For immediate release

December 21, 2020

Insider’s Jacob Sarkisian Publishes Hate Against Religion From Sex Trafficking Promoter’s Blog 

On December 21, Jacob Sarkisian, entertainment reporter at Insider, published excerpts from an anti-Scientology hate screed written on the blog of sex trafficking apologist Tony Ortega, containing numerous baseless claims comprising an attack on the Scientology religion and its leader

“The kind of outrageous misinformation Sarkisian forwards was disseminated repeatedly about Jews by Nazi minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels, who referred to members of the faith as ‘guilty,’ stated they ‘organize murder and terror’ and ‘led people to die,’” said National STAND Director Bari Berger. “That the ignorant tragically believed him and spread his lies made them no more true.” 

“It is appalling that Sarkisian and Insider would join Leah Remini’s crusade to spread hate against Scientologists—hate that has already resulted in more than 600 documented threats and acts of violence against Scientologists and their children and families. Such irresponsible journalism cannot be permitted in a society which bills itself ‘tolerant’ and supportive of religious freedom.”

The kind of outrageous misinformation Sarkisian forwards was disseminated repeatedly about Jews by Nazi minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels.

Remini’s marginalizing anti-Scientology rhetoric was posted on the blog of Tony Ortega, which Sarkisian draws from heavily in his article. Ortega infamously championed, the largest online sex trafficking site in the world before its seizure by federal law enforcement agencies in April 2018. “The people I work for were smart enough to start Backpage,” Ortega proclaimed, referring to Backpage founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin, both of whom are currently awaiting trial.

Minors trafficked on the site condoned and celebrated by Ortega include a teenager who describes being gangraped, choked and forced to perform sexual acts at gunpoint. Another was stabbed to death and another murdered in 2017, with her corpse burned.

“Sex trafficking apologists and antireligious extremists who harass and incite hate against members of a minority religion appear to be Sarkisian’s chosen sources,” said Berger. “STAND has long said an attack on one religion is an attack on them all. Sarkisian’s next article might feature the rantings of a white supremacist on Jews and their leaders, or the commentary of KKK members on Black civil rights figures in another kick in the teeth to the values millions have championed in recent months: diversity, equity, inclusion, unity and love. Enough is enough. The hate must stop.”  

(Business Insider photo by Bangoland/

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