Evening the Score: Rupert Murdoch and the Scientologists



In the U.S., Scientology has become off limits for most media organizations. All, that is, except one: media mogul Rupert Murdoch. In 1960, Rupert Murdoch bought the Australian tabloid Truth, a newspaper that survived on a staple of scandal. Over the next three years, Murdoch's muckraking tabloid ran a series of exposes referring to Scientology as “Bunkumology.” It wasn’t long before Victoria banned Scientology, becoming the first place in the world to outlaw the organization. That infuriated Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, so he hired private investigator Rex Beaver to spy on Murdoch. Beaver didn't think much of the Scientologists, so he went to Murdoch and offered to act as a double agent and feed information back to the newspaper for future tabloid exposés. Murdoch agreed, and now, over 40 years after Scientology was banned in Victoria, the cult is still looking for ways to get revenge. As hard as it has tried, Scientology has yet to even the score with Rupert Murdoch.