The inimitable John Sugg surfaces as editor of Church of Scientology-backed ‘Freedom’ magazine

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In my mail this week was the first edition of the re-launched ‘Freedom’ magazine, which bills itself as “a magazine for investigative journalism focusing on human rights and social betterment.”

The Florida edition of ‘Freedom’ is the voice of Flag, the Clearwater-based international spiritual headquarters of the Scientology religion, reads a note from the editors. Interesting, huh?

What’s more interesting is who is the editor on the masthead. No less than the inimitable John Sugg, formerly a senior editor for the Creative Loafing group of alternative newsweeklies. Sugg made quite a name for himself in these parts with his criticism of the local media, specifically the St. Petersburg Times. 

If you think what I write about the Times is tough, you should go back and read Sugg. Dude was fierce.

So, to recap, one of, if not the most, outspoken critics of the Times is now the editor of a magazine bankrolled by a religious organization which considers the Times its foremost adversary.

Like I said, interesting.

I am just noticing this as I engage in my Sunday reading, so I have not had the opportunity to speak with John or anyone at the Times. But I would definitely put ‘Freedom’ on your radar screen just to see what kind of back-and-forth develops between it and the Times.

Sugg and Co. fire the first shot in the close of their editors’ note: “Our goal is to give you knowledge that would be hidden or distorted by others — whether you call them “elites,” “the system,” “media manipulators: or “mind controllers.”

Game on.

sugg, john

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.