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January 30th, 2013
01:18 PM ET

Author of Scientology book: ‘There have been a lot of tears in this story’

By Todd Leopold, CNN

(CNN) - To Scientologists and their supporters, L. Ron Hubbard is a voice of wisdom and the church is the way to enlightenment. To antagonists and skeptics, Hubbard is a con artist and fraud, and the church is a mishmash of Freudian psychology and science fiction, a celebrity-laden scam.

Lawrence Wright doesn’t buy either generalization.

In his new book, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Looming Tower” delves into the life of Hubbard, the writer-turned-prophet, and the church he created – one which, he says, arose out of an atmosphere of spiritual ferment in post-World War II Los Angeles. Hubbard, he says, was “a very interesting man and a man who had certain disturbing influences in his personality” – but not a con man: “If he really was just in it for money, somewhere along the line he would have taken his money and gone to Monte Carlo. He never did that.” FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books • Faith Now • Scientology

January 30th, 2013
05:25 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Wednesday, January 30, 2013

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: Poll: Quarter of Americans say God influences sporting events
With millions of Americans set to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, a new survey finds more than a quarter of Americans believe that God "plays a role in determining which team wins" at sports events. The survey by the Public Religion Research Institute also found that more than half of Americans believe “God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success.”

CNN: Netanyahu cartoon sparks anger, Murdoch says sorry
Rupert Murdoch has apologized for a "grotesque, offensive" cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published in Britain's Sunday Times. The cartoon by Gerald Scarfe depicts Netanyahu atop an incomplete brick wall with screaming Palestinians and body parts in the mortar. Netanyahu is holding what appears to be a bloody builder's trowel and the wall's mortar is colored red. The wording beneath reads: "Israeli Elections, Will Cementing Peace Continue?" The cartoon was published on Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday and prompted complaints that it was anti-Semitic and insensitive.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

Netanyahu cartoon sparks anger, Murdoch says sorry
News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said cartoonist Gerald Scarfe had "never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times."
January 30th, 2013
04:49 AM ET

Netanyahu cartoon sparks anger, Murdoch says sorry

By Susannah Cullinane, CNN

London (CNN) - Rupert Murdoch has apologized for a "grotesque, offensive" cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published in Britain's Sunday Times.

The cartoon by Gerald Scarfe depicts Netanyahu atop an incomplete brick wall with screaming Palestinians and body parts in the mortar. Netanyahu is holding what appears to be a bloody builder's trowel and the wall's mortar is colored red. The wording beneath reads: "Israeli Elections, Will Cementing Peace Continue?"

The cartoon was published on Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday and prompted complaints that it was anti-Semitic and insensitive.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Britain • Judaism • Media

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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