles have been cleared ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 29, 2011

    Scientology's Cruise Ship as Prison: The Voice Interviews Valeska Paris (UPDATED and CORRECTED)

    NEW: Valeska's sister Melissa Paris tells her own story of imprisonment and unpaid, underaged labor in Scientology's Sea Org. ALSO: Our interview with Ramana Dienes-Browning, who knew Valeska Paris on the Freewinds and has her own story of hellish treatment. ALSO: A slideshow of Scientology celeb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2011

    Scientology Leftovers: Commenters of the Week!

    ​We're still recovering here in the underground bunker from this week's big feast. The leftover turkey is still holding out as we look back on the past week of Scientology watching here at Runnin' Scared. We started things off Sunday morning with a look at Part 3 of "The Money Machine," the g ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2011

    Scientology Chillaxin': Commenters of the Week!

    This disturbing image blatantly ripped off from​Was this a week for Scientology watchers, or what? Things started off just after midnight on Sunday morning as we scrambled to alert our readers that what we've been waiting for had finally arrived: the launch of the new investi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2011

    Scientology's Grand Scheme of Greed Was Kickstarted by the 9/11 Attacks -- St. Pete Times

    It's here -- part 3 of the new St. Petersburg Times blockbuster series about the extreme pressure Scientology puts on its members to donate money. And we're thrilled to see this video of Synthia Fagen anchoring the report about the International Association of Scientologists and its constant beggin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2011

    Scientology Storms Out of Court in France, Getting Hammered in Florida: It's Time for Thursday Stats!

    Mark Bunker sent over to us another tease from his upcoming Scientology documentary, Knowledge Report, and this one is a real treat. We've written here several times that few former Scientologists ever endured as much legal persecution and really unbelievable levels of harassment as Gerry Armstro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2011

    Scientology's Sales Pitch: "Pure and Simple Blackmail"

    Today sees another explosive installment in Tom Tobin and Joe Child's latest investigative project examining Scientology at the St. Petersburg Times. The previous day, the SP Times duo had introduced us to Hy Levy, a fomerly successful "registrar" who brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 21, 2011

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

    ​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 worl ... More >>

  • News

    August 24, 2011

    The Other Koch Brother

    In the shadow of his brothers' Tea Party fame, Bill Koch seems almost like a normal billionaire.

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2011

    Scientology Uses Its Movie Stars to Woo Politicians, Says Former Top Exec (OR: Tom Cruise Loves Coconut Cake!)

    Want to have Tom over to your place for dinner? Apparently all it takes is some yummy coconut cake.​Another revelation this afternoon from Marty Rathbun, formerly one of the highest executives in Scientology who defected in 2004 and since 2009 has been criticizing church leader David Miscavige ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2011

    Out-of-Work Journalists: Want to do Scientology's Dirty Work?

    ​We know things in the newspaper and magazine rackets are really grim right now. Every time we put up a job opening, we get hundreds of applications from folks looking for work. (Hey, and we're about to put up another one, for copy chief, so all of you copy editors out there, get your resumes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2011

    Kate Middleton Independent Headline Just a Nerdy Media Hoax; Adweek Debuts With Typo

    ​This morning, a bullshit story started circulating not solely because it was nonsense, but because the URL on the Independent website called it out as such, reading "utter PR fiction but people love this shit so fuck it lets just print it," or in full: ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2010

    Anderson Cooper's Epic Scientology Smackdown, Part 4

    ​Huzzah! Anderson ends on a high note. After a maddeningly pointless part 3, in the final installation of his series, we finally hear about suppressive persons and disconnection. And Paul Haggis is brought up in order to make Tommy Davis look like an utter ass (which, admittedly, isn't th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2009

    'Crash' Director Paul Haggis Ditches Scientology

    "I am only ashamed that I waited this many months to act. I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology." ​Over the past few days, a remarkable letter was published in four parts at the blog of Marty Rathbun, a former high-level Scientology official who has left the church and no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 7, 2009

    Putsch Comes to Shove: Health Care Meetings Devolving to Chaos (Updated)

    ​Well, those health care town meetings are going pretty much as you might expect: one in Tampa, Florida was punctuated by protesters yelling "Forty million illegals" and "Tell the truth," banging on windows, and then telling the St. Petersburg Times, "They can't even run a meeting, and they wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2009

    Tom Cruise Lured Back Into Scientology By Man The Church Now Says Was "Demoted" And A "Lunatic"

    Today, the St. Petersburg Times unveiled part two of its devastating series on David Miscavige, diminutive leader of Scientology.An indication of how much this series is hitting Scientology to the bone: rare and vehement denunciations by Miscavige himself, and by his spokesman, the clearly in-over-h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2009

    Scientology's Leader a Sadistic Slapper, Say Top-Level Defectors: St. Pete Times

    From the special series at the St. Petersburg TimesOver the past few months, actor and Scientology-defector Jason Beghe has been hinting to us that two absolutely top-level officials who had recently escaped the church's clutches were about to unload on their former supreme leader, David Miscavige.T ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2008
  • Blogs

    September 30, 2006

    Newspaper Held Foley Story

    Turns out disgraced congressman Mark Foley's local paper had the story last year of his sexed-up Internet exchanges with teenage pages, but didn't run it. Bob Norman of the Daily Pulp, out of Voice sister paper New Times Broward-Palm Beach, posts this: In the St. Petersburg Times’ article ... More >>

  • News

    September 6, 2005

    Crude Manipulation

    In Katrina's wake, the supposed oil shortage and suspicious gas price hikes

  • News

    June 8, 2004

    Declarations of Independence

    Since the reign of King George III, resistance has been our legacy—and to this day still is

  • News

    March 23, 2004

    The First Bush War

    Now the questions turn to the rationale for desert storm

  • News

    May 25, 1999

    A True Threat Is Not Free Speech

    Targeted Doctor Wears a Bulletproof Vest

  • News

    February 23, 1999


    Behind the White House Face-Lift

  • More >>