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1980 Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles about Scientology in the St. Pete Times by Charles Stafford and Bette Orsini


This is a 14-part series by Charles Stafford, originally published in The St. Petersburg Times. Together with two articles by Bette Orsini, it won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

The series describes the period from the arrival of the Sea Org in Clearwater, Florida late in 1975 through to the arrest and conviction of 11 members of the Guardian's Office.

Many Guardians Office (now called "OSA" or Office of Special Affairs) operations are described such as Operation Devil's Wop, Operation Bunny Bust, Operation China Shop, and Operation Freakout - which were the actual names Scientology created and used when refering to those operations.

Today, the same wall that has always surrounded Scientology is filled with holes and has crumbled in many places around the world. Yet the same criminal behavior in Clearwater that was so newsworthy in 1980 continues, albeit in a more insidious and sophisticated way.


Shedding light on Scientology's darkside -- by St. Petersburg Times editor, by Eugene Patterson.

The Series:

Scientology brings 4 years of discord

Individual life force is focus of Scientology

Dispute over tax status goes to court

Church moves to defend itself against 'attackers'

Church entered Clearwater on path of deceit

'Priority' critics of church faced special handling

Church played dirty tricks on Cazares

St. Petersburg Times topped 'enemies' list

Operation Bunny Bust

Church infiltrated the Clearwater Sun

Church tried to infiltrate Pinellas police agencies

Scientologists' downfall began with phony IDs

Book spells out rationale for church's 'spy system'

Court tangle gave Scientology its first 'martyrs'