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.
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
Arts and Entertainment
tvBut something’s not quite right
scienceIg Nobel Prizes announced
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week