Controversial Scientology book hits U.S. stores, won't go on sale in Canada or U.K.
Pedestrians walk past the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles in this 2008 file photo. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
Published Thursday, January 17, 2013 7:00AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:41PM EST
A controversial book that purports to provide a rare glimpse inside the strange and secretive world of Scientology hits store shelves in the U.S. Thursday, but the book is not being released in Canada or the U.K.
Pulitzer prize-winning author Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief is full of shocking allegations about the religion, its founder L. Ron Hubbard, and current leader David Miscavige.
The book claims followers have been locked up, isolated from non-believing family members, and that the church even auditioned future girlfriends for Tom Cruise, who is now reportedly the third most powerful person in the church.
Those claims, which according to the author, come from exhaustive interviews with former Scientologists, triggered a decision by British publisher Transworld to cancel the book's release in the U.K. Random House Canada, which earlier had the book listed on its website and has been the Canadian distributor for Wright's other books, also cancelled plans for Thursday’s release of the book.
"It's not available here," Sheila Kay, a spokesperson for Random House Canada, told CTVNews.ca without going into further detail.
The Church of Scientology recently issued a statement after the Hollywood Reporter published excerpts from the book. In the statement, spokesperson Karin Pouw said the book is full of “lies and inaccuracies,” though she admitted no one at the organization has seen the book. She said the organization’s requests for a copy were ignored by both Wright and his U.S. publisher.
Pouw also said the church sent 15 interview requests to Wright, all of which were ignored as the author "studiously avoided the church" in researching the book.
"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," she wrote.
Pouw also suggested that in the excerpts the church has reviewed, key facts are wrong, such as the year Cruise married Katie Holmes and the date Miscavige was married.
"Anyone who can’t even get such basic facts straight undoubtedly got a lot more wrong than right," she said in the statement.