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The Atlantic's Scientology Advertorial 213

magic maverick writes "The Atlantic recently ran an 'advertorial' for the 'Church of Scientology'. During this time, they filtered comments and removed negative comments. While they have since apologized, incisive.nu has an interesting run down of what they did wrong, from both a moral and business perspective." It turns out these sponsored stories are commonplace, and a serious source of revenue: "Native ads are critical to The Atlantic’s livelihood. They are one element of digital advertising revenue, which in 2012 accounted for a striking 59 percent of the brand’s overall advertising revenue haul. Unclear just how much of the digital advertising revenue stems from sponsor content. We’re working on that."
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The Atlantic's Scientology Advertorial

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  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @01:46PM (#42605909) Homepage

    Did 'they' do that? Hubbard had written that bit of fiction before he moved onto his really lucrative fiction.

    Seriously, would you trust a religion started by a science fiction writer who said "You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."?

    Really? Aliens? That can only be detected with your voodoo device? Is that the best he could come up with?

  • by whitroth ( 9367 ) <`whitroth' `at' `5-cent.us'> on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @02:04PM (#42606179) Homepage

    If you think that was funny - I've never seen it - you should read the book.

    As a lifelong SF fan, let me tell you what it was: a pulp writer's parody? homage? to every single pulp magazine genre that was extant in the late forties and early fifties, when Hubbard was writing. The section of Air Adventures, Detective Stories, Jungle Adventure Stories. Seagoing Adventure, SF, and on, and on. They were perfect... hackneyed pulp writing.

    And btw, to Battlefield Earth was published about 4 years before he died. Dianetics, his first foray, is from the late forties, while Dianetics is from the fifties; by the seventies, he was already calling it a "church", and spent something like the last 10 years of his life on his yacht, wanted by the authorities in the UK for tax evasion, as they didn't consider The Church of Scienterifficology a church or religion.

    What "really lucrative fiction" were you referring to, followuper?


  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @02:32PM (#42606565) Journal

    talking about how modern medical science is wrong about anti-depressants and the like

    A broken clock is right twice a day, and crazy ass Tom Cruise is right about this too. A 2008 meta analysis [plosmedicine.org] of all studies, published and unpublished, on SSRI antidepressants found that the effects are clinically insignificant in the great majority of patients. Only those ranked as very severely depressed experience any significant benefit over placebo.

    It's been 6 years since that study, and none have overturned its conclusions. Yet SSRIs are prescribed to the moderately depressed every day. I've asked psychiatrists how they can justify this in light of the data, they've responded with their own confirmation biases. I don't see any way to interpret this but to conclude that psychiatry for depression is almost entirely a scam.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @02:47PM (#42606779)

    Hubbard had written that bit of fiction before he moved onto his really lucrative fiction.

    Actually Battlefield Earth was published in 1982, while Scientology was started in 1952 or 1953, depending on your definition of "started." Your other points, however, are quite accurate.

  • by Bacon Bits ( 926911 ) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @04:08PM (#42607827)

    Having suffered from moderate dysthymia for the past 20 years with bouts of severe depression, I can safely state three things:

    1. Psychologist == psychotherapist. I saw my psychologist 1 hour a week for about 5 years straight when I needed the help.

    2. Psychiatrist == pharmacologist. I see my psychologist for 30 minutes every six to twelve months to get a prescription refill. The demand on psychiatrists is high, because very few people are crazy enough to get a PhD and the turn around and get an MD. 12-16 years of school tends to make them only slightly less insane than their patients.

    3. Antidepressants allow me to function in society. My condition is an exception, however, because it actually is a chemical imbalance. Without medication I stop going to work/school, then stop spending time with friends, then stop talking to people in any way, then stop cleaning the house, then stop bathing, then stop eating.

    Fuck Tom Cruise and fuck the Church of Scientology.

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan