Friday, January 25, 2013

Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright's new book is Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

From his Q & A with Mark Guarino for Printers Row Journal:

Q: The church contradicts most of your reporting, and in one moment of the book, its attorneys show up at The New Yorker with 48 binders of material stretching about 7 linear feet, a tactic you suggest was intended to intimidate you into reversing course. Why didn't it work?

A: It could be they thought they were going to drown me in information, which is the wrong approach. For a reporter, it's pouring water on a fish. When they rolled in those 48 volumes, I looked at those binders with absolute joy. After our meeting, we loaded them on dollies and took them to an unused computer room in The New Yorker's office with no windows. Just a long narrow room with a long desk. I lined all the volumes up and closed the door and had them all to myself. I was really happy.

Q: It is well documented that journalists probing the inner world of Scientology have been stalked, threatened and forced into litigation. Did that history give you pause?

A: I was aware of the past history. I didn't go into it with my eyes closed. But when you have a situation where there are so many allegations and there is a history of threats and also of inaction on part of police agencies, it's an important spot for an investigative reporter to step in. That's what we were created to do. I thought the ideal spot for me, as a reporter, was to try to assess the truth of the situation.

Q: So much of what one associates with Scientology is the secrecy, which, to be fair, is a hallmark of many religions. However, in Scientology, it feels much more stern and with an obvious litigious bent. Why?...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue