The Church of Scientology is paying Twitter to combat critics of "Going Clear"

The Church of Scientology employed an unusual tactic — promoted tweets — to combat Internet outrage last night

Published March 30, 2015 9:38PM (EDT)

The Church of Scientology of Los Angeles building.                  (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
The Church of Scientology of Los Angeles building. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

It was hard to find a corner of Twitter that hadn't been hit by some form of outrage as the controversial HBO documentary "Going Clear" aired last night. And the Church of Scientology simply wasn't going to let others have the last word. As many journalists began noticing last night, amidst the Internet frenzy, a handful of promoted Scientology tweets began to rise to the top of the heap.

Many of these promoted tweets -- particularly from @FreedomEthics, Scientology's Freedom magazine -- appeared to mock critics of the film. When Ad Week and Daily Dot reached out to the church for further comment on their unusual tactic at the time of publication, both parties received no answer. However, this afternoon -- following the release of Ad Week's post -- Karen Pouw, a rep for the Church of Scientology finally responded to previous requests:

"We had an all-time high interest in Scientology during the airing of the HBO show," she told Ad Week. "Over 50,000 people came to our website before we even issued a tweet. As there were so many people curious and interested, we decided to spread the word."

Below, you can find some of these promoted tweets -- one of which (and you'll know which one when you see it) looks like the back of a ghastly inspirational memoir, one user acutely observed.

[embedtweet id=582608439374950400]
[embedtweet id=582403493677285378]
[embedtweet id=577690676571181057]
[embedtweet id=574645769396846594]
[embedtweet id=580717784902037504]
[embedtweet id=575793328416944128]
[embedtweet id=581497159243042816]
[embedtweet id=581485910954381312]
[embedtweet id=581357491612622848]
[embedtweet id=581463189704953856]
[embedtweet id=580802584014819328]

By Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Going Clear Hbo Scientology Twitter