In the introduction to his new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright writes, "Scientology plays an outsize role in the cast of new religions that have arisen in the 20th century and survived into the 21st."
The book is a look inside the world of Scientology and the life of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986. A recent ad for Scientology claims to welcome 4.4 million new converts each year.
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 2:42 pm
Two hackers associated with the group Anonymous will serve time in jail. A British judge handed down the sentence after the two were convicted of perpetrating attacks against the Paypal and Mastercard websites.
The BBC reports Christopher Weatherhead, 22, and Ashley Rhodes, 28, will serve 18 months and seven months respectively. The BBC adds:
"Co-defendant Peter Gibson was given a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, while another defendant, Jake Birchall, 18, will be sentenced later."
Now I want to turn to another conversation about the role women are or should be playing in our national life - or in this case, one woman in particular: The first lady, Michelle Obama. Just as commentators are now talking about the president's second term agenda, we wonder what projects the first lady will take on in these next four years.
Finally, I have a word about Manti Te'o, the star Notre Dame linebacker, Heisman trophy runner up, who says he was the victim of an ugly hoax where someone — probably a male friend of his — created an online identity of a young women, with whom Te'o says he fell in love, although he never met her.