Scientology Statement to The Hollywood Reporter
on Lawrence Wright
7 January 2013
Mr. Owen Phillips
The Hollywood Reporter
Re: Church Statement for Lawrence Wright's book
Dear Mr. Phillips:
Here is a response to your inquiry. I did not get any specifics from you as to topics or subjects you were going to excerpt from Wright’s book beyond the very broad, vague topics you outlined in your e-mail. In other words, THR has seen the book, but won’t share with us any of the allegations it is excerpting because of a confidentiality agreement. The author won’t forward us a copy. Neither will the publisher. Nobody will give us a copy. Yet THR is asking us to respond, but what exactly are we supposed to respond to? The moment you enter into a confidentiality agreement, it means you are forwarding Wright’s agenda. You are no longer a third party, but are working with him. His agenda is to keep the book secret so its lies and inaccuracies cannot be exposed. He had no interest in a Church response.
If you give us a copy of the book or the excerpts you are printing, we will provide answers. You are aware from your history with us that we will answer numerous questions in great detail (Scientology’s Hollywood Real Estate Empire www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/scientologys-hollywood-real-estate-empire-213565). Your own reporter even noted that in print when writing about our real estate holdings. A book publisher cannot be allowed to tie your hands as journalists as to the questions you are allowed to ask us. If there is a falsehood, we will back it up with facts. If there is other information needed, we will provide it.
For the record, when Lawrence Wright told the Church he was writing a book, we told him to send questions. He had no right to an interview and knew it given he had just ridiculed the religion in his article. Regardless, we asked for questions more than 15 times and Wright studiously avoided the Church, providing only a handful of obscure and esoteric fact-checks—none on any of the subjects you raise. He could have sent any number of questions. He refused to send them. The only explanation for his refusal to accept the Church’s cooperation is he didn’t want the true information as it would expose the lies from his sources. The bottom line is he is disingenuous.
From the limited excerpts we have seen, the book is as sloppy and inaccurate as we feared. Case in point: an excerpt we reviewed is off by a year on the wedding date of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Countless media covered the event, and anyone with access to Wikipedia could have gotten it fact right. Mr. Wright is off by a full two years on the year Mr. David Miscavige was married. Anyone who can’t even get such basic facts straight undoubtedly got a lot more wrong than right.
The one thing “clear” about Lawrence Wright’s book is that he continues to carry water for a handful of angry, bitter individuals led by a pathological liar still consumed with vengeance a decade after being removed for malfeasance. Mr. Wright produced a work of fiction that does little more than regurgitate six decades of false, bizarre tabloid allegations about the religion’s Founder, its leadership and its prominent members.
Wright did no research about Scientology. He never spoke to one Scientologist for his book. Of the 200 people he spoke with, only 9 were Scientologists and those interviews occurred prior to writing the book, for his New Yorker article. Most of the remaining 200 were apostates, many who have shopped similar false claims to the gossip media for years. Their claims continually shift because these “sources” are improvising their stories as they go along. They lack credibility, are admitted liars with enormous axes to grind but fulfilled Lawrence Wright’s agenda.
Finally, Mr. Wright continues his open disdain for religion. Of the Methodist religion in which he was raised, he once wrote that “the voice inside me was the voice of apostasy…” Mr. Wright stacks the deck, coloring his story with his own bias and the bias of his sources.
Fundamentally, he ignores the explosive growth under Mr. Miscavige’s ecclesiastical leadership and fails to get to the heart as to the reasons for it. Examples of that growth include:
- Opening 30 new Churches around the world including in 2012 alone these in Sacramento, Orange County, San Jose and Los Gatos, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; Florence, Kentucky; Buffalo, New York; as well as in Germany, Italy and our first in the Middle East, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
- Completing a 25-year program to restore and recover our Scripture making available more than 2,000 of Mr. Hubbard’s lectures to our parishioners along with corresponding written materials.
- Establishing religious publishing facilities in the 274,000-sq.-ft. Bridge Publications here in Los Angeles, which have made possible the broad dissemination of 100 million copies of Mr. Hubbard’s books and lectures.
- Establishing an 185,000-sq.-ft. dissemination facility for the production of Church humanitarian materials at a rate ten times our previous levels.
- Producing films to disseminate our religion and advance our social programs, including our newest, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, a feature length book-on-film. Others cover human rights education, drug education featuring real people and their fight against drug abuse and a film on Mr. Hubbard’s The Way To Happiness, a common-sense guide to better living.
- Launching humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs reaching millions of people all over the world in the fields of drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation, education, criminal reform, human rights and morals education. Moreover, our Volunteer Ministers have been active in more than 200 disaster relief efforts nationally and internationally.
- Inaugurating the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. this September, where Mr. Miscavige was joined by members of Congress in our rededication to bring these programs to the rest of the nation.
2013 will see even more growth with Churches set to open on five continents, as well as our spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida and our religious broadcasting and media hub in the former KCET studio in Los Angeles. People all over the world embrace the Scientology religion because of the workability of L. Ron Hubbard’s discoveries about the mind, spirit and life. For accurate information visit www.scientology.org.