How Scientology Pressures Publishers

The Guardian in the UK has a great article from David Barrett about how the Church of Scientology tries to stop publication of critical articles and books such as the just released “The Complex.”

Scientology has a long history of trying to suppress material written about it that it doesn’t like. Several times they’ve taken legal action to try and stop websites revealing their teachings – particularly those which, to outsiders, might look a bit odd. (I won’t quote them, but just type “Xenu” into a search engine, then sit back and marvel.)

With books, their usual tactic is to get their solicitors to send out letters alleging defamation; I had one myself a few years ago. If bookshops receive such a letter, most of them chicken out immediately. They lose very little by not stocking a book – except their honour.

I was lucky. Knowing Scientology’s reputation for litigiousness, when I wrote my second book on new religions eight years ago I had long discussions with a senior Scientologist. Eventually it seemed as if we’d reached an agreement: if I didn’t tell the Xenu story, they wouldn’t sue me for saying several other things they didn’t like. We shook hands on what I thought was a deal – a gentlemen’s agreement – in a tea shop somewhere in Covent Garden.

But as Samuel Goldwyn said, a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. As the book was at the printers a long letter arrived from top libel lawyers Peter Carter-Ruck & Partners, accusing me of several counts of defamation in the previously-agreed chapter. Fortunately my publishers had a good lawyer; we made a few changes and went ahead and published, and never heard a word from Scientology or their lawyers again.

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8 Comments on “How Scientology Pressures Publishers”

  1. tsimento Says:

    Slowly but surely people, slowly but surely scientology is being exposed, whether they like it or not.

  2. SurelyNot Says:

    This article has now looks to have been taken down at the Guardian.

    Maybe it will be restored later. Thanks Mark for mirroring extracts here.

  3. ManAna Says:

    The link doesn’t work so I guess it was baaawked at by scilons. It’ll be up again tho.

  4. CaptainObvious Says:

    The article back up but the web address changed so the Wog Blog link is broken.

  5. XENU TV Says:

    The link is fixed. Thanks.

  6. Ann Says:

    Ive been trying to locate this book with no luck! I checked my local library’s catalog and they don’t even have it. It looks really interesting, I hope they get it soon. I was wondering is there an ebook version of it?

    any help would be great! thanks!

  7. XENU TV Says:

    It’s from a smaller Irish publisher so it’s unlikely your library would stock it. You can ask them to order it and they might. No e-book version. Your best bet is to buy it from the link on my blog.

  8. leather beds Says:

    keep up the reports, people need to see them for what they really are

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