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

Scientologists defend the faith in court

Shortly after 5am on 24 March 1988, Patrice Vic, a married man aged 31 with two children, threw himself off the balcony of the family's 12th floor flat in Lyon, saying that there was "no other way".

Scientologists hunt for recruits inside prison

Scientology, the fashionable cult practised by Tom Cruise, John Travolta and other Hollywood stars, has now turned its attentions to inmates of Britain's prisons.

Scientologists to extend campaign to ITV

A 60-second cable television commercial made by the Church of Scientology may move to terrestrial stations, reaching potential audiences of millions of viewers, the organisation said yesterday.

Scientologists prepare to seek charity status

The self-styled Church of Scientology, one of Britain's most controversial cults, is attempting to turn itself into a charity.

Germany's mission imperative

A "bunch of extremists and fanatics" in Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democratic party were organising a boycott yesterday of the Hollywood blockbuster Mission Impossible, and all because of the religious affiliation of its main star, Tom Cruise.

Let's all beam up to Heaven

Don't suppress Scientology. Its beliefs are a sufficient turn- off, says Andrew Brown

Political Commentary: Too much privilege and not enough judicial courage

IN THE past few weeks two Members of Parliament and one public relations consultant have had libel actions against newspapers stopped in the High Court. Mr Rupert Allason, the Conservative MP for Torbay, was trying to sue Mr Joe Haines, the political journalist, and Mr Richard Stott, the editor of Today. That was the first action to be stayed. In the second, Mr Neil Hamilton, the former minister who sits for Tatton, and Mr Ian Greer, who has his own public relations firm, had the Guardian in their sights until they were told to drop the gun.

Why Kathy won't come home

Two weeks ago, a man was cleared of trying to abduct Kathleen Wilson after he said he was saving her from a cult that had brainwashed her. Kathy doesn't see it that way.

Anti-cult groups riven by schism and bitter feuds: Many despise rivals more than sects they monitor

BRITAIN'S cult-watching organisations - the people who try to rescue missing sons and daughters from groups such as the murderous Solar Temple - dislike each other as much as the cults they are meant to be monitoring. Some of the leading critics of brainwashing and blind obedience have proved to be at loggerheads.

Storm over cult's alcoholic patient

An alcoholic who was sent on a detoxification programme linked with the controversial Church of Scientology after a council blunder, is to stay on indefinitely.

The Prozac generation: Prozac is the 'wonder drug' that took the United States by storm. Introduced at the end of 1987, it was outselling every other anti-depressant on the market within 18 months. It appeared to bring happiness to millions of users. But other people claimed that it made them crazy

FROM HER earliest childhood to the age of 46, Emily never experienced the feeling of happiness. She was a thin, withdrawn child with bad skin and a malocclusion of the jaw; the cruelty of other children ensured that her schooldays were a torment. At home, she crept through the ruins of her parents' marriage. Her mother scolded and criticised her constantly, while heaping praise on her brilliant younger sister. When she was eight, her grandfather was hospitalised for severe depression.

Teacher is jailed for sex offences

A SCHOOLTEACHER was yesterday jailed for five years after he admitted sexually molesting teenage pupils. Mark Kent, 32, of Forest Row, East Sussex, committed a catalogue of offences against boys at Greenfields school in Forest Row, where he worked.

BOOK REVIEW / Cosmic fascists and blondes with long legs: Ole Doc Methuselah - L Ron Hubbard: New Era Publications, pounds 14.99

GIANTS STALKED the earth in the golden age of science fiction, and most of them wrote for Astounding Science Fiction. In the decade following 1937, when John W Campbell began his inspired editorship of the New York-based monthly, he brought on those who were to become the towering figures of the genre: Robert A Heinlein, Asimov, A E van Vogt, Lester del Rey,Theodore Sturgeon, Clifford Simak - and one Lafayette Ronald Hubbard.

Cult prosecuted over safety of commune: Scientologists deny misleading council on 'overcrowding'

THE Church of Scientology, one of Britain's largest cults, is being prosecuted by a local authority for failing to ensure one of its largest communes is safe for human habitation. The Independent has been leaked documents from the church headquarters that show it may have misled safety inspectors over the number of adults and children living in the commune.

Boxing: Tubbs triumphs in three-ring circus: Jonathan Rendall sees a former world champion prevail on a bizarre night in Mississippi

IT WAS supposed to be the promotion of the century - 16 of the world's top heavyweight contenders boxing each other on one night in a Mississippi casino, the winner to earn dollars 1m and recognition as People's World Heavyweight Champion.
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us