Voices A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas

Enigmas of this nature are more common than one might expect

Scientology anger over book ruling

LEADERS OF the Church of Scientology and US officials yesterday criticised a Swedish court ruling which will allow the public access to the church's holiest book.

Russia's PM linked to Scientologists

RUSSIA'S youthful, inexperienced and - until last week - almost unheard of prime minister-designate was yesterday grappling with potentially damaging allegations linking him with the Church of Scientology.

Skyscrapers rain terror on New York

New York's skyscrapers are crumbling alarmingly, showering debris into the streets far below. Last week big chunks fell off two buildings and another collapsed, endangering the New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square. And before Christmas a ton of bricks came tumbling from another skyscraper.

Oh come all ye unfaithful, sinful and indulgent

Fed Up with Christmas already? Bored with all the carols? Irritated by the folksy, phoney bonhomie? Does the sudden rise in church attendances, the one-off bending of the knee, strike you as the most despicable, unholy hypocrisy? Then maybe the Church of Satan is for you.

Scientology: Media blitz launched in modern religious war

Germany has become alarmed at the success of the Church of Scientology's propaganda campaign in the US. Angered by the Nazi slur, Bonn is about to launch a media blitz of its own, reports Imre Karacs.

Travolta begs Channel 4 not to attack Scientology

John Travolta, the actor, has written to Michael Jackson, Channel 4's controller, imploring him not to allow the showing of a documentary on the life of L Ron Hubbard, founder of the controversial Church of Scientology.

Focus: Why Channel 4 is haunted by Scientology

The sect has hired a private eye to follow the makers of a documentary film who, it claims, are out to destroy it

Who will rock the cradle?

You have to work, so someone else has to look after your children. But how can you be sure you can trust the most precious thing in your life to a complete stranger? Sally Staples says no nanny or au pair will be perfect, but offers some guidelines for finding the best help for you.

Cinema: Haven't I seen you somewhere before?

The pre-publicity has been monstrous - I feel as if I've been finding pop-up Pete Postlethwaites in my Hula Hoops since the Silurian period - but The Lost World: Jurassic Park (PG) has finally arrived. Based on a novel by Michael Crichton with a title plagiarised from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this is Steven Spielberg's first spell in the director's baseball cap since Schindler's List. Like its saurian stars, The Lost World is massive, terrifying, and has a brain the size of a walnut.

When Marcia Clark failed to persuade a jury that OJ Simpson was guilty of murder, she fell from grace with a bump - less a legal eagle than a dead parrot. Today's the day she gets her own back.

Today is the day that Marcia Clark comes out of hibernation, returning to the public stage to reclaim her piece of the OJ Simpson pie. For nearly two years, the prosecutor in the Simpson case has kept mum on her leading, losing role in a murder prosecution she considered eminently winnable, suffering what she calls a "malaise". More practically, she was bound to silence by the terms of a $4.2m book contract. But on the day that Without a Doubt at last arrives in American bookshops, she launches a 12-city US tour with a heart-to-heart with Barbara Walters, the lisping diva of American television hostesses, an encounter that promises to deliver at least one startling revelation.

Another planet

One day - when I was a teenager - I decided to have my personality tested. For weeks I had passed the odd-looking bookshop near Goodge Street Tube station, on London's Tottenham Court Road, which advertised on-the- spot analysis. Perhaps it was the luridly illustrated science-fiction paperbacks in the window, or the insistent manner with which the man in the doorway invited youngsters (always youngsters) to come inside, that put me off. And then, in a fit of self-confidence, I went inside and filled in the interminable questionnaire about holes in my life (none, unfortunately), spiritual emptiness (also absent) and my longing for completeness (incomplete).

Angry Germany points to the past

Germans of all political persuasions and religious beliefs united yesterday to rebut the slur that their country was conducting a Nazi-style persecution of Scientologists.

In the temples of Hollywood, they like to look after the stars of Scientology

The sect of the `Thetans' has acquired a kind of respectability in the US, says David Usborne

Stars attack Germany's stance on Scientology

Hollywood's finest have risen against German oppression, striking a blow for a well-heeled but persecuted minority. In an "open letter" addressed to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, cunningly disguised as a full-page advert in yesterday's International Herald Tribune, Dustin Hoffman, Goldie Hawn and company accuse the German government of Nazi-style repression of Scientologists.

Scientologists declare war on 'Nazi' Germany

After months of skirmishes, the Church of Scientology has declared total war on Germany, accusing it of Nazi-style intolerance towards adherents of the California-based religion. A full-page advertisement in Thursday's New York Times newspaper drew parallels between the Holocaust and German attempts to curtail the activities of Scientologists.
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