About Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson moved to Australia from Northern Ireland. He likes it here but detests that parking meters often don't supply change.

Richard Jackson’s Long Reads shed light on the murky history of conjugal visits, the world of canyoneering and Scientology’s battle against the net.


The dark origins of conjugal visits– Alex Mayyasi (Priceonomics)

Conjugal visits are common fodder in comedy; we snicker at their awkwardness, the formality and control of its nature as a gift bestowed on prisoners. “Inmate 264, you can have sex once a week in this little outhouse because you haven’t caused any trouble.”

It’s a bizarre, paternalistic gift of sex.

Alex Mayyasi explains the link between conjugal visits and America’s racist history (as sex was a reward for the good behavior of slaves).


How the Church of Scientology fought the internet – and why it lost – Jesse Hicks (The Kernel)

 If you are yet to see Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, then do so. It documents the oppressive, disturbing methods of the perceived cult.

This story is in the same vein. It highlights Scientology’s ham-fisted methods of attempting to suppress information on the internet, but the internet is like the mythical Hydra, you try to cut off a head and another grows.


Seven hikers’ descent into doom at Zion National Park – William Yardley, Matt Pearce and Nigel Duara (LA Times)

Canyoneering is a descent into the inner world,” conservationist and writer Terry Tempest Williams once wrote in an email. “It offers us a walk through time, where canyon walls rise upward like praying hands. The desert is both beauty and terror, never to be underestimated, always to be respected. We live by wild mercy.”