Scientology targets Boston Herald reporter
[March 26, 1998]
The Boston Herald presented a 5-part series on Scientology March 1-5, 1998. The articles raised serious charges against Scientology on numerous fronts, and in response Scientology has hired a private investigator. Not to look into the alleged charges, but to look into the private life of the reporter who authored the series.
Church of Scientology International's president Heber Jentzsch admits to hiring the PI to look into Joseph Mallia's personal life. According to the Boston Herald [March 19, 1998], the rationale Jentzsch gives is to "look at what's driving this" coverage. The PI, Steve Long, has contacted Mallia's ex-wife asking for derogatory information on Mallia. She says Long was "looking for the 'scorned wife' story," reports the Herald. She didn't provide him with any information regarding her divorce.
Such activities on the part of a "church" is something done only by Scientology, and Scientology has a long history of hiring investigators for such purposes. Scientology does not seem to have the integrity to deal squarely with the issues at hand, but choose to attack the messenger. Knowing that a PI is looking into all aspects of one's personal life in search of dirt can be frightening. At minimum, it is annoying. The prospect of such harassment may be enough to dissuade other reporters from exposing Scientology.
So Scientology's harassment acts as both a punitive and a preventative measure to discourage the media from criticizing the organization. Why else would Scientology make such efforts? What justification for prying into a reporter's personal life can Scientology provide to the contrary? It is a truly underhanded way to respond to the many serious and well-founded charges brought against Scientology by Mallia. But it seems to be Scientology's standard response.
Congratulations to Joseph Mallia and the Boston Herald, and to all media who courageously report on Scientology despite the threat of being personally and/or organizationally investigated, harassed, and sued.
For further information on how Scientology deals with adversaries, see adversa.htm
For further information on Scientology harassment of Joseph Mallia, see sci31998.html
For the full Boston Herald series, "Scientology Unmasked," scientology/
For further information on Scientology's harassment of journalists, see non-net.html