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The magazine The Atlantic published a strange overtly pro-Scientology piece on its website Monday, which was picked up on the Internet quickly. Later, the magazine pulled it from their site, but it is still available to read.
The piece, titled “David Miscavige Leads Scientology to Milestone Year,” was labeled as “sponsor content.”
“Sponsor Content is created by The Atlantic’s Promotions Department in partnership with our advertisers. The Atlantic editorial team is not involved in the creation of this content,” the site explains.
The post goes over the progress of the religion, which counts celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta as members, had made over the past year and the work of its leader, David Miscavige.
Miscavige “has led a renaissance for the religion itself, while driving worldwide programs to serve communities through Church-sponsored social and humanitarian initiatives,” the post reads, notes The Huffington Post.
Media observers went nuts and The Poynter Institute even noted that the comments section may have been tampered with. All comments posted on the article were overwhelmingly positive.
“Our marketing team was monitoring some of the comments,” spokeswoman Natalie Raabe told The Washington Post. The Scientology incident has “has brought to light policies on how we monitor sponsor content,” she added.
Eventually, the article was pulled completely, with a statement that read, “We have temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads.”
This incident occurred just before Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief is set to hit store shelves. The book looks into the secrets of the religion and its beginnings. Ironically, The Atlantic praised the book, with writer Jeffrey Goldberg suggesting people read it.