Dear HBOThe difference between Wright and Wrong
Read the Church’s letter informing Alex Gibney that the Lawrence Wright book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief contains hundreds of errors and misstatements, is a “compendium of lies from anti-Scientologists,” and that publishers in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia refused to publish it. States the letter, “Mr. Wright’s book is demonstrably biased. We are confident the evidence will show that prior to writing either the New Yorker article or his book, Mr. Wright had a preordained view of Scientology and set out from the beginning to make both a self-fulfilling prophecy and the treatise of a bigot.”
November 6, 2014
Re: Your letter of October 22, 2014
Dear Mr. Gibney:
Are you joking?
In the letter you sent me, you state that your work “examines Scientology, building on the foundation laid by Lawrence Wright” in his book. You told the New York Times of your “interest” in Wright’s description of Scientology as a “prison of belief.” You have also been quoted as saying, “Every time somebody tweets a positive note about WikiLeaks they rain hell on them. I guess that is their way of trying to stamp out criticism, but it’s not what you would expect of a transparency organization. It’s the tactics of Scientology.” These statements and others you have made demonstrate a pre-set tainted and bigoted view—certainly not one of an objective individual. In fact, as has been documented:
- Mr. Wright’s book contains literally hundreds of errors and misstatements of fact, including numerous false and defamatory and damaging statements about the Church, its leadership and its members.1 When alerted to this fact and provided with appropriate evidence, publishers in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia would not even publish it.
- Mr. Wright claimed to have interviewed more than 200 current and former Scientologists. Factually, of those, barely 3% were Scientologists. He only listed seven current members among those he interviewed. One of those listed said he was never even contacted by Mr. Wright, let alone interviewed. After being confronted with this fact, Mr. Wright removed this person’s name from the paperback edition. Another of the seven current members mentioned above, was me; I was never interviewed. In fact, I was only asked fact-checking questions submitted to me via email at the 11th hour after the book was written.
Mr. Wright’s book is demonstrably biased. We are confident the evidence will show that prior to writing either the New Yorker article or his book, Mr. Wright had a preordained view of Scientology and set out from the beginning to make both a self-fulfilling prophecy and the treatise of a bigot.
Are you unaware of the Church’s responses to Wright’s book? In addition to the four post-publication letters sent by Church counsel to Wright’s publisher, there are significant responses on the Internet at www.lawrencewrightgoingclear.com (a copy of which we also supplied to Wright’s publisher).
I could go on with numerous other examples, but I won’t.
Your letter has not provided sufficient information for me to determine anything other than your documentary is yet another predetermined vision of my Church blinded by bigotry and bias that relies on the same handful of bitter, discredited sources.
So, since you are just coming to me now for the first time, please tell me:
Who are your on-the-record sources?
What is being said about my Church?
I will expect to hear back from you soon.