The Boston Herald: Scientology Unmasked: Inside the Church of Scientology (March 1 – 19, 1998)

INSIDE THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY[1.

DAY 1:
Date of Publication:3/1/98

The Church of Scientology uses deceptive tactics, pushes costly programs and denies close ties to several local and national groups that recruit new members for the church, critics say. The Boston Herald also reports that L. Ron Hubbard, the late founder of the Church of Scientology, made wildly inflated claims about himself, including space travel, college degrees, World War II combat, war wounds and more.

DAY 2:
Date of Publication:3/2/98

The church’s World Literacy Crusade has targeted black families with a learn-to-read program that experts say is a rehash of 30-year-old methods infused with the church’s religious teachings. The Boston Herald also reports that the church is attracting black families to a Scientology-run school in Milton that has used a device akin to a lie detector on students.

DAY 3:
Date of Publication:3/3/98

The Scientology group Narconon Inc. of Everett is recruiting children in the schools for what critics say is an unproven and possibly dangerous anti-drug program. The church denies strong ties to the group – which receives taxpayer money – but the Boston Herald has found otherwise.

DAY 4:
Date of Publication:3/4/98

The Church of Scientology has engaged its critics in a highly public war on the Internet, including trying to smoke out a critic who used an anonymous account at Northeastern University.

DAY 5:
Date of Publication:3/5/98

A California video production company with connections to Scientology has reached as many as 30 million American schoolchildren through TV shows produced by church members and paid for with $12.5 million in taxpayers’ money. The Boston Herald also reports on the impact of celebrity Scientologists such as Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley.

Harassment:
Date of Publication:3/19/98

The Church of Scientology, stung by a five-part series in the Boston Herald that raised questions about its practices, has hired a private investigator to delve into the Herald reporter’s private life.