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Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence Wright’

Janice Min Heralds 12.327 Million Monthly Uniques, Eight Promotions and Six New Hires

The memo today from editorial director Janice Min starts with the news that August was The Hollywood Reporter‘s biggest Web traffic month yet. A total of 12.327 million unique visitors came to the site per comScore, putting the publication fourth in its category behind IMDb, EW and TV Guide.

From there, it’s on to the news of THR‘s latest wave of promotions and hires:

Kimberly Nordyke has been promoted to Deputy Editor, THR.com. In her new role beginning today, Kimberly will oversee our news operation in the morning hours, working with our New York and foreign reporters, as well as doing longer-term planning for the site and and the digital rollout of major print projects and packages. Kimberly, who most recently was senior editor, has been with The Hollywood Reporter since 2000. She joined the staff of the magazine as a copy editor before segueing into the position of TV reporter. She writes a mean headline without ever losing her cool, knows the industry inside-out, and I am thrilled she is bringing her 360-degree expertise to daytime.

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Paul Haggis Crashes Church of Scientology’s New Year

In the media this week, there’s something going on in reaction to the release of Lawrence Wright‘s book about Scientology that also occurred last year when Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorced, and separately when a Vanity Fair cover story outlined that whole business with Nazanin Boniadi.

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Our good friend Tony Ortega sums it up this way:

For those of us who watch Scientology closely, and have for many years, most of the [Lawrence Wright book-related] articles that have popped up in recent days seem to be gasping over things that have been known or written about for many years…

We would argue that for much of the public, the word [about Scientology] was already out long before today’s publication of Wright’s book. (Look at the reaction, for example, when on Monday The Atlantic magazine ran a paid church advertorial at its website extolling the virtues of Scientology leader David Miscavige. Even though there was nothing really wrong with The Atlantic taking the church’s money for an ad, the public denunciation of the magazine was so swift and loud, The Atlantic caved and took it down.)

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Tony Ortega Breaks Down Lawrence Wright Scientology Book Excerpts

The biggest thing from a media perspective about two excerpts published in The Hollywood Reporter from Lawrence Wright‘s upcoming Scientology book is that the author was able to get a familiar behind-the-scenes source to speak on the record. From Tony Ortega‘s blog:

The shorter excerpt is about John Travolta, told through his former [Church] personal assistant, Spanky Taylor. We guess it can be told now that Spanky has helped several of us reporters over the years — our relationship with her goes back over a decade — but Wright is the first to get her to speak on the record, ever. Maybe it was his Alabama charm.

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Scientologists Ape The New Yorker

A group of Scientologists staked out the Conde Nast building this morning and handed out an issue of the organization’s magazine Freedom, which was a parody of The New Yorker. Animal New York says that the issue is jam packed with articles attacking the Scientology piece by Lawrence Wright that appeared in the New Yorker in February. If you haven’t read that yet, please do, it’s fantastic.

Aside from some nice art work, it looks like Freedom has awhile to go to catch up to the quality of The New Yorker, but you have to give them credit for trying.

No seriously, you have to. If you don’t Tom Cruise will personally come to your apartment and jump on your couch. Trust us, it’s awkward.

Scientology Defector Paul Haggis Tells All in Upcoming Book

Hollywood’s favorite cult isn’t going to be happy about this. Scientology‘s most famous defector, Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, is breaking his silence in an upcoming book. The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs. The Church of Scientology is being written by the well-respected Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright, and according to his agency is, “The most profound reckoning to date with this powerful and secretive organization.”

Haggis publicly renounced the Church of Scientology in 2009, after thirty five years as a member, but has stayed largely mum on the subject since. Not for much longer. The book will serve as both a chronicle of Haggis’ personal experiences and an in-depth investigation of the cult — including the human rights abuses of its members, which the authors allege includes violence, conditions approaching enslavement, and forced abortions.

Full description of the book from the Wylie Agency catalog after the jump.
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