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About the latest St. Petersburg Times investigative series on Scientology

Tom Tobin
Tom Tobin
Published Nov. 13, 2011


About the series


Staff writers Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin have published 13 major investigative stories about the Church of Scientology since June 2009. This series is the product of a year's reporting on the church's fundraising practices.


They conducted hundreds of hours of detailed interviews with nearly 50 current and former church members. Many provided supporting documents such as church invoices, annual parishioner statements and "Knowledge Reports," complaints to church officials. The reporters also examined court records, IRS documents, and church publications and policies.


Times photojournalist Maurice Rivenbark conducted video interviews, which can be seen at tampabay.com.


Because speaking with journalists without permission is considered a "suppressive" act in Scientology, the reporters asked for access to the staffers whose names came up in the accounts of former members. The reporters requested interviews with those staffers and with Scientology leader David Miscavige.


The church declined all interview requests and provided 144 pages of written response.


Joe Childs, Managing Editor/Tampa Bay, has been reporting and editing stories about Scientology since 1993. He can be reached at childs@sptimes.com.


Thomas C. Tobin has covered the Church of Scientology off and on for the Times since 1996. He can be reached at tobin@sptimes.com.


Maurice Rivenbark has been a Times photojournalist since 1981 and has worked on previous Scientology coverage. He can be reached at rivenbark@sptimes.com.

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