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Posts Tagged ‘Church of Scientology’

Journalism Is Alive and Well (at the Church of Scientology)

Are you an ambitious, street-smart young scribe eager to expose L.A.’s seedy underbelly to the world at large? Do you decry the decline of quality reporting and live to shame the lamestream media? Most importantly, do you know your current thetan count? If you answered yes, duh, and “praise overlord Xenu!” to these questions, then The Church of Scientology wants you…to write for its in-house magazine, Freedom.

Freedom promotes “investigative reporting in the public interest,” with “the public” meaning Tom Cruise, David Miscavige, and whoever else runs the world’s most secretive tax-exempt organization. In what can only be the most incredible coincidence in history, every single article in said magazine amounts to a little piece of the church’s never-ending damage control campaign.

The most common subject is the fact that church apostates are all a bunch of fat, stupid-head liars who like to tell lies just because they are mean and evil for no reason at all except that every one of them is addicted to drugs and doesn’t get enough vitamins. For what it’s worth, the website does make good use of some strange pop-up animation.

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How NOT to Do Native Advertising: The Atlantic Runs Scientology Advertorial

The Atlantic Magazine Scientology AdvertorialSo, last week we took the time to lecture our readers on the nature of native advertising–and this week’s biggest media “scandal” conveniently gives us an opportunity to show everyone how not to do it.

In summary: Established magazine The Atlantic, long a home to respectable journalism, ran a sponsored post that was little more than an official release from the Church of Scientology.

The church is scrambling to get some good press before journalist Lawrence Wright‘s upcoming expose Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief hits the nation’s bookstores and e-readers. The post itself amounted to a comical report about how leader David Miscavige has helped the church expand its membership; it included little beyond (obviously staged) photos documenting the recent openings of Scientology “centers” around the world.

And that’s not all: The Atlantic also carefully monitored the story’s comments section, erasing many of the (overwhelmingly negative) comments from users before closing them down altogether. Bad move, guys.

Now it’s damage control time!

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Strange PR Bedfellows: Scientology and The Nation of Islam

You may not have heard about The Church of Scientology opening a new “national affairs office” in Washington, DC’s historic Fraser Mansion last month. Small PR potatoes, right?

We would normally agree–but this week The New Republic published a fascinating story that caught our eye: It would appear that The Church and The Nation of Islam—which may well be our country’s two least favorite native religious groups—have decided to join hands in the interest of faith and public relations. It’s quite bizarre.

Some might say that Scientology is going through a bit of PR crisis right now. After Paul Haggis’s big 2011 New Yorker takedown, the church’s famous PR team seems to have slowed down a bit—they haven’t even truly responded to PT Anderson’s thinly-veiled L. Ron Hubbard film “The Master” or the inflammatory headlines that have appeared on gossip rags in the wake of the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes split.

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Scientology Plans PR Campaign to Combat ‘The Master’

Director Paul Thomas Anderson has always insisted that his highly anticipated new film “The Master”, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a low-rent sci-fi author and war veteran who decides to go whole hog and invent his own bizarre religion, has nothing to do with the Church of Scientology. Yet most people seem to think that’s exactly what it’s about for some reason!

We all know that the church doesn’t take too kindly to criticism, and we guess the film counts as a critique, because the church’s representatives have now apparently intensified their anti-“Master” PR campaign in anticipation of the movie’s Friday opening.

Despite all this noise, Anderson has never publicly criticized the church, and he has even indicated that the experience of making and promoting his latest opus actually led him to become more sympathetic toward Scientology in general. On a recent stop in Venice he said: “I don’t know a hell of a lot about Scientology today but I know about the beginnings of that movement and it inspired me to use it as a backdrop for these characters. I can’t be any more unambiguous than that.”

OK, so Anderson admits that the character of charismatic cult leader Lancaster Dodd is indeed “partly based on” church founder/ “Dianetics” author/ heavenly body L. Ron Hubbard. Most importantly, the public will always know “The Master” as “that Scientology movie,” so of course the church feels the need to respond.

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TomKat Issues a Joint Statement on the Occasion of Their Divorce Settlement

It’s only been two weeks since our worlds were rocked by the announcement that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were calling their marriage quits and already a settlement has been reached and a statement issued.

“We are committed to working together as parents to accomplishing what is in our daughter Suri’s best interest,” reads the grammatically incorrect statement coming from Amanda Lundberg, Cruise’s PR rep at 42West.

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