The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Josh Clark

How the Church of Scientology Fought the Internet - and Why It Lost On The Kernel, Jesse Hicks analyzes why the normally PR-savvy cult was unable to beat back the Internet's attack that has led to its current undoing.

On The Atlantic's Scientology Ad (and Aftermath) In The Atlantic, James Fallows writes about the popular fallout the magazine received when it published sponsored content from Scientology.

The Dark Origins of Conjugal Visits On Pricenomics, Alex Mayyasi writes about the racist origin of the conjugal visit, which is found at Parchman Penitentiary, a Mississippi prison that swapped slavery out for convict labor.

Don't Write Off ET Quite Yet On Nautilus, Caleb Scharf points out that believers that humans are alone in the universe may have misplaced faith in our current abilities to detect life elsewhere.

The Hinterkaifek Murders and the Devil's Footprints On his eponymous blog, Martin J Clemens writes about the 1922 axe murders of an entire family in Germany and the curious events surrounding the crime.

Design Legacy: A Social History of Jamaican Album Covers On Smashing Magazine, Dan Mayer writes about how album art reflected the public emergence of social conscience in post-colonial Jamaica.

How to Get Away With (The Perfect) Murder In GQ, Sean Flynn writes about an unsolved 2012 mass murder in the French Alps that is missing two important elements: a motive and a suspect.

1561 Celestial Event Over Nuremberg The Wikipedia entry for a bizarre event chronicled in Medieval Germany that suggests to some people an aerial UFO dogfight.

Hospital of the Seven Teeth and the Murder of Ann Davie On the Fortean Times Forums, a thread on an infamous Massachusetts mental institution, along with supporting contemporary articles about the murder of a patient there by another patient.

'I Might Have Some Sensitive Files' On Buzzfeed, David Kushner writes about the strange saga of Matt DeHart, a former drone intelligence analyst who was accused by the FBI of producing child pornography and who, in turn, accused the FBI of torturing him because they actually suspected him of spying.

'This Goes All the Way to the Queen': The Puzzle Book That Drove England to Madness On Hazlitt, Jess Zimmerman writes about a 1979 book that featured clues to a buried golden hare.

A Vintage Crime In a 2012 article in Vanity Fair Michael Steinberger writes about the fallen king of counterfeit vintage wine.