Wednesday, February 16, 2011

AT LARGE Fake News Wednesday: Church Of Scientology Defends 'Internship' Program

LOS ANGELES (CAP) - Responding to a report in The New Yorker that it is under investigation for human trafficking and using forced free labor, the Church of Scientology fired back this week, saying the ordering of church members to do grueling work in exchange for little or no money is nothing more than an extremely active internship program.

"Some of the world's most successful organizations and businesses have similar internship programs," explained Tommy Davis, the chief spokesperson for the Church of Scientology International. "Umm ... IBM, for example."

When pointed out that IBM interns get paid about $20 an hour and gain valuable business experience, while Scientology members get paid about $50 a week to perform chores such as scrubbing Scientology superstar Tom Cruise's boat, Davis responded, "Who says boat scrubbing isn't valuable? Somebody's got to make Tom's boat shine like the glowing Sol of Teegeeack, so to speak.

"Besides, as [Church of Scientology founder] L. Ron Hubbard used to say, a little hard work is good for the thetan, no matter what planet it came from," added Davis. "Umm ... I'm kind of paraphrasing but that's basically what he said."

A CAP News study of other religions backs up Davis' claim that the practice is not completely unusual. For instance, altar boys do not get paid by the Catholic Church, although they are sometimes asked to do menial tasks, such as come to the rectory in their bathing suits to wash the priest's car.

[Read the rest at CAP News.]

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