This Secret Anti-Scientology Hate Group Has Some Surprising Members

According to the FBI, a hate group’s “primary purpose is to promote animosity, hostility, and malice against persons belonging to a race, religion… which differs from that of the members of the organization.”

Tracey McManus Outer Banks

Among the hundreds of antireligious hate groups on Facebook is one devoted exclusively to anti-Scientology bigotry—The Outer Banks. The secret group’s approximately 50 active members post constant hate speech and espouse violence against parishioners of the Church of Scientology, calling for their harm and the destruction of their religion.

The Outer Banks was created on August 13, 2013, with the following “welcome” post: “The Outer Banks is a special ‘secret’ information sharing group on Scientology. … Copying and/or pasting our posts elsewhere (anywhere) is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.”

What follows is a sampling of posts found on the hate platform: 

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Outer Banks’ lead administrator, anti-Scientologist Karen de la Carriere, joined The Outer Banks the day it was formed. In 1990, de la Carriere was dismissed from Church of Scientology staff for abusive and unethical conduct that disqualified her from holding a Church position. As she herself put it, de la Carriere was someone who “give[s] way to temper tantrums and rages” who feels “a smug satisfaction at others’ demise.” (Soon after her dismissal, de la Carriere began secretly prostituting herself to married men, posing online as a woman in her 30s, though in her 50s.) De la Carriere started attacking the Church of Scientology in 2010.

Other members of The Outer Banks are anti-Scientologists who seek to profit from bigotry toward the Church. Mike Rinder for example, who was expelled from the Church in 2009 and confessed to having a “totally criminal moral code,” was the co-author of a failed anti-Scientology “billion-dollar plan” that he hoped would result in “all the [Church’s] cash” and “all the buildings in our hands.” (In 2010, Rinder violently attacked his wife so severely that she had to undergo shoulder surgery for bone and nerve damage. Rinder most recently testified on behalf of rapist Paul Haggis.)

This absurd and disturbing situation is no different than having a member of a neo-Nazi group assigned as the beat writer for Jewish communities.

An investigation has determined, shockingly, that not only discredited criminals and anti-Scientologists participate in The Outer Banks, but even a handful of journalists as well. Perhaps the most noteworthy example is Tampa Bay Times’ “Scientology Reporter” Tracey McManus, who is not only a member of the group but an active and eager participant: McManus regularly calls for fellow bigots on the platform to support her stories both in reading them and in financially underwriting them.

The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics advises journalists to “Label advocacy and commentary” and “Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.” It is an egregious violation of any journalistic standards for a reporter assigned to cover a religion to belong to—and participate in—a group dedicated to the eradication of that same religion. This absurd and disturbing situation is no different than having a member of a neo-Nazi group assigned as the beat writer for Jewish communities, or a white supremacist assigned to cover civil rights.

The Church of Scientology and STAND League have pointed out McManus’ participation to the Tampa Bay Times, whose editor-in-chief, Mark Katches, and chairman and CEO, Conan Gallaty, consistently ignore it.

We continue to look to shine a light on this issue.