A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright about the Church of Scientology will hit the shops on January 17, publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced.
“Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief,” will tackle the church’s finances among other topics, Knopf said. It is the culmination of three years of research by Wright into the church that counts several Hollywood stars among its followers.
Wright will examine the church’s founder, science-fiction novelist L. Ron Hubbard and its relationship with celebrities Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
A portion of the book was published in The New Yorker magazine in 2010 and was based in part on interviews with “Crash” director Paul Haggis, who recently left the church.
A first printing of 150,000 was ordered, the publisher said. Wright, 63, won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2006 book “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.”
The book may well be the latest blow to Scientology after a series of scandals at Narconon drug rehabilitation centres and rumours that their top celebrity asset Tom Cruise is thinking of leaving the “faith”.