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"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. Illegal house rental nets Clearwater lawyer $46,000 fine; she blames attention from Scientology

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    CLEARWATER — The sun was about to set on a July evening in 2013 when Betsy Steg heard a knock at the door.

  2. Billboard seeking to reunite broken Scientology families coming to Clearwater

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    CLEARWATER — The same, desperate plea Phil and Willie Jones plastered across a billboard in Los Angeles is scheduled to go up on East Bay Drive next week.

    A billboard put up in Los Angeles by Phil and Willie Jones is dotted with dozens of faces representing Scientologists who have separated from their families, including their two children, Mike and Emily. A similar one will be going up sometime next week on East Bay Drive in Clearwater.
  3. Scientology leader meets one-on-one with city officials over key downtown Clearwater parcel

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    CLEARWATER — Scientology leader David Miscavige has met one-on-one with each City Council member to discuss a key piece of waterfront land — the first gesture of its kind in the decades-long struggle between the Church of Scientology and the city over downtown real estate.

    Officials for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium say the Church of Scientology has offered them $4.25 million for a key piece of property on the downtown waterfront. The city of Clearwater, meanwhile, is interested in exploring other uses for the vacant property. The undeveloped land, pictured here, sits between Clearwater City Hall in the foreground and the church's 13-story Oak Cove building seen just to the south. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]

  4. Father of Scientology leader: Church is 'manipulative, coercive and, in my mind, evil'

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    The father of Scientology leader David Miscavige issued a blistering indictment of the church he introduced his family to more than 45 years ago, describing his son as a tyrant who has turned the organization into a destructive influence.

  5. A father speaks out against his son, David Miscavige, revealing deep rifts in Scientology's first family

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    The father of Scientology leader David Miscavige appeared on the ABC News show 20/20 Friday night, but the hour-long program added little to the narrative that has been unfolding in the decade since top church insiders began leaving and speaking out.

    The Church of Scientology's cross tops its Flag Building in downtown Clearwater, a building spearheaded by church leader David Miscavige. Miscavige's father, Ron, has left the church and is speaking out against his son in an ABC News interview and in a new book to be released May 3, 2016. [MAURICE RIVENBARK | Times]
  6. Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back

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    TAMPA — In an attempt to resolve their $1.3 million lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, a federal judge last year required Luis and Rocio Garcia to submit to "binding religious arbitration" set up by church officials.

    Luis Garcia and his wife Rocio are pictured in their California home in 2011. On April 13, 2016, the couple filed a motion in their federal lawsuit in Tampa that alleges the Church of Scientology has put up roadblocks to an arbitration that could result in them getting their money back. [MAURICE RIVENBARK | Times]
  7. Parents use billboard to reach children inside Church of Scientology

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    There's a billboard in Los Angeles dotted with dozens of faces representing Scientologists who have separated from their families. It reads: "To my loved one in Scientology . . . call me."

    Workers install a billboard in Los Angeles earlier this month that is dotted with dozens of faces representing Scientologists who have separated from their families. It reads: "To my loved one in Scientology . . . call me." The message is the work of Phil and Willie Jones, former members of the Church of Scientology who say they have lost their two adult children to a church practice known as "disconnection." [Photo courtesy of Phil Jones]
  8. Memoir by father of Scientology leader scheduled for May

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    NEW YORK — A much-anticipated memoir by the estranged father of Scientology leader David Miscavige is coming out this spring.

    A photo provided by St. Martin's Press shows the cover of the book, "Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me," by Ron Miscavige. The memoir will be released on May 3. [St. Martin's Press via AP]
  9. Appeals court rules in favor of Tampa attorney in years-long fight with Scientology

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    A state appeals court has dealt the Church of Scientology a blow in its efforts to collect a $1.07 million judgment from its long-time nemesis, Tampa lawyer Ken Dandar.

    Tampa lawyer Ken Dandar. [Times files]
  10. City attorney to Clearwater police: Protests on sidewalk in front of Scientology building are legal

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    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.
  11. 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.
  12. Former Church of Scientology accountant's novel strategy: Get insiders to help topple David Miscavige

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    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}
  13. Father of Scientology leader has reported book deal

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    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.
  14. Court records link Scientology to convicted email hacker

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    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.
  15. Scientology critics bringing book tour to Clearwater

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

    Paulette Cooper