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» posted to Courtney F and lsw

so.... anyone ever tried to do research on the Church of Scientology? I can't imagine there's much they've allowed out? Specifically a student wants to research "the topic of "fair game" within the Church of Scientology"

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Interesting! I've never had anyone researching this before. I threw it into Summon and only came back with 7 results. I wonder if LexisNexis might be good as most articles I've found are focused on litigation?

 ‎· jsholman 1
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I imagine this would be incredibly difficult, since the church seems to be extremely deft at misinformation and misdirection; everything is one person's word against another's.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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I'd start with watching "Going Clear" and make a list of the ex-Scientologists who have been willing to talk about their experiences. I'd watch to see if any organizations are mentioned so that the person can contact them. Might also be interesting to go at it from the other side, i.e. talk to legal professionals who've done discovery during court cases against the "Church" of Scientology. Apparently Leah Rimini has a show on A&E about this stuff right now and that might also drop some clues that can be followed up on.

 ‎· Spidra Webster
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There's actually a fair bit of critical information on Scientology online, as well as in various books. The Church of Scientology made the mistake of going after critics online in the early 1990s, which gave rise to a wide variety of critics digging up information and posting it on the Usenet group alt.religion.scientology, among other places. A lot of the critics have since moved on to other things (some of them into other info-liberation movements), but there are signs of their work online. One of the profs in my old CS department, David Touretzky, still has a page pointing to a bunch of critical material, though it hasn't been updated in a while: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Secrets/index.html As Spidra Webster notes, there are also a number of books by ex-members (Going Clear being one of the better-known ones.) Many libraries also have publications by the Church of Scientology itself, which for a while had a campaign to get their materials into libraries.) The one critical book I've read in full, available in many libraries, is Russell Miller's _Bare-Faced Messiah_, a biography of L. Ron Hubbard and how the account of his life that he and his organization put forward differs from the available facts.

 ‎· John Mark Ockerbloom
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If your student is looking for a scholarship-of-religion approach, searches in both ATLA and JSTOR on Scientology yield a variety of results. I didn't find much specifically on the concept of "fair game" but there seems to be a good deal of academic scholarship out there.

 ‎· Catherine
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There is a WIkipedia article on Fair Game that might provide one useful starting point. (It's got lots of links to related information. As with any online source, and particularly with online sources with complex, semi-anonymous authorship, engage your critical reading and evaluation accordingly: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology)

 ‎· John Mark Ockerbloom

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