Make us your home page

"Inside Scientology" is a multi-part investigative series by the Tampa Bay Times. Dating back to 2009, the reports shed unprecedented light on the inner workings of the secretive church, which has its spiritual headquarters in Clearwater.

The multimedia presentations feature first-hand accounts from Scientologists, former Scientologists and many others, as well as documents, recordings and video interviews.

Click here for the Times' previous reports

Inside Scientology



  1. City attorney to Clearwater police: Protests on sidewalk in front of Scientology building are legal

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — Police have been directed to ignore any requests from the Church of Scientology asking officers respond to peaceful protesters "exercising their First Amendment rights" on public sidewalks near the church's downtown Flag Building.

    A city official says police won’t respond to protests outside of the downtown Flag Building unless it’s a criminal matter.
  2. Two local theaters drop Scientology documentary 'Going Clear'


    Two Pinellas County multiplexes have dropped plans to show an Emmy-winning documentary critical of the Church of Scientology.

    Director Alex Gibney thinks the church pressured Clearwater theaters to drop Going Clear.
  3. Former Church of Scientology accountant's novel strategy: Get insiders to help topple David Miscavige

    Special Topics

    In the 1980s, the Church of Scientology trusted devout parishioner James J. Jackson with a heavy responsibility: Do church leader L. Ron Hubbard's taxes.

    James Jackson, a tax attorney and accountant, looks over documents in his Los Angles apartment and office. He has lost about 150 of his 200 Scientologist clients since being declared a "suppressive person'' by the Church of Scientology, he says. [MAURICE RIVENBARK | Times}
  4. Father of Scientology leader has reported book deal

    Special Topics

    The father of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige has reportedly signed a deal to write a book about his son's life. But the working title, If He Dies, He Dies, suggests the story may not be a flattering one.

    The working title of Ron Miscavige’s book is If He Dies, He Dies, referring to a 2012 incident in Wisconsin.
  5. Court records link Scientology to convicted email hacker

    Special Topics

    Federal court documents made public this week have linked the Church of Scientology to a private investigator convicted of illegally culling personal information from dozens of email accounts.

    Mike Rinder, a former Scientology spokesman, was hacked.
  6. Scientology critics bringing book tour to Clearwater

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — Paulette Cooper is a legendary name among people who watch the Church of Scientology.

    Paulette Cooper
  7. Police report: Scientology leader spied on his dad 'no matter where he went'

    Special Topics

    When two police officers in West Allis, Wis., stopped the man who was walking around the neighborhood — surveying one resident's yard, peering through another home's front door, looking to neighbors like a drug dealer — he told them only part of the truth.

    David Miscavige [Times files (1998)]
  8. Scientology head's father was spied on, police report says

    Special Topics

    For 18 months private detectives tracked every move made by the father of David Miscavige, leader of the Church of Scientology, as they eavesdropped, spied on his emails and planted a GPS unit on his car, according to police records.

    David Miscavige was said to fear his father, who left the church, would say too much.
  9. HBO documentary 'Going Clear' tackles the question: Why Scientology? (w/video)

    Special Topics

    Eight minutes and 13 seconds into his much-talked-about documentary on the Church of Scientology, writer-director Alex Gibney hits a sweet spot, going right at one of the key questions he sets out to answer.

    What is Scientology's allure?

    One of Scientology's signature buildings at its Pacific Area Command Base in Los Angeles is sometimes referred to as "Big Blue.'' [Photo by Sam Painter, HBO documentary "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief"]
  10. Federal judge to rule on validity of Scientology's refund process

    Special Topics

    TAMPA — A federal judge on Thursday urged both sides in a lawsuit over the Church of Scientology's fundraising tactics to settle matters on their own before he is forced to make "a difficult decision" after two days of hearings.

    Plaintiffs Luis and Rocio Garcia  spent $1.3 million on church services and causes.
  11. Former Scientologist disputes church claims about granting refunds

    Special Topics

    TAMPA — A closely watched lawsuit over the Church of Scientology's fundraising tactics is expected to reach a pivotal point today in U.S. District Court.

    A judge will decide whether Scientology’s internal justice system takes precedence over the U.S. legal system when it comes to former church members who want their money back.
  12. Church of Scientology works behind scenes against Clearwater Marine Aquarium

    Special Topics


    Does the Church of Scientology just want downtown Clearwater all to itself?

    A rendering shows the entry for a possible aquarium at the current site of City Hall on S Osceola Avenue.
  13. Ex-Tampa mayor Dick Greco: Clearwater should work with Scientologists

    Special Topics

    Check out the Church of Scientology's latest glossy Freedom magazine, and you'll see some advice for the city of Clearwater from former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco.

    Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco is listed as author of an op-ed piece in Scientology’s Freedom magazine.
  14. Scientology starts collecting $1 million judgment from longtime Tampa nemesis

    Special Topics

    The Church of Scientology has begun collecting a $1.07 million court judgment from one of its chief challengers, Tampa lawyer Ken Dandar, who has waged high-profile legal fights against Scientology off and on for 17 years.

    Ken Dandar agreed never to sue the church again, lawyers say.
  15. Scientology-related Narconon rehab center may have violated law

    Special Topics

    When the Scientology-affiliated Narconon drug treatment center in Spring Hill was told by Hernando County it could not expand its residential facility, the center didn't try to make do with existing space.

    The Narconon program in Spring Hill rented three facilities, including one at 11033 Hearth Road, after the county rejected its plans to expand. Director Tammy Strickling says Narconon patients were shuttled to this site for “daily therapeutic classes.’’