Boston Now's Scientology puff piece

I'm all for Boston Now doing some funky local coverage in order to compete with Metro (and the Herald, and the Globe). But when I say "funky local coverage," I don't mean "apologias for Scientology."

Unfortunately, that's what "Another side of Scientology" is. The article, by Boston Now correspondent Kimberly Abruzzo, is an homage to the good work done at Scientology's Volunteer Ministry in Roxbury. Abruzzo notes in passing that kids learning to read at the Volunteer Ministry brush up against the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, but her focus is just how super the Volunteer Ministry is.  Check out the closing grafs, which quote Laura Creedonekhator of Brookline, who says the Volunteer Ministry has been great for her autistic son:
Creedonekhator said she found no overlap between the church and its tutoring methods.

"In the time I have been here I have seen nothing but positive reinforcement--they have boundaries," she said. "There's no 'pounce on you and reform you.' Its [sic] completely different from what everyone thinks when they hear of Tom Cruise and aliens."
Now, there's nothing wrong with Abruzzo quoting a satisfied customer. But couldn't she have given readers a better sense of why, exactly, people might find the Volunteer Ministry problematic? Just to create some semblance of balance?

It's not hard to find appropriate fodder. Google "Scientology tutoring," and the ninth result is a 2006 Der Spiegel article titled "Suspicious Tutoring." Here's a relevant section:
German experts on sects are now warning that the organization, which spans the globe, is currently making a big effort to infiltrate the German education market. Even the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has noticed these activities: At the recent presentation of the Constitution Report for 2005, Scientology was mentioned as establishing itself very conspicuously in "youth work."
I'd say that's relevant.

What makes this especially interesting is that the online title of Abruzzo's article is "The other side of Scientology, Part 1 [emphasis added]. It'll be interesting to see Part 2.

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