Following my jokey Tweet about Suri Cruise needing a Scientology audit after the Today Show online questioned the little one’s binky sucking, I wanted to draw attention to Lawrence Wright’s magnificently reported piece about Scientology, “The Apostate,” in the Feb. 14, 2011, New Yorker.
Wright took his time with this one; it’s 25,000 words.
So did his co-workers.
Wright told the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard:
The New Yorker had a tremendous commitment to this story. We had a fact-checker on the story – I started the story in March, and in August, I turned in the first draft. The New Yorker had two checkers on it then, and then one of those checkers stayed on it full-time from August until we published it in February. (Read the rest of the interview here.)
Not just the New Yorker‘s commitment to good reporting and Wright’s storytelling sagacity (nor that it’s essentially a massive, delicious take-down) make this piece so impossible to put down. The narrative is doubly compelling because its protagonist, Paul Haggis, who left the church after 34 years, is so even-handed in his reasoning and measured in his criticisms.~~