BOSTON — February 8, 2011 — Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade and Reference Division today announced that it will publish Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion, based on confidential documents, more than 100 interviews with current and former Scientologists, and five years of research. This book confirms the astonishing truth within the controversial religion.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright (who mentions the book in his current New Yorker piece about Paul Haggis’ defection from Scientology) praises Inside Scientology, calling it “an engrossing, groundbreaking work that brings a welcome sense of fair-mindedness to a subject that is, for many journalists and scholars, too hot to touch.”
Scientology conjures images of its celebrity believers, its notably aggressive response to criticism or its attacks on psychiatry, and its requirement that believers pay as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach the highest levels of salvation. In Inside Scientology Reitman reveals all, starting with how the singular L. Ron Hubbard transformed a self-help group into a worldwide spiritual corporation.
As Hubbard became increasingly paranoid and reclusive, a young acolyte named David Miscavige assumed control. After Hubbard’s death in 1986, Miscavige quickly purged the ranks and began to transform the church once again. Miscavige has overseen some of the church’s greatest triumphs — among them a controversial billion-dollar IRS tax exemption and Tom Cruise’s emergence as a vocal advocate — but he has also created a climate of fear and intimidation, according to ex-members whose stories of abuse Reitman shares. Reitman is the first to examine Miscavige’s twenty-five year reign and what it might mean for the future of the church.
Inside Scientology is an utterly compelling work of nonfiction and the defining work on an elusive faith.
Janet Reitman was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2007 for the story “Inside Scientology,” from which this book grew. She is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. Her work has appeared in GQ, Men’s Journal, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, and the Washington Post, among other publications. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.
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