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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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada