NOTE FROM CL NEWS & POLITICS EDITOR MITCH PERRY: Here is the complete text of the official response to Janet Reitman's book from Bob Adams of Church of Scientology International. See a PDF of this letter here, and a PDF here of COS' response to a set of questions I posed in an email.
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY STATEMENT
Janet Reitman's book "Inside Scientology"
Ms. Reitman’s book is filled with inaccuracies. It is neither scholarly nor well-researched and bears no resemblance to an “inside” story. While preparing her book, Ms. Reitman never contacted the Church and never requested nor interviewed a single Church representative, let alone the ecclesiastical leader of the religion. Ms. Reitman chose to speak exclusively to people outside the Church. She and her publisher refused to accept the Church’s offer to provide information. Her “report” is really no different than a view of, say, the Catholic Church told exclusively by lapsed Catholics or defrocked priests and should more accurately be called OUTSIDE SCIENTOLOGY. The book is a rehash of false and baseless allegations largely drawn from stories written by others that have long been disproved, many held inaccurate, by courts of law.
Despite her claim of “personal interviews and e-mail exchanges with roughly one hundred former and current Scientologists,” Ms. Reitman’s book refers to an exchange with only one Scientologist — a single parishioner in five years. Her primary sources of information are a handful of apostates, previous external affairs officers who are admitted perjurers, dismissed and defrocked when their crimes were discovered. These sources have a documented history of making false and defamatory statements against the Church. Their anger and hostility toward the Church should give anyone serious pause.
Many of Ms. Reitman’s sources are also members of or are affiliated with Anonymous, the cyberterrorist organization that has been the subject of federal investigations, arrests and convictions for engaging in hate crimes against the Church and its members. In the past few months Anonymous members have been the subject of intensified global law enforcement investigations involving criminal activities that include violating the privacy of countless innocent people while hacking into accounts at credit card companies, businesses and financial institutions.
If Ms. Reitman were truly “objective” she would have held these sources and their claims up to a harsh and penetrating light instead of putting them on a pedestal. She would have found, among other things, that they boast arrests, a conviction for pummeling an officer of the court, and a failed lawsuit that a federal judge not only tossed out, but also ordered the plaintiffs to reimburse the Church more than $40,000 in court costs.
Claims by Ms. Reitman to have engaged in extensive research for her book are laughable. Ms. Reitman has it wrong from the first page of chapter one, where she states, “When Hubbard died in 1985, the world took note…” Mr. Hubbard passed away January 24, 1986.
Perhaps the most significant illustration of how far outside Scientology her book lies is Ms. Reitman’s ignorance of the Church’s accomplishments. She could have seen our new Churches in Moscow or Melbourne or any of the dozens opened since 2006 in cities like London, Brussels, Rome, and Washington, D.C., all of them bursting with thousands of new members practicing their chosen faith. Anyone is welcome to experience the Church’s practices and see its humanitarian works firsthand: Scientology’s global human rights initiative has educated millions on human rights; its “Truth About Drugs” crusade teaches millions how to live drug-free; and our global Volunteer Ministers disaster relief program has been hailed by the international community.
Contrary to Ms. Reitman’s claims, there is nothing secretive about Scientology. Our Churches, located in major cities around the world, are open seven days a week, 365 days a year. Many have public display areas to answer all questions about Scientology beliefs and practices. Anyone who wants to know the true story of Scientology should find out for themselves by coming to our new Church of Scientology of Tampa, 1911 N 13th Street, Ybor Square, or go to the Church’s website, www.Scientology.org.