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Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 02/ 8/2011

Paul Haggis, Malcom Gladwell and cheetah cubs

By Melissa Bell
Over Venezuela's Catatumbo River, an "everlasting lightning storm" rages 260 nights out of the year. Most people want to avoid lightning. Slate's Joshua Foer headed straight for it. I want to go, too. (Wikipedia user Thechemicalengineer)

People are talking about:

National news: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology

There are few topics that rustle up more voyeuristic interest than the Church of Scientology. Littered with secrets and Hollywood star power, the mysterious church rarely fails to make headlines despite its best attempts to keep out of the public eye. The latest missive against John Travolta's and Tom Cruise's church comes from a longtime member, Hollywood director Paul Haggis. After 35 years, Haggis is now finished with the church and making a splash in the New Yorker, spilling its secrets of mental and physical abuse.

National news: Detroit mayor's plan to save his city

Detroit might have the aid of a shiny, new Eminem and Chrylser ad on Super Bowl Sunday to give the city some street appeal, but in reality, the city has been facing a crisis for years with little sign of a way out. With billions of dollars in debt and a fleeing population, the city has turned to crowd-sourcing a savior. Dave Bing, Detroit's newest mayor, has put out a call for anyone with a plan, proposal or theory that may save his crumbling city. It's opened the doors to some odd and unique ideas.

Talking Point: Create your own Malcolm Gladwell book

Malcolm Gladwell angered the Internet when he mocked the role of social media in revolutions and now the Internet is mocking him back. The latest Gladwell tease? The Malcolm Gladwell book generator. Did you like "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking?" Try "Subtitles: How Secondary Titles Inflate a Sense of Importance." Did you like "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference?" Try "The Cheers Effect: How and Why Everyone Knows Your Name."

The National Zoo just installed a cheetah cub camera so you can spend hours wasting your time watching the two adorable newly born babies romp around and play. Go check it out.

By Melissa Bell  | February 8, 2011; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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They make it all up. No surprise, they're just more honest about it. All religions have a kernel of truth and, beyond that, they make it all up as a social organizing tool. Church of Scientology is not different. I prefer Pastafarianism myself. That's a religion you can sink your teeth into!


Posted by: thebobbob | February 8, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The New Yorker turned tabloid now, actually worse. They started spreading outright lies, something that can be often noted when observing anti-scientology rants. One example: The New Yorker press release and Lawrence Wright’s profile on Paul Haggis, "Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology," released Monday, reported on an alleged federal investigation. The New Yorker was well aware the Church knew nothing of the investigation but had refuted the same claims based on a case already thrown out by a Federal Court Judge. Nonetheless, The New Yorker irresponsibly used the same sources who were discredited in the dismissed case to claim an "investigation" so as to garner headlines for an otherwise stale article containing nothing but rehashed unfounded allegations.

Allan Lengel, a former Washington Post reporter who writes for AOL News on federal law enforcement matters, filed this late today in a breaking story on Wright’s allegations: "The author cites two sources in the FBI who ‘assured me that the case remains open.’ However, a federal law enforcement source told AOL News the investigation has fallen short and no criminal charges are expected to be filed." Click here for the article:

Obviously, this contradicts what Wright wrote in The New Yorker. If you published Wright’s account, this contradiction should be made known to your viewers and/or readers.

The New Yorker article is just another thinly veiled tabloid piece repeating old and new rumors from people with an axe to grind with the Church of Scientology. The New Yorker author Lawrence Wright could not come up with a single line that has not been discarded as the work of fanatic anti-religionists a long time ago. This piece actually sheds a new light on him as a researcher and writer. How much does his obvious hate against religion taint his judgment? This piece has been written by someone with a deep-set hatred against religion and spirituality. Just like the Hollywood dude Haggis, who openly confesses that he makes a living putting his personal life traumata in movie scripts, Lawrence Wright lives his anti-religious hatred in writing one-track minded articles and books. The New Yorker, putting on tabloid colors for a moment, has allowed him to air his therapy sessions and that is their choice but one really has to ask: I don't really want to waste my time reading something like this.

Posted by: LouanneLee | February 8, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

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