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Press watchdog backs Argus

Evening Argus, Monday, 1 August 1994, bottom of front page

by Paul Bracchi

[small pictures of three previous Argus front pages are shown. caption:
"How we revealed the activities of the Scientologists in a series of

Britain's newspaper watchdog has thrown out complaints against the Evening
Argus by the Church of Scientology.

	The cult accused us of inaccurate and misleading reporting
following our investigation into its activities earlier this year.
	But the Press Complaints Commission dismissed every single allegation.
	Today Argus editor Chris Fowler said: "The Scientologists have
tried every trick in the book to prevent us publishing details about their
	"This ruling confirms that our investigations were carried out to
the highest standards of British journalism and that they were fully

Our articles revealed how the cult:

o	Ran its national headquarters in East Grinstead like a military
machine, where many human rights could be stripped away.
o	Employed a private detective to target opponents.
o	Had strong links with Greenfields School in Forest Row and the
drug rehabilitation group Narconon.

The Scientologists said our coverage breached the newspaper industry's
Code of Practice.
	But the Press Complaints Commission found no substance in the
claims. It ruled the Argus was:

	JUSTIFIED in using the description "military machine" to portray
the cult's UK base in Saint Hill.

	JUSTIFIED in saying the American private eye employed by the cult
targeted opponents of the Church.

	JUSTIFIED in reporting Greenfields School was shy about revealing
its links with the cult.

	JUSTIFIED in pointing out how the school had warned us off
publishing an article.

	JUSTIFIED in reporting that controversial disconnection policies,
under which cult members can be ordered to shun friends and relatives,
have been used by the Church.

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