Scientology might finally have met its match in Lawrence Wright, the Austin writer and former Texas Monthly staffer whose new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief, threatens to open the Pandora’s box on the religion/cult that L. Ron Hubbard founded in the early 1950s and that counts many celebrities among its disciples—most infamously, Tom Cruise.
The book is based on Wright’s National Magazine Award-winning 2011 New Yorker profile of Paul Haggis, the two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter and director who defected from Scientology in 2009 after 34 years, in part because its philosophy was at odds with the sexual orientation of his two lesbian daughters. In the trailer for a segment on Going Clear to air tonight at 9 p.m. CST on Rock Center, interviewer Harry Smith said Church of Scientology officials called it “an error-filled, unsubstantiated, bigoted, anti-Scientology book.”
Going Clear, which is a Scientology term for a heightened state of enlightenment, arrives on shelves amidst controversy. To counteract the book’s publication, the Church of Scientology wrote an advertorial extolling 2012 as a milestone year, which The Atlantic