Spring is just around the corner, the crocuses are getting ready to pop their heads above the ground and, right on schedule, Tarpley Hitt, intrepid hatchet-wielder for The Daily Beast, is likewise rising from the mud with yet another poison-pen piece calibrated for the clickbait crowd—Shocking Exposé Number 4,524, this time on (drum roll) the Church of Scientology.
Tarpley doesn’t direct her darts at the Church itself, however, preferring instead to target a well-established, nationally respected business run by people who happen to be Scientologists, and who, as one might expect from members of any religion, use the teachings and truths of their faith as guideposts in their lives.
This, to Tarpley, is an unforgivable sin. She is shocked, shocked at the stories she hears from two disgruntled ex-employees about the supposed “influence” of the Scientology religion in the business, about the long-since-discredited canards about Scientology that she, with a child’s faith, chooses to believe. And like the fearless muckraker she is, Tarpley refuses to talk to any of the over 100 actually happy employees at this stable, award-winning, community-minded company. Doing THAT might invite some nasty, unexciting facts into an already juicy, provocative, prevaricating narrative.
Ms. Hitt is building a reputation as a writer who refuses to let the truth get in the way of a titillating story—even if it means trashing good people trying to do good things through the faith they practice; even if it means hurting, by extension, all well-intentioned people of faith by spreading lies about a sister religion; and, more to the point, even if it means exposing herself as a bigot who can only feel tall by cutting others down.