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‘The Atlantic’ Can Add ‘Scientology Propaganda’ to Its Proud History of Journalistic Excellence

‘The Atlantic’ Can Add ‘Scientology Propaganda’ to Its Proud History of Journalistic Excellence

Advertising is famously tricky business. Plenty of magazines have run ads that don’t necessarily represent their brand, but you like to think there’s still some standard, particularly for magazines of repute. The Atlantic is one of America’s prouder publications, running articles from such fine authors, historically, as Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Twain and Edith Wharton. As of Monday evening, they’re also running a “sponsored content” article praising the many virtues and victories of the Church of Scientology. The piece (screengrab here) lauded David Miscavige, who is called “ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion” and who “has led a renaissance for the religion itself, while driving worldwide programs to serve communities through Church-sponsored social and humanitarian initiatives.” Coincidentally (sure), this comes just ahead of New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright’s voraciously anticipated Scientology exposé, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief. Following Internet backlash, The Atlantic pulled the ad, saying, “We have temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads” …

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