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Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religionby Janet Reitman
Synopses & Reviews
Scientology, created in 1954 by a prolific sci-fi writer named L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the worlds fastest growing religion, with millions of members around the world and huge financial holdings. Its celebrity believers keep its profile high, and its teams of “volunteer ministers” offer aid at disaster sites such as Haiti and the World Trade Center. But Scientology is also a notably closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of the government to further its goals. Its attacks on psychiatry and its requirement that believers pay as much as tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation have drawn scrutiny and skepticism. And ex-members use the Internet to share stories of harassment and abuse.
Now Janet Reitman offers the first full journalistic history of the Church of Scientology, in an evenhanded account that at last establishes the astonishing truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientologys development from the birth of Dianetics to today, following its metamorphosis from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a worldwide spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers and even ex-followers.
Based on five years of research, unprecedented access to Church officials, confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is the defining book about a little-known world.
How is it that America's most popular new religion is still its least understood? Janet Reitman sheds some long-awaited light on the ever-elusive faith organization, the Church of Scientology. Based on five years of research, access to confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, this is the first objective modern history of the notoriously secretive faith.
A full-length account based on the author's National Magazine Award finalist article traces the story of the fast-growing religion while addressing such controversies as the organization's attacks on psychiatry, its celebrity support and its steep tithing requirements. 75,000 first printing.
About the Author
JANET REITMAN 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, and was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2007 for the story "Inside Scientology."
Table of Contents
Introduction: The world's fastest-growing religion — I: The founder — Dianetics — The franchised faith — II: The bridge to total freedom — Travels with the commodore — Over the rainbow — DM — Power is assumed — III: Lisa — Flag — Seventeen days — The greatest good — IV: The celebrity strategy — The seduction of Tom Cruise — The bubble — Int — Exodus — Epilogue: What is true for you.
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