How Google is getting gamed in the fight both for and against the Church of Scientology - 2016-06-28
Bryan Seely contacted us recently saying that he'd found some really interesting things about the way Google Maps was being manipulated to benefit Scientology's drug rehab program, Narconon. Bryan is a fascinating character. He's a "white hat" hacker, who uses his hacking abilities to help corporations understand where they're vulnerable. And his work on Google Maps is well known — he showed how gaming Google Maps could be used to intercept calls intended for the FBI. Wow.
Anyway, he told us that he'd happened on what looked like a major scam — shady websites were being used to send the unsuspecting to Narconon when they were looking for drug rehabs.
We told him that at least part of that story has been around a long time. Four years ago, for example, we revealed that Lucas Catton, a former president of Scientology's flagship drug rehab in Oklahoma, Narconon Arrowhead, had decided to come forward to expose Narconon's deceptive business practices. And those practices included fake referral websites preying on unsuspecting parents desperate to find a rehab for their son or daughter, often on the orders of a criminal court.