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Inside Scientology

The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

Janet Reitman


List Price: 16.99*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (7/10/2011)
MP3 CD (7/11/2011)
Compact Disc (7/11/2011)
Hardcover (7/5/2011)


Based on five years of research, access to confidential documents, and extensive interviews with current and former Scientologists, Janet Reitman sheds some long-awaited light on the ever-elusive religion of the Church of Scientology.

Scientology, created in 1954 by pulp science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, claims to be the world’s fastest growing religion, with millions of members and huge financial holdings. Celebrity believers keep its profile high. Teams of volunteer ministers offer aid at disaster sites like Haiti and the World Trade Center.

But Scientology is also a very closed faith, harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating high levels of the government to further its goals. Its attacks on psychiatry and its requirement that believers pay as much as tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation have drawn scrutiny and skepticism. Ex-members use the internet to share stories of harassment and abuse.

Reitman offers the first full journalistic history of the Church of Scientology in an even-handed account that establishes the truth about the controversial religion. She traces Scientology’s development from the birth of Dianetics to today, following its metamorphosis from a pseudoscientific self-help group to a global spiritual corporation with profound control over its followers and ex-followers. This is a defining book about a little-known world.

Praise For Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion

A New York Times Notable Book "[A] meticulously compiled exposé, culled from hundreds of interviews with active Scientologists and defectors alike. [Reitman's] revelations — including abuse allegations against church leader David Miscavige and details about the organization's aggressive courtship of Tom Cruise — come with impressive backup." - Entertainment Weekly "A serious, painstaking investigation of the organization's unique structure and bare-knucled business acumen." - GQ "In a new book, Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secret Religion, author Janet Reitman tell the fascinating history of the mysterious organization and its members." - "The most complete picture of Scientology so far." –Garry Wills, New York Times Book Review "Reitman's book delivers all it promises, and it promises a lot… [Reitman] has put together the most masterfully written, narratively rewarding, and thorough yarn about L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige, and Scientology and its strange past, present, and possible future….In Inside Scientology, we have a thorough, brave journalist backed by a major publisher, and soon what no doubt will be a major publicity push: Reitman's book should soon become Scientology's biggest headache in years." - Village Voice "This book is fearless" - Wall Street Journal "[A] meaty, engaging new book" "[A] meticulously researched history and revealing exposé, a frightening portrait of a religion that many find not just controversial, but dangerous…Throughout the book, the author displays consummate journalistic skills. Her accumulation of evidence is particularly impressive and gives rise to one of the more memorable works of investigative nonfiction in recent years."- Boston Globe "A well-researched and compelling read" - Los Angeles Times "[A] richly narrative history of the organization… The book is convincing and compelling. It will be interesting to see how the Scientology leadership responds." - St Louis Post Dispatch "So most journalistic accounts of Scientology fall into two categories: ax-grinding expose or fawning apologism. Fortunately Janet Reitman finds a third way in her authoritative, absorbing "Inside Scientology": nuanced reporting that lets the facts speak for themselves..."Inside Scientology" will remain a thoughtful, fair-minded record of its tumultuous first generation." - San Francisco Chronicle "Inside Scientology is a masterful piece of reporting....a compelling introduction to "America’s most secretive religion," as the subtitle has it. Even for those who have no interest in parsing when cults become religions or why faith upends fact, Reitman tells a spellbinding story of a larger-than-life personality whose quirks, ticks and charisma shaped America’s newest homegrown religious movement." - Washington Post "INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY is notable for its depth and sweep. Reitman's research pays off not only in rich portrayals of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and current leader David Miscavige, but in intimate portraits of people who have been swept up along the way….Reitman's analysis of Scientology's ability to survive scandal and mockery is compelling and persuasive." - Seattle Times "The inside scoop on Scientology, the steeped-in-secrecy religion of L. Ron Hubbard." - Minneapolis Star Tribune "Inside Scientology leaves no scandal unturned in the life of L. Ron Hubbard, underlings, celebrities and cult "slaves" in this story of America's most secretive religion....It is a riveting read not only for its thorough research, and winning style, but because [Reitman] has left no greed undescribed in the 396 page-turner." - Seattle Post Intelligencer "Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman is an amazing book...a masterful telling of the church’s history and the division among its members" - Asbury —

HarperOne, 9780547750354, 464pp.

Publication Date: August 6, 2013

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."