Mon 21st February 2011, 8:08pm
QUOTE(carbuncle @ Sun 20th February 2011, 5:17pm)
I doubt that anything in the New Yorker piece is news to the people who follow the CoS closely, so there's probably not much that needs to be added (tl:dr). I suspect that everyone who edits regularly in that topic area is aware by now that controversial Scientology-related edits while there is increased scrutiny will probably be bad news for them (and almost certainly for Cirt).
Not true, I'm afraid. The allegations of slave labor, physical and mental abuse, and other human rights abuses may be years, or even decades, old; but the bit about the human trafficking task force of the FBI investigating COS for slave labor practices was
news to the people over at the Operation Clambake Message Board
that Cirt happens to be a member of. The article, and particularly the part about the FBI investigation, has unsurprisingly lit up the board over at OCMB, and presumably has done the same over at Why We Protest. I didn't see any posts from Cirt over there regarding this; there are several relevant threads and I only skimmed over two of them.
To be investigated by the FBI for over a year for slave labor practices is a pretty big deal. It may not necessarily result in indictments, but it is not a matter to take lightly either. I may be a total outsider to the world of COS, but rather less so DOJ. It is very rare, but not unprecedented, for the FBI to actually confirm the existence of an ongoing probe. This tells me two things: 1) they have strong reason to suspect that crimes within federal jurisdiction did occur, and 2) they are aware the target of the probe already knows they are being investigated.
Also, a good measure of the seriousness with which the New Yorker
took this situation appears in the Wright interview I linked to above. At 15:20 Wright describes an all-day meeting between the staff of the NY and COS. Lawyers and fact checkers were present.
We have often commented here at The Review upon WP's obsession with "recentism", particularly when it involves damning reports in the media against People We Don't Like. Reports of slave labor investigations certainly would rank pretty high as damning info, and COS is most definitely and definitively in the category of People We Don't Like
over at WP. Despite its irresponsible and at times vicious SOP in dealing with such situations, and the way this flap is lighting up The Rest of the Internet, WP remains most uncharacteristically silent. Knowing what we do of the ways and wiles of the Frei Kultur Kinder, it is more than a little difficult to believe that there is not massive "off wiki" coordination going on to make sure that all relevant WP pages are kept free of any mention of the investigation.
The only questions I see here is why this is happening and who is responsible for it. It is reasonable to assume that Cirt is involved to some degree; it would be passing strange if he/she/it wasn't.