clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Refinery29 Embroiled in Weird Scientology Controversy

New, 1 comment
Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Fashion/lifestyle blog Refinery29 is currently embroiled in an unlikely scandal involving Scientology that's racked up over 600 angry comments and counting on the site since yesterday and attracted the attention of well-known Scientology critic Tony Ortega. It's all due to a post called "Scientology: The Story You Haven't Heard," a single-source story that profiled one Millennial Scientologist who was given a pseudonym of "Elaine" and free range to explain her religion—which included brushing off allegations of abuse at the hands of the Church of Scientology.

The backlash against the piece was so intense that R29 put up an editorial disclaimer begging for "a respectful conversation." Meanwhile, The Frisky wrote a piece in rebuttal, saying that the R29 post "reads very much like straight up propaganda, not journalism." And Ortega tried to figure out who "Elaine" actually is and speculates that she is a Scientology flack.
· Did a Fashion Website Give a Big Boost to a Scientology Infiltrator of NYC Schools? [Tony Ortega]
· Fashion Writers, Don't Label Timberlands As Something New [Racked]
· Lululemon Partners With the Dalai Lama, Outrage Ensues [Racked]