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November 25, 2008 | Harriet Ryan and James Wagner, Ryan and Wagner are Times staff writers.
When he was a UCLA student 15 years ago, Mario Majorski was a committed enough Scientologist that he helped file a federal lawsuit against a professor who called the church a cult. On Sunday, Majorski stormed the church's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood with a sword in each hand. He was shot dead by a security guard who police say had every reason to fear for his life and the lives of hundreds of others gathered on the property. The reasons for Majorski's transformation from fervent believer to attacker remained a mystery Monday.
November 24, 2008 | James Wagner and Harriet Ryan, Wagner and Ryan are Times staff writers.
A security guard at the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood on Sunday shot and killed a man wielding two samurai swords, police said. Police detained the guard for questioning but said that a surveillance tape at the facility backed his claim that he fired his semiautomatic handgun to protect himself and two colleagues. "The evidence is very clear the security officers were defending their safety," said Deputy Chief Terry S. Hara of the Los Angeles Police Department.
July 7, 2008
Re "Scientology link rouses worries at star's school," June 29 The Times writes, "One teaching method the school uses is study technology, which was developed by [Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard] and focuses on students gaining hands-on experience, mastering subject matter before moving to the next level, and being taught not to read past words they don't understand." This technique has been used by good teachers for centuries. While Hubbard may have come up with the jargon "study technology," he did not invent the ideas of hands-on experience, mastering subject matter before moving to the next level and being taught not to read past words the student doesn't understand.
June 29, 2008 | Carla Rivera, Times Staff Writer
In Los Angeles' rarefied world of private schools, where tuitions are high, academics are tough and educational philosophy is taken seriously, the newest member of the tribe is getting the kind of breathless attention reserved for a music or film star. That may be because the founders of New Village Academy are themselves such stars: Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
March 3, 2008 | David Sarno, Times Staff Writer
"We were born. We grew up. We escaped." So reads the motto of, a website launched Thursday by three young women raised in the Church of Scientology who are speaking out against the religion. Their website accuses the church of physical abuse, denying some children a proper education and alienating members from family. One of the women behind the site, Jenna Miscavige Hill, is the niece of David Miscavige, the head of the church, and Kendra Wiseman is the daughter of Bruce Wiseman, president of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Scientology-sponsored organization opposed to the practice of psychiatry.
February 26, 2008
Re "A leap beyond faith," Opinion, Feb. 18 When I was 17, I left the Church of Scientology. When I was 22, my parents and all members of my immediate family were pressured by the church to "disconnect" from me. When I heard of the protests by Anonymous on behalf of all those who have lost their families, homes and savings accounts to Scientology, I thanked God that someone was finally willing to listen. Reading Michael Shermer's Op-Ed article, I was surprised to find myself frustrated and misty-eyed.
February 18, 2008 | Michael Shermer, Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, is the author of "Why People Believe Weird Things" and "The Mind of the Market."
Imagine reading this press release: Hello, Jews. We are anonymous. Over the years, we have been watching you. Your campaigns of misinformation; suppression of dissent; your litigious nature, all of these things have caught our eye. ... Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed. For the good of your followers, for the good of mankind -- for the laughs -- we shall expel you ... and systematically dismantle Judaism in its present form. ...
February 11, 2008 | David Sarno, Times Staff Writer
Anonymous, the loosely bound group of Internet activists who have targeted the Church of Scientology in recent weeks, showed up Sunday morning to protest at the church's largest Los Angeles locations. The rallies were part of a global day of demonstrations against Scientology organized by the group, with picketers in New York, Toronto, Britain, Australia and other locations. The protests were peaceful, with music and chanting.
February 5, 2008 | Jim Puzzanghera, Times Staff Writer
A long-simmering dispute over digital copyrights between the Church of Scientology and its critics has boiled over in recent weeks after video clips turned up on the Internet from a 2004 interview by the church's most famous member, actor Tom Cruise. When Scientology officials complained the clips were copyrighted and requested their removal from YouTube and other websites, a shadowy organization of online troublemakers sprang into action. The group known as "Anonymous" posted an eerie video on the Internet featuring a computer-generated voice announcing a campaign to destroy the church and calling for worldwide protests Feb. 10. It was all for laughs, said a member who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
January 31, 2008 | John Spano and Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff Writers
Mailings of a suspicious white powder to 10 Church of Scientology addresses prompted the evacuation of dozens of people and the closure of a major thoroughfare Wednesday as hazmat teams were called to examine the packages. The letters were sent via the Postal Service to Scientology properties in Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, Glendale and Tustin.
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