Talk:David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise

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Details of the interviewEdit

Prof. Touretzky was kind enough to give me this interview today (6th February 2008) at 01:26 UTC after I asked on the #scientology channel on the Undernet IRC network whether there was anyone interested in commenting regarding the recent Anonymous outburst. Prof. Touretzky was present on-channel at the time and kindly agreed to speak to me. This occurred publically on-channel rather than in private message. DragonFire1024 (accredited reporter Jason Safoutin) was also present in the chatroom at the time. I possess a copy of the IRC logs but feel that since public posting of channel logs is generally frowned-upon, this would be of questionable ethics. If anyone would like to verify the logs for themselves, please do let me know. --NicholasTurnbull 06:44, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Minor changes made as per request from intervieweeEdit

I have made some very minor tweaks to Dave Touretzky's text, as per his request to me via e-mail. Thus, for anyone who wishes to request inspection of the IRC logs for the purposes of journalistic verification, please bear these differences in mind from the original log. --NicholasTurnbull 09:03, 6 February 2008 (UTC)


The introductary paragraphs for this interview seem rather heavily biased against Scientology. Also, I question the claim, cited as fact, that SP (suppressive person) was not a known term prior to the Tom Cruise videos. Wikipedia has had an article on SP since early 2006. I normally try not to weigh in on this series of articles, but this was a bit blatant. Cheers, --SVTCobra 00:57, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Prominent free speech activist and critic of Scientology David S. Touretzky, as interviewed by Wikinews reporter Nicholas Turnbull, gave his opinions on the recent backlash against the Church of Scientology that has erupted on the Internet, recently spurred on in declarations by a nebulous Internet entity using the name Anonymous that the organization will be destroyed.

This sentence is a really really big run-on sentence. The previous version reads much better. Cirt 01:16, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is, and was a run-on in the original form, too. Either version of that sentence is about four lines long (depending on your browser). I tried my best to interfere minimally, but the interviewer shouldn't be listed first. Break it up, do whatever, to that sentence. However, you haven't seem to have addressed the concerns I listed above. --SVTCobra 01:27, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Hello there SVTCobra: I was referring to what Touretzky himself said about Scientology terms entering the popular lexicon since the recent debacle; this was his claim, not mine, and hence Touretzky was the source. Please read the interview and you will see where he says this: "... "Tom Cruise is batshit crazy" has entered the national lexicon, along with "SP", "KSW", and "We are the authorities". ..." I think, perhaps, the point here is that it has entered the popular currency within parts of the Internet that had formerly had no exposure to Scientology; SP was not used in general currency I think except in sites that specifically were "in universe" within Scientology. This is, at least, what Dave Touretzky was implying. This is rather irrelevant though, because if you can make it better, please feel free to edit the paragraph; but I think that you must understand interviews are only NPOV insofar as they report what the source said, not that they present a neutral view of the subject in question - that would be a fabrication, and of questionable journalistic ethics. The latter approach would be "SPOV" (sympathetic point of view), as NPOV is "tertiary" reporting. Yours, --NicholasTurnbull 01:54, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi Nicholas, the subject of the interview is free to expess their pov. But I do believe that any introduction should be written following normal guidelines as well as WN:NPOV. Therefore, on the issue of the term "SP", I think it should be clarified as to when it became publicly known and when it became part of popular vernacular and not rely on Touretzky. Under no circumstance should the interview or the interviewee be used as a source for the introduction, imo (but I think that is rather standard). I did read the interview, but even if I didn't, it ought not bear impact on the introduction. If the interviewee claimed to be God, would you introduce the interview as an interview with "God" or "a man who claims to be God"? (extreme example for illustration of my point). --SVTCobra 02:13, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, fair enough. Bear with me, I will reword it shortly and find some decent sources on the topic. --NicholasTurnbull 02:16, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Right, I've reworded the intro. Is this better? Do please let me know. --NicholasTurnbull 02:31, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I think it reads fair and neutral now. I have no objections to the current version. Cheers, --SVTCobra 02:39, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Question about InterviewerEdit

Hello, great interview, but I was wondering about this statement by Touretzky: "You're probably in a better position [as a former member] to assess the affect on Sea Org members". Does that "you" refer to the interviewer, User:NicholasTurnbull? If the interviewer is a former member of Scientology, conflict issues may be of concern. Perhaps this clarification should be made in the opening of the article. Copysan 18:54, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the "you" does indeed refer to me; you are quite right to point this out. I think this is a standard problem with interviews, though: because interviewers with subject-specific knowledge, often gained through first-hand experience, are often the best at asking experts in that field detailed information about their opinions. I agree however there is a slight problem here and, in hindsight, I am actually quite surprised at myself that I didn't mention it in the lead-in section. I think it must have just been an oversight. I don't think there really is much of a conflict of interest though, because I reported the answers of Prof. Touretzky accurately and without modification, and my questions were presented in a manner that was fairly in keeping with information presented in other Wikinews articles on the same subject and also the POV presented by the interviewee. Thus, I don't think it is too much of a concern in that I don't think the way the interview material was presented has been at all compromised, simply because I am not really a "critic" of Scientology as such, merely an external observer who was formerly a member. It is possibly rather late to be doing so, but I will add a mention within the lead-in; better late than never, I suppose. Thank you for pointing this out, and I'll make sure to make it clearer should this be an issue in future interviews. If you have any advice on how my Scientology-related copywriting could be made more NPOV I would be glad to hear it. Yours, --NicholasTurnbull 17:23, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Addendum inserted. --NicholasTurnbull 17:30, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


I'm just visiting here from two other projects I usually work on ('quote and 'pedia), and as I was reading, I wanted to add an explanatory link to the "Keeping Scientology Working" mention in the article, as I thought it would be appropriate. I didn't realize: are all Wikinews articles locked? As a registered user, how do I get the appropriate permissions to add such a simple link to an article? Peace and Passion (talk) 18:53, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

All Wikinews articles are fully-protected after seven days (this is called archiving, see WN:ARCHIVE for why we do this). Only administrators can edit these pages. However, you can use the {{editprotected}} template on an archived article's talk page to suggest changes to them. Tempodivalse [talk] 18:56, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Adding the Keeping Scientology Working link, as above. (Fourth paragraph, for consistency with linking to "Suppressive Person" in the bracket before it).
Also, there's a misplaced apostrophe in the last answer given (I'm assuming, even if it's in the original, your journalistic MoS will allow it to be corrected)
 they' may
Peace and Passion (talk) 18:58, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
  Done Thanks for the suggestions. Tempodivalse [talk] 19:15, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
One more thing, on question 18 there is an issue. Throughout the article there are a multitude of acronyms (due to the subject matter, of course), and all of them are thoroughly noted (and/or explained) except for "RTC" used in question 18. I'm not sure what that means; it seems quite significant and makes understanding both questions 18 and 19 difficult.
Peace and Passion (talk) 19:24, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I don't know what that acronym means - and it doesn't seem to have been mentioned in the text elswhere. Wikipedia doesn't seem to have anything, and Wiktionary has nothing. I looked it up on Google, but it doesn't come up with anything that might work. As such, I can't help. However, I'll leave the {{editprotected}} up for now, maybe someone else knows. Tempodivalse [talk] 19:35, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
RTC is w:Religious Technology Center. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:21, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Ah! Makes sense. Thanks :-) Tempodivalse [talk] 20:29, 23 August 2009 (UTC)


As noted above, the RTC needs to somehow be noted in the article (or simply linked), as questions/responses #18 & #19 are difficult to understand without that context.
Peace and Passion (talk) 19:42, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
  Done. Cirt (talk) 19:47, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
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